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The Gospel would occafion violent Contentions, Sect. 114. abandon themselves to a Life of Idleness and Luxury; who stain their

Sacred Character by Intemperance; who proudly censure their Brethren, and either call, or wish, for the Secular Arm to fmite their Fellow-Servants,

perhaps more faithful than themselves ; let such hear and tremble. Their Ver. 46.

Lord may come in a very unexpected Hour; (as indeed, when do such expect him ?) and what are the Stripes they have given others, when compared with those, which they shall themselves receive ; Stripes, which shall cut them asunder, and pierce deep into their very Souls? How much more tolerable will it be, even for the worst of Gentile Sinners, than for such !

Let all, who are in any Measure distinguished by the Gifts of the Divine Bounty to them, or by their Stations, whether in Civil of Sacred Offices, attentively dwell on this great Truth, 'fo solemnly repeated again and again ; let them consider it with a view to their own Account: To whomfoever much is given, of him will much be required. May Divine Grace so impress it on their Hearts, that they may be distinguished by present Fidelity, and future Rewards, in Proportion to the Difference which Providence has already made in their Favour! And may they never have Reason to reflect with Confusion and Anguish, on what is now their Honour and their Joy!

Ver. 48.

SECT. CXV.
CHRIST observes the Evils which would be occafioned by bis

Coming, yet declares his Defire to compleat his Work; and
warns the Jews of the great Danger of negle&ting the short
Remainder of their Time of Trial. Luke XII. 49, to
the End.

Sect. 115. (

LUKE XII. 49.

LUKE XII. 49. UR Lord farther added in his Discourse to I Am come to send Fire

his Disciples and the Multitude: After all I on the Earth, and what Luke XII. that I have faid to promote Humanity and Cha

will I, if it be already kin49.

rity, yet it will in Fact appear, that I am come to
fend Fire on the Earth; so opposite is my Doctrine
to the Prejudices and the Lusts of Men, and such
are the violent Contentions that my Gospel will
occasion, thro’ the Wickedness of those among
whom it is preached : And yet what do I wish?
that the Gospel might be suppressed? nay, but I
rather say, Ob that this Fire, fierce as it shall be,

were

.. and be followed, not with Peace; but with Division. 125

were already kindled (a) by the universal Propa- Sect. 115. gation of a Religion, whose Blessings fo abun

dantly counterbalance all the accidental Evils 50 But I have a Baptism which can attend it ? But I have indeed, in Luke XII. to be baptized with, and the mean Time a molt dreadt

the mean Time, a molt dreadful Baptism to be 50.
how am I straitened till it
be accomplished !

baptized with, and know that I shall shortly be
bathed, as it were, in Blood, and plunged in the
most overwhelming Distress: Yet, far from draw-
ing back on that Account, how inexpressibly am
I straitened and uneasy thro' the Earnestness of
my Desire, till, terrible as it is, it be fully com-
pleated. (b), and the glorious Birth produced,

whatever Agonies may lie in the Way to it ?
51 Suppose ye that I am But these Benefits are to be secured in a very 51
come to give Peace, on different Manner, from what some of you, my
Earth? I tell you, Nay ;
but rather Division.

Disciples, imagine : For do you now suppose, that
I am come to give Peace on the Earth, or im-
mediately to establish that Temporal Tranquility
and Prosperity,' which you expect thould attend
the Messiah's Kingdom (c)? Nay, but considering
how my peaceful Gospel will be opposed, and
how it will be perverted, I may say to you, that I

am

(al And what do I wish? ob that it were already kindled?] I think, Şir Norton Knatchbull has abundantly established this Verfion. Dr. Whitby (who here, as in many other Places, transcribes from Grotius,) seems fully to have proved, that a sometimes has this Force. Compare Luke xix. 42. and Numb. xxii. 29. Yojn. vii. 7. Pfal. Ixxxi. 13. Septuag. (Perhaps we may add Luke xxii. 42.) See Grotius, in loc.

(b) How am I straitened and uneasy, till it be compleated?] The Word ourexouce seems to import, an Ardor of Mind, with which a Person is so borne on towards the Object of his Affection and Pursuit, that the necessary Impediments which lie in his Way are uneasy to him. Compare 2 Cor. V. 14. Mr. Locke understands it, of a Kind of Embarralment which Christ was under, to know how, faithfully to fulfil his Ministry, without giving such Umbrage to the Roman Power, as would have drawn Persecution and Death upon him before the appointed Time. (See Mr. Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity, pag. 134.) But that seems to me a very foreign and unnatural Sense. That which I take it in, is also favoured by Luke xvii. 15. Sect. 168. But if Grotius, whose Sense I have hinted in the Parar phrase, judge rightly of the particular Force and Beauty of the Word oure Zopicli, it may be illustrated by Yohn xvi. 21. Sect. 178.

