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right interpretation, we cannot well misapply the simile, which clearly teaches, “that it would be as absurd for a bad man to set up for a reprover of others, as for one almost blind himself to pretend to perform operations on
other men's eyes.” Our Lord farther reminded his disciples, that however, unexceptionable their own characters might be, there was still caution to be used in the reprehension of others; that as they would not cast pearls before swine, neither should they enter into religious arguments with such profane wretches as they knew would deride every sacred subject, and treat the name of God and his holy ordinances with contempt, and in all probability endeavour to injure them for their intended kindness. But, that they might have wisdom and fortitude to direct them in all difficulties, He encouraged them to seek Divine assistance by fervent prayer, and not to despair if they did not immediately obtain their petitions, but to repeat them; not doubting, but that if their prayers were agreeable to the revealed will of God, they would at length certainly be granted; theugh the SUPREME BEING, to make trial of their faith and patience, might delay his blessing. For God is as ready to grant good things to those who need them, as the tenderest father is to supply the wants of a beloved. son; but He requires that they should be sought with fervent and repeated prayer, not with vain repetitions of any form of words, but an earnest lifting up of the heart to Him. If then Gop is so ready to satisfy our temporal and spiritual wants, we ought to do every thing in our power to promote the happiness of our fellow-creatures; and in order to do so, we should on all occasions treat them as we should wish to be treated ourselves in their - I • circum
circumstances. Whatever ye would that men should do wnto you, do ye even so unto them, is called the golden rule, and it ought to be deeply impressed on the mind of every Christian; for it is of general use, being calculated to restrain inordinate self-love, and promote universal charity and good-will. This short maxim is a summary of all the moral precepts contained in the Law and the Prophets. ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '
To enter in at the strait gate, signifies to enter upon a Christian life: those who do so are certainly under many restraints in comparison of those who give way to the indulgence of a sensual life; but Christianity restrains its followers from no one thing which is really good for them, and its paths, though strait and narrow, lead to everlasting life; while the broad path, which is so full of allurements, leads us certainly to everlasting destruction. - -
It is melancholy to reflect, that of the numbers to whom Christianity has been revealed, so few embrace it with sincerity: but since God has made known the conditions on which he will grant us eternal happiness, and has promised to give us strength to perform them, those who decline his grace must take the consequences. of their deplorable inattention and obstinacy.
Our Saviour, knowing that many false teachers. would arise, who, pretending to divine inspiration, would endeavour to obstruct the progress of the Gospel, cautioned his hearers against their delusions; and gave them a rule to distinguish them, which was, to compare their words with their actions; and to consider whether their doctrine had a real tendency to promote piety to, GoD, and humility, charity, and other Christian graces, If, on the contrary, it only served to give them a high. opinion of their own righteousness, taught them to del - H 6. Spisa. spise others, or led them into doubtful disputations, they might assure themselves it was corrupt and disPleasing to God, who would certainly bring it to nought; and that a mere outward profession, even of the true faith, would not conduct his disciples to heaven, unless they lived in conformity to it: for to call CHRIST, Lok D, and at the same time to disobey his laws, is a mockery of him, and will justly provoke him to reject such false pretenders at that great day, when all men must appear at his judgment-seat, and hypocrites of all kinds will be consigned to punishment. What our Lord said concerning prophesying and cast. ing out devils, related to the miraculous gifts of the Holy SPIRIT, of which we shall read in the following part of this history.
“In the parable with which our Lord concludes, he gives a lively emblem of the ruin which will one day overwhelm the unhappy man who trusts to an outward form of godliness, when he does not sincerely practise it.”
The Scribes, when instructing the people, generally contented themselves with quoting the name and au. thority of some celebrated doctor of the same age, and that frequently, to confirm some trifling remark, or useless ceremony of human invention; but the discourses of CHRIST were weighty and convincing, always delivered with an air of seriousness, dignity, and authority, becoming the Divi Ne Wo Rd. The form, Perily I say unto you, so often repeated by our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount, where his decision is opposed to Moses himself, shews a consciousness of the high character with which he was invested; our Lord's general manner imPressed his hearers with veneration and astonishment.
JESUS CURES THE CENTURI on’s se R v ANT, RAISEs
THE widow’s son, AND cle ANses TH E L E PER, &c. From Luke, Chap. vii.-Matt. viii.--Luke, v.—Mark, i.
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the au. dience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. ... And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this. For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. - Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lo RD, trouble not thyself, for I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof. Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers; and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it, When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Gothy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour. And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. - Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier (and they that bare him stood still), and he said, Young man, I say: unto thee, Arise. - . . . . And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak: and he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all : and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That GoD had visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all. Judea, and throughout all the region round about. And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold, a man full of leprosy ; who seeing Jesus, fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lo RD, if thou. wilt, thou canst make me clean. . And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. *And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man, but go thy way; shew thyself to the priest, and offer - - - - ' ' ' ' ' the