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greater than he. 12. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. (Mal. iv. 5.) 15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

more than a prophet. 10. For this is he of whom it is written, (Mal. iii. 1.) Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before the. 11. Verily I say unto you, I Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is What reason have we to be thankful that thou hast appointed our lot under the gospel dispensation, which is so far superior in light, life, and comfort, to any of the former, and which proclaims repentance and salvation to all men, and to the chief of sinners! Lord, save us from neglecting this great salvation may we, with a. holy violence, press forward into thy kingdom; and, by faith, take hold of these blessings which thou hast freely offered to all.

came neither eating nor drinking; and they say, He hath a

16. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the mar-devil. kets, and calling unto their fellows, 17. And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18. For John

19. The Son of man came eating and drinking; and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But Wisdom is justified of her children.

Lord, let us not be among those who, instead of receiving the gospel with love, are perpetually finding fault with something or other in them who preach it. When they cavilled against thee, in whom there was no sin, no wonder they make exceptions against thy servants who are weak, fallible, and imperfectly sanctified. Lord, deliver us from all prejudices against thy gospel.

SECT. XXXVIII.

Jesus upbraideth the Unthankfulness and Impenitence of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, and inviteth the Weary.

20. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most

of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21,

art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have re-done in Sodom, it would have pented long ago in sackcloth remained until this day. 24. and ashes. 22. But I say unto But I say unto you, That it you, it shall be more tolerable shall be more tolerable for the for Tyre and Sidon in the day land of Sodom in the day of of judgment, than for you. 23. judgment, than for thee. And thou, Capernaum, which

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As thou hast so clearly declared, that it will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for some men than for others, especially for those who have enjoyed peculiar advantages for conversion, but have stood out against them; Lord, save us from this great condemnation : and may the e peculiar advantages make us both thankful and careful.

25. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither |

knoweth any man the Father,
save the Son, and he to whom-
soever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.
29. Take
my yoke upon you, and learn of
me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart and ye shall find rest
unto
souls. 30. For my
your
yoke is easy, and my burden is
light.

O how sweet are these words! Let not our Lord be offended, if we echo them back in prayer and praise. Blessed be thy name, O Saviour, Son of God, and Lord of all, that thou takest pleasure in the revelation of thy truths to the simple and the weak, while they are rejected by those who are proud of their understanding, and wise in their own conceit. This is a proceeding worthy of thy supreme wisdom: we rejoice that all things are delivered to thee of thy Father. Worthy art thou to receive all power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

None but thy Father knows thy infinite merit, and thy divine perfections, which are the same with his. And thou alone knowest the Father; nor can any man know him, except by thy revelation of him. Here we would put up that petition of thy servant Philip, "Lord, "shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. But we remember what thou answeredst him, "Have I been so "long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me? "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."

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Lord Jesus, thou hast indeed of a long time given us some knowledge of thyself, though we have walked most unworthy of it; but we bless thee that ever we knew thee, and that in thee we see thy Father, who we humbly hope is, through thee, our Father also. Lord, let us not deceive ourselves: if we have hitherto been deceiving ourselves, yet we are encouraged, by thy reviving words which follow, yet to come to thee. Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God; in thee alone is our salvation. Thou seest that some of us labour, and are heavy laden indeed. We groan under the overwhelming burden of sin and sorrow; we can no where find rest. O give us thy rest, rest in thyself. Put thy yoke upon us, O Lord, for we know it is easy, and there is no peace but in being under it. Thy commandments are not grievous; thy ways are ways of pleasantness, and all thy paths are peace. Thou puttest upon us no other burden, but to hold fast that which we have till thou comest. O how gladly do we hear thee say, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." Teach us, Lord; speak, for thy servants hear. When we hear thy words, we would eat them and feed upon them all the day long. Thou art meek and lowly in heart; thou canst bear with us, though we be very slow and backward; thou canst stoop to us, though we be mean. O make us meek and lowly like thee, our Divine Master. This will also contribute to the rest of our souls, when we are delivered from pride and impatience. The world will not then be able to disturb that sweet rest which we enjoy in thee.

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CHAP. XII.

SECT. XXXIX.

Jesus vindicates his Disciples.

for him to eat, neither for them T that time Jesus went on that were with him, but only the sabbath-day, through for the priests? 5. Or have ye the corn; and his disciples were not read in the law, (Numb. an hungered, and began to pluck | xxviii. 9.) how that on the the ears of corn, and to eat. sabbath days the priests in the 2. But when the Pharisees saw temple profane the sabbath, it, they said unto him, Behold, and are blameless? 6. But thy disciples do that which is I say unto you, That in this not lawful to do upon the sab-place is one greater than the bath-day. 3. But he said unto temple. 7. But if ye had them, Have ye not read what known what this meaneth, (Hos. David did when he was an hun- vi. 6.) I will have mercy, and gered, and they that were with not sacrifice, ye would not have him. (1 Sam. xxi. 6.) 4. condemned the guiltless. 8. How he entered into the house For the Son of man is Lord of God, and did eat the shew- even of the sabbath-day. bread, which was not lawful

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Here we learn from thee, who art greater than the temple, and Lord of the sabbath, that it is lawful to do works of mercy on that day. This is the second time thou hast appealed to these words, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice." Lord, give us a merciful temper, and make us at all times to abound in works of

SECT. XL.

Jesus heals a withered Hand.

mercy.

9. And when he was departed | fall into a pit on the sabbaththence, he went into their syna-day, will he not lay hold on it, gogue: 10. And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath-days? that they might accuse him. 11. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it

and lift it out? 12. How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbathdays. 13. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other..

Thou calledst him to stretch out his withered hand, and at the same time gavest him power to stretch it out.

Lord, when thou callest us to believe, to repent, to perform any duty, may we thus obey thy call.

14. Then the Pharisees went I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 19. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16. And charged them that they should not make him known: 17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, (Isa. xlii. 1.) 18. Behold my servant, whom I

The Pharisees sought to destroy thee; but thou, instead of inflicting any other judgment, didst withdraw from them. They could not, however, hinder thee from doing good; for when great multitudes followed thee, thou healedst them all, charging them not to make thee known; for thou didst not seek the praise of men, This truly great and amiable behaviour fulfilled the words of thy Father by the prophet, "Behold my ser"vant whom I have chosen," &c. Lord, we rejoice that thou art thy Father's chosen servant in the work of man's redemption. Thou alone wast equal to the task. We adore thee as his beloved, in whom his soul was well pleased, and to whom he gave his Spirit without Thou art meek and peaceable; thou art full of compassion; and therefore the poor outcast Gentiles put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Lord, we are of these in thy name we put all our trust: we have no other hope but thee.

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SECT. XLI.

The blind and dumb Man healed. The Pharisees reproved.

22. Then was brought unto | and dumb both spake and saw. him one possessed with a devil, 23. And all the people were blind and dumb: and he healed amazed, and said, Is not this him, insomuch that the blind the son of David? 24. But

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