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If such be the condemnation to which we are liable, how ought we to be stirred up to strict and serious self-examination, when we hear our Lord address the Father, who had sent him, in words like these; "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." Now if there be sins, errors, and delusions, of the understanding; if there be "a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end of which is death;" if we "cannot enter into the kingdom of God, except we be converted, and become as little children," in all docility, humility, innocence, and sincerity; let us then pray, that "the thoughts of our hearts may be cleansed by the operation of his holy Spirit," and that, "as new-born babes, we may desire the sincere milk of his word that we may grow thereby." If such be our desire of divine instruction, and such our fitness to receive it, then shall we duly prize, and study, and obey those holy Scriptures, which, through faith in Christ Jesus, can make us wise unto salvation. Then will our faith and hope be strengthened, and our religious inquiries be directed, by our Lord's next words: "All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father, neither knoweth any

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man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." We may partake of so divine a benefit, as to "know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent," if we are truly disciples of Jesus. He was sent by the Father to be our teacher and our Saviour; and he is as condescending and gracious, as he is powerful and glorious.

This alarming, yet affectionate, discourse is concluded with words, which always appear to me to exemplify that consummate wisdom, that divine charm, by which our Lord's instructions delight the ear, captivate the affections, and impress the conscience; which must even penetrate and warm the heart of the unbeliever; and which

have a beauty and pathos in them, which although the Christian feels, the commentator cannot express". Compare with the words last cited those which we are about to cite; their meaning will then be obvious, and may God impress them on our hearts! "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

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a These are the words of Bishop Horne in his Commentary on Ps. lxxiii. 25, 26. But they are as applicable to these words of our Saviour, as to those beautiful words of the Psalmist.




St. MATTHEW XI. 2—6.

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see; The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

THIS message of the Baptist to Jesus is an incident of so remarkable a character, that probably few attentive Christians peruse the account of it, without a wish to be satisfied respecting the occasion and the object of it. A reference to the Commentators will certainly make the inquirer acquainted with several different opinions on the subject; some of which rest upon mere conjecture and gratuitous assumption; and others do not in

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clude that extended review of the ministry of the Baptist, which is so necessary in order to the right apprehension both of this and of many other questions. Such opinions, however, we shall not notice in a way of formal refutation, but only so far as may be necessary to clear our path in that inquiry, which will in the first instance occupy our attention, viz. how the question respecting the character and office of Jesus was situated, at the time when the Baptist sent this message to him. And as our Lord, in his answer, appeals to his works in support of a claim to somewhat more than merely a divine mission; it will be our endeavour in the latter part of this Lecture to shew the nature and justice of that appeal.

I. In order to ascertain the occasion, and intention of the Baptist's message, which we are first to consider, we must have recourse to the Evangelical records; which afford sufficient, and the only legitimate, materials for our purpose.When the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus, his own public labours had for some time ceased; for he had been shut up in prison by Herod the tetrarch of Galilee. But, ever after that event, Jesus had gone about the cities of Galilee, proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people. After some time he selected twelve

of his disciples to be his constant attendants; giving them the title of Apostles, with reference to their future mission round Galilee in his life time, and to all nations after his death. He still continued to exercise his miraculous powers, in healing the diseased; and, at length, he raised to life the only son of a widow, whom she, attended by much people of the city of Nain, was carrying out for burial as Jesus was entering the city. A great impression was produced by this signal miracle. "There came a great fear on all; and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about. And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things"." This statement of St. Luke, that they "told him concerning all these things," leaves us no room to doubt that they gave him a full account of all the proceedings of Jesus. He might with reason rely on the correctness of their report; and the subject was one of such interest to him, that he would as little want the disposition, as he did the time and opportunity, to hear all that they could tell him respecting the doctrine and miracles of Jesus. That Jesus had not yet stated himself to be the

a Luke vii. 11-18.


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