And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
1. At that time Jesus was passing through the corn-fields on the Sabbath;  and his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, Lo, thy disciples do what it is not lawful to do on the Sabbath. 3. But he said to them, Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him? 4. How he entered into the house of God, and ate the shew-bread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but for the priests alone? 5. Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the temple, and are free from blame?  6. But I say to you, That one greater than the temple is in this place. 7. But if you knew what that is, I choose mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. 8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
23. And it happened, that he was passing through the corn-fields, and his disciples began to pluck the ears of corn as they went along. 24. And the Pharisees said to him, Lo, why do they on the Sabbath what is not lawful? 25. And he said to them, Have you not read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry, and those who were with him? 26. How he entered into the house of God in the time of Abiathar, the high-priest, and ate the shew-bread, which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also  to those who were with him? 27. And he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28. Therefore the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
1. And it happened that, on the second-first Sabbath, he was passing through the cornfields; and his disciples were plucking ears of corn, and were eating, rubbing them in their hands. 2. And some of the Pharisees said to them, Why do you do what it is not lawful to do on the Sabbath? 3. And Jesus answering saith to them, Have you not read even this which David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him? 4. How he entered into the house of God, and took the shew-bread, and ate it, and gave also to those who were with him, which it is not lawful to eat but only for the priests? 5. And he said to them, The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
Matthew 12:1. Jesus was walking on the Sabbath It was the design of the Evangelists, in this history, to show partly what a malicious disposition the Pharisees had, and partly how superstitiously they were attached to outward and slight matters, so as to make holiness to consist in them entirely. They blame the disciples of Christ for plucking the ears of corn on the Sabbath, during their journey, when they were pressed with hunger, as if, by so doing, they were violating the Sabbath. The keeping of the Sabbath was, indeed, a holy thing, but not such a manner of keeping it as they imagined, so that one could scarcely move a finger without making the conscience to tremble.  It was hypocrisy, therefore, that made them so exact in trifling matters, while they spared themselves in gross superstitions; as Christ elsewhere upbraids them with
paying tithe of mint and anise, and neglecting the
It is the invariable practice of hypocrites to allow themselves liberty in matters of the greatest consequence, and to pay close attention to ceremonial observances. Another reason why they demand that outward rites should be more rigorously observed is, that they wish to make their duty toward God to consist only in carnal worship. But it was malevolence and envy, still more than superstition, that led them to this act of censure; for towards others they would not have been equally stern. It is proper for us to observe the feelings by which they were animated, lest any one should be distressed by the fact, that the very Doctors of the Law were so hostile to Christ.
Luke 6:1. On the second-first Sabbath It is beyond all question that this Sabbath belonged to some one of the festival-days which the Law enjoined to be observed once every year. Some have thought that there were two festival-days in immediate succession; but as the Jews had arranged their festival-days after the Babylonish captivity so that one day always intervened between them, that opinion is set aside. Others maintain with greater probability, that it was the last day of the solemnity, which was as numerously attended as the first. I am more inclined to favor those who understand by it the second festivity in the year; and this agrees exceedingly well with the name given to it, the second-first Sabbath, because, among the great Sabbaths which were annually observed, it was the second in the order of time. Now the first was the Passover, and it is therefore probable that this was the feast of first-fruits, (Exodus 23:15, 16.)
Mark 2:24. Why do they on the Sabbath what is not lawful? The Pharisees do not blame the disciples of Christ for plucking ears of corn from a field that was not their own, but for violating the Sabbath; as if there had been a precept to this effect, that famishing men ought rather to die than to satisfy their hunger. Now the only reason for keeping the Sabbath was, that the people, by sanctifying themselves to God, might be employed in true and spiritual worship; and next, that, being free from all worldly occupations, they might be more at liberty to attend the holy assemblies. The lawful observation of it, therefore, must have a reference to this object; for the Law ought to be interpreted according to the design of the Legislator. But this shows clearly the malicious and implacable nature of superstition, and particularly the proud and cruel dispositions of hypocrites, when ambition is joined to hatred of the person. It was not the mere affectation of pretended holiness, as I have said, that made the Pharisees so stern and rigorous; but as they expressly wished to carp at every thing that Christ said or did, they could not do otherwise than put a wrong meaning in cases where there was nothing to blame, as usually happens with prejudiced interpreters. The accusation was brought--according to Matthew and Mark--against our Lord, and--according to Luke--against his disciples. But there is no inconsistency here; for the disciples were in all probability so harassed, that the charge was directed chiefly against the Master himself. It is even possible that the Pharisees first wrangled with the disciples, and afterwards with Christ, and that, in the rage of their malice, they blamed him for remaining silent, and permitting his disciples to break the Sabbath.
Matthew 12:3. Have you not read what David did? Christ employs five arguments to refute their calumny. First, he apologizes for his disciples by pleading the example of David, (1 Samuel 21:6.) While David was fleeing from the rage of Saul, he applied for provisions to the high-priest Ahimelech; and there being no ordinary food at hand, he succeeded in obtaining a part of the holy bread. If David's necessity excused him, the same argument ought to be admitted in the case of others. Hence it follows, that the ceremonies of the Law are not violated where there is no infringement of godliness.  Now Christ takes for granted, that David was free from blame, because the Holy Spirit bestows commendation on the priest who allowed him to partake of the holy bread. When he says, that it was not lawful to eat that bread but for the priests alone, we must understand him to refer to the ordinary law:
they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them; but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy, (Exodus 29:33.)
If David had attempted to do what was contrary to law, it would have been in vain for Christ to plead his example; for what had been prohibited for a particular end no necessity could make lawful.
5. That on the Sabbaths the priests profane the Sabbath. This is the second argument by which Christ proves that the violation of the Sabbath, of which the Pharisees complained, was free from all blame; because on the Sabbaths it is lawful to slay beasts for sacrifice, to circumcise infants, and to do other things relating to the worship of God. Hence it follows, that the duties of piety are in no degree inconsistent with each other.  But if the temple sanctifies manual operations connected with sacrifices, and with the whole of the outward service, the holiness of the true and spiritual temple has greater efficacy, in exempting its worshippers from all blame, while they are discharging the duties of godliness.  Now the object which the disciples had in view was, to present to God souls which were consecrated by the Gospel.
Matthew alone glances at this argument. When Christ says, that the priests Profane the Sabbath, the expression is not strictly accurate, and is accommodated to his hearers; for when the Law enjoins men to abstain from their employments, it does not forbid them to perform the services of religion. But Christ admits that to be true which might appear to be so in the eye of ignorant persons,  and rests satisfied with proving, that the labors performed in the temple are not offensive to God.
7. But if you knew This Third argument is also mentioned by Matthew alone. Christ conveys an indirect reproof to the Pharisees, for not considering why ceremonies were appointed, and to what object they are directed. This has been a common fault in almost every age; and therefore the prophet Hosea (6:6) exclaims against the men of his own age for being too much attached to ceremonies, and caring little about the duties of kindness. But God declares aloud, that he sets a higher value on mercy than on sacrifice, employing the word mercy, by a figure of speech, for offices of kindness, as sacrifices include the outward service of the Law. This statement Christ applies to his own time, and charges the Pharisees with wickedly torturing the Law of God out of its true meaning, with disregarding the second table, and being entirely occupied with ceremonies.
But a question arises: Why does God declare that he is indifferent about ceremonies, when he strictly enjoined in his Law that they should be observed? The answer is easy. External rites are of no value in themselves, and are demanded by God in so far only as they are directed to their proper object. Besides, God does not absolutely reject them, but, by a comparison with deeds of kindness, pronounces that they are inferior to the latter in actual value. Nor is it inconsistent with this to say, that in the perfection of righteousness the highest rank belongs to the worship of God, and the duties which men owe to each other occupy the second rank. For, though piety is justly reckoned to be as much superior to charity as God is higher than men, yet as believers, by practicing justice towards each other, prove that their service of God is sincere, it is not without reason that this subject is brought under the notice of hypocrites, who imitate piety by outward signs, and yet pervert it by confining their laborious efforts to the carnal worship alone.  From the testimony of the Prophet, Christ justly infers that no blame attaches to his disciples; for while God trained his people in the rudiments of the Law, it was far from being his design to kill wretched men with famine.
8. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Some connect this sentence with a preceding statement, that one greater than the temple is in this place, (ver. 6;) but I look upon them as different. In the former case, Christ, by an allusion to the temple, affirmed that whatever was connected with his personal holiness was not a transgression of the Law; but now, he declares that he has received authority to exempt his followers from the necessity of observing the Sabbath. The Son of man, (he says,) in the exercise of his authority, can relax the Sabbath in the same manner as other legal ceremonies. And certainly out of Christ the bondage of the Law is wretched, from which he alone delivers those on whom he bestows the free Spirit of adoption,  (Romans 8:15.)
Mark 2:27. The Sabbath was made for man. This Fifth argument is related by Mark alone. The general meaning is, that those persons judge amiss who turn to man's destruction,  the Sabbath which God appointed for his benefit. The Pharisees saw the disciples of Christ employed in a holy work; they saw them worn out with the fatigue of the journey, and partly with want of food; and yet are offended that, when they are hungry, they take a few grains of corn for the support of their wearied bodies. Is not this a foolish attempt to overturn the purpose of God, when they demand to the injury of men that observation of the Sabbath which he intended to be advantageous? But they are mistaken, I think, who suppose that in this passage the Sabbath is entirely abolished; for Christ simply informs us what is the proper use of it. Though he asserted, a little before, that he is Lord of the Sabbath, yet the full time for its abolition  was not yet come, because the veil of the temple was not yet rent, (Matthew 27:51.)
 "Un iour du Sabbath;" -- "on a Sabbath-day."
 "Et n'en sont point reprehensibles;" -- "and are not blameable for it."
 "Et en donna aussi;" -- "and gave of it also."
 "Avec tremblement et incertitude de conscience;" -- "with trembling and uncertainty of conscience."
 "Quand on ne derogue rien a la reverence deue, a Dieu;" -- "when nothing is taken away from the reverence that is due to God."
 "Que les exercices de piete ne sont point contraires les uns aux autres, mais s'accordent bien ensemble;" -- "that the exercises of godliness are not opposed to each other, but agree well together."
 "Quand ils s'employent a oeuvres qui tendent a l'honneur de Dieu;" -- "when they are employed in works which tend to the honor of God."
 "Ainsi Christ accorde estre vray, ce qui ne l'est pas de faict, mais qui pourroit sembler l'estre en apparence a gens qui ne scavent pas bien iuger et discerner les choses;" -- "thus Christ admits that to be true which is not so in reality, but which might appear to be so to persons who do not know how to judge and distinguish matters properly."
 "Et cependant neantmoins la renversent et falsifient, s'arrestans au seul service charnel, auquel ils prenent grande peine;" -- "and yet nevertheless overthrow and falsify it, confining themselves to the carnal service alone, on which they bestow great pains."
 "Ausquels il donne l'Esprit d'adoption, qui est l'Esprit de la liberte;" -- "to whom he gives the Spirit of adoption which is the Spirit of liberty."
 "Lesquels convertissent au dommage et a la ruine de l'homme;"-- "who turn to the injury and to the ruin of man."
 "La vraye saison et le temps opportun de l'abolissement d'iceluy;"-- "the true season and appropriate time for the abolition of it."
And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;
How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?
And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
9. And having departed thence, he came into their synagogue: 10. And, lo, there was a man having a withered hand, and they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbaths? that they might accuse him. 11. But he said to them, What man shall there be among you who shall have one sleep, and if it fall on the Sabbath into a ditch, will not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12. How much more then is a man better than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbaths. 13. Then he saith to the man, Stretch out thy hand. And he stretched it out, and it was restored to soundness like the other.
1. And he entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there having a withered hand. 2. And they watched him, if he would heal that man on the Sabbath, that they might accuse him. 3. And he said to the man having the withered hand, Rise up in the midst. 4. Whether is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil? to save life or to kill? But they were silent. 5. And when he had looked round upon them with indignation, grieving on account of the blindness of their heart, he saith to the man, Stretch out thy hand; and he stretched it out, and his hand was restored to soundness like the other.
6. And it happened also on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue, and taught; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, if he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an opportunity of accusing him. 8. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man that had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand in the midst. And he rose up and stood. 9. Jesus therefore saith to them, I will ask you, Whether is it lawful on the Sabbaths to do good or to do evil? to save life or to destroy it? 10. And when he had looked round about upon them all, he said to the man, Stretch out thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored sound like the other.
Matthew 12:9. And having departed thence. This narrative and that which immediately precedes it have the same object; which is to show, that the scribes watched with a malicious eye for the purpose of turning into slander every thing that Christ did, and consequently that we need not wonder if men, whose minds were so depraved, were his implacable enemies. We see also, that it is usual with hypocrites to pursue what is nothing more than a shadow of the righteousness of the Law, and as the common saying is, to stickle more about the form than about the substance. First, then, let us learn from this passage to keep our minds pure, and free from every wicked disposition, when we are about to form a decision on any question; for if hatred, or pride, or anything of that description, reign within us, we will not only do injury to men, but will insult God himself, and turn light into darkness. No man, who was free from malice, would have refused to acknowledge that it was a Divine work, which those good teachers do not scruple to condemn.  Whence comes such fury, but because all their senses are affected by a wicked hatred of Christ, so that they are blind amidst the full brightness of the sun? We learn also, that we ought to beware lest, by attaching undue importance to ceremonial observances, we allow other things to be neglected, which are of far higher value in the sight of God, and which Christ in another passage calls the more important matters of the Law, (Matthew 23:23.) For so strongly are we inclined to outward rites, that we shall never preserve moderation in this respect, unless we constantly remember, that whatever is enjoined respecting the worship of God is, in the first place, spiritual; and, secondly, ought to be regulated by the rule which Christ has laid down to us in this passage.
10. They asked him, saying. Mark and Luke say only that they watched what our Lord would do; but Matthew states more clearly that they also attacked him by words. It is probable, that some others had been previously cured on Sabbath-days; and hence they take occasion to ask if he believes it to be lawful for him to do again what he had formerly done. They ought to have considered whether it was a work of God, or of man, to restore a withered hand by a mere touch, or by a single word. When God appointed the Sabbath, he did not lay down a law for himself, or impose upon himself any restraint from performing operations on the Sabbath, when he saw it to be proper, in the same manner as on other days. It was excessive folly, therefore, to call this in question, and thus to prescribe rules for God himself, and to restrain the freedom of his operations.
11. What man shall there be among you who shall have a sheep? Christ again points out what is the true way of keeping the Sabbath; and, at the same time, reproves them for slander, in bringing as a charge against him what was a universal custom. For if any man's sheep had fallen into a ditch, no person would have hindered it from being taken out: but in proportion as a man is of more value than a sheep, so much the more are we at liberty to assist him. It is plain, therefore, that if any man should relieve the necessity of brethren, he did not, in any degree, violate the rest which the Lord has enjoined. Mark and Luke take no notice of this comparison, but only state that Christ inquired, Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil?
