Изображения страниц

made him fear? A secret consciousness that his heart was not right in the sight of God.

17. What did our Lord reply when the young ruler called him "Good Master"? "Why callest thou me good?—there is none good but one, that is God." What was implied in our Lord's answer, "Why callest thou me good"? That he was not, like the Rabbins, fond of vain titles.

Was it a


vain title, when addressed to Him, who is goodness itself? No; but it was vain to call him "good" whilst ignorant of his true character and dignity. In what light was he regarded by the ruler? some great teacher, but not as the only-begotten Son of the Father. Is a true knowledge of Christ Jesus intimately connected with eternal life? Yes; it is written, This is life know thee the only true whom thou hast sent.*

eternal, that they might God, and Jesus Christ, Was the young ruler

seeking eternal life in the right way? No; he sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.† Why did he thus go about to establish his own righteousness? Because he had not submitted himself to the righteousness of God.‡ What is the meaning of the phrase, the righteousness of God, as used Rom. x. 3? God's method of justifying the ungodly. Did our Lord show this young

man the way of justification by faith? No; he referred him to the law. Can the law give life?

No; if there had been a law given which could have

John xvii. 3.

+ Rom. ix. 32.

Rom. x. 3.

given life, verily righteousness (or justification) should have been by the law.* If the law cannot give life, why did our Lord direct this inquirer to the law? In order that through the law, he might become dead to the law, and might live unto God.† When is a man dead to the law? When he is convinced that by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.t How did our Lord direct the ruler's attention to the law? He said, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

18. What was the young man's reply? "He saith

unto him, Which ?" Are not all the commandments to be kept, without exception? Yes. Why, then, did this young man ask, which he was to keep? Because the Pharisees accounted some precepts to be weighty, and others slight, or of little importance.§ What appears to have been his particular object in putting the question "which ?" To ascertain whether our Lord referred to the old commandments of the law, or to some new precepts. Which of the commandments did our Lord then specify? "Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness." What kind of statutes are these? Prohibitory statutes. What do you mean by prohibitory? Forbidding to do certain things. Where are these prohibitory statutes found? Among the ten commandments, written on

+ Gal. ii. 19.

Gal. iii. 21. Gal. ii. 16. As, in the present day, men say, essentials and non-essentials.

the two tables of stone. Where were the two tables of stone kept? In the ark of the covenant. What do you mean by the ark of the covenant? A small chest or coffer, made of shittim wood, and overlaid with gold.* Where was that coffer deposited? First in the tabernacle,† and afterwards in the temple.‡

19. What other commandments did our Lord enumerate? "Honour thy father and thy mother; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." What kind of statutes are these? Preceptive statutes. What do you understand by preceptive? Requiring to do certain things.

[ocr errors]


20. When our Lord had specified these commandments of the law, what did "the young man "All these things have I kept from my youth up ;§ what lack I yet?" What did he mean by "all these things"? All the commandments of the moral law. Do you think he had really kept all those commandments? Outwardly, he had; for he was a strictly moral and virtuous character. Was he acquainted with the extent and spirituality of the commandments? No; he had not felt their application to the thoughts and intents of the heart.¶ Did you not say (ver. 16) that he had a secret consciousness that his heart was not right with God? Yes. What could be the cause of that misgiving, since he knew, that, touching the righteousness of the law, he was blameless? Conscience whispered that his * Exod. xxxvii. 1-5. + Exod. xl. 20, 21. 1 Kings viii. 6. Meaning" from my childhood." Heb. iv. 12.

heart was still divided between the world and religion. Can we ever enjoy the comforts of religion with a divided heart? No; religion is a jealous thing; it demands the whole heart.*

21. What did our Lord further say to him? "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven and come, follow me." What are we here to understand by the word "perfect"? Sincere and upright before God. Is the almost Christian a perfect character? No; there is a wide distinction between the almost Christian and the disciple indeed.t Is it required of every one who will be a follower of Christ to sell all that he has, and give to the poor? No; but we are required to do whatsoever he commands.‡ If we had a divine command to sell our possessions, ought we to do it? Certainly. But since such a sacrifice is not enjoined on all the followers of Jesus, why was this ruler required to sell his possessions? To put his real character to the test. what would that have proved? his concern about eternal life. plied, what would that have shown? That his love of riches was stronger than his religious feeling. What did our Lord set before him as the inducement to sell all? The promise, "Thou shalt have treasure in heaven." What treasure did our Lord mean? The favour of God, and the joys of the life + Comp. Acts xxvi. 28, 29, with John viii. 31, 32. John xv. 14.

Hosea x. 2.

If he had complied,

The intenseness of
If he had not com-

to come. treasures?

Are these to be preferred to all earthly
See vi. 20.*

22. When the young ruler heard what was required of

him, did he hasten to obey? No; "he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions." Why did he go away? Because he found it impossible to serve God and Mammon.t Who is Mammon? See vi. 24. Was this young man idolatrously attached to his worldly possessions? Yes; his heart was bound up in them. Why, then, did he go away from the Saviour "sorrowful"? Because he had some faint desires after Christ, though he would not part with his money for any consideration. What is the reason that so many young people turn away from the Lord Jesus, and will not follow him? Because there is something that they will not give up, and which is dearer to them than the treasures of heaven. What is the reason, that, when they go away from Christ, they are not happy? Because their minds are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. Was the sorrow of this ruler of a godly kind? No. How do you know that? Because godly sorrow would have made him return to the Lord. 1 23. When the ruler turned away from Christ, what remark did our Lord make to his disciples? "Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." When did our Lord use the form of speech, "Verily I say unto you"? See v. 18. What important sentiment

Here recapitulate also the questions vi. 21.

[blocks in formation]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »