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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Matthew 7

 

 

Verse 1

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. To "judge" here [ krinete (Greek #2919)] does not exactly mean to pronounce condemnatory judgment [ katakrinein (Greek #2635)]; nor does it refer to simple judging at all, whether favourable or the reverse. The context makes it clear that the thing here condemned is that disposition to look unfavourably on the character and actions of others, which leads invariably to the pronouncing of rash, unjust, and unlovely judgments upon them. No doubt it is the judgments so pronounced which are here spoken of; but what our Lord aims at is the spirit out of which they spring. Provided we eschew this unlovely spirit, we are not only warranted to sit in judgment upon a brother's character and actions, but, in the exercise of a necessary discrimination, are often constrained to do so for our own guidance. It is the violation of the law of love involved in the exercise of a censorious disposition which alone is here condemned. And the argument against it - "that ye be not judged" - confirms this: 'that your own character and actions be not pronounced upon with the like severity;' that is, at the great day.


Verse 2

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete [whatever standard of judgment ye apply to others], it shall be measured to you [again] , [ antimetreetheesetai (Greek #488). The anti (Greek #473) - 'again' or 'in return'-which belongs to the corresponding passage in Luke 6:38, has hardly any support here; though of course it is implied.] This proverbial maxim is used by our Lord in other connections-as in Mark 4:24, and with a slightly different application in Luke 6:38 - as a great principle in the divine administration. Untender judgment of others will be judicially returned upon ourselves, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. But, as in many other cases under the divine administration, such harsh judgment gets self-punished even here. For people shrink from contact with those who systematically deal out harsh judgment upon others-naturally concluding that they themselves may be the next victims-and feel impelled in self-defense, when exposed to it, to roll back upon the assailant his own censures.

And why beholdest thou the mote , [ karfos (Greek #2595)] - 'splinter;' here very well rendered "mote," denoting any shall fault.

That is in, thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam [ dokon (G1385)] that is in thine own eye? - denoting the much greater fault which we overlook in ourselves.


Verse 3

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 4

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?


Verse 5

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Thou hypocrite , [ Hupokrita (Greek #5273)] - 'Hypocrite!'

First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Our Lord uses a most hyperbolical, but not unfamiliar figure, to express the monstrous inconsistency of this conduct. The "hypocrisy" which, not without indignation, He charges it with, consists in the pretence of a zealous and compassionate charity, which cannot possibly be real in one who suffers worse faults to lie uncorrected in himself. He only is fit to be a reprover of others who jealously and severely judges himself. Such persons will not only be slow to undertake the office of censor on their neighbours, but, when constrained in faithfulness to deal with them, will make it evident that they do it with reluctance and not satisfaction, with moderation and not exaggeration, with love and not harshness.

The opposite extreme to that of censoriousness is here condemned-want of discrimination of character.


Verse 6

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs - savage or snarling haters of truth and righteousness.

Neither cast ye your pearls before swine - the impure or coarse who are incapable of appreciating the priceless jewels of Christianity. In the East dogs are wilder and more gregarious, and, feeding on carrion and garbage, are coarser and fiercer than the same animals in the West. Dogs and swine, besides being ceremonially unclean, were peculiarly repulsive to the Jews, and indeed to the ancients generally.

Least they trample them under their feet-as swine do-and turn again and rend you - as dogs do. Religion is brought into contempt, and its professors insulted when it is forced upon those who cannot value it and will not have it. But while the indiscriminately zealous have need of this caution, let us be on our guard against too readily setting our neighbours down as dogs and swine, and excusing ourselves form endeavouring to do them good on this poor plea.

Enough one might think, had been said on this subject in Matthew 6:5-15. But the difficulty of the foregoing duties seems to have recalled the subject, and this gives it quite a new turn. 'How shall we ever be able to carry out such precepts as these, of tender, holy, yet discriminating love?' might the humble disciple inquire. 'Go to God with it.' is our Lord's reply; but He expresses this with a fullness which leaves nothing to be desire, urging now not only confidence, but importunity in prayer.


Verse 7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Though there seems evidently a climax here, expressive of more and more importunity, yet each of these terms used presents what we desire of God in a different light. We ask for what we wish; we seek for what we miss; we knock for that from which we feel ourselves shut out. Answering to this threefold representation is the triple assurance of success to our believing efforts. 'But ah!' might some humble disciple say, 'I cannot persuade myself that I have any interest with God'. To meet this, our Lord repeats the triple assurance he had just given, but in such a form as to silence every such complaint.


