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Verse 5. With anger. With a severe and stern countenance; with indignation at their hypocrisy and hardness of heart. This was not, however, a spiteful or revengeful passion; it was caused by excessive grief at their state. It was not sudden and tumultuous hatred of the men whose hearts were so hard; it was hatred of the sin which they exhibited, joined with the extreme grief that neither his teaching, nor the law of God, nor any means which could be used, overcame their confirmed wickedness. Such anger is not unlawful, Eph 4:26. And, in this instance, our Lord has taught us that anger is never lawful, except when it is tempered with grief or compassion for those who have offended.

Hardness of their hearts. The heart—figuratively the seat of feeling, or affection is said to be tender when it is easily affected by the sufferings of others; by our own sin and danger; by the love and commands of God;—when we are easily made to feel on the great subjects pertaining to our interest, Eze 11:19,20. It is hard, when nothing moves it; when a man is alike insensible to the sufferings of others, the dangers of his own condition, and the commands, the love, and the threatenings of God. It is most tender in youth, or when we have committed fewest crimes. It is made hard by indulgence in sin; by long resisting the offers of life; or by opposing any great and affecting appeals which God may make to us by his Spirit or Providence, by affliction, or by a revival of religion. Hence it is that the most favourable period for securing an interest in Christ, or for becoming a Christian, is in youth; the first, the tenderest, and the best days of life. Nay, in the days of childhood—in the Sabbath-school—God may be found, and the soul prepared to die.

{1} "hardness" or, "blindness"

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