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you, That except your righteousness shall exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees,* ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause,† shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca,‡ shall be in danger of. the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou 23 fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire. Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught 24 against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be 26 cast into prison. Verily, I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh
* The Scribes and Pharisees were formal, hypocritical, and insincere.
It is not only necessary to abstain from overt acts of immorality; but we must subdue evil and malignant pas
§ Fool, means wicked, impious wretch.
on a woman to lust after her, hath committed 29 adultery with her already in his heart.* And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that that thy whole body should be cast into 30 hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should 31 be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her 32 a writing of divorcemont: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery.
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not perjure thyself, but shall perform unto the Lord thine 34 oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all:†
neither by heaven; for it is God's throne. 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: nei
ther by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the 36 great king. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
*In this respect Christianity is more excellent than any other system of morals, that it requires purity of thought and desires.
Why then should not all Christians solemnly affirm, like the Quakers, instead of swearing? It is generally supposed, however, that Christ meant to forbid the use of eaths only on common occasions.
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.*
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An 39 eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn 40 to him the other also.† And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, 41 let him have thy cloak also.† And whosoever
shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him 42 twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou
shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine ene44 my But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them who curse you, do good to them who hate you, and pray for them who des45 pitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father, who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on 46 the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them who love you, what reward have ye? 47 do not even the publicans the same? And if
* In your conversation, let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay. Whatever is more than these, is or tends to evil. These verses are not to be understood literally, but as designed to discourage and prevent a spirit of retaliation and revenge, to which the Jews were greatly prone; and to make them condescending, pacifie and forgiving.
Verses 44-47. How superior these maxims to those of the wisest heathens! This is true benevolence.
ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
TAKE heed that ye do not give your alms before men, merely to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father 2 who is in heaven.* But, when thou givest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.t Verily I say unto you, they 3 have their reward. But when thou givest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy 4 right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret and thy father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be like the hypocrites: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their 6 reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter
This direction is supposed to have reference to religious duties, which Christ would have us perform without ostentation.
†They gain the esteem of men, and this was all they wished.
That is, the reputation of piety with the common people.
into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee 7 openly. And when ye pray, use not idle expressions, as the heathen do for they think that they shall be heard for their much speak8 ing.* Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye need, 9 before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray: Our Father, who art in the heav10 ens; hallowed be thy name.t Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in 11 heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our 13 debtors. And lead us not into temptation,+ but deliver us from evil. For thine is the king. dom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. 14 Amen. For, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have
But many people desire long prayers. They judge of a man's piety by the number of his words.
May thy name be hallowed; that is, venerated and sanctified. May thy kingdom come, and thy will be done. That is, suffer us not to fall into temptation.
This doxology is not in some old copies.
But with many who call themselves good and pious, a long face, and distorted countenance is necessary.