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trary, by your great and hypocritical pretences to Piety, ye your felves are far more incurable than even thefe known and moft open Sinners.
33. About this time fome of the Jews, who were Difciples of John Baptift, and had been accustomed to Faftings, and greater Aufterities than ordinary; being fomewhat difpleafed at that freer way of living, which Jefus feemed to allow his Difciples; came to Jefus and faid: How is it, that though you commend the Holinefs of our Mafter, John the Baptift, and profefs to be your felf a Teacher of extraordinary Piety, yet you permit your Difciples to live with greater Liberty, and fuffer them to omit those Mortifications and Aufterities, which both the Disciples of John, and alfo of the Pharifees, conftantly practife; fasting often, and fetting apart, at least, fome Days in every Week for Prayer and Abftinence?
34. Jefus anfwered; I do not condemn you for your Conftancy and Abftinence in Faftings; but every thing is good only in its proper Seafon; and this is by no means a fit time to put my Difciples upon fuch Aufterities. For as it would be very unreasonable, to require the Friends of a Bridegroom to Faft, just at the time of the Wedding, and while they are with the Bridegroom at the Feaft: So it is by no means proper to make my Disciples Faft, fo long as I, their Mafter, am with them.
35. But the time will come, and that shortly, when I fhall be taken away from them; and then they will have Occafions enough, of Mourning and Fafting,
33 And they faid unto him, Why do the difciples of John faft often, and make prayers, and likewife the difciples of the Pharifees; but thine eat and drink ?
34 And he faid unto them, Can ye make the children of faft, while the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away
them, and then fhall they faft in thofe
36. Moreover Jefus illuftrated to them the reasonableness of this his Proceeding, by a plain Similitude. As no prudent Man, faid he, puts a piece of new Cloth into an old Garment, which it will by no means fuit or agree with; fo it would be very improper for my Difciples to mix Mourning and Rejoycing together, by entring into a Course of fevere and ftrict Abftinence at the time that I am perfonally prefent with them.
37. Again, as no wife Man puts new and ftrong Wine into old and * * See weak Bottles: So it would be very un- Note on fit, to burden my Disciples with heavy Mat. ix. and unneceffary Injunctions of Faft- 17. ing and Abftinence, while I am yet forming their Minds, and giving them the first Inftructions about their Ministry.
38. For all thefe barely positive and prudential Precepts, ought always to be accommodated with Wisdom and Difcretion, to the Condition of the Perfons, and to the Circumstances of the Time.
39. And moft especially, at the fetting up any new Inftitution, nothing burdenfome and unneceffary ought by any means to be impofed, but with the greatest Gentleness and Moderation; that Men may by degrees be prevailed upon to change their Cuftoms, and amend their Lives.
Jefus fhows, that pofitive Inftitutions must give place to Neceffity or moral Duty, ver. 1. Chufes his Apoftles, ver. 13. Heals many Difeafes, ver. 18. The Bleffedness of the Righteous, and of thofe that fuffer for Religion, ver. 20. The Mifery of worldly Men, ver. 24. That Charity must be univerfal and extend even to Enemies, ver. 27. That doing Good ought to be the principal Business of Mens Lives, ver. 30. That Minifters ought to practife what they teach, ver. 39 and 41, &c. That Suffering for Religion must be expected, ver. 40. Obedience the only Proof of Sincerity, ver. 44•
OW on the Sabbath after
2. Which when fome fuperftitious Pharifees, that were prefent, obferved; they immediately reproached the Difciples, for breaking the Sabbath; and Jefus himself, for not rebuking
3 & 4. But Jefus in vindication of his Difciples, replied; Ye who pretend to be the greatest Masters, and to have the most exact Skill in interpreting the Law; do ye not remember, the ScripSam. xii. ture relates, how David and his Men, when they were hungry upon a Journey, eat Shew-bread out of the Tabernacle, which the Law allowed only the Priests to eat; and yet David is no where accufed as guilty of a Crime in fo doing?
them that were with him, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?
5 And he faid unto them, That the Son of man is Lord
alfo of the fabbath.
5. 'Tis evident therefore, that God never defign'd by any merely pofitive and ceremonial Inftitution, fuch as the Confecration of Bread; the ftri&t Jewifh Obfervation of the Sabbath, and the like; to put fuch Difficulties upon Men, as to hinder them from performing either any greater Duty, or complying with any urgent and neceffary Occafion of Life. So that in these Cafes of Neceffity or Duty, a pofitive Inftitution may be difpenfed with by any Man; and how much more by
6. On another Sabbath-Day, Jefus went into the Synagogue to preach; and there was prefent in the Congregation, a Man whofe Right-hand was withered, the Flesh being wafted away, and the Sinews fhrunk up, fo that it was become utterly useless.
6 And it came to pafs alfo on another fabbath, that he entered into the fynagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
7 And the Scribes and Pharifees watched him, whether he would heal on the fabbath day: that they might find an accufation against
7. Upon which Occafion, the Scribes and Pharifees again watched Jefus, to fee if he would cure the Man upon the Sabbath-day; that they might find out fome Pretence to accuse him.
8 But he knew their thoughts, and faid to the man which
had the withered hand, Rife up, and ftand forth in the mids. And he arofe, and stood forth.
8. But Jefus, knowing their Thoughts, and refolving to reprove their Hypocrify openly in the presence of all the People; bad the Man with the withered Hand, rife up, and stand forth in the midft of the Congregation. Which he, in full hopes of a present Cure, joyfully did.
9 Then faid Jefus unto them, I will
Is it lawful on the
fabbath-days to do fabbath-days to do
9. Then Jefus, looking about upon the People, and directing himself afk you one thing, to the Pharifees, faid, I appeal to your felves; Judge ye, and declare in the prefence of this Congregation : Which do you think is the best Service, and most acceptable to God? take the firft opportunity of doing a Work
good, or to do evil? to fave life, or to deftroy it?
11. Whereupon the Pharifees falling into the utmost Rage, and refolving to deftroy Jefus by any means whatfoever, went out and confulted among themfelves, how they might moft certainly procure his Death.
12. But to return to the History of Jesus's chufing and inftructing his Difciples. After many had believed on him, and become his constant Followers, he retired one Evening to the Top of a Hill where he fpent the whole Night in Meditation and Prayer.
14, 15, & 16. Now the Names of the twelve, were these :
1. Simon Peter.
10 And looking round about upon them all, he faid unforth thy hand. And
to the man, Stretch
he did fo and his hand was restored whole as the other.
11 And they were filled with madness, and communed one
with another what
12 And it came to pafs in those days, that he went out in
to a mountain
13. And the next Morning, calling 13 And when all his Difciples together about hin, it was day, he calhe chofe out of them Twelve Men, led unto him his
whom he called Apoftles; appointing them to preach the Gofpel in his Lifetime, through all the Cities of Judæa; and defigning to fend them after his Refurrection, with an extraordinary Commiffion to eftablish the Chriftian Religion in the other Parts of the World.
pray, and continued all night in prayer
14 Simon (whom he alfo named Peter) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,