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salting mankind for the altar of heaven ; for against thee, Go and tell him his fault beas they were to be the salt of the earth, it tween thee and him alone : if he shall bear was requisite they should themselves be fill thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if ed with the spiritual salt of all the graces,
he will not hear thee, then take with thee and particularly the holy salt of love and one or two more, that in the mouth of two peace, that they might, as far as possible, be or three witnesses every word may be esta free from the rottenness of ambition, pride, blished. And if he shall neglect to hear contention, and every evil work.
them, tell it unto the churcb: but if he
neglect to hear the church, let him be unto Pride is the source of numberless sins ;
thee as an heathen an publican.” Matt. and therefore the blessed Jesus cautioned his xviii. 15, 16, 17. disciples in the most solemn manner, to beware of that vice; assuring them the
Try every possible measure to reclaim mea nest person is an object of the care of thy brother, and in order to effect this, Providence ; and “ that their angels do al
If ways behold the face of my heavenly represent his fault to him privately. 1
this rebuke have the desired effect, thou Father.” Our blessed Saviour did not meani
hast brought bin back to the paths which by this expression, that every man who
lead to happiness, but, if this gentle method practises the duties of religion has a particu
fail, two or more grave persons should join lar guardian angel assigned him ; but as all
in the rebuke, that he may be convinced of angels are sent as ministering spirits, they the injury he has done thee. If he still may be called angels.
remain obstinate, tell his offence to the
church, whose sentence will sufficiently shew To shew the concern of bis Almighty
that thou hast done thy duty, and that he Father for the least of his reasonable crea
alone is to blame. But if he is so hardened tures, and the great value he sets upon
as not to be affected by the censure of the the souls of the human race, our Saviour
church, he is from henceforth to be treated told them, that he not only gave bis higher
as the Pharisees treat the Heathens and angels charge concerning them, but had also Publicans ; namely, as an incorrigible sent his only begotten Son, to seek and to
sinner, whose company and conversation, save that which was lost ; and would share being contagious, ought to be shunned by in the joy wbich heavenly beings are filled
all who have any love for virtue and reliwith on their recovery.
** How think ye? gion. if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the Our Saviour now canfers the special power ninety and nine, and goeth into the moun which he confined to Peter on all bis discitains and seeketh that which is gone astray ?
Verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever And if so be that he find it, Verily I say ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in leaunto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, ven : and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth than of the ninety and nine which went not
shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt. xviii. 18. astray. Even so it is not the will of your
That is, ye have free power to preach remis: Father which is in heaven, that one of these
sion of sins through faith in the gospel, and little ones should perish.” Matt. xviii. 12,
repentance unto life, and such decree, will 13, 14,
remain valid in the court of heaven, though Having thus addressed the offending passed here below. party, he turned bimselftowards his disciples, But, on the other hand, if the offending and gave them instructions, with regard to brother continue impenitent after all the the offended. “ If thy brother shall trespass methods above described are tried," bis
guilt is bound the faster upon him ; be and happy are they who live sojisible of this cause, by the precepts of the gospel, none importaut truth. When he had begun to but penitents can obtain pardon.
reckon, one servant was brought unto him
who owed him an intense debt, ten thou. Our blessed Saviour also added, as an sand talents, a debi niuch greater íban he was . encouragement 10 good mell, that it they able to pay. His lord, therefore, commandcontinued earnest in their endeavour to ed lim, agrecable to the custom of those bring sinuers to repentance, and offered up times, to be sold for a slave, and his wife their prayers to the Almighty for assistance, and children, and all that he had, and payhe would always grant their petitions, provid nient to be made." . ed they were agreeable to the wise ends of bis providence “ Again I say unto you,
The servant, convinced of the justice of That if two of you shall agree on earth as the sentence, and kuowing he had nothing touching any thing that they shall ask, it to hope for, but from the mercy and shall be done for them of iny Father which clemency of bis lord, fell down in the inost is in heaven. For wliere two or three are humble manner, and importunately besouyat gathered together in my nanie, there am I
biin, saying, “ Lord bave patience with ine in the midst of thein.” Matt. xviii. 19, 20. and I will pay thee all.” The master,
moved with coinpassion towards him, acceptPeter had before heard bis Master speak ed of his humiliation : and to make his hapof the doctrine of frequent forgiveness, and piness complete, loosed him
from the imagined that what he had now so strongly sentence inflicted, and freely forgave him the inculcated might prove dangerous to society; enormous debt; an obligation surely suffiand therefore thought it bis duty to offer his cient to have melted the hardest heart into objections, “ Lord (said he) how oft shall gratitude towards his lord, and the tenderest my brother sin against me and I forgive sympathy towards any of his brethren him, till seven times ?” Matt. xviii. 21. in distress. But alas ! who is acquainted He thought it a strange doctrine which ob with the human heart? This very servant liged him to forgive offenees seven times re went out from the presence of his compaspeated ; but our blessed Saviour told bin sionate lord, and found one of his fellowthat he was very greatly mistaken ; that servants who owed him an hundred pence: he nerer intended to linit forgiveness ą poor, inconsiderable debt, in compariseven times, but that it ought to be exterided son of what he had bimself owed his even to seventy times seven.
