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brethren that are in the world,” that there are but few forms in which we cannot find much adapted to our own case, and our own household. And so with regard to Expositions of Scripture, there are few which, if they simply and unreservedly set forth the truth as it is in Jesus, may not be used with benefit in every family circle. The present one puts forth no claims to originality of design or comment : it is literally the gathering up of what was actually delivered in a household, as far as memory could supply, with, of course, the necessary omission of merely personal or local observations. It is very possible that in the address of the moment, I may have adopted, unawares, the thoughts, or even the words, of a predecessor; and even where memory has consciously supplied a more powerful or happier expression than my own, I have not hesitated to appropriate it, though, of course, with acknowledgments of the debt.
Should it be found that the present volumes are an acceptable addition to the household requirements of family devotion, they will be followed by the remaining Gospels. In committing the present portion to the press, I com
I mend it, in earnest prayer, to the great Head of
the Church ; and, in the words of a holy man of old, I would say, “Domine Deus, quæcunque dixi de tuo, agnoscant et tui; si qua de meo, et tu ignosce et tui.”*
* August. De Trin.
THE COTTAGE, CHEAM,
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW.
The very first word of the New Testament is a word of blessedness, and a message of goodwill, love, and peace. The word “gospel,” both in its original Greek and our own Saxon-English, alike signifies “good tidings.” And, assuredly, there can be no better tidings to sinful man than that “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” There can be no better tidings to lost man than that “Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost.” And to whom are these good tidings, this gospel, preached ? Our Lord himself tells us, that there is no limitation of clime or country, no selection of class or colour—“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;" or if, indeed, a selection is made of those to whom it is more especially addressed, and to whom it would be more especially endeared, “ to the poor the gospel is preached;"- not the poor in this world's goods only, but those who are really
and spiritually poor, and naked, and miserable, and blind ; who know their own poverty, and shiver beneath their nakedness, and are groping for a way of safety in the midst of their blindness,-to them are proclaimed and offered the unsearchable riches of Christ, the robe of Christ's own righteousness, and that enlightening of the eyes which can enable them to discern spiritual things. And how wonderful are these tidings! They never impair by age; they never lessen by repetition. They were good tidings when the angels proclaimed them on the plains of Bethlehem nearly two thousand years ago. They have been good tidings to the countless thousands who have heard and received them ever since; and the tidings are as fresh and consolatory to ourselves to.night as they were generations ago. I would only say, be careful that you receive them as such. They have a twofold character—they must be either a savour of life unto life, or a savour of death unto death. In rejecting these tidings, you reject the only way of salvation, for “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved," but only the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And remember the solemn question of the apostle, “How can we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?”