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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
Matthew 10

 

 


Other Authors
Verses 5-7

DISCOURSE: 1341

THE LIMITED COMMISSION OF THE APOSTLES

Matthew 10:5-7. These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them. saying. Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go. preach. saying. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

AFTER our blessed Lord had chosen his twelve servants. whom he called apostles. he gave them a commission to go forth and proclaim his advent. just as his forerunner. John the Baptist. had already done. But. considering the unbounded benevolence of our blessed Lord and that he was really come in order to save the whole world. we are rather surprised at the charge he gave them. especially as contrasted with the commission which he gave them after he was risen from the dead and which is now given to all who preach in his name. We propose to consider,

I. The restriction imposed on them—

They were commanded to proclaim that the kingdom of heaven was at hand—

[By “the kingdom of heaven” was meant the kingdom which the Messiah was appointed to establish. The expression. “the kingdom of heaven.” was generally so understood at that time; and the people to whom the Apostles were sent. were in no danger of misapprehending the tidings which they heard. The whole nation of the Jews were then expecting their Messiah: and. though they formed very erroneous notions respecting the nature of his kingdom. they were persuaded that he was to be a King and to reign over them and to put all his enemies under his feet. The same proclamation and in the very same terms. had been made by John the Baptist [Note: Matthew 3:2.] and by our Lord himself [Note: Matthew 4:17.]: so that the office of the Apostles was not to bring new tidings to the people’s ears, but only to call their attention to the truth which had already been extensively circulated throughout the land.]

But in the execution of their commission, they were restricted to the house of Israel—

[They were “not to go into the way of the Gentiles, or to enter into any city of the Samaritans” but to give an exclusive attention to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The Jews, though professing to belong to God, were really “lost sheep,” having gone astray from him, and wandered far from his fold.

But whence arose this restriction, and this extraordinary partiality towards the Jewish people? It arose, I apprehend, partly from the relation in which they stood to God, and partly from the very tidings themselves which were at that time to be proclaimed.

The Jews were God’s peculiar people, with whom he had entered into covenant, and who had been consecrated to him by the sacred rite of circumcision. They were regarded by God as “his first-born;” who were therefore entitled to a priority in every thing which related to their Father’s inheritance. Besides, they had been taught to expect the Messiah to be born among them, descended, like them, from Abraham, and of the family of David, whose throne he was destined to inherit. To them, therefore, the tidings would be welcome: and when he should have been received by them who were best capable of judging of his pretensions to the Messiahship, he might with greater propriety and credibility be commended to the Gentiles as their Saviour also: whereas, if he should be in the first instance proclaimed as a Saviour to the Gentiles, a suspicion might naturally arise, in the minds of those to whom he was proclaimed, that he was unwarrantably obtruded upon them, and that his title to that august character would not stand the test of careful inquiry.

In addition to this, it had been foretold, that “the law should go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem [Note: Isaiah 2:3.]; and, consequently, the Gospel must first be established there, in order that it might proceed from thence. Hence, even after our Lord’s resurrection, it was enjoined on the Apostles to preach the Gospel, “beginning at Jerusalem [Note: Luke 24:47.]:” and though the restriction before referred to was then withdrawn, a priority was still reserved to God’s ancient people; “salvation being intended for the Jew first, and then for the Gentile [Note: Romans 1:16.].”]

With thankfulness to God, we now proceed to notice,

II. The liberty accorded to us—

The tidings which we are commissioned to declare are more full and complete than those which the Apostles were then authorized to announce—

[They could declare only that “the kingdom of heaven was at hand:” but we proclaim, that it is actually established; that the Lord Jesus Christ has vanquished all the powers of darkness, “triumphing over them openly upon his cross [Note: Colossians 2:15.],” and, in his ascension, “leading captivity itself captive [Note: Ephesians 4:8.].” He is now enthroned at the right hand of God; and will, in due season, “put all enemies under his feet.” True it is, that though his kingdom is at present but very limited, it shall be extended over the face of the globe, and all the kingdoms of the world be comprehended under it [Note: Romans 11:15.]. This we, no less than the Apostles, are authorized to declare: and whilst our authority is the same,]

Our commission is far more extended than theirs—

[Wherever there is a lost sheep, whether amongst Jews or Gentiles, there are we at liberty to invite the perishing creature to the good Shepherd, and to bring him home to the fold of God. The commission given to us is, to “go into all the world, and to preach the Gospel to every creature:” and wherever there is a rebel against God, we may call upon him to lay down his arms, and to submit to the gentle yoke of Jesus, who is “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Nay more: we are authorized to assure every sinner under heaven, that if only he come to Jesus, “he shall in no wise be cast out.” Cast out, do I say? He shall, from being an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and a stranger from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, however far he may have been from God, he shall be brought nigh by the blood of Christ [Note: Ephesians 2:12-13.]: and, from being a “stranger and a foreigner, he shall be a fellow-citizen with the saints, and of the household of God [Note: Ephesians 2:19.].” There is not a blessing enjoyed by any subject of the Redeemer’s kingdom, which shall not be freely imparted unto him: and not in this world only, but also in the world to come. Even’ subject of the Redeemer’s kingdom shall himself be made a king. He must tight indeed as “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” but victory shall surely be secured to him; and, having overcome his spiritual enemies, he shall be a partaker of his Saviour’s glory, and “sit down with him upon his throne, even as he also overcame and is set down with his Father upon his throne.” Such is the kingdom of God, as it was preached by St. Paul [Note: Acts 20:25; Acts 28:31.]; and to a participation of it I invite every soul that hears me this day.]

Now then learn,

1. What evidence there is of our commission—

[You may well inquire what authority we have to declare these things; and expect that we should be able to adduce some testimony from God himself, as a seal to our ministry. Behold then, in a spiritual sense, the very testimonies with which the Apostles themselves were honoured. Did they “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils [Note: ver. 8.]?” Such are the effects wrought by our Gospel also, on the souls of men. Say, brethren, Are there none of you that were once sick, and leprous, yea, “dead in trepasses and sins,” and “led captive by the devil at his will;” and that have, through the ministry of the word, been “delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son [Note: Colossians 1:13.]?” I trust that there are amongst you such “seals to our ministry [Note: 1 Corinthians 9:2.],” and such witnesses for God in this sinful world. But where are these effects ever produced by any other doctrine than, that which is here announced? Where are men “turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,” by any other doctrine than that which Paul preached, the doctrine of the Cross? If, then, this doctrine have wrought effectually amongst you, and be the only doctrine which is the power of God to the salvation of men, then have you an evidence that “the kingdom of God is come unto you [Note: Matthew 12:28.].”]

