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in the way of being favoured with a sight of him, and of enjoying his presence..

“He sought to see Jesus, and could not for the press.

There will be always something in the way between us and our Saviour. The crowd bid Christ from Zaccheus; and what is it but the world that hides him from our view? Worldly cares or pleasures, vain, thoughts and pursuits, innumerable evils encompass us about, and prevent us from seeing and enjoying him whom our souls, we hope, love with sincerity.

Zaccheus, indeed, laboured under another disadvantage, for “He was little of stature.” But we have to do with a God who judges not by appearances, but measures us by our desires. Blessed Jesus, now thou art ascended up on high, neither the smallness of our persons, nor the meanness of our condition, can hinder us from looking at thee. Only clear the eyes of our faith, and wherever we be, or whatever we be, we shall see and rejoice in thine infinite excellencies. Zaccheus was not discouraged by these difficulties, but rather quickened and animated to exert his utmost endeavours; for it follows,

“ He ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree.

Had he been ashamed to let the world know that he desired to see Jesus, or had he been indifferent about it, he might never have enjoyed the sight, or, what was infinitely more important, the blessings which followed. So, if we fear to be singular, or if we treat Christ with indifference, we may never behold his glories, nor rejoice in his everlasting salvation. Lord, we are not sufficient of ourselves; choose

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what sycamore thou pleasest. Let the instrument be what it may, which thou shalt use for our salvation,

, if we can but climb to Heaven, it is all that we desire,

“ For he was to pass that way.”

It is always good to be where Christ is passing. Had not the two blind men sat by the way-side beg. ging, they might have continued blind to the hour of their death. Had the cripple that lay at the pool of Bethesda, been impatient at waiting there so long to no purpose, and been carried home in disgust or disappointment at his ill success, he had never taken up his bed, and walked, at the command of the blessed Jesus. Let us thankfully, therefore, improve every mean of grace ; and we may hope that we shall sooner or later meet with a blessing.

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him."

The further we go in this story, the more we are delighted. Zaccheus comes to see Jesus, and Jesus very soon takes notice of him. So common is it for him to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think; and to prevent us with the blessings of his goodness. Zaccheus might, perhaps, ima. gine, that the rest of the company would discover and insult him: but that Jesus should take notice of him, was beyond his expectation. He, however, that is faithful in a little, shall be entrusted with more. Jesus will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; he will neither discourage small beginnings, nor overlook the first desires of contrite souls, for grace and salvation. Who ever climbed up into the sycamore tree, and came down disappointed?

." And he said unto him, Zaccheus.”

How must the man be startled, to hear his own name from the mouth of Jesus, a stranger! The favour is great indeed, but not singular; for he calls all his sheep by name, “Zaccheus, come down.” All those that would follow him, must humble themselves; they must come down from their lofty imaginations, and their airy structure of self-righteousness; by which men naturally endeavour to ascend to the kingdom of heaven.

* Make haste, and come down."

Delays are dangerous. If we loiter, and linger, and hesitate, and halt between two opinions, as if we did not know whether it would be best to obey him or not, Christ may pass by, and leave us to lament our indolence and folly. Had Jesus said no more than this, “Zaccheus, make haste, and come down,” he might have thought himself ree proved for his boldness and curiosity. But the next words quickened and rejoiced him.

“For to-day I must abide at thine house."

Such is the entire freedom and familiarity between Christ and renewed sinners. Earthly grandeur maintains a forbidding distance: but Jesus, though his glories command our reverence, engages our affection, when he knocks, and says, “ If any man will open to me, I will come in, and sup with him, and he with me.” Blessed Saviour, go into what house thou wilt, enter into what heart thou pleasest, thou art sure of a welcome; for thou carriest thine own entertainment with thee.

“ And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully." He did not sit still, and say, I will come down by and by, when the crowd has passed away. But he made haste, and delayed not to obey Christ's command; and readily and joyfully receive ed his welcome and self-invited guest. What then must he think of those who, notwithstanding all his invitations, are still lingering in their sins? Or what construction can he put upon their delays, but that of stubbornness, and the most provoking contempt?

“He received him joyfully:" and well might be do it. We have not now the opportunity of entertaining Christ in our house ; and, indeed, to those that had, he was but as a way-faring man, that turns aside for a night. But O! the inconceivable happiness of every believer whose heart receives him; not for a day, or an age, but for eternity itself!

- And when they saw it, they murmured, saying, that he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”

These narrow-minded Jews envied Zaccheus the happiness which they themselves had despised. Their eye was evil, because Christ's was good. But thanks be to God, he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

“ And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give unto the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him four-fold.”

He stood, as it were, to give the solemnity of a vow to what he said; and that he might be seen and heard by those who murmured at his being so highly favour. ed hy Christ. He expressed his determination to re

. nounce the wages of unrighteousness; and he evinced the reality of his repentance, by his resolution to act in a manner opposite to his worldly and sinful conduct before.

Then follow those delightful, heart-reviving words, which I first of all mentioned; "and Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house ; for as much as he also is the son of Abraham.”

Happy Zaccheus! that which thou gavest the poor, is nothing to that which thy Saviour gave thee. If thou restorest four for one, he bestows more than millions for nothing. Thou givest dross ; thou receivest salvation. “ This day,” says Christ. So close is the connexion between him and salvation. Jesus never enters into any heart alone; but he . brings with him all the innumerable benefits, all the purchased blessings of grace and glory. That we might not think this a favour peculiar to Zaccheus, and so lose the comfort which such an instance of the freeness and fulness of divine mercy would naturally suggest, it is added,

“ For the son of man is come to seek, and to save, that which is lost.”

It is agreeable to the great design and intention of his coming into the world, to invite the poor, the blind, the halt, and the maimed, to partake of the blessings of the gospel; to preach deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to heal broken hearts; and to seek, and to save, the chief of sinners.

And now, my fellow Christians, though we are ready to congratulate this highly favoured publican, let us not forget the time when we were all publicans and sinners, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,

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