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Verses 7-11

Matthew 7:7-11. Ask, &c. The exhortation contained in these verses may be considered as connected with the caution given in those immediately preceding, and then the sense of it will be, If you be at a loss to know who are and who are not proper subjects of reproof or admonition; or to whom you may with propriety speak of the higher truths of Christianity, even of those of experimental religion, and therefore want wisdom to guide you in these difficulties, ask, and it shall be given you, &c. Or the passage may refer to the whole preceding discourse, and Christ might intend thereby to prevent his disciples from being discouraged by the holiness of the doctrine, and the strictness of the precepts he had been inculcating, and therefore thus directs them to apply to God for supernatural aid; and assures them, if they did so with fervency, importunity, and perseverance, they should not apply in vain. But, independent of their connection with what precedes or follows in this most admirable sermon, these verses contain a most important direction and encouraging exhortation to the people of God to seek help of him in all difficulties whatsoever, and all those aids of his Spirit, and other blessings necessary to their salvation. Seek, and ye shall find Add to your asking your own diligent endeavours in the use of all other appointed means; and knock Persevere importunately in that diligence, and your efforts shall not be in vain. What you ask shall be given you, provided you ask what is agreeable to God’s will: the spiritual blessings which you seek, in this way, you shall find: and the door of mercy and salvation, at which you knock, shall certainly be opened to you. For every one that thus asketh, receiveth, &c. Such is the goodness and faithfulness of God to his children.

Our Lord next, to give his followers greater assurance of obtaining from God the blessings which they should ask and seek aright, illustrates the divine goodness by reminding them of the imperfect goodness and bounty of men to their offspring. What man is there of you, or, among you; τις εστιν εξ υμων ανθρωπος . The words are very emphatical, and give great strength to our Lord’s argument. As if he had said, I appeal to yourselves, is there a man among you, in all this numerous assembly, who, if his son ask bread of him, will give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, &c. Can you imagine any father could be so unnatural as to deny necessary supplies to his hungry child; and instead thereof give him what would be useless or hurtful, would starve or poison him? Consider, “if the wickedest wretches among yourselves, the most peevish, weak, and ill-natured of you all, will readily give good gifts to their children when they cry for them, how much rather will the great God, infinite in goodness, bestow blessings on his children who endeavour to resemble him in his perfections, and for that end ask his grace and other spiritual and heavenly blessings?” If ye then, being evil If you, imperfect and evil as you are, and some of you tenacious, froward, and unkind, yet know, being taught by natural affection, to give good gifts to your children If you find your hearts disposed and ready to communicate the best of what you have for their relief and sustenance, how much more will your almighty and most beneficent Father in heaven, who has a perfect knowledge of all your wants, and can with perfect ease supply them, and who himself has wrought in your hearts these benevolent dispositions, be ready to exceed you in so expressing his kindness, as freely to give all needful good things to them that by fervent prayer ask them of him.

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