He who takes away the life of a man is held to be a criminal; and there is little difference between manslaughter and the conduct of him who does not concern himself about relieving a person in distress. So then Christ indirectly charges them with endeavoring, under the pretense of a holy act, to compel him to do evil; for sin is committed, as we have already said, not only by him who does any thing contrary to the Law, but also by him who neglects his duty. Hence also we perceive, that Christ did not always employ the same arguments in refuting this slander; for he does not reason here about his divinity as he does in the case mentioned by John, (v. 18.) Nor was there any necessity for doing so; since the Pharisees were completely refuted by this single defense, that nothing could be more unreasonable than to pronounce a man, who imitated God, to be a transgressor of the Sabbath.
Luke 6:8. But he knew their thoughts If Matthew states the truth, they had openly declared by their language what was in their minds; and therefore Christ replies not to their secret thoughts, but to express words. But both may be true, that they spoke plainly, and yet that Christ discerned their secret thoughts; for they did not openly avow their designs, and Matthew himself tells us that their question was intended to take Christ by surprise; and, consequently, Luke means nothing more than that Christ was aware of their insidious designs, though not expressed in words.
Mark 3:5. And when he had looked around upon them with indignation To convince us that this was a just and holy anger, Mark explains the reason of it to be, that he was grieved on account of the blindness of their hearts. First, then, Christ is grieved, because men who have been instructed in the Law of God are so grossly blind; but as it was malice that blinded them, his grief is accompanied by indignation. This is the true moderation of zeal, to be distressed about the destruction of wicked men, and, at the same time, to be filled with wrath at their ungodliness. Again, as this passage assures us, that Christ was not free from human passions, we infer from it, that the passions themselves are not sinful, provided there be no excess. In consequence of the corruption of our nature, we do not preserve moderation; and our anger, even when it rests on proper grounds, is never free from sin. With Christ the case was different; for not only did his nature retain its original purity, but he was a perfect pattern of righteousness. We ought therefore to implore from heaven the Spirit of God to correct our excesses.
 "N'ont point de honte de condamner;" -- "are not ashamed to condemn."
And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.
But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
14. Then the Pharisees went out, and took counsel against him, how they might destroy him.  15. But when Jesus knew this, he withdrew from that place; and great multitudes followed him, and he cured them all. 16. And he threatened them,  that they should not make him known: 17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet, who says, 18. Lo, my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim judgment to the Gentiles. 19. He shall not strive, nor cry, nor shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20. The bruised reed he will not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench, till he send forth judgment into victory. 21. And in his name the Gentiles will trust.
6. And the Pharisees went out, and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him, to destroy him. 7. And Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a vast multitude followed him from Galilee, and from Judea. 8. And from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan; and a great multitude (of men) who dwelt around Tyre and Sidon, who, when they had heard what he was doing, came to him. 9. And he commanded his disciples, that a small ship should wait upon him on account of the multitude, that they might not press upon him. 10. For he had cured many; so that as many as were afflicted pressed upon him to touch him. 11. And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried out, saying, Thou art the Son of God. 12. And he vehemently threatened the that they should not make him known
11. And they were filled with madness, and talked with each other what they should do to Jesus.
Matthew 12:14. Then the Pharisees took counsel. How obstinate is the rage which drives the wicked to oppose God! Even after having been convinced, they pour out their venom more and more. It is truly monstrous and shocking, that the most distinguished teachers of the Law, who were entrusted with the government of the Church, are engaged, like robbers, in contriving murder. But this must happen, whenever the malice of men reaches such a height, that they wish to destroy every thing that is opposed to their fancy, even though it may be from God.
The circumstance of Christ's making his escape by flight must not be ascribed to fear; for he did not become more courageous by the lapse of time, but was endued with the same fortitude of the Spirit at the time when he fled, as when, at a later period, he voluntarily presented himself to die. And this was a part of that emptying of himself which Paul mentions, (Philippians 2:7,) that when he could easily have protected his life by a miracle, he chose rather to submit to our weakness by taking flight. The only reason why he delayed to die was, that the seasonable time, which had been appointed by the Father, was not yet come, (John 7:30; John 8:20.) And yet it is manifest, that he was preserved by heavenly power rather than by flight; for it would not have been difficult for his enemies to find out the place to which he had retired, and so far was he from shrouding himself in darkness, that he carried a great company along with him, and rendered that place illustrious by his miracles. He withdrew from their presence for the sole purpose of not aggravating their rage.
Mark 3:6. The Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians. Now they regarded the Herodians with the fiercest hatred; for their eagerness to be considered the guardians and protectors of public liberty made it necessary for them to make an open profession of mortal hatred to the ministers of that tyrant. And yet this aversion is counteracted by their hatred and fury against Christ,  which makes them not only enter into a conspiracy with foreigners, but insinuate themselves into the good graces of those with whom, on other occasions, they would have shrunk from intercourse. While ungodliness hurries men in various directions, and drives them to different courses, it engages them, with one consent, in a contest with God. No hostilities prevent them from giving their hand to each other for opposing the truth of God.
Matthew 12:16. And he threatened them. The expression used by Mark conveys, in a still more pointed manner, that he restrained the unclean spirits,  who were exclaiming, Thou art the Son of God. We have formerly explained the reason why he did not choose to have such witnesses.  And yet there is no room to doubt, that divine power extorted from the devils this confession; but having made it evident that they were subject to his dominion, Christ properly rejected their testimony. But Matthew goes farther, and states, that Christ discharged them from spreading the fame of the miracles which he was performing. Not that he wished that fame to be wholly repressed, (as we have pointed out on other occasions,  but to allow it to strike root, that it might bring forth abundant fruit at the proper season. We know that Christ did not perform miracles for the purpose of amusement, but had a distinct object in view, which was to prove that he was the Son of God, and the appointed Redeemer of the world. But he was manifested gradually, and by regular steps, and was not revealed in his true character
"until the time appointed by the Father,"
At the same time, it deserves our attention, that when wicked men do their utmost to extinguish the glory of God, they are so far from gaining their wish, that, on the contrary, God turns their rebellious designs in an opposite direction. Though Christ withdrew from a populous district, yet in this very concealment  his glory continues to shine, and even bursts forth magnificently into its full splendor.
17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken Matthew does not mean that this prediction was entirely fulfilled by Christ's prohibiting loud and general reports to be circulated respecting his power  , but that this was an exhibition of that mildness which Isaiah describes in the person of the Messiah. Those wonderful works which Christ performed in presence of a few, and which he did not wish to be announced in pompous terms, were fitted to shake heaven and earth, (Hebrews 12:26.) It was, therefore, no ordinary proof, how widely he was removed from the pomp and ostentation of the world.
But it will be proper for us to examine more closely the design of Matthew. By this circumstance he intended to show, that the glory of Christ's divinity ought not to be the less admired, because it appeared under a veil of infirmity. This is unquestionably the very object to which the Holy Spirit directed the eyes of the prophet. The flesh is constantly longing for outward display, and to guard believers against seeking any thing of this description in the Messiah, the Spirit of God declared that he would be totally different from earthly kings, who, in order to draw admiration upon themselves, produce great noises wherever they go, and fill cities and towns with commotion.  We now perceive how appropriately Matthew applies the prediction of the prophet to the case in hand. God appointed for his Son a low and mean appearance, and that ignorant persons may not take offense at an aspect which has no attraction, and is fitted to awaken contempt, both the prophet and Matthew come forward to declare, that it is not by accident, but in consequence of a decree of Heaven, that he assumes such a character.  Hence it follows, that deep blame attaches to all who despise Christ, because his outward condition does not correspond to the wishes of the flesh. We are not at liberty to imagine to ourselves a Christ that corresponds to our fancy, but ought simply to embrace him as he is offered by the Father. He who is offended by the low condition of Christ, which God declares to be agreeable to his will, is unworthy of salvation. I now come to examine the words of the prophet, (Isaiah 42:1.)
18. Lo, my servant, whom I have chosen. To fix our attention more closely on his will, God points out by the finger, as it were, the person whom he is about to send; and this is the design of the exclamation, Lo! A similar reason may be assigned for the epithets that follow, when God calls him his servant, his elect in whom his soul is well pleased. For whence comes it, that men venture to measure Christ by their own sense, but because they do not consider that their redemption depends exclusively on the grace of God? When God offers to us an invaluable treasure, it is excessive and wicked presumption to regulate our estimation of it by the disdainful views of our flesh. He is called a servant, not as if he were of the ordinary rank, but by way of eminence, and as the person to whom God has committed the charge and office of redeeming his Church. As:
no man taketh this honor to himself, but he who is called of God (Hebrews 5:6)
is justly entitled to this rank, God declares that he who comes forward in this character was elected by his decree.  Hence it follows, that men are not at liberty to reject him; because, by doing so, they would be guilty of contempt and rebellion against God. And, indeed, it were the height of absurdity that our choice or our pride should set aside that calling of God which ought to be regarded as sacred and inviolable.
My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased. There is a still wider import in this statement, which God next makes by the prophet, that the delight of his soul dwells in Christ; for though the calling of each of us proceeds from the free favor of God as its only source, yet in Christ there is this remarkable peculiarity, that in his person God the Father embraces in his love the whole Church. As we are all by nature enemies of God, his love will never come to us till it first begin with the Head; which we have seen on a former occasion, and will see again under another passage, (Matthew 17:5.)
He will proclaim judgment to the Gentiles. The prophet gives a brief description of Christ's office, when he foretells that he will proclaim judgment to the Gentiles By the word judgment the Jews understand a government which is correctly and properly arranged, in which order and justice prevail. The design of the prophet is to inform us, that a person will come who will restore justice that had fallen, who will be the governor not of one nation only, but will also bring under subjection to God the Gentiles, among whom dreadful confusion formerly prevailed. And this is the import of the word bring forth, which the prophet employs; for it was the office of Christ to spread throughout the whole world the kingdom of God, which was at that time confined to the corner of Judea;  as it is said in another passage,
The Lord will send forth the scepter of thy power out of Zion, (Psalm 110:2.)
I will put my Spirit upon him. This explains the manner in which judgment shall be brought forth. It is no doubt true, that there never was any portion whatever of righteousness in the world that did not proceed from the Spirit of God, and that was not maintained by his heavenly power; as none of the kings of the earth can frame or defend good order, except so far as he shall be assisted by the same Spirit. But in bringing forth judgment Christ is greatly superior to all others, for he has received the Spirit from the Father, that he may pour it out on all his people; for not only does he by word or writing prescribe what is proper, but inwardly forms the hearts of men, by the grace of his Spirit, to preserve the rule of righteousness.
19. He will not strive The general meaning is, that the coming of Christ will not be attended by noise, will have nothing of royal splendor and magnificence. He presently adds, that this will turn to the advantage of men, by inducing them to love that mildness which the world everywhere despises. And certainly it is an astonishing display of the folly of men, that their sentiments with regard to Christ are less respectful, because he mildly and voluntarily accommodates himself to their capacity. Were Christ to appear in his glory, what else could be expected, but that it would altogether swallow us up? What wickedness then is it to be less willing to receive him, when on our account he descends from his elevation?
That the gentleness of Christ may awaken reverence in believers, Isaiah reminds them how advantageous, and even how necessary that gentleness must be. Each of us is conscious of his own weakness; and therefore we ought to consider of what importance it is that Christ should treat us with kindness. I speak not of unbelievers, who are entirely destitute of all the graces of the Spirit; but with respect to those whom God has already called, are they not like a half-broken reed and a smoking lamp, till God kindle them to full brightness, and supply them with perfect strength? When Christ is thus pleased to condescend to our weakness, let his unspeakable goodness be embraced by us with joy. Meanwhile, let none flatter himself in his vices, but let each of us labor to make greater proficiency, that we may not be tossed about (Ephesians 4:14) through our whole life, or bend, like reeds, to the slightest gale. Let us grow to the stature of perfect men, that we may remain firm against the diversified attacks of Satan, that our faith may not only emit slight sparks encompassed by thick smoke, but may send out bright rays.
The example of Christ instructs all his ministers in what manner they ought to conduct themselves. But as there are some who falsely and absurdly maintain that mildness ought to be exercised indiscriminately towards all, we must attend to the distinction which the prophet expressly makes between weak and wicked persons. Those who are too stubborn need to have their hardness beaten violently with a hammer; and those who endeavor to spread darkness in every direction, or who act as torches to kindle conflagrations, must have their smoke dispelled and their flame extinguished. While the faithful ministers of the Word ought to endeavor to spare the weak, and thus to cherish and increase that portion of the grace of God, however small, which they possess, they must also exercise prudent caution, lest they encourage the obstinate malice of those who have no resemblance to the smoking lamp or bruised reed.
20. Till he send out judgment into victory. The words of the prophet are a little different, he will bring forth the judgment unto truth. But the term employed by Matthew is very emphatic, and is intended to inform us, that justice is not established in the world without a great struggle and exertion. The devil throws all possible difficulties in the way, which cannot be removed without violent opposition. This is confirmed by the word victory, for victory is not obtained in any other way than by fighting.
21. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust Instead of these words the prophet has, The isles shall wait for his law. But though Matthew has changed the words, the meaning is the same, that the grace of Christ will be shared by the Gentiles.
 "Comment ils le mettroyent a mort;" -- "how they should put him to death."
 "Et aveques menaces leur defendit;" -- "and with threatenings prohibited them."
 "Toutesfois la haine enragee qu'ils ont contre Christ, surmonte toutes leurs autres meschantes affections;" -- "and yet the enraged hatred which they have against Christ rises above all their other wicked dispositions."
 "A scavoir qu'il menacoit et faisoit taire les esprits immondes;"-- "namely, that he threatened and silenced the unclean spirits."
 Harmony, volume 1[p. 246.
 Harmony, volume 1, pp. 374, 418.
 "Toutesfois mesmes en ceste cachete, (par maniere de dire;")--"yet even in this hiding place, (so to speak.")
 "Les miracles et signes qu'il faisoit par sa vertu Divine;" -- "the miracles and signs which he performed by his Divine power."
 "Ils font faire de grans bruits: il semble que les villes et citez doyvent tourner ce que dessus dessous, tant y a grande esmotion;" -- "they cause great noises to be made; and so great is the commotion, that it would seem as if towns and cities were to be turned upside down."
 "Quand Christ vient au monde sans pompe exterieure;" -- "when Christ comes into the world without external pomp."
 "Dieu prononce que par son ordonnance il a eleu celuy qu'on verra venir ayant les marques qu'il met la;" -- "God declares that, by his decree, he hath elected him who will be seen coming, attended by the marks which he there describes."
 "Qui estoit pour lors comme enclos en un anglet au pays de Iudee;" --"which was then shut up, as it were in a corner, in the country of Judea."
