Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

man is worthy of his meat. May all thy ministers be at the utmost distance from covetousness and worldlymindedness; and do thou dispose these, to whom they are sent, to give the supplies which are proper and decent for those who are set apart for this work. May they shew the greatest regard for the worthy; may they preach thy truths with great love to the souls of their hearers, addressing them in the most gentle and winning. manner, in order to gain them to Christ; and at the same time, if they reject the gospel, warning them of their dreadful danger; and testifying that they are pure from their blood.

SECT. XXXVI.

Jesus comforts his Disciples against Persecution.

16. Behold, I send you forth | for a testimony against them and as sheep in the midst of wolves: the Gentiles. 19. But when be ye therefore wise as ser- they deliver you up, take no pents," and harmless as doves. thought how or what ye shall 17. But beware of men: for speak; for it shall be given you they will deliver you up to the in that same hour what ye shall councils, and they will scourge speak. 20. For it is not ye that you in the synagogues: 18. speak, but the Spirit of your And ye shall be brought before Father which speaketh in you. governors and kings for my sake,

Those whom thou sendest forth to preach thy kingdom, have still great numbers of carnal and wicked men to deal with, enemies to the power of godliness. Grant, therefore, that they may be prudent to avoid evil from such persons, and careful not to give them the least foundation for just complaint. May they beware of needlessly bringing any degree of persecution on themselves; but if they should be persecuted and brought before governors and judges for thy sake, heavenly Father, direct them how to speak by thy blessed Spirit. May he rest upon them when they are reproached for the name of Christ. And grant, O God, the assistance of the same blessed Spirit to all who preach thy word, both in their private meditations and their public discourses. In both, may they look to

Him, and be under his influence; and when they speak to immortal souls in thy name, may the Spirit of their heavenly Father speak in them.

21. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say

unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Blessed Lord, how virulent was the hatred of the world to thy first disciples! overpowering the strongest ties of nature; and how universal was it! But this was their comfort, that they were treated in no other manner than their Master and Lord was, and it was for thy name's sake: and they were assured that, enduring to the end, they should be saved. Lord, make us thy genuine disciples, who endure to the end, and then we need not fear the hatred of all mankind, nor their keen est reproaches. Then we shall bear the cross after him who is able to support and comfort us, come what will, and shall be eternally saved.

[blocks in formation]

Deliver all that preach thy word from that fear of man which causeth a snare, and against which thou hast here warned thy apostles thrice. Let those, O Lord, be afraid, whose principles or practices cannot bear the light, because there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hid that shall not be known. But let not thy servant be afraid to profess thy truths, which love to be brought into the clearest light. May a concern to avoid the displeasure of the Almighty extinguish in them all sinful fear of weak and mortal men; and give them to confide in the care and protection of their heavenly Father, whose providence extends to the meanest creatures, and directs the minutest circumstances in their lot. Let them never be ashamed of any of thy truths or ways, but confess thee with that frankness and cheerfulness which the transporting thought of being confessed by thee, before thy Father in heaven, should inspire: and let every other fear that would tempt them to deny thee in any instance be quite overpowered by the fear of being denied by thee before thy Father in heaven.

34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37. He that lov

:

eth father or mother more than
me is not worthy of me and he
that loveth son or daughter more
than me is not worthy of me.
38. And he that taketh not his
cross, and followeth after me,
is not worthy of me.
39. He
that findeth his life shall lose it:
and he that loseth his life for my
sake shall find it.

O Prince of Peace, surely the divisions and wars that have been occasioned by thy gospel were not owing to it, but to that wickedness in the human heart which it was sent to cure. And that enmity in the unconverted against their nearest relatives, when they became Christians, looks like the venom of that malicious and murdering spirit, the great opposer of thy religion. They who love thee, have love, and compassion, and kindness in their hearts to all men; and if it be possible, as

much as lieth in them, they will live peaceably with all men. But it is very consistent with this, that they will rather part with all that is near and dear to them, than part with thee; and will by thy grace take up their cross and follow after thee, and cheerfully lose their lives for thy sake. Thou art the infinite God, to whom all is due; and the ties they are under to thee, are inexpressibly the strongest of all other. Help us, Lord, to act agreeably to this incontestable truth, through the whole of life.

40. He that receiveth you, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. 41. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man, in the

name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

When we hear thy gospel preached by men of like passions with ourselves, may we receive it as from thee: and may we beware of despising the messenger, as we would not despise his Lord who sent him. And grant that we may not only give due honour to those who are eminent in gifts and graces, but may cordially love and esteem the weakest of thy real disciples, and be ready to do them good, as we have opportunity; knowing that a cup of cold water given to one of them, in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose its reward.

SECT. XXXVII.

Christ's Testimony concerning John the Baptist.

CHAP. XI.

A
ND it came to pass, when
Jesus had made an end of
commanding his twelve disci-
ples, he departed thence, to
teach and to preach in their
cities. 2. Now when John had
heard in the prison the works
of Christ, he sent two of his
disciples, 3. And said unto
him, Art thou he that should
come, or do we look for ano-

ther? 4. Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deafhear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

[ocr errors]

Thus thou shewedst that the Messiah, promised in the Old Testament Scriptures, was now indeed come: "Then (says the prophet) the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped ; "then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue "of the dumb sing." And in the book of Psalms it is said, "He shall judge the poor of the people; he shall "save the children of the needy. He shall deliver the "needy when he crieth, the poor also, and him that "hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, "and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall re"deem their souls from deceit and violence, and pre

cious shall their blood be in his sight." We rejoice, O Saviour, that these words were so clearly fulfilled in the time of thy personal ministry. O may they be fulfilled more and more by the enlargement of thy kingdom. May many blind minds receive sight; many lame be made to walk in the ways of God; many lepers be cleansed from sin; many deaf, hear thy voice; many who are dead in trespasses, be quickened and made to live to God; and multitudes of the poor and depised, whose souls are precious in thy sight, be made to hear and embrace the glad tidings of salvation. tidings of salvation. O true Messiah, let thy kingdom thus come every where; and pity those who are offended at the external meanness of it.

Open their eyes to see that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men; that it is the greatest wisdom to submit to the wisdom of God, and the truest glory to renounce their own glory, and to glory in the Lord. Thou hast

said,

[ocr errors]

Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me." Lord, give us this blessedness; let us never be offended in thee in any wise; let us rejoice and triumph in thee perpetually, for we have good reason so to do.

7. And, as they departed, I Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken with the wind? 8. But what

went ye out for to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9. But what went ye out for to see? a prophet? yea, I say unto you, and

« AnteriorContinuar »