228228 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27. Sevituti subjicio; Vulgate, in servitutem redigo.
229229 “Not in power or wisdom,—which was the cause of man’s fall, and leads evermore to the same,—but in love” (Plumptre).
230230 John i. 12.
231231 Rom viii. 17 and Gal. iv. 5.
232232 Facit (above, jubet). Bengel’s comment is good: “Magnifica appellatio. Ipse et fecit solem et gubernat et habet in sua unius potestate” (“Splendid designation. He made the sun, governs it, and has it in His own power”).
233233 Wisd. vii. 26.
234234 Mal. iv. 2.
235235 Wisd. v. 6.
236236 Isa. v. 6.
237237 Gen. i. 16.
238238 “Be ye therefore perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek text has here the future: esesqe teleioi, “Ye therefore shall be perfect” (Revised Version). Meyer gives the verb the imperative sense; Alford, Lange, and others include the imperative sense. The imperative force adds not a little to the plausibility of deriving the doctrine of perfectibility on earth, or complete “sanctification,” from the passage, as the Pelagians (whom Augustin elsewhere combats) and some Methodist commentators (Whedon, etc.). Alford, Trench, etc., deny that the verse gives any countenance to the doctrine. As regards the nature of the perfection, Bengel sententiously says, “in amore, erga omnes” (“in love, toward all” See Col. iii. 14). It seems “to refer chiefly to the perfection of the divine love” (Mansel); so also Bleek, Meyer. Weiss (whose Leben Jesu, i. 532–534, see) finds an allusion to the fundamental command of the Old Testament “Be ye holy,” etc. In the place of the divine holiness, or God’s elevation above all uncleanness of the creature, is substituted the divine perfection, whose essence is all-comprehensive and unselfish love; and in the place of the God separated from the sinful people, appears He who in love condescends to them and brings them into likeness with Himself as His children. The last verse of the Sermon as reported by Luke (vi. 36) confirms the idea that the perfection is of love: “Be ye merciful, as your Father which is in heaven is merciful.” Commenting on this verse, Dr. Schaff says, “Instruction in morality cannot rise above this. Having thus led us up to our heavenly Father as the true standard, our Lord, by a natural transition, passes to our religious duties, i.e. duties to our heavenly Father.”
239239 Hos. vi. 6.
11 Jesus passes from the precepts of the genuine righteousness to the actual practice of the same (Meyer, Weiss), from moral to religious duties (Lange), from actions to motives; having spoken to the heart before by inference, he now speaks directly (Alford).
22 Ps. xxxiv. 2.
33 Cavete facere; Vulgate, attendite ne faciatis.
44 In agreement with the best Greek text. (See Revised Version.) This verse is a general proposition. The three leading manifestations of righteousness and practical piety among the Jews follow,—alms-giving, prayer, fasting.
55 Matt. v. 14–16.
66 Gal. i. 10.
77 1 Cor. x. 32, 33.
88 Phil. iv. 17.
99 Acts otherwise noble and praiseworthy become sin when done to make an appearance before men, and get honour from them. Bad intentions vitiate pious observances.
1010 Glorificantur; Vulgate honorificentur. The sounding of trumpet is referred by some to an alleged custom of the parties themselves calling the poor together by a trumpet, or even to the noise of the coins on the trumpet-shaped chests in the temple. Better, it is figurative of “self-laudation and display” (Meyer, Alford, Lange, etc.).
1111 Acts iii., iv.
1212 Prov. xxv. 21.
1313 “With complete modesty; secret, noiseless giving” (Chrysostom). No reference to a counting of the money by the left hand (Paulus, De Wette). Luther’s comment is quaint and characteristic: “When thou givest alms with thy right hand, take heed that thou dost not seek with the left to take more, but put it behind thy back.” Trench pronounces this discussion concerning the meaning of the left hand “laborious, and, as I cannot but think, unnecessary;” but it is ingenious and interesting.
1414 Pii lucent et tamen laten (Bengel).
1515 Not our Father.
1616 It is wanting in the Sinaitic, B, D, etc., Mss., as also in the Vulgate copies.
1717 They love to stand praying, more than they love to pray. Like the Mohammedans of to-day, they took delight in airing their piety. Our Lord mentions the most conspicuous localities. The usual posture of the Jews in prayer was standing (1 Sam. i. 26, Luke xviii. 11, etc.).