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.
And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
1. And when Jesus had seen the multitudes,  he went up into a mountain, and when he had sat down, his disciples approached to him. 2. And opening his mouth,  he taught them, saying, 3. Happy are the poor in spirit: for their is the kingdom of heaven. 4. Happy are they who mourn: for they shall receive consolation. 5. Happy are the meek: for they shall receive the earth by inheritance.  6. Happy are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be satisfied. 7. Happy are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  8. Happy are those who are of a pure heart: for they shall see God. 9. Happy are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10. Happy are those who suffer persecution on account of righteousness: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Happy are you, when they shall throw reproaches on you, and shall persecute you, and lying, shall speak every evil word against you on my account. 12. Rejoice ye, and leap for joy: for your reward is great in heaven: for so did they persecute the prophets who were before you.
20. And he, lifting up his eyes on the disciples, said, Happy (are ye) poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21. Happy are ye who hunger now: for ye shall be satisfied. Happy are ye who weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22. Happy shall ye be when men shall hate you, and shall separate you, and shall load you with reproaches, and shall cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man. 23. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, lo, your reward is great in heaven: for according to these things their fathers did to the prophets. 24. But woe to you (who are) rich: for you have your consolation. 25. Woe to you who are filled: for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now: for ye shall mourn and weep. 26. Woe to you, when all men shall applaud you: for according to these things their fathers did to the false prophets.
Matthew 5:1. He went up into a mountain. Those who think that Christ's sermon, which is here related, is different from the sermon contained in the sixth chapter of Luke's Gospel, rest their opinion on a very light and frivolous argument. Matthew states, that Christ spoke to his disciples on a mountain, while Luke seems to say, that the discourse was delivered on a plain. But it is a mistake to read the words of Luke, he went down with them, and stood in the plain, (Luke 6:17,) as immediately connected with the statement that, lifting up his eyes on the disciples, he spoke thus. For the design of both Evangelists was, to collect into one place the leading points of the doctrine of Christ, which related to a devout and holy life. Although Luke had previously mentioned a plain, he does not observe the immediate succession of events in the history, but passes from miracles to doctrine, without pointing out either time or place: just as Matthew takes no notice of the time, but only mentions the place. It is probable, that this discourse was not delivered until Christ had chosen the twelve: but in attending to the order of time, which I saw that the Spirit of God had disregarded, I did not wish to be too precise. Pious and modest readers ought to be satisfied with having a brief summary of the doctrine of Christ placed before their eyes, collected out of his many and various discourses, the first of which was that in which he spoke to his disciples about true happiness.
2. Opening his mouth. This redundancy of expression (pleonasmos) partakes of the Hebrew idiom: for what would be faulty in other languages is frequent among the Hebrews, to say, He opened his mouth, instead of, He began to speak. Many look upon it as an emphatic mode of expression, employed to draw attention to any thing important and remarkable, either in a good or bad sense, which has been uttered: but as some passages of Scripture countenance an opposite view, I prefer the former exposition. I shall also dismiss the ingenious speculation of those, who give an allegorical turn to the fact of our Lord teaching his disciples on a mountain, as if it had been intended to teach them to elevate their minds far above worldly cares and employments. In ascending the mountain, his design rather was to seek a retreat, where he might obtain relaxation for himself and his disciples at a distance from the multitude.
Now let us see, in the first place, why Christ spoke to his disciples about true happiness. We know that not only the great body of the people, but even the learned themselves, hold this error, that he is the happy man who is free from annoyance, attains all his wishes, and leads a joyful and easy life. At least it is the general opinion, that happiness ought to be estimated from the present state.  Christ, therefore, in order to accustom his own people to bear the cross, exposes this mistaken opinion, that those are happy who lead an easy and prosperous life according to the flesh. For it is impossible that men should mildly bend the neck to bear calamities and reproaches, so long as they think that patience is at variance with a happy life. The only consolation which mitigates and even sweetens the bitterness of the cross and of all afflictions, is the conviction, that we are happy in the midst of miseries: for our patience is blessed by the Lord, and will soon be followed by a happy result.
This doctrine, I do acknowledge, is widely removed from the common opinion: but the disciples of Christ must learn the philosophy of placing their happiness beyond the world, and above the affections of the flesh. Though carnal reason will never admit what is here taught by Christ, yet he does not bring forward any thing imaginary, -- as the Stoics  were wont, in ancient times, to amuse themselves with their paradoxes, -- but demonstrates from the fact, that those persons are truly happy, whose condition is supposed to be miserable. Let us, therefore remember, that the leading object of the discourse is to show, that those are not unhappy who are oppressed by the reproaches of the wicked, and subject to various calamities. And not only does Christ prove that they are in the wrong, who measure the happiness of man by the present state, because the distresses of the godly will soon be changed for the better; but he also exhorts his own people to patience, by holding out the hope of a reward.
3. Happy are the poor in spirit. Luke 6:20. Happy (are ye) poor. Luke gives nothing more than a simple metaphor: but as the poverty of many is accursed and unhappy, Matthew expresses more clearly the intention of Christ. Many are pressed down by distresses, and yet continue to swell inwardly with pride and cruelty. But Christ pronounces those to be happy who, chastened and subdued by afflictions, submit themselves wholly to God, and, with inward humility, betake themselves to him for protection. Others explain the poor in spirit to be those who claim nothing for themselves, and are even so completely emptied of confidence in the flesh, that they acknowledge their poverty. But as the words of Luke and those of Matthew must have the same meaning, there can be no doubt that the appellation poor is here given to those who are pressed and afflicted by adversity. The only difference is, that Matthew, by adding an epithet, confines the happiness to those only who, under the discipline of the cross, have learned to be humble.
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We see that Christ does not swell the minds of his own people by any unfounded belief, or harden them by unfeeling obstinacy, as the Stoics do, but leads them to entertain the hope of eternal life, and animates them to patience by assuring them, that in this way they will pass into the heavenly kingdom of God. It deserves our attention, that he only who is reduced to nothing in himself, and relies on the mercy of God, is poor in spirit: for they who are broken or overwhelmed by despair murmur against God, and this proves them to be of a proud and haughty spirit.
4. Happy are they that mourn. This statement is closely connected with the preceding one, and is a sort of appendage or confirmation of it. The ordinary belief is, that calamities render a man unhappy. This arises from the consideration, that they constantly bring along with them mourning and grief. Now, nothing is supposed to be more inconsistent with happiness than mourning. But Christ does not merely affirm that mourners are not unhappy. He shows, that their very mourning contributes to a happy life, by preparing them to receive eternal joy, and by furnishing them with excitements to seek true comfort in God alone. Accordingly, Paul says,
"We glory in tribulations also knowing that tribulation produces patience, and patience experience, and experience hope: and hope maketh not ashamed," (Romans 5:3-5.)
5. Happy are the meek By the meek he means persons of mild and gentle dispositions, who are not easily provoked by injuries, who are not ready to take offense, but are prepared to endure anything rather than do the like actions to wicked men. When Christ promises to such persons the inheritance of the earth, we might think it exceedingly foolish. Those who warmly repel any attacks, and whose hand is ever ready to revenge injuries, are rather the persons who claim for themselves the dominion of the earth. And experience certainly shows that, the more mildly their wickedness is endured, the more bold and insolent does it become. Hence arises the diabolical proverb, that "We must howl with the wolves, because the wolves will immediately devour every one who makes himself a sheep." But Christ places his own protection, and that of the Father, in contrast with the fury and violence of wicked men, and declares, on good grounds, that the meek will be the lords and heirs of the earth The children of this world never think themselves safe, but when they fiercely revenge the injuries that are done them, and defend their life by the "weapons of war," (Ezekiel 32:27.) But as we must believe, that Christ alone is the guardian of our life, all that remains for us is to "hide ourselves under the shadow of his wings," (Psalm 17:8.) We must be sheep, if we wish to be reckoned a part of his flock.
It will perhaps be objected, that what has been now said is contradicted by experience. I would first suggest that it be considered, how greatly ferocious  people are disturbed by their own restlessness. While they lead so stormy a life, though they were a hundred times lords of the earth, while they possess all, they certainly possess nothing. For the children of God, on the other hand, I answer, that though they may not plant their foot on what is their own, they enjoy a quiet residence on the earth. And this is no imaginary possession;  for they know, that the earth, which they inhabit, has been granted to them by God. Besides, the hand of God is interposed to protect them against the violence and fury of wicked men. Though exposed to every species of attack, subject to the malice of wicked men, surrounded by all kinds of danger, they are safe under the divine protection. They have already a foretaste, at least, of this grace of God; and that is enough for them, till they enter, at the last day, into the possession of the inheritance  of the world.
6. Happy are they who hunger To hunger and thirst is here, I think, used as a figurative expression,  and means to suffer poverty, to want the necessaries of life, and even to be defrauded of one's right. Matthew says, who thirst after righteousness, and thus makes one class stand for all the rest. He represents more strongly the unworthy treatment which they have received, when he says that, though they are anxious, though they groan, they desire nothing but what is proper. "Happy are they who, though their wishes are so moderate, that they desire nothing to be granted to them but what is reasonable, are yet in a languishing condition, like persons who are famishing with hunger." Though their distressing anxiety exposes them to the ridicule of others, yet it is a certain preparation for happiness: for at length they shall be satisfied God will one day listen to their groans, and satisfy their just desires for to Him, as we learn from the song of the Virgin, it belongs to fill the hungry with good things, (Luke 1:53.)
7. Happy are the merciful This paradox, too, contradicts the judgment of men.  The world reckons those men to be happy, who give themselves no concern about the distresses of others, but consult their own ease. Christ says that those are happy, who are not only prepared to endure their own afflictions, but to take a share in the afflictions of others, -- who assist the wretched, -- who willingly take part with those who are in distress, -- who clothe themselves, as it were, with the same affections, that they may be more readily disposed to render them assistance. He adds, for they shall obtain mercy, -- not only with God, but also among men, whose minds God will dispose to the exercise of humanity.  Though the whole world may sometimes be ungrateful, and may return the very worst reward to those who have done acts of kindness to them, it ought to be reckoned enough, that grace is laid up with God for the merciful and humane, so that they, in their turn, will find him to be gracious and merciful, (Psalm 103:8; Psalm 145:8.)
8. Happy are they who are of a pure heart We might be apt to think, that what is here stated by Christ is in accordance with the judgment of all. Purity of heart is universally acknowledged to be the mother of all virtues. And yet there is hardly one person in a hundred, who does not put craftiness in the place of the greatest virtue. Hence those persons are commonly accounted happy, whose ingenuity is exercised in the successful practice of deceit, who gain dexterous advantages, by indirect means, over those with whom they have intercourse. Christ does not at all agree with carnal reason, when he pronounces those to be happy, who take no delight in cunning, but converse sincerely with men, and express nothing, by word or look, which they do not feel in their heart. Simple people are ridiculed for want of caution, and for not looking sharply enough to themselves. But Christ directs them to higher views, and bids them consider that, if they have not sagacity to deceive in this world, they will enjoy the sight of God in heaven.
9. Happy are the peacemakers By peacemakers he means those who not only seek peace and avoid quarrels, as far as lies in their power, but who also labor to settle differences among others, who advise all men to live at peace, and take away every occasion of hatred and strife. There are good grounds for this statement. As it is a laborious and irksome employment to reconcile those who are at variance, persons of a mild disposition, who study to promote peace, are compelled to endure the indignity of hearing reproaches, complaints, and remonstrances on all sides. The reason is, that every one would desire to have advocates, who would defend his cause. That we may not depend on the favor of men, Christ bids us look up to the judgment of his Father, who is the God of peace, (Romans 15:33,) and who accounts us his children, while we cultivate peace, though our endeavors may not be acceptable to men: for to be called means To Be Accounted the children of God
10. Happy are they who suffer persecution The disciples of Christ have very great need of this instruction; and the more hard and disagreeable it is for the flesh to admit it, the more earnestly ought we to make it the subject of our meditation. We cannot be Christ's soldiers  on any other condition, than to have the greater part of the world rising in hostility against us, and pursuing us even to death. The state of the matter is this. Satan, the prince of the world, will never cease to fill his followers with rage, to carry on hostilities against the members of Christ. It is, no doubt, monstrous and unnatural, that men, who study to live a righteous life, should be attacked and tormented in a way which they do not deserve. And so Peter says,
"Who is he that will harm you,
Yet, in consequence of the unbridled wickedness of the world, it too frequently happens, that good men, through a zeal of righteousness, arouse against them the resentments of the ungodly. Above all, it is, as we may say, the ordinary lot of Christians to be hated by the majority of men: for the flesh cannot endure the doctrine of the Gospel; none can endure to have their vices reproved.
Who suffer on account of righteousness This is descriptive of those who inflame the hatred, and provoke the rage, of wicked men against them, because, through an earnest desire to do what is good and right, they oppose bad causes and defend good ones, as far as lies in their power. Now, in this respect, the truth of God justly holds the first rank. Accordingly, by this mark Christ distinguishes his own martyrs from criminals and malefactors.
I now return to what I said a little before, that as, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus "(Paul informs us), shall suffer persecution," (2 Timothy 3:12,) this admonition has a general reference to all the godly. But if, at any time, the Lord spares our weakness, and does not permit the ungodly to torment us as they would desire, yet, during the season of repose and leisure, it is proper for us to meditate on this doctrine, that we may be ready, whenever it shall be necessary, to enter the field, and may not engage in the contest till we have been well prepared. As the condition of the godly, during the whole course of this life, is very miserable, Christ properly calls them to the hope of the heavenly life. And here lies the main difference between Christ's paradox and the ravings of the Stoics, who ordered that every man should be satisfied in his own mind, and should be the author of his own happiness: while Christ does not suspend our happiness on a vain imagination, but rests it on the hope of a future reward.
11. When they shall cast reproaches on you Luke 6:22 When men shall hate you, and separate you, and load you with reproaches, and cast out your name as evil By these words Christ intended to comfort those who believe in him; that they may not lose courage, even though they see themselves to be detestable in the eyes of the world. For this was no light temptation, to be thrown out of the Church as ungodly and profane. Christ knew that there is no class of men more envenomed than hypocrites, and foresaw with what furious madness the enemies of the Gospel would attack his small and despised flock. It was therefore his will to furnish them with a sure defense, that they might not give way, though an immense mass of reproaches were ready to overwhelm them. And hence it appears, how little reason there is to dread the excommunication of the Pope, when those tyrants banish us from their synagogues, because we are unwilling to renounce Christ.
12. Rejoice ye, and leap for joy The meaning is, a remedy is at hand, that we may not be overwhelmed by unjust reproaches: for, as soon as we raise our minds to heaven, we there behold vast grounds of joy, which dispel sadness. The idle reasonings of the Papists, about the word reward, which is here used, are easily refuted: for there is not (as they dream) a mutual relation between the reward and merit, but the promise of the reward is free. Besides, if we consider the imperfections and faults of any good works that are done by the very best of men, there will be no work which God can judge to be worthy of reward.
