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Reflections on an unforgiving and revengeful Spirit.

fore might he cast us into the Prison of Hell, till we paid the uttermost Farthing. And were we to fall at his Feet, with a Promise of paying him all on his patient Forbearance, it must be the Language of gross Ignorance, or of presumptuous Folly; when addressed to a Being, who knows our Poverty, and knows that, in Consequence of it, we are utterly incapable of making him any Amends. But he magnifies his Grace in the

Ver. 27. kind Offers of a free Forgiveness: And (hall we who receive it, and hold our Lives, and all our Hope by it, take our Brethren by the Throat, be

Ver. 28. cause they owe us a few Fence? or (hall we carry along with us deep

continued Resentment, glowing like a hidden Fire in our Bosoms? GOD

forbid! For iurely if we do so, out of our own Mouth Jhall we be condemned,

Ver. 34. while we acknowledge the Justice of the Sentence here passed against this cruel Servant.

Ver. 35. Christ himself has made the Application: So stall my Heavenly Father

deal with you, if you do not forgive your Brethren: And he has instructed us elsewhere, to ask Forgiveness only as we grant it. (Mat. vi. 14, 15.J Let us then from this Moment discharge our Hearts of every Sentiment of Rancour and Revenge, nor ever allow a Word, or even a Wi/h, that favours of it. And as ever we hope our Addresses to the Throne of Divine Mercy should meet with a favourable Audience, let us lift up holy Handsy •without Wrath, as well as without Doubting. (1 Tim. ii. 8.)

SECT. XCVJ.

Christ reproves John, for prohibiting one, who caft out Dæmons in his Namey because he was not of their Company. Mark IX. 38,—41. Luke IX. 49, 50.

Mark IX. 38. Mark IX. 38.

IN the Midst of the preceding Discourse, re- AND John answered him,, lating to Humility, and Self-Denial, the Apostle A sayinMaller> we saw

Sect. 96.

~g J°hnt (whether desirous of diverting him from

a Subject, which he could not hear pursued with-
out some Consciousness of having deserved Blame,
or thinking it might receive some farther Illu-
stration by his Remarks upon the Cafe that he
should mention,) interrupted our Lord (a), and

answered

(a) Interrupted our Lord.] I have inserted this Story apart here, that the Thread of the preceding Discourse might not be broken; that the 93^ Section might not be lengthened' beyond due Bounds; and that I might have Room to illustrate and improve this Passage, which, tho' {hort, has both its Difficulty, and its Use.

(b) Casting

A Stranger a&ing in the Name of Christ > is not to be forbid. 3 5

one casting out Devil* in thy Name, and he solloweth not us : and we forbad him, [because he solloweth not with us.] [luke JX. 49.]

39 But Jesus said [unto him,] Forbid him not: for there is no Man which (hall do a Miracle in my Name, that can 1 ghtly speak Evil of me. [luke IX. 50.—]

40 For he that is not against us, is on our Part. [luke IX.—50.J

41 For whosoever shaH

give you a Cup of Water to

drink,

answered him, when he had just been urging a Sect. 96.
Readiness to receive one of the least of his Ser- ^v^J
vants in his Name, (Mark ix. 37. pag. 20.) byM}ark
faying, Master, while we were in our late Pro-
gress, we Jaw one casting out Damons in thy
Name (b), who does not follow us, nor converse
with us as Brethren: And we forbad him to do it
any more, because he does not follow thee among us,
and never had, as we apprehend, any regular
Commission from thee, and so might possibly have
proved an Occasion of Neglect or Reproach to
the rest of thy Disciples.

But Jesus said unto him, Do not forbid him at 39
present j for to be sure he must have some Reve-
rence and Regard for me, since there is no Man,
who Jhall be seen to work such a Miracle in my
Name, that can quickly, or on any flight Occasion,
speak Evil of me. And be that Regard ever so 40
imperfect, I would not discourage such Persons
now: For with respect to them, and in a Case
like this, I may use a Proverb, (the Reverse of
that which I mentioned on a different Occasion,)
and say, Whosoever is not against us, is for us [c) 5
and therefore I would by no means condemn a
Man for doing that, by which the Kingdom of
Satan is in Fact weakened, and my Name glori-
fied, tho' he have not my immediate and express
Commission. I rather take it in good Part, as 41
I am willing to do any Thing, that looks like a

Token

(b) Casting out Damns in thy Name.] Probably this was a Cafe, something resembling that of the Sons of Sceva: {Ails xix. 13,—16.) And God might see Reason now, to grant that Efficacy to their Adjurations, which he afterwards denied, when the Evidences of the Gospel were proposed so much more distinctly and fully, after the Descent os the Spirit. Dr. Clarke supposes, that he was one of John the Baptist's Disciples.

(r) Whosoever is not against us, is for us.] Our Lord had formerly said, {Mat. xii. 30.) Hi that is not with me, is against me; thereby giving his Hearers a just and necessary Admonition, that on the whole, the War between him and Satan admitted of no Neutrality, and that those who were indifferent to him, would finally be treated as his Enemies. (See Seel. 61. Vol. i. pag. 375.) But here, in another View, he very consistently uses a different and seemingly opposite Proverb, the Counterpart of the former, directing his Followers to judge of Men's Characters in the most candid Manner, and charitably to hope, that they who did not oppose his Cause, wished well to it j a Conduct peculiarly reasonable, when his Cause lay under so many Discouragements. Probably many who now concealed their Regard to

him, were afterwards animated couragioufly to profess it, tho' at the greatest Hazard.

I cannot, with Mr. Baxter, think an express Declaration in his Favour, to have been more neceBary in the former Case, than now; but it is most obvious, that Christ requires us, to be more rigorous in judging ourselves^ than he allows us to be in judging each other.

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36 Reflections on an envious and censorious Temper.

Sect. 96. Token of Esteem and Affection to me, be it ever drink, in my Name, because so inconsiderable; for, as I formerly told you, y^ belong to Christ verily I

... ,_ ».«/' , J n ,,J » fay unto you, He shall not

(Mat. x. 42. Vol. 1. pag. 472.) whoever jkall pre- lofe h.13 Reward.
sent you with a Cup oj cold Water only in my Name,
that is, because you belong to Christ, verily I say
unto you, He shall not lose his proportionable Re-
ward. And so he went on, to warn them of the
Danger of offending any of the weakest of his
Disciples, in the Manner recounted and explained
above. See pag. 20.

IMPROVEMENT.

M«rk\x. 38. T T is fad, that the Spirit which remains in so many Christians, and in I this Instance appeared even in the beloved Saint John, should (as the Apostle James expresses it,) lust unto Envy: (Jam. iv. 5.J How ill does that Spirit become a Disciple, and much more a Minister, of the benevolent Jesus! The Apostle Paul had learnt, and taught a better Temper,, when he rejoiced that Christ was preached, even by those who were his personal Enemies. (Phil. i. 1 %.) To seek our own Glory, is not Glory y (Prov. xxv. 27.) and to confine Religion to them that follow us, is a Narrowness of Spirit which we should avoid and abhor.

Ver. 39, 40. Christ here gives us a lovely Example of Candor and Moderation: He was willing to put the best Construction on dubious Cafes, and to treat those as Friends, who were not avowed and declared Enemies. Perhaps in this Instance, it might be a Means of overcoming a Remainder of Prejudice, and perfecting what was wanting in the Faith and Obedience o£ the Persons in Question; at least it suited the present State of Things, irr which Men are to be judged of by their Professions and Actions, as their Hearts cannot immediately and certainly be known.

But let us judge ourselves, with greater Severity, remembering there is an approaching Day, in which the Secrets of all Hearts will be made manifest i in which those, who have indeed been Neuters in the War between Christ and Satan, will be treated as Enemies; and those other Words will be fulfilled, He that is not with me, is against- me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad. (Mat. xii. 30. and Luke xi. 23J

Ver. 41. In that Day, may the Sincerity of our Hearts be discovered; and then

we may rejoice in this repeated Assurance, that the least of our Services shall be kindly remembered, and abundantly rewarded according to the Riches of Divine Bounty and Grace

SECT.

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SECT. XCVII.

Our Lord fends out the Seventy Disciples with large InftruElionS) like those he had before given to the Twelve Apostles. Luke X. i,—16.

I, U K E X. I.

AFTER these Things, the Lord appointed other Seventy also, and sent them Two and Two before his Face, into every City and Place, whither he himself would come..

2 Therefore said He unto

ttiem, The Harvest truly it

great,

Luke X. 1.

AFTER these Things the Lord Jesus, intending Sect. 97. ■**■ when the approaching Feast of Tabernacles o*^^o was over (a), to make one Journey more over the cr* Country, in the last Half Year he was to spend on Earth, fixed upon Seventy others of his Disciples also, besides the Twelve Apostles so frequently mentioned before, (see Luke ix. 1, & feq. Sect. 74.). and sent them out before him, Two and Two together, into every City, and more private Place, into which he himself intended shortly to come; and thus,, as it were, divided the whole Country into Thirtyfive lesser Circuits.

And he gave them many important Instructions, a: nearly resembling those which he had before addressed to the Apostles; and he said therefore to. tbem(b), as he had to their Brethren, (Mat. ix.

