« PreviousContinue »
Sermon on the mount.
WITH A COURSE OF
Questions and Answers,
chiefly for the Instruction of
REV. JOHN EYTON.
Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Luke vi. 46.
cumcision, but faith which worketh by love-a new creature-the
Sold also by
ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
In printing a second edition of this little work, the author has thankfully embraced the opportunity of adopting such improvements in its form as were kindly suggested to him in the British Critic for February, 1806. He has likewise made some alterations in the explanatory catechism; since it appeared to him, while he was revising that part of the work, that there were several passages of the sermon of which, in the first instance, he had given an explanation not altoge ther satisfactory.
THE following Catechism, formed upon the sub
stance of our Lords Sermon on the Mount, was drawn up in conformity to a promise made to a few young persons who have usually spent an hour with me on the Sunday evening, for the purpose of being instructed in this and other portions of the word of God. It is now published with a desire of impressing upon their minds, in particular, the instructions which have been delivered to them on such occasions; and likewise with a further view to the spiritual benefit of young people in general.
In attempting to elucidate this invaluable portion of Scripture, I have availed myself of the assistance of such Commentators only as were recommended by the
brevity and clearness of their explanations; because, in a composition of this nature, conciseness is indispensably requisite. Whether I have succeeded in giving on all occasions a just interpretation of our Lord's words, must be decided, not by the imaginary authority of any set of opinions adopted by the world, and accommodated to the prevailing laxity of religious practice, but by a fair and unprejudiced reference “ to the law and to the testimony." To that unerring standard of truth, and to that alone, I desire to appeal. readers search the Scriptures for themselves.
Let them sincerely, pray to God to open
that they may see wondrous things out of his law. Let them accurately compare what is here advanced, with what is there revealed, and then if in any instance they can prove that I speak not according to God's word, I will readily acknowledge that, so far at least, there is no light in me.
I am not aware, however, that I have been guilty, even in the minutest instance, either of contracting or extending the sense of these important sayings of Jesus Lhrist. My conscience beareth me witness that I have endeavoured simply and faithfully to declare the whole counsel of God. To know the truth myself, and to be an instrument in the hands of God of imparting that knowledge to others, is the point at which I aim, and the end which I have had in view when writing the following exposition of the Sermon on the Mount. I hope, therefore, that parents will not refuse to lend me their assistance, in seconding this effort to promote the eternal welfare of their dear offspring. Surely, a portion of every day, and particularly of the Sabbath, ought to be devoted to the pious purpose of training up the children whom God has given them“ in the way wherein they should go,—the way which leadeth unto life.” I will, therefore, venture to propose, that in those families where the parents and the children can read, the former should require the latter to commit to memory in the course of every week some part of the Sermon, as it was delivered by Jesus Christ, together with the questions and answers in the annexed explanation, referring to the particular portion of Scripture which from time to time they are appointed to learn: and the lesson having been thus prepared, an hour or two of the Sabbath evening may be properly