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againstit ; *but he is the resurrection and the life; and hath assured us he will make it good. Let'us therefore be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Though not only Abraham and the prophets, but Peter and Paul, and the other apostles are dead, yet this word shall be gloriously accomplished. Still they live to him, and shortly shall they be for ever recovered frona the power of the grave ;, so that death is to them comparatively as nothing. With them may our final portion be, and may we set light by the reproaches, clamours, and accusations of prejudiced, ignorant, and sinful men ?
Adcred be that gracious Providence that determined our existence to begin in that happy day which prophets and patriarchs desired to see, and, in the distant view of which Abraham rejoiced! Let it be also our joy; for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever : nor could the heart of those holy men fully conceive those things which God had prepared for them that love him, and which he has now revealed unto us by leis Spirit.
The seventy discipies return with joy : Christ fraises his heavenly Fa
ther for the wise though mysterious dispensation of the gospel. LUKE x. 17-24.
sent before him, returned to him again with joy, saying, Lord, 18 even the demons are subject to us in thy name. And he said to 19 them, I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven. Behold I
give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all
the might of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means injure 20 you. Nevertheless, rejoice not so much in this, that the spirits are
subject to you ; but rather rejoice that your names are written in
heaven. 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said ( as on a former
occasion* ) I ascribe glory to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them to infants : be it so, O Father! since such 22 is thy pleasure. All things are delivered to me by my Father ;
and no one knows who the Son is, except the Father; nor who
the Father is, except the Son, and he to whom the Son will re23 veal him. And then, turning to his disciples, he said to them apart, 24 Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see ;
say unto you, that many prophets and king's desired to have seen the things which you see, and did not see them; and to have heard the thing which you hear, and did not hear them.
REFLECTIONS. And are not our obligations in some measure proportionable to theirs, while these glorious sights are reflected to our eyes, from the mirror of his word, and these glad-tidings are echoed back to our ears? Have not we also reason to adore the peculiar favour of God to us, and to admire the sovereignty of his love, that he has been pleascd to reveal his Son in us, and has given to such babes, as we must own ourselves to be, that spiritual knowledge of him, which he has suffered to remain hidden from the great, the learned, and the wise? Even 80, Father, must we also say, for so it seemed good in thy sight : thou hast mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy, and often exaltest the riches of thy grace by the meanness and unworthiness of 'those on whom it is bestowed.
* Matt. xi. 25, 26. § 59.
Have we reason to hope that our worthless names are written in heaven? Let us often think of that glorious society amongst whom we are enrolled as members, and rejoice in the thought of those privileges which result from such a relation to it: privileges, in comparison of which, a power to heal diseases, and eject demons with a word, would hardly deserve our joy. In a grateful sense of them, let us adore the grace which gave us a place in the Lamb's book of life, and be ever solicitous to behave in a manner worthy of so illustrious a kope.
We have great encouragement to expect that he, before whom Satan fell like lightning from heaven, will enable us finally to trample on his power. Let us not servilely fear that condemned criminal, already marked with the scars of the divine vengeance ; but let us cheerfully hope that the triumph over him will be renewed by the preaching of the gospel. Quickened by that hope, let us more earnestly pray, that the ruin of his gloomy kingdom may be daily more and more apparent, especially among us ; that our gracious Redeemer, who reckons the interest of souls his own, may have renewed reason of joy and praise on that account. Exert, O blessed Jesus, thine own almighty arm for that great purpose ; and, as thou alone canst do it, reveal thine heavenly Father to those who, by neglecting thee, shew that they know not him.
Christ answers the scrïbe who asked what he should do to inherit eternal
life. The parable of the good Samaritan. LUKE X. 25-37.
ND behold, as our Lord zas addressing the seventy disciples,
a certain ławyer, or scribe* rose up, to try him, and said, 26 Master, what must I do that I may inherit eternal life? And he
said to him, What is written in the law ? how dost thou read? 27 And he replying said, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
66 all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,
6 and with all thine understanding, and thy neighbour as thyselft." 28 And he said to him, Thou hast answered right : do this, and thou
* Whose profession was to study and teach the law of Moses.
† This passage (Deut. vi. 5. Lev. xix. 18.) was daily read in their synagogues, as it is still.
29 shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And 30 who is my neighbour ? And Jesus replying said, A certain man
went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers,
who having both stripped and wounded him, went off leaving him 31 half dead. And it happened that a certain priest went down that 32 way, and seeing him lie, he crossed the road and went on. And
in like manner a Levite, when he was at the place, came and look33 ed on, and crossed and passed by. But a certain Samaritan, as he
was travelling, came where he was, and seeing him in this sad
condition, was moved with compassion towards him, though a Jew; 34 and going to him, he bound up his wounds, when he had poured
in oil and wine, and setting him on his own beast, he brought him 35 to an inn, and took care of him that night. And the next morn
ing, as he departed, he took out two denarii or Roman pence, and gave them to the landlord, and said to him, Take care of him,
and whatsoever more thou shalt spend I will repay thee as I come 36 back. Now which of these three ( said our Lord) dost thou think
was the neighbour of this man that fell among the robbers ? And 37 he said, He that had mercy upon him. Then said Jesus to him,
Go and do thou likewise.
REFLECTIONS. Of how great importance is it that we should every one of us be. in good earnest making this inquiry which the scribe addressed to our Lord, What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ! What ought we not willingly to do, and to bear, that we may secure so great a felicity ? Still will our Lord answer us from his word, that we must keep the commandments of God, while we are looking to him as the end, of the law for righteousness. Happy are they that faithfully do it, that through the grace manifested in the gospel they may have a right to eat of the tree of life! May this abstract and suminary of the commandments be written, as it were in golden characters, on the table of each of our hearts ! May we love the Lord our God with all the united powers and faculties of our souls, and our neighbour as sincerely and fervently as ourselves ! And may we learn, from this beautiful parable of the good Samaritan, to exercise our charity to our fellow-creatures in the most amiable manner !
The Jewish priest and Levite had, no doubt, the ingenuity to find out some excuse or other for passing over to the oljer side ; and night, perhaps, formally thank God for their own deliverance, while they left their brother to bleed to death for want of their assistance. Is it not an emblem of many living characters, perhaps of some whose sacred office lays them under the strongest obligations to distinguished benevolence and generosity ? But the good Sumaritan acted the part of a brother to this expiring Jew. O seed of Israel, O house of Levi and of Aaron! will not the day come when the humane virtues of heathens shall rise up in judgment against thee!
Let us reflect with shame, what are the differences between one Christian and another when compared with those between a Samaritan and a Jew! Yet here the benevolence of a good heart overcame even these ; and, on the view of a wounded dying man, forgot that he was by nation an enemy. Whose heart does not burn within him, whose eyes do not overflow with tears of delight, while he reads such a story? Let us go and do likewise, regarding every man as our neighbour who needs our assistance. Let us exclude every malignant sen, țiment of bigotry, and party zeal which would contract our hearts into an insensibility for all the human race, but a little select number, whose sentiments and practices are so much our own, that our love to them is but self-Love reflected. With an honest openness of mind let us always remember the relation between man and man, and feel and cultivate that happy, instinct by which God, who has formed our hearts in many instances alike, has in the original constitution of our nature strongly and graciously bound them to each other.
Christ in his visit at Bethany, commends the diligence with which Mary
attends his preaching, while Martha was too anxious about the entertainment. LUKE X. 38, &c..
38 TOW it came to pass, as they were on their journey, that he
entered into a certain village, called Bethany*, and a certain woman whose name was Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the feet of 40 Jesus, and heard his discourse. But Martha was exceedingly hur
ried about much serving; and coming in she said, Lord, dost thou not mind that my sister has left me to serve alone? Speak to
her therefore that she may lend her helping hand with mine. 41 And Jesus in reply said to her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious 42 and disturbed about many things : But there is one thing neces
sary ; and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be tạken away from her.
REFLECTIONS. So steadily and zealously did our blessed Lord pursue his work, with such unwearied diligence and constant affection! No sooner is he entered into the house of his pious friend, but he sets himself to preach the word of salvation, and is the same in the parlour whic he had been in the temple. O Mary, how delightful was thy situation! Who would not rather have sat with thee at the feet of Jesus to hear his wigdom, than have filled the throne of the greatest prince upon earth! Blessed were thine eyes in what they saw, thine ears in what they heard, and thine heart in what it received and embraced, and treasured up as food which would endure to everlasting life!
How unhappily was her good sister deprived of the entertainment of these golden moments, while hurried about meats and drinks, and tables with their furniture, till she lost, not only her opportunity, but
* See John xi. 1. $ 139.
+ The word properly signifies, to be drawn different ways, at the same time,
her temper too ; as it is indeed hard to preserve it, without a resolute guard, amidst the crowd and clamour of domestic cares. Happy that mistress of a numerous family, who can manage its concerns with the meekness and composure of wisdom, and adjust its affairs in such a manner as that it may not exclude the pleasures of devotion, and cut her off from the means of religious improvement! Happy the man who, in a pressing variety of secular business, is not so cumbered and careful as to forget that one thing which is absolutely needful ; but resolutely chooses this better part and retains it as the only secure and everlasting treasure! Oh that this comprehensive and important sentence were ever before our eyes! Oh that it were mscribed deep upon our hearts ! One thing is needful. And what is this one thing but the care of the soul ? what, but an humble attention to the voice and the gospel of Christ ? Yet, as if this were of all things the most unnecessary, for what poor trifling care is it not commonly forgot? yea, to what worthless vanity is it not daily saarificed?
Let the ministers of Christ, let the friends of souls in every station, exert themselves, that all about them may be awakened duly to regard this great interest ; accounting it their meat and their drink to promote it. Let them be always solicitous that neither they nor others may neglect it for the hurries of too busy a life, or even for the services of an over-officious friendship.
Christ being entreated by his disciples to teach them to pray, repeate
with some additions, the instructions and encouragements which he had formerly given. LUKE xi. 1-13.
ND as he was praying in a certain place, when he had ended,
one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, as 2 John also taught his disciples. And he said to them, When you
pray say, “ Our Father, who art in heaven, may thy name he
*6.sanctified. May thy kingdom come : may thy will be done, 3 « as in heaven so likewise upon earth. “Give us day by day our 4. “ daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for even we forgive eve
ry one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into tempta5 « tion ; but rescue us from the evil one." And to excite them to
a believing importunity in prayer, he said to them*, Who of
shall have a friend and shall go to him at midnight and say to him, 6 Friend, I beg of you to lend me three loaves for a friend of mine
benighted on his journey, is come to my house, and I have nothing
to set before himt: and he from within shall at first answer and * Probably some further conversation might pass to introduce the following illustration, which otherwise appears abrupt. It may be proper to observe, that our Lord here as in many other cases, adapts his illustrations to persons of the lower nk
En. + The words do not make a complete grammatical sentence, but such incidental inaccuracies are to be found in the most approved authors.