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"how to give good gifts to your children, how much "more shall the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to "them that ask him?" Thou knowest that these are the words of thy only begotten Son, whom thou hast sent into the world to save sinners, and whom thou commandest them to believe and obey. They assure us, thou wilt not be offended, when we plead in the most earnest and importunate manner for the gift of thy Holy Spirit, and that no time can be unseasonable. Lord, remember these words of thy Son. We cannot take a denial; for if we obtain not thy Spirit, we must perish; but if we get this inestimable gift, we shall be for ever blessed. Oh merciful Father, deny us not thy Holy Spirit. If thou hearest us not this day, we must repeat our earnest cries to-morrow, and next day, and every day, till we be heard, while thou givest us power to speak or think. Oh Father, hear us for Christ's sake: we trust thou wilt.


Jesus vindicates his Miracles, and rebukes the Jews who desired a Sign.

And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the king

14. And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beel-dom of God is come upon you. zebub the chief of the devils. 16. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 17. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house, falleth. 18. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19.

21. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 23. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth. 24. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places,

seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 27. And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28. But he said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. 29. And when the people were gathered thick together, he be

gan to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 31. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32. The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

[See the Reflections on Matt. XII. v. 22-45.

p. 58-60.]


The Pharisees reproved.

33. No man, when he hath | lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. 34. The light of the body is the eye therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy

body also is full of darkness. 35. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

[See the Reflections on Matt. V. v. 15, 16. p. 18, 19.]

37. And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him and he went in, and sat down to meat. 38.

And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39. And the Lord said unto him,

Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 40. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is

without make that which is within also? 41. But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

Hence we learn, that impurity of heart is the greatest impurity; and that avarice and cruelty are eminent parts of this inward uncleanness. Lord, save us from these abominable dispositions which prevailed in the Pharisees. May we cheerfully give alms of such things as we have, and thankfully use what remains agreeably to thy will, being sanctified to us by thy word and prayer.

42. But woe unto you, Pha- | risees! 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. 43. Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the up

permost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. 44. Woe 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.

Lord, give us truth and integrity, to be what we appear, that men may not be deceived in us; and give us real Christian goodness, which, instead of harm, will rather do unexpected service to those who fall in its way.

45. Then answered one of, the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying, thou reproachest us also. 46. And he said, Woe 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 your fingers. 47. Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48. Truly ye bear witness that allow the deeds ye of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and ye build their

sepulchres. 49 Therefore al-
so said the wisdom of God, I
will send them prophets and
apostles, and some of them they
shall slay and persecute: 50.
That the blood of all the pro-
phets, which was shed from the
foundation of the world, may
be required of this generation:
51. From the blood of Abel,
unto the blood of Zacharias,
which perished between the al-
tar and the temple: Verily, I
it shall be requir-
say unto you,
ed of this generation. 52.
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye

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[See the Reflections on Matt. XXIII. v. 29––35. p. 105, 106.]


Jesus comforts his Disciples against ersecution.



things? and not one of them is IN the mean time, when there forgotten before God: 7. But were gathered together an in- even the very hairs of your head numerable multitude of people, are all numbered. Fear not, insomuch that they trode one therefore: ye are of more vanpon another, he began to say lue than many sparrows. 8. unto his disciples first of all, Also I say unto you, WhosoBeware ye of the leaven of the ever shall confess me before Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. men, him shall the Son of man 2. For there is nothing covered also confess before the angels of that shall not be revealed; nei- God: 9. But he that denieth ther hid, that shall not be known. me before men, shall be denied 3. Therefore whatsoever ye before the angels of God. have spoken in darkness shall And whosoever shall speak a be heard in the light; and that word against the Son of man, it which ye have spoken in the shall be forgiven him: but unto ear, in closets, shall be proclaim-him that blasphemeth against ed upon the house-tops. the Holy Ghost, it shall not be And I say unto you, my friends, forgiven. 11. And when they Be not airaid of them that kill bring you unto the synagogues, the body, and after that have no and unto magistrates and powmore that they can do. 5. But ers, take ye no thought how or I will forewarn you whom ye what thing ye shall answer, or shall fear: Fear him which, af- what ye shall say: | 12. For ter he hath killed, hath power the Holy Ghost shall teach you to cast into hell; yea, 1 say unin the same hour what ye ought to you, Fear him. 6. Are not to say. five sparrows sold for two far


[See the Reflections on Matt. XII. v. 30-32. p. 59.]

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Thou wouldst not take to thyself the office of a judge or divider, or any other to which thou wast not called by thy father; who sent thee not to divide earthly inheritances, amongst men who often contend about them from a principle of covetousness; but to deliver them from covetousness itself, and to teach them to seek an inheritance in heaven.

16. And he spake a parable | say to my soul, Soul, thou hast unto them, saying, The ground much goods laid up for many of a certain rich man brought years; take thine ease, eat, forth plentifully: 17. And he drink, and be merry. 20. But thought within himself, saying, God said unto him, Thou fool, What shall I do, because I have this night thy soul shall be reno room where to bestow my quired of thee: then whose fruits? 18. And he said, This shall those things be, which thou will I do: I will pull down my hast provided. 21. So is he barns, and build greater; and that layeth up treasure for himthere will I bestow all my fruits self, and is not rich towards God. and my goods. 19. And I will

Lord, give us to take heed and beware of covetousness, and firmly to believe that neither the happiness of a man's soul, nor his comfort in a present life, consisteth in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And may we profit by a serious consideration of the parable which thou spakest on this occasion. The man was rich and prosperous; yet he was full of care and the object of this care was how to bestow his fruits. When this care should be over, he vainly promised himself ease and satisfaction for many years. But God said to him, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required "of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou VOL. I.


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