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nity that is in the creature itself, (riches are the gift of God,) but by reason of those three pernicious hangbyes, cares, pleasures, pride, which too commonly attend upon wealth : separate these, riches are a blessing. If we can so possess them that they possess not us, there can be no danger, much benefit, in abundance : all the good or ill of wealth or poverty is in the mind, in the use. He that hath a free and lowly heart in riches is poor; he that hath a proud heart under


is rich. If the rich man do good and distribute, and the poor man steal, the rich hath put off his woe to the poor. Zaccheus had never been so famous a convert, if he had been poor; nor so liberal a convert, if he had not been rich. If more difficulty, yet more glory was in the conversion of rich Zaccheus.

It is well that wealthy Zaccheus was desirous to see Christ. Little do too many rich men care to see that sight;

the face of Cæsar on their coin is more pleasing. This man leaves his bags to bless his eyes with this prospect; yet can I not praise him for this too much; it was not, I fear, out of faith, but curiosity: he that had heard great fame of the man, of his miracles, would gladly see his face; even a Herod longed for this, and was never the better. Only this I find, that this curiosity of the eye, through the mercy of God, gave occasion to the belief of the heart. He that desires to see Jesus, is in the way to enjoy him; there is not so much as a remote possibility in the man that cares not to behold him. The eye were ill bestowed, if it were only to betray our souls; there are no less beneficial glances of it. We are not worthy of this useful casement of the heart, if we do not thence send forth beams of holy desires, and thereby re-convey profitable and saving objects.

I cannot marvel if Zaccheus were desirous to see Jesus; all the world was not worth this sight. Old Simeon thought it best to have his eyes closed up with this spectacle, as if he held it pity and disparagement to see aught after it. The father of the faithful rejoiced to see him, though at nineteen hundred years' distance ; and the great doctor of the Gentiles stands upon this as his highest stair ; " Have I not seen the Lord Jesus ?" and yet, 0 Saviour, many a one saw thee here, that shall never see thy face above; yea, that shall call to the hills to hide them from thy sight; and, "If we had once known thee according to the flesh, henceforth know we thee so no more.” What a happiness shall it be, so to see thee glorious, that in seeing thee we shall partake of thy glory! Oh blessed vision, to which all others are but penal and despicable ! Let me go into the minthouse, and see heaps of gold, I am never the richer; let me go to the pictures, I see goodly faces, and am never the fairer ; let me go to the court, I see state and magnificence, and am never the greater ; but, O Saviour, I cannot see thee, and not be blessed. I can see thee here, though in a glass; if the eye of my faith be dim, yet it is sure.

Oh let me be unquiet, till I do now see thee through the vail of heaven, ere I shall see thee as I am seen!

Fain would Zaccheus see Jesus, but he could not: it were strange if a man should not find some let in good desires : somewhat will be still in the way betwixt us and Christ. Here are two hindrances met, the one internal, the other external; the stature of the man, the press of the multitude; the greatness of the press, the smallness of the stature. There was great thronging in the streets of Jericho to see Jesus; the doors, the windows, the bulks were all full. Here are many beholders, few disciples. If gazing, if profession were godliness, Christ could not want clients; now amongst all these wanderers there is but one Zaccheus. In vain should we boast of our forwardness to see and hear Christ in our streets, if we receive him not into our hearts.

This crowd hides Christ from Zaccheus. Alas! how common a thing it is by the interposition of the throng of the world to be kept from the sight of our Jesus! Here a carnal fashionist says, Away with this austere scrupulousness, let me do as the most: the throng keeps this man from Christ. There a superstitious misbeliever


