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be comforted. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful." It is not thus, we may suppose, that the world in general judge, for it is not on the principles thus expressed that they act. Yet are the words of our Saviour confirmed by daily experience. Who, even in this life, are happy, if not the peaceful? Is violence of passion a blessing to him who indulges it? Far otherwise. We cannot conceive of a state
of mind more heavenly, than to be at peace with all the world, with conscience, and with God.
"Blessed are the peacemakers;" for a holier, loftier pleasure does not exist than that of doing good; and if peace be happiness, and its opposite be misery, how godlike is the enjoyment of that man who restores to his brethren that best of blessings!
"Blessed are the pure in heart;" those who obey the law of God, not from fear, but from the absence of any desire beyond the bounds which that law has established; they whose virtue flows in natural and quiet beauty, from the unsullied fountain of an innocent mind.
Blessed are even the mourners and the persecuted; if their strength is in God. They may lose every other support, but they possess the love of their Father, and the hope of heaven. As other consolations fail, these grow brighter: till at length the event of death itself is met with tranquillity or even rapture, and conducts them to their full blessedness, above.
'Blest are the meek,' he said
While here on earth they stay,
Calm peace with them shall dwell;
The God of peace is theirs ;
They own his gracious sway;
And, yielding all their wills to him,
No angry passions move,
Oh gracious Father, grant
CONCLUSION OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
MATT. VII. 1. AND 21.
JUDGE not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And ther will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore, whosoev
er heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes.
"Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them," said the Saviour, "I will liken him unto a wise man," &c. What then are the rules, in obedience to which we shall find the foundation of our true happiness? They are, above all things, humility, peacefulness, and devotion to God: with enforcing these did the sermon on the mount commence. To these succeeds the precept to establish a high standard of right, not conformed merely to the requisitions of the world, or the traditions of other days. We are commanded to act, not only in a right manner, but from right motives; banishing from our hearts the spirit of ostentation; regarding as of comparatively little consequence the treasures, the honours of earth; but entrusting these things to the care of Providence, to devote every power to the performance of duty. The discourse of the Saviour closes with instructions to avoid rash and harsh judgment, and at the same time, to exercise discretion in the choice of friends and advisers; and above all, to repose with filial confidence on the love of our heavenly Father. The sure foun
dation, never failing in the hour of danger, is thus described by Jesus, as consisting of humility, disinterestedness, candour, faith in God, and earnest endeavours to perform his will.
When, by pain and care oppressed,
When our earthly comforts fail.
When the blasts of adverse fate
Transient are the joys of earth.
But thy servants' trust, Oh Lord!
On our Father's will to save,
Beaming from thy throne above.