2. What benefit you will derive from receiving our testimony—

[Form to yourselves an idea of all that the wisest and greatest monarch can bestow upon his most endeared favourites, and you will fall infinitely short of what the Lord Jesus will confer on you — — —]

3. what necessity is laid upon you to submit to Christ—

[If those who slighted the ministrations of the Apostles, who could only say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, were in a state “more intolerable than that of Sodom and Gomorrha [Note: ver. 15.],” what think you must be the state of those who pour contempt upon it now that it is established? I pray God, my brethren, that this guilt may never attach to you; lest, in the last day, the Saviour himself issue respecting you that awful sentence, “Bring hither those that were mine enemies, who would not that 1 should reign over them, and slay them before me.”]


Verse 8

DISCOURSE: 1342

DIFFUSION OF THE GOSPEL, A DUTY

Matthew 10:8. Freely ye have received, freely give.

COMPASSION for the wants and miseries of men is a very distinguished feature of the Christian character. It is a lovely grace, even when it has respect only to the temporal necessities of mankind: but it is of a far higher stamp, when it is called forth by a view of their spiritual wants, and seeks to administer to their eternal welfare. Such was the feeling which our blessed Lord and Saviour chiefly manifested on the occasion before us, and sought to diffuse amongst those who were to be his more immediate followers and servants: “When he saw the multitudes,” we are told, “he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Then said he unto his Disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest [Note: Matthew 9:36-38.].” Then having, on the following day, called his twelve Apostles, he bade them go out and preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand;” and, in confirmation of their word, to work the most benevolent miracles; that so the people might have, in the healing of their bodily disorders, an emblem and a pledge of what He was come to effect upon their souls [Note: ver. 7, 8.] Then, reminding them how sovereignly he had acted in selecting them to this high office, he added, “Freely ye have received; freely give.”

This direction of his to the Apostles will afford me a fit occasion to set before you,

I. The blessings which God has freely communicated to us—

Those which had been conferred upon the Apostles were great—

[The Apostles had been called, from their several occupations, to wait upon their Lord; and had been drawn with a power which they were not able to withstand. They had been selected from all the people of Israel, to be more especially instructed by their Lord in the nature of his religion, which he was about to establish: for to them did our Lord explain in secret the truths which he had delivered only in parables to his public auditories. To them also was given an experience of what they knew, by an operation of divine grace upon their souls; and an authority also was vested in them, to proclaim to others the truths which had been so far revealed to themselves. They were empowered, also, to work the most astonishing miracles in confirmation of their word: and, ultimately, to become instructors, yea, and instruments of salvation also, to millions of the human race. Finally, their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life; and they were taught to look forward to all the felicity of heaven, as their sure and everlasting inheritance. No one of these things had they merited: no one of these things had they purchased or procured to themselves: all these blessings, whether official or personal, had been freely given to them, as an act of sovereign grace on the part of their Lord and Saviour: and, in reference to every one of the mercies, our Lord could say, “Ye have not chosen me; but I have chosen you [Note: John 15:16.].”]

Nor are the blessings which have been vouchsafed to us less worthy of notice—

[True, we are not called to be Apostles, or to receive truth by inspiration, or to work miracles: but if we fall short of them in what relates to their official character, we are not a whit below them in all that is personal. “To us it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven;” whilst the great mass of mankind are yet lying in heathen darkness, without so much as one ray of light to guide them into the way of peace. I may add, too, that a faithful ministration of the Gospel is no small mercy, of which millions of those who possess the Christian Scriptures arem yet destitute. But what, if we can say that our eyes have been opened to behold the truth, and our hearts opened to embrace it? What, if we can say that we have been “quickened from our death in trespasses and sins;” and that we have been enabled to give up ourselves to Christ, as his stated and avowed followers? What, if we have a good hope that “our names are written in heaven” and that we have been “begotten again to an inheritance that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us?” Have not we reason to bless our God?

Then, as to the freeness of these gifts; what have we ever done to merit them? Must we not acknowledge, in reference to every one of them, that God has prevented us with the blessings of his goodness? and that, in reference to them all, “He was found of them that sought him not, and made known to them that inquired not after him [Note: Isaiah 65:1. with Romans 10:20.]?”

Know ye then, brethren, that as to the external ministration of the Gospel, it is what “ye have freely received;” and if ye have been made partakers of an inward experience of its power, for that also ye are altogether indebted to the free and sovereign grace of God.]

Let us, then, proceed to consider,

II. The obligation which he has thereby entailed upon us—

The Apostles received not their gifts for themselves only, but for the good of others: and in like manner must we consider the benefits which we have received, as talents to be improved by us for the honour of our God, and the welfare of our fellow-creatures. This is true, even in relation to our faculties, our property, our influence in the world; but much more is it true in reference to the possession of divine knowledge, which is so distinguishing a mercy, and of such infinite importance to every child of man. To all, then, I say, “Freely give;” for,

1. The call on us is as urgent as it was on the Apostles—

[Were the bulk of the Jewish nation ignorant; what must the heathen be, who possess not one of their advantages? Cast an eye over a map of the globe, and see how small a part of the world is enlightened with divine truth. Not so much as the very name of Jesus is known to more than one-sixth part of the world; or, if known, is known only to be hated and abhorred. Go through the world, as the Apostles went through Jud ζa, and say whether you will not find the souls of men diseased and leprous, and under the power of Satan, as much as ever their bodies were whom the Apostles were authorized and empowered to heal. Yes, verily, “the whole world lieth in wickedness,” and “under the power of the Wicked-one [Note: ἐν τῷ πονηρῷ.];” and it is the Gospel only that can heal them. I therefore call upon you to send forth the Gospel, by any means in your power. Individually, I well know, you can do but little; but in concert you may do much. What might not the Christian world effect, if they all felt their obligations to the extent that they ought, and laboured to fulfil them to the extent that they might? At all events, do ye rise to the call of duty; and give as liberally as ye have freely received.]

