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When visited by affliction, he always acknowledged the hand of God, and maintained tranquillity of mind in a very wonderful degree. He had a tender heart, and sad things, as Burnet remarks, were apt to make deep impressions upon him; yet the regard he paid to the wisdom and providence of God, and the just estimate he had of all worldly things, tended to support him amid all his bereavements. But we will not enlarge any more upon the character of this illustrious man; from what we have already said, it must be obvious that he was indeed a true, sincere, and consistent Christian, testifying his faith by his works, and looking on this world only as a preparation for another and a better. In the words of his biographer, " He was one of the greatest patterns his age has afforded, whether in his private deportment as a Christian, or in his public employments, either at the bar or on the bench."
By The Rev. Robert Jamieson,
Minister of Westrulher.
•* If thou seckest for knowledge as tilver, and tetrchest for her as for hid treasures, then Shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and And the knowledge of God."—Pkov. xi. 4, 5.
"The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hidetli, and for Joy thereof
goeth and selletu all tliat he hath and buycth that field.''
MaTT. xiii. 44.
The similes used in both these passages are conceived by the generality of commentators to be founded on the circumstance, that the precious metals, which are held in so much estimation among men, on account of the purposes of utility or ornament to which they are capable of being applied, are not found strewed on the surface of the ground, but lie deeply imbedded in the bowels of the earth, unknown and imperceptible to human observation. To the ignorant and inexperienced eye, there may be nothing in the external appearance of nature to give token that she has there imparted any thing beyond the clods and the verdure, by which they may be covered. Yea, to such a depth are these valuable treasures occasionally sunk, that the most practised observers are not unfrequeutly deceived, and never dream of penetrating the bosom of the earth, for stores, of the existence of which she seems so studiously to have withheld all knowledge; and as the spots in which such valuable mines are discovered have generally been of a barren and unpromising character, it has not unfrequently happened, that they have been consigned to neglect, and allowed to lie in a waste and uncultivated state, as altogether incapable of rewarding the labour and expense of tillage; so that age may succeed to age, and one proprietor convey it to another, without one of the busy multitudes that tread upon its surface ever dreaming of the precious ore that lies deposited beneath. But let some happy accident reveal the secret, and give but a hint, that beneath a surface apparently so unpromising, the most valuable treasure is concealed, and from that moment, the field that contains it attracts an attention, and acquires an importance, to which it had not formerly the shadow of a claim. However it may continue to be neglected or undervalued by the rest of the world, yet in the eyes of the discoverer himself, it will appear infinitely more precious than the fairest and most extensive domains by which it may be surrounded,—it will become the idol of his imagination by day,
and rise before him in the visions of the night and
never will he be satisfied or at rest till he has secured the undisputed possession of it to himself, and brought ell his resources of labour and of strength to bear upon
• To correct a misapprehension in the minds of some of our readers, it may be right to state, that all the articles from the pen of Mr .luniirson, with the exception of that in our first Number have been written expressly for The Scottiah ChrisUaii Herald —ed
it, and explore it as a secret source of inexhaustible and evergrowing aggrandisement and wealth.
Such fortunate discoveries, however, of the golden repositories of nature, have always been so rare, as to unlit them for being made the groundwork of metaphors or narratives like those before us, which were intended for the familiar and the obvious illustration of truth; and the veins in which they are found generally extend, wherever they appear, in such abundance, as soon acquires for them too great value and importance in the public eye, to admit of the man who discovered the field where the treasure is hid, purchasing or long retaining it as his private property. Besides, Judea was never ranked among the countries where in ancient times the precious metals were obtained, nor did its solitary river, like the famed Pactolus, wash down from the neighbouring mountains the golden pebbles which its overflowing banks deposited in the fields through which it ran, enriching many of the peasants to whom our Lord was addressing this parable of the hid treasure, at no great distance from the banks of the Jordan. The propriety of the simile, therefore, which is introduced, both in the parable of Christ and in the Proverbs of Solomon, must have been founded on something more nearly allied to the general habits and associations of Eastern people—something more likely to come home to the hearers of the one, and the readers of the other, than that which was known to lead some of them to the purchase of new possessions, or to have greatly enhanced the value of such as were already their own. The readers of oriental tales are familiar with stories of persons, who, by some fortunate discovery of hidden treasure, were suddenly raised from poverty to unbounded wealth, and they are probably accustomed to ascribe such extraordinary variations of fortune to the poetic license which writers of fictitious narratives are never challenged for taking. But a little consideration will suffice to shew, that the tried and extensive fame of these beautiful fictions, which, in the countries where