3-7*

[a) When the approaching Feast of Tabernacles was over.] It seems to me much more rwfonable to suppose, thatChrist sent out tht Seventy before the Feajl of Tabernacles, than aster it; considering how little Time he had, between that,, and the Peaji of Dedication,, in which Interval he dispatched his last Circuit in Galilee. To take from those three Minthsy. a/J the Period to be allowed for their Journey and Return, seems inconvenient. But it is astonishing, that Mr. Le Clerc, and some others, should suppose, that these Instructions were given to them in Christ's Jiurney to the above-mentioned Feajl: For, not to mention. thc Impossibility, of holding a Discourse with such a Number of People on the Road, about an Affair of such Importance; it is expressly said, fohnVn-. 10. that he went up to the Feajt of Tabernacles privately; which, is utterly inconsistent with his being attended with such a Train as Seventy, or (according to that Author,) Eighty-two Persons.; for Le Clerc supposes, xht Twelve were also with him. 1 shall elsewhere give my Reasons, why I suppose the Story of the Samaritans refusing him Entertainment, (tho' recorded Lute ix. 51,

■ 56.) to have happened later than this. At present I would only observe, that the Exr

preslion, after these Things, in the Beginning ef this Chapter, may either refer to the. Stories immediately preceding, in.the Close of the former, from ver. 57, to the End, or to the. general Series of Events recorded above, tho' (as I think the Evangelijl himself strongly intimates,) one little History be transposed. See Seel. 127. Note (d).

(b) He said therefore to them.'] Luke is the only Evangelijl, who has given us this Account of Chrijl'ssending out the Seventy; and it is the less to be wondered at, that he should do if. (o particularly, if the antient Tradition bo true, which Origen and Epiphanius have mentioned, that he was himself one of the Number. See Dr. IVhitbyi Preface to Luke, where

he

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3 Go your Ways: behold, I fend you forth as Lambs arnong Wolves.

4 Carry neither Purse, nor Scrip, nor Shoes; and salute no Man by the Way.

And sends them out with large Inftru&ions.

■J7, ?8. Vol. i. pap;, Ah.) The Harvest is indeed great, but the Labourers ar* great, and many Souls are to bC gathered in, but £j ^H^tto the faithful Labourers are as yet very few; pray ye he would fend forth Labourtherefore the Lord of the Harvest, that he would, ers into his Harvest. by his immediate Access to the Spirits of Men, mrge more Labourers to come forth to the Work of his Harvest, tho' it may prove so fatiguing and hazardous, that they are naturally averse to it (c).

3 And as for you, go your Ways with all the Resolution and Zeal you can employ in your Ministry, as indeed you will need it all; for behold, I fend you forth as so many defenceless Lambs, in

4 the Midst of ravenous and cruel Wolves. Yet as you go under the singular Care of Divine Providence, carry not with you any Purse of Money, nor even a Scrip for your Provisions, nor any more Shoes than you have now on your Feet; nor stay so much as to salute any Man, as you pass by him on the Way {d); but let it evidently appear to all who fee you, that your Thoughts are full of the great Errand on which you go.

5 And in all the Stages of your Journey, carry along with you those benevolent Affections, which are so well suited to the Design of your Mission: Into whatever House therefore you shall happen to come, at your first Entrance say, Peace be upon this House, and pray that Prosperity and Happi

6 ness may attend the whole Family. And if any Son and Heir of Peace, or any truly good Man, who is worthy of such Blessings, be there

in

5 And into whatsoever House ye enter, first say, Peace be to this House:

6 And if the Son of Peace

be there, your Peace shall

rest

he has {hewn this to be highly probable, and no Way inconsistent with what Luke has said at the Beginning of his Gospel.

(c) That he would urge more Labourers, csV.] As both Luke here, and Matthew in a parallel Passage, {Mat. ix. 38. pag. 453.) use the Word tuCaKM, which literally signifies to thrust out, I was willing to express the Force of it, in the Version, as well as the Paraphrase.

—So many of the Expressions used in this Discourse, are to be found in that to the Twelve,

Seel. 74, 75. that it is generally sufficient to refer to the Paraphrase and Notes there, for the Explication of them here.

(d) Nor stay to salute any Man, as you pass by him on the Way.} Our Lord did not intend by this, to forbid his Disciples in general, nor even any of his Ministers, a decent Use of the customary Tokens of civil Respect to others, any more than he forbids the Use of Shoes and Purses: Only while they were employed on this particular Message, he required the Forbearance of them, that every one who saw them pass by, might perceive that their Minds were full of the most important Business, and that they were earnestly intent on the immediate Dispatch of it. (Compare % Kings iv. 29.) This was the more necessary, as they were so much straitened for Time. See Note (a).

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