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388 They are inexcusable in not discerning him to be the Messiah. SECT: ly say, A heavy shower is comingo; and it is so. straightway ye say, And when [.you find] the south-wind blowing from There cometh a show,

er; and so it is. Luke the desert of Arabia, and other hot climates, you

55 And when ye sed XII. 55. say, There will be sultry heat ; and so according the south wind blow, 56 ly it comes to pass. Ye hypocrites, that pretend ye say, There will be

to ask for farther signs, as if you were really de-
sirous to know, whether I be or be not a Divine 56 Ye hypocrites,
Teacher; you know how by such remarks as ye can discern the face
these to distinguish the face of the earth and of earth: but how is it
the heavens, so as to foretell the changes in the that you do not discera
weather before they come ; but how is it that this time?
you do not discern and judge of the much more
evident signs of this time, which are attended
with such manifest and unparalleled tokens of

the Messiah's coming ? (Compare Mat. xvi. 2, 3,
57 P. 456.)
Yea, why is it you do not even

57 Yea, and why of yourselves judge what is fit and right', and judge ye not what is

even of yourselves gather from such obvious premises, how you right? ought in reason and conscience to treat so extraordinary a Person as I appear to be from the whole series of my doctrine and conduct, in, stead of disregarding all the proofs that shew me

to be sent from God? 58 This, however you may thoughtlessly neglect 58 When thou goest it, is a matter of the utmost importance: I must

with tbine adversary therefore enforce the exhortation I formerly gave thou art in the way,

to the magistrate, as you (Mat. v. 25, 26. p. 209), and press give diligence that you to endeavour, with the greatest diligence, vered from him; lesz that the controversy may immediately be made

he up between God and your souls. For you count it a rule of human prudence, when you go to the magistrate with your adversary, who has a suit against you, to use your utmost endeavour to make up the affair with him & while you are yet


e A heavy shower is coming.] Oubpos pro- & Use your utmost endeavour to make up perly signifies a heavy shower; and savswv, the affair with him.] Theophylact intiin the next verse, suitry or scorching heat. mates, and Salmasius, and after him, La

Why is it you do not even of your- Cene, largely insist upon it, that dos selves, &c.] The phrase aq'zarlwy does spaciay signifies “ Pay the interest, as well not seem here to signily, “ Froni the like as 'the principal of thy debt, in order to principles of good sense which you use in procure deliverance." But Luke inake use common affairs, or in matters relating to of another word (TKO) for usury (Luke yourselves ;" but it seems an advance on xix. 23), which I think a considerable ar. ihat thought, as if our Lord had said, gument for the common rendering, which “Even though I had not so expressly drawn is also more extensive.-Annaxlat sig. the consequence, yet, from the tenor of my nifies, not merely any kind of deliverance, doctrine and character, as well as from my but such an agreement as secures the de: miracles, you might have discerned, your. fendant from any farther danger of prose. selves, that it must be a very wrong and cution; as Elsner accurately shews, very dangerous thing to reject and slight Obseru. Vol. I. p. 237.-It is well known me."-Castalio and Grotius connect this that aylıdır@ properly signifies a prosecutor, verse with the two following, I think, with, or one who has a suit at law against ano. put any reason.

ther, whether in a civil or criminal case.

A The


Reflections on the regard we should shew to the gospel. 589 he hale thee to the on the way; lest he force thee before the judge, SECT. judge, and the judge and the judge, having found thee to be indeed deliver thee to the oßcer, and the officer cast accountable, deliver thee to the custody of the

Luke thee into prison. serjeant, and the serjeant throw thee into prison. XII. 58.

59 I tell thee, thou It will not then be in thy power to compound 59 till thou hast paid the the matter upon gentler terms, or to get free very last mite.

from thy confinement; but I tell thee that, when
he has thee at such an advantage, thou shalt not
be able to come out from thence till thou hast paid

last mite of the debt thou owest h.
And thus if you are regardless of the proposals
of God's mercy while the day of life and grace
is continued, nothing is to be expected from the
tribunal of his justice, but a severe sentence,
which will end in everlasting confinement and


To what a lamentable degree is human nature corrupted, that Ver. so noble a remedy as the gospel, so well adapted to the cure of a 49. malevolent and contentious disposition, should in so many instances only irritate the disease! and that a scheme so full of love and goodness, and so well suited to promote peace and harmony in those, who cordially embrace it, should be opposed with all the violence of persecution, and be the means of introducing strife and division !

How monstrous is it, that any should hate their neighbours, 51, 53 yea, and their nearest relatives, for that disinterested piety, and regard to conscience, which might recommend strangers to their esteem and affection! Yet let not those, who meet with such injurious treatment, be discouraged; knowing they have a Father and a Saviour in heaven, whose love is ten thousand times more than all: nor let others be offended, as if Christianity had been the occasion of more evil than good; for such is the nature of eternity, that the salvation of one immortal soul will be more than an equivalent for the greatest and most lasting temporal evils, which the greatest number of persons can suffer for conscience sake.

Let this awaken our zeal to save souls, however great and ter- 50 rible the sufferings are, to which it may expose us, in proportion


h The very last mite of the debt thou part of the as, or accapoy, or of the larger owest.] The mite [nimilor,] was the least farthing, mentioned Mat. x. 29. and Luke valuable of their coins (see Mark xii. 42), xii. 6; so that the mite was but little more containing no more than half of their least than the third part of an English farthing, kind of farthing, or of their xodzavins, or and a sparrow was reckoned worth four of quadrans; which was itself but the fourth them, VOL.VI.

4 C


590 Reflections on the regard we should shew to the gospel. SECT. to the rage, with which the enemy is endeavouring their destruc

tion. May we be animated in it by the example of the blessed Luke Jesus, who, with a view to this, even longed for those sufferings, XII. 50. which innocent nature could not but regard as the object of strong

aversion ! 54, 56 May we at all times be so wise as to discern the evidences,

and to comply with the purposes, of the gospel, else our knowledge in natural things, should it extend not only to the most common, but the most curious appearances on the face of the earth or the heavens, will turn to no other account but to shame and con

demn us ! 59 If we have any reason to fear that, through obstinate impeni

tence, the blessed God is still an adversary to us, let us make it our first and greatest care, tbat, by an humble submission of soul to him in the methods of his gospel grace, that strict scrutiny of his justice may be prevented, and that sentence of his wrath averted, 'which would otherwise plunge us into endless ruin and misery; for when could we pretend to have paid the last farthing of the debt of ten thousand talents, which we have been daily contracting, and which is charged to our account in the book of his remembrance.

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