Matthew 15:15-20. Peter said, Declare unto us this parable That is, the sentence, maxim, or proverb, mentioned Matthew 15:11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth the man, &c. A declaration very intelligible, and evidently true, and yet appearing to the disciples obscure, and needing explanation, or doubtful, and wanting confirmation. The reason is evident: it did not agree with the notions of religion which they had formerly imbibed. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Are ye so stupid as not to see that what a man eats or drinks, being of a corporeal nature, cannot defile the mind, or make a man a sinner in the sight of God, unless when used immoderately, or in opposition to the commandment of God, in which case the pollution arises from the man, and not from the meat; whereas, that which proceedeth out of a man’s mouth, coming from his heart, really pollutes his mind. How fair and candid are the sacred historians! Never concealing or excusing their own blemishes. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts Or rather, evil reasonings, as the words διαλογισμοι πονηρι properly signify. The expression includes all sinful devices, contrivances, schemes, designs, and purposes which arise from the thoughts and imaginations of the mind: murders Including rash anger, hatred, malice, envy, and revenge, sins against the sixth commandment: adulteries, fornications Sins against the seventh commandment; proceeding from unchaste thoughts, wanton looks, immodest expressions, lascivious actions; thefts All unjust or dishonest actions, sins against the eighth commandment; frauds, wrongs, rapines, and all injurious contracts: false witness An offence against the ninth commandment; arising generally from a complication of falsehood and covetousness, or falsehood and malice in the heart. If truth, holiness, and love reigned in the heart, as God requires that they should, there would be no bearing false witness: blasphemies Or calumnies, as the original word may be rendered, which signifies either speaking evil of God, a violation of the third commandment, or calumniating our neighbor, a breach of the ninth. These are the things which defile a man And are therefore the things which we should carefully avoid, and guard against all approaches to them; and not lay an undue stress on the washing of the hands, or on any distinction of meats and drinks. It is a matter of much lamentation that our corrupted nature should abound with such poisonous productions as these; let us earnestly pray that they may be rooted out by divine grace, and that the Holy Spirit may create in us clean hearts, and implant therein tempers diametrically opposite to all these enormities!
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