We must advert once more to the phrases, on my account, or, on account of the Son of Man, (Luke 6:22;) and lying, shall speak every evil word against you; that he who suffers persecution for his own fault (1 Peter 2:20) may not forthwith boast that he is a martyr of Christ, as the Donatists, in ancient times, were delighted with themselves on this single ground, that the magistrates were against them. And in our own day the Anabaptists,  while they disturb the Church by their ravings, and slander the Gospel, boast that they are carrying the banners of Christ, when they are justly condemned. But Christ pronounces those only to be happy who are employed in defending a righteous cause.
For so did they persecute This was expressly added, that the apostles might not expect to triumph without exertion and without a contest, and might not fail, when they encountered persecutions. The restoration of all things, under the reign of Christ, being everywhere promised in Scripture, there was danger, lest they might not think of warfare, but indulge in vain and proud confidence. It is evident from other passages, that they foolishly imagined the kingdom of Christ to be filled with wealth and luxuries.  Christ had good reason for warning them, that, as soon as they succeeded to the place of the prophets, they must sustain the same contests in which the prophets were formerly engaged. The prophets who were before you This means not only, that the prophets were before them with respect to the order of time, but that they were of the same class with themselves, and ought therefore to be followed as their example. The notion commonly entertained, of making out nine distinct beatitudes, is too frivolous to need a long refutation.
Luke 6:24. Woe to you that are rich. As Luke has related not more than four kinds of blessings, so he now contrasts with them four curses, so that the clauses mutually correspond. This contrast not only tends to strike terror into the ungodly, but to arouse believers, that they may not be lulled to sleep by the vain and deceitful allurements of the world. We know how prone men are to be intoxicated by prosperity, or ensnared by flattery; and on this account the children of God often envy the reprobate, when they see everything go on prosperously and smoothly with them.
He pronounces a curse on the rich, -- not on all the rich, but on those who receive their consolation in the world; that is, who are so completely occupied with their worldly possessions, that they forget the life to come. The meaning is: riches are so far from making a man happy, that they often become the means of his destruction. In any other point of view, the rich are not excluded from the kingdom of heaven, provided they do not become snares for themselves, or fix their hope on the earth, so as to shut against them the kingdom of heaven. This is finely illustrated by Augustine, who, in order to show that riches are not in themselves a hindrance to the children of God, reminds his readers that poor Lazarus was received into the bosom of rich Abraham.
25. Woe to you who are filled. Woe to you who laugh now In the same sense, he pronounces a curse on those who are satiated and full: because they are lifted up by confidence in the blessings of the present life, and reject those blessings which are of a heavenly nature. A similar view must be taken of what he says about laughter: for by those who laugh he means those who have given themselves up to Epicurean mirth, who are plunged in carnal pleasures, and spurn every kind of trouble which would be found necessary for maintaining the glory of God.
26. Woe to you when all men shall applaud you The last woe is intended to correct ambition: for nothing is more common than to seek the applauses of men, or, at least, to be carried away by them; and, in order to guard his disciples against such a course, he points out to them that the favor of men would prove to be their ruin. This warning refers peculiarly to teachers, who have no plague more to be dreaded than ambition: because it is impossible for them not to corrupt the pure doctrine of God, when they, "seek to please men," (Galatians 1:10.) By the phrase, all men, Christ must be understood to refer to the children of the world, whose applauses are wholly bestowed on deceivers and false prophets: for faithful and conscientious ministers of sound doctrine enjoy the applause and favor of good men. It is only the wicked favor of the flesh that is here condemned: for, as Paul informs us, (Galatians 1:10,) no man who "seeks to please men" can be "the servant of Christ."
 "Jesus donques royant la foulle;" -- "Jesus then seeing the crowd."
 "Et luy apres avoir ourerr sa bouche, les enseignoit." -- "And he, after having opened his mouth, taught them."
 "Car ils possederont la terre." -- "For they shall possess the earth."
 "Car misericorde leur sera faite." -- "For mercy shall be shown to them."
 "Par l'estat de la vie presente;" -- "by the state of the present life."
 Stoics were an ancient sect of philosophers, and received their name from the Stoa, (stoa,) or portico, in which Zeno, their master, delivered his instructions. The paradoxes referred to by Calvin are such as the following: that the distinction between pleasure and pain is imaginary; that happiness does not at all depend on outward circumstances; and that whoever chooses to acquire an absolute command over his passions may make himself perfectly happy in the present life. -- Ed.
 "Les gens fiers et farouches;" -- "proud and ferocious people.
 "Ce nest as une possession lma name et en l'air." -- "It is not an imaginary possession, and in the air."
 "De la seigneurie de tout le monde;" -- "of the lordships of all the world."
 "Par une figure qu'on appelle Synecdoche;" -- "by a figure which is called Synecdoche," in which a part is put for the whole.
 "Ceci aussi est un paradoxe, c'est a dire, une sentence contraire au jugement commun des hommes." -- "This also is a paradox, that is to say, a sentiment contrary to the general opinion of men."
 "A douceur et compassion;" -- "to mildness and compass
 "Nous ne pouvons pas batailler sons l'enseigne de Jesus Christ a autre condition." -- "We cannot fight under the banner of Jesus Christ on any other condition."
 The Anabaptists here named must not be confounded with the Baptists or Anti-poedo-baptists of the present day, who are, indeed, at issue with Calvin as to the subjects and mode of baptism, but who utterly disown the Anabaptists of the sixteenth century. Our notes are restricted by the plan of this work to the elucidation of our author, and to matters of criticism and history. It would, therefore, be out of place to enter here into the merits of a doctrinal controversy, or to vindicate brethren from the heavy charge which is here implied. But we are at liberty to say, that against them Calvin brings no such charge. Nowhere does he represent a departure from his views on the ordinance of Baptism as a fundamental error, or as necessarily connected with danger to society. He alludes to sentiments, which were openly avowed by the Anabaptists, and which he viewed as striking at the root of civil government. To any one at all conversant with their history, the name instantly awakens the recollections of Munster, and of the enormities which were perpetrated there, to the disgrace of the Christian name, -- enormities which none are more ready to condemn than the esteemed brethren to whom we have referred. If we seem to discover excessive solicitude to remove the appearance of calumny, our apology must be found in our deep veneration for the author, and in our conviction that he was not less distinguished by a Catholic spirit than by the other great excellencies of his character. Never was there a human breast, in which there dwelt a stronger affection for all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. -- Ed.
 "Plein de richesses, magnificences, et delices terriennes;" -- "full of riches, magnificence, and earthly luxuries."
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love they neighbor, and thou shalt hate thy enemy. 44. But I say to you, Love your enemies: bless those who curse you: do good to those that hate you: and pray for those who injure and persecute you: 45. That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain upon the just and unjust. 46. For if you shall love those who love you, what reward shall you have? 47. And if you shall embrace your brethren only, what do you more? Do not the publicans thus? 48. You shall, therefore, be perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
27. But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies: do good to those who hate you. 28. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who injure you. (A little after.) 32. And if you love those who love you, what good-will shall it be in you? for sinners also love those by whom they are loved. 33. And if you shall do good to those who do good to you, what good-will shall it be in you? for sinners also do this. (Again a little after.) 35. But love your enemies. (Again.) And ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Matthew 5:43. Thou shalt love thy neighbor. It is astonishing, that the Scribes fell into so great an absurdity, as to limit the word neighbor to benevolent persons: for nothing is more obvious or certain than that God, in speaking of our neighbors, includes the whole human race. Every man is devoted to himself; and whenever a regard to personal convenience occasions an interruption of acts of kindness, there is a departure from that mutual intercourse, which nature itself dictates. To keep up the exercise of brotherly love, God assures us, that all men are our brethren, because they are related to us by a common nature. Whenever I see a man, I must, of necessity, behold myself as in a mirror: for he is my bone and my flesh, (Genesis 29:14.) Now, though the greater part of men break off, in most instances, from this holy society, yet their depravity does not violate the order of nature; for we ought to regard God as the author of the union.
Hence we conclude, that the precept of the law, by which we are commanded to love our neighbor, is general. But the Scribes, judging of neighborhood from the disposition of the individual, affirmed that no man ought to be reckoned a neighbor, unless he were worthy of esteem on account of his own excellencies, or, at least, unless he acted the part of a friend. This is, no doubt, supported by the common opinion; and therefore the children of the world are not ashamed to acknowledge their resentments, when they have any reason to assign for them. But the charity, which God requires in his law, looks not at what a man has deserved, but extends itself to the unworthy, the wicked, and the ungrateful. Now, this is the true meaning which Christ restores, and vindicates from calumny; and hence it is obvious, as I have already said, that Christ does not introduce new laws, but corrects the wicked glosses of the Scribes, by whom the purity of the divine law had been corrupted.
44. Love your enemies. This single point includes the whole of the former doctrine: for he who shall bring his mind to love those who hate him, will naturally refrain from all revenge, will patiently endure evils, will be much more prone to assist the wretched. Christ presents to us, in a summary view, the way and manner of fulfilling this precept, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, (Matthew 22:39.) For no man will ever come to obey this precept, till he shall have given up self-love, or rather denied himself, and till men, all of whom God has declared to be connected with him, shall be held by him in such estimation, that he shall even proceed to love those by whom he is regarded with hatred.
We learn from these words, how far believers ought to be removed from every kind of revenge: for they are not only forbidden to ask it from God, but are commanded to banish and efface it from their minds so completely, as to bless their enemies. In the meantime, they do not fail to commit their cause to God, till he take vengeance on the reprobate: for they desire, as far as lies in them, that the wicked should return to a sound mind, that they may not perish; and thus they endeavor to promote their salvation. And there is still this consolation, by which all their distresses are soothed. They entertain no doubt, that God will be the avenger of obstinate wickedness, so as to make it manifest, that those who are unjustly attacked are the objects of his care. It is very difficult, indeed, and altogether contrary to the disposition of the flesh, to render good for evil. But our vices and weakness ought not to be pleaded as an apology. We ought simply to inquire, what is demanded by the law of charity: for, if we rely on the heavenly power of the Spirit, we shall encounter successfully all that is opposed to it in our feelings.
This is undoubtedly the reason why monks, and other bawlers of the same class, imagined that these were advices, and not precepts, given by Christ: for they took the strength of men as the standard, for ascertaining what they owe to God and to his law. And yet the monks were not ashamed to claim perfection for themselves, having voluntarily bound themselves to attend to his advices. How faithfully they support the title to which they lay claim I do not now say:  but the folly and absurdity of alleging, that they are only advices, will appear from many considerations. First, to say that he advised his disciples, but did not authoritatively command them, to do what was right, is to dishonor Christ. Secondly, to represent the duties of charity, which depend on the law, as matters on which they are left at liberty, is highly foolish.  Thirdly, the words ego de lego humin, but I say to you, mean in this passage, "I denounce," or "I command," and cannot, with propriety, be rendered, "I advise." Lastly, that it is an express command of what must necessarily be obeyed, is proved, without any difficulty, from the words of Christ: for he immediately adds,
45. That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven. When he expressly declares, that no man will be a child of God, unless he loves those who hate him, who shall dare to say, that we are not bound to observe this doctrine? The statement amounts to this, "Whoever shall wish to be accounted a Christian, let him love his enemies." It is truly horrible and monstrous, that the world should have been covered with such thick darkness, for three or four centuries, as not to see that it is an express command, and that every one who neglects it is struck out of the number of the children of God.
It ought to be observed that, when the example of God is held out for our imitation, this does not imply, that it would be becoming in us to do whatever God does. He frequently punishes the wicked, and drives the wicked out of the world. In this respect, he does not desire us to imitate him: for the judgment of the world, which is his prerogative, does not belong to us. But it is his will, that we should imitate his fatherly goodness and liberality. This was perceived, not only by heathen philosophers, but by some wicked despisers of godliness, who have made this open confession, that in nothing do men resemble God more than in doing good. In short, Christ assures us, that this will be a mark of our adoption, if we are kind to the unthankful and evil. And yet you are not to understand, that our liberality makes us the children of God: but the same Spirit, who is the witness, (Romans 8:16,) earnest, (Ephesians 1:14,) and seal, (Ephesians 4:30,) of our free adoption, corrects the wicked affections of the flesh, which are opposed to charity. Christ therefore proves from the effect, that none are the children of God, but those who resemble him in gentleness and kindness.
Luke says, and you shall be the children of the Highest. Not that any man acquires this honor for himself, or begins to be a child of God, when he loves his enemies; but because, when it is intended to excite us to do what is right, Scripture frequently employs this manner of speaking, and represents as a reward the free gifts of God. The reason is, he looks at the design of our calling, which is, that, in consequence of the likeness of God having been formed anew in us, we may live a devout and holy life. He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. He quotes two instances of the divine kindness toward us, which are not only well known to us, but common to all: and this very participation excites us the more powerfully to act in a similar manner towards each other, though, by a synecdoche,  he includes a vast number of other favors.
46. Do not even the publicans the same? In the same sense, Luke calls them sinners, that is, wicked and unprincipled men. Not that the office is condemned in itself; for the publicans were collectors of taxes, and as princes have a right to impose taxes, so it is lawful to levy them from the people. But they are so called, because men of this class are usually covetous and rapacious, nay, deceitful and cruel; and because among the Jews they were the agents of a wicked tyranny. If any one shall conclude from the words of Christ, that publicans are the basest of all men, he will argue ill, for our Lord employs the ordinary phraseology. His meaning is: those who are nearly devoid of humanity have some appearance of discharging mutual duties, when they see it to be for their own advantage.
48. You shall therefore be perfect. This perfection does not mean equality, but relates solely to resemblance.  However distant we are from the perfection of God, we are said to be perfect, as he is perfect, when we aim at the same object, which he presents to us in Himself. Should it be thought preferable, we may state it thus. There is no comparison here made between God and us: but the perfection of God means, first, that free and pure kindness, which is not induced by the expectation of gain; -- and, secondly, that remarkable goodness, which contends with the malice and ingratitude of men. This appears more clearly from the words of Luke, Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful: for mercy is contrasted with a mercenary regard, which is founded on private advantage.
 "Je ne touche point pour le present combien ils s'acquittent vaillament et fidelement de ce dont ils se vantent de paroles." -- "I say nothing, for the present, as to the valiant and faithful manner in which they accomplish what they boast of in words."
 "C'est une chose tant et plus absurde, que les devoirs de charite, qui dependent de la Loy, soyent mis en la liberte des hommes, de les faire, ou de les laisser." -- "It is an exceedingly absurd thing, that the duties of charity, which depend on the Law, should be put in the power of men to do them, or to let them alone."