lord. This excellent moral precept he enforced But behold the base inhumanity of this by the parable of the two servants, debtors servant : he laid hands on the poor debtor, to one Lord ; in order to shey the necessity seizing him violently by the throat, and sayof forgiving the greatest injuries in every case ing, “ Pay me that thou owest.”. His where the offending party is sensible of bis fellow-servant fell down at his feet, eyeu as fault,, and promises amendwent, because he bad just before done at the feet of his on this condition alone, our heavenly Father lord, and besought him in the very same will ' forgive our offences. - Therefore
“ (said the blessed Jesus) is the kingdom of patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” heaven likened to a certain king that would Such a similarity of circumstances one would take account of his servants." God is the bave thought must have affected bis stony great king and Sovereigo of all creatures, heart, brought to remembrance his own late and all are accountable to him, as servants distress, and melted his soul into the like to a master. He will reckon with all :
generous compassion which had flowed so
sweetly from his lord to him. But his con
CHAP. XVIII. duct was the very reverse: he would have no patience, he would shew no pity ; bie went Our blessed Lord attends for the fourth and cast the unhappy debtor into prison till
Time the Celebration of the Passover at be should pay the debt.
Jerusalem. Harangues the Multi
tude at the solemn Feast of TabernaHis fellow-servants, when they saw what
cles. Exempts the Woman detected in was done, were exceedingly afflicted, and
Adultery from the Punishment annexed came and told their lord the whole trans
by the Jews to that Crime. Escapes action. Upon wbich he summoned the
from the Snares laid for him by the unmerciful servant to appear before him ; inveterate Scribes and Pharisees. and filled with indignation and abhorrence, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, how perverse is thy behaviour, how ungrateful The great Redeemer having promoted and base thy proceeding ; “I forgave thee
parted into Judea, passing through the all the debt,” that enormous debt thou
country beyond Jordan, that the Jews who owest me : “ because thou desiredst me :)
inhabited those distant parts, might enjoy I was moved to clemency and compassion
the unspeakable benefits of his discourses by thy intreaties and distress, and “ shouldest
and miracles. not thou also have had compassion on thy
After sowing the seeds of
eternal life, and publishing the glad tidings Yellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee ?”
of salvation in those remote countries, he Shouldest not thou much rather have forgiven repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the fourth him, who was thy fellow-servant, and owed
passover ; but the malignity of the scribes thee so small a sum, when I, thy king
and pharisees, was so great, that he stayand lord, had forgiven thee so immense a
ed but a short time in the capital; and then debt ?
returned into Galilee, where the multitude
again resorted to him, and he again inHaving thus expostulated with him, his
structed them in the paths that lead to everwrath was kindled, and he delivered him to
lasting life. the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise (added the Son of
The feast of the tabernacles now drew God) sball my heavenly Father do also unto
on, at which all the males of the Jewish you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every
nation, capable of travelling, repaired to one his brother their trespasses.”. Matt. xviii.
Jerusalem, and dwelt in the tabernacles or 34, 35, And surely this awful threatening
booths made of the boughs of trees, in comought to strike the minds of fierce and
memoration of their fathers having had no implacable men with terror. For whatever
other habitation, during their forty years' they may think, it will certainly, in its full
sojourning in the wilderness. To this feast extent, be inflicted upon all who refuse
some of the kinsmen of the blessed Jesus deto obey the dictates of divine mercy, and forgive not only their fellow-servants, but
sired he would accompany them, and there
shew bimself openly to the whole nation of every brother in Christ, who through weak
the Jews. They did not themselves believe ness or inadvertence may have done them
that he was the great Prophet so long exan injury either in person or property.
pected: and therefore condemned the method he pursued in his public ministry as altogether absurd.
