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Lord, save us from every thing that approaches to this dreadful sin, or looks like it. Let us never impute to the influence of the evil spirit those things which are opposite to his kingdom. Some serious persons, thou knowest, are distressed with fears of having committed this unpardonable sin; but we hope none who abhor the thoughts of it, who are grieved for every sin they have committed against the ever-blessed Spirit, and who adore and depend upon him in all their ways, are really guilty of it. If any are now guilty of it, is it not more probable, Lord, that they will be hardened in wickedness, and averse to religion, than that they will mourn and lament their wretchedness in prayer to thee? Oh! compassionate Saviour, we trust thy blood will save us from every sin we have committed. Oh! divine Spirit, infinite and eternal God, hast thou not dealt very graciously with us in a way of conviction and restraint, and sometimes of some comfort? If thou hadst utterly forsaken us, surely thou wouldst not have dealt with us in this manner. We trust, therefore, that amidst all our great sins, we have been mercifully kept back from sinning this sin in this hope we will, by thy grace, seek thee and serve thee while we live. Oh! destroy out of us whatever is opposite to thy glory.

30. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad, 31. Wherefore I say

unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall

not be forgiven unto men. 32. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt for the tree is known by his fruit. 34. O generation of vipers! how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of

the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things. 36. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Lord, make our hearts good, that our words may be good. Let our speech be the sincere expression of an honest, good, humble, meek, compassionate, holy, loving heart. Alas! why have we been so careless about our words in time past? Oh! forgive us, and grant that we may henceforth take good heed what we speak. Many seem to have little regard to this; but we would well remember what thou, the Judge of the world; hast here declared, that for every idle word that men speak they shall give account at the day of judgment; and that by our words we shall be justified, and by our words we shall be condemned. And that assertion of thy inspired servant, "If any man among you "seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but "deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." Lord, deliver us from every vain thought, and every evil inclination; and when at any time such arise in our hearts, save us from adding the guilt of expressing them in words: and give us to lay that stress upon ordering our speech aright, which thy holy word lays upon it.

38. Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adul

terous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas : 40. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's bel

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ly; (Jonah i. 17.) so shall the When the unclean spirit is gone Son of man be three days and out of a man, he walketh through three nights in the heart of the dry places, seeking rest, and earth. 41. The men of Nine- findeth none.. 44. Then he veh shall rise in judgment with | saith, I will return into my this generation, and shall con- house from whence I came out; demn it because they repented and when he is come, he findat the preaching of Jonas; and, eth it empty, swept, and garbehold, a greater than Jonas is nished. 45. Then goeth he, here. 42. The queen of the and taketh with himself seven south shall rise up in the judg-other spirits more wicked than ment with this generation, and himself, and they enter in and shall condemn it: for she came dwell there and the last state from the uttermost parts of the of that man is worse than the earth to hear the wisdom of So- first. Even so shall it be also lomon; and, behold, a greater unto this wicked generation. than Solomon is here. 43.

Lord, shew us what we are to learn from these words. They seem to have been spoken by thee against that evil and adulterous generation, who had departed from the true God, and would not receive thee, his Son, doing the works of thy Father amongst them, but still insisted upon a sign from heaven. Thou wouldst give them no sign but that of thy resurrection. Lord, give us to look upon that as the greatest of all signs. Hereby thou wast declared to be the Son of God, which thou didst profess thyself to be at thy death. If the men of Nineveh, and the Queen of Sheba, shall rise in judgment with that generation who did not repent at thy preaching; Lord, grant that they may not condemn us, who enjoy such advantages under the dispensation of thy Spirit. And oh! save us from resembling that generation in that dreadful circumstance of having their last state worse than their first. Thou hast mercifully delivered some of us, glory to thy blessed name, from an unclean spirit of impiety. O let not our souls remain as an empty house; let thy blessed Spirit take possession of them, and fill them with his gracious dispositions, that it may not be in the power of any wicked spirit to enter into them again.

SECT. XLII.

Who are Christ's Relations.

46. While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mo

ther? and who are my brethren ? 49. And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Surely the most dutiful and affectionate of the human race never loved their relations as thou lovedst thine. These words therefore imply no want of regard to thy mother and thy brethren, but that those who do the will of thy Father in heaven, are so dear to thee, that thou lookest on each of them as thy mother, and sister, and brother. What a privilege is it to be the object of such affection from thee, Oh Son of God! Dost thou indeed consider every one, who does the will of thy Father, as thy nearest relation? Oh give us to know and to do his will. And as it is revealed in his blessed word, grant that our hearts may be cast into this mould, and our whole temper and whole conduct may be formed upon it; and may it be the continual breathing of our souls, Lord, what wilt thou have us to do?"

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SECT. XLIII.

The Parable of the Sower explained.

CHAP. XIII.

forth to sow: 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.. 5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and

THE HE same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea-side. 2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the forthwith they sprung up, bewhole multitude stood on the shore. 3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went

cause they had no deepness of earth: 6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root,

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Lord, let us not resemble the way-side hearers, who understand not thy word, and from whom the wicked one catcheth it away. Give us tender and contrite hearts, that thy word may make impression upon them ; and let us not only receive it with joy at the first, like the stony ground, but may it take deep root so as not to be scorched by tribulation or persecution. Lord, deliver us from the thorny cares of this world, and from the deceitfulness of riches, which promise a great deal of happiness and give little or none. Oh let not thy word, sown in our hearts, be choaked by any of these; but give us hearts made good and honest by thy grace, that we may understand thy word, and bear abundant fruit to thy glory.

10. And the disciples came, | and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11. He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. 14. And in them is fulfilled the prophesy of Esaias, (Isa. vi. 9.) which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and

seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15. For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16. But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. 17. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Lord, suffer us not, with the wicked and obstinate Jews, to hear thy parables and not to attend to them,

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