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Christ cautions his disciples against anxious care ;
which our possession of them does so evidently depend. But, alas, Ver. how many are there, who are now as deeply engaged in their 16 worldly schemes, as this rich fool in the parable, to whom God
thee! And then, what will all these treasures do to purchase life,
imbitter the surprise and anguish of those agonies.
God; rich in works of piety and charity. So shall we safely
Christ repeats the cautions and arguments against an anxious and
covelous temper, which he had formerly given in his sermon on
LUKE XII. 22.
LUKE XII. 29.
disciples, Thcreiore but as most of them were in such low circum- no thought for your XII. 22.
stances as to be in greater danger of immoderate life, what ye shall cat ;
what you shall put on to cover, defend and adorn
body out any care or thoughtfulness of yours, is much more important than meut, and the body than
a Repeating some of those admonitions, I hope, sufficiently explained there. I &c.] Most of the thoughts and expressions content myself therefore with referring the used here occurred betore, sect. xli. and are, reader to it.
God clothes the lilies; and will much more take care of them. 577 body is more than rai- raiment; and well then may you hope that the sect. ment.
great Author of your life, and the Former of your
a manner, without your anxiety and solicitude XII. 23. 24 Consider the about it. Especially may you expect it, when 24 ravens, for they nei.
you see the care which he takes of the inferior
young ones are early deserted by their dams;
26. p. 227.)
And moreover, as this care is unnecessary, it 25 can add to his stature one cubit:
taking the most solicitous thought, can add a sin-
to his age or stature? (Compare Mat. vi. 27. 26 If ye then be not and noteh on that text, sect. xli.) If then you 26 able to do that thing cannot do the least matter", as in this which is least, why
proverbial take ye thought for the expression you grant, why are you anxious about
the rest, as if you were to hold your life by a kind
danger of a sudden ejectment? 27 Consider the li.
But, to pursue the argument I began before, 27 lies how they grow. Do but consider God's providential care, even of they toil not, they spin not: and yet I say un- the vegetable creation: survey, for instance, the to you, That Solomon fair and beautiful lilies, and reflect how they in all his glory was not arrayed like one of grow; they neither labour to prepare the matethese,
rials of their dress, nor spin it into that curious
was not arrayed in so beantiful a white as one of 28 If then God so these. And if God so clothe and adorn the grass 28 clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, of the field, among which the lilies grow, though and to-morrow is cast it is (flourishing] to-day in all its verdure, and into the oven; how by to-morrow ie cut down and thrown into the clothe you, O yc of little
furnace or still (see note on Mat. vi. 30. sect.
more will he
b If then you cannot do the least matter.] was a proverbial expression for making the This proves, that to add one cubit to a thing lcast addition to it.
30 For all these
578 They should seek the kingdom of God, and treasure in heaven.
you, O ye of little faith, who thus suspect his
And do not you then, who are acquainted with 29 And seek not ye XII. 29. the care of Providence, and are particularly in- what ye shall eat or
what ye shall drink, terested in it, be solicitous to seek what ye shall neither be ye of doubteat, or what ye shall drink; nor be like meteors ful mind. in the air, that are tossed about by every blast of wind, hurried with anxious cares, and agitated
with a variety of restless and uneasy thoughts, 30 For the Gentile nations of the world, who know little of Providence, or of a future state, seek things do the nations
of the world seek af. after all these lower things with great solicitude; ter: and your father and they are more excusable in doing it: but you knoweth that ye have are directed to much nobler objects of pursuit, need of these things. and furnished with a more substantial support against such anxieties, in that paternal relation which God avows to you; and as your heavenly Father well knows that you have need of these
things, he will certainly provide them for you 31 in a proper degree. Leave them therefore to
31 But rather seek his care; and, low as your condition is, be not ye the kingdom of uneasy and disquieted about them; but seek ye things shall be added
God, and all
Mat. vi. 31–33. p. 229.) 32 I repeat the encouraging thought ; Fear not, 32 Fear not, little ye little flock, my dear property and charge, Father's good picasure
flock: for it is your however feeble you may seem ; fear not, I say, to give you the kingthat you shall be left destitute of these common dom. blessings of Divine Providence ; for it is your heavenly Father's gracious pleasure to give you what is infinitely more valuable, even the kingdom of eternal glory: and can you possibly imagine that, while be intends to bestow that upon you, and even takes pleasure in the thought of making you so great and happy there, d he
c Nor be agitated with restless thoughts.] though some of them are produced to
Reflections on the duty of casting out our care upon God. 579
will refuse you those earthly supplies, which he sect. liberally imparts even to strangers and ene
mies? 33 Sell that ye liare, Animated therefore by such a hope and con- XII. 33. and give alms: proz fidence, instead of being solicitous to increase vide yourselves bags ulrich wax not old, your possessions to the utmost, rather be prea treasure in the hea
pared, when Providence shall call you to sell
even a never-failing treasure in heaven, that re-
tants, nor doth the moth corrode and spoil the 34 For where your robes of glory, in which they appear. And 34 treasure is, there will the more careful should you be about this heayour heart be also.