they were produced, form for whole seasons the only night's entertainments, has arisen solely from their being pictures of real life, and that while there is no idea which the inhabitants of all parts of the Eastern world are so prone to entertain as that of treasure hi,: in the field, the universality of the notion has originated, not in some vain and delusive dream, which their warn imaginations are fond of indulging, but in their knowledge of the immense riches which have frequently, it this manner, been acquired, and of the causes whiol render such places their chosen receptacle. The fact is that the practice of biding treasures is one which hai risen out of necessity. In these quarters, so often th< theatre of sudden revolutions—where the throne is occu pied by a needy despot, who scruples at no means where by to replenish his treasury, and where the subordinati governors imitate the rapacity of their superiors, tb people, taught by experience that the suspicion of wealtl often brings along with it a notoriety that proves dangui ous to the possessor, endeavour to provide against emei gencies which they have so good reason to fear, by dep< siting their money in places which are not liable to be al fected by the dangers of anarchy or war. When a perse has accumulated any considerable amount of wealth, I begins to think of the best means of securing it; ar the usual practice in such cases is,—after reserving: much in hand as may be necessary for the purposes . livelihood and trade, and expending another portion c jewels, which, from their portable nature, may not n tard his flight, to bury the rest under ground, the on bank being the earth, where, if the money remains dead and unprofitable stock, the owner has at least tl satisfaction of knowing that he will find it safe and ci tire, whenever his necessities or inclination prompt hi to retake it. In the selection of this place of conccd ment, he is guided by no motive but that of secrecy sn(it natteri little where the treasure is hid, provided rhedeposit can be effected without any traces being lento excite suspicion, and bring others to a knowledp of the secret. The more remote, of course, the stution of the place, the greater is its recommendation as iplace ef safety; and hence the field is so generally piteed on as least of all the scene of public or general reset For the knowledge of this private hoard is Hudously confined to the bosom of its owner, and siwtd he, in the course of events, be compelled to ib&don the spot, or die before he has an opportunity ot reurning to it, the secret dies with him, and will be for trer unknown to the world, unless some happy acodat bring it in the way oi the peasant as he turns up the oil with the plough.
Inuimerahle stories of the discovery of treasure hid in fteiM ire found in the pages of authentic history from Hcmkxos sown to the present day. That venerable father of history gives a long account of an ancient King of Egypt who had amassed 400,000 talents in the conn* of his Ufe, which he had securely deposited in the garden adjoining his palace, and which was never known not suspected by any till he imparted the secret to his sons on hu death-bed. Josephus informs us that Solomon laid op -rast treasures in the royal sepulchre, which was reckoned the place of the greatest security, from the sacredness attached to the abodes of the dead; and the same historian also tells us that the inhabitants of Jerusalem, during its last and memorable siege, concealed their treasures in the streets, and under the floor, and within the door-posts of their houses, and in various unfrequented parts of their city, and that the precious secret would have been for ever buried in the grave with the owners, had not the plough of the conquerors passed over the ruins of the holy place and reduced it to > fc-ld. Discoveries of a similar kind are related in the modem histories of the East. Amadedulat, who reigned in Persia in the tenth century, according to D'Herbclot, found himself reduced to great difficulties from the iinporerished state of his treasury, and walking one day in one of the rooms of his palace, which had been the favourite residence of his predecessor, he perceived a serpent putting its head out of a chink of the wall. The king haring ordered the place to be searched and the serpent to be killed, found in the opening of the wall, a secret place, in which, though they missed the reptile, they found some treasure, and renewing their search with greater eagerness, lighted on a great number of large coffers loaded with the treasure which the former prince had amassed and concealed there. Sir John Malcolm, in his history of Persia, relates that Ismail Saajsnee, having pledged his word to the inhabitants of > coaoaered city that he would not surrender it to be plundered by his soldiers, found himself obliged, to avoid the temptation of violating his word through the mur"rors and discontent of his soldiers, to withdraw from fe neighbourhood of the place. He had not gone far, Sir John continues on the authority of Persian authors, *Vn a ruby necklace of one of his ladies was carried my by a vulture, being from its redness mistaken for fcfai. The bird was watched, and seen to deposit the j*»el in a dry pit, which was immediately searched. The necklace was recovered, and several boxes of trea"ufe were found near it, which proved to be part of the wealth of the captured monarch. "About ten years H»," says Volney, in his travels through Syria, "a small '>Sn was found at Hebron, full of gold and silver; and in the country of the Druzes, an individual lately diswered a jar, with gold coin in the form of a crescent, ~"K as the chiefs and governors claim a right to those ^^overies, and ruin those who have made them under pretence of obliging them to make restoration, those «no find any thing endeavour carefully to conceal it, by wcretly melting the antique coins, or burying them ».iin in the same place where they were found."