2. The obligation, too, is as great on us as on them—

[We are not to “hide our talent in a napkin:” or, if we do, we must expect to be condemned as “unprofitable servants.” We must give an account of our stewardship, and answer for every talent committed to our charge. On the score of responsibility, therefore, we are as much bound to exert ourselves as ever the Apostles were. But I am ashamed to urge such an argument as that. Shall those who have been redeemed by the blood of God’s only dear Son, and been renewed by his Holy Spirit, want any other motive to exertion than gratitude, especially when called to such a service as this? Should not “the love of Christ constrain them” to do all that they can in this blessed work? Let me hope that you need no other impulse than this; and that now, with one heart and one hand, you will combine in aiding the society whose cause I plead.]

3. The opportunity, also, is as favourable as ever theirs was—

[Was there at that time an expectation of the Messiah’s advent? So is there now, to a vast extent, both amongst Jews and Gentiles. An idea seems to be pervading gradually the whole world, that one great religion is about to be established, to which all others will give way. And the Christian world, in particular, is beginning, and to an extent never known before, to feel its obligations, and to fulfil its duties in this respect. The diffusion of the Holy Scriptures in the different languages of the earth; the sending out of missionaries from almost every different church in Christendom; the zeal that is spread amongst all classes of society; and the liberality that is exercised; all augur well respecting the success of our endeavours: for, beyond all doubt, this zeal and liberality proceed from God: and what he has thus been pleased to excite, we may reasonably hope he will accompany with his blessing [Note: This being preached in behalf of the Missions of the United Brethren, called Moravians, it was here shewn, that they have claims upon us of no ordinary kind: they are an Episcopal Church, like ourselves: they have, amongst Protestants, taken the lead in the establishment of Missions, and are universally acknowledged as the brightest patterns of Missionary exertions: they have selected the places most difficult of access (Greenland—the Coast of Labrador—the North-American Indians and Cherokees—the West-Indian Islands, among the Negroes—the Calmucs in Russian Asia—the Hottentots at the Cape, &c.) Their self-denial has been great, like that of the Apostles, ver. 8–10: their preaching simple, ‘the cross of Christ) like theirs, ver. 7: their success wonderful; (twenty-eight thousand in the West Indies and two thousand among the Hottentots, besides thousands elsewhere); so that the number of their converts exceeds that of the members of their own communion: their necessities urgent, for their own people are poor, and not able to raise more than one fourth of their annual expenditure; and their economy most remarkable; for, with thirty-three stations, and one hundred and seventy Missionaries, including their wives, they expend only 8000l. a year. Are not such persons deserving of the aid of every Christian Church?].]


Verse 16

DISCOURSE: 1343

WISDOM AND INNOCENCE TO BE UNITED

Matthew 10:16. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

IT is a favourite idea with many, that a great part of the Scriptures was written for those only of the Apostolic age; and that it is improper for us to apply to ourselves what was delivered to them. Now we readily grant that some things had a peculiar and primary reference to the Apostles, and to others of that day; and that, as far as any thing was peculiar to them, it would be wrong for us to take it to ourselves: but we must assert, on the other hand, that as far as we are in the same circumstances with them, what was spoken to them is strictly and properly applicable to us. What was delivered to the Apostles themselves in this address of our Lord, was only partially applicable to them at the time it was spoken. The foregoing part of the chapter was suited to them in their first mission through the land; but what is contained in our text and to the end of the chapter was comparatively inapplicable to them till after the day of Pentecost: yet, as far as circumstances required it, they were to regard it from the first moment that it was spoken to them. Thus then it is with us: every word of God, to whomsoever delivered, is to be considered as intended for us, in proportion as our situations accord with theirs to whom it was delivered. Accordingly we do not hesitate to take to ourselves the direction in our text: nor is it to ministers only that we would apply it, but to Christians in general, whose situation in the world so far accords with that of the Apostles, that they universally need the same warning to be given them, and the same path of duty to be pointed out.

We shall proceed to notice then,

I. The situation of Christians in the world—

It may seem harsh to represent them as “sheep in the midst of wolves:” and we will grant that the general establishment of Christianity, and the laws enacted for the support of it, afford a protection to us which the first Christians did not enjoy; but the enmity of the human heart against God is the same as ever; and the light of Divine truth is as offensive to the carnal eye as ever; and the hostility which exists against true Christians at this day, is the same as existed in the heart of Cain, and of all ungodly men in every age; it is the same in its nature, and, when unrestrained by law, is the same also in its degree; it only differs in the particular acts by which it is evinced. The distinction of wolves and sheep still exists, though the power of the wolves is restrained: but what St.Paul says in reference to Ishmael is still as true as ever, “As then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.”

In confirmation of this, we appeal to the manner in which the godly are universally treated:

1. An universal prejudice exists against them—

[Names of reproach are given them now, as much as in any age of the world. These names vary from time to time; but they are constantly understood to designate persons that are weak and contemptible; and men universally affix a stigma to the character that is branded with them. Let any person, however respectable in himself, and however excellent in his deportment, be spoken of as a Methodist, ‘or any other name of like import,’ and every one will conceive him to be either a weak enthusiast or a designing hypocrite: every thing that can be spoken to his disadvantage will be boldly asserted, eagerly listened to, and readily believed; nor will one single person in ever so large a company be found bold enough to vindicate his injured character. If a fault can be found in him, it will be magnified beyond all bounds: what he has done once or twice in his life, will be represented as his daily practice: and the faults of one will be imputed to the whole body: nor can a wolf more delight in the blood of a lamb, than these do in tearing to pieces the characters of the Lord’s people. We appeal to all, whether this be not true? and whether there be not still as much reason as ever to say, “we know concerning this sect, that it is every where spoken against?”]

