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The Economic Precepts of Christ.

The Economic Precepts of Christ.

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Published by glennpease
BY J. LLEWELYN DAVIES, M.A.


(Preached at Christ Church, St. Marylebone, September 1877.)

" Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteous-
ness ; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Matthew vi. 33.
BY J. LLEWELYN DAVIES, M.A.


(Preached at Christ Church, St. Marylebone, September 1877.)

" Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteous-
ness ; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Matthew vi. 33.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 28, 2013
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THE ECOOMIC PRECEPTS OF CHRIST.BY J. LLEWELY DAVIES, M.A.(Preached at Christ Church, St. Marylebone, September 1877.)" Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteous-ness ; and all these things shall be added unto you."Matthew vi. 33.There is a great danger of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount being regardedas visionary and unpractical. Amongst thosewho find themselves able to criticise thewritings of the ew Testament as freely asthey would the pages of any other ancientbook, it is a common habit to profess a greatadmiration for the unworldly morality of thisdiscourse, which is often set in a place of honour above the rest of the volume, but atthe same time to take for granted that itsprecepts belong to an imaginary world oran exceptional society, and cannot be put in> jiraotkc by ordinary men in the world as itEconomic Precepts of Christ.255And
 
must be admitted that manywho shrink from criticism of this kind areconscious of a similar impression left upontheir minds by some parts of the Sermon onthe Mount. "Resist not evil;" "Give tohim that asketh thee;" "Lay not up foryourselves treasures upon earth ;" — as weread or hear these precepts, we cannot helpfeeling that they have a certain beauty, butwe find it difficult to accept them as universallaws. We may recognise them as whatRoman Catholics call "counsels of perfec-tion," — that is, rules by the observance of which saints who withdraw themselves fromthe world may cultivate a perfection deniedto ordinary mortals, but we hardly aim atdigesting them into our own lives. If wesaw it related in a life of some holy manthat he was accustomed to put these rulesin practice, we might willingly consent tothink of him as belonging to a higher classthan ourselves, and yet not be convinced thatwe ought to go and do likewise.Even if we are in such an attitude of mind towards them, these precepts do us, Ibelieve, some good. To recognise them ashigh and beautiful may in some important256Social Questiofis.
 
degree touch and mould our dispositions.Our sympathies will always tell upon ourconduct ; and who can be hard or grossenough to read without emotion these com-mands which imply such unlimited trust inman and in God — these references to thefowls of the air, which sow not, nor reap,nor gather into barns, yet are fed by theheavenly Father ; and to the lilies of thefield, which toil not nor spin, yet are clothedwith raiment surpassing the finest of Solo-mon's ? The natural impulse to retaliate,the earthly eagerness to lay up treasure,must often have been put to shame and re-laxed by the very sound of these heavenlywords.But we fail to make the intended use of these precepts of our Lord's if we do notreceive them as authoritative. There wasnothing, you may be sure, in the Lord Jesusof the dreaming enthusiast, forgetful of theactual conditions of life. Remember what Isrecorded at the end of this Sermon on theMount : " It came to pass, when Jesus endedthese sayings, the multitudes were astonishedat his teaching ; for he taught them as onehaving authority, and not as their scribes."pEconomic Precepts of Christ. 257■ The teaching of Jesus seemed to the peoplethat of one who spoke with authority — thiswas what made it so different to them from

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