Among the Turks, the same habit has long prevailed, and a memorable instance is recorded by Dr Perry, of immense treasures belonging to some of the principal people of the Turkish empire being concealed under ground, which, upon a revolution, were discovered by some of the domestics who had penetrated the secret. Nor is the custom of hiding money under ground less common in India. "We are constantly hearing," says Mr Roberts, late missionary in Hindostan, "of treasures which have been and are about to be discovered; and it is no rare thing to see a large space of ground completely turned up, or a group of old and young digging amid the foundations of an old ruin, all full of the greatest eagerness and desire to reach the expected treasure. I once saw a deep tank made completely dry by immense labour in the hope of finding great treasures, which were said to have been cast in during the ancient wars."
Nor is money the only article which the timid spirit of oriental society seeks in this manner to secure. The same necessity which led to the concealment of their gold and silver in the bowels of the earth, suggested to the natives the expedient of committing to the saim; faithful custody as much of their other effects as could be spared from immediate use; and what was at first resorted to only in the most dangerous and unsettled crisis, as the best means of placing their property beyond the reach of untoward accidents, was afterwards continued in more peaceful times from the feeling of security attending it, and became the common mode in which people of all ranks preserved their valuable commodities—the opulent, their luxuries—the traders, their merchandise—the farmers, the precious fruits of harvest
vast quantities of grain, oil, wine, honey, and apparel have been discovered thus hoarded up in subterranean cells, several hundreds of which have been found in the same field—and although, from the nature and variety of the goods deposited in them, these must have been often required to be of great magnitude, yet so carefully and dexterously had the holes been filled and the surface levelled, that not a vestige remained to shew that the earth had been moved. Such were the treasures, with the discovery of which Jeremiah (xli. 8.) tells us, that ten unfortunate Israelites ransomed their lives from the hands of the treacherous and sanguinary Ishmael. "But ten men were found among them, that said unto Ishmael, stay us not; for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey."
It will be readily supposed, that the knowledge of this custom of concealing treasure in the field having prevailed from time immemorial in the East, would give rise to many a desire to meet with ocular demonstrations of its existence; and that the more eager and sanguine votaries of Mammon, in all ages, would leave no means untried that promised to put them in possession of such valuable acquisitions. Accordingly, men were not wanting in ancient times, who, taking advantage of the prevailing anxiety, pretended to discover the places where treasure was hid by the arts of sorcery. Many Asiatic princes carried those sorcerers in their train to the cities they had won by their arms, to point out the places where the vanquished had concealed their treasures. And one remarkable instance is recorded of an Arab chief, who by the aid of a person of this description, striking with a stick on the walls and on the ground, discovered the spots that had been hollowed, and obtained in consequence immense sums. Whether, as is most likely, these conjurors were guided entirely by superior sagacity and skill, which they dexterously attributed to art, it is certain that the people of the East are universally of opinion that sorcery is the only effectual means of making the discovery of hidden treasure. So universal is this persuasion, that we are informed by many modern travellers who have gone in quest of Eastern antiquities, that their researches have been greatly retarded, and sometimes entirely prevented, by the jealousy of the natives, who are incapable of conceiving them animated by any liberal motives, and who, regarding all Europeans, from their extensive attainments in science, as notorious sorcerers, conclude that they have travelled so far for no other purpose than to discover and take away the vast treasures which they believe lie concealed in various quarters of their country. It is to tlus belief in the skill of sorcerers to discover hid treasures, that the Vropbet Isaiah (xlv. 3.) is conceived to allude. "As God," says Harmcr, "opposed his prophets at various times to pretended sorcerers, it is not unlikely that the prophet points at some such prophetic discoveries in these remarkable words: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel: i. e., I will give them, by enabbng some prophet of mine to tell thee where they are concealed."
These observations may serve to illustrate that desire, or rather passion, to seek for hid treasure which exists so strongly in the breasts of Eastern people, and has been characteristic of them in all ages—a desire which has originated in their knowledge of customs, which the frequent wars and the unsettled state of society have rendered general in all countries of the East, and which being felt by the Jews,* in common with their neighbours, both our Lord and the wise king of Israel have mentioned as the measure of the strong and ardent zeal with which we ought to seek after that knowledge which makes rich towards God and for eternity. The field in which this precious treasure is bid, is the Gospd, which is offered and open to the researches of all; and yet as multitudes often wander unconsciously over the spots where the most valuable stores are deposited, so multitudes who have the Gospel within their reach, and are able to read it, are ignorant of the unsearchable riches it contains—have no acquaintance with its divine excellence, because they have never set themselves in sober earnestness to examine into its nature and explore its contents; or, as is the case with many, they may have done so, and yet, confining their views to its history, its poetry, or the useful and virtuous maxims it prescribes for the economy of life, are equally far as the former class from having discovered its real treasures, just because they have not gone to it in the right way —in the spirit and with the feelings of those to whom it is addressed. Let them but acknowledge themselves to be sinners—let them feel, in all its reality and power, the conviction that they are fullen and guilty—destitute of all claims to the favour of God, and in a perishing condition, and then they will be in a state of mind and spirit to appreciate the unsearchable value of the Gospel; they will betake themselves to it with all the urgencies of needy dependants who have met with unexpected relief, and having discovered a treasure inexhaustible, and of divine value, they will, with all the intense anxiety of those who are " seeking for silver and searching for hid treasure,'' dig deeper and deeper, and never be satisfied, till they have ascertained the real amount of the stores they have found—or dropping the metaphor, they will betake themselves to the reading of the Gospel, not in the formal listless manner of those who would comply with an approved custom, nor of those who wish merely to provide themselves with the means of intellectual entertainment, but with the earnest and engrossing desire of those who, persuaded that they are guilty and miserable sinners, apply to it as the only source of obtaining a knowledge of the way of salvation. They will not only read it, but study it—make it the subject of their frequent, fervent, and importunate prayers ; and perceiving more and more the incal
• The ancient Jews may have been led to hide their treasures under pround for Berurity during the wars with the l'hili&tincf and tneir other warlike neighbour*.
culable value of the treasure it contains, they wil readily submit to any labour, however arduous, or 0 any privation, however great, in order to secure the •ontinued possession of it to themselves. Not that anything they can give or can part with is equivalent to tin price of it. " It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shallsilver be weighed for the price thereof—it cannot be 'alued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx jr the sapphire,"—and, therefore, in this sense, they cannever give an equivalent for it; but, impressed with o deep sense of the value of the treasure, and the unspeikabic importance of possessing it, they are willing t» part with the nearest and dearest object that may entailer its security, or be incompatible with the possesion ot it j to give up any pursuits—relinquish any hopes—forego any pleasure—sever any connexions that are fouid to come between them and the enjoyment of that which they know and feel to be worth more than the world itself; and this is the sense in which the man who has found the " treasure hid in the field" of the Gosptl, "goeth and selleth all that he hath, and purcltastth the field."
By The Rev. James Buchanan,
Minister of North Leith.
"Wherefore, I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."—
Luke, vii. 47.
There were present at this interview with the Saviour of the world, two persons whose characters were in many respects widely different; a Pharisee, who appears from his language to have imbibed the spirit of his sect, which our Lord himself elsewhere describes, as "trusting in their own righteousness, and despising others :" and a woman from the city, who was "a sinner," and as such the object of the Pharisee's contempt. Both were privileged to meet with the Saviour, and both professed and intended to do him honour. But the Pharisee was offended, because a sinful woman was permitted thus to minister to one who laid claim to the character of a messenger from God: and although he gave no utterance to hi> thoughts, our Lord availed himself of what was passing in his mind, to shew how far his views differed from the plan of God for the recovery ol sinners, and to illustrate the moral principle or which that plan is founded.