They could not conceive what reasons be
had for spending so much of his time in the ; and therefore as the time of my sufferings is
As Jesus did not go up openly to Jerusa-
My time (said our Saviour to these unbe But about the middle of the feast, Jesus liering relations) is not yet come ; but your appeared openly in the temple, and taught time is always ready. The world cannot the people, delivering his doctrines with bate you ; but me it hateth, because I tes such strength of reason and elegance of extify of it, that the works thereof are evil. pression that his very enemies were astonishGo ye up unto this feast, for my time is not ed, knowing that he had never enjoyed the yet full come.” John vii. 6, 7, 8. As if advantage of a learned education.
i Now, he had said, it is not proper for me to go about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up before the feast begins; but you may retire into the temple, and taught. And the to the capital whenever you please: The Jews Jews warvelled, saying, How knoweth this are your friends, you have done nothing to man letters, having never learned ?” John displease them : but the purity of the doc
vii. 14, 15. trines I have preached to them, and the freedom with which I have reproved their To which the great Redeemer of manhypocrisy, and other enormous crimes, have kind replied, iny doctrine was not produced provoked their malice to the utmost height; by human wisdom ; the sages of the world
were not any instructors;: I received it from Moses gare you the law of eirợumcision, beaven, it is the doctrine of the Almighty, and you make no scruple of performing whose messenger I am.
4. My doctrine that ceremony on the Sabbath-day, because is not mine, but his that sent me.” John it is a precept both of Moses and the fathers. vii, 16.
Since, therefore, ye think yourselves bound
to dispense with the strict observance of Nor can be who is desirous of practising the Sabbath, in order to form a ceremonial the doctrines I deliver, if he will lay aside precept, can you be angry with me, be. his prejudices, and sincerely desire to be cause in order to fulll the great end of all taught of God,, be at a loss to know from the divine law, I have cured a man who whom my doctrines are derived : because was infirm in all his members, and even he will easily discern whether they are con with far less bodily labour than you perform formable to the will of man or of God. It the ceremony of circumcision ? Consider, is no difficulty to discover an impostor, be- therefore, the nature of the thing ; divest cause all his precepts will tend to advance yourselves of your prejudices, and the his owo interest, and gratify his pride. superstitious opinions taught by your elders, Whereas all the doctrines delivered by a and judge impartially. " Moses, therefore, true prophet, have no other end than the gave unto you circumcision, (not because it glory of God, however contrary they may is of Moses, but of the fathers) and ye on the prove to himself. “He that speaketla of Sabbath-day circumcise a man.” If a màn himself, seeketh his own glory ; but he that on the Sabbath-day receive circumcision, seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is that the law of Moses should not be broken, true, and no unrighteousness. is in him.” are ye angry at me because I have made a Johın yii. 18. 1.
man every wbit whole on the Sabbath-day?
- Judge not aecording to the appearance, Our Lord was upbraided, with impiety but judge righteous judgment.” John vii. by some of the Jews, because he had heal, 22, 23, 24. ed on the Sabbath the impotent man in one of the porches of Bethesda, which they pre Notwithstanding the strength of this tended was a violation of the law of Moses, argument, several of our blessed Saviour's and consequently what no prophet would inveterate enemies' asked, with sarcastical be guilty of. In answer to which, our Savi-surprize, if the boldness of Jesus, and the our told them, that however they might silence of the rulers proceeded from their pretend to renounce the authority of Moses being convinced that he was the Messiah, and his law, they made no scruple of viola and at the same time, to deride his preten: ting the most sacred of his precepts': they sions to that bighi character, said that they had resolved to put liin to death, directly were acquainted both with his parents and contrary to every law of God and man; relations : but that no man. when Christ and in order to execute their detestable appeared, would be able to tell from whence scheme, were
were laying plots against his he came, founding their opinion on these life.
words of the prophet Isaiah, “Who shall
declare his generation ?" Ísajah liii. 8. To The people replied, “'Thou hast a devil, which the blessed Jesus answered, that who goeth. about to kill thee.” To wbich their knowing his parents and relations was Jesus answered, I have done a miracle of no reason against liis having the prophe, an extraordinary kind' on the Sabbath-day, tical character of the Messiah. Adding, , wbich you think inconsistent with the cha I am not come of mysell, but sent from racter of a pious man ; and therefore won. heaven by God, who has uttered nothing dered how I could perform it. But surely, by his servants, the prophets concerning the