1818 Vos; Vulgate, tu (Revised Version).
1919 Ps. iv. 4. The English version renders, “Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”
2020 Claudentes ostia; Vulgate, clauso ostio.
2121 Our Lord on occasion followed this habit (Matt. xiv. 23 and in Gethsemane).
2222 Greek, Bsttalogew “Use not vain repetitions,” Revised Version (or stammer). Some derive the word from Battus, king of Cyrene, who stuttered, or from Battus, author of wordy poems. The word is probably only an imitation of the sound of the stammerer (Thayer, Lexicon, who spells Battologew). The Jews were only doing as well as the Gentiles when they placed virtue in the length of the prayer, and no better. “Who makes his prayer long, shall not return home empty” (Rabbi Chasima, quoted by Hausrath, 73). The Rabbins took up at great length the question how many and what kind of petitions should be offered up at the table spread on different occasions with different viands, whether salutations should be acknowledged in the course of prayer, etc. (see Schürer, pp. 498, 499) Examples of repetitious prayer in Scripture: I Kings xviii. 26, Acts xix. 34. The warning is not against frequent prayer (Luke xviii. 1).
2323 Arbitrantur; Vulgate, putant.
2424 Vobis necessarium; Vulgate, opus.
2525 The illustration is frequently used (M. Henry; after him F. W. Robertson), to represent the position of some, that prayer only has an influence on the petitioner, of a boatman in his boat, taking hold of the wharf with his grappling hook. While prayer does not “inform or persuade God,” it is the condition of receiving. The sanctifying influence is secondary and incidental.
2626 Orate; Vulgate, Orabitis.
2727 Quotidianum; Vulgate, supersubstantialem.
2828 Inferas (Rev. Vers.); Vulgate, inducas.
2929 This prayer is called the Lord’s Prayer because our Lord is its author, He did not and could not have used it Himself, on account of (1) the special meaning of the pronoun “our” in the address, (2) the confession of sins in the fifth petition. Luke’s account (xi. 1) agrees in the subject of the petitions as in the address, but differs (1) in the omission of the third petition (Crit text); (2) in the addition to the fifth petition (which, however, Matthew gives at the close of the prayer in a more elaborate form); (3) in adducing a request of the disciples as the occasion of the prayer. Some have thought the prayer was given on two occasions (Meyer in earlier edd., Tholuck). Others hold that Matthew has inserted it out of its proper historical place (Neander, Olshausen, De Wette, Ebrard, Meyer in ed. vi., Weiss, etc.). This question of priority and accuracy as between the forms of Matthew and Luke may be regarded as set at rest by the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, which (viii. 2) gives the exact form of Matthew with three unimportant differences: viz. (1) heaven, *, instead of heavens; (2) the omission of the article before earth; (3) debt instead of debts. This document contains the doxology (with the omission of kingdom), and supports the Textus Receptus in giving the present, we forgive, ajfhkamen, instead of the perfect, we have forgiven, ajfhvkamen.—The division of the prayer is usually made into (1) address, (2) petitions, (3) doxology (omitted from the approved critical Greek text and the Revised Version).—The petitions are seven according to Augustin, Luther, Bengel, Tholuck, etc: six (the two last being combined as one) according to Chrysostom, Reformed catechisms, Calvin, Schaff, etc. The petitions are divided into two groups (Tertullian) or tables (Calvin).—The contents of the first three petitions concern the glory of God; of the last four, the wants of men. In the first group the pronoun is thy, and the direction of the thought is from heaven downwards to earth; in the second group it is us, and the direction of the thought is from earth upwards to God.—The numbers, in view of their significance in the Old Testament, 3, 4, 7, are not an uninteresting item. Tholuck says: “The attention of the student who has otherwise heard of the doctrine of the Trinity will find a distinct reference to it in the arrangement of this prayer. In the first petition of each group, God is referred to as Creator and Preserver; in the second as Redeemer; in the third as the Holy Spirit.”—The Lord’s Prayer is more than a specimen of prayer: it is a pattern. Different views are held concerning its liturgical use, which can be traced back to Cyprian and Tertullian, and now farther still, to the Teaching of the Apostles, which, after giving the prayer, says, “Thrice a day pray thus.” It also gives (ix.) a form of prayer to be used after the Eucharist. Of its abuse Luther says, “It is the greatest martyr.”—It is not a compilation, although similar or the same, petitions may have been in use among the Jews. The simplicity, symmetry of arrangement, depth and progress of thought, reverence of feeling, make it, indeed, the model prayer,—the Lord’s Prayer. Tertullian calls it breviarium totius evangelii (so Meyer).
3030 Isa. i. 2.
3131 Ps. lxxxii. 6.
3232 Mal. i. 6.
3333 John i. 12.
3434 Rom. viii. 15–23 and Gal. iv. 1–6.
3535 Patrem quisquis appellare potest, omnia orare potest (Bengel).
3636 “The address puts us into the proper attitude of prayer. It indicates our filial relation to God as ‘Father 0’ (word of faith), fraternal relation to our fellow-men (‘our, 0’ word of love), and our destination of ‘heaven 0’ (word of hope).”
