« PreviousContinue »
14 ferve God and mammon (ƒ). And the Pharifees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: 15 and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination in the fight of 16 God. The law and the prophets were until John (g) : fince that time the kingdom of God is preached, 17 and every man preffeth into it. And it is easier for
heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law 18 to fail. Whofoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whofoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery (h).
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously 20 every day (i). And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full 21 of fores, And defiring to be fed with the crumbs
which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the 22 dogs came and licked his fores. And it came to pass
that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bofom: the rich man also died, and 23 was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and feeth Abraham afar off, and La24 zarus in his bofom. And he cried, and faid, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and fend Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham faid, Son, remember that thou in thy
(f) See Matt. vi. 24.
(g) Since the preaching of John another state of religion is begun, and the gofpel-covenant, on the terms of repentance, is offered to all men, without diftinction of Jew and Gentile.
(h) See Matt. xix. 9. Note.
(2) In this parable we fee how the good things of the world are apt to be abused by luxury; and, instead of softening the heart, tend to harden it against distress.
life-time receivedft thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and 26 thou art tormented. And befides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: fo that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pafs to us, that would come from 27 thence (k). Then he faid, I pray thee, therefore, fa
ther, that thou wouldft fend him to my father's 28 houfe: For I have five brethren; that he may tefti
fy unto them, left they alfo come into this place of 29 torment. Abraham faith unto him, they have Mofes 30 and the prophets, let them hear them. And he faid,
Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from 31 the dead, they will repent. And he faid unto him, If they hear not Mofes and the prophets, neither will they be perfuaded, though one rose from the dead (/).
CHA P. XVII.
1 THEN faid he unto the difciples, It is impoffible but that offences (a) will come: but wo unto him 2 through whom they come. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he caft into the fea, than that he should offend one of thefe little ones.
3 Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother trefpafs against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive 4 him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in
(k) There is no ground to imagine that the fouls in torment can be relieved by any thing done for them here. And yet that is the express doctrine of the church of Rome in the article of Purgatory.
(2) If we neglect to profit by the ordinary means of grace, it is a vain pretence to fay, that we fhould make a better ufe of extraordinary ones, if vouchfafed to us.
(a) See Matt. xviii. 7. Note.
a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee,
(b) This feems not to be a continuation of the foregoing difcourfe, but to have been faid on fome other occafion. Indeed the difciples frequently confefs their want of faith; by which they mean not want of faith to believe any article of religion, but want of a due reliance on the power of God, to enable them to perform miracles, for the great work of converting men to the Chriflian religion. This appears to be their meaning by our Lord's reply in the next verfe.
(c) But be not vain, however, of your faith, or of whatever fpiritual gifts God may be pleafed to grant you; nor entertain an high opinion of yourselves for being any way useful in promoting God's glory, or the caufe of religion; for this is the very office you under-. take to execute, and the proper duty of your station, which you are expected to perform.
(d) I think, he does not.
(e) The fervants in thofe days were, for the most part, flaves bought by their mafter, to do every thing in their power for his fervice. Let us confider ourfelves in this light as purchased by the blood of Chrift, which is so instimable a price that no man can ever poffibly repay is, though he were to ferve him ever fo faithfally
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerufalem, that he paffed through the midft of Samaria and 12 Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which 13 ftood afar off (f): And they lifted up their voices and 14 faid, Jefus, Mafter, have mercy on us.
when he faw them, he faid unto them, Go fhew yourselves unto the priefts (g). And it came to pafs 15 that as they went, they were cleanfed. And one of them, when he faw that he was healed, turned back, 16 and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jefus answering faid, Wers there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to 19. God, fave this ftranger (h). And he faid unto him, Arife, go thy way; thy faith (1) hath made thes
and conflantly in the performance of all his commands, but muft efteem himself an unprofitable fervant, not worth the purchase paid for him. And if the utmost that any man can do is no more than his duty obligeth him to, the beft can have no merit to plead for themfelves, much lefs to transfer to others; and the Romish doctrine of Supererogation, that one man can make up the deficiencies of another, in virtue and religion, must fall to the ground. See Matt. xxv. 9. Note.
(f) Lepers were obliged to fland at a diftance by the law of Mofes, left they fhould infect others.
(g) To the Jewish priests, as the law of Mofes required. See Matt. viii. 4.
(h) What a reproach to them who have the advantage of the true religion, to be more negligent of their duty than others! See Chap. X..33. (2) 66
Thy belief that I had power to cure thee, hath been the occafion of my working this miracle." Though none but the Samaritan had faith to deferve a cure, yet the miracle was extended to: the other nine, to mark in a striking manner the different behaviour of Jews and ftrangers under the fame circumstances, when God had youchfafed to offer falvation unto all.
And when he was demanded of the Pharifees (k), when the kingdom of God fhould come; he answered them, and faid, The kingdom of God cometh 21 not with observation. Neither fhall they fay, Lo here, or, lo there for behold the kingdom of God 22 is within you. And he faid unto the disciples, The
days will come (1), when ye fhall defire to fee one of the days of the Son of man, and ye fhall not fee it. 23 And they fhall fay to you, See here, or, fee there : 24 go not after them, nor follow them. For as the
lightning that lightneth out of the one part under heaven, fhineth unto the other part under heaven; 25 fo fhall alfo the Son (m) of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of 26 this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, fo fhall it be alfo in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they
were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark: and the flood came and deftroyed 28 them all. Likewife alfo as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they fold, 29 they planted, they builded. But the fame day that
Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone 30 from heaven, and deftroyed them all: Even thus
(k) The Pharifees afk this fcoffingly, When is this kingdom you talk fo much of to appear? His anfwer is, It cometh not with outward marks of fplendor and triumph, but is of a moral and fpiritual nature, ruling over the affections of the foul, to reform and purify them. It is therefore in your own hearts and lives that you must look for it, where, by my preaching, it ought long fince to have been eftablished.
(2) The time is coming, when you will in vain with for the advantages of my perfonal inftruction which you now enjoy.
(m) If any man fhall tell you that Chrift is in this or that private place fhortly to appear, believe it not: for, as the appearance of lightning feems to be univerfal and inftantaneous, fo fhall that of the Son of man be. He will come to judgment when he is not expected, and will execute it without delay in the deftruction of Jerufalem.