Matthew 7:3
The question or questions of these verses arise only too directly out of the matter that immediately precedes. The habit, so human, of sitting in judgment on our fellow-beings is almost invariably aggravated by' other satellite habits, also very human, and that fail to amaze and to shame us only by reason of our too intimate familiarity with them. Thus -

I. LITTLE FAULTS IN OTHERS WE SEE VERY LARGE, AND LARGE FAULTS IN OURSELVES WE SEE VERY LITTLE.

II. LITTLE FAULTS IN OTHERS WE SEE VERY LARGE, FOR THE BLAMABLE REASON THAT LARGE FAULTS IN OURSELVES WE SEE VERY LITTLE.

III. THE LARGE FAULTS OF OURSELVES ARE IN A CERTAIN WAY MEASURABLE, AND THIS THE MEASURE OF THEM - THEY ARE OF JUST THE SIZE TO BLOCK OUR VISION OF ALL THAT IS OUR FIRST DUTY TO "CONSIDER," i.e. OF ALL THAT IS AS NEAR TO US AS OURSELVES.

IV. THEY DO AS A MATTER OF FACT BLOCK THAT VISION SO SADLY EFFECTUALLY, THAT THOUGH LABOURING UNDER ALL OUR OWN PERSONAL DEPRIVATION, WE PROFFER PATRONIZINGLY TO DO THAT OFFICE FOR OUR NEIGHBOUR WHICH lEONE RUT THE PUREST VISION IS QUALIFIED TO DO, AND NOTHING BUT THE IMPURITY OF PHARISAIC SELF-CONCEIT WOULD PRESUME TO VOLUNTEER OR DARE TO ESSAY EXCEPT ON SOLICITOUS ENTREATY. - B.







The mote that is in thy brother's eye.
I. That sin may exist in man to an enormous extent, and YET HE BE UNCONSCIOUS OF IT — "the beam." Several things tend to produce this unconsciousness.

1. Habit.

2. Association.

3. Satanic agency.

II. That however unconscious of our own sins, WE MAY BE ALIVE TO THE SINS OF OTHERS.

1. Sin does not destroy the faculty for discerning moral distinctions.

2. The importance of Christians being circumspect in their conduct.

III. That SELF-IMPROVEMENT IS A NECESSITY QUALIFICATION for the improvement of others.

(Dr. David Thomas.)

At Wragby, in Yorkshire, in the vestry of the church is a very curious old painted window, representing in coloured glass the subject of my text; a man with a huge piece of wood before his eyes is trying diligently to extract a mere speck from the eye of another man. And this picture is most appropriately placed in the vestry, as it reminds the priest, whose ministry it is to declare to the people their faults and sins, that he should closely examine himself, lest, after he has preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away.

(Baring Gould, M. A.)

I have got a piece of plate, probably two hundred years old, for the table at meal time. On the silver is embossed a representation of the mote and the beam; a man with a spiked log sticking into his eye is trying hard to pick a tiny grain out of the eye of another. Perhaps you may think it most inappropriate to have such a group and subject on a piece of plate before one's eyes commonly. But I do not think so. It is when families meet, or guests assemble round the board, that the characters of neighbours are most freely talked over.

(Baring Gould, M. A.)

It is only when we have wrestled with and overcome our own besetting sins, that we have the insight and tact to direct others how to overcome theirs. Massillon, the great French preacher, was once asked where he obtained his profound knowledge of the world and of the human passions, and his skill in solving religious difficulties. "From my own heart," he replied. In his endeavours after personal holiness he had met and vanquished, one by one, those bosom sins which trouble men. Their false excuses, their specious pretences, their conflicts with temptation, their weak submission to vices which they have vowed to forsake, their remorse, their fears — he knew them all from experience, and he described them as one who knew. Hence the convicting pungency of his preaching, by which the careless courtiers of Versailles were impressed, and to which Louis XIV. himself bore witness. At the close of a sermon the king said to him, "I have heard several great orators, and been very much pleased with them; but every time I have heard you I have been very much displeased with myself." The ability to minister to others is acquired through faithful self-treatment.

Before thou reprehend another, take heed that thou art not culpable in what thou goest about to reprehend. He that cleanses a blot with blurred fingers will make a greater blot. E yen the candle-snuffers of the sanctuary were of pure gold.

(Quarles.)Nowadays men take upon themselves to reprove others for committing such things as themselves do practise without amendment. Therefore these are like some tailors, who are busy in decking and tricking up others, but go both bare and beggarly themselves.

(Henry Smith.)If my carriage be unblamable, my counsel and reproof will be the more acceptable. Wholesome meat often is distasteful, coming out of nasty hands. A bad liver cannot be a good counsellor or bold reprover; such a man must speak softly for fear of awaking his own guilty conscience. If the bell be cracked, the sound must needs be jarring.

(Swinnock.)The vicious reproving vice, is the raven chiding blackness.

(Eliza Cook.)

Easy and ordinary is it for men to be others' physicians, rather than their own. They can weed others' gardens, whiles their own is overrun with nettles. But charity begins at home; and he that loves not his own soul, I will hardly trust him with mine. The usurer blames his son's pride, sees not his own extortion; and whiles the hypocrite is helping the dissolute out of the mire, he sticks in deeper himself. No marvel if, when we fix both our eyes on others' wants, we lack a third to see our own. If two blind men rush one upon another in the way, either complains of other's blindness, neither of his own. Thus, like mannerly guests, when a good morsel is carved us, we lay it liberally on another's trencher, and fast ourselves. How much better were it for us to feed on our own portion!

(Adams.)

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