Verse 8

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Of course, it is presumed that he asked aright-that is, in faith-and with an honest purpose to make use of what he receives. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (undecided whether to be altogether on the Lord's side). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (James 1:5-7). Hence, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3).


Verse 9

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread [ arton (G740), 'a loaf,'] will he give him a stone? - round and smooth like such a loaf or cake as was much in use, but only to mock him.


Verse 10

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? - like it, indeed, but only to sting him.


Verse 11

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him! Bad as our fallen nature is, the father in us is not extinguished. What a heart, then, must the Father of all fathers have toward His pleading children! In the corresponding passage in Luke (see the note at Matthew 11:13), instead of "good things," our Lord asks whether He will not much more give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. At this early stage of His ministry, and before such as audience, He seems to avoid such sharp doctrinal teaching as was more accordant with His plan at the riper stage indicated in Luke, and in addressing His own disciples exclusively.


Verse 12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Therefore (to say all in one word) all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so [ houtoos (G3779), the same thing and in the same way,] to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets. 'This is the substance of all relative duty; all Scripture in a nutshell.' Incomparable summary! How well called "the royal law"! (James 2:8 : cf. Romans 13:9). It is true that similar maxims are found floating in the writings of the cultivated Greeks and Romans, and naturally enough in the Rabbinical writings. But so expressed as it is here-in immediate connection with, and as the sum of such duties as had been just enjoined, and such principles as had been before taught-it is to be found nowhere else. And the best commentary upon this fact is, that never until our Lord came down thus to teach did men effectually and widely exemplify it in their practice. The precise sense of the maxim is best referred to common sense. It is not, of course, what-in our wayward, capricious, grasping moods-we should wish that men would do to us, that we are to hold ourselves bound to do to them; but only what-in the exercise of an impartial judgment, and putting ourselves in their place-we consider it reasonable that they should do to us, that we are to do to them.

Remarks:

(1) How grievous is it to think to what an extent, in spite of our Lord's injunctions and warnings here, censoriousness prevails, not only among the mass of professing Christians, but even among the undoubted children of God! Of two or more motives by which any action or course may have been prompted, and only one of which is wrong, how readily do many Christians-in a spirit the reverse of love-fasten upon the wrong one, without any evidence, but merely on presumption! And even after they have discovered themselves to have wronged their neighbour-perhaps a brother or sister in Christ-by imputing to them motives to which they find they were strangers, instead of grieving over such want of love (Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8), and guarding against it for the future, are they not as ready again to do the same thing? We speak not of such snarling dispositions as seem incapable of looking upon any person or action but unfavourably-of which one meets with unhappy specimens in some whom one would fain include among the sincere disciples of Christ. But we refer to a too prevalent tendency in many who are above this Let such think whether, at the great day, they would like to have their own harsh measure meted out to themselves; let them remember to what a small extent one is able to enter into the circumstances of another; let them consider whether in any given case, their are called on to pronounce a judgment at all; and if they think they are, let it be with reluctance and regret that an unfavourable judgment is pronounced; and let full weight be given to extenuating circumstances. As the law of love demands all this, so shall we find, at the great day, that we have our own merciful measure meted out to ourselves. But after all,

(2) Self-knowledge will be the best preservative against a censorious disposition. He who knows how often his own motives would be misunderstood, if judged in every case from first appearances, will not be ready to judge thus of his neighbour's; nor will he who is conscious of his own uprightness, even when he has been betrayed into something wrong, be ready to put the worst construction even upon what cannot be defended. And as the censorious get self-punished even here, so a considerate, kind, charitable way of looking at the character and actions of others is rewarded with general respect, esteem, and confidence.

(3) Christian zeal must be tempered with discretion. No love to the souls of men can oblige a Christian to thrust divine truth upon ears that will not listen to it, that will but loathe it, and are only irritated to keener hatred by efforts made to force it on them (See Proverbs 9:7-8; Proverbs 14:7; Proverbs 23:9, etc.) And yet how few are there so virulent that love cannot approach them and persevering love cannot subdue them! Discernment of character is indeed indispensable for hopefully giving "that which is holy" to those who are strangers to it, and offering safely our "pearls" to the needy. But He who said to obstinate and scornful Jerusalem, "How often would I have gathered thy children, and ye would not" - He who has even for ages "stretched out His hands all day long to a disobedient and gain-saying people!" - will not have us too readily to despair of our fellow-men, and cease from endeavouring to win them to the truth. And surely, when we remember what forbearance we ourselves have needed and experienced, and how hopeless some of us once were, we should not be over-hasty in turning even from the obstinate opponents of truth and righteousness as "dogs" and "swine," whom to meddle with is equally bootless and perilous.