(c) Or immediately to establish that Teniporal Tranquility, &c.] There are so many Prophecies of the Peaceful State of the Messiah's Kingdom, (compare Pfal. Ixxii. 7. Ifa. i. 4. xl. 6,-9. lxv. 25.) that it is hard to say, how Chrif could compleatly answer the Character of the Messiah, if he should never give Peace on Earth : But the Error of the Jews. Jay in supposing, he was immediately to accomplish it; whereas the Prophecies of the New Teftament, especially the Revelations, thew, and those of the Old Testament most plainly intimate, that this prosperous State of his Kingdom was not only to be preceded by his own Suffer-ings, but by a Variety of Persecutions, Trials, and Sufferings, which should in different Degrees attend his Followers, before the Kingdoms of the Earth became by a general ConverHon the Kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ. (Rev. xi. 15.) See Dr. Leland's Answer to the Moral Philosopher, pag. 353,-366..

(d) TIC

saha Peaceful State of the Masjiah's Kingaom, Inc.

The Jews were inexcusable in not knowing him to be the Messiah.

litter WIP

with

126 Sect. 115.am rather come to occasion the most unnatural

y Division. For such are the contentious Heats 52 For from henceforth Luke XII. 1. that will attend the Publication of the Gospel, the

i there shall be Five in one 52.

House divided, Threeagainst that e'er long Five in one Family mall be so divid- Two, and "Tvoa ed, that there shall be Three against Two on the Three.

one Side, and Two against Three on the other : 53 And this shall be the Case, when those Families 53 The Father shall be consist of Persons in the nearest Relations to each divided against the Son, and

the Son against the Father: other: The Father, for Instance, mall

the Mother against the the Son, and the Son with the Father ; the fondest Daughter, and the DaughMother with the Daughter, and the Daughter with ter against the Mother: the the Mother ; the Mother-in-law with her Son's Daughter-in-Law, and the

Mother-in-Law against her Wife, and the Daughter-in-Law with her Huf- Daughter-in-Law against band's Mother (d); and so inveterate shall their hér Mother-in-Law. Hatred against all that embrace my Gospel appear, that they shall break the Bands of Nature, as well as of Friendship, to express it. (Compare

Mat. x. 34, 35. Vol. i. pag. 469.) 4 And he

To to the People. This Perverse- 54 And he said also to ness already shews itself, in your overlooking to

the People, When ye see a

Cloud Life' out of the Welt. many Proofs of the Messiah's Appearance among straightway ye say, There you : For when you see a Cloud arising out of the cometh a Shower ; and so

it is. West, or coming from the Mediterranean Sea,

you presently say, A beavy Shower is coming (e); 55 and it is so. . And when you find the South 55 And when ye see the Wind blowing from the Defart of Arabia, and other

who South-Wind blow, ye say,

There will be Hesti and is
hot Climates, you say, There will be sultry Heat; cometh to pass.
56 and it comes to pass. Ye Hypocrites, that pre- 56 Ye Hypocrites, yecan

tend to ask farther Signs, as if you were really de- discern the Face of the Sky,
firous to know. whether I be. or be not. a Divine and of the Earth: but how
Teacher ; you know how by such Remarks as these,
to distinguish the Face of the Earth, and of the
Heavens, so as to foretell the Changes in the Wea-
ther before they come; but how is it, that you do

not

54

(d) The Mother-in-Law with her Son's Wife, and the Daughter-in-Law with her Husband's Mother. ] The original Words, werdepa, and w on, are exactly expressed in this Translation. The English Words Mother-in-Law, and Daughter-in-Law, are more extensive, and rather, tho' not necessarily, lead us to think of [Noverca, palpura,) a Step-Dame, or Father's second Wife, and her Husband's Daughter. Our Lord might mention this Relation, because, in Consequence of the Obligation which the Jewish Children were under to maintain their aged Parents, a young Man might, when he settled in the World, often take his Mother, if a Widow, into his Family, and her Abode in it might occasion less Unealiness, than that of a Mother-in-Law in any other Sense.

(c) A heavy Shower is coming ] Qubpos properly signifies a beavy Shower; and XQUOW, in the next Verle, sultry or scorching Heat.

. (f) Why

The Danger of neglecting to be reconciled to GOD. 127 is it, that ye do not discern not discern and judge of the much more evident Sect. 115. this Time ?

Signs of this Time, which carry such evident and y
unparallelled Tokens of the Messiah's Coming ?

Luke XII, (Compare Mat. xvi. 2, 3. Vol. i. pag. 538.)** 57 Yea, and why even Yea, why is it you do not even of yourselves judge 57 of yourselves judge ye not what is fit and right (f), and gather from such what is right?

obvious Premises, how you ought in Reason and
Conscience to treat so extraordinary a Person, as
I appear to be from the whole Series of my Doc-
trine and Conduct, instead of disregarding all the

Proofs that shew me to be sent from God?
58 When thou goest with This, however you may neglect it, is a Mat- 58
thine Adversary to the Ma- ter of the utmost importance: I must therefore
giltrate, as thou art in the

that inforce the Exhortation I formerly gave you, (Mat. thou mayest be delivered v. 25, 26. Vol. i. pag. 231.) and press you to from him ; Jelt he hale thee endeavour with the greatest Diligence, that the to the Judge, and the Judge deliver thee to the Officer,

Controversy may immediately be made up beand the Officer cast thee in- tween God and your Souls. For you count it a to Prison.