5454 Escam quoe non corrumpitur; Vulgate, non cibum qui perit.
5555 Panis vitae; Vulgate, panis vivus.
5656 John vi. 27, 41.
5757 Apponentur; Vulgate, adjicientur.
5858 Ps. xcv. 7.
5959 Heb. iii. 13.
6060 The Greek ejpiouvsio", translated daily (see margin of Revised Version, with alternate rendering of American Committee), is found only here and in Luke (xi. 3). Its meaning does not seem to come under the review of Augustin, but has troubled modern commentators. It has been taken to mean (1) needful, hence sufficient, as opposed to superfluity or want (Chrysostom, Tholuck, Ewald, Ebrard, Weiss, etc.); (2) daily (Luther, English version, etc.); (3) for the coming day (Grotius, Meyer, Thayer, Lightfoot, who has an elaborate treatment in Revision of English New Testament, Append. pp. 195–245). The direct reference of the bread to spiritual food is given by the Vulgate, and generally accepted in the Roman-Catholic Church. Olshausen, Delitzsch, Alford, etc., regard the spiritual nourishment involved by implication in the term.
6161 The present with the Vulgate, Textus Receptus, Teaching of Twelve Apostles. The perfect is found in a
6262 Matt. v. 26.
6363 Luke xiii. 1–5. Moriemini; Vulgate, peribitis. Augustin has written “Herod” instead of “Pilate.”
6464 Matt. v. 40.
6565 2 Tim. ii. 24.
6666 Not “because,” nor “to the same extent as,” but “in the same manner as.” It is interesting to note the contrast between the spirit of Christianity and Islam as indicated by a comparison of this petition with the prayer offered every night by the ten thousand students at the Mahometan college in Cairo: “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah the compassionate, the merciful, O Lord of all the creatures! O Allah! destroy the infidels and polytheists, thine enemies, the enemies of the religion. O Allah! make their children orphans, and defile their abodes. Cause their feet to slip,” etc.
6767 See Book i. chaps. 19, 20.
6868 Inferas…inducas, as the Vulgate.
6969 Ecclus. xxxiv. 9, 11.
7070 Gal. iv. 13, 14. The English version renders “my temptation,” but “your temptation” is the reading of the oldest Mss.
8585 Petit vos vexare quomodo triticum; Vulgate, expetivit vos ut cribraret sicut triticum.
8686 Luke xxii. 31, 32.
8787 Sinat; Vulgate, patietur.
8888 Tolerare; Vulgate, sustinere.
8989 1 Cor. x. 13.
9090 Trench, giving the essence of Augustin’s discussion, says, “God does tempt quite as truly as the devil tempts; all the difference lies in the end and aim with which they severally do it,—the one tempting to deceive, the other to approve: Satan, to their ruin; God, to their everlasting gain.”
9191 Alford and other modern commentators agree with Augustin in explaining avpo tou porhoou “of evil;” Bengel, Meyer, Schaff, and others (see Revised Version; make the form masculine,—“the Evil One.”
9292 Rom. viii. 24.
9393 Or, as he expresses it in another place (Sermon lvii. 7), “to this life of our pilgrimage” (“ista vita peregrinationis nostroe”).
9494 Isa. liv. 13; John vi. 45.
9595 Ps. xxxi. 20.
9696 Lange draws a comparison between the petitions and the Beatitudes similar to that which follows.
9797 Ps. xix. 9.
9898 Accipite; Vulgate, possidete.
9999 Origine, Vulgate, constitutione.
100100 Matt. xxv. 34.
101101 Ps. xxxiv. 2.
102102 Miser; Vulgate, infelix.
103103 Rom. vii. 23, 24.
104104 Matt. v. 3–9.
105105 Rom. viii. 15 and Gal. iv. 6.
106106 Vultum…videantur; Vulgate, facies…appareant. The Greek has a play on words, ajfanizousi\elipsi";fanw`si (“they mar their appearance, that they may make an appearance”).
107107 Vultum…videantur; Vulgate, facies…appareant. The Greek has a play on words, ajfanizousi\elipsi";fanw`si (“they mar their appearance, that they may make an appearance”).
108108 Vulgate has the singular as the Greek. The Pharisees were scrupulous in keeping fast-days. Monday and Thursday were observed by the strict with different degrees of scrupulosity,—the lowest admitting of washing and anointing the head. (See Schürer, N. Zeitgesch. p. 505 sqq.). The early practice of fasting in the sub-apostolic Church is evident from the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, which enjoins it before baptism, and on the “fourth day and the Preparation Day” (vii., viii.).
109109 Rom. viii. 29.
110110 So modern exegetes (Meyer, etc.).
111111 Eph. v. 25–33.
112112 1 Cor. xi. 3.
113113 “It hardly needs to add,” says Trench, “that Augustin everywhere interprets ‘when ye fast 0’ as a command.”
114114 Isa. i. 16.
115115 2 Cor. iii. 18.
116116 Ps. cxix. 36.
117117 1 Tim. i. 5.
118118 Having uttered warnings against formalists, the Lord now passes to the complete dedication of the heart.