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21 Then came Peter to him, I certain king which would take and said, Lord, how oft shall account of his servants. my brother sin against me, 24 And when he had begun and I forgive him ? till seven to reckon, one was brought times ?
| unto him which owed him ten 22 Jesus saith unto him, I thousand talents. say not unto thee, Until seven 25 But forasmuch as he had times: but, Until seventy times not to pay, his lord commanded seven.
him to be sold, and his wife 23 Therefore is the king and children, and all that he dom of heaven likened unto a had, and payment to be made. affect his mind ought to be avoided. | forgiving temper. The number seven v. 15.
was used as a sort of round number, 2. We have much encouragement like our word ten. The mention of to seek the return of an offending seven led the Saviour to adopt this brother to his duty. We may be the peculiar way of answering the quesmeans of saving him. v. 15. Com- iion. Compare Luke 17:3, 4. pare James 5:19, 20.
23. To illustrate the principle of 3. United prayer has great en- forgiving injuries, and to show the couragement. v. 19. Our Lord's rep. consequences of an opposite spirit, resentations concerning the efficacy | Jesus proceeded to speak a parable. of prayer do, however, give no en- The kingdom of heaven; the Messiah's couragement to any wild and ex- dispensation. The manner in which travagant petitions ; for while we the forgiveness of injuries is regarded pray to our heavenly Father, whose in this dispensation, may be illustraheart is full of tenderness, we must ted by the conduct of a certain king. remember that he has all knowledge, || Serounts; not domestic servants, and that his promise does not have or slaves; but officers. The person respect to any improper fancies of spoken of is a king; royal officers men, but to petitions conformed to are sometimes called seroants. See what he sees is right and suitable; on 14: 2. || Take account ; call to a just as an earthly father, who gives reckoning, inquire into their managethe fullest encouragement to his sonment of affairs. to ask for favors, does not therehy 24. Ten thousand talents. The give up his right to discriminate and value of the talent may be stated at to judge respecting the desires pre- about a thousand dollars. The amount sented.
here mentioned would then be ten 4. If we habitually cherish a re- millions of dollars. The design of the gard to the honor of our Saviour, we Saviour was, to present a debt of an may indulge also the cheering confi- indefinitely large amount, as condence that he is ever with us (v. 20); trasted with a very small debt, and particularly when united with others | thus to show the weight of obligation in employments and consultations when lenity had been exercised topertaining to the advancement of his wards such a debtor. Besides, the cause.
property of private individuals, who
were in royal favor and royal employ, 21. Then came Peter. The instruc- was frequently enormous in Eastern tions of the Saviour respecting the countries. Even if so large a debt treatment of persons who have done | were an improbable supposition, it yet others wrong, suggested an inquiry | was adapted to the Saviour's design; which Peter wished to make. | namely, to represent a signal case of
22. Until seventy times seven. Let kindness towards a dependant. there be no limit to the exercise of a 25. Commanded him to be sold, and 26 The servant, therefore, I vants saw what was done, they fell down, and worshipped him, were very sorry, and came and saying, Lord, have patience with told unto their lord all that was me, and I will pay thee all. done.
27 Then the lord of that 32 Then his lord, after that servant was moved with conn- he had called him, said unto passion, and loosed him, and him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave him the debt.
forgave thee all that debt, be28 But the same servant went cause thou desiredst me: out, and found one of his fellow- 33 Shouldest not thou also servants, which owed him a hun- have had compassion on thy dred pence: and he laid hands on fellow-servant, even as I had him, and took him by the throat, pity on thee? saying, Pay me that thou owest. 34 And his lord was wroth,
29 And his fellow-servant fell and delivered him to the tordown at his feet, and besought mentors, till he should pay all him, saying, Have patience with that was due unto him. me, and I will pay thee all. 35 So likewise shall my
30 And he would not : but heavenly Father do also unto went and cast him into prison, you, if ye from your hearts fortill he should pay the debt. give not every one his brother
31 So when his fellow-ser- their trespasses.
his wife, &c. This circumstance was How powerful is the consideration in accordance with Jewish ideas and exhibited in this parable to enforce a manners. See Lev. 25: 39. 2 Kings Christian's exercise of the spirit of 4:1. Amos 8:6. Oriental kings forgiveness ! He has himself received had absolute power over the persons forgiveness from God, of offences unand property of their subjects. speakably more numerous and more
26. Worshipped; performed special aggravated than can possibly be comhomage.
mitted against himself by any human 28. Fellow-servants ; fellow-officers being. The remembrance of his own under the king. || A hundred pence. sinfulness, and of the unspeakable The word rendered pence expresses a kindness of God towards him, ought coin equal to about ten or twelve cents to excite compassion and forgiveness of our money; a trifling sum, indeed, in respect to those who have done him ten or twelve dollars, when compared wrong. If such a spirit be not poswith his own debt to the king! sessed, can it be, that the person has
34. Tormentors; probably the keep- ever been made acquainted with his ers of the prison. The king, having own heart, and has ever experienced absolute power, recalled his act of re- the pardoning mercy of God? If he mitting the debt, and enforced his have not the spirit of forgiveness, is original claim.