What tell you me of a handful of reformed ? the whole world is ours': this man is kept from Christ by the throng. The covetous mammonist says, Let them that have leisure be devout: my employments are many, my affairs great: this man cannot see Christ for the throng; there is no perfect view of Christ, but in a holy secession. The spouse found not her beloved, till she was past the company ; then she found him whom her soul loved. Whoso never seeks Christ but in the crowd, shall never find comfort in finding him: the benefit of our public view must be enjoyed in retiredness. If in a press we see a man's face, that is all; when we have him alone, every limb may be viewed. O Saviour, I would be loth not to set thee in thine assemblies; but I would be more loth not to see thee in my closet. Yet, had Zaccheus been but of the common pitch, he might perhaps have seen Christ's face over bis fellows' shoulders; now his stature adds to the disadvantage, his body did not answer to his mind ; his desires were high, while his body was low. The best is, however smallness of stature was disadvantageous in a level, yet it is not so at height. A little man, if his eye be clear, may look as high, though not as far, as the tallest : the least pigmy may, from the lowest valley, see the sun or stars as fully as a giant upon the highest mountain. O Saviour, thou art now in heaven ; the smallness of our person, or of our condition, cannot let us from beholding thee. The soul hath no stature, neither is heaven to be had with reaching : only clear thou the eyes of my faith, and I am high enough.

I regard not the body; the soul is the man. It is to small purpose, that the body is a giant, if the soul be a dwarf. We have to do with a God that mea



sures us by our desires, not by our statures. All the streets of Jericho, however he seemed to the eye, had not so tall a man as Zaccheus.

The witty publican easily finds both his hindrances and the ways of their redress. His remedy for the press is to run before the multitude ; his remedy for his stature is to climb up into the sycamore: he employs his feet in the one, his hands and feet in the other. In vain shall he hope to see Christ, that doth not outgo the common throng of the world. The multitude is clustered together, and moves too close to move fast: we must be nimbler than they, if ever we desire or expect to see Christ. It is the charge of God, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil ;" we do evil if we lag in good. It is held commonly both wit and state for a man to keep his pace: and that man escapes not censure, who would be forwarder than his fellows. Indeed for a man to run alone in ways of indifferency, or to set a hypocritical face of outrunning all others in a zealous profession, when the heart lingers behind, both these are justly hateful: but in a holy emulation, to strive truly and really to outstrip others in degrees of grace, and a conscionable care of obedience, this is truly Christian, and worthy of him that would hope to be blessed with the sight of a Saviour.

Tell me, ye fashionable Christians, that stand upon terms of equality, and will not go a foot before your neighbours in holy zeal and aidful charity, in conscionable sincerity tell me, who hath made other men's progress a measure for yours? which of you says, I will be no richer, no greater, no fairer, no wiser, no happier than my fellow? why should you then say, I will be no holier ? Our life is but a race, every good end that a man proposes to himself is several goal: did ever any man that ran for a prize say, I will keep up with the rest ? doth he not know that if he be not foremost, he loseth? We had as good to have sat still, as not “ so to run that we


may obtain.” We obtain not, if we outrun not the multitude.

So far did Zaccheus overrun the stream of the people, that he might have space to climb the sycamore ere Jesus could pass by. I examine not the kind, the nature, the quality of this plant; what tree soever it had been, Zaccheus would have tried to scale it, for the advantage of this prospect; he hath found out this help for his stature, and takes pains to use it. It is the best improvement of our wit, to seek out the aptest furtherances for our souls. Do you see a weak and studious Christian, that being unable to inform himself in the matters of God, goes to the cabinet of heaven, “the priest's lips, which shall preserve knowledge ?" there is Zaccheus in the sycamore: it is the truest wisdom that helps forward our salvation. How witty we are to supply all the deficiencies of nature ! if we be low, we can add cubits to our stature; if ill-coloured, we can borrow complexion ; if hairless, perukes ; if dim-sighted, glasses; if lame, crutches ; and shall we be conscious of our spiritual wants, and be wilfully regardless of the remedy ? Surely, had Zaccheus stood still on the ground, he had never seen Christ; had he not climbed the sycamore, he had never climbed into heaven. 0 Saviour, I have not height enough of my own to see thee; give me what sycamore thou wilt, give me grace to use it, give me a happy use of that grace.

The more I look at the mercy of Christ, the more cause I see of astonishment. Zaccheus climbs up into the sycamore to see Jesus, Jesus first sees him, preventing his eyes with a former view. Little did Zaccheus look that Jesus would have cast up his eyes to him. Well might he think, the boys in the streets would spy him out, and shout at his stature, trade, ambition; but that Jesus should throw up his eyes into the sycamore, and take notice of that small despised morsel of flesh, ere Zaccheus could find space to distinguish his face from the rest, was utterly

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