Rule of human Prudence, when you go to the Ma-
gistrate with your Adversary, who has a Suit
against you, to use your utinost Endeavour to
make up the Affair with bim (8), while you are
yet on the Way; left he force thee before the Judge,
and the Judge having found thee to be indeed
accountable, deliver thee to the Custody of the

Sergeant, and the Sergeant throw thee into Prison.
59 I tell thee, thou shalt It will not then be in thy Power to compound 59

not the Matter upon gentler Terms, or to get free
from thy Confinement; but I tell thee, that when

he

(8) Use your unin after him La Cincipal, of thy Debt, Luck

(f) Why is it you do not even of yourselves, &c.] The Phrase do caules, does not seem here to signify, “ From the like Principles of good Sense, which you use in common Affairs, “ or in Matters relating to yourselves;” but it seems an Advance on that Thought, as if our Lord had said, “ Even tho’I had not so expressly drawn the Consequence, yet from the “.Tenor of my Doctrine and Character, as well as from my Miracles, you might have : “ discerned yourselves, that it must be a very wrong and very dangerous Thing, to reject " and Night me."— Caftalio and Grotius connect this Verse with the two following, I. think without any Reason.

(8) Use your utmost Endeavour to make up the Affair with him.] Theophylaet intimates,, and Salmafius, and after him La Cene, largely infist upon it, that dos cogerlay fignifies, * Puy the Interest, as well as the Principal, of thy Debt, in order to procure Deliverance." But Luke makes use of another Word szoros) for Usury, (Luke XIX. 23.) which I think a. conliderable Argument for the common Rendering, which is also more extensive. Annaabas fignifies, not merely any Kind of Deliverance, but such an Agreement, as secures the Detendant from any farther Danger of Profecution; as Elsner accurately thews, Objervi ul. I. pag. 237. — It is well known, that are finos properly signifies a Profecutor, or one: who has a Suit at Law against another, whether in a Civil, or Criminal Case.

(b). The

128

Reflestions on the Regard we should new to the Gospel. Sect. 115. he has thee at such an Advantage, thou shalt not not depart thence, till thou w be able to come out from thence, till thou hast paid

brid haft paid the very last Mite. Luke XII.

the very last Mite of the Debt thou owest (b). 59.

And thus if you trifle with the Propofals of
God's Mercy, while the Day of Life and Grace
is continued, nothing is to be expected from the

Tribunal of his Justice, but a severe Sentence,
which will end in everlasting Confinement and
Punishment.

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Luke xii 49. T O what a lamentable Degree is Human Nature corrupted, that fo

I noble a Remedy as the Gospel seems, should in so many Instances

only irritate the Disease! How monstrous is it, that any should hate their Ver.51,-53. Neighbours, yea, and their nearest Relatives, for that which might recom

mend Strangers to their Esteem and Affection! Yet let not those, who meet with such Treatinent, be discouraged; knowing they have a Father and a Saviour in Heaven, whose Love is ten thousand Times more than all: Nor let others be offended, as if Christianity had been the Occasion of more Evil, than Good; for such is the Nature of Eternity, that the Salvation of one immortal Soul will be more than an Equivalent for the greatest and most lasting Temporal Evils, which the greatest Number of Persons can suffer for Conscience fake.

Let this awaken our Zeal to save Souls, in Proportion to the Rage with Ver. 50. which the Enemy is endeavouring their Destruction. May we be animated

which the Ene
in it, by the Example of Yesus, who with a view to this; even longed for

those Sufferings, which innocent Nature could not but regard as the Object V'er. 54,-56. of strong Aversion! May we be so wise, as to discern the Evidences, and

to comply with the Purposes, of the Gospel; else our Knowledge in Natural Things, should it extend, not only to the most common, but the most curious Appearances, on the Face of the Earth, or the Heavens, will turn

to no other Account, but to shame and condemn us ! Ver. 58.

If we have any Reason to fear, that thro’ obstinate Impenitency, the Blessed GOD is still an Adversary to us, let us make it our first and greatest Care, that by an humble Submission of Soul to him, in the Methods of his Gospel Grace, that strict Scrutiny of his Justice may be

prevented, (b) The very last Mite of the Debt thou owest.] The Mite [a577cv] was the least valuable of their Coins, (lee Mark xii, 42.) containing no more than Half of their least Kind of Farthing, or of their xod pavlns, or Quadrans ; which was itself but the Fourth Part of the As, or 'aosaprov, or of the larger Farthing, mentioned Mat, x. 29. and Luke xii. 6. So that the Mite was but little more, than the Third Part of an English Farthing, and a Sparrow was reckoned worth Four of them.

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