(4) Delicate and difficult as are the duties enjoined in this Section, demanding a high tone and involving habitual self-command, the disciple of Christ has an unfailing resource in his Father which is in heaven, to whom there is free access by prayer for all, and no believing application is made in vain.

(5) Had the universal depravity of our nature not been an understood and acknowledged truth, it is difficult to see how our Lord could have expressed Himself as He does in Matthew 7:11, nor can the full force of His reasoning be felt on any other principle. For this is it: 'The natural affection of human parents toward their children has to struggle through the evil which every child of Adam brings with him into the world, and carries about with him to his dying day; and yet, in spite of this, what parent is there whose heart does not yearn over his own child, or is able to resist his reasonable pleadings? But your heavenly Father has no evil in His nature to struggle with; and has a heart toward His children, compared with which the affections of all the parents that ever did, do, or shall exist, though they were blended into one mighty affection, is not even as a drop to the ocean: How much more, then, will He give good gifts to His pleading children!' What an argument this for faith to plead upon!

We have here the application of the whole preceding Discourse.

"Conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:13-27), The righteousness of the kingdom," so amply described, both in principle and in detail, would he seen to involve self-sacrifice at every step. Multitudes would never face this. But it must be faced, else the consequences will be fatal. This would divide all within the sound of these truths into two classes: the many, who will follow the path of ease and self-indulgence-and where it might; and the few, who, bent on eternal safety above everything else, take the way that leads to it-at whatever cost. This gives occasion to the two opening verses of this application.


Verse 13

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Enter ye in at the strait gate - as if hardly wide enough to admit one at all This expresses the difficulty of the first right step in religion, involving as it does, a triumph over all our natural inclinations. Hence, the still stronger expression in Luke (Luke 13:24), "Strive [ agoonizesthe (Greek #75)] to enter in at the strait gate."

For wide is the gate (easily entered) and broad is the way (easily trodden) that leadeth to destruction, and (thus lured) many there be which go in thereat:


Verse 14

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life (in other words, the whole course is as difficult as the first step); and (so it comes to pass that) few there be that find it. The recommendation of the broad way is the ease with which it is trodden and the abundance of company to be found in it. It is sailing with a fair wind and a favourable tide. The natural inclinations are not crossed, and fears of the issue, if not easily hushed, are in the long run effectually subdued. The one disadvantage of this course is its end-it "leadeth to destruction." The Great Teacher says it, and says it as "One having authority." To the supposed injustice or harshness of this He never once adverts. He leaves it to be inferred that such a course righteously, naturally, necessarily so ends. But whether men see this or no, here He lays down the law of the kingdom, and leaves it with us. As to the other way, the disadvantage of it lies in its narrowness and solitude. Its very first step involves a revolution in our whole purposes and plans for life, and a surrender of all that is dear to natural inclination, while all that follows is but a repetition of the first great act of self-sacrifice. No wonder, then, that few find and few are found in it. But it has one advantage-it "leadeth unto life." Some critics take "the gate" here, not for the first, but the last step in religion; since gates seldom open into roads, but roads usually terminate in a gate, leading straight to a mansion. But as this would make our Lord's words to have a very inverted and unnatural form as they stand, it is better, with the majority of critics, to view them as we have done. [The reading in Matthew 7:14, of Ti for " Hoti (Greek #3754) - 'How strait!'-preferred by Tregelles-is, we think, with Tischendorf, to be disapproved.]

But since such teaching would be as unpopular as the way itself, our Lord next forewarns His hearers that preachers of smooth things-the true heirs and representatives of the false prophets of old-would be rife enough in the new kingdom.


Verse 15

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Beware, [ Prosechete (G4337) de (G1161),`But beware'] of false prophets - that is, of teachers coming as authorized expounders of the mind of God and guides to heaven. (See Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-2.)