 "Combien qu'il comprend sous ces deux d'autres infinis tesmoignages, par une figure dont nous avons souvent parle, nommee Synecdoche." -- "Though, under these two, he includes innumerable other testimonies, by a figure, of which we have frequently spoken, called Synecdoche."
 "Ceste perfection ne signifie pas qu'il y ait une.equalite et mesme mesure, mais elle se rapporte seulement a quelque ressemblance ou ap-proche." -- "That perfection does not mean that there is an equality or thee same measure, but it relates solely to some resemblance or approach."
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
38. You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39. But I say to you, Do not resist evil: but whoever, shall inflict a blow on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also: 40. And to him who wishes to enter into a law-suit with thee, and to take away thy coat, allow him thy cloak also: 41. And whoever shall constrain thee to one mile, go with him two.
29. To him who striketh thee on one cheek offer also the other, and from him who taketh away thy cloak, do not forbid thy coat also. 30. And to every one that asketh from thee give; and from him who takes what are thine, do not ask them again.
Matthew 5:38. An eye for an eye. Here another error is corrected. God had enjoined, by his law, (Leviticus 24:20,) that judges and magistrates should punish those who had done injuries, by making them endure as much as they had inflicted. The consequence was, that every one seized on this as a pretext for taking private revenge. They thought that they did no wrong, provided they were not the first to make the attack, but only, when injured, returned like for like. Christ informs them, on the contrary, that, though judges were entrusted with the defense of the community, and were invested with authority to restrain the wicked and repress their violence, yet it is the duty of every man to bear patiently the injuries which he receives.
39. Do not resist evil. There are two ways of resisting: the one, by warding off injuries through inoffensive conduct; the other, by retaliation.  Though Christ does not permit his people to repel violence by violence, yet he does not forbid them to endeavor to avoid an unjust attack. The best interpreter of this passage that we can have is Paul, who enjoins us rather to "overcome evil by good" (Romans 12:21) than contend with evil-doers.  We must attend to the contrast between the vice and the correction of it. The present subject is retaliation.  To restrain his disciples from that kind of indulgence, he forbids them to render evil for evil. He afterwards extends the law of patience so far, that we are not only to bear patiently the injuries we have received, but to prepare for bearing fresh injuries. The amount of the whole admonition is, that believers should learn to forget the wrongs that have been done them, -- that they should not, when injured, break out into hatred or ill-will, or wish to commit an injury on their part, -- but that, the more the obstinacy and rage of wicked men was excited and inflamed, they should be the more fully disposed to exercise patience.
Whoever shall inflict a blow. Julian,  and others of the same description, have foolishly slandered this doctrine of Christ, as if it entirely overturned the laws of a country, and its civil courts. Augustine, in his fifth epistle, employs much skill and judgment in showing, that the design of Christ was merely to train the minds of believers to moderation and justice, that they might not, on receiving one or two offenses, fail or lose courage. The observation of Augustine, "that this does not lay down a rule for outward actions," is true, if it be properly understood. I admit that Christ restrains our hands, as well as our minds, from revenge: but when any one has it in his power to protect himself and his property from injury, without exercising revenge, the words of Christ do not prevent him from turning aside gently and inoffensively to avoid the threatened attack.
Unquestionably, Christ did not intend to exhort his people to whet the malice of those, whose propensity to injure others is sufficiently strong: and if they were to turn to them the other cheek, what would it be but holding out such an encouragement? It is not the business of a good and judicious commentator to seize eagerly on syllables, but to attend to the design of the speaker: and nothing is more unbecoming the disciples of Christ, than to spend time in cavilling about words, where it is easy to see what the Master means. But in the present instance, the object which Christ has in view is perfectly obvious. He tells us, that the end of one contest will be the beginning of another, and that, through the whole course of their life, believers must lay their account with sustaining many injuries in uninterrupted succession. When wrong has been done them in a single instance, he wishes them to be trained by this example to meek submission, that by suffering they may learn to be patient.
40. And to him who wishes to enter into a law-suit with thee. Christ now glances at another kind of annoyance, and that is, when wicked men torment us with law-suits. He commands us, even on such an occasion, to be so patient and submissive that, when our coat has been taken away, we shall be prepared to give up our cloak also. None but a fool will stand upon the words, so as to maintain, that we must yield to our opponents what they demand, before coming into a court of law: for such compliance would more strongly inflame the minds of wicked men to robbery and extortion; and we know, that nothing was farther from the design of Christ. What then is meant by giving the cloak to him who endeavors, on the ground of a legal claim,  to take away our coat? If a man, oppressed by an unjust decision, loses what is his own, and yet is prepared, when it shall be found necessary, to part with the remainder, he deserves not less to be commended for patience than the man who allows himself to be twice robbed before coming into court. In short, when Christians meet with one who endeavors to wrench from them a part of their property, they ought to be prepared to lose the whole.
Hence we conclude, that Christians are not entirely prohibited from engaging in law-suits, provided they have a just defense to offer. Though they do not surrender their goods as a prey, yet they do not depart from this doctrine of Christ, which exhorts us to bear patiently "the spoiling of our goods," (Hebrews 10:34.) It is, no doubt, rare to find a man who proceeds, with mild and proper feelings, to plead in a court: but, as it is possible for a man to defend a just cause with a view to the public advantage, we have no right to condemn the thing in itself, because it appears to be directed by improper feelings.
The different modes of expression which are employed by Matthew and Luke, make no alteration in the meaning. A cloak is usually of more value than a coat: and accordingly, when Matthew says, that we ought to give a cloak to him who takes away a coat, he means that, after having sustained a smaller loss, we ought to be prepared to endure a greater. What is stated by Luke agrees with the ancient proverb, "The coat is nearer than the cloak." 
Luke 6:30. To every one that asketh of thee. The same words, as we shall presently see, are found in Matthew: for it may readily be inferred from the context, that Luke does not here speak of a request to obtain assistance, but of actions at law, which bad men raise for the purpose of carrying off the property of others. From him who takes away what are thine, ask them not again. If it is thought better to read the two clauses separately, I have no objection: and then it will be an exhortation to liberality in giving. As to the second clause, in which Christ forbids us to ask again those things which have been unjustly taken away, it is undoubtedly an exposition of the former doctrine, that we ought to bear patiently "the spoiling of our goods." But we must remember what I have already hinted, that we ought not to quibble about words, as if a good man were not permitted to recover what is his own, when God gives him the lawful means. We are only enjoined to exercise patience, that we may not be unduly distressed by the loss of our property, but calmly wait, till the Lord himself shall call the robbers to account.
 "L'une par laquelle nous empeschons qu'on ne nous outrage, sans mal-faire a personne de nostre coste: l'autre, par laquelle nous rendons mal pour mal." -- "The one, by which we prevent attacks from being made on us, without doing ill to any person on our part: the other, by which we render evil for evil."
 "Plustost que de rendre la pareille a celuy qui nous a mal-fait." -- "Rather than return the like to him who has done us wrong."
 "Il est ici parle de la facon de faire de ceux lesquels rendent la pareille a ceux qui les ont offensez." -- "The subject here spoken of is the manner of acting of those who render the like to those who have offended them."
 Julian, the Roman Emperor, generally known by the name of Julian the Apostate. The inveterate hatred of this man to the very name of our blessed Savior has gained him a painfully conspicuous place in ecclesias-tical history. -- Ed.
 "Sous couleur de proceder par voye de justice;" -- "under pretense of proceeding by way of justice."
 "Que le saye est plus pres de la chair que le manteau." -- "That the coat is nearer the flesh than the cloak."
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
12. All things, therefore, whatsoever you would wish that man should do to you, do so also to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13. Enter in by the strait gate: because broad is the gate, and wide is the road, which leadeth to destruction, and there are many who enter by it. 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the road, which leadeth to life, and there are few who find it.
31. And as you wish that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.
Matthew 7:12. All things whatsoever you would wish The word therefore (oun) is superfluous, as we often find such particles occurring, and without any addition to the sense, in detached sentences.  I have already said, that Matthew does not give here a single discourse, but a summary of doctrine collected out of many sermons. We must, therefore, read this sentence by itself. It is an exhortation to his disciples to be just, and contains a short and simple definition of what justice means. We are here informed, that the only reason why so many quarrels exist in the world, and why men inflict so many mutual injuries on each other, is, that they knowingly and willingly trample justice under their feet, while every man rigidly demands that it shall be maintained towards himself.
Where our own advantage is concerned, there is not one of us, who cannot explain minutely and ingeniously what ought to be done. And since every man shows himself to be a skillful teacher of justice for his own advantage, how comes it, that the same knowledge does not readily occur to him, when the profit or loss of another is at stake, but because we wish to be wise for ourselves only, and no man cares about his neighbors? What is more, we maliciously and purposely shut our eyes upon the rule of justice, which shines in our hearts. Christ therefore shows, that every man may be a rule of acting properly and justly towards his neighbors, if he do to others what he requires to be done to him. He thus refutes all the vain pretenses, which men contrive for hiding or disguising their injustice. Perfect justice would undoubtedly prevail among us, if we were as faithful in learning active charity, (if we may use the expression,) as we are skillful in teaching passive charity. 
For this is the law and the prophets Our Lord does not intend to say, that this is the only point of doctrine laid down in the law and the prophets, but that all the precepts which they contain about charity, and all the laws and exhortations found in them about maintaining justice, have a reference to this object. The meaning is, that the second table of the law is fulfilled, when every man conducts himself in the same manner towards others, as he wishes them to conduct themselves towards him. There is no need, he tells us, of long and involved debates, if this simplicity is preserved, and if men do not, by inordinate self-love, efface the rectitude which is engraven on their hearts.
13. Enter in by the strait gate As nothing is more opposed to the flesh than the doctrine of Christ, no man will ever make great proficiency in it who has not learned to confine his senses and feelings, so as to keep them within those boundaries, which our heavenly Teacher prescribes for curbing our wantonness. As men willingly flatter themselves, and live in gaiety and dissipation, Christ here reminds his disciples, that they must prepare to walk, as it were, along a narrow and thorny road But as it is difficult to restrain our desires from wicked licentiousness and disorder, he soothes this bitterness by a joyful remuneration, when he tells us, that the narrow gate, and the narrow road, lead to life Lest we should be captivated, on the other hand, by the allurements of a licentious and dissolute life, and wander as the lust of the flesh draws us,  he declares that they rush headlong to death, who choose to walk along the broad road, and through the wide gate, instead of keeping by the strait gate, and narrow way, which lead to life
He expressly says, that many run along the broad road: because men ruin each other by wicked examples.  For whence does it arise, that each of them knowingly and wilfully rushes headlong, but because, while they are ruined in the midst of a vast crowd, they do not believe that they are ruined? The small number of believers, on the other hand, renders many persons careless. It is with difficulty that we are brought to renounce the world, and to regulate ourselves and our life by the manners of a few. We think it strange that we should be forcibly separated from the vast majority, as if we were not a part of the human race. But though the doctrine of Christ confines and hems us in, reduces our life to a narrow road, separates us from the crowd, and unites us to a few companions, yet this harshness ought not to prevent us from striving to obtain life.
It is sufficiently evident from Luke's Gospel, that the instruction, which we are now considering, was uttered by Christ at a different time from that on which he delivered the paradoxes,  which we have formerly examined, about a happy life, (Matthew 5:3-12,) and laid down to them the rule of prayer. And this is what I have repeatedly hinted, that the instructions which are related by the other Evangelists, at different times, according to the order of the history, were here collected by Matthew into one summary, that he might bring more fully under our view the manner in which Christ taught his disciples. I have therefore thought it best to introduce here the whole passage from Luke, which corresponds to this sentence. While I have been careful to inform my readers, as to the order of time which is observed by Luke, they will forgive me, I hope, for not being more exact  than Matthew in the arrangement of the doctrine.
 Greek proverbs, even when exhibited in a detached form, are frequently introduced by alla and gar, and similar particles, instances of which must be familiar to the classical reader. All ' ou to mega eu esti, to de eu mega. "But not what is great is excellent, but what is excellent is great." 'Ina gar deos, entha kai aidos" For where fear is, there also is shame." Ponos gar hos legousin, eukleies, pater. "For labor, as they say, is the father of glory. The fact chiefly to be noticed here is, that such particles came to be regarded as a part of the proverb, and were hardly ever separated from it: though their use must originally have been elliptical, like that of gar, which opens many a reply in Greek dialogues. -- Ed.
 "Si nous estions aussi bons disciples a prattiquer la charite active (si ainsi faut dire) comme nous sommes subtils docteurs a prescher la charite passive." -- "If we were as good scholars in practising active charity, (if I may so express it,) as we are dexterous instructors in preaching passive charity."
 ("Comme facilement les appetits de la chair nous tirent en leurs filets;") --("as the appetites of the flesh easily draw us into their nets.")
 "Pource que les hommes se poussent les uns les autres au chemin de damnation par mauvais exemple;" -- "because men urge each other on in the road to damnation by bad example."
 "Quand il a prononce ces sentences que nous avons veues par ci de-vant, monstrant tout au contraire de l'opinion commune;" -- "when he pronounced those sentences which we have formerly seen, showing it to be altogether contrary to the common opinion."
 "Si je n'ay pas este plus scrupuleux ou curieux en conferant les passages tendans a un mesme poinct de doctrine;" -- "if I have not been more careful or exact in comparing the passages relating to the same point of doctrine."
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
42. Give to him that asketh of thee: and from him who desires to borrow from thee, turn not thou away.
34. If you shall lend to those from whom you hope that you will receive, what kindness will it be in you? for sinners also lend to sinners, that they may receive the like. 35. Lend ye, expecting nothing again, and your reward shall be great.
Matthew 5:42. Give to him that asketh of thee. Though the words of Christ, which are related by Matthew, appear to command us to give to all without discrimination, yet we gather a different meaning from Luke, who explains the whole matter more fully. First, it is certain, that it was the design of Christ to make his disciples generous, but not prodigals and it would be a foolish prodigality to scatter at random what the Lord has given us. Again, we see the rule which the Spirit lays down in another passage for liberality. Let us therefore hold, first, that Christ exhorts his disciples to be liberal and generous; and next, that the way of doing it is, not to think that they have discharged their duty when they have aided a few persons, but to study to be kind to all, and not to be weary of giving, so long as they have the means.
Besides, that no man may cavil at the words of Matthew, let us compare what is said by Luke. Christ affirms that when, in lending or doing other kind offices, we look to the mutual reward, we perform no part of our duty to God. He thus draws a distinction between charity and carnal friendship. Ungodly men have no disinterested affection for each other, but only a mercenary regard: and thus, as Plato judiciously observes, every man draws on himself that affection which he entertains for others. But Christ demands from his own people disinterested beneficence, and bids them study to aid the poor, from whom nothing can be expected in return. We now see what it is, to have an open hand to petitioners. It is to be generously disposed to all who need qur assistance, and who cannot return the favor.
