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18. Verily I say

mouth of two or three witnesses a publican. every word may be established. unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and

Give us to observe this rule which thou, Lord, hast prescribed. May we first tell him his fault privately; but if he will not hear us, may we take with us one or two more; and if he should neglect to hear them, may' we tell it to the church; and only in the melancholy event of his neglecting to hear the church, may we consider him as a heathen man and a publican.

19. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father

which is in heaven.
20. For
where two or three are gathered
together in my name, there
am I in the midst of them.

Glory to thee for these encouraging words. Lord, incline the hearts of thy disciples to meet for prayer, and to agree touching what they shall ask; and may we firmly believe that when we are gathered together in thy name, there thou art in the midst of us.

SECT. LXVII.

Christ teaches his Disciples how to forgive,

21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? till seven times? 22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven. 23. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened untó a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten

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thousand talents: 25. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26. The servant, therefore, fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28. But the

same servant went out, and all that was done. 32. Then found one of his fellow-servants his lord, after that he had calwhich owed him an hundred led him, said unto him, O thou pence; and he laid hands on wicked servant, I forgave thee him, and took him by the throat, [ all that debt, because thou desaying, Pay me that thou ow-siredst me: 33. Shouldest not est. 29. And his fellow-ser- thou also have had compassion vant fell down at his feet, and on thy fellow-servant, even as I besought him, saying, Have pa- had pity on thee? 34. And his tience with me, and I will pay lord was wroth, and delivered thee all. 30. And he would him to the tormentors, till he not; but went and cast him should pay all that was due uninto prison, till he should pay to him. 35. So likewise shall the debt. 31. So when his my heavenly Father do also unto fellow-servants saw what was you, if ye from your hearts fordone, they were very sorry, and give not every one his brother came and told unto their lord their trespasses.

Oh what blessed words are these! which thou spakest in answer to Peter inquiring how oft he should forgive his brother, 66 I say not unto thee until seven times, but "until seventy times seven.' Adorable Saviour, we have sinned against thee much oftener; but these words encourage us to hope that yet thou wilt forgive us. Thou, who hast given repentance, wilt also give remission of sins. And the parable thou addedst, concerning the king that was wroth with his servant, who would not forgive one of his fellow-servants, is a confirmation of it. O heavenly King, thou seest that we heartily forgive any who have or seem to have trespassed against us. We humbly hope this disposition which thou hast taught us to seek, and hast given us in some measure, is a sign that thou wilt forgive us those millions which we owe thee.

CHAP. XIX.

SECT. LXVIII.

Of Marriage and Divorce.

AND it came to pass, that

when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan:

2.

And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for

1

every cause? 4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female; 5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? 6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8. He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9. And I say unto you, Whoso

ever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adultery. 10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Lord, grant that all who profess thy name, if they are unmarried, may consider seriously what is given them, and may live chaste in body and mind; and if they are married, may have that indissolvable affection to each other, which thy kind and merciful command requires and may they live together as heirs of the grace of life, that their prayers may not be hindered.

SECT. LXIX.
Jesus blesses little Children.

13. Then were there brought | unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray and the disciples rebuked them. 14. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and

forbid them not to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

We adore thy divine compassion, which appears in so various instances. Though thy disciples were saints, thou art kinder and more compassionate than they.

They rebuked those who brought their little children, perhaps as troublesome, or unseasonable, or doing what they judged of little importance. But thou saidst, "Suf"fer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Lord Jesus, we desire to bring our children to thee. O be pleased graciously to receive them into the arms of thy mercy, and bless them every one. The natural affection which thou hast implanted in parents is far inferior to thy divine love.

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SECT. LXX.

The Counsel of Jesus to a certain rich Man.

16. And behold, one came sus unto his disciples, Verily I and said unto him, Good Mas- say unto you, that a rich man ter, what good thing shall I do, shall hardly enter into the kingthat I may have eternal life? dom of heaven. 24. And again 17. And he said unto him, Why I say unto you, It is easier for callest thou me good? there is a camel to go through the eye. none good but one, that is of a needle, than for a rich man God: but if thou wilt enter to enter into the kingdom of into life, keep the command- God. 25. When his disciples ments. 18. He saith unto him, heard it, they were exceedingly Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt amazed, saying, Who then can do no murder, Thou shalt not be saved? 26. But Jesus becommit adultery, Thou shalt held them, and said unto them, not steal, Thou shalt not bear | With men this is impossible; false witness; 19. Honour but with God, all things are thy father and thy mother; possible. 27. Then answered and, Thou shalt love thy neigh- Peter, and said unto him, Bebour as thyself. 20. The young hold, we have forsaken all, and man saith unto him, All these followed thee: what shall we things have I kept from my youth have therefore? 28. And Jeup: what lack I yet? 21. Je- sus said unto them, Verily I say sus said unto him, If thou wilt unto you, that ye which have be perfect, go and sell that thou followed me in the regenera hast, and give to the poor, and tion, when the Son of Man thou shalt have treasure in hea- shall sit in the throne of his glo ven; and come and follow me. ry, ye also shall sit upon twelve 22. But when the young man thrones, judging the twelve tribes heard that saying, he went away of Israel. 29. And every one sorrowful: for he had great that hath forsaken houses, or possessions. 23. Then said Je- brethren, or sisters, or father,

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or mother, or wife, or children, | or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

30. But many that are first, shall be last; and the last shall be first.

This young man came running and kneeled to thee, and asked thee with great respect, what he should do that he might inherit eternal life. He had been from his youth free from gross sins; yet, when he heard that he was to sell his great possessions, and give them to the poor, and take up his cross and follow thee, he went away sorrowful, Alas! what a temptation is great wealth! Thou hast expressly said, that it is vastly difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Lord, pity them that are rich, and give them poverty of spirit, and by thy divine power break the power of the temptations they lie under; and keep the poor from the sins they are most liable to; and make those to whom thou hast given neither riches nor straitening poverty, thankful for their desirable condition. Give all who would be thy disciples to forsake all that they have, bè ît more or less, and to follow thee. Thou art worthy to be followed for thy own sake; infinitely worthy but thou hast graciously promised a great reward besides; a hundred-fold in this life, and eternal life hereafter. Thou hast promised thrones of judgment to thy apostles. Thou hast also promised to every one that overcometh, that he shall sit with thee on thy throne. Lord, let the present joy of following thee, and the hope of such high blessedness after death, animate us with new vigour every day, that we may think of nothing but following thee, and serving thee with all that we are, all that we have, all that we are capable of.

SECT. LXXI.

The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard.

CHAP. XX.

bourers into his vineyard. 2.

FOR the kingdom of heaven And when he had agreed with is like unto a man that is the labourers for a penny a day, an householder, which went out | he sent them into his vineyard. 3. early in the morning to hire la- | And he went out about the third

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