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Christ cautions them against giving Offence. It is enough to observe, how, and upon what Principles, it was denied. Sect. 125. If they bear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, tho'm cne rose from the Dead. Let none vainly excuse themselves, from believing Ver. 31. the Evidence of the Revelation God has given, on a Pretence that if they faw Signs and Wonders, they would believe. The Heart of Man may be Ver. 30. hardened against the most sensible and immediate Miracles; but if that Evidence were irresistible, it would ill become us to dictate to God, when, and to whom, it should be given. Let us examine, and acquiesce in Ver. 29. such, as he has seen fit to afford ; and pass thro' our various Scenes of Life, as those that have Eternity in View, and are persuaded we must each of us, in a few Years at farthest, be with Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom, or with the Rich Man in that tormenting Flame.

SECT. CXXVI.
CHRIST repeats his Exhortations to an inoffensive Conduet,

and a forgiving Temper; and warns bis Disciples not to
arrogate any Merit to themselves. Luke XVII. 1,---11.
LUKE XVII. 1. .

Luke XVII. 1. THEN faid he unto the UR Lord also about this Time repeated to Sect. 126. 1 Disciples, It is impoffi

U the numerous Attendants who were then y ble but that Offences will come: but W. unto him around him, several Things which he had for. Luke AVI. thro' whom they come merly said in a more private Way to the Disciples;

and particularly addressed them in Terms like
these, Considering the general Corruption of Hu-
man Nature, the Snares of the World,' and the
Temptations of Satan, it is impossible but one Way
or other Offences Mould come ; many professing my
Religion will, no doubt, act unworthy of them-
selves, and disgrace the holy Name they bear :
Nevertheless, Woe [be to him] by whom they come ;
and let me warn you therefore, as you love your

own Souls, to guard against the Guilt and Danger
2 It were better for him of being à Stumbling-block to others. For I 2
that a Milftone were hanged assure you, it were better for such a one, even
about his Neck, and he cast

for him that by an immoral Life proves a Re-
proach to my Cause, that he should die by the
Hand of Violence, and suffer the most shocking
Execution ; yea, that a huge Mill-ftone should be
banged about his Neck, and he should be thrown
Z 2

into

into JV Pumbat uy and WINTIVIA

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m

They should be ready to forgive their Brethren:
Sect. 126. into the Sea, than that be should offend and insnare into the Sea, than that he
Luke XT
y one of these Little ones that believe in me, so as thould offend one of thele

Little ones.
Who to draw the meanest of them into Sin and Ruin.

(See Mat. xviii. 6, 7. and the Notes there, Sect.
93. pag. 20, 21.)

Take heed to yourselves therefore (a), that you 3 Take heed to yourmay govern all your Passions aright, and particu

icu. felves : If thy Brother trellarly your Resentments, by which otherwise much him ; and if he repent, for

pass against thee, rebuke Sin may be occasioned, both to yourselves and give him. others. And if thy Brother trespass against thee, do not lay up a secret Grudge against him for it, but plainly and faithfully rebuke him, endeavouring to convince him of the Evil he has committed; and if be appear to repent of his Fault, forgive

bim immediately, without insisting on any rigo4 rous Satisfaction. And if he trespass against 4 And if he trespass 2thee again and again, even tho' he should repeat sa

gainst thee seven Times in his Fault feven Times in a Day, (compare Psal. a Day turn again to thee,

a Day, and seven Times in cxix. 164.) and seven Times in a Day return to saying, I repent; thou. Thale thee, seriously saying, I repent of my Folly, and forgive him.. am heartily sorry for the Injury I have done thee; thou shalt forgive him even these repeated Offences.. (Compare Mat. xviii. 21, 22. pag. 31.)

Then the Apostles faid unto the Lord, Lord; we 5 And the Apostles faid' are sensible, that in this Instance, as well as in unto the Lord, Increase our:

Faith.
several others, we have Need to pray, thou wouldst
increase our Faith (b): Oh quicken our Appre-
bension of the Reality and Importance of the Mo-
tives by which all thy Commands are inforced,
and of the Authority by which they are dicta-
ted; that we may not scruple to submit even to
such Precepts as these, how hard foever they may
bear upon Flesh and Blood

And the Lord said, If you had ever so little... 6. And the Lord said If
Faith, tho' it were but as a Grain of Mustard- Mustard seed. ve might say

î ye had Faith as a Grain of seed, yet (as I formerly told you,) it would con

unto ques

fa)Take heed to yourselves.]. This contains a strong and important Intimation, how much Sin, and Scandal is occasioned, by a severe quarrelsome Temper in the Disciples of Chrif; as it not only ftirs up the Corruptions of those with whom they contend, but leads others to think meanly of a Profession, which has so little Efficacy, to soften, and sweeten the Tempers, of those who maintain it.

