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and Mews bim, whom he should consider as his Neighbour. 89 ing in Oyl and Wine, and in some of the Oil and Wine, which he had taken Sect. 107. set him on his own Beast,

it, with him, as part of the Provisions for his Jour- w and brought him to an Inn, and took Care of him. ney; (compare Gen. xxviii. 18.) and setting him Luke X. 34.

on his own Beast, because he was incapable of
walking, be held him up as he rode, and with
the tenderest Care brought him fafely to an Inn,
where he had some Acquaintance; and there took
farther Care of him, that he should be lodged, and

accommodated in a proper Manner that Night.
35 And on the Morrow And the next morning, as he departed from the 35
when he departed, he took Inn, be took out of his Purse Two Denarüior Ro-
out Two Pence, and gave
them to the Hoft, and said man Fence (2, and gave them i

Said man Pence (1), and gave them to the Landlord of unto him, Take Care of the House; and at the same Time said to him, him ; and whatsoever thou Take all possible Care of this poor wounded Stranspendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

ome ger, and let him want for nothing; and whatsoever

more thou shalt spend on his Account, I will repay

thee as I come back. 36 Which now of these Now, said our Lord to the Lawyer he was dif- 36 , Three, thinkest thou, was coursing with, wbich of these Three Persons, the Neighbour unto him that Prient ;

c . fell among the Thieves ?

Priest, the Levite, or the compassionate Samaritan,

dost thou think, was the Neighbour of this poor Man
37 And he said, He that that fell among the Robbers? And he said, 37.
Thewed Mercy on him. Undoubtedly it was he that had Mercy upon him,
Then said Jesus unto bim, notwithstanding he was a Person of another Na-
Go, and do thou likewise.

tion and Religion. Then said Jesus to him, If this
seem so amiable an Example to thee, go thou, and
do likewise ; and if thou findest even a Samaritan
in the like Distress, consider him as thy Neigh-
bour, and as chearfully perform all these friendly
Offices to him ; For those Pretensions to Religion
are but vain, which do not inspire Men with such
universal Humanity and Benevolence.

(1) Two Denarii, or Roman Pence.] These were in Value about Fifteen Pence of our Money. It is a very probable Circumstance, that a Man travelling without any Attendants, and now going out to a considerable Distance from Home, should not have more to spare ; especially as he was to travel thro' so dangerous a Road, and so it would have been very imprudent to charge himself with much more Money, than he was like to want in his Journey; which would be the lefs, as it was usual for Travellers in those Parts to carry their Provision with them. Compare Gen. xxviii, 18. and Joj, ix, 12, 13.

VOL. II,

IMPROVES

90

Reflečtions on the Exercise of Charity and Benevolence..

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IMPROV E M E N T. Sect. 107. O F how great Importance is it, that we should every one of us be in

U good Earnest making this Enquiry, which the Scribe addressed to our Luke x. 25. Lord, What shall I do that I may inherit Eternal Life! What ought we

not willingly to do, and to bear, that we may secure so great a Felicity ? Ver. 26. Still will our Lord answer us from his Word, that we must keep the Com

mandments of GOD, while we are looking to him as the End of the Law for Righteousness. (Rom. x. 4.) Happy are they that faithfully do it, that. throʻ the Grace manifested in the Gospel they may have a Right to eat of the Tree of Life! (Rev. xxii. 14.)

May this Abstract and Summary of the Commandments be written, as

it were in Golden Characters, on the Table of each of our Hearts! May Ver. 27. we love the Lord our GOD with all the united Powers and Faculties of

our Souls, and our Neighbour as fincerely and fervently as ourselves ! And

may we learn from this beautiful Parable of the good Samaritan, to exercise

; our Charity to our Fellow-Creatures, in the most amiable Manner!'. Ver. 31, 32. The Jewish Priest and Levite had, no doubt, the Ingenuity to find out

some Excuse or other, for passing over to the other Side; and might, perhaps,

formally thank God for their own Deliverance, while they left their Broe ther to bleed to Death for Want of their Aflistance. Is it not an Emblem

of many living Characters, perhaps of some, whose Sacred Office lays

them under the strongest Obligations to distinguished Benevolence and Ver. 33. Generosity? But the good Samaritan acted the Part of a Brother to this

expiring Few. Ob Seed of Israel! ob House of Levi, and of Aaron! will not the Day come, when the humane Virtues of Heathens Thall rise up in

Judgment against thee! Ver. 33,-35. " 35? »

