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in the abundance of the things which he , much pleasure ; and instead of ease, instead possesseth.” Luke xii. 15.

of eating, drinking, and making merry,

eternal tortures, unspeakable thirst, weepTo excite their negligence of the things ing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, must of this life, be placed before them in the be the portion of this miserable soul to all strongest light an example of the bewitching eternity! influence of wealth, in the parable of the rich gluiton, who was cut off in the midst

" So is he added our blessed Saviour) of his life projects, and becane a remarkable

that layeth up treasure for himself, and is example of the folly of amassing the goods

not rich towards God.” Thus shall he be of this without having any regard to the

taken away from all his soul desireth ; thus commands of the Almighty.Tbis wretch

shall he be torn from all his temporal prosed man, forgetting his own mortality, made

pects and pleasures. None of his beloved preparations for a long and luxurious life,

enjoyments shall follow him ; naked as he pleasing himself with the thoughts of posses

came shall he depart out of the world, nor sing an inexhaustible fund of sensual enjoy

shall all bis riches be able to procure him ments. But, alas, while he was providing

the least comfort or respite in these scenes repositories for his riches, the inexorable

of terror. How should this reflection awa.. king of terrors seized him, and that very

ken us to a due care of our immortal part ! night hurried him before the awful tribunal

how would it alarm us, when planing fanof Omnipotence. « And he spake a para

cied schemes of worldly pleasures, without ble unto them, saying, The ground of a | the least

the least regard to the great Disposer of all certain rich man brought forth plentifully :)

events! Without his assistance, all our And hethought within himself, saying, What

promises of security are vain and foolish; shall I do, because I have no room where

he will surely render all our labours aborto bestow my fruits? And he said, This

tive; and in a moment, when we think will I do: I will pull down my barns, and

ourselves secure, the summons shall arrive, build greater; and there will I bestow all my

swift as the forky lightning's flash, con* fruits and my goods. And I will say to my ! véy us to the boundless regions of eternity, šoul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for and present us, clothed in all our guilt, many years : take thine ease, eat, drink, before the just, the mighty Author of our and be merry. But God said unto him, being! Thou fool, this night thy soul shall he required of thee: then whose shall those things This awakening parable exhibits a strikbe, which thou hast provided.” Luke xii. / ing picture of the egregious folly of those 16, &c.

who live only for themselves ; laying up

treasures for sensual enjoyments, but neg. How solemn the appeal; wbile he lay lect the grace of God, and the immense waking on his bed in anxious solicitude, what treasure of salvation laid up in Jesus he should do with his abundance, while his Christ. heart was dilated with the hopes of a variety of pleasures and indulgences ; in that very Having spoken this parable, our Lord moment the golden dream vanishes at once ; proceeded to caution his disciples against all his thoughts perish ; and, in their stead, anxious cares for the things of this world ; a horrid account stares him in the face : a from a consideration, that the care of God's scene of Judgment presents itself to his providenceextends to every part of the createrrified imagination! a dark night of horror, tion. The fowls of heaven are fed by his boun. in an instant, overwhelms that soul to ty, and the lilies that adorn the vallies are which he had promised so much ease, so supplied with rain from the clouds of heaven;

37.

would if hemes, tharty of

If, therefore, said the blessed Jesus, Omni- | and make them to sit down to meat, and potence so carefully provide for the inferior will come forth and serve them.” Luke xii. part of the creation, the children of men havé surely reason to rely on his bounty, and depend for subsistence on his merciful

Our Saviour enforced this constant watchhand. He added, that as God had destin

fulness, and habitual preparation, by reminded them to everlasting happiness in a future

ing them of the uncertainty of his coming ; life, he would surely provide for them all

telling his disciples, that as every master the necessaries of the present. « Fear not,

of a family, if he knew the coming of the little flock : for it is your Father's good plea

thief, would make some preparation against sure to give you the kingdom.” At the

a surprise, so it would be highly requisite for same time he gave his disciples another

them to make some preparation for the apprecept, pecaliarly calculated for those times

proach of their master, and be always ready in which the profession of the gospel expos

to receive him, as the time of his coming ed men to the loss of their substance. “Sell was uncertain. that ye have, and give alms : provide

surrouurora yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where

CHAP. XXII. no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth : for where your treasure is, there will

Our Lord reproves the Ignorance of the your heart be also.” Luke xii. 33, 34.

