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striction, that they do not hinder even the domestic part of their family from attending to the one thing needful} in order to prepare them. Persons of inferior stations, who have neither an income to afford splendid enter* tainments, nor servants to make the various dishes that compose them, certainly should not attempt to give them; for these cannot make a figure in this way with, out being careful about many things, to the danger of their religious improvement. In a word, it should be the endeavour of people to entertain their friends in such a manner, that all may eat their bread with joy, and drink their wine with a merry heart, from a consciousness that God approves their work, and will not suffer the good things they so infinitely prefer to the enjoyment of sensual pleasures, to be taken from them.
- SECTION LXXV.
OUR LORD REPEATS HIS INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING PRAYER. JESUS PINES AT THE HOUS.E OF A PHA.
From Luke, Chap. xi.
And it came to pass, that as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Fa. ther which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heavea Sq in earth. « , .
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every P 5 one •ne that is indebted to us. And lead us. not intg temptation, but deliver us from evil.
And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
For a friend of mine, in his journey,. is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him :.
And he from within shall answer, and say, Trouble me not;. the door is now shut, and my children are; with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend; yet because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as man^ as he needeth.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you seek, and ye shall find: kneck, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh, receiveth:. and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your 'childrefi:. how much. more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him F . .
And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him : and he went in and sat down to meat.
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside »f the cup and the platter: but your inward part is full of ratening and wickedness..
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without, make that which is within also?
But rather give alms of such things as you have; and behold, all things are clean unto you'.
But wo unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint, and. rue, and all manner. of herbs, and pass over.judgment, and the love of God : these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Wo unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
. Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that, walk over them, are not aware of them. . . .;
Then answered one of the lawyers, and said.unto him,. Master, thus saying, thou reproachest us also. . . t •,
And he said, Wo unto you also, ye lawyers :' for ye. lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not. the burdens with one of youc fingers.;
Wo unto you: for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your. fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build theit sepulchres. • ... [,.. . r.' ;;sji
Therefore also said the wisdomof,God, X will send* them prophets and apostles, and some of them.they shaf^ slay and persecute: . ,,. . u .
That the blood of all the prophets,. which was shed, from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation. , , T6 f 'W«
Wo unto you, lawyers; for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in, ye hindered.
And as he said these things unto them, the Scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things,
Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS. When our Lord left Bethany, he continued his journey, and divided his time, as usual, between the care of teaching his numerous disciples, and the exercises of private devotion. The disciples, who requested his instruction concerning prayer, were not yet (it seems) acquainted with the form he had taught, when he delivered bis Sermon on the Mount *, and this might be the case with numbers besides; our Lord, therefore, graciously repeated it. It is needless to enter into a particular comment on this excellent Prayer again, as it has been so fully explained before; but we may observe, that oar Load's repetition of it proves, that he intended it for all his disciples; therefore every Christian should make use of it. Having taught them how io'ptay, our Lord encouraged them to earnestness in Heir devotions, by a familiar example, intimating, that God is more willing to help our necessities, than the •nearest friend; and as ready to grant the assistance of his Holy Spirit .to those who earnestly pray for it, as the tenderest father is to supply the wants of a beloved son.
Since our Lord has instructed us how to pray, and so earnestly enjoined us to practise the duty, we are inexcusable if we omit to offer up our daily petitions to
• Set Sect. *liv, §" Gob; God: nay, we deprive ourselves of the.highest enjoyment the human soul is capable of, "that of a spiritual intercourse with its Creator.
We have in this section an account of a private conversation, which passed between our Lord and sffme of the Pharisees; and we may observe, that our Lord's part in it was entirely consistent with the public sentiments he constantly expressed of that sect. In a former section we read what our Lord said concerning their frequent superstitious washings, which the persons he was now with seem not to have known. It appears, that the Pharisees required Christ to conform to this custom; but, instead of complying, he gave them a severe reproof for their hypocrisy and rapaciousness, and commended inward piety, charity, and liberality of mind, in preference to ceremonial observances, as more conducive to the sanctification of their meats, by answering a purpose agreeable to the commandment of God, who would accept what was given in alms as dedi . cated to Himself, and bestow a blessing accordingly.
One of the doctors, or interpreters of the law, being present, observed, that in mentioning the Scribes he had cast reproach on him and his brethren, to the disgrace of their holy profession. Our Lord, who could not, consistently with his character and office, palliate the matter, repeated his rebuke, and denounced divine vengeance against the interpreters of the law in particular, on account of their exacting a rigorous observance, not only of the ceremonial law, but of human traditions; while they, in their lives, contradicted many of their own precepts. Destroying the Prophets and other righteous men was a national crime, for which God had threatened to send vengeance on the Jewish nation; but he deferred the execution of it till the measure of their