he not wholly destitute of that temper 35. So likewise. In this verse we which is suitable to one who needs have the application of the parable. forgiveness from God? Does he posIf we do not forgive those who do us sess that temper which would render wrong, our heavenly Father will not it suitable that his sins should be forforgive us our sins against him, but given ? The spirit of heaven is a will condemn us to all the severity spirit of love; an unforgiving temper of punishment that our sins deserve. I can have no abode there. Coinpare 6 : 12.
CHAPTER XIX. 15 And said, For this cause AND it came to pass, that shall a man leave father and A when Jesus had finished inother, and shall cleave to his these sayings, he departed from wife: and they twain shall be Galilee, and came into the coasts one flesh ? of Judea, beyond Jordan:
6 Wherefore they are no 2 And great multitudes fol- more twain, but one flesh. lowed him, and he healed them What, therefore, God hath there.
joined together, let not man 3 The Pharisees also came put asunder. unto him, tempting him, and I7 They say unto him, Why saying unto him, Is it lawful did Moses then command to for a man to put away his wife give a writing of divorcement, for every cause?
and to put her away? 4 And he answered and said 8 He saith unto them, Mounto them, Have ye not read, ses, because of the hardness of that he which made them at the your hearts, suffered you to put beginning, made them male and away your wives : but from the female,
beginning it was not so. CHAPTER XIX.
of Moses seemed to be arrayed against 1. Galilee; the country in the north that of Jesus. The statute of Moses, of Palestine. ll Coasts of Juden ; the on this subject, may be seen in Deut. territory bordering on Judea, at the 24:1. The expressions used by Moses south part of the land. || Beyond Jor- were not so definite as to prevent indan; on the eastern side of the river quiry and difference of opinion con
cerning what would be a just cause 3. To put away; to divorce. || For for a divorce. There were conseevery cause ; for any thing whatever quently two parties among the Jews that may displease him.
on this question; one contending that 4. Male and female; or, a male and only the guilt of adultery was an adea female.
quate cause for divorcing one's wife; 5. See Gen. 2: 24. Twain ; an the other, that any thing which made obsolete word, meaning two.
a person displeased with his wife, was 6. One flesh ; that is, so to speak, a sufficient cause. It was in view of one person in affection, in interests this contested question that the Phariand pursuits. || Let not man put sees wished to learn the opinion of asunder. God appointed the mar- | Jesus. He let them know very disriage bond to be a permanent one; tinctly that the marriage bond was let not man presume, without divine intended by the Creator to be a perauthority, to break it.
manent one ; and that man ought not 7. Why did Moses then, &c. Hav- | to assume the power of breaking it. ing thus heard the decision of Jesus, 8. Moses suffered you, &c. Jesus that, since marriage had been estab | acknowledged that Moses had given lished and regulated by divine au | them liberty to put away their wives; thority, inan ought not to assume the but declared that this arrangement, power of sundering the marriage bond, sanctioned by Moses, was not an origiihe Pharisees objected that Moses had nal one, established at the first by the given the Jews permission to put away Creator. It was only a prudential artheir wives by giving the wife a bill rangement, to meet the intractable of divorcement. Thus the authority | disposition of the Jews. When Mo
9 And I say unto you, Who- put away, doth commit adulsoever shall put away histery. wife, except it be for forni-! 10 His disciples say unto cation, and shall marry anoth- him, If the case of the man er, committeth adultery: and be so with his wife, it is not whoso marrieth her which is good to marry.
