Imágenes de páginas

But are we made meet Partakers of this Inheritance of the Saints in Light? Why, that is by the Graces of God's Holy Spirit wrought in us, which alone can fit us for Glory. They that delight in the Deeds of Darknels are no ways qualify'd for this Inheritance of the Saints in Light j their Portion will be to inherit Darkness, and to be shut np in the black Abyss of outer Darkness for evermore. 'Tis the Children of Light and of the Day that are alone qualify'd to inherit Light, and to inhabit for ever in the Regions of Blifc and Glory. What Concord hath Light with Darkness, or what Fellowship hath the carnal and sensual Mind with pure and refin'd Spirits? These things cannot agree or abide together, and consequently cannot be happy together.

Heaven is the Habitation of Holiness, where no unholy Thing or Person can dwell • , Without Holiness no Man can fee the Lord.: and they that cannot see him, can never be happy in enjoying him. Holiness is not only a Condition, but a necessary Qualification for Happiness; and to be made meet Partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints, we must be holy in all manner of Converfation and Godliness: for 'tis call'd the Inheritance among them that are sanBifyd ; to signify that no unfanctify'd Person can have any share in it. Again,

Heaven is the Region of Purity, where no Defilement enters •, and to fit our selves to come there, we mutt cleanse cur selves from all Fdthinefs of Flesh, and perfeB Holiness in the Fear of God. No unclean Person, or Whoremonger, or Adulterer, can be admitted into those undefil'd Regions• , or if he could, he would find no Happiness there, where there is nothing to gratify his sensual Desires: we cannot fee or enjoy God, unless we" are like him; so the Apostle tells us, and he that hath this Hope, must purify himself, even at he is pure; i John 3.2,3. Moreover,

Heaven is the Mansion of Peace and Love, there is no Discord or Dissension there, but all the Inhabitants of those blessed Regions conspire together in perfect Peace and Amity; they all agree in the Worship of their Maker, and join with one Heart and one Voice in their incessant Hallelujahs. Now to be meet Partakers of these Joys, we must tune our Hearts to the fame Harmony of Peace and Concord, subduing all that Pride, Passion, and Prejudice, that lead to Contention, and labouring for those gracious Qualities and Dispositions, that tend to the closest Union of Hearts and Minds. In a word, the Way to be made lyieet Partakers of this Heavenly Inheritance, is by the daily Exercises" of a Holy Life, and the constant Practice of Religion and Vertuef

Thus I have confider'd the Matter of the Apostle's Prayer and Praises in the behalf of the Colojstans, which we fee arc chiefly for spiritual Blessings in heavenly Places in Christ Jesus. And that may teach us to make the lame things the Subject of our Petitions and Thanksgivings, both for our selves and others.

Indeed Thankfulness is a Debt to be paid for all the Mercies we receive, temporal as well as spiritual; our Food and Raiment are thank-worthy, and we are bid every day to ask for our daily Bread: and the good things that relate to the Welfare of our Bodies here in this Life, exact from us a Tribute of Acknowledgment and Adoration. But the highest Acts of Gratitude are due for those spiritual Blessings that concern the Good of our Souls, and promote their eternal well-being in another World •, such as the Means of Grace, and the Hopes of Glory, for both which we are to pray and praise God a$ well for others, as. qur selves.

This was the Apostle's Precept and Practice, to which let us learn to conform our selves, having a Sympathy and Fellow-feeling of one another's Joys and Sorrows, and tendring as much as in us lies the Good and Welfare of one another j so shall we be made meet to be Partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light; To which God of his infinite Mercy bring us all, &c.



The Gqspel for the Four and Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.

St. Matthew ix. 18 * 27.

While "Jesusspake these things unto John's Disciples, behold, there came a certain Ruler, and worships d him ; faying, My Daughter is even now dead, but come and lay thine Hand upon her9 and she {ball live. And Jesus arose wd followed, him, &c.

THIS Gospel for the Day gives us an account of two Miracles wrought by our blessed'Saviour \ the one, the raising of a rich Man's Daughter from Death to Life the other, the healing a poor Woman's Issue of Blood: the latter being in the Way to the former. la relating whereof we may observe. ,