2. Their very character exposes them to injuries—

[It is well known to be an established principle with them, to suffer patiently, and not to avenge themselves; insomuch. that if a person professing godliness should indulge an angry and vindictive spirit, he would be universally considered as having no pretensions to real piety. Hence every one is bold enough to insult or injure them: a man that would not dare to shew the smallest disrespect to a worldly character, will take liberties with them, and calumniate them without fear. As the defenceless condition of the sheep invites the wolf, whose ferocity would be curbed in the presence of a lion, so a cowardly principle operates on the world, and instigates them to attack those from whom they expect no vindictive retaliation.]

3. They are considered as the legitimate prey of all who choose to oppress them—

[It is well said by the prophet, “He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.” Let any other respectable person be calumniated, and he will find some one to espouse his cause; but, as we before observed, the religious man has no advocate; every one has a right to say of him whatever he pleases. Let any other order of men be loaded with opprobrium, and multitudes will start up in their defence: yea, even a word that can bear an interpretation unfavourable to them, will be construed into a libel: but ten thousand words, the most harsh, the most cruel, and the most unjust, may be spoken against religious people; the whole order of them may be condemned as fools and hypocrites, and no one will feel himself offended, nor will any one complain of the uncharitableness of such censures. Whence then is this? Is it not, that these people are generally understood to be excluded in a measure from the common rights of men; and that every one has a right to attack them as he will? Let a disorderly man interrupt a public or private concert, and an universal indignation will be excited against him: but let him disturb a religious assembly in their public or social ordinances, and the world will be far more ready to vindicate than condemn him; or, at most, will only smile, as though he had committed but a slight and venial offence.

Do not these things shew, that religious people are not on a footing of equality with others; and that, in respect to such treatment, they are as sheep in the midst of wolves? Yes, verily, it both is so, and must be so: “The servant cannot be above his lord; and, if they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, much more will they those of his household.”]

Let us now then consider,

II. The conduct which that situation calls for—

The serpent is said to be “more subtle than all the beasts of the field:” and the dove is proverbially kind and innocent. Now the wisdom of the one and the harmlessness of the other are very desirable to be combined in the Christian character; because it is by such an union only that the Christian will be enabled to cope successfully with his more powerful enemies.

He should unite these graces,

1. In the avoiding of evil—

[It is lawful and proper to avoid persecution, when we can do it without violating the laws of truth. The Apostles, “when persecuted in one city, were directed to flee to another:” and that great champion of Christianity, St.Paul, when the Jews laid wait for him at the gates of Damascus, was “let down by the wall in a basket,” that he might escape their fury. Our Lord himself too, when ensnaring questions were put to him, so that his answer, whatever it might be, would be made an occasion of accusation against him, repeatedly avoided the snare, sometimes by not answering at all, sometimes by a significant action, sometimes by asking a question in return: thus baffling the designs of his blood-thirsty enemies, and constraining them to say, “Never man spake like this man.” In this way we may act also. We must not dissemble, like Peter, to please or satisfy any set of men whatever; but we may take advantage of the peculiar views and prejudices of our enemies, to divide their counsels, and avert from ourselves their combined malignity. Thus did St.Paul, when the Pharisees and Sadducees were persecuting him with united fury: by professing himself a Pharisee, he engaged one half of his enemies on his side, and disconcerted the measures which would otherwise have been executed against him. There is danger, however, when on such ground as this, of violating Christian simplicity: it is safer far to take for our model the condescending kindness of the Apostle, in “becoming all things to all men,” and in conforming ourselves to their habits and sentiments, wherever we can do it without violating the essential principles of the Gospel. In this way we shall truly comply with the direction in our text, and make the enmity of others against Christianity an occasion of displaying its unrivalled excellence.]

2. In the doing of good—

[It is lamentable to see how often well-meaning Christians defeat their own purposes by their want of judgment. They will reprove sin; but they will reprove it with so much harshness, or in so public a manner, as to irritate only, and not to reclaim, the offender. In conveying instruction also, they overlook all the circumstances of time and place, as well as the state of those they address. They forget that there is much wisdom required “to win souls;” that they should “choose out acceptable words,” which shall “distil as the dew,” and insinuate themselves gently into the minds of the hearers: they will speak the truth freely at all times, without considering whether they be not “casting their pearls before swine, who will only tarn again and rend them.” Some, as soon as they have attained a little knowledge themselves, will set themselves up for public teachers, and take upon themselves the office of the ministry without any call, either from God or man; little thinking what a stumbling-block they cast before many, whom they harden in their prejudices against the Gospel of Christ. In a word, they think that zeal is every thing; and that, if only they endeavour to do good, they need not be much concerned in what way they do it. But they need to be told, that Paul himself, even when going to meet the whole college of Apostles, took the precaution of communicating privately with the chief among them first, lest by an abrupt disclosure of all his history at once he should excite their prejudices, and occasion disorder in the Church [Note: Galatians 2:2.]: and it will be well for them to treasure up in their minds that observation of Solomon, “I wisdom dwell with prudence [Note: Proverbs 8:12.].”]

3. In the whole of their deportment—

[Christians should be “a wise and understanding people,” and should have their whole conduct regulated by “sound wisdom and discretion.” They should be careful “not to give occasion to their enemies to speak reproachfully.” They should rather be studious to “cut off occasion from those who seek occasion against them,” and to “put to silence the ignorance of foolish men by well-doing.” This is strongly inculcated in those words of the Apostle, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without:” and it was admirably illustrated in the conduct of Daniel, which constrained his bitterest enemies to say, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it concerning the law of his God.” With this view, therefore, we should avoid all needless singularities; we should cultivate a meek and courteous spirit; we should be especially attentive to all the duties of our calling, and should labour to “please all men for their good, to edification.” In short, our determination through grace should be like that of the Psalmist, “I will walk wisely before thee in a perfect way.”

We must however avoid every thing that savours of artifice and contrivance. There is an immense difference between carnal wisdom and that which is truly spiritual; there is a frankness and godly sincerity in the Christian’s character which abhors all deceit and cunning. St.Paul distinguishes them in that advice of his, “I would have you wise unto that which is good, but simple concerning evil [Note: Romans 16:19. ἀκεραίους, the same word as in the text.];” and in his own example he observed that distinction with undeviating, unremitting care [Note: 2 Corinthians 1:12. “Not with fleshly wisdom.”].]

