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Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount

Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 02, 2013
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TRECH SER O MTEXPOSITIO OF THE SERMO O THE MOUTDRAW FROM THE WRITIGS OF ST. AUGUSTIE,BY RICHARD CHEEVE TRECHPREFACE.THIS volume is not, as a glance at any page-'- will show, a translation of St Augustine sCommentary on the Sermon on the Mount* but-m attempt to draw from the circle of his writings,[that one of course included,) what of most im-portant he has contributed for the elucidation, orfor the turning to practical uses, of this portion of Holy Scripture.Yet I am conscious, from the very plan uponwhich the book is written, that it may be open toa charge, at least from an unfriendly critic, of something like presumption. It may be said thatthere is in it a continual passing of judgment,— putting aside, — ^an approving and condemning;and this in regard of one whom the Church hasever and justly recognized among the very chiefestPage 1
TRECH SER O MT* In the Benedictine Edition, torn. iii. pars 2% pp. 162 — 236.Tl PREFACE.of her teachers. A friend, to whom the manu-script, when nearly prepared for press, was shown,^and whose coimsel and judgment that I am ableat all times to profit by, is one of the chief hap-pinesses of my life, — ^has warned me that it willhardly escape a charge of the kind. Yet I havenot therefore been persuaded to alter my scheme,as indeed I could not have altered it, without re-nouncing the work altogether. For the plan whichis now finding favour among us, of presenting inthe mass, unsifted and untried, the old expositionsof Scripture, often placing side by side explana-tions which, in their minor details at least, excludeone another, and this with no attempt to judge ordiscriminate between them, — ^no endeavour to sepa-rate the accident of one age, the superfluous, itmay be the injurious, excrescence from the eternaltruth, which is of all and for all ages, — seems tome profitable for little, and not likely to lead usinto any deeper, or clearer and more intelligentknowledge of Scripture. Moreover, when weconfine ourselves merely to giving back the old,and this with weU nigh a suspension of aU judg-ment about it, what is this but saying, that theproductive powers of the Church have ceased ; thather power of educing firom God's Word, by thatPage 2
TRECH SER O MTSpirit which is ever with her, the truth in thosePREFACE. Vllforms in which it will best meet our present needs,exists no longer ; that henceforth the Scripture shallbe for us a dstem, clear it may be, and fiill, butno longer a spring of water springing up as freshlyand newly for our lips, as for the lips of any gene-ration which has gone before: — and as her pro-ductive, so also that her discriminative power isgone; she may no longer discern that which isakin to, and wiU assimilate with, her true life, andclaim that and that only for her own?either seems there any genuine humility inforgoing or denying our advantages; — ^they maybe slight ones compared with those which otherages enjoyed for entering into the meaning of God's Word; but, if slight, therefore to be hus-banded the more. And, not to speak of the accu-mulation of merely critical and external helps,some such we plainly have. To deny this were todeny to the Church, — ^to her who, according to hertruest idea, is ever teacher and ever taught, — ^thatshe has been learning sjxj thing in the eighteenhundred years of her troubled warfare with theevil within her and the evil without Yet somethings surely she has found out: some practiceswhich promised well, which she anticipated wouldfiirther piety, her own life and history have taughtPage 3

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