Let us reflect with Shame, what are the Differences between one

Let us fence with yumuu" Christian and another, when compared with those between a Samaritan and a few! Yet here the Benevolence of a good Heart overcame even these ; and in the View of a wounded dying Man, forgot that he was by Nation an Enemy. Whose Heart does not burn within him, whose Eyes do not

overflow with Tears of Delight, while he reads such a Story? Let us go, Ver. 37 and do likewise, regarding every Man as our Neighbour, who needs our

Assistance. Let us exclude every malignant Sentiment of Bigotry and
Party Zeal, which would contract our Hearts, into an Insensibility for all
the Human Race, but a'little select Number, whose Sentiments and Prac-
tices are so much our own, that our Love to them is but Self-Love reflected.
With an honest Openness of Mind let us always remember the Relation
between Man and Man, and feel and cultivate that happy Instinct, by
which God, who has formed our Hearts in many Instances alike, has in
the original Constitution of our Nature, strongly and graciously bound them
to each other.

SECT.

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· CHRIST comes to Bethany, and is entertained there.

SE CT. CVIII.
CHRIST visits his Friends at Bethany; and commends the

Diligence with which Mary attends bis Preaching, while
her Sister Martha was too anxious about the Entertainment
of her Guests. Ļuke X. 38, to the End.. .
LUKE X. 38.

LUKE X. 38.
Now it came to pafs, . A BOUT this Time (a) our Lord quitted Sect. 108.

as they went, that he . A Jerusalem, and set out on his last Journey entered into a certain Vila lage: and a certain Woman,

from thence to Galilee, the Feast of Tabernacles named Martha, received him being fully concluded, as was observed above. . into her House.

Now it came to pass, as they were on their yourney,
he entered, with many of his Attendants, into a cer-
tain neighbouring Village called Bethany; (com-
pare John xi. 1. Sect. 139.) and a certain pious
Woman, whose Name was Martha, with the most

chearful Hospitality received him into her House,

. .. thinking herself greatly honoured by such a Visit. 39 And she had a Sifter. And she had a sister called Mary, who being 39 called Mary, which also fat desirous to improve this happy Opportunity of at Jesus Feet, and heard his

advancing in Divine Knowledge and a Religious Word.

Temper, fate down at the Feet of Jesus; as an
humble Disciple (b); and beard with most diligent
and pleasing Attention bis wise and gracious Dif-
course, which, as his usual Practice was, he began,
as soon as he came in, to address to those that were

about him.
40 But Martha was cum- But Martha, too solicitous about the Va- 40
bered about much serving, riety and Elegance of the Entertainment she in-

and

tended for her Sacred Guest and the Company
with him, was exceedingly burried (c) and per-

plexed la) About this Time.] I express myself in this indeterminate Manner, as to the Date of this little, but very instructive Story, because I apprehend the Evangelist has not exactly determined when it happened, which it was of no Importance for us exactly to know. It might very possibly be just at this Time ; at least, the Want of any sufficient Reason for transposing it, obliges me, on the Rules I have laid down to myself, to introduce it here.

b) Sate down at the Feet of Jesus, as an humble Disciple. It is well known, that this was the Posture, in which Learners attended on their Teachers, (compare Luke viii. 35. and Acts xxii. 3.) and likewise grew into a Proverb, for humble and diligent Attention. See the Authors cited by Wolfius, in loc. and especially Vitringa, Synag. lib. i. part. 2. cap. 6.

(c) Was exceedingly hurried.] The Word Wepeo malo properly signifies, to be drawn (as it were) different Ways at the same Time, and admirably expresses the Situation of a Mind M 2

sur

me Story, becauce ho Importapace for any luficiente che

92 Mary's Attention to his Word is better than Martha's Care. Se&t. 108. plexed about much serving ; and coming in to the and came to him, and said, w Room where Jesus was, he, not without some Lord, doit thou not care

that my Sister hath left me *. 40. Warmth and Discontent, expressed how much she to serve alone ? bid her

was offended at it, and said, Lord, dost thou not therefore that the help me.
mind, that my Sister has left me to provide and serve
up the Entertainment alone, which is more than I
can well manage ; whịle the sits here as calmly, as
if the had no Concern in it? I would not take
upon me to call her away from thy Presence my-
felf; but I beg, that thou wouldīt interpose in the
Matter ; Speak to ber therefore, that she may lend
her helping Hand with mine (d), and let her then
sit down to hear thee discourse, when the Enter-

tainment is over.
41 And Jesus in Reply said to her, Oh Martha, 41 And Jesus answered,
Martha, thou art over anxious, and disturbed with and said unto her, Martha,.

Martha, thou art careful restless Agitation of Spirit (e) about many Things, and troubled about many

which might well have been spared on fuch an Things: 42 Occasion as this : But let me tell thee, my 42 But one thing is

dear Friend, that there is One Thing absolutely needful. And Mary hath necessary (f), and of infinitely greater Importance, mall not be taken away

chosen that good Part which than any of these domestick and secular Cares: from her. And Mary is wisely attending to that'; therefore instead of reproving her, I must rather declare, that the has chosen what may eminently be called the good. Part (s), which, as it shall not be finally

taken

Mimaried; especialfour Bleffed Redem might have condho knows which to a

furrounded with so many Objects of Care, that it hardly knows which to attend to first. She had probably Servants, to whom she might have committed these Affairs; and the Humility and Moderation of our Blessed Redeemer would have taken up with what liad been less exactly prepared ; especially as she had so valuable, and so signal an Opportunity, of improving her Mind in Divine Knowledge.

(d) Lend her helping Hand with mine.) This is the exact Import of ouravondbreis which is also with the utmost Propriety used for the Alliance, which the Spirit of GOD gives to the Infirmities of our frail Nature. Rom. viii. 26. . (e) Difurbed with restless Agitation of Spirit.] The Word tup Geln is no where elfe used in the New Testament. It seems to express the restless Situation, of a Person in a tumultuous Croud, where so many are pressing upon him, that he can hardly stand his Ground; or of Water in great Agitation.

f) There is One Thing abfolutely necessary : gvos de ESI Xped.) This is one of the gravest and most important Apothegms, that ever was uttered ; and one can scarce pardon the frigid Impertinence of Theophylact and Bafil, who explain it, as if he had said, One Dish of Meat is enough.

(8) The good Part.] That Mepis signifies a Portion, there can be no reasonable Doubt; but that here is any Allusion to the Custom, of sending the best Portion of an Entertainment to a Guest, to whom peculiar Honour was intended, seems too great a Refinement, and not exactly suitable to the Occasion; tho' some considerable Criticks have defended it. (See Wolfius, in loc, and Ellner, Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 225, 226.) I think, rendering Thu cegadny jeepida,

the

Reflections on the Regard due to the One Thing needful. 93

taken away from her, I would not now hinder her Sect. 108.
from pursuing ; but rather invite thee to join with
her in her Attention to it, tho’ the Circumstances

moo Luke X. 42.
of our intended Meal should not be so exactly ado
justed, as thy fond Friendship could desire,

IMPROV E M E N T.

d o steadily and zealously did our Blessed Lord pursue his Work, with Luke x. 38,

such unwearied Diligence, and constant Affection. No sooner is he 39. entered into the House of this pious Friend, but he sets himself to preach the Word of Salvation, and is the fame in the Parlour, which he had been in the Temple. Oh Mary, how delightful was thy Situation! Who would not rather have fate with thee at the Feet of Jesus, to bear his Wisdom, than have filled the Throne of the greatesť Prince upon Earth! Blessed were thine Eyes in what they faw, thine Ears in what they heard, and thine Heart in what it received and embraced, and treasured up as Food, which would endure to everlasting Life!

How unhappily was her good Sister deprived of the Entertainment of these golden Moments, while hurried about Meats and Drinks, and Tables Ver.-40. with their Furniture, till the loft, not only her Opportunity, but her Temper too; as it is indeed hard to preserve it, without a resolute Guard, amidit the Croud and Clamour of domestick Cares ! Happy that Mistress of a numerous Family, who can manage its Concerns with the Meekness and Com polure of Wisdom, and adjust its Affairs in such a Manner, a that it may not exclude the Pleasures of Devotion, and cut her off from the Means of Religious Improvement ! Happy the Man, who in a pressing Variety of fecular Basiness is not so cumbered and carefül, as to forget that One Thing which is absolutely needful; but refolutely chuses this better Ver. 41;.423Part, and retains it as the only secure and everlasting Treasure ! Oh that this comprehensive important Sentence were ever before our Eyes ! oh that. it were inscribed deep upon our Hearts ! One Thing is needful. And what is this One Thing, but the Care of the Soul ? what, but a humble Attention to the Voice, and the Gospel of Christ ? Yet, as if this were of all Things the most unnecessary, for what poor trifling Care is it not commonly forgot? yea, to what worthless Vanity is it not daily facrificed ?

Let the Ministers of Christ, let the Friends of Souls in every Station, exert themselves, that all about them may be awakened duely to regard this great Interest ; accounting it their Meat, and their Drink, to promote

it..

the good Part, is more forcible, as well as more literal, than our Translation; as it intimates nothing else to deserve the Name of a good Part, when compared with this. Compare Mat, xix, 17. Sect. 137.

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