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Verses 49-50

Mark 9:49-50. For every one shall be salted with fire These words seem to refer to the preceding, respecting the punishment of those who will not cut off the offending members, which render them obnoxious to future punishment: and so the import of them must be, that all such shall be “seasoned with fire itself, so as to become inconsumable, and shall endure for ever to be tormented, and therefore may be said to be salted with fire, in allusion to that property of salt which is to preserve things from corruption.” Whitby. This interpretation supposes the word πας , every one, to signify the same as if the expression had been πας γαρ αυτων , for every one of them, namely, whose fire is not quenched; shall be salted with, or in the fire; that is, preserved from corruption, in and by it. So Mark 12:44, παντες γαρ , for all, that is, all they, as our translators render it, all those rich men, there spoken of. So Luke 16:16, The kingdom of God is preached, και πας , and every one, (namely, who believes,) presseth into it. And Luke 21:32, This generation shall not pass away, εως αν παντα γενηται , till all things be done, that is, παντα ταυτα , all these things, there mentioned. The reader may see many other instances in Grotius. The sense, therefore, of the clause is, Every one, who does not comply with the preceding advice, and consequently is cast into hell, shall be, as it were, salted with fire, preserved, not consumed, thereby. And every sacrifice That is, every person who offers himself unto God in repentance, faith, and new obedience, as a living sacrifice; shall be salted with salt Even with the salt of divine grace, which purifies the soul, (though frequently with pain,) and preserves it from corruption. It is evident that there is an allusion here to that part of the law of Moses which required every meat-offering, or sacrifice, to be seasoned with salt. See Leviticus 2:13. Salt is good Highly beneficial to the world in many respects: But if the salt Which should season other things; have lost its own saltness; Αναλον γενηται , become insipid; wherewith will ye season it? By what means will ye restore its saltness, or seasoning quality, to it? Thus, if you, whom I have termed the salt of the earth, (Matthew 5:13; where see the note,) and have appointed to be the chief instruments in seasoning the rest of mankind with truth and grace, with wisdom and piety, should lose your own grace, and your faith in, and relish for, the truths of my gospel, or should cease to be properly influenced thereby, wherewith can you be seasoned? Beware, therefore, of apostatizing from the truth, and of falling from grace: see that you retain your savour, and the seasoning virtue wherewith I have endued you, and, as a proof of it, have peace one with another.

More largely this obscure text might be paraphrased thus: As every burnt- offering was salted with salt, in order to its being cast into the fire of the altar, so every one who will not part with his hand or eye, shall fall a sacrifice to divine justice, and be cast into hell-fire, which will not consume, but preserve him from a cessation of being. And on the other hand, every one who, denying himself, and taking up his cross, offers up himself as a living sacrifice to God, shall be seasoned with grace, which, like salt, will make him savoury, and preserve him from destruction for ever. As salt is good for preserving meats, and making them savoury, so it is good that ye be seasoned with grace, for the purifying your hearts and lives, and for spreading the savour of my knowledge, both in your own souls, and wherever ye go. But as salt, if it loses its saltness, is fit for nothing, so ye, if ye lose your faith and love, are fit for nothing but to be utterly destroyed. See therefore that grace abide in you, and that ye no more contend, Who shall be greatest?

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