Which come to you in sheep's clothing - with a bland, gentle, plausible exterior; persuading you that the gate is not strait nor the way narrow, and that to teach so is illiberal and bigoted-precisely what the old prophets did (Ezekiel 13:1-10; Ezekiel 13:22).

But inwardly they are ravening wolves - bent on devouring the flock for their own ends (2 Corinthians 11:2-3; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).


Verse 16

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Ye shall know them by their fruits - not their doctrines-as many of the older interpreters and some later ones explain it-for that corresponds to the tree itself; but the practical effect of their teaching, which is the proper fruit of the tree.

Do men gather grapes of thorns, [ akanthoon (G173), any kind of prickly plant], or figs of thistles?

[ triboloon (Greek #5146)] - a three-pronged variety. The general sense is obvious-Every tree bears its own fruit.


Verse 17

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.


Verse 18

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Obvious as is the truth here expressed in different forms-that the heart determines and is the only proper interpreter of the actions of our life-no one who knows how the Church of Rome makes a merit of actions, quite apart from the motives that prompt them, and how the same tendency manifests itself from time to time even among Protestant Christians, can think it too obvious to be insisted on by the teachers of divine truth. Here follows a wholesome digression.


Verse 19

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. See the notes at Matthew 3:10.


Verse 20

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them: - q. d., 'But the point I now press is not so much the end of such, as the means of detecting them; and this, as already said, is their fruits.' The hypocrisy of teachers now leads to a solemn warning against religious hypocrisy in general.


Verse 21

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord - the reduplication of the title "Lord" denoting zeal in according it to Christ (see Mark 14:45). Yet our Lord claims and expects this of all His disciples, as when He washed their feet, "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am" (John 13:13).

Shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven - that will which it had been the great object of this discourse to set forth. Yet our Lord says warily, not 'the will of your Father,' but "of My Father;" thus claiming a relationship to His Father with which His disciples might not intermeddle, and which He never lets down. And He so speaks here, to give authority to His asseverations. But now He rises higher still-not formally announcing Himself as the Judge, but intimating what men will say to Him, and He to them, when He sits as their final judge.


Verse 22

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Many will say to me in that day , [ b


Verse 23

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

And then will I profess unto them, [ homologeesoo (Greek #3670)] - or, 'openly proclaim'-tearing off the mask --

I never knew you. What they claimed-intimacy with Christ-is just what He repudiates, and with a certain scornful dignity. 'Our acquaintance was not broken off-there never was any.'

Depart from me (cf. Matthew 25:41). The connection here gives these words an awful significance. They claimed intimacy with Christ, and in the corresponding passage, Luke 13:26, are represented as having gone out and in with Him on familiar terms. 'So much the worse for you,' He replies: 'I bore with that long enough; but now-begone!'

Ye that work iniquity - not 'that wrought iniquity;' for they are represented as fresh from the scenes and acts of it as they stand before the Judge. (See on the almost identical, but even more vivid and awful, description of the scene in Luke 13:24-27.) That the apostle alludes to these very words in 2 Timothy 2:19, there can hardly be any doubt - "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."


Verse 24

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Therefore (to bring this discourse to a close), whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them. See James 1:22, which seems a plain allusion to these words; also Luke 11:28; Romans 2:13; 1 John 3:7.

I will liken him unto a wise man , [ andri (Greek #435) fronimoo (Greek #5429)] - a shrewd, prudent, provident man,

Which built his house upon a rock - the rock of true discipleship, or genuine subjection to Christ.


Verse 25

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And the rain (from above) descended, and the floods (from below) came, [ potamoi (G4215)], and the winds (sweeping across) blew, and (thus from every direction), beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. See 1 John 2:17.


Verse 26

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine (in the attitude of discipleship), and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand - denoting a loose foundation-that of an empty profession and mere external services.


Verse 27

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon, [ prosekopsan (G4350) or 'struck against'] that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it - terrible the ruin! How lively must this imagery have been to an audience accustomed to the fierceness of an Eastern tempest, and the suddenness and completeness with which it sweeps everything unsteady before it!


Verse 28

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine - rather, 'His teaching' [ didachee (Greek #1322)], because the reference is to the manner of it quite as much as to the matter, or rather more so.


Verse 29

For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

For he taught them as [one] having authority. The word "one" which our translators have here inserted, only weakens the statement.

And not as the scribes. The consciousness of divine authority, as Lawgiver, Expounder, and Judge, so beamed through His teaching, that the scribes teaching could not but appear drivelling in such a light.