I. The Pharisee seems to have been offended by the Saviour's permitting this woman to ap proach him: she was a sinner, and from the em phasis which is attached to the word, probaM' a notorious one; and he seems to have thought that such a person ought either to have been ex eluded altogether from converse with Christ, o that before coming, she should have gone throuij: a probationary course of trial and reformatior But such an idea is at variance with the whol scope and tenor of the Gospel; nor could on Lord have excluded this sinful woman from hi presence, on the ground of any such principli without virtually abandoning the doctrine of fre grace altogether. Hud he forbidden her approacl or treated her with stern severity as unworthy t bis presence, he must have sanctioned the misipprehension of the Pharisee respecting the object of his mission, and confirmed to the end of time that legal and self-righteous spirit which the whole tenor of the Gospel was meant to rebuke and to subdue. But mindful of the sublime object of his mission, "to seek and to save the Lost," he recarded "this woman that was a sinner," as one o! the very fittest subjects of bis compassionate care: for her redemption, and for the redemption of such as she was, he had come down from heaven; and now that he was brought into personal contact with the very guiltiest and most wretched, and that too, in the company of a proud self-righteous man, he did not shrink from her, but received her into his presence, and permitted her to wash and anoint his feet with a benignant condescension, which may wrell minister rebuke to self-righteous pride, and encouragement to every penitent heart, to the end of time. And this he did, even while he admitted "that her sins were manv." It was not necessary for him to vindicate her from the charge of guilt; nor was it consistent with his design to palliate or in any way to excuse the sinfulness of her life: on the contrary, He received and welcomed her as a tinntr, and it was in so receiving her that he manifested the perfect freeness of redeeming love, and •rave to the Pharisee an affecting exhibition in practice of what he had elsewhere declared in words. "that the whole need not a physician, but thev that are rick,"—" that he camo to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance,"—" and that rhotoerer cometh unto him should in nowise be ast out."
From this affecting scene, we learn the cheerimr truth, that -many sins do not debar us from the Saviour. The very object of his mission was, and the great end of his Gospel still is, to save ibe guilty. To none but sinners is it suitable; for every sinner it is sufficient. By his sufferings and death, as their substitute, he has made reparation to God for the dishonour which had been put upon his law ; and rendered it consistent with the highest interests of the divine government, to extend the free forgiveness of sin to every one of «s that will accept of it. It is emphatically said, riiat the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from All -in. He is able to save Unto The Uttermost— 'one so guiltv that he cannot redeem; none so vile that he will not receive them. Nor is his grace fettered with conditions, or restricted to particular classes; it is alike universal and free, —its invitations are addressed to all.
Are there none in this assembly who will listen 'o this gracious call: none who feel that they have much to be forgiven: none who have tasted the bitterness of remorse, and are sick at heart: H there not amongst us one solitary spirit, that has begun to feel itself weary and heavy laden, and that would gladly welcome a relief from the burden "f guilt? Oh ! if there be but one such spirit now present, I point to the woman that was a sinner, and say—go to the Saviour as she did, and he will
welcome you, even as he welcomed her! Be not faithless but believing. Your sins are many—so were hers: You are deeply distressed and fearful— so was she, when she stood at the Saviour's feet in tears: You have nothing to recommend you to the Saviour, nothing to plead in extenuation or excuse for your guilt, nor had she ;—she wept and was silent. And you too, when you retire this evening to your closet, and weep a silent flood over the remembrance of your sins, will have thek com^ passionate eye of the Saviour upon you :—the Saviour's heart is not changed—exalted as he is, it is still his delightful office to bind up the broken-hearted: to no friend on earth, to no angel in Heaven, will your first prayer give greater pleasure than to the Saviour himself. Go then to your knees with the words of David on your heart, "I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me." This woman that was a sinner seems to have come uninvited, to a house where, to all but the Saviour, her presence was unwelcome or offensive: you can go, and plead his own invitation for your warrant, his own recorded love for your motive, his own express promise for your prayer: and to you, as to her, may the Saviour say, "Son, daughter, thy sins are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace."
II. Another reason why the Pharisee was offended by our Lord's gracious conduct to this woman, seems to have arisen from an apprehension that the free forgiveness of sin could not be extended to such characters, consistently with the interests of morality. He thought that it must be an encouragement to vice: that the kindness which the Saviour exercised to the very chief of sinners must become, in the case of his disciples, a motive to licentiousness. Such an opinion has often been expressed, not only in ancient but also in modern times; especially by those decent men of the world, who, without much experience of the vital power of religion, have maintained a regard for good morals, and an attachment to the forms and ordinances of religion. They have thought the doctrine of free grace injurious, or, at least, dangerous to the interests of morality; and hence their attempts to fetter the gospel with restrictions, and to re-iinpose the bondage of legal conditions, which, were they admitted, would have the effect of excluding every man who has a right sense of his own sinfulness from applying to the Saviour at all. That some such thought was passing through the mind of the Pharisee, is evident from the scope of our Lord's observations, which are mainly directed to this point—that the free forgiveness of sin, so far from being opposed to the interests of morality, is, on the contrary, the means of calling into operation, a principle which insures a life not only of strict but of willing and cheerful obedience. That principle is love: love to Christ as a compassionate Saviour, and to God as a reconciled Father through him; that love which i^ the sum and substance of the law, the spring of idl acceptable obedience, the only source of true happiness in religious or moral duty. This love is first awakened by the free grace of the Gospel, and when it takes possession of the heart, will manifest its presence by constraining' the disciple to live no longer to himself, but to Him that loved him and gave himself for him. Tins is the secret of the moral operation of the Gospel; and it is brought out and illustrated in the text with peculiar beauty.
