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5. Sermon on the Mount

1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: 2and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,

3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

10Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. 14Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. 16Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

17Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

21Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire. 23If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, 24leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the last farthing.

27Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell. 31It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.

33Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34but I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one.

38Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: 44but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 45that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. 46For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? 48Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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Verses 3–12

Our Saviour here gives eight characters of blessed people, which represent to us the principal graces of a Christian. 1. The poor in spirit are happy. These bring their minds to their condition, when it is a low condition. They are humble and lowly in their own eyes. They see their want, bewail their guilt, and thirst after a Redeemer. The kingdom of grace is of such; the kingdom of glory is for them. 2. Those that mourn are happy. That godly sorrow which worketh true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, with constant seeking the Holy Spirit, to cleanse away the remaining evil, seems here to be intended. Heaven is the joy of our Lord; a mountain of joy, to which our way is through a vale of tears. Such mourners shall be comforted by their God. 3. The meek are happy. The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer; who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world. 4. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are happy. Righteousness is here put for all spiritual blessings. These are purchased for us by the righteousness of Christ, confirmed by the faithfulness of God. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest. Though all desires for grace are not grace, yet such a desire as this, is a desire of God's own raising, and he will not forsake the work of his own hands. 5. The merciful are happy. We must not only bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must do all we can to help those who are in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity those who are in sin, and seek to snatch them as brands out of the burning. 6. The pure in heart are happy; for they shall see God. Here holiness and happiness are fully described and put together. The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. Create in me such a clean heart, O God. None but the pure are capable of seeing God, nor would heaven be happiness to the impure. As God cannot endure to look upon their iniquity, so they cannot look upon his purity. 7. The peace-makers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. If the peace-makers are blessed, woe to the peace-breakers! 8. Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake are happy. This saying is peculiar to Christianity; and it is more largely insisted upon than any of the rest. Yet there is nothing in our sufferings that can merit of God; but God will provide that those who lose for him, though life itself, shall not lose by him in the end. Blessed Jesus! how different are thy maxims from those of men of this world! They call the proud happy, and admire the gay, the rich, the powerful, and the victorious. May we find mercy from the Lord; may we be owned as his children, and inherit his kingdom. With these enjoyments and hopes, we may cheerfully welcome low or painful circumstances.




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