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us, O Lord, and whatever thou denieft us, deny us not this One thing needful for us, for Jefus Chrift his fake. Amen.

The Sunday called Quinquagefima; Or, the Next Sunday before Lent.

PARAPHRASE.

31, 32, 33. *In the 31. way from the Village, whither our Lord had

retired from that Malice and Rage, which the Miracle of raifing Lazarus had fo highly provoked; and prefently before his triumphant Entry into the City. Compare John xi. 53, 54. Matth. xx. 17.

St. Luke. xviii. 31.

HEN Jefus took unto him the twelve, and faid unto them, Behold we go up to Jerufa lem, and all things that are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of man fhall be accomplished.

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32. For be fhall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and fhall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:

33. And they fhall fcourge bim, and put him to death, and the third day be fhall rife again.

Mark x. 32.

34. And they underflood none of these things, and this faying was bid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

34. These were things fo contrary to their Notions of the Meffiah, that they could not believe, and knew not what

to make of them. Compare Matth. xvi. 22.

35, 36, 37. Not far from Jericho, a famous blind Man, (probably the Son of Timæus) who is fpoken of here fingly; though another, (but of lefs Note) seems to have been healed with him. Compare Mark x. 46. Matth. xx. 29.

35. And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unte Jericho, a certain blind man fat by the way-fide begging.

36. And hearing the multitude pafs by, be asked what it meant.

38. Thou the Meffiah, whofe Character is foretold as a Giver of Sight to the Blind, Ijaiah

37. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth paffeth by.

38. And he cried, faying, Jefus, thou fon of David, bave mercy on me.

xxxv. 5.

39. And they which went before rebuked him, that he fhould hold bis peace; but be cried fo much the more, Thou Son of David have mercy upon me.

40. And

40. And Jefus flood and commanded him to be brought unto bim. And when he was come near him, he asked him,

41. Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And be faid, Lord, that I may receive my fight.

*

42. And Jefus faid unto him, Receive thy fight, thy faith bath faved thee.

43. And immediately be received his fight, and followed bim, glorifying God. And all the people when they faw it, gave praife unto God.

42, 43. Thy Faith hath rendred thee a proper Object of this Mercy.

COMMENT.

WH

Hat could be more to the purpose of our prefent Devotions, than for the Church to put us now in mind of our Dear Redeemer's Sufferings and Death? The Epiftle for the Day hath described and recommended to us the Grace of Charity: The Gospel fets before our Eyes the noblest and most perfect Pattern of it. The Faft draws on, in which our finful Souls are to be humbled before God; It is in virtue of this Death alone, that we can hope for Pardon. Those Humiliations are to help every Disciple of Jefus, to die to the World; and in Conformity to his Death it is, that we ftand obliged to Crucify our Affections and Lufts. Our great Example kept his Death conftantly in view; and They, who imitate him, as they ought, will live in perpetual Profpect of, and Preparation for, their own. Upon fo many Accounts is this a proper Subject for our prefent Meditations. And, in regard the History and Circumftances of our Lord's Paffion are referved to a farther Occafion, the Warning given his Difciples of it, is chofen as more feasonable at this Time. Some Improvement whereof I hope may be made, by employing our Thoughts,

I. First, Upon the Occafions, chofen by our Lord, to foretel his approaching Sufferings and Refurrection.

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II. Secondly, Upon the different manner, in which this was done. But,

III. Thirdly, and principally, Upon the Reasons, which feem to have moved him to it.

I. I begin with the particular Times and Occafions, chofen by our Bleffed Lord, to forewarn the Disciples of his approaching Sufferings and Refurrection.

1. The firft Intimation of this kind, taken notice of by the Evangelifts, was in the Coafts of Cæfarea Philippi. When Peter, to our Lord's Queftion, What the reft of the World, and They, thought of him, reply'd; Thou art the Chrift, the Son of the living God. This glorious Teftimony when Jefus had commended, as a Truth infpired from Heaven, and charged them to keep that a Secret for fome time; He began from that time forth, fays St. Matthew, to fhew unto his Difciples, how that he must fuffer many things;

and fo on.

Matth. xvi. 16,

21.

Luke ix. 18, 22.