Remarks:

(1) Let the disciples of Christ beware of obliterating the distinction between the "broad" and the "narrow" way; and neither be carried away by the plausibilities of that 'liberal' school of preachers and writers whose aim is to refine away the distinguishing peculiarities of the two classes, nor be ashamed of the fidelity which holds them up in bold, clear, sharp outline. It is easy to run down the latter class as narrow bigots, and cry up the former as sensible and large-minded. But He, Whom none claiming the Christian name dare call narrow or harsh, concludes this incomparable discourse with the assurance that there are but two great courses-the one ending in "life," the other in "destruction;" that the easy one is the fatal, the difficult the only safe way; and that true wisdom lies in eschewing the former and making choice of the latter. Genuine, out-and-out discipleship yields its devout assent to this, and casts in its lot with all that teach it, however despised; stopping its ears to the preachers of smooth things, charm they never so wisely.

(2) While corrupt teaching is followed, sooner or later, by corresponding practice, the immediate effects are often, to all appearance, the reverse. There is often a simplicity, an earnestness, an absorption in the objects at which they aim, in preachers who are conscious that they have special ideas to lodge in the minds of their hearers; and there are other subtle elements in the popularity of some, who, by widening the strait gate and broadening the narrow way, win to religious thought and earnestness not a few who otherwise would in all probability have remained strangers to both. But when we see clearly the character of such teaching, let us never doubt what its ultimate issue must be, and, in spite of all present appearances, and in answer to all charges of bigotry, let us be ready, with our Master, to exclaim, "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

(3) The light in which our Lord presents Himself in the closing words of this Discourse has a grandeur, on supposition of His proper personal Divinity, which must commend itself to every devout, reflecting mind; whereas, if we regard Him as a mere creature, they are so dishonouring to God as to be repulsive in the last degree to all who are jealous for His glory. The dialogue form in which the appeals at the great day are said to be made to Him, and rejected by Him-though expressive, it my be, of nothing more than the principles and feelings of both parties toward each other, which will then be brought out-places our Lord Himself in a light wholly incompatible with anything which Scripture warrants a creature to assume. Not only does it exhibit Him as the Judge, but it represents all moral and religious duties as terminating in Him, and the blissful or blighted future of men as turning upon their doing or not doing all to Him. In perfect, yet awful accordance with this is the sentence - "DEPART FROM ME" - as if separation from HIM were death and hell. If the Speaker were a mere creature, no language can express the mingled absurdity and profanity of such assumptions; but if He was the Word, who at the beginning was with God and was God, and if thus rich He for our sakes only became poor, then all that He says here is worthy of Himself, and shines in its own luster. See Remark 2 at the close of the corresponding Section (Luke 13:23-30).

(4) While most persons within the pale of the Christian Church are ready to admit that, not professed, but proved subjection to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ-not lip, but life service-will avail "in that day," It is not so readily admitted and felt that services such as "prophesying in Christ's name, and in His name casting out devils, and in His name doing many miracles" - or, what in later ages correspond to these, eloquent and successful preaching-even to the deliverance of souls from the thraldom of sin and Satan; learned contributions to theological literature; great exertions for the diffusion of Christianity and the vindication of religious liberty; and princely donations for either or both of these-may all be rendered in honour of Christ, while the heart is not subjected to Him, and the life is a contradiction to His precepts. What need, then, have we to tremble at the closing words of this great Discourse; and, "Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity"! See Remark 1 at the close of the corresponding Section (Luke 13:23-30).

(5) Is there not something awful in the astonishment and dismay with which the inconsistent disciples of the Lord Jesus are here represented as receiving their sentence at the great day? What a light does it throw upon the extent to which men may be the victims of self-deception, and the awful inveteracy of it-as if nothing would open their eyes but the Judge's own sentence: "I never knew you: depart from me"! Well may one, on rising from the study of this solemn close to the Sermon on the Mount, exclaim with, Bunyan, in the closing words of his immortal 'Pilgrim,' 'THEN I SAW THAT THERE WAS A WAY TO HELL EVEN FROM THE words of his immortal 'Pilgrim,' 'THEN I SAW THAT THERE WAS A WAY TO HELL EVEN FROM THE GATES OF HEAVEN.'

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Matthew 7:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/matthew-7.html. 1871-8.

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