Luke 6:35. Lend, expecting nothing again. It is a mistake to confine this statement to usury, as if Christ only forbade his people to be usurers. The preceding part of the discourse shows clearly, that it has a wider reference. After having explained what wicked men are wont to do, -- to love their friends, -- to assist those from whom they expect some compensations, -- to lend to persons like themselves, that they may afterwards receive the like from them, -- Christ proceeds to show how much more he demands from his people, -- to love their enemies, to show disinterested kindness, to lend without expecting a return. We now see, that the word nothing is improperly explained as referring to usury, or to any interest that is added to the principal:  whereas Christ only exhorts us to perform our duties freely, and tells us that mercenary acts are of no account in the sight of God.  Not that he absolutely condemns all acts of kindness which are done in the hope of a reward; but he shows that they are of no weight as a testimony of charity; because he alone is truly beneficent to his neighbors, who is led to assist them without any regard to his own advantage, but looks only to the necessities of each. Whether it is ever lawful for Christians to derive profit from lending money, I shall not argue at greater length under this passage, lest I should seem to raise the question unseasonably out of a false meaning which I have now refuted. Christ's meaning, as I have already explained, is simply this: When believers lend, they ought to go beyond heathens; or, in other words, they ought to exercise pure liberality.
 "De l'usure et accroissement qui vient outre le principal;" -- "of usury and increase which comes beyond the principal." On the lawfulnesss of lending money at interest, the most enlightened men, at the time when our author wrote, were strangley divded in sentiment. His own views were unfolded in a small work, which has been admired by competent judges for the purity of French style, and for enlarged views of Political Economy. After suffering not a little obloquy for his manner of applying the law of God to commercial questions, he has been vindicated by the unanimous opinion of posterity; and his performance, having served its purpose, has been quietly laid on the shelf. We allude to it only to account for the rapid and cursory manner in which he disposes here of a question, on which all who wish to know his opinions may satisfy themselves by perusing his own complete and elaborate statement of the argument. -- Ed.
 "Que les plaisirs lesquels les hommes se font les uns aux autres, sous esperance de recompense, ne viennent point en conte devant Dieu." -- "That the gratifications which men give to each other, in expectation of reward, come not into reckoning before God."
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
1. Judge not, that you may not be judged. 2. For with what judgment you judge you shall be judged, and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you again. 3. And why seest thou the straw, which is in thy brother's eye, and perceivest not the beam which is in thine eye? 4. Or how shall thou say to thy brother, Allow me to pull the straw out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine eye? 5. Hypocrites, cast out first the beam out of thine eye, and then thou shall see clearly, that thou mayest pull out the straw from they brother's eye.
24 With what measure you measure, the same shall be measured to you.
37. Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and it shall be forgiven to you. 38. Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure, and pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom: for the same measure, with which you measure, shall be measured again to you. (Again.) 41. And why seest thou a straw in thy brother's eye, and perceivest not a beam which is in thine own eye? 42. Or how will thou be able to say to thy brother, Brother, allow me to pull out the straw which is in thine eye, while thou seest not the beam which is in thine eye? Hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine eye, and then thou shalt see clearly, that thou mayest cast out the straw which is in thy brother's eye.
Matthew 7:1. Judge not These words of Christ do not contain an absolute prohibition from judging, but are intended to cure a disease, which appears to be natural to us all. We see how all flatter themselves, and every man passes a severe censure on others. This vice is attended by some strange enjoyment: for there is hardly any person who is not tickled with the desire of inquiring into other people's faults. All acknowledge, indeed, that it is an intolerable evil, that those who overlook their own vices are so inveterate against their brethren. The Heathens, too, in ancient times, condemned it in many proverbs. Yet it has existed in all ages, and exists, too, in the present day. Nay, it is accompanied by another and a worse plague: for the greater part of men think that, when they condemn others, they acquire a greater liberty of sinning.
This depraved eagerness for biting, censuring, and slandering, is restrained by Christ, when he says, Judge not. It is not necessary that believers should become blind, and perceive nothing, but only that they should refrain from an undue eagerness to judge: for otherwise the proper bounds of rigor will be exceeded by every man who desires to pass sentence on his brethren. There is a similar expression in the Apostle James, Be not many masters, (James 3:1.) for he does not discourage or withdraw believers from discharging the office of teachers, but forbids them to desire the honor from motives of ambition. To judge, therefore, means here, to be influenced by curiosity in inquiring into the actions of others. This disease, in the first place, draws continually along with it the injustice of condemning any trivial fault, as if it had been a very heinous crime; and next breaks out into the insolent presumption of looking disdainfully at every action, and passing an unfavourable judgment on it, even when it might be viewed in a good light.
We now see, that the design of Christ was to guard us against indulging excessive eagerness, or peevishness, or malignity, or even curiosity, in judging our neighbors. He who judges according to the word and law of the Lord, and forms his judgment by the rule of charity, always begins with subjecting himself to examination, and preserves a proper medium and order in his judgments. Hence it is evident, that this passage is altogether misapplied by those persons who would desire to make that moderation, which Christ recommends, a pretence for setting aside all distinction between good and evil. We are not only permitted, but are even bound, to condemn all sins; unless we choose to rebel against God himself, -- nay, to repeal his laws, to reverse his decisions, and to overturn his judgment-seat. It is his will that we should proclaim the sentence which he pronounces on the actions of men: only we must preserve such modesty towards each other, as to make it manifest that he is the only Lawgiver and Judge, (Isaiah 33:22.)
That you may not be judged He denounces a punishment against those severe judges, who take so much delight in sifting the faults of others. They will not be treated by others with greater kindness, but will experience, in their turn, the same severity which they had exercised towards others. As nothing is dearer or more valuable to us than our reputation, so nothing is more bitter than to be condemned, or to be exposed to the reproaches and infamy of men. And yet it is by our own fault that we draw upon ourselves that very thing which our nature so strongly detests, for which of us is there, who does not examine too severely the actions of others; who does not manifest undue rage against slight offenses; or who does not peevishly censure what was in itself indifferent? And what is this but deliberately to provoke God, as our avenger, to treat us in the same manner. Now, though it is a just judgment of God, that those who have judged others should be punished in their turn, yet the Lord executes this punishment by the instrumentality of men. Chrysostom and others limit this statement to the present life: but that is a forced interpretation. Isaiah threatens (33:1) that those who have spoiled others shall be spoiled. In like manner, our Lord means, that there will be no want of executioners to punish the injustice and slander of men with equal bitterness or severity. And if men shall fail to receive punishment in this world, those who have shown undue eagerness in condemning their brethren will not escape the judgment of God.
Luke 6:37, 38. Forgive, and it shall be forgiven to you. Give, and it shall be given to you. This promise, which is added by Luke, means, that the Lord will cause him, who is indulgent, kind, and just to his brethren, to experience the same gentleness from others, and to be treated by them in a generous and friendly manner. Yet it frequently happens, that the children of God receive the very worst reward, and are oppressed by many unjust slanders; and that, to when they have injured no man's reputation, and even spared the faults of brethren. But this is not inconsistent with what Christ says: for we know, that the promises which relate to the present life do not always hold, and are not without exceptions. Besides, though the Lord permits his people, when innocent, to be unjustly oppressed and almost overwhelmed, he fulfils what he says in another place, that "their uprightness shall break forth as the morning,"  (Isaiah 58:8.) In this way, his blessing always rises above all unjust slanders. He subjects believers to unjust reproaches, that he may humble them, and that he may at length maintain the goodness of their cause. It ought also to be taken into the account, that believers themselves, though they endeavor to act justly towards their brethren, are sometimes carried away by excessive severity against brethren, who were either innocent, or not so greatly to be blamed, and thus, by their own fault, provoke against themselves a similar judgment. If they do not receive good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, though this is chargeable on the ingratitude of the world, yet they ought to acknowledge that it was partly deserved: for there is no man who is so kind and indulgent as he ought to be towards his brethren.
Matthew 7:3. And why seest thou the straw? He expressly touches upon a fault, which is usually found in hypocrites. While they are too quick-sighted in discerning the faults of others, and employ not only severe, but intentionally exaggerated, language in describing them, they throw their own sins behind their back, or are so ingenious in finding apologies for them, that they wish to be held excusable even in very gross offenses. Christ therefore reproves both evils: the excessive sagacity, which arises from a defect of charity, when we sift too closely the faults of brethren, and the indulgence by which we defend and cherish our own sins.
 In the French version our Author quotes a similar passage from the book of Psalms, (37:6;) "and he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day " -- Ed
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
10. And having called the multitudes to him, he said to them, Hear and understand. 11. What entereth into the mouth polluteth not the man, but what goes out of the mouth polluteth the man. 12. Then his disciples approaching said to him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended when they heard that saying? 13. But he answering, said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up. 14. Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if a blind man shall lead a blind man, both will fall into the ditch. 15. And Peter answering said to him, Explain to us that parable. 16. And Jesus said, Are you also still void of understanding? 17. Do you not yet understand that whatever entereth into the mouth passeth into the belly, and is thrown into the sink? 18. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart itself, and they pollute the man. 19. For our of the heart proceed wicked thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, calumnies. 20. These are the things which pollute the man. But to take food with unwashed hands polluteth not the man.
14. And when he had called to him the whole multitude, he said to them, Listen to me, all of you, and understand. 15. There is nothing from without a man which, entering into him, can pollute him; but those things which come out of a man are the things which pollute a man. 16. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 17. And when he had entered into the house, and withdrawn from the multitude, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. 18. And he saith to them, Are you also void of understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatsoever entereth into a man from without cannot pollute him? 19. Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the sink, purifying all the food? 20. And he said, It is what goeth out of a man that polluteth him. 21. For from within, out of the heart of man proceed wicked thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22. Thefts, evil desires, frauds, deceit, wantonness, an evil eye, calumnies, pride, foolishness: 23. All these evil things proceed from within, and pollute the man.
39. And he spoke a parable to them,  Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will not both fall into the ditch?
Matthew 15:10. And having called the multitudes to him. Here Christ turns  to those who are ready to receive instruction, and explains more fully the truth at which he had formerly glanced, that the kingdom of God does not consist in meat and drink, as Paul also teaches us, (Romans 14:17;) for, since outward things are by nature pure, the use of them is free and pure, and uncleanness is not contracted from the good creatures of God. It is therefore a general statement, that pollution does not come from without into a man, but that the fountain is concealed within him. Now when he says that all the evil actions which any man performs come out of the mouth of man, he employs a synecdoche;  for he says so by way of allusion to the subject in hand, and conveys this instruction, that we do not draw uncleanness into our mouth along with meat and drink, but that every kind of defilement proceeds from ourselves.
Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended? As the scribes were presumptuous and rebellious, Christ did not take great pains to pacify them, but satisfied himself with repelling their hypocrisy and pride. The offense which they had formerly taken up was doubled, when they perceived that--not through oversight, but seemingly on purpose--Christ despised their washings as trifles. Now when Christ did not hesitate to inflame still more, by keen provocation, wicked and malicious persons, let us learn from his example, that we ought not to be exceedingly solicitous to please every one by what we say and do. His disciples, however--as is usually the case with ignorant and unlearned people--no sooner perceive the result to be unfavorable, than they conclude that Christ's reply had been unseasonable and improper.  For the object of their advice was, to persuade Christ to soothe the rage of the Pharisees by softening the harsh expression which he had employed. 
It almost always happens with weak persons, that they form an unfavorable judgment about a doctrine, as soon as they find that it is regarded with doubt or meets with opposition. And certainly it were to be wished, that it should give no offense, but receive the calm approbation of all; but, as the minds of many are blinded, and even their hearts are kindled into rage, by Satan, and as many souls are held under the benumbing influence of brutal stupidity, it is impossible that all should relish the true doctrine of salvation. Above all, we ought not to be surprised to behold the rage of those who inwardly nourish the venom of malice and obstinacy. Yet we ought to take care that, so far as may be in our power, our manner of teaching shall give no offense; but it would be the height of madness to think of exercising greater moderation than we have been taught to do by our heavenly Master. We see how his discourse was made an occasion of offense by wicked and obstinate men; and we see at the same time, how that kind of offense which arose from malignity was treated by him with contempt.
13. Every plant. As the indifferent success of the doctrine had wounded their weak minds, Christ intended to remedy this evil. Now the remedy which he proposes is, that good men ought not to be distressed, or entertain less reverence for the doctrine, though to many it be an occasion of death. It is a mistaken view of this passage which some have adopted, that all the inventions of men, and every thing that has not proceeded from the mouth of God, must be rooted up and perish; for it was rather to men that Christ referred, and the meaning is, that there is no reason to wonder if the doctrine of salvation shall prove deadly to the reprobate, because they are always carried headlong to the destruction to which they are doomed.
By the persons that have been planted by the hand of God we are to understand those who, by his free adoption, have been ingrafted into the tree of life, as Isaiah also, when speaking of the Church renewed by the grace of God, calls it a branch planted by the Lord, (Isaiah 60:21.) Now as salvation depends solely on the election of God, the reprobate must perish, in whatever way this may be effected; not that they are innocent, and free from all blame, when God destroys them, but because, by their own malice, they turn to their destruction all that is offered to them, however salutary it may be. To those who willingly perish the Gospel thus becomes, as Paul assures us, the savor of death unto death, (2 Corinthians 2:16;) for, though it is offered to all for salvation, it does not yield this fruit in any but the elect. It belongs to a faithful and honest teacher to regulate every thing which he brings forward by a regard to the advantage of all; but whenever the result is different, let us take comfort from Christ's reply. It is beautifully expressed by the parable, that the cause of perdition does not lie in the doctrine, but that the reprobate who have no root in God, when the doctrine is presented to them, throw out their hidden venom, and thus accelerate that death to which they were already doomed.
Which my heavenly Father hath not planted. Hypocrites, who appear for a time to have been planted like good trees, are particularly described by Christ; for Epicureans, who are noted for open and shameful contempt of God, cannot properly be said to resemble trees, but the description must be intended to apply to those who have acquired celebrity by some vain appearance of godliness. Such were the scribes, who towered in the Church of God like the cedars in Lebanon, and whose revolt might on that account appear the more strange. Christ might have said that it is right that those should perish who disdainfully reject salvation; but he rises higher, and asserts that no man will remain steadfast, unless his salvation be secured by the election of God. By these words he expressly declares, that the first origin of our salvation flows from that grace by which God elected us to be his children before we were created.
14. Let them alone. He sets them aside as unworthy of notice, and concludes that the offense which they take ought not to give us much uneasiness. Hence has arisen the distinction, of which we hear so much, about avoiding offenses, that we ought to beware of offending the weak, but if any obstinate and malicious person take offense, we ought not to be uneasy; for, if we determined to satisfy all obstinate people, we must bury Christ, who is the stone of offense, (1 Peter 2:8.) Weak persons, who are offended through ignorance, and afterwards return to just views, must be distinguished from haughty and disdainful men who are themselves the authors of offenses. It is of importance to attend to this distinction, in order that no one who is weak may be distressed through our fault. But when wicked men dash themselves through their obstinacy, let us walk on unmoved in the midst of offenses; for he who spares not weak brethren tramples, as it were, under foot those to whom we are commanded to stretch out the hand. It would be idle to attend to others, whom we cannot avoid offending, if we wish to keep the right path; and when, under the pretext of taking offense, they happen to fall off and revolt from Christ, we must let them alone, that they may not drag us along with them. 