ses established his institutes, the Jews precept proceeding from God, and had already been in the habit of im- binding the conscience in respect to proper conduct on this point; and Him, and a civil statute, proceeding such was their character, that a due | from a legislator, and regulating the regard to his office as a civil (not a conduct of citizens as citizens merely, moral) legislator, made him endeavor will be apprehended, by considering rather to prevent abuses of what had that human legislation is necessarily been regarded as a privilege, than to imperfect, and that it must have represcribe the strict rule of equity, gard to an existing state of things, and according to the original divine ar- not solely to abstract principles; and rangement. The statutes of Moses that, frequently, a thing may not be were, to a great extent, to be re- unlawful, so far as the civil laws are garded as civil statutes, adapted to concerned, while it yet may contrathe existing state of things in the na- vene the laws of God; and that a tion, rather than as moral precepts, thing may be forbidden by human declaring, simply and fully, rules of law, which may yet be required by action to regulate the conscience in the perfectly right principles of dithe sight of God. The distinction vine law. And though Moses was between a moral precept, enjoining a divinely commissioned to make his principle of perfect right in the sight statutes, yet his commission regarded of God, and a civil statute, regulating him, to a great extent, as making a a person's conduct as a citizen of code of civil statutes, which must, a civil community, not as a creature therefore, partake of the nature of of God, was overlooked by the Phari-civil statuies established by other sees, but is here exhibited by our legislators. Lord; as if he had said, Moses was 9. And I say unto you, &c. By legislating in reference to the civil | comparing the parallel passage in community, and in reference to your Mark 10: 10, 11, it will appear that conduct, as members of the civil com- the conversation with the Pharisees munity; and, knowing your intracta- had terminated with the eighth verse. ble disposition [hardness of heart], He replied to their inquiry, and anand foreseeing that, if he had at once swered their objections. After retirentirely prohibited the practice of di- | ing to a house, his disciples resumed vorcing wives, worse consequences the subject; and Jesus proceeded to would ensue, by reason of your char instruct them further in relation to it. acter, than if he only endeavored to || Whosoever shall put away, &c. Comregulate the matter by restraining pare 5: 31, 32. In Mark 10:12, the abuses, and appointing the order of rule is stated as applicable also to proceeding in this case, so that it the woman. The parallel passage in should not be arbitrary, he did, in | Mark is 10:1-12. these circumstances, and in this view, 10. It is not good to marry. That permit divorces ; not, however, that is, if nothing but adultery be a just he approved of such conduct, when cause for divorce, it would be best not viewed in a moral light, nor that God to marry. If a man be regarded as approved of sundering the marriage bound to his wife for life, however disbond.
pleasing to him may be the connecThis distinction between a moral / tion, and if no unpleasant circum
11 But he said unto them, which have made themselves All men cannot receive this eunuchs for the kingdom of saying, save they to whom it is heaven's sake. He that is given.
able to receive it, let him re12 For there are some eu-ceive it. nuchs, which were so born 13 Then were there brought from their mother's womb : unto him little children, that and there are some eunuchs, he should put his hands on which were made eunuchs of them, and pray: and the discimen: and there be eunuchs, I ples rebuked them.
stances, short of the crime specified referred to, may be profitably read in by the Saviour, can justify the sun this connection. dering of the bond, it would be well not to enter into the state of marriage. | REMARK. We see the happy in. The disciples spoke thus, under the fluence of the gospel on the marriage influence of notions and practices that relation. It has brought back the in prevailed among the Jews. The true stitution to its original state and deview of the marriage state was not sign. It defends the rights and privicommonly entertained among them; leges of wives as well as of husbands. and nearly all were in the habit of By the experience of Christian counregarding a person's supposed con- tries, as contrasted with other counvenience as sufficient to justify a di-tries, it is also shown that the original vorce. Having grown up in the midst character of the institution, thus reof practices proceeding from such a stored by the gospel, is most happily sentiment, it is not to be wondered adapted to the moral improvement at, that the disciples hastily spoke and happiness of the human race; of the marriage state, as represented and that a departure from this original by Jesus, rather in the light of an character is fraught with evils, peruncomfortable restraint, a species of sonal, domestic, and civil. How gross. bondage, which it would be well to ly do persons offend against the best avoid.
interests of the human race, who in 11, 12. All mon cannot receive this any way disparage the institution of saying. The remark which the dis marriage, or slight the restraints and ciples had made, the Saviour said, is the privileges for which the Creator contrary to the nature of man; and intended marriage ! there are but few in reference to whoin their remark can properly be made. 13. Little children. The term is In reference to the great mass of men, a general one, not pointing out chilthe marriage state grows out of the dren of any particular age. In Mark very principles and propensities im- | 10:13, the expression is, young chilplanted in their nature by the Cre-dren ; but in the original, the word is ator. Still there are individual cases the same as in Matthew. In Luke of exception, and if a person has rea- 18:15, we read, "they brought unto son to regard himself as among these him also infants." There a different cases of exception, and is, in a judi- word is used. It is, however, a word cious manner, disposed to act on the not restricted to the period of infansaying of the disciples, he is at lib-cy, as appears from examining 2 Tim. erty so to do. || For the kingdom of 3 : 15," from a child thou hast known 'heaven's sake; that is, as we say, for the holy Scriptures ; " the word transthe sake of the cause of Christ, for the lated child, in the Epistle to Timothy, promotion of true religion. 1 Cor. 7: being the same as that which is trans32. The chapter in the Epistle just lated infants in Luke. || Brought un