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CHAPTER SIXTH Embraces a portion from the 16th verse to the end of the chapter. 1. That a man should in all his actions have regard to the honor of God. 2. That a man should not lay up treasure on earth, but in heaven. 3. What the single eye is, and that a man should cut off the offending members. 4. Of heathenish cares, and that we should use the world and not abuse it.
CHAPTER SEVENTH Embraces a part of the seventh chapter, from the 1st to the 7th verse, namely, one man should not judge another by his own reason or wisdom, but should commit all judgment to the Spirit of God, by whom the children of God shall judge the world.
CHAPTER EIGHTH Embraces a portion from the 7th, to the 15th verse. l. It is shown how necessary the knowledge of ourselves is, if we would come to Christ. 2. That prayer is the means by which hungry souls draw nigh to Christ. 3. After the mystic death a man springs to life and becomes a new creature. 4. The life and increase of the new man consists in the spirit
and gospel of Jesus Christ. 5. The reason why few are saved, is, that the gate is strait and the way, narrow. 6. A representation of the great dangers a person is exposed to of being misled in regard to the reality of his conversion.
CHAPTER NINTH Embraces a portion from the 15th verse to the end of the chapter, wherein it is explained how a person must know the false prophets and try them by the doctrine of Christ. It contains, in addition, a call to the teachers of the present day, as also to the common people.
CHAPTER TENTH, An exhortation to my beloved brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus, for the encouragement and edification of their souls, in which are brought into view the love of God, and its nature and disposition, and its operation in the souls that possess it.
A FUNDAMENTAL ILLUSTRATION
CERISTYS SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
This chapter comprises first, an elucidation or exposition of
the eight different blessings, as far as the 20th verse, wherein is clearly set forth the manner in which a man is led by grace from a state of humility, step by step, till he becomes a child of God, the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. 2. Six fundamental articles of proof. 3. A serious address to the reader's conscience. 4. A fundamental representation of Christ, and warning to awakened and converted sinners, as also an exhortation to steadfastness, for the consolation of their troubled souls. 5. An illustration of the manner in which Christ fulfilled the law for us.
I. THE Lord Jesus says, Matthew 5: 6 Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
This is the state of mind with which a person must be made acquainted, before he is meet for the kingdom of God, or fit for the gospel of Christ; for the kingdom of God must be manifested in us throug!
grace; and before it is manifested in us and received by us, the kingdom of satan must be destroyed, the strong man must be divested of his armor and deprived of his spoil; we must be stripped of all our self-imagined and false righteousness, which, out of self-love and self-complacency, we lay claim to by reason of our own good works; our self-will, self-love and self-sufficiency must be done away; all the weapons of self-efficacy must be destroyed; for as long as we retain these things in possession, we are not poor in spirit; we are yet rich in ourselves, and unconscious that we are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, (Rev. 3, 17); and in this wretched condition we rest satisfied; for self-love, like a subtle and luciferian serpent, has so blinded us, that we do not perceive the clear light of the gospel reflected from the brightness of Christ; and therefore Jesus calls upon and counsels us to purchase of him gold tried in the fire. For all which we do not receive from him, is but earth and dross, nay, a futile and damnable vanity, for which a man should have a just abhorrence; nay, he should abandon his selfish principles, forsake his imaginary
riches, and cast away his false righteousness, which is but a filthy and unclean rag, (Isaiah 60, 6.) and go to Christ, his faithful counsellor, and obtain from him the gold of precious faith, refined in the fire of grace, and, by virtue of the same faith, put on the pure and white robe of righteousness, applying to his heart the eye-salve of the Holy Spirit, that he may have a light constantly shining on his path, whereby he may be enabled to walk and watch, and keep his garments, lest he walk naked.
For as much as it is evident, that man is by nature sinful, impure, blind and ignorant in spiritual things, and estranged
from the life that cometh from God, Christ hath appeared as the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world (Job 1); which light is continually striving, in order to convince men and open their eyes to a sense of their miserable condition, that they may be made partakers of eternal felicity. But if a man persists in shutting the door of his heart, and hardens himself in sins, loving them more than his own soul, or him who created heaven and earth and all that is therein; if he walks according to the will of the flesh and the light of reason; if he will not receive the love of the truth, that he may be saved: then God at length sends him strong delusions, that he shall believe a lie; that all may be damned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess. 2, 11. 12.
But when, on the contrary, a man opens his heart to the reception of this saving grace, and permits the light of Christ to shine in upon his soul; then the land of darkness and gloom will be illuminated, according to the saying of the prophet: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation and not increased the joy ; they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. Is. 9.
Now, my dear friend, awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light, (Eph. 5, 14.); and when he illuminates the dark recesses of thy heart, and discovers unto thee the perverseness of thy way while sitting in the