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great joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils ous of knowing whether the doctrijeg are subject to us, through thy name !" preached by Jesus were the same with those
before delivered by Moses, asked him, From this appeal it seems that they knew What he should do to inherit eternal life? not the extent of their delegated power :
It is really amazing that any mortal should and were pleasingly surprised to find the
ask a question like this, with a view to apostate spirits tremble at their command.
tempt, not to be instructed! This was, To which their great Master replied, “ I
however, the case ; but the blessed Jesus, beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”
though no stranger to the most secret You will be no longer astonished that the
thoughts of the heart, did not reply, as he had devils are subject to the power I have given before done to the Pharisees, “ Why temptyou, when I tell you that their prince is not able to stand before me : and, accordingly,
est thou me, thou bypocrite ?" He turned
the Scribe's weapons against himself; what, when I first came into the world, in order
said he, is written in the law, of which thou to destroy him and his works, I saw him, professest thyself a teacher, “. How readest with the swiftness of the lightning's flash, thou ?” That law will teach thee what thou fall from heaven. Adding, in order to in
must do to be saved ! and happy will it be crease their joy, and prove that he really for thee, if thou compliest with its precepts. had cast Satan down from the seats of hea
The scribe answered, it is there written, ven, that he would enlarge their power. “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with “ Behold (says he) I give unto you power all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over
with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; all the power of the enemy: and nothing and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke x. 27, shall by any means burt you.” Luke x. 19.
Our Lord then shews the strength and Lest they should exult beyond measure spirituality of the law, “ Thou hast answerin the honour thus conferred on them, which
ed right; this do, and thou shalt live.” Perwas merely temporary, our Lord adds,
form these commands, and thou hast fulfilled “ Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, the duties of an Israelite : for on these two that the spirits are subject unto you ; but
commandments, hang all the law and the rather rejoice, because your names are writ
prophets. ten in heaven.” Luke x. 20. Nor could the blessed Jesus reflect on the
Where is the man that can fulfil the law ? unsearchable wisdom and goodness of the
The lawyer, who in all probability expected divine dispensations to mankind, without no such answer, being conscious of his feeling extraordinary joy; so that his bene- defects, and consequently, of the impossificent heart overflowed with strains of gra
bility of obtaining eternal life on these condi. titude ; “ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of tions, was willing, as the sacred historian heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these informs us, “to justify himself :"was wilthings from the wise and prudent, and hast ling to stifle the rising suggestions of his own revealed them unto babes ; even so, Father,
conscience, and at the same time, to make a for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Luke x.
shew of his own devotion ; and in order to 21.
this, he said to Jesus,
"And who is my
neighbour ?” A question very natural to be When the disciples had executed their asked by a bigotted Jew, whose narrow commissions, Jesus left Samaria, and retired 'notions led him to despise all who were not into Judea, and in the way was met by a of his own fold; all who were not the natucertain lawyer, or scribe, wlio being desir
ral descendants of his father Abraham.
To remove their obstinate attachment to his mind from his earliest years, and every their own principles, open their hearts to a objection arising from the animosity submore generous and noble way of thinking, sisting between the Jews and Samaritans, and shew them the only foundation of true were immediately silenced by the tender Jove, and the extensive relation they, and all sensation of pity, awakened by the sight of mankind stand in to each other, our Saviour such complicated distress ; his bowels yearndelivered the following most beautiful and ed towards the miserable object ; though instructive parable:
a Jew, he flew to him, and assisted him in
the most tender manner: A certain person in his journey from It was the custom. in these eastern coulJerusalem to Jericho, had the misfortune tries for travellers to carry their provisions. to fall into the hands of robbers, who, not with them : so that this compassionate content with taking his money, stripped Samaritan was enabled, though in a desart, bim of his raiment, beat him in a deplorable
to give the wounded man a little wine to . manner, and left him for dead. While he
recruit bis spirits. He also bound up his continued in this miserable condition, ut
wounds, pouring into them wine and oil, terly incapable of assisting himself, a cer placed bim on his own beast, and walked tain priest happened to travel the same himself on foot to support him. In this road : " and when he saw him, he passed by manner he conducted him to an inn, took on the other side. And likewise a Levite,
care of him during the night ; and in the when he was at the place, came and look
morning, when business called him to pured on him, and passed by on the other side."
sue his journey, recommended him to the So little compassion had those ministers of
care of the host, left what money he could religion for a brother in the most deplora
spare, and desired that nothing might be ble circumstances of distress, that they denied him ; for whatever was expended continued their journey, without offering he would repay at his return. to assist so miserable an object, notwithstanding their sacred. charaoters obliged
Having finished the parable, Jesus turno. them to perform, on every occasion, the
ed himself to the lawgiver, and asked him,
" Which now of those three thinkest thou, tender offices of charity and compassion. It was a brother, a descendant of Abraham in
was neighbour unto him that fell among distress ; and, therefore, those hypocrites
the thieves ?” The lawyer, struck with the could offer no reasons to palliate their inhu
truth and evidence of the case, replied, manity. Their stony hearts could behold
without the least hesitation, " He that the affecting object of an unfortunate Israel sheweth mercy on him.” Upon which ite, lying in the road naked and cruelly Jesus replied, “Go thou and do likewise.” wounded without being the least affected
Perform all the good aetions in thy power, with his distress.
extend thy kindness to every one, who
stands in need of thy assistance, whether Though these teachers of religion were
he be an Israelite, an Heathen, or a Samahypocrites, and wholly destitute of grace
ritan. Consider every man as thy neighbour and charity, compassion glowed in the in respect to works of charity, and makeheart of a Samaritan, who, coming to the
no enquiry with regard to his country or spot where this helples: object lay, ran to
religion, but only with regard to his circumhim ; and though he found bin to be a stances. person of a different nation, and one who On examination of the particulars of this, professed a religion opposite to bis own, beautiful parable, we shall find that it is yet the natred which had been instilled into composed in the finest manner to work the
however desirous of considering those of the
conviction designed ; so that the lawyer, Jerusalem, and in the evening came to the
house of Martha and Mary, the sisters of
Lazarus, at Bethany. Martha was desirWas impossible for him to do it on this occa ous of expressing her regard for the divine sion. The Jews had long considered the fa guest, by providing for him and his disci. vours of a Samaritan as a more detestable ples the best entertainment in her power. abomination than the eating swine's flesh; But her sister, who was of a more contemyet, notwithstanding this prepossession, the plative disposition, sat quietly at the feet of lawyer was obliged to acknowledge that nei Jesus, listening with the utmost attention to ther the priest nor the Levite, but the tra his doctrine. For the great Redeemer of velling Samaritan, by discharging the great mankind never omitted any opportunity of office of humanity to the Jew in distress, was declaring the gracious offers of the Almighty, truly his neighbour; that the like bumanity and his unspeakable love for the children was due froin any Israelite to a Samaritan of men. Martha, being greatly fatigued in the like distressed circumstances ; and, with the burthen of the service, complained consequently, that men are neighbours, to Jesus of the little care Mary took to assist without any regard to country, kindred, her. “ Lord, dost thou not care that my language, or religion.
sister hast left me to serve alone? Bid
her therefore that she help me.” Luke x. Mankind are intimately connected by their 40. common wants, and their common weak
Providence has formed them in such But Martha's officiousness incurred our
from her.” Luke x. 41, 42.
When Jesus repaired to Jerusalem, to and that good principles will ever produce
celebrate the feast of dedication, he was ingood actions.
formed that the beggar he had restored to sight at the feast of tabernacle was, by the council, cast out of the synagogue. This information excited the pity of the Son
of God; and he resolved to make him full CHAP. XX.
amends for the injury he had suffered. It
was not long before he met the suffering The humble Jesus resides with Martha and person, and said to him, " Dost thou beMary, two obscure Women of Bethany. lieve on the Son of God ? He answered and Improves a circumstance which occurred said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe at the Feast of Dedication. Prescribes in him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou a Mode of Prayer to his Disciples and bast both seen bim, and it is he that talketh future followers. And revisits some of with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. the Pharisaical Tribe.
And he worshipped him.”
John ix. 35,
&c. HE ing, Jesus turned his course towards We have binted that the beggar was No. 9.
THE feast of the dedication approach
thoroughly convinced the person who open- | of learning, and at the same time your ed his eyes was a messenger from heaven; hearts averse from acknowledging the truth, it is, therefore, no wonder, that as soon as your enlightened understanding will only he knew Jesus was the person who had per- aggravate your guilt. formed so great a work, he readily believed him to be the Son of God.
Having condemned the obstinacy and preOur Saviour, having thus given the poor
judice of the sect, in rejecting the most
evident tokens of the divinity of his mission, man ample proof of bis Messiab-ship, direct
he continued the reproof, by describing the ed his discourse to the people, and said unto
characters of a true and false teacher. It them, “ For judgment I am come into tbis
was our Lord's custom always to allude to world : that they which see not, might see;
objects before him; and being now in the and that they which see might be made
outer court of the temple, near the sheep, blind.” John ix. 39. The meaning of our
which were there exposed to sale, for sacriSaviour, though he alluded to the blind
fice, he compared the teachers among the man, was spiritual. He did not intend to
Jews to shepherds and the people to sheep; represent the design of his coming, but the
a metaphor often used by the old prophets. effect it would have on the minds of men ;
He considered two kinds of bad shepherds as it would demonstrate what character and
or teachers: the one, who, instead of euterdisposition every person possessed. The
ing in by the door to lead the flocks to the humble, the docile, and the honest, though
richest pastures entered some other way, they were immersed in the night of darkness
with an intention only to kill, to steal and to with regard to religion and the knowledge
destroy: the other, who, though they entered of the scriptures, should be enlightened by.
by the door to feed their flocks with the dishis coming, as the blind man had enjoyed
position of birelings, yet when the wolf the invaluable gift of sight from his hands : but those who were wise, learned, and en
appeared, they deserted the sheep, having
no love for any but themselves. By the lightened in their own opinion, should appear
former he plainly alluded to the pharisees, in their true character, absolutely ignorant,
who had cast the man born blind out of the foolish and blind.
synagogue for no other reason, than because The pharisees, who happened to be present
he would not act contrary to the dietates of
| his conscience, and agree with them in dewhen he spake these words to the people,
claring Jesus to be an impostor. But though imagined that he intended to throw a reflec
they had cast him out of the church, Christ tion on their sect, which the common people,
received him into his, which is the true from their skill in the law, held in great
church, the spiritual inclosure, where the veneration. Accordingly they asked him
sheep go in and out, and find pasture. with disdain, “ Are we blind also ?" Dost' thou place us, who are teachers, and have taken such pains to acquire the knowledge To illustrate the allusion, it should be obof the scriptures, on a level with the vulgar ? served, that the sheep which were brought To which Jesus answered, “If ye were blind to be sold, were inclosed in little folds, ye should have no sin ; but now ye say, We , within the outer court of the temple ; 60 see, therefore your sin remaineth.” If ye that the shepherd himself could not enter, had not enjoyed the faculties and opportu till the porter had opened the door. And nities of discerning the proofs of my mission, from this circumstance, the following parayou inight have been considered as blind. | bolical discourse may be easily understood : But as ye are superior to the yulgar in point “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
entereth not by the door of the sheep-fold, from me, are thieves and robbers ; but the but climbeth up some other way, the same sheep did not hear them.” John X. 8. as a thief and a robber.” Johnx. 1. Believe me, that whosoever in any age of the “I am the door,” through which alone church assumed the office of a teacher with
any one can come acceptably unto God. out a commission from me, was a thief and a “By me, if any man enter in, he shall be robber: and in the present age he is no saved, and shall go in and out, and find better who assumes that office without my pasture.” If any man believeth on me, he cominission, and particularly without be shall become a true member of the church of lieving on me. • But he that entereth in God upon earth, and shall from time to time by the door, is the shepherd of the sheep. receive such instructions, as shall nourish his To him the porter openeth; and the sheep soul unto eternal life. Our blessed Saviour hear his voice: and he calleth his own seems to change the image in the last parsheep by name, and leadeth them out: ticular; and instead of the outer court of and when he putteth forth his own sheep, the temple, where the sleep were kept, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow represented an inclosure, where the catile him: they know his voice.” John X. 2, 3, 4.
were fed. The doctrine here inculcated is, that good and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that
“ The thief cometh not, but for to steal, men are obedient to the instructions of true and faithful teachers : and that in every case
they might have lise, and that they might shew them their duty with the greatest plain- have it more abundantly." John x. 10.
You ness, not concealing it because it may be dis
may easily know that I am neither a agreeable to their inclinations. On the con
thief nor a robber, by considering that the
intention of such is only to kill, to steal, and trary, “ A stranger they will not follow, but will fee from him ; for they know not the to destroy the flock. They assume the chavoice of strangers.” John x. 5. The people commissious from heaven, for no other
racters of teachers, who have received their of God will not hearken to impostors and false teachers, but flee from them, like sheep at the expence of the souls of n.en ;- but
reason than to promote their own interest, from the voice of a stranger; for they can easily distinguish them from the messengers
I am come merely to give you life, and of God, by their fruits, their doctrines, and es
eren mueh more abundantly than it was their lives.
given by Moses, in the dispensation of the
law. Thus did the great Redeemer of mankind Nor am Ian hireling shepherd, appointed by this instructive parabolical discourse, by the owner to take care of the lock ; I am explain to the pharisees the difference be the good shepherd promised by the prophets; tween true and false teachers : but they the true proprietor of the sheep. This is being ignorant of bis meaning, be added, sufficiently evident from my laying down by way of explication, “ Verily, verily, I say my life for the safety of the flock. Whereas unto you, I am the door of the sheep,” I am au hireling, wlio proposes nothing but bis not only the door, by which the shepherds own interest, when he sees the wolf apmust enter, but I am also the door of the proaching deserts the sheep; bis whole sheep; it is by me that men enter into the care is for his own safety, and therefore he spiritual inclosure of the church. “ All that will not expose himself to any danger over came before me: all those who in their account; so that the wolf, without former times assumed the characters of resistance, tears some to pieces, and disteachers of religion, without commission perses the rest. I am the good shepherd: