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And again goes out of the City in the Evening.

to have rejected it will prove a Man ignorant of Sect. 150.

God, and alienated from true Religion and Good49 For I have not spoken ness. For I have not spoken of myself, either John of myself ; but the Father on my own Motion, or on any precarious Con

· 49. which sent me, he gave me

Commandment. what I clusions drawn from Principles divinely taught : should say, and what I should but the Father who sent me, he gave me ample speak.

Instructions, and a particular Commandment, what

I should say, and what I fall yet speak in that Part 50 And I know that his of my Work which is still before me. And 50 Commandment is Life ever. I will faithfully conform myself to his Instruclasting : whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father tions, whether Men be pleased, or offended with

nto me, so I speak. me ; for I know that his Commandment is of the pohon X!l.:. p.420. greatest Consequence, and that Eternal Life de

pends upon the Knowledge and Observance of
it; and therefore I would by no means vary in a
Matter of so much Importance ; but whatever I
say unto you, I speak it, just as the Father bas.
given it me in Charge, and alter nothing in the
Message he has sent me to deliver. So that the
Doctrine which I preach should be received as
coming from the Father, and by rejecting it you

will be guilty of despising his Authority. MARK XI. 18. And the Thus did our Lord continue to reform Abuses, Mark XL. Scribes and Chief Priests and to teach the People, with the utmost Serious- 10 beard it, and fought how they might destroy him : for

ness and Earnestness, on the Second Day of that they feared him, because all Week in which he suffered. And the Scribes and the People was astonished at Chief Priests, were much offended when they his Doctrine.

heard [of it,] and diligently fought how they might
find out some Expedient to destroy bim; for they
not only envied, but dreaded him, becausė all the
People were visibly struck into Attention and Won-
der at his Doctrine, and seemed disposed to re-
ceive it with a Respect proportionable to its Im-

portance and Solemnity.
19 And when Even was. And that he might give them no unseasonable
come, he went out of the Adva

Advantages against him, when the Evening was
come, he went out of the City, and spent the Night,
as he had done before, in a retired Place with his
Disciples.

City.

IMPROVE,

320

Reflections on the Regard due to Christ and his Word.

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Sect. 150. LTOw hard is it to purge a carnal Heart, and disentangle it from

the Snares of a deceitful World ! No sooner were these Traders Mark xi.

driven from the Temple, but they return to it again ; and are as busy 15,--17:

the next Day in the Pursuit of their unlawful Gain, as they had been before. And thus how often are Convictions stified by the Love of this World ? and if the Voice of Conscience, or the Word of God, may interrupt us for a while in our unlawful Courses, yet where it may affect our Worldly Interest, how ready are we to return to them again? and with what Difficulty are we brought, so far to lay aside our Earthly Projects, as not to také them into the House of GOD? Purge us, oh Lord, from every irregular Desire; pursue, and perfect thine own Work ; and incline our Hearts unto thy Testimonies, and not unto Covetousness!

(Psal. cxix. 36 John xii. 44, Most important is that Proclamation, which our Lord made in the 45. Temple, and is still making to us in his Word : Believing in him, we

believe in the Father ; and seeing him, we see the Father. Let us be ready therefore to receive him out of Regard to his Divine Authority, as well as with a View to our own Happiness; for without him we can

have no Access unto the Father, nor can we ever see him as a reconciled Ver. 46. GOD.—The sacred Light, which he diffuses around him, is not in

tended merely to amuse our Eyes with pleasing Speculations, but to animate our Hearts with holy Affections, and to guide our Feet into the Way of Peace. (Luke i. 79.) If we desire to escape an Abode in Eternal Dark

ness, and to see Light everlasting, let us faithfully follow him : OtherVer. 48. wise we are condemned already, and that Word which he spake will be

come to us a Savour of Death unto Death, (2 Cor. ii. 16.) and will judge us in the last folemn and dreadful Day, when it shall sentence those who would not be saved by it.

Let us now make that Word the Rule of our Life, which shall then be the Rule of our Judgment. We may most comfortably venture our

Eternal All on the exact Veracity of it. Christ has perfectly fulfilled the Ver. 49, 50. Commission he received from his Father, as one that was faithful to him

that appointed bim; and stands fo compleatly approved in his Sight, that our only Hope is, that we also may be accepted in him, and find Mercy and Grace for his Sake.

SECT.

The Disciples obferve, that the Fig-Tree was withered away.

321

SECT. CLI.
JESUS returning to the City in the Morning, bis Disciples

observe that the Fig-tree was withered away : Being come
into the Temple, he confounds the Members of the Sanhe-
drim, who questioned bis Authority, and reproves them
by the Parable of the complaisant, but disobedient Son.
Mat. XXI. 20,----32. Mark XI. 20, to the End. XII.
1.- Luke XX. 1,----9.-
MARK XI. 20.

MARK XI. 20.
AND in the Morning as N TOW Jesus having spent the Night with his Sect. 151.

they passed by, (when I Disciples in a retired Place without the v the Disciples] saw the Figtree dried up from the Roots, City, returned again to Jerusalem on the Third

Ira 20.
(they marvelled, saying, How Day of the Week in which he suffered: And in
loon is the Fig-tree witber- the Morning, as they were passing by the Spot of
ed away!] (MAT. XXI.
20.)

Ground where he had cursed the barren Fig-tree
on the Day before, wben tbe Disciples saw the Fig-
tree (a) dried up from the very Roots, and so en-
tirely stripped of its Leaves, that tho' it stood at
fome Distance from the Road, they easily discern-
ed the Change; they were greatly struck at the
Sight, and wondered, saying, How soon the Fig-
tree that stands yonder is withered away, tho

seemed so flourishing! And Peter an
remembrance, faith. unto recollecting what had passed, took Notice of it to
him, Mafter, behold, the
Fig-tree which thou curledłt, Jesus, and said unto bim, Rabbi, bebold, the Fig-
is withered away.

tree which thou cursedf" but Yesterday, is now

quite witbered away. 22 And Jesus answering And Yesus answering says unto them, See that 22 faith unto them, Have Faith

you have a stedfaft Faith in GOD, and a full
in God; (MAT. XXI.
21.-

Confidence in his Power and Fidelity, when you
feel him secretly moving on your Spirits, to stir

you

alling to Yesterday it seemed to flour

took Notice of it to

(a) When the Disciples saw the Fig-tree.) Matthew relates this Story of the Fig-tru, as if the Notice that the Disciples took of it, and the Account that Jesus gave them of the Power of Faith, followed immediately upon his curfing it. But Mark has so expressly refer. red these Circumstances to the next Morning, and so particularly mentions Peter's recollecting what had passed before, that it is plain his Order must be followed here, which Matthew has neglected, that he might give us the whole of the Story' together. VOL. II.

(6) Have

Ss

23

Gifficult and extra

heart, but Ihall believe that

322 : Jesus: exhorts them to have Faith in GOD: "";* Sect. 151. you up to any miraculous Operation (6). For 23. For verily I say unto w

I alluredly say unto you, that if you have a firm you, that [if ye have Faith, Mark XI. 20 Í fedfast Faith, and do not doubt of God's only do this which is done to

and doubt not, ye shall not being ready to stand by you, you shall not only do the Fig-tree; but also) whosuch Miracles as ibis of the Fig-tree, but also shallı soever. hall: say unto thị

Mountain, Be thou removed, perform far greater Things'; yea, whosoever under and be thou caft into the Sea; such an Impulfe, and with such a believing Tema and shall not doubt in his per, fall attempt any t

those Things which he faith ordinary, as if he were to say to this Mountain, shall come to pass : fit ihalli which we are now crossing, Be thou removed from be done, and he hall have hence, and thrown into the distant Sea, and Mall whatsoever he faith. [MAT. not at all doubt in bis Mind, but stedfastly believe?

XXI, -21.1. that what he says Mall come to pass, it shall accord-"'.'

ingly be done, (and] shall be to him just as he says. 24 And for this Reason, to encourage you boldly to 24 [And] therefore I say

act as God shall direct and instigate you, I say unto you, What Things sounto you, that whatsoever Things you shall desire, in Prayer,] believe that ye

ever ye defire, [and shall alk fandí ak of God in Prayer, to make it mani- receive them, and ye hall fest that you are sent of him, and to confirm

have them. [MAT. XXI.

22.] ,
your Doctrine, if you believe that you shall actu-
álly receive them, however difficult the Things
may be that you request, yet in such Circum-
stances they shall certainly be done, and you shall

bave them,.. '
25 But still I would subjoirr one Caution ; that if 25 And when ye stand

you expect your Prayers should prevail with God, praying, forgive, if ye have you must take care to offer them in Love, as

ought well as in Faith ; and when you stand praying (C), -- in the. Prefence of that Majesty of Heaven, whom

in the Prefence, of "

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(b) Have Faith in GOD, &c.] It is certain, that the Attempt of performing Miracles in publick was a remarkable Instance of Faith in the Divine Power and Fidelity ; for they were generally introduced by some folemn Declaration of what was iutended, which was in effect a Prediction of immediate Success; (So Peter says, Aąts üi 6. In the Name of 7 ilus Chrift, rise up and walk; ix. 34. Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whale ; and again, ver. 40. Tabitha, arise.) 'And in pronouncing this, the Person speaking pawned all his Credit as. a Messenger from God, and consequently, all the Honour'and Usefulness of his future Life, on the immediate miraculous Energy to attend his Words, and to be visibly exerted on his uttering them. And hence it is, that such a firm couragious Faith is so often urged on those, to whom such miraculous Powers were given. But what kind of Intimation of God's intended miraculous Interposition the Apostles in such Cases felt on their Minds, it is impoffible for any, without having experienced it,, to know. It is therefore an Instance of their Wisdom, that they never pretend to describe it, fince no Words could have convęyed the Idea.

(c) When you stand praying.] There is no room to doubt, that Standing was their usual, Posture, when they prayed; as Dr, Lightfoot observes with respect to the Jews; (Hor. Heb. on Mat. vi. 5.) and the learned Author of the Enquiry into the Worship of the Primitive

Church,

He comes again to Jerusalem, and preaches in the Temple. 323 ought against any: that your you have offended by so many Provocations, you Sect. 151, Father also which is in Hea- should forgive, if you have any Matter of Comyen. may forgive you your Trespasses.

you you plaint against any; that your Fatber in Heaven Markle. 26 But if ye do not for may also forgive you your Trespasses. But if 26 give, neither will your Fa: you do not forgive even your most cruel Enemies, ther which is in Heaven for

and much more your offending Brethren, neither give your Trespasses.

will your Father in Heaven: forgive you your Tref-
paffes: (Compare Mat. 'vi. 14, 15. xvii. 35.) And
if your Trespasses bé not forgiven, you have little
Reason to hope for such extraordinary Interpofi-
tions in Answer to your Prayers; or if those Inter-
positions were to be granted, you would receive no
manner of Advantage from them, while amidst

all the Glory of working the most amazing MiHi...,' . racles, you lay under the Load of Guilt and

Condemnation. · 29And they come againAnd after Jesus had been thus discoursing with 27 to Jerusalem : and (when he his Disciples by the way, they come again to Yewas come into the Temple,]. ILux, it came to pass that rufalem : And when he was come into the Temple. as he was walking, [Luk. it came to pafs, that as be was walking there (d), as he taught the People, and while he taught the People who flocked around preached the Gospel,] there in (LUK. came upon him) the

e him, and' zealously preached the Gospel of the Chief Priests, and the Scribes, Kingdom to all that were desirous to be instructed and the Elders (of the Peo- in it, the Chief Priests, and the Scribes, and the ple ;] (MAT. XX1. 23.- Elders of the People (e), who were contriving his LUKE XX. -1.]. 14:??. ? ? . ?.i . i

! DestrucChurch, (chap. ii. $. 1.) has Thewn to be the Practice of the first Ages of 'the Christian Church. (Compare Mat. vi. 5. and Luke xviii. II.) But as the Word (and] has no particular Significancy here, I might have omitted it in the Translation, as the Prussian Editors have frequently done, but that I do not chuse to multiply Expletives in the Sacred

(d) It came to pass, that as he was walking:] Luke, who tells this, as he does several other Stories, in a less circumstantial Manner, says, it was on one of those Days: But the Insertion of that Clause here would haye been improper, considering how particularly the Date of this Fact is fixed by Mark.- If the Reader should happen elsewhere to meet with the Omiffion of a Word or two in any of the Evangelifts, (which he very feldom will,) I hope he will not condemn it, till he reflect whether it may not be accounted for in the same Manner. . . . . . .

. i : (e) The Chief Priests, and the Elders of the People.] These are Titles that frequently occur, bnt it is not easy to fix a determinate Idea to them. By the Chief Priests, I think, we may understand any of peculiar Distinction in the Aaronic Family : So that it may include the High-Priest, his Deputy or Sagan, any of the Heads of the Twenty-four Courses of Priests who might happen to be in waiting, and likewise any of those whom the Talmudifts call Catholicin, Amarcalin, and Memunnim, who (if their Teftimony may be credited,) were appointed to preside over the other Priests and Levites, and to regulate the Watch, the Singers, &c. A summary Account of them may be seen in Reland, Antiq. Heb. part. ii. cap. 3. §. 4, 5- By the Elders of the People, some would understand those Representatives, who were called Viri Stationarii, that were appointed to attend in their Courses at the Hours of Morning and Evening Sacrifice in the Name of the whole Ifraelitisto

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Nation;

Writings.

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