venly treasure, because it is certain, that where
Are we not all conscious to ourselves, that on such topics as these, we need line upon line, and precept upon precept, as being too deficient in our regard, though God speak once, yea twice? (Job xxxii. 14.) We see our heavenly Father crowning the earth with his goodness : to this day does he clothe the grass and the flowers with the same profusion of ornament ; to this day does
And agrecable to this, it is most edifying e Sell what you have and distribute it and delightful to observe, how God is in charity.] These words were probably represented in scripture, as enjoying his as a fruitful secil in the minds of some who oxn prescience, as it were, with a peculiar heard them : and the liberal sale of estates relish, in the view of those glories which a few months after, by which so many poor he has prepared for his people. Hence Christians were subsisted, might be in a those emphatical phrases of wisdom rejoice great measure the harvest,) which sprung ing in the habitable parts of the earth, or in up from it under the cultivation of the the prospect and idea of them, before blessed Spirit. Nothing is more probable they were actually made, (Prov. viii. 31.) than that some of the many myriads now of God's knowing the thoughts he thinks to attending our Lord, (ver. 1.) might be in rares his people. (Jer. xxix. 11. and of his the number of the thousands then converted; rejoicing over them with joy and silently rest- see Acis ii. 41-43. inz in his love to ihem, (Zeph. iii. 17.) The f Purses which do not grow old, and tenderness and energy of innumerable wear out.] This may be fitly taken as an scriptures depends on this remark; and allusion to the danger of losing money out many of those relating to election, predestin of a hole worn in an old purse. Such is fre. mation, &c. which have been as dry rods of quently the gain of this world, and so are controversy, when considered in this view, its treasures hoarded up, and put into a bag bud out into a thousand fair leaves and with holes ; (compare Hag. i. 6.) The fragrap: blossoms of hope and joy. rich men of Judea, so soon ravaged and de
Christ exhorts his disciples to watchfulness, SECT: he feed the young ravens when they cry, (Psal. cxlvii. 9.) nor is
the meanest species of insects perished. Still does he know our 30 necessities; and still be addresses usin the same gracious language,
and avows the same endearing paternal relation. The experience of his power, goodness, and fidelity, is increasing with
every succeeding generation, with every revolving day. The 23 life that he has given, is supported by his care; and the same hand
that formed the body, nourishes and clothes it. Let us then cast
all our care on him, as being persuaded that he careth for us; 32(1 Pet. v. 7.) Feeble as his little flock is, it is the Father's good
pleasure to give us the kingdom ; and we are unworthy our share in so glorious a hope, if we cannot trust him for inferior blessings, and refer it to him to judge, in what manner our present wants are
to be supplied. 30
Let the heathens abandon themselves to these low anxieties; but as for us, let us thank God, and take courage, opening our 33 hearts wide to every sentiment of faith in God, and charity to
men ; and while we have this inexhaustible bank to draw upon, let us be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, so laying up in store for ourselves a good foundation against
the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life! (1 Tim. vi. 34 18, 19.) the very hope and expectation of which, if our heart
be set upon it, will give us incomparably sweeter delight than the securest possessions of this empty world, and the most ample magazines of its richest stores.
Christ exhorts his disciples to watchfulness and fidelity, in expectation
of his coming, and of the final account to be given for all their advantages. Luke XII. 55—48.
Luke XII. 35.
LUKE XII. 35. Oul
UR Lord having thus exhorted his disciples. LET your loins be cxiy. to a due moderation as to their worldly pos- your lights burning;
girded about, and sessions, proceeded to press upon them a serious X11. 35. preparation for their final remove from earth, and
for the awful solemnities of death, judgment and
stroyed by the Romans, particularly found a little below in note f, though I am senit so.
sible the generality of readers would rather a A serious preparation for-death, judg- bave expected an apology, if I had gone ment, and eternity.) I shall give the about to interpret it otherwise. reason of my interpreting this passage thus