They are blind leaders of the blind. Christ means that all who allow themselves to be driven hither and thither at the disposal of those men will miserably perish; for when they stumble on a plain road, it is evident that they are willfully blind. Why then should any one allow himself to be directed by them, except that he might fall into the same ditch? Now Christ, who has risen upon us as the Sun of righteousness, (Malachi 4:2,) and not only points out the road to us by the torch of his Gospel, but desires that we should keep it before us, justly calls on his disciples to shake off that slothfulness, and not to wander, as it were, in the dark, for the sake of gratifying the blind.  Hence also we infer that all who, under the pretense of simplicity or modesty, give themselves up to be deceived or ensnared by errors, are without excuse.
Luke 6:39. And he spake to them a parable. Luke relates this saying without mentioning any occurrence, but states generally, that Christ made use of this parable; as in recording many of Christ's discourses he says nothing as to the occasion on which they were delivered. It is no doubt possible that Christ may have spoken this parable more than once; but, as no place more appropriate was to be found, I have not hesitated to insert here what Luke relates without fixing the time.
Matthew 15:15. And Peter answering said. As the disciples betray excessive ignorance, Christ justly reproves and upbraids them for being still void of understanding, and yet does not fail to act as their teacher. What Matthew ascribes in a peculiar manner to Peter is related by Mark, in the same sense, as a question put by them all; and this is evident from Christ's reply, in which he reproves the ignorance, not of Peter only, but of all of them alike. The general meaning is, that men are not polluted by food, but that they have within themselves the pollution of sins, which afterwards shows itself in the outward actions. Is it objected that intemperance in eating is defilement? The solution is easy. Christ speaks only of the proper and lawful use of those things which God has put in our power. To eat and drink are things in their own nature free and indifferent: if any corruption be added, it proceeds from the man himself, and therefore must be regarded not as external, but internal. 
19. For out of the heart proceed wicked thoughts Hence we infer that the word mouth, as I have mentioned, was used by Christ in a former verse by way of allusion to the context; for now he makes no mention of the mouth, but merely says that out of the heart of man proceeds all that is sinful and that corrupts by its pollution. Mark differs from Matthew in this respect, that he gives a larger catalogue of sins, such as lusts, or irregular desires. The Greek word (pleonexiai) is by some rendered covetousness; but I have preferred to take it in a general acceptation. Next come fraud and intemperance, and those which immediately follow. Though the mode of expression be figurative, it is enough to understand Christ's meaning to be, that all sins proceed from the wicked and corrupt affections of the heart. To say that an evil eye proceeds from the heart is not strictly accurate, but it involves nothing that is absurd or ambiguous; for it means, that an unholy heart pollutes the eyes by making them the ministers, or organs, of wicked desires. And yet Christ does not speak as if every thing that is evil in man were confined to open sins; but, in order to show more clearly that the heart of man is the abode of all evils,  he says that the proofs and results appear in the sins themselves.
And pollute the man. Instead of the verb pollute, the Greek term is koinoi, make common; as Mark, a little before, (7:2,) used the phrase, koinais chersi, with common hands, for with unclean hands.  It is a Hebrew phrase;  for, since God had set apart the Jews on the condition that they should separate themselves from all the pollutions of the Gentiles, everything that was inconsistent with this holiness was called common, that is, profane.
 "Pareillement il leur disoit une similitude;" -- "in like manner he spoke to them a parable."
 "Christ laissant la ces orgueilleux, se retourne vers les dociles;" -- "Christ, leaving there these proud men, turns towards the teachable."
 "Au reste, quand il dit que les maux qu'un chacun fait procedent de la bouche, c'est autant comme s'il disoit qu'ils procedent de la personne mesme; et c'est une figure et maniere de parler qu'on appelle Synecdoche, quand on prend une partie pour le tout;" -- "besides, when he says that the evils which any man does proceed out of the mouth, it is as much as if he said that they proceed from the person himself; and it is a figure and way of speaking that is called Synecdoche, when a part is taken for the whole."
 "Voyans que le propos n'avoit pas este bien prins, il leur semble avis que Christ a respondu peu autrement qu'il ne faloit;" -- "perceiving that the discourse was not well taken, they conclude that Christ had replied somewhat differently from what he ought to have done."
 "En redressant ce qu'il avoit dit un peu trop asprement, comme il leur sembloit;" -- "by correcting what he had said a little too harshly, as they imagined."
 "De peur qu'ils nous tirent en perdition avec eux;" -- "lest they draw us to perdition along with them."
 "A bon droict retire ses disciples de ceste nonchalance et stupidite de suyvre les aveugles, et pour leur faire plaisir d'aller tastonnant en tenebres comme eux;" -- "properly withdraws his disciples from that indifference and stupidity in following the blind, and--for the sake of gratifying them--in groping in the dark like them."
 "Et pourtant le vice est tousiours interieur, et ne vient point d'ailleurs;" -- "and therefore sin is always internal, and does not come from without."
 "Que le coeur de l'homme est le siege et la source de tous maux;" -- "that the heart of man is the seat and the source of all evils."
 "Les mains communes pour souillees et non lavees;" -- "common hands for polluted and not washed."
 "C'est une facon de parler propre aux Hebrieux;" -- "it is a mode of speaking peculiar to the Hebrews."
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
21. And the brother will deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son, and the children will rise up against the parents, and will put them to death. 22. And you will be hated by all on account of my name: but he who shall endure to the end  will be saved. 23. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another: for verily I say unto you, You will not have gone over  all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man bec ome. 24. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and that the servant be as his lord: if they have called the master of the house himself Beelzebub, how much more his household servants?
40. The disciple is not above his master, but every one shall be to his master.
Matthew 10:21. And the brother will deliver up the brother to death. He first gives warning what heavy calamities await them, and then adds a remarkable consideration, which sweetens all their bitterness. First, he announces that those circumstances which other men find to be the means of protection, or from which they obtain some relief, will prove to the disciples a fresh addition to their misery. Brothers, who ought to assist them when oppressed, to stretch out their hand to them amidst their distresses, and to watch over their safety, will be their mortal enemies.
It is a mistake however, to suppose that it happens to none but believers to be delivered up to death by their brethren: for it is possible that a father may pursue his son with holy zeal,  if he perceives him to have apostatized from the true worship of God; nay, the Lord enjoins us in such a case (Deuteronomy 13:9) to forget flesh and blood, and to bestow all our care on vindicating the glory of his name.  Whoever has fear and reverence for God will not spare his own relatives, but will rather choose that all of them should perish, if it be found necessary, than that the kingdom of Christ should be scattered, the doctrine of salvation extinguished, and the worship of God abolished. If our affections were properly regulated, there would be no other cause of just hatred among us.
On the other hand, as Christ not only restores the kingdom of God, and raises godliness to its full vigor, but even brings men back from ruin to salvation, nothing can be more unreasonable than that the ministers of so lovely a doctrine should be hated on his account. A thing so monstrous, and so contrary to nature, might greatly distress the minds of simple men:  but Christ foretells that it will actually take place.
22. But he who endured to the end shall be saved This single promise ought sufficiently to support the minds of the godly, though the whole world should rise against them: for they are assured that the result will be prosperous and happy. If those who fight under earthly commanders, and are uncertain as to the issue of the battle, are carried forward even to death by steadiness of purpose, shall those who are certain of victory hesitate to abide by the cause of Christ to the very last?
23. And when they shall persecute you. He anticipates an objection that might arise. If we must encounter the resentments of the whole world, what shall be the end of all this?  Though it may not be safe for them to remain in any place, yet Christ warns them not to despair, but, on the contrary, when they have been driven from one place, to try whether their labors in some other place may be of any avail. It is a mistake, however, to suppose that this is a bare permission: for it is rather a command given to the disciples, what it is the will of Christ that they should do. He who has sustained one persecution would willingly withdraw as a soldier who has served his time. But no such exemption is granted to the followers of Christ, who commands them to fulfill their whole course with unabated zeal. In short, the apostles are enjoined to enter into fresh contests, and not to imagine that, when they have succeeded in one or two cases, they have fully discharged their duty. No permission is granted to them to flee to a retired spot, where they may remain unemployed, but though their labor may have been unsuccessful in one place, the Lord exhorts them to persevere.
And yet the command implies also a permission. As to avoiding persecution, it ought to be understood in this manner: we must not condemn without distinction all who flee, and yet it is not every kind of flight that is lawful. Some of the ancients carried their zeal in this matter to an extreme and condemned flight as a species of disavowal. Were this true, some part of the disgrace would fall on Christ and his apostles. Again, if all without distinction are at liberty to flee, a good pastor could not be distinguished from a hireling during a season of persecution. We must abide by the moderation which Augustine recommends, when writing to Honoratus: No man must quit his station through timidity, either by betraying the flock through cowardice, or by giving an example of slothfulness; and yet no man must expose himself precipitately, or at random. If a whole church is attacked, or if a part of them is pursued to death, the pastor, whose duty it is to expose his life in place of any individual among them, would do wrong in withdrawing. But sometimes it may happen, that by his absence he will quell the rage of enemies, and thus promote the advantage of the church. In such cases, the harmlessness of the dove must be his guide, that effeminate persons may not seize on his conduct as an excuse for their timidity: for the flesh is always too ingenious in avoiding what is troublesome.
For verily I say to you. These words cannot be understood in the sense which some have given to them as relating to the first mission,  but embrace the whole course of their apostleship. But the difficulty lies in ascertaining what is meant by the coming of the Son of man Some explain it as denoting such a progress of the gospel, as may enable all to acknowledge that Christ is truly reigning, and that he may be expected to restore the kingdom of David. Others refer it to the destruction of Jerusalem, in which Christ appeared taking vengeance on the ingratitude of the nation. The former exposition is admissible: the latter is too far-fetched. I look upon the consolation here given as addressed peculiarly to the apostles. Christ is said to come, when matters are desperate, and he grants relief. The commission which they received was almost boundless: it was to spread the doctrine of the Gospel through the whole world. Christ promises that he will come before they have traveled through the whole of Judea: that is, by the power of his Spirit, he will shed around his reign such luster, that the apostles will be enabled to discern that glory and majesty which they had hitherto been unable to discover.
24. The disciple is not above his master By his own example he now exhorts them to perseverance; and, indeed, this consolation is enough to banish all sadness, if we consider that our lot is shared with the Son of God. To make us feel deeper shame, he borrows a twofold comparison from what is customary among men. The disciple reckons it honorable to be placed on a level with his master, and does not venture to wish a higher honor, and again, servants do not refuse to share that condition to which their masters willingly submit. In both respects, the Son of God is far above us: for the Father has given to him the highest authority, and has bestowed on him the office of a teacher. We ought, therefore, to be ashamed of declining what he did not scruple to undergo on our account. But there is more need to meditate on these words than to explain them: for, in themselves, they are sufficiently clear.
Luke 6:40. The disciple is not above his master, but every one shall be conformed to his master Luke gives this sentence without any connection, as if it had been spoken abruptly in the midst of other discourses; but as Matthew explains very clearly, in this passage, to what it relates, I have chosen not to insert it in any other place. With respect to the translation, I have chosen neither to follow Erasmus nor the old translator, and for the following reason: -- The participle katertismenos, signifies perfect, but signifies also fit and suitable Now, as Christ is speaking, not about perfection, but about resemblance, and must therefore mean, that nothing is more suitable for a disciple than to be formed after the example of his master, the latter meaning appeared to me to be more appropriate.
25. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub This is equivalent to calling himself Lord of the Church, as the apostle, when comparing him to Moses and the prophets, (Hebrews 3:1,) says, that they were servants, but that he is the Son and heir. Though he bestows on them the honor of calling them brethren, (Hebrews 2:11,) yet he is the first-born (Romans 8:29) and head of the whole church; and, in short, he possesses supreme government and power. Nothing, therefore, can be more unreasonable than to wish to be accounted believers, and yet to murmur against God when he conforms us to the image of his Son, whom he has placed over all his family. To what sort of delicacy do we pretend, if we wish to hold a place in his house, and to be above the Lord himself? The general meaning is, that we carry our delicacy and tenderness to excess, if we account it a hardship to endure reproaches to which our Prince willingly submitted.
Beelzebub is a corrupted term, and would have been more correctly written Baalzebub. This was the name given to the chief of the false gods of the Philistines, who was worshipped by the inhabitants of Ekron, (2 Kings 1:2.) Baalim was the name of the inferior deities, whom the Papists of our day call patrons. Now, as Baalzebub means the patron of the fly, or of the flies, some have thought that he was so called on account of the great multitude of flies in the temple, occasioned by the number of sacrifices; but I rather conjecture that the assistance of the idol was implored against the flies which infested that place. When Ahazlah, under the influence of superstition, applied to him to be informed about his recovery, he gave him this name, which would appear from that circumstance not to be a term of reproach. But as the name gehenna was applied by holy men to hell, in order to stamp that place with infamy, so, in order to express their hatred and detestation of the idol, they gave the name Beelzebub to the devil. Hence we infer that wicked men, for the purpose of rendering Christ detestable to the multitude, employed the most reproachful term which they could invent, by calling him the devil, or, in other words, the greatest enemy of religion. If we happen to be assailed by the same kind of reproach, we ought not to think it strange, that what began in the head should be completed in the members.
 "Qui soustiendra, ou, tiendra bon, jusques k la fin;" -- "he who shall endure, or hold out, even to the end."
 "Vous n'aurez point parachev, d'aller;" -- "you will not have finished going."
 "Par un zele sainct et plaisant a Dieu;" -- "by a zeal that is holy and pleasing to God."
 "De maintenir la gloire de son nom, a fin que punition soit faite de l'outrage commis contre sa majeste;" -- "to maintam the glory of his name, that punishment may be inflicted on the outrage comnntted against his majesty."
 "Les gens simples, et d'esprit paisible;" -- "simple people, and of peaceable dispositions."
 "Que sera ce a la fin, et que deviendrons-nous?" -- "What shall be in the end, and what will become of us?"
 "Touchant le premier voyage, ou la premiere commission qu ont eue les apostres;" -- "respecting the first journey, or the first commission which the apostles had."
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
15. But beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. 16. From their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17. So every good tree yields good fruits, and a rotten tree yields bad fruits. 18. A good tree cannot yield evil fruits, nor can a rotten tree yield good fruits. 19. Every tree, which does not yield good fruit, is cut down, and is thrown into the fire. 20. Therefore from their fruits you shall know them.