To assist you in the execution of these arduous duties, we subjoin a few directions:

1. Do not expect too much from man—

[You have been enabled perhaps to be “blameless and harmless, as sons of God, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation;” but do not therefore expect that the world will become your friends; if they “are at peace with you,” it is as much as the Scripture authorizes you to hope for under the most favourable circumstances; the wolf must change its nature, before it can perfectly accord with the sheep. If wisdom and piety could have disarmed the world, Christ had never suffered. “To do well and to suffer for it,” is all that you are to expect from man.]

2. Do not be grieved at the evil treatment that you meet with—

[If you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are rather to rejoice; it is a great honour conferred upon you, a testimony from God in your favour, a means of glorifying him before men, and of augmenting your own glory in a future world. Be not then cast down by your afflictions, but rather glorify God on this behalf.]

3. Guard against the risings of your own spirit—

[If others are wolves, you are still to be as sheep, meek and patient, even like Him who was “led as a sheep to the slaughter, and, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so opened he not his mouth.” “In your patience then possess ye your souls;” and “let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.”]

4. Look up to God for daily supplies of wisdom and grace—

[It is by the grace of God alone that we can do any good thing. If we attempt any thing in our own strength, we shall fail. But God has promised, “if any man lack wisdom or grace, and ask it of him, he will give him liberally and without upbraiding [Note: See James 1:5 and Isaiah 41:10.].” Beg of him, therefore, to give you such continued and abundant grace, that you may be enabled to “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”]


Verse 22

DISCOURSE: 1344

ENDURING UNTO THE END

Matthew 10:22. He that endureth to the end shall be saved.

ONE cannot but admire the faithfulness of our blessed Lord, when calling his Disciples to follow him. It almost seems as if he intended rather to deter them from following him, since he forewarns them that such a step would inevitably bring upon them the heaviest trials from all around them. He goes so far as to tell them that they would be only “as sheep among wolves,” in danger every moment of being devoured by their enemies. And all the consolation he administers to them is taken from the hope of his presence here, and his glory hereafter. You will have to sustain all these things; “but he that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved.” In these words we have,

I. A caution intimated—

It is evident that our Lord intended to tell them what they must expect to endure for his sake; and how much depended on their patient perseverance in well-doing.

They must experience great and heavy trials in their way to heaven—

[Much they would have to contend with from within—a carnal mind—a corrupt heart—a tempting world—a subtle adversary, whose devices are capable of beguiling the most wary soul: all these they would have, to obstruct their way to heaven; and all of them must be withstood, in order to a successful issue of their labours — — — Many trials, also, they would meet with from without, insomuch that “their own dearest friends would become their bitterest enemies.” No other thing that could be done by them would give such general and inveterate offence as their adherence to him. They might become infidel, or licentious, and even profligate, and excite only pity; whereas their attachment to him would provoke the most embittered hostility; and not from the immoral only, but the moral also: yea, on the whole, the self-righteous moralists would be the fiercer enemies of the two: nor would imprisonment and death be too heavy penalties for them to expect at the hands even of their own parents or children.]

On their enduring of these to the end, would their everlasting salvation depend—

[It would be to no purpose for them to run well for a season, if they should stop before they reached the goal. They might suffer much and long, and yet perish, if they had not fortitude to sustain the utmost extremity of pain that could be inflicted on them. “If they would save their life, they must lose it: and on no other condition could they hope to save it to life eternal.” To this effect the Church has been warned in all ages. Lot’s wife was made a sad example of the danger of looking back, after she had escaped from Sodom; as the whole Jewish nation had been, after their deliverance from the land of Egypt [Note: Jude, ver. 5.]. The Prophet Ezekiel, in particular, had warned the Jews, that a declension from the ways of godliness would infallibly involve them in ruin [Note: Ezekiel 18:24.]: and, in like manner, the Church in all ages is here warned by our Lord, that “then only will his followers be made partakers of his salvation, if they hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end [Note: Hebrews 3:14.].” “If any draw back, whatsoever be the occasion of that departure, it will be to inevitable and everlasting perdition [Note: Hebrews 10:38-39.].”]

But in my text there is, more directly and obviously,

II. An encouragement expressed—

“Salvation” is here declared to be the certain recompence of our fidelity—

[But who shall tell us what salvation is, even “that salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory?” Who can form any just idea of it? Who can inform us what it is to behold the Saviour face to face; and to be seated with him on his throue; and to enjoy the most intimate communion with him to all eternity? Who shall describe the blessedness of heaven, and make us acquainted with the place, the company, the employment? Suffice it, however, to know, that the felicity of all the glorified saints shall be accorded to those who are conquerors in this glorious warfare [Note: Revelation 3:5; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 3:21.] — — —]

And will not that abundantly compensate for all that we can ever do or suffer for Christ?

[Our sufferings, be they ever so heavy, are, in fact, but short and light even in our present estimation, provided we are looking steadfastly to the “things which are invisible and eternal [Note: 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.].” How light, then, will they appear, when once we come into the possession of that glory! Truly, if now, in the midst of all our trials, we say, that “the sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us [Note: Romans 8:18.];” much more shall we say so, when all our troubles shall have passed away, and all the fulness of heavenly blessing shall be poured into our souls — — —]

Application—

1. Let those who are just entering on the Christian course “first sit down and count the cost”—

[You well know how a man beginning to build a house, and relinquishing the work for want of funds to complete it, exposes himself to shame and ridicule amongst men. And to what shame will you be exposed in the presence of God, if, after having begun to follow Christ, you turn back, for want of fortitude to bear the cross which you had taken up for his sake! You must expect tribulation for his sake: you must expect persecution even unto death: and you must be “willing not only to be bound, but also to die for his sake.” At the same time, you may expect grace sufficient for you in the time of trial. Only look to Him, and depend on him; and he will never leave you, nor forsake you; “nor shall any temptation come upon you without a supply of grace equal to your day, or a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it [Note: 1 Corinthians 10:13.].” This do then: put into one scale all that man can inflict on the body; and in the other, all that God can confer upon the soul, in time, to sustain you under your sufferings; and in eternity, to recompense you for them. This do, I say; and you need not fear but that, how numerous soever your enemies may be, you shall be “more than conquerors through Him who loved you.”]