First, The Time and Place w!hen and where they were done, both which are set forth in the first Words of this Gospel: While Jesus spake these things to John'j Disciples; that is, while he was in or near Capernaum, his own City, or the Place of his Residence, where the Disciples of John came to him with a Question, of which we read in the 14th Verse of this Chapter; Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy Disciples sast not? Why doth John command us the Strictnesses and Severities of Fasting, and the Pharisees fast at least twice in, the Week, when thy Disciples use no such Abstinencies or Austerities? To which Christ replies with another Question; Can the Children of the Bride-chamber sast whilst the Bridegroom is with them? But the Days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away, and then Jball they sast. Is it fit that the chief Guests at a Wedding should fast or shew any Sadness, whilst the Marriage-Feast continues: that is, whilst I the Bridegroom am with them? But the time is comings


when I fliall be gone from them, and then will the Time of fasting and mourning comefor Joy and Sorrow can no more suit together, than a new Piece of Cloth with an old Garment, or new Wine with old Bottles. And then it follows, While Jesus spake these things to John's Disciples, behold., there came a certain Rutert'and worJJjipp'd him: The

Second Thing to be here obscrv'd, viz.. the Person that here addrest himself to our Saviour, and that was a certaia Ruler by whom we are to understand, one of the Sanhedrim or great Council among the Jews, of which there were two Ranks or Degrees, call'd the greater and the lesser Sanhedrim: the former consisted of 72 Judges, made up of the chief Priests, Scribes and Elders, who resided mostly in Jerusalem ; the latter consisted of 23, who resided abroad in the several Cities, to decide the Disferences that arose in them and the adjacent Countries. And of this latter fort was the Ruler here mention'd, who was one of the Consistory of that City, and dwelt there, of him it is faid, that he came to Jesus, and fell down upon, his Knees and worshipp'd him. This Ruler's Name (as St. Mark tells us) was Jairus, one of the Rulers of the Synagogue, who presided in the Jews particular Assemblies, and there pronoune'd what was right according to Law, and thereby ended Controversies, and punish'd Exorbitances. This Ruler when he faw Jesus, came to him and fell at his feet -, Mark 5. 22.

But what was his Request to him? Why, he laid unto him, My Daughter is even now dead; but come and lay thy Hand upon he;; and she shalllive. St. Mark tells us that she was at the point of Death ., meaning, that when he came from her she was gasping out her last Breath, and he concluded that when he {pake to our Saviour, flie must be then dead. But yet he had so firm a Persuasion and Confidence in Christ's Power, that if he would but come and lay his Hand upon her, she would recover and be restor'd to Life again : possibly he had heard or seen some of the Miracles that Christ had done of that kind, as the raising of Lazjt* rtu, after he had been dead four days j the bringing the Widow's Son at Nairn to Life again, when he was carrying to his Grave- , with many others, which begit in him a strong Faith, that he was able to do the fame to his dying or dead Daughter. But what did our Saviour hereupon? Why, 'tis faid, that Jesm immediately arose and follow d him, and so did his Disciples. He rais'd no Doubts, nor made any Delays, but went away presently with his Disci

But as he wls going to this Ruler's House, Behold, a Wo* man which was diftas'd with an Iffue of Blood twelve Tears, came where he was. St. Mark tells us, that this Woman had sufter'd many things of many Physicians, and had (pent all that she had, and was nothing better'd, but rather grew worse; Mark 5.26. Her Disease had run so long, that the Flux of Blood could not be stopt by any Methods of Art or Physick i which made her upon the hearing of Jesus, and the Cures wrought by him, betake her self to him. But how did me apply her self to him, when she came? Why, she made no formal Address to him by way of Petition or Word of Mouth, but took opportunity of the Throng or Press wherein he was, to go behind him and touch the Hem of his Garment; For fit said within her self, if I may hut touch his Garment, 1 /hall he whole, Upon which St. Mark tells us, that the Fountain of. her Blood was straightway dried up, and she felt in her Body, that fte was heal'd of that Plague.

This Woman's Distemper being a legai Uncleanneft, she thought it might be heal'd or done away by touching the Fringe of that Garment, which God commanded the Jews to wear, Numb.\%. and that made her come by Stealth behind our Saviour, and touch the Fringe of his Garment. Or else, her Faith in Christ was so strong, as to be fully persuaded, that the Touch of any thing about him was sufficient to heal her : and so indeed it prov'd, for out Saviour was so well pleas'd with the Strength of her Faith, that heturn'd about, and seeing her, faid unto her, Daughter, Be of good Comfort, thy Faith hath made thee whole. St. Mark and St. Luke have added another Passage to this Relation, to wit, that upon the Woman's touching his Garment, Jesus immediately knew in himself, that Virtue had gone out of him; and turning about in the Press, ask'd, Who hath touch'd me? To which the Disciples reply'dj Thou feest the Multitude thronging about thee, and fayejt thou, Who touched me? The Woman seeing Jesus look about, and knowing what was done in her, came fearing and trembling, and fell done before him, and told him all the Truth. Upon which he faid unto her, Daughter, thy Faith hath made thee whole, go in Peace, and be whole of thy Plague; Mark 5. 30 ■3*^35. By which it appear'd, that his Gar,



« AnteriorContinuar »