*Pastor’s Note: Here’s the continuation of Robert Eyton’s lessons on the Beatitudes and Christ as Our Moral Teacher. Again, this is one of those teachings that I will continue to offer in adapted and excerpted parts for today’s readers.
Christ Our Moral Teacher – 2
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them . . . – Matthew 5:1.
As it was back when Robert Eyton first penned his ideas about our subject today, there were a lot of writers, so-called modern thinkers, and today, they have certainly proliferated exponentially! Many of them then, and much more so today, truly believe there are serious omissions in the moral teaching of Christ; they have felt the divergence that so often exists between Christianity and life; that (so it seems to them) it has become a faith, a creed, and not truly a life; and they argue further that before it can be said to be a real change of lifestyle, a great deal has to be added and insisted on; that if a man were to frame his life on the Sermon on the Mount, to order himself according to the Beatitudes, he would not be completely virtuous (by the world’s standards of virtue)—that there would be sides of his character undeveloped, and whole regions of his duty neglected, as a person, and as a citizen even.
Before we deal with the subject in detail, I have to say this: that nowhere does Jesus Christ claim to have originated a NEW code of morals, that He had always assumed an existing one, and that the advances which He adds upon previously existing ones should not to be allowed to obscure this fact; we would do well to bear in mind and to say that the teaching of Christ and His Apostles takes a main portion of moral effort for granted (from the perspective of the world) which Jesus never mentions in detail. It was to the points in which previous morality failed that Christ took upon Himself to naturally address. It was not necessary to dwell on lessons already learnt, or ones that should have been taught, the most basics of morality.