2. Let all expect trials, “even to the end”—

[“Never are you to put off your armour,” till God gives you a discharge from this warfare. Satan, when repulsed in the wilderness, departed from our Lord “only for a season.” At the close of our Saviour’s life, that wicked adversary made his assaults more powerfully than ever. And so he may do with you. You may have a long intermission of trials, both within and without: but you never know what a single day may bring forth. Gird on, then, your armour daily, even the whole armour of God; and “war a good warfare” even to the end. When you first begin to follow Christ, you come to him as your only Saviour; and, professing to renounce every other ground of hope, you say, “In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” You profess, also, to “live altogether by faith on him;” “receiving every thing out of his fulness,” precisely “as the branch from the vine.” This, then, is the course in which you are to continue. It is this which brings your trials upon you: it is because “you live godly in Christ Jesus, that you suffer persecution:” and by persevering in this path, you shall surely attain the promise in my text, “You shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation.”]

3. Let all keep their eye fixed upon the heavenly prize—

[It was “to this that Moses looked, when he accounted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt [Note: Hebrews 11:26.].” And you, brethren, if you keep the felicity of heaven in view, will think little of the labour or the pains which you may endure in the acquisition of it. True, you must not look to it as what you are to earn by labour, or to merit by sufferings: you must look to it as the purchase of the Redeemer’s blood, and as the gift of his grace. But still it will be accorded to those only who seek it in God’s appointed way: and it is “through much tribulation only that you are to hope to attain it.” If this appear formidable to flesh and blood, open the sacred volume, and see how others before you have triumphed, and how glorious the recompence will be when once it is attained. Survey the meridian sun for a few moments, and all earthly glory will appear dark: and get Pisgah views of the heavenly glory, and all earthly trials, how dark soever they may appear to the natural man, will have a splendour round about them, not unlike to the fiery furnace which was to preserve and sanctify the Hebrew youths, or like the fiery chariot which was to transport Elijah to the realms of bliss. In the near views of heaven, you will welcome either sufferings or death; and, like the first martyr Stephen, you will bless the murderers who are transmitting you to the full enjoyment of it.]


Verse 30

DISCOURSE: 1345

THE DOCTRINE OF A PARTICULAR PROVIDENCE

Matthew 10:30. The very hairs of your head are all numbered.

NONE are so ignorant amongst us as not to acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being; but the extent of his agency, and the interest which he takes in the affairs of men, are by no means duly appreciated — — — We may judge however of this from the words before us; which we shall consider,

I. As a speculative truth—

To imagine a general Providence, and to deny or question his particular agency in every thing that occurs, is absurd in the extreme. The doctrine of a particular Providence is fully confirmed,

1. By reason—

[If there be any thing in the universe which God does not inspect and control, there can be no dependence on prophecy; for untoward and unlooked-for circumstances may occur to thwart the purposes of God. Suppose, for instance, that God had intended the murderous designs of Haman to take effect: the little accidental circumstance of Ahasuerus not being able to sleep one night, and of his calling for the records of his kingdom to amuse him, and of their being opened at one particular part, gave an unexpected turn to events, and disappointed the purposes of Heaven. But, if all these things were ordered of the Lord, then were the most minute thing;, that can be imagined, under his control, and subservient to the accomplishment of his will — — —

Again: if there be any thing really fortuitous and unforeseen by God, He cannot be fit to govern the world. He cannot be omniscient; because he will gather information from accidental circumstances that were independent of him. He cannot be omnipotent; because there will be some things over which he has no control. In a word, He cannot be God; because he will want all those attributes which are essential to a perfect Being. He will be weak and mutable; and will change with events, as we do. But, if all tilings be “ordered according to the counsel of his will,” then is He every way fit both to govern and to judge the world — — —]

2. By Scripture—

[The Scriptures uniformly represent Jehovah as “doing according to his will, in the armies of heaven, and amongst the inhabitants of the earth.” All creatures are alike subject to his control, rational and irrational, animate and inanimate. The angels in heaven, and men on earth, and devils in hell, all do his will [Note: Psalms 103:20. Proverbs 21:1. Job 1:12; Job 2:6. Luke 8:32.] — — — The sun, moon, and stars move or stand at his command [Note: Joshua 10:12.] — — — The elements exert or suspend their accustomed operations [Note: Exodus 14:22; Exodus 14:27. Daniel 3:27.] — — — The brute creation, beasts, birds, fishes, all move and act agreeably to his will [Note: Daniel 6:22; Daniel 6:24. 1 Kings 17:6. Jonah 1:17.] — — — There is neither good nor evil, which is not done by him [Note: Amos 3:6.]. Even moral evil is so far under his control, that, though he is not properly the author of it, it infallibly accomplishes his secret counsel, and his determined purpose [Note: Genesis 45:8. Acts 2:23; Acts 4:28.] — — — It is clear, then, to the full extent of the assertion in my text, that “not a sparrow falls to the ground without him; and that the very hairs of our head are all numbered.”]

Let us next view the text,

II. As a consolatory declaration—

It speaks the richest encouragement,

1. To ministers—

[Their trials and difficulties are great; as our Lord in the context has forewarned us. But, how great or numerous soever they may be, there is not one that can come upon us but by His appointment, or press more heavily than He sees fit to permit, nor operate but for the advancement of His glory and our greatest good [Note: Romans 8:28.]. We have only to look to Him, and depend on Him; and he will give us all the protection, support, and consolation, that we can possibly stand in need of. If the very hairs of our head are numbered, what shall we not be ready to encounter for Him, or to sustain in the execution of our high office? — — —]

2. To the Church at large—

[Every one has his own peculiar trials: but the declaration in our text is equally applicable to them all: and that, realized in the mind, is abundantly sufficient to carry us through all and make us triumphant over all. Let every one call to mind his own peculiar temptations — — — and apply to himself the text, as if he were the only individual to whom it was addressed: and then let him go on his way, saying, “If God be for me, who can be against me?”]

With such a word for our support,

1. Let us give ourselves up unfeignedly to God—

[It is only when we belong to Christ, that we can derive full comfort from the declaration before us. We must be God’s people, if we would have him for our God. The duty and the privilege must go hand in hand — — —]

2. Let us serve our God cheerfully, and with our whole hearts—

[Let no call of duty be thought too hard, no service too difficult, no danger too great. Only let us realize in our minds the passage before us, and rest assured, that “our strength shall be according to our day,” and “our reward according to our labour [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:8.].”]


Verses 32-39

DISCOURSE: 1346

THE RULE OF CHRIST’S PROCEDURE IN THE LAST DAY

Matthew 10:32-39. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will 1 also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

TO stand up in the place of Jehovah, and to declare his word to men, is so awful and arduous an office, that the greatest of all the Apostles was constrained to say, “Who is sufficient for these things?” But, if it be so arduous under any, even the most favourable, circumstances, what must it be when we are called to utter such solemn and weighty truths as those which we have just heard? We would never forget that the word of God is delivered in terms that are broad and general; and that the modification of those terms, or the application of them to all the different circumstances that may occur, requires much caution, much wisdom, much discretion, lest, by too strong an enforcement of them, we “make the heart of the righteous sad;” or, by too lax an application of them, we make void the declarations of Heaven, and deceive men to their eternal ruin. May God enable us to discriminate aright, whilst, with a just mixture of tenderness and fidelity, we call your attention to the rule of Christ’s procedure with his people in the last day; which rule is here stated, vindicated, confirmed.

See it,

I. Stated—

The Lord Jesus requires that we confess him before men—

[It is not a mere assent to his religion, as true, that be requires; he calls us to embrace it with our whole hearts, and to let all men see our attachment to Him who is the founder of it. We must never be ashamed to acknowledge, that all our hope of acceptance with God is founded on his meritorious atonement; and that from Him, even from the fulness which God has treasured up for us in Him, we receive all the grace and all the strength whereby we are enabled to fulfil his will. We must avowedly take his word as the exclusive rule of our conduct; and not be afraid to declare, that the same is obligatory upon every soul of man. We must be as lights in a dark world: and must so walk, that all men may read in our conduct, as in a written epistle, what is the whole of his will concerning us [Note: 2 Corinthians 3:2; 2 Corinthians 3:8.]. On no account are we to “put our light under a bed, or under a bushel; but to set it on a candlestick,” that all may see it, and be enlightened by it. No consideration whatever should induce us to “deny him” in any wise. If shame, or loss, or suffering, attach to a confession of him, we must not yield to intimidation, or be prevailed upon, for a single moment, to dissemble our attachment to him. Our love to him must be paramount to every personal consideration; and our zeal for his honour be sufficient to bear us up under all the trials and difficulties which we can be exposed to for his sake.]

According as we approve ourselves to him in this respect, will be his conduct towards us in the day of judgment—

[Those who have confessed him in this world, he will then confess before his heavenly Father. ‘These,’ he will say, ‘were my disciples indeed: they knew their duty to me; and they fulfilled it. I saw the trials to which they were called for my sake, and the fortitude with which they encountered all their difficulties; and therefore I say to them in thy presence, and before the whole assembled universe, “Well done, good and faithful servants; enter ye into the joy of your Lord.” ’

But widely different will be his conduct towards those who have denied him. They will come before him, perhaps with confidence, claiming him as their Lord, whom they have served and honoured: but he will say to them, “ ‘Depart from me; I never knew you,” never approved you, in the midst of all your professions of regard for me [Note: Matthew 7:21-23.]. Father, I deny their title to the name of my disciples: I disclaim all interest in them, all connexion with them: “they were ashamed of me, and I am ashamed of them:” and my sentence respecting every one of them is, that they “depart accursed, into everlasting tire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ”]

Now, if this rule, as carried into execution thus, appear exceptionable to any of you, hear it,

II. Vindicated—

It may be complained of perhaps,

1. As unnecessary—

[Christianity, it may be said, is a religion of love, and is intended to produce nothing but harmony upon earth. Is not this the description given of its effects by the Prophet Isaiah: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall he down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them?” How, then, shall such enmity be shewn against it, as shall tempt any man to deny his Lord? It is possible that such an effect might be produced, if it did not improve the characters of men: but its avowed tendency is, to change even the vilest of men into the very image of their God: how, then, can persons so changed become objects of scorn and hatred to those around them? The rule is plainly unnecessary, because there never can be any occasion for the execution of it: Christianity can produce nothing but peace: and therefore the supposition that any should ever be tempted by persecution to deny Christ is altogether vain.

But, specious as this objection is, it is not founded in truth: for though the proper tendency of Christ’s religion is to diffuse peace and love, the actual effect of it is the very reverse. “Think not,” says our Lord, “that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law: and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” ‘What!’ it maybe asked, ‘was this really the design for which Christ came into the world?’ No: but this effect is as universal and invariable as if it had been actually designed. And this may easily be accounted for. Wherever the Gospel works effectually on the heart, there a great and visible change is wrought: for the person that obeys it is “turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” This change cannot fail to attract the notice of his neighbours; who are thereby reduced to the alternative of condemning it in the person changed, or of acknowledging the necessity of a similar change in themselves. But, not wishing to experience it themselves, they embrace the other alternative, and reprobate the change as enthusiastic and absurd. If the person so changed stand in any near relation to them, they feel it on that account the more offensive: because the odium attached to it is, in a measure, reflected on themselves; and the self-condemnation, which they are constrained to feel, is far more acute than if the person exciting it had no connexion with them. Hence parents and relatives are generally amongst the fiercest opposers of such a change; and “a man’s greatest foes are usually those of his own household.” Another reason for this is, that as those who are most nearly related to us possess a greater influence over us than others, they are the first persons looked to, to exert that influence, whether of authority or love, for the reclaiming of us from our supposed errors.

Hence then it appears, that the rule is by no means unnecessary; since, if the world at large should forbear to shew their hatred of the change, a man’s nearest relatives will be sure to lay all kinds of stumbling-blocks in his way, to keep him from confessing Christ, and to lead him to a denial of him.]