43. For the tree is not good which yields rotten fruit; and the tree is not rotten which yields good fruit. 44. For every tree is known from its fruit: for men do not gather figs from thorns, nor from thorns do they gather grapes. 45. A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth what is good, and a bad man, out of the bad treasure of his heart, bringeth forth what is bad. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Matthew 7:15. But beware of false prophets These words were intended to teach, that the Church would be exposed to various impositions, and that consequently many would be in danger of falling from the faith, if they were not carefully on their guard. We know what a strong propensity men have to falsehood, so that they not only have a natural desire to be deceived, but each individual appears to be ingenious in deceiving himself. Satan, who is a wonderful contriver of delusions, is constantly laying snares to entrap ignorant and heedless persons. It was a general expectation among the Jews that, under the reign of Christ, their condition would be delightful, and free from all contest or uneasiness. He therefore warns his disciples that, if they desire to persevere, they must prepare themselves to avoid the snares of Satan. It is the will of the Lord, (as has been already said,) that his Church shall be engaged in uninterrupted war in this world. That we may continue to be his disciples to the end, it is not enough that we are merely submissive, and allow ourselves to be governed by his Word. Our faith, which is constantly attacked by Satan, must be prepared to resist.
It is of the greatest consequence, undoubtedly, that we should suffer ourselves to be directed by good and faithful ministers of Christ: but as false teachers, on the other hand, make their appearance, if we do not carefully watch, and if we are not fortified by perseverance, we shall be easily carried off from the flock. To this purpose also is that saying of Christ:
"The sheep hear the voice of the shepherd; and a stranger they do not follow, but flee from him," (John 10:3, 5)
Hence too we infer, that there is no reason why believers should be discouraged or alarmed, when wolves creep into the fold of Christ, when false prophets endeavor to corrupt the purity of the faith by false doctrines. They ought rather to be aroused to keep watch: for it is not without reason that Christ enjoins them to be on their guard. Provided that we are not led astray through our own sluggishness, we shall be able to avoid every kind of snares; and, indeed, without this confidence, we would not have the courage necessary for being on our guard. Now that we know that the Lord will not fail to perform his promises, whatever may be the attacks of Satan, let us go boldly to the Lord, asking from him the Spirit of wisdom, by whose influences he not only seals on our hearts the belief of his truth, but exposes the tricks and impositions of Satan, that we may not be deceived by them. When Christ says, that they come to us in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves, his meaning is, that they do not want a very plausible pretense, if prudence be not exercised in subjecting them to a thorough examination.
16. From their fruits you shall know them Had not this mark of distinction been added, we might have called in question the authority of all teachers without exception. If there is a mortal danger to be dreaded in teachers, and if we see no way of avoiding it, we shall be under the necessity of holding them all suspected: and there will be no better or shorter method than to keep our ears shut against them all. We see that ungodly men, to screen themselves when rejecting every kind of doctrine, hold out this danger, and that weak and ill-informed persons remain in a state of perplexity. That our reverence for the Gospel, and for its faithful ministers and teachers, may not be diminished, Christ enjoins us to form our opinion of the false prophets from their fruits It is with a very bad grace that the Papists, in order to excite hatred against us, quote directly this exhortation of Christ, Beware of false prophets, and by their clamors induce ignorant people to avoid us, without knowing why. But whoever desires to follow our Lord's advice must judge wisely and with just discretion. For ourselves, we not only acknowledge freely that men ought to beware of false prophets, but we carefully and earnestly exhort simple people to beware of them. Only we warn them that, agreeably to the rule which Christ has laid down, they should first make a strict examination, that simple people may not reject the pure Word of God, and suffer the punishment of their own rashness. There is a wide difference between wise caution and perverse squeamishness.  It is a heinous wickedness in the Papists to repeal the command of Christ, by infusing into unhappy persons an unfounded dread,  which deters them from making inquiry. Let this be regarded by us as a first principl that those who tremblingly reject or avoid a doctrine unknown to them, act improperly, and are very far from obeying the command of Christ.
It now remains to be seen, what are the fruits which Christ points out. Those who confine them to the life are, in my opinion, mistaken. As pretended sanctity, and I know not what masks belonging to greater austerity of life, are frequently held out by some of the worst impostors, this would be a very uncertain test. Their hypocrisy, I do own, is at length discovered; for nothing is more difficult than to counterfeit virtue. But Christ did not intend to submit his doctrine to a decision so unjust in itself, and so liable to be misunderstood, as to have it estimated by the life of men. Under the fruits the manner of teaching is itself included, and indeed holds the chief place: for Christ proves that he was sent by God from this consideration, that
"he seeketh not his own glory,
Is it objected, that few persons are endued with such acuteness, as to distinguish good fruits from bad? I answer, as I have already said: Believers are never deprived of the Spirit of wisdom, where his assistance is needful, provided they distrust themselves, renounce their own judgment, and give themselves up wholly to his direction. Let us remember, however, that all doctrines must be brought to the Word of God as the standard, and that, in judging of false prophets, the rule of faith holds the chief place. We must also consider what God enjoins on his prophets and the ministers of his word: for in this way their faithfulness may be easily ascertained. If, for example, we place before our minds what Paul requires in bishops, (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9,) that description will be sufficient of itself to condemn the whole mass of Popery: for the Popish priests seem as if they purposely intended to present an opposite picture. There is no reason to wonder, therefore, if they forbid men to form a judgment of false prophets. But this passage clearly shows, that their titles ought to go for nothing, and that not much regard ought to be had even to their calling, if those who receive the name of pastors, and are called to the office of teachers, do not faithfully answer to their charge.
Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? By these proverbs, which were then in common use and universally received, Christ confirms his statement, that no man can be deceived by false prophets, unless he is wilfully blind: for the fruits as plainly discover upright servants of God, and unfaithful workmen, as the fruits point out the nature of the tree.
Luke 6:43. For the tree is not good This statement, as related by Luke, appears to be a general instruction given by Christ, that by the fruits our opinion of every man ought to be formed, in the same manner as a tree is known by its fruit After having inserted the reproof to hypocrites, who "perceive a straw in the eye of another, but do not see a beam in their own," (verses 41,42,) he immediately adds, For the tree is not good which beareth rotten fruit, nor is the tree rotten which beareth good fruit The illative particle gar, for, appears to connect these two sentences. But as it is certain that Luke, in that sixth chapter, records various discourses of Christ, it is also possible that he may have briefly glanced at what is more fully explained by Matthew. I attach no great importance to the word for, which in other passages is often superfiuous, and appears obviously to be so from the concluding statement.
Luke 6:45. A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good Such is the statement with which Luke concludes the discourse; and I have no doubt that he intended to describe, without a figure, the kind of judgment which Christ orders us to make from the fruits Believers ought to examine carefully what kind of doctrine is taught by those who profess to be the servants of God. "Titles (he says) are of little value, till the speaker give actual evidence that he is sent by God." Yet I am far from saying, that this passage may not be applied to a general doctrine, And certainly the last clause, out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh, has a more extensive reference than to false prophets: for it is a common proverb. Is it objected, that the tongues of men lie, and that men of the worst hearts are often the best speakers? I:reply: Christ merely points out here what is a very ordinary occurrence. For, though hypocrites express in words what is different from the feelings of their hearts, that is no reason why we may not justly and appropriately call the tongue the portrait of the mind.
 "Il y a grande difference entre une bonne facon de se donner garde d'estre trompe, et un deboutement temeraire sans savoir pourquoy." -- "There is a great difference between a proper method of guarding against being deceived, and a hasty rejection without knowing, why."
 "Par une vaine crainte, qu'ils leur proposent;" -- "by a vain dread which they hold out to them."
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
21. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, bu the who shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven. 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 have done many wonderful works? 23. And then will I confess to them, I never knew you depart from me, you who work iniquity.
46. And why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which Isay?
Matthew 7:21. Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord. Christ extends his discourse farther: for he speaks not only of false prophets, who rush upon the flock to tear and devour, but of hirelings, who insinuate themselves, under fair appearances, as pastors, though they have no feeling of piety.  This doctrine embraces all hypocrites, whatever may be their rank or station, but at present he refers particularly to pretended teachers,  who seem to excel others. He not only directs his discourse to them, to rouse them from the indifference, in which they lie asleep like drunk people, but also warns believers, not to estimate such masks beyond their proper value. In a word, he declares that, so soon as the doctrine of the Gospel shall have begun to bear fruit by obtaining many disciples, there will not only be very many of the common people who falsely and hypocritically submit to it, but even in the rank of pastors there will be the same treachery, so that they will deny by their actions and life what they profess with the mouth.  Whoever then desires to be reckoned among the disciples, must labor to devote himself, sincerely and honestly, to the exercises of a new life.
In the Gospel of Luke, it is a general reproof: Why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? But as this corruption proceeds, for the most part, from pretended teachers, and easily finds its way from them into the whole body, so, according to Matthew, our Lord expressly attacks them. To do the will of the Father not only means, to regulate their life and manners, (as philosophers talked  ) by the rule of virtues, but also to believe in Christ, according to that saying,
"This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life," (John 6:40.)
These words, therefore, do not exclude faith, but presuppose it as the principle from which other good works flow.
22. Many will say to me Christ again summons hypocrites to his judgment-seat, as we showed a little ago from Luke. So long as they hold a place in his Church, they both flatter themselves and deceive others. He therefore declares, that a day is coming, when he will cleanse his barn, and separate the chaff and straw from the pure wheat. To prophesy in the name of Christ is, to discharge the office of teacher by his authority, and, as it were, under his direction. Prophecy is here, I think, taken in a large sense, as in the fourteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Corinthians. He might have simply used the word preach, but purposely employed the more honorable appellation, in order to show more clearly, that an outward profession is nothing, whatever may be its brilliancy in the eyes of men. To do wonderful works in the name of Christ is nothing else than to perform miracles by his power, authority, command, and direction: for, though the word homologeso, powers, is sometimes confined to one class of miracles, yet in this and many other passages it denotes every kind of miracles.
23. And then will I confess to them  By using the word homologeso, I will confess,  Christ appears to allude to the vain boasting, by which hypocrites now vaunt themselves. "They indeed have confessed me with the tongue, and imagine that they have fully discharged their duty. The confession of my name is now heard aloud from their tongue. But I too will confess on the opposite side, that their profession is deceitful and false." And what is contained in Christ's confession? That he never reckoned them among his own people, even at the time when they boasted that they were the pillars of the church.
Depart from me. He orders those persons to go out from his presence, who had stolen, under a false title, an unjust and temporary possession of his house. From this passage in our Lord's discourse Paul seems to have taken what he says to Timothy,
The Lord knoweth who are his: and, let every one who calleth on the name of Christ depart from iniquity, (2 Timothy 2:19.)
The former clause is intended to prevent weak minds from being alarmed or discouraged by the desertion of those who had a great and distinguished reputation:  for he declares that they were disowned by the Lord, though by a vain show they captivated the eyes of men. He then exhorts all those who wish to be reckoned among the disciples of Christ, to withdraw early from iniquity, that Christ may not drive them from his presence, when he shall "separate the sheep from the goats," (Matthew 25:33.)
 "Combien qu'au dedans ils n'ayent point d'affection de crainte de Dieu;" -- "though at bottom they have no feeling of the fear of God."
 "Les docteurs feints et doubles;" -- "reigned and deceitful teachers."
 "Ce qu'ils enseignent et confessent de bouche;" -- "what they teach and confess with the mouth."
 "Comme les philosophes ont voulu enselgner le monde;" -- "as the philosophers wished to teach the world."
 "Et lors je leur diray ouvertement;" -- "and then will I openly say to them."
 "Le mot Grec dont use l'Evangeliste signifie proprement, Je leur confesseray;" -- "the Greek word, which the Evangelist uses, literally signifies I will confess to them.'"
 "D'aucuns qui auront en grand bruit, et auront este fort estimez;"-- "of any who shall have made great noise, and shall have been greatly esteemed."
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
24. Every one, therefore, who heareth those saying of mine, and doeth them, I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock. 25. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and struck against that house, and it did not fall: for it had been founded on a rock. 26. And every one who heareth those saying of mine, and doeth them not, shall be compared to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. 27. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and struck against that house: and it fell, and the downfall of it was great. 28. And it happened, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that the multitudes were astonished at his doctrine. 29. For he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.
47. Whoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like. 48. He is like a wise man who biult a house, and dug deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the deluge came, the stream dashed against that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock. 49. And he who hears, and did not, is like a man who built his house on the earth without a foundation, on which the stream dashed, and immediately it fell, and great was the downfall of that house.
Matthew 7:24. Every one, therefore, who heareth As it is often difficult to distinguish the true professors of the Gospel from the false, Christ shows, by a beautiful comparison, where the main difference lies. He represents two houses, one of which was built without a foundation, while the other was well-founded. Both have the same external appearance: but, when the wind and storms blow, and the floods dash against them, the former will immediately fall, while the latter will be sustained by its strength against every assault. Christ therefore compares a vain and empty profession of the Gospel to a beautiful, but not solid, building, which, however elevated, is exposed every moment to downfall, because it wants a foundation. Accordingly, Paul enjoins us to be well and thoroughly founded on Christ, and to have deep roots, (Colossians 2:7,)
"that we may not be tossed and driven about by every wind of doctrine," (Ephesians 4:14)
that we may not give way at every attack. The general meaning of the passage is, that true piety is not fully distinguished from its counterfeit,  till it comes to the trial. For the temptations, by which we are tried, are like billows and storms, which easily overwhelm unsteady minds, whose lightness is not perceived during the season of prosperity.
Who heareth these sayings The relative these denotes not one class of sayings, but the whole amount of doctrine. He means, that the Gospel, if it be not deeply rooted in the mind, is like a wall, which has been raised to a great height, but does not rest on any foundation. "That faith (he says) is true, which has its roots deep in the heart, and rests on an earnest and steady affection as its foundation, that it may not give way to temptations." For such is the vanity of the human mind, that all build upon the sand, who do not dig so deep as to deny themselves.
28. When Jesus had finished these sayings By these sayings I understand not only the discourse which he delivered when he came down from the mountain, but the rest of the doctrine, which had already been made known to the people. The meaning therefore is, that, where he had given the people, on all sides, a taste of his doctrine, all were seized with astonishment, because a strange, indescribable, and unwonted majesty drew to him the minds of men. What is meant by his teaching them as having authority, and not as the scribes, I have already explained. 
 "Qu'on ne peut pas bien discerner la vraye crainte de Dieu, d'avecques une feintise et vaine apparence d' icelle;" -- "that the true fear of God cannot be well distinguished from a dissembling and vain appearance of it."
 A parallel passage in the Gospel of Mark (1:22) having already occurred, the reader will find Calvin's exposition of these remarkable words at page 247 of this volume. -- Ed.
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.