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I have before said, that this power of working miracles was promised only to those who were to be the propagators of the Gospel, and that it was to be restrained to the age of miracles; but in the verses read to you from St. Matthew and St. Mark, