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of sincere holiness, with great devotion and ardent love.

II.

Thou, blessed Jesus, art my divine leader to that heavenly country, and hast purchased for me an inheritance in it with thy most precious blood, and art gone before to prepare a place for me, and wilt come again to receive me to thyself; that where thou art, there I may be also.

O dearest, gracious Lord, what enravishing words are those! Master, we will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, make no delay to deliver me from this body of sin and of death, and put an end to this my miserable exile from thee! O do but fit me for thy divine presence and enjoyment, and then make no long tarrying!

But who may abide the day of thy coming, and who shall stand when thou appearest to judge the world in righteousness, and give to every one according to his works! And shouldest thou be extreme to mark what is done amiss, the best of us must fall under the strict scrutiny. But there is mercy with thee, therefore shalt thou be feared ; to thee doth my soul flee, O Lord, my trembling, guilty soul, and in thy word thy gracious promise of forgiveness, upon my true repentance, is my trust: for I know there is compassion with thee, and plenteous redemptiony. O therefore grant me true repentance and thy Holy Spirit, that the rest of my life hereafter may be pure and holy, in watchful expectation of that time of recompense; that I may cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light:

y Psalm cxxx.

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that so, when thou shalt come again in thy glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, I may rise to the life immortal, and being found acceptable in thy sight, may be received into thy eternal joy, through thy own merits and mediation, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

VI.

Of a creditor that had two debtors.

LUKE vii. 41-43. Jesus said, There was a certain creditor which had two

debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other

fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave

them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love

him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he

forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

THE occasion of this parable was this. One of the Pharisees having desired our Lord to eat with hima, (out of curiosity, probably, or some ill design, rather than true respectb; as may be collected from his omitting those usual expressions of civility that were always paid by the Jews to those they had a value for, when they entertained them ;) and our Lord having accepted the invitation, hoping to improve that opportunity to the man's eternal good; it was soon noised about the town that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house. And indeed it was a thing that might well be the subject of the people's discourse, that Christ and a Pharisee should be so friendly; that a Pharisee should invite one to his table who had so sharply and so often inveighed against the sect he was of, and openly exposed their vileness and hypocrisy; and that Christ should vouchsafe his company to one of those serpents and vipers, as he once called them, and against whom he a Luke vii. 36. ” Matth. xxii. 15 ; Luke xiv. 1. c Luke vii. 37.

had denounced so many dreadful woes, and who he could not but know hated him mortally, and were always contriving his destructiond. This was so remarkable, that it might well be taken notice of and told about the city, especially it being the first time, that we read of, of Jesus and a Pharisee eating together, though with publicans and sinners he had often done so. But our blessed Master, who came to seek and to save that which was loste, was ready to embrace every occasion that was offered him, of promoting the salvation even of his most inveterate enemies; and he that was the great Physician of souls was best pleased when he visited those that had most need of his help, be they who they would, without prejudice or partiality, as became the compassionate Saviour of the world.

And we may observe, that when he was at such entertainments, he made it his business to instruct the company, those especially that invited him, in some point or other of his heavenly doctrine, as occasion offered, and was most for their advantage; as we may see particularly in Luke xi. 37, &c. and xiv. 1, &c. (two other times after this, when he dined with a Pharisee,) and likewise in this parable which is now before us.

An excellent example this, and would to God it were more followed than it is! But it was his meat and drink to do the will of him that sent him, and to finish his workf; and when we are inspired with the like true zeal for religion, the honour of God, and the spiritual good of our brethren, we shall likewise endeavour to make our conversation as useful as we can, and with prudence, (which must

d Matth. xxiii. Luke xix. 10. f John iv. 34.

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direct and govern every thing,) to season it with salt 8, with something that is serious and good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers h.

Now there was a woman in the city which was, or had been a sinneri, one of a lewd life, a notorious prostitute, to whom the Jews gave the title of sinners, as a brand of peculiar infamy, so just a notion had they of that foul sin; and when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, as unwelcome a guest as she could not but know she should be to the Pharisee, (which sort of righteous people in their own conceits could not endure the sight of such wretches, and esteemed themselves greatly polluted, should they chance to touch them,) she resolves to go where that blessed person was, who by his admirable sermons had awakened her conscience into a true sense of her great wickedness, and reclaimed her from her former most vile and destructive course of life; and shew some expressions of love and gratitude to him, in hopes likewise of hearing more of his heavenly discourse, which now she relished above all things. And with her she brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him, weeping) whole floods of tears of penitence, of joy, and love; even to plenty enough to wash his feet withal, (which the rude Pharisee had neglected to call for water for,) and then with great tenderness and affection and reverence, she wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.

This extraordinary occurrence, as it could not but & Col. iv. 6. Eph. iv. 29. i Luke vii. 37. j Luke vii. 38.

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