(6) Increase our Faith.] Wolzogenius himself acknowledges, that their applying to Chrift to strengthen their Faith, shews that they believed he had a Divine Influence over the Spirits of Men. See Whitby, in loc,

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And pould not arrogate any Merit to themselves. 18 i unto this Sycamine-tree, Be quer the greatest Difficulties ; so that you might, Sect. 126. thou plucked up by the Root, as it were, be able to say to this Sycamore-tree, Bem and be thou planted in the Sea ; and it thould obey you. thou rooted up, and planted in the Sea ; and it should be

presently obey you (c). 7 But which of you hav- Endeavour therefore to live in the Exercise of 7 ing a Servant plowing, or this noble Grace, and in a Series of such Services feeding Cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is as it will naturally dictate : But in the midst of come from the Field, Go all, be careful to maintain the deepest Humility, and fit down to Meat ?

as in the Presence of GOD your Heavenly Master :
· For who is there of you, that if he has a Servant

ploughing his Ground, or feeding his Flock, will say
to him, as soon as he comes in from the Field, Come

in (d), and fit down at the Table with me?
8 And will not rather Or will be not rather say to him; if it was a Part 8
fay unto him, Make ready
wherewith I may sup, and

d of that Servant's Business to do it, Make ready my gird thyself, and serve me, Supper, and gird up thy Garments close about till I have eaten and drunk- thee (e), and wait upon me, while I am eating and en ; and afterward thou dei fhale eat and drink i cere drinking ; and afterwards thou palt eat and drink

9 Doth he thank that thyself? And suppose he thould observe his 9 Servant because he did the Orders with the greatest Diligence, does be think .. Things that were com- himself obliged to thank that

com- himself obliged to thank that Servant, because he manded bim? I trow not.

hath done what was commanded him ? I apprehend
he does not, because he has an Authority over

the Servant, and may justly claim his Obedience
10 So likewise ye, when as Matter of Debt. Now apply this to your 10
ye Thall have done all those own Services : and so likewise ye, when you have
Things which are command-
ed you, fay, We are unpro- faithfully done all that was commanded you in the
fitable Servants : we have exactest Manner, yet sti urely we are worth-

done less and unprofitable Servants (

tend to have merited any Thing from the Hand
of our Master ; for we have done no more than

what

fc) Tou might say to this Sycamore-tree, &C.J I do not apprehend this Text to be entirely parallel to Mat. xvii. 20. pag. 12. In this Connection the Expression seems Proverbial, and to be as if he had said, As the least Degree of miraculous Faith will (as I said before,) produce the greatest Effects, lo the least Degree of true sincere Piety will finally bear a Marr above all Opposition, and enable him to conquer the World.

(d) Come in.) Raphelius proves, that wapeador has often this Sense. Compare Luke xii. 37. and Aits xxiv. 7. See Raphel. Annot. ex Herod. pag. 263, and especially Annot. ex: Xen. pag. 108

(e) Gird' up thy Garments close about thee.] Compare Luke xii. 37. pag. 120.- That Servants used to be girded while waiting on their Masters, iš well shewn by Elfner. Observ... Vol. i. pag. 258, 259. See Note (b) on Luke xii. 35. pag. 119.

(f) Unprofitable Servants.] The Word a XPEOR sometimes signifies wicked; (Rom. iii. 12, Mat. xxv. 30.) but in this Connection iť cannot have that Sense. I entirely agree with: Heinsius, that here, and 2 Sam. vi. 22. Septuag. it signifies mean, or inconfiderable, as the best of Men certainly are,

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10.

182 Reflections on an inoffensive and forgiving Spirit.
Sect. 126. what we were by Virtue of our Relation to God, done that which was our

a nd Dependance upon him, indispensably obliged Duty to do.
. to do, as much as any purchased Slave is obliged
to serve his Master. And assure yourselves, that
no Services will be so pleasing to GOD, as those

that are performed with such an humble
II These Discourses, and those above-mentioned, 11 And it came to pass,
happened in our Lord's Journey to the Feast of as he went to Jerusalem,

that he passed thro' the the Dedication ; and as he went to Jerusalem to Midst of Samaria and Galiattend it (g), be passed thro' the Midst of Samaria lee. and Galilee, taking those Parts of Samaria in his Way, that lay next to Galilee.