2. The next we meet with, follows immediately after his Transfiguration in the Mount: where three Apoftles, the felect Companions of his Privacies, were admitted Eye-witnesses of his Majesty, and heard a voice out of the excellent glory, proclaiming him the beloved Son of God. Defcending from thence, he gave a fresh proof of his Divine Power, by difpoffeffing the miferable Lunatick which his Difciples, who were left behind, had found themselves unable to do. And then he proceeds to put them, a Second time, in mind of what fhould fhortly happen to him.

2 Pet. I.
Matth. xvii. 1.
to 23d Verfe.

Luke ix. 28, 45.

3. The Third warning is this now before us, and it is the laft, before the Evening, in which he was actually betray'd. Of which the Remark principally to be made is, That it appears moft probably (from the Parallel Texts in the Paraphrafe) to have been given, between the time of raifing Lazarus from the

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dead, and that of his triumphant Entry into Jerusa- · lem.

II. The different manner of our Lord's imparting this aftonishing Truth, comes next to be confider'd. Which, by comparing the feveral Paffages, feems to be done gently, and by degrees. At first in general Terms, The Son of man must fuffer many things, and be rejected, and be flain, and be raised the third day. The Second warning comes enforced with this folemn Preface, Let thefe fayings fink down into your ears, for the Son of man fhall be delivered into the hands of men. This Third defcends to a more particular Defcription of that Tragical Scene, that he should be delivered to the Gentiles, and mocked, and Spitefully entreated, and Spitted on; and that they fhould fcourge him, and put him to death (a death inflicted by Theirs, not by the Jewish Law) and the third day be fhould rife again. So that, in proportion as these things drew nearer, more full and diftinct Discoveries were made of them.

Ver. 32, 33.

Matth. xvi. 21.
Luke ix. 22.
Luke ix. 44.

III. I now proceed to the Third and most material Confideration; The Reasons, which feem to have moved our Lord, thus to impart these things to his Difciples.

1. One great Inducement, no queftion, was, to arm his Difciples against the Calamities coming upon them. For the fhepherd to be fmitten, and the sheep to be scattered, was a diftrefs deplorable at beft; and would ask all their Strength and Preparation to fupport it. But much lefs difficulties, when they rufh upon us unawares, fupply in fuddennefs, what they want in weight, and bear down our Reason, by furprizing it. This is the Condition of Human Nature, and of Adversity in general. And, how great foever the Confternation of thefe Difciples was, upon their Master's Paffion; it muft, in all likelihood, have feiz'd them more vioS 4

lently,

lently, and have fat longer and heavier upon their Spirits, had the thing been altogether new and unheard of. Accordingly we find this notice had fome, though not all the Operation one might have expected. They feem at the time to have been ftunn'd with the Blow, but by degrees they began to recollect, and, upon Chrift's Refurrection, the remembrance of his Warnings was awaken'd, and the true import of them underftood. He therefore, who knew and felt our Infirmities, fhewed this Compaffion to them; Asfenfible, that a Calamity unforeseen is neither fo refolutely fupported, nor fo quickly recovered; as one, whofe advances toward us we have fair warning of, and time to make fomewhat of provision against,

Matt. xvi.

2. Another probable Reason for these Intimations may be, the correcting the Miftakes of his Difcipies, concerning that Splendor and Kingly Power, in which they expected the Meffiah to appear. The manner of St. Peter's entertaining our Lord's firft Prediction of this kind difcovers, that they thought fuch Sufferings a contradiction to his Character. And the Times, which I have already obferv'd to have been fingled out for this mortifying News, feem to fay, that it was then moft neceffary and feafonable to be acquainted with it, when some more than ordinary Testimony of his Divine Excellencies had put them under temptation, to think fuch a Death impoffible. Thus he thought fit to obviate every occafion, which might give countenance to thofe Errors in this matter, which had before prepoffeffed his Disciples.

3. Thefe Warnings were of fingular ufe toward removing the Scandal of the Crofs. As upon thefe following accounts efpecially.

1. In regard they proved our Lord's Death to be voluntary. The Difciples, in planting the Gofpel, found no Prejudice run ftronger against them, than

that

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