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And save us from the sin and punishment of wicked Jerusalem. When thou callest, we would come to thee and hide ourselves under thy wings. O, receive us and ours under thy wings, where only we shall be safe.

SECT. LVIII.

Jesus heals the Dropsy, and justifies his Conduct.

CHAP. XIV.

AND it came to pass, as he

heal on the sabbath-day?
And they held their peace. And
he took him, and healed him,
and let him go; 5. And an-
swered them, saying, Which of
you shall have an ass or an ox
fallen into a pit, and will not

went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath-day, that they watched him. 2. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the drop-straightway pull him out on the sy. 3. And Jesus answering, 6. And they spake unto the lawyers and Pha- could not answer him again to risees, saying, Is it lawful to these things.

sabbath-day?

Though they maliciously watched thee, they could not hinder thee in thy unwearied and undiscouraged course of doing good. Thou healedst all kind of bodily diseases, and thou canst heal all the diseases of the soul. That of the dropsy resembles the dreadful condition of a soul, in which the lusts of the flesh and of the mind continually thirst for gratification, and by indulgence grow more violent. Lord Jesus, deliver us from them. Ŏ heal our diseased souls. Blest be thy name for begun O deliverance in any of us; when, when shall it be completed!

SECT. LIX.
Jesus teaches Humility.

7. And he put forth a para- ble man than thou be bidden of ble to those which were bidden, him; 9. And he that bade when he marked how they chose thee and him come and say to out the chief rooms; saying unthee, Give this man place; and to them, 8. When thou art 8. When thou art thou begin with shame to take bidden of any man to a wed- the lowest room. 10. But ding, sit not down in the high- when thou art bidden, go and est room; lest a more honoura-sit down in the lowest room;

that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at

meat with thee. 11. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Thy discourse was always edifying. Lord, teach us to imitate thee. Give us also carefully to observe these words of thine directed to those who chose out the chief places. Give us to beware of self-exaltation, and to be ready to humble ourselves on all occasions.

SECT. LX.

Jesus recommends Hospitality, and delivers the Parable of the great Supper.

12. Then said he also to him, | that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 13.

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14. And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Lord, teach us the true meaning of these words. In matters of hospitality and generosity (as it is called) let us not act from vanity, or from a desire of a recompence in this world. But may we do good to those who stand in greatest need, and who cannot recompence us, in the firm belief of what thou hast here said, that we shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

15. And when one of them | Blessed is he that shall eat that sat at meat with him heard bread in the kingdom of God. these things, he said unto him,

May we learn from what this man spoke, so seasonably, of the blessedness of those that eat bread in the kingdom of God, to be always ready to promote edifying conversation. Lord, give us both the inclination and ability.

16. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great sup

per, and bade many: 17. And sent his servant at supper time

to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master

of the house, being angry, said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Praise to thy name for providing that great feast of the blessings of salvation to all people; and sending thy servants to invite them to come, for that all things are now ready. Alas, that so great salvation, purchased by such a price, and offered with such amazing condescension, should by multitudes be despised! Alas, that the concerns and comforts of this life (lawful in a certain degree) should so engross their affections, that they have no inclination to that spiritual feast, but desire to be excused. How provoking this contempt! But, blessed be thy name, when those who were first bidden, and were most indebted to thee for the good things of a present life, refused to come, thou sentest an invitation to the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. When the proud Pharisees rejected thy gospel, thou sentest it to the poor, outcast Gentiles. And, glory to thee, after all that have embraced it, there is rooni for more. Yet there is room, heavenly Father, in thy mercy; yet there is room in the merits of thy Son; yet there is room in the power of thy Spirit; yet there is room in heaven all praise to thee! And therefore thou hast ordered thy servants to go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in. Oh, be with all whom thou sendest to preach thy Gospel. May they

frankly invite the last and worst of mankind. And may they be directed by thy Spirit to such arguments as he will make effectual to compel sinners to come in. Glory to thee, thy house must and shall be filled. Oh, hasten the filling of it. How awful is the doom of gospel despisers, though it be nothing but their own choice, never to taste of thy supper! We deserve not, thou knowest, to taste of it. But we are among the poor, the halt, and the blind, whom thou still invitest; and what shall we say? since thou art pleased to invite us, we would with our whole heart accept the gracious invitation, and bless and praise thee for it.

SECT. LXI.

Jesus enforces Self-denial.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that com

25. And there went great | multitudes with him: and he turned and said-unto them, 26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and bre-eth against him with twenty thren, and sisters, yea, and his thousand? 32. Or else, while own life also, he cannot be my the other is yet a great way off, disciple. 27. And whosoever he sendeth an ambassage, and doth not bear his cross, and desireth conditions of peace. come after me, cannot be my 33. So likewise, whosoever he disciple. 28. For which of be of you that forsaketh not all you, intending to build a tower, that he hath, he cannot be my sitteth not down first and coun- disciple. 34. Salt is good; teth the cost, whether he have but if the salt have lost its sasufficient to finish it? vour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35. It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30. Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 21.

Let us not rashly and thoughtlessly inlist among thy followers, as too many do. May we seriously consider and weigh the terms. Thou hast said, "If any man come

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to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife,

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"and children, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, "and come after me, cannot be my disciple. And who"soever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, "he cannot be my disciple." We acknowledge, Lord, the reasonableness of all this. It is most just that we should have no love to our friends or nearest relatives, in comparison of our love to thee the infinite God, our Maker, and Saviour, and Sanctifier. Nor can we love them rightly, till we love them with a heart in which thy love is supreme. It is most just that we should bear our cross, and be ready by thy grace for contempt, persecution, and death, in following thee, the glorious God. And besides, thou hast assured us that this course leads to eternal life and glory. It is most just that we should forsake all that we have for thee, because it is all of thy giving; and surely thy gifts are not to be compared with thyself. And thou hast also promised abundantly to make up our loss, to give us a hundred-fold even in this life, and life eternal in heaven. We would therefore deliberately resolve to follow thee in the way of selfdenial, and the cross, and forsaking all that we have. Lord, help us. It is easy to speak; but when the hour of trial comes, Lord be with us then.

THEN

SECT. LXII.

The Parables of the lost Sheep, and the lost Piece of Silver.

CHAP. XV.

HEN drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners, for to hear him. 2. And

the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

Lord Jesus, we would draw near with the publicans and sinners to hear thee. The Pharisees murmured, saying," this man receiveth sinners and eateth with "them." But to great sinners, such as we are, this is matter of unspeakable consolation, especially when we find thee here so expressly asserting, that the repentance of a lost soul is an event most acceptable to thy Father;

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