IMPROV E M E N T. Luke xvii. I ET us renew our Guard against every Thing in our Conduct, which I, 2. I might give Offence to the Meanest and Weakest ; and against every

Thing, which might by a bad Example mislead others, or furnish the

Enemies of Religion with Matter of Reproach and Accusation against it. Ver. 3, 4. Let us imbibe the forgiving Spirit of the Gospel, and bearing in Mind

the numberless Instances in which God has forgiven us, tho' we have sinned against him not only seven Times, but seventy Times seven ; let us arm ourselves in some Degree with the same Mind, and endeavour to forbear, and forgive one another, even as GOD for Christ's Sake bas freely

forgiven us. Eph. iv. 32. and Col. iii. 13. Ver. 5. In a Sense of the Weakness of our Faith, let us pray to Christ to in

crease it; and then those Duties will be discharged with Ease and De

light, which appeared most difficult in a distant Prospect. Yet when Ver. 7,--10. Faith and Patience have had their most perfect Work, when our Master's

Will has been borne with the most entire Submission, and done with the
most zealous Dispatch, let us not pretend to place any Merit in our own
Actions or Su ; but let us think of ourselves as the Servants of
GOD, yea, as unprofitable Servants, whose Goodness extendeth not to our

Great Master: And to the Riches of his Grace let us ascribe it, that our
· feeble Powers are strengthened to the Performance of our Duty; and that
our worthless Services are accepted, and the numberless Deficiencies of
them mercifully excused.

(8) As he went to Yerusalem. As Luke has related the two little Histories contained in the next Section at some Distance from each other, it is very difficult, (as the attentive Reader will observe,) to place them together without some Tautology. I have therefore in. serted the Introduction to one of them, at the End of this Section ; leaving out the Word bgerelo, it came to pass, which is a mere Expletive; or if it signify any thing, only implies, that what is mentioned in the Context happened in this Journey ; or it may refer to the Discourses Christ had before delivered, as we have observed in the Paraphrafe.

SECT.

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The Time when Jesus should.be received up, draws near.

183

SECT. CXXVII.
CHRIST travelling throSamaria rebukes the intemperate

Zeal of James and John, against those who refused to
grant him Entertainment; and heals Ten Lepers. Luke
ix. 51,---56. XVII. 12,---19.
Luke IX. 51.

Luke IX. 51.
AND it came to pass, IT was observed in the Close of the former Se&. 127.
A when the Time was 1 Section, that our Lord was now on his Jour-
come that he should be re-

Luke IX. ceived ney from Galilee, near the Feast of the Dedica

tion (a): And it came to pass, that as the Days
were now almost fulfilled, in which he knew he
should be received up to Heaven again (b), having

KE

came

dispatched

(a) Near the Feast of the Dedication.) Taking it for granted, that the following Word avaanntews, refers to Christ's Afcenfion, (the Reasons for which I shall give below,) I think this the only Place, where this little Story can properly come in. Most Harmonizers place it just before the Feast of Tabernacles ; (of which we had an Account in the Seventh and Eighth Chapters of John, from Seet. 98. to 105.) and chieAy on their Authority, without a critical Examination, I had mentioned it in that Connection in my Sermon against Perfecution; pag. 3. But I am now convinced, that could not be the Time ; not only as it would increase the Difficulty, by supposing Luke then to say, that the Time of his being received up was fulfilled, tho it must have been above Half a Year before his Death ; but chiefly, because that was not the last Journey he made from Galilee to Jerusalem, and because, (as we observed. on John vii. 1o. Note (b), pag. 44.) he made that Journey with all possible Secrecy ; whereas here he had a Train of Attendants. - No Commentators (on our Interpretation of ararnalews). have, for the obvious Reason hinted above, thought of placing it higher ; and lower I think it cannot be brought : For tho' I was once strongly inclined to take the Words in their most literal Sense, and to conclude this happened when Christ was going from Galilee to ferufalem just before his Ascension, after having manifested his Resurrection by his Appearance: to the Five hundred Brethren, i Cor. xv. 6. (compare Mat. xxviii. 7, 16,-18.) I have been obliged to give up that Hypothesis, considering that he never after his Resurrection appeared so publickly as in this Story, (compare Acts i. 3. x. 40, 41.) and that he had then no Difficulties to expect at Jerusalem, against which he should stedfaftly set his Face. And as for his Journey to Jerusalem just before the Paliver at which he suffered, he went from Ephraim near the Wilderness, (ohn xi. 54.) and passed thro' Jericho: (Luke xix. 1.) So that Samaria did not lie in his Way. Nor is there, that I can find, any Proof that he ever went back to Galilee, between the Feast of Dedication, and his Death ; which I think sufficiently accounts for the Use of the Phrase, of the Days or Time being fulfilled, &c.

(b) As the Days were fulfilled, in which he hould be received up: SV 7W OUMTAMPA all tas nusp2s TNS avaintows auld.] In all the Reasonings of the former Note, I have taken it for granted, that araan teos here signifies Christ's being taken up to Heaven: And this is so gene: rally the Signification of the Word, that I wonder any learned Men should have interpreted it in a different Manner. Sir Isaac Newton, merely to suit with his Hypothesis of preserving the Order of Matthew unvaried, strangely supposes, that this Occurrence happened in the first Year of Christ's Preaching ; (Newt. on the Prophecies, pag. 153.) and interprets the Passage before us, as if araanfas were the same with avatogen, a renewed Entertainment;

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