People in not understanding the Signs

which preceded his appearance. PerHaving thus recommended to them the

tinently replies to an ignorant Question disengagement of their affections from the

and inference concerning the Galileans. things of this world, he exhorted them to

Teaches by Parable. Relieves a distres. labour after improvement in grace. “ Let

sed Woman ; and is warned to depart your loins be girded about, and your lights

the country, in Order to escape the Reburning; and ye yourselves like unto men

sentment of Herod. that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding ; that when' he cometh THE Great Preacher of Israel having and knocketh, they may open unto him I delivered these salutary admonitions to immediately.” Luke xii. 35, 36.

his disciples and followers, directed his dis

course to the unbelieving crowd. You can, · This was spoken in allusion to the cus said he, by the signs that appear in the sky, toms of the east, where anciently great and on the earth, form a judgment of the entertainments were made in the evening; weather; and why can ye not also discover and on these occasions servants demonstrated the time of the Messiah's appearance, by their diligence by watching, and keeping the signs which have preceded it ? their loins girded, and their lamps burning,“ Wher ye see a cloud rise out of the west, that they might be ready, on the first knock straightway ye say, there cometh a shower ; of their master, to open the door. Nor was and so it is.And when ye see the south it uncommon for the master, in order to wind blow, ye say, there will be heat ; and reward such a servant, to order him refresh- it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can ment, and sometimes even give it him with discern the face of the sky, and of the earth; his own hand. In allusion to which cus- / but how is it that ye do not discern this time ?" tom, our blessed Saviour added : « Blessed Luke xii. 54, &c. are those servants, whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Verily, I The prediction of the Son of man coming say unto you, that he shall gird himself, I to punish the Jews for their rebellion and

infidelity, delivered under the similitude of you, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall one who cometh secretly and unexpectedly all likewise perish.” Luke xiii. 2, &c. to plunder a house, was a loud call to a national repentance. In order, therefore,

I He illustrated this doctrine, by putting to improve that prediction, he exhorted

them in mind of the eighteen persons, on them to a speedy reformation ; telling them,

whom the tower of Siloam feil, shewing that the least degree of reflection would be

them, by this instance, the folly of intersufficient to point out to them the best me

preting the dispensations of Providence in thod they could possibly make use of for that manner; for though this calamity seem averting the impending judgments of the 1

ed to flow immediately from the hand of Almighty ; illustrating what he had said, God, yet, in all probability, it had involvby the punishments commonly inflicted on ed people who were remarkable for their the man who refuses to make reparation

piety and goodness. “Or those eighteen upon for the injuries he has done his neighbour.

whom the tower in Siloain fell, and slew “ When thou goest with thine adversary

them : think ye that they were sinners above to the magistrate, as thou art in the way

all men that dwelt in Jerusalem ? I tell you, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered

Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all from him ; lest he hale thee to the judge,

likewise perish.” Luke xiii. 4, 5. and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and

To rouse them from their indolence, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell

to induce them to seek the aid of God's. thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till

grace and Spirit, he added the parable of thou hast paid the very last mite.” Luke xij. 58, 59.

the fig-tree, which the master of the vine

yard, after finding it three years barren, orSome of his hearers thought proper to

dered to be destroyed ; but was spared one

year longer, at the earnest solicitation of .confirin this doctrine, by giving what they

the gardener. " A certain man had a ligconsidered as an example of it. There were

tree planted in his vineyard, and be came present at that season some that told him

and sought fruit thereon, and found none : of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate bad

Then said he unto the dresser of his vinemingled with their sacrifices ; thinking, that

yard, Bebold, these three years I come Providence, for some extraordinary crime,

seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find nove : had suffered these Galileans to be murdered

| cut it down ; why cumbereth it the ground ? at the altar.

And he answering, said unto him, Lord,

let it alone this year also, till I shall dig But our Lord shewed them the error of

about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, their opinion and inference concerning this well; and if not, then after that thou shalt point, it being no indication that these

cut it down.” Luke xiii. 6, &c. Galileans were greater sinners than their countrymen, because they had suffered so By this parable our blessed Saviour represevere a calamity, and at the same time sented the goodness of the Almighty toexhorted them to improve such instances of ward the Jews, in choosing then for his calamity, as incitements to their own re- people, giving them the outward dispensapentance; assuring them that if they neg tions of religions, and informing them of the lected so salutary a work, they should all improvements he expected they should make likewise perish." And Jesus answering, of these advantages, and the punishments he said unto thein, Suppose ye that these Gali- would inflict upon them, in case they slightJeans were sinners above all the Galileans, ed such benevolent offers. He also reprebecause they suffered such things ? I tellsented by it, in a very beautiful manner, the

late bad

que sought fruit tberec

Provident their sacrifices : thin

unbounded mercies of the Almighty in that had been bound by an incurable distein. sparing them at the intercession of bis per, during the tedious interval of eighteen Son, and giving them a farther time of years, was abundantly justified ; nor could trial, and still greater advantages, by the this bigotted ruler have thought otherwise, preaching of the blessed Jesus and his apo had not his reason been blinded by bis superstles ; concluding with an intimation, that stition, " The Lord then auswered him, if they neglected this last opportunity, they and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each should perish without remedy.

one of you on the sabbatb-day, loose his ox

or his ass from the stall, and lead him away During Jesus' abode in the country of to watering? And ought not this woman, Perea, he observed, while he was preaching being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan in one of the synagogues, on the sabbath | hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosday, a woman, who, during the space of ed from this bond on the sabbath-day? And eighteen years, had been unable to stand when he had said these tbings, all his adverupright. A daughter of Israel, labouring saries were ashamed; and all the people reunder so terrible a disorder, could not fail joiced for all the glorious things that were of attracting the compassion of the Son of done by him.” Luke xiii. 15, &c. God.