When our Lord says, " Wherefore her sins are forgiven, for she loved much," he does not refer to her love as the meritorious or procuring cause of forgiveness; on the contrary, his illustration, drawn from the case of the two debtors, shows that love is the fruit or effect of forgiveness ; but he points to it in the text as affording a proof that this poor woman had been forgiven, and as the genuine fruit and effect of the kindness with which she had been treated.—With this explanation, I observe there were two grand points which our Lord wished to establish. The first, that free forgiveness would produce love; and the second, that love, when produced, would ensure cheerful obedience. With reference to the former of these points, our Lord makes an appeal to the Pharisee himself, well knowing that the Gospel was adapted to the common principles of human nature: "And Jesus answering, said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee: and he said, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors. The one owed five hundred pence, and the other fiftv. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most. Simon answered, and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou hast rightly judged." Here Simon admits, in the case of an ordinary debtor, that a frank forgiveness will produce love to a generous benefactor; and that this love will bear some proportion to the amount of the debt discharged, or the magnitude of the love displayed: and in this admission, our Lord had all that he wished for explaining the principle and vindicating the reasonableness of his procedure in frankly forgiving the sins of all classes, without respect to the little distinctions which might obtain among them. The Pharisee thought himself more righteous than the woman that was a sinner ; whether he really was so in the sight of Him who judgeth the heart, we have no means of discovering: but our Lord meets his objection to the free forgiveness of the woman, on the distinct ground, that even were his opinion correct as to the comparative righteousness of the two parties, still the interests of morality were secure, since from his own admission " to whom much is forgiven, the same will love much."
This, then, is the first point which our Lord wished to establish, that whenever a sinner is taught to believe the Gospel, and to obtain the free forgiveness of sin, a new principle will spring up in his bosom—he will love the Saviour ; and having established this, our Lord proceeds to show (2dli/,) the practical working of that principle, in a way which was fitted very deeply to humble the pride of the
Pharisee. He lays hold of the circumstances which had occurred since they sat down to table, as a sufficient proof that the love of this poor woman was a more active principle of dutiful obedience, than any which the Pharisee himself possessed. Must beautiful is the example which our Lord here gives of the operation of love in the case of a true convert, as contrasted with the cold outward respect of a formal professor of religion. "He turned to the woman, and said unto Simop, seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, h&tu not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but litis woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore, I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven her;—for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."
There is something exquisitely beautiful in this simple description—something which finds its way to the heart in the devoted love of this sinful woman to the Saviour of sinners. It might have been expected, that on meeting with the holy Son of God, the Pharisee, who made his boast of the law, and professed great attachment to moral goodness, would have shown more reverence and esteem for the Perfect Pattern of all moral excellence, than the woman that was a sinner. But it was not so: he was cased up in self-righteous pride; but the poor woman knew that she was a sinner, she looked to Christ as a Saviour, and having been graciously received by him, his love awakened a responsive love in her bosom, and she followed him as her Master. The free forgiveness of her sins bound her to his service, by a tie which neither shame, nor contempt, nor persecution, could break: her faith wrought by love, and that love led her to follow him at all hazards. So is it in every case. We have here but an exemplification of what takes place on the conversion of every sinner, an illustration of the way in which the Gospel works in the heart of every believer: the love of the Saviour produces love to the Saviour, and love to Him secures our sanctification, and renders our obedience alike constant and cheerful. When the heart is thus filled with love, you see the Gospel fulfilling the very end of the law, for the law of the universe is love, and that law is fulfilled, when, through the free forgiveness of sin, Christ is loved as a Saviour, and God is loved as a reconciled Father. When this love takes full possession of the heart, religion becomes a cheerful service; without it, religion may be observed in its outward forms, but it cannot be sensibly enjoyed. We must have some sense or some hope of forgiveness from him, before God can be loved as our God: when he is thus Loved, he will be cheerfully served : no sacrifice will seem too great, no labour too difficult, no suffering too severe, to be submitted to. Our desire will be to become in all respects conformed to the will of