2. As unjust—

[It is here taken for granted, that the person rejected by this rule has never been guilty of any flagrant transgression; and that his only offence has been, that he did not confess Christ so boldly as he ought to have done; but, on some occasions, has rather denied him. Now, can it be supposed, that for such a slight offence as this the Lord Jesus will “deny,” and everlastingly reject, “him?” Impossible: he can never inflict so severe a punishment for so trivial an offence.

But this objection has no real weight, as our Lord plainly shews us: “He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Let any man judge in this matter for himself. Can a person who, from fear of his parents, or love to his children, proves unfaithful to his conscience, and violates his duty to his Lord, be worthy of Christ? Can the Lord Jesus Christ ever confess such an one before his Father, and say, ‘Here is one who has served me faithfully, and is worthy of partaking with me in my kingdom and glory?’ Must he not rather say. ‘Here is one who feared and loved his earthly relatives more than me; and therefore must look for his reward from them; for he is unworthy of any recompence from me?’ Again: supposing the person to maintain his steadfastness till matters came to the greatest extremity, and he were called, like the Roman criminals, to carry his cross, as our Lord and Saviour did, to the place of execution, in order to die upon it; still could he be deemed worthy of Christ if he drew back then? May not the Lord Jesus say to such an one, ‘Wherefore hast thou drawn back? Did I not bear my cross for thee I Did I not come from heaven on purpose to bear it? Did I not bear it under circumstances ten thousand times more dreadful and appalling than any that thou wast ever called to encounter? And did I not do this for thee, when thou wast an enemy? Did I not drink to the very dregs the cup of bitterness, of which thou bast been called only to take the slightest taste? How, then, can I confess thee before my Father, when thou wouldest not endure such a transient pain for me? When thou hast loved thine own ease or interest more than me, how can I account thee worthy of my kingdom and glory? Thou art unworthy of me; and canst not but know that thou art so. Hadst thou “been faithful unto death, thou shouldst have had awarded to thee a crown of life:” but seeing thou hast turned back from me, my soul can have no pleasure in thee?’ Who must not subscribe to such a sentence as this?]

This rule, thus fully vindicated by our Lord, is yet further,

III. Confirmed—

[“He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.” A person may imagine himself a gainer by avoiding persecution, and regarding his present interests. But, “what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” If but the life of the body were at stake, who would accept a momentary possession of the whole world in exchange for it? How much less, then, would any person act thus, when the everlasting welfare of his soul was to be the price of his transient enjoyment? On the other hand, Who does not submit to a momentary pain, when he is assured that it shall be productive of permanent and perfect ease? and how much more may any momentary sacrifice be made in the assured prospect of eternal happiness and glory? Know, then, that this is the alternative set before you. You may not, indeed, be actually called to lay down your life for Christ; but you must be ready to do so at any moment, and in any manner that you may be called to do it: and if these terms appear too severe, nothing remains for you, but “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” If, on the contrary, you accept the Lord on these terms, even though you should be eventually required to lay down your life for his sake, you will be gainers in the issue; since “the sufferings of this present life, how severe or protracted soever they may be, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” Thus, “are life and death set before you.” Our blessed Lord has warned us, that “if any man come to him, and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple [Note: Luke 14:26.].” Of course, we are not called positively to hate our relations, and our own life; but comparatively we are: and nothing under heaven, whether pleasing or painful, is to have any influence upon our minds in comparison of love to the Saviour’s name, and zeal for his glory.]

Lest, however, this subject should be in any wise misapprehended, let me add a few words of advice—

1. Do not affect needless singularity—

[Piety will make you sufficiently singular, without distinguishing yourselves by any marks, which a hypocrite may assume as well as you. Be as eminent for that as you will: but in things that have no real connexion with vital godliness, I should rather recommend a conformity with those of the age and station to which you belong.]

2. Do not lay too great a stress on non-essential matters—

[There are some things which are essential to the maintenance of a good conscience before God: an’d these things must be done or forborne, according to the dictates of your own judgment. But there are many things which are really indifferent; and which may be either done or forborne, according to the views which different persons entertain respecting them. In reference to such things, endeavour to understand, and to maintain, your liberty. Only use not your own liberty to the endangering of another’s welfare; and neither judge those who allow themselves in a greater latitude than you, nor despise those who have not the same insight with you into the full liberty of the Gospel [Note: Romans 14:3.].]

3. Be particularly attentive to your own spirit—

[You may be right in the line of. conduct you pursue, and yet be highly criminal in respect to the spirit you indulge in pursuing it. A parent, for instance, will urge upon you a conformity to the world, in some things that are positively and intrinsically evil: and you do right in resisting his solicitations or commands; because “you must obey God rather than man.” But if you do it with petulance and disrespect, you sin against God: for no conduct on the part of your parent can absolve you from the duty of honouring him, even whilst the sinfulness of his injunctions prevents you from obeying him. A meek, humble, modest, and respectful deportment must be observed towards all persons, and under all circumstances. Every violation of this is decidedly and unquestionably wrong. Your duty is, to “shew all meekness to all men,”]

4. Take the word of God alone as your rule—

[Your friends will often bring before you the examples of different persons, as sanctioning this or that conduct. But men are no examples to you. You must go to the word and to the testimony; and be regulated only by Scripture-precepts, and Scripture-examples. If you adhere not to this standard, no one can tell whither you may be drawn. By complying with every thing that any reputed saint has ever done, you may be drawn into evils without end. Leave others to stand or fall to their own Master; and be you careful to approve yourselves to Him, whose judgment will determine your eternal state.]

5. Look up to God for strength to do his will—

[In the passage which our blessed Lord has quoted in our text, the Prophet teaches us to make this improvement of it. “The son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother; the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law: a man’s enemies are those of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me [Note: Micah 7:6-7.].” Yes; your God will hear you: and how difficult soever you may find it, on some occasions, to hold fast your integrity, “His grace shall be sufficient for you:” and “you shall be able to do all things through Christ, who strengthened you.”]

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 10:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/matthew-10.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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