From this instance we may form some He beheld this affecting object, he pitied | idea of the pernicious effects of superstition, her deplorable condition, he removed her which is capable of extinguishing reason, complaint, She who came into the syna banishing compassion, and of eradieating gogue, bowed down with an infirmity, was the most essential principles and feelings of by the all powerful word of the Son of God, the human breast. restored to her natural health, and returned to her house upright and full of vigour. . 1 Our Lord haring reproved the superstition

of the ruler of the synagogue, and observing Sueh a display of divine power and good. the acclamations of the people, he reflected ness, instead of exciting the gratitude, so with pleasure on the reason and truth which highly offended the master of the synagogue, so effeotually supported his kingdom. For that he openly testified his displeasure, and he repeated the parable of the grain of reproved the people as sabbath-breakers, mustard-seed and of the leaven, to shew because they came on that day to be healed. the efficacious operations of the gospel upon “ There are six days, (said this surly ruler the minds of the children of men, and its to the people) in which men ought to work :

rapid progress through the world, not withiin them therefore come and be healed,

standing all the opposition of its inveterate and not on the sabbath-day.” Luke xiii.

enemies. 14.

The great Redeemer having now planted But our blessed Saviour soon silenced the seeds of the gospel in the country of this hypocritical pharisee, by shewing that Perea, crossed the Jordan, and travelled by he had not deviated from their own arowed slow journies towards Jerusalem, preaching practice. They made no scruple of the gospel in every village, and declaring Joosing their cattle, and leading them to the glad tidings of salvation to all the inhawater on the sabbath-day, because the mer bitants of those countries. cy of the action sufficiently justified them for performing it. And surely his action of While he was thus labouring for the salvaloosing, by a single word, a woman, a tion of mankind, one of the persons who acrational creature, a daughter of Abraham, companied him, asked him, "Lord, are there No, 10.

Oo

few that he saved ?" In all probability thie ed the kingdom of God to the multitude, person who proposed this question, had heard certain of the pharisees came to him, and the Son of God describe the success of tlie told him, that unless he departed thence, gospel, by the parables of the njustard-seed Herod would destroy him; but this concern and the leaven; and his notions of the for his safety, was altogether feigned, and kingdom of the Messiah, being those that their real design was no other, than to inwere then entertained by the Jews in gene timidate' him, hoping by that means to ral, he meant a' temporal salvation. But induce him to leave the country, and res Jesus, to convince him that he never intend. tire into Judea, where they did not doubt ed to érect a secular kingdom, answered but the chief priests would find some me. the question in a spiritual manner, and told triod of putting him to death. Perhaps him, That a small number only of the Jews | Herod himself was privy to this message, would be saved; exhorting them'to ehibrace I and desirous that Jesus should leave his the offers of mercy before it was too late, for territories ; though the agonies he had sufthat many, after the period of their triat was fered, on account of John the Baptist, concluded, and their state finally and hindered him from making use of forcé. irreversibly determined, should earnestly de: That this was really the case seems évident, sire these benevolent offers, but should be from the answer our blessed Saviour made denied their request. “ Strive to enter in to the pharisees, “ Go ye (said be, to these at the strait gate ; for many, I say unto you, hypocritical Israelites) and tell that fox, Bewill seek to enter in, and shall not be able. hold, I cast out devils, and I do cures toWhen once the Master of the house is risen day and to-morrow, and the third day I up and hath shut to the door, and ye begin shall be perfected. Nevertheless, I must to stand without, and to knock at the door, walk to-day and to-morrow, and the day saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us ; and he following; for it cannot be, that a prophet shall answer, and say, unto you, I know perish out of Jerusalem.” Luke xiii. 32, you not, whence you are.” Luke xiii. 24, 33. 25. He also repeated on this occasion, what he had before delivered in his famous Having given this answer to the pharisermon on the mount: and what he had ob- sees, he reflected on the treatment the proserved to the multitude in commendation of phets had received from the inhabitants of the centurion's faith. " Then shall ye begin Jerusalem ; pathetically lamented their obto say, We have eaten and drunk in thy pre stinacy, and the terrible desolation that sence, and thou hast taught in our streets. would in a short time overtake them. But he sball say, I tell you I know you not 66 Oh! Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killwhence ye are; depart from me all ye work est the prophets, and stonest them which ers of iniquity. There shall be weeping are sent unto thee; how often would I and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see have gathered thy children together, as a Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all ben doth gather her brood under her wings, the prophets in the kingdom of God, and and ye would not? Behold, your house is you yourselves thrust out. And they shall left unto you desolate : and verily I say come from the east, and from the west, | unto you, ye shall not see me until the time and from the north, and from the south, come, when ye shall say, Blessed is he and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. that cometh in the name of the Lord.” And behold, there are last which shall be Luke xiii. 34, 35. first, and there are first which shall be last.” Luke xiii. 26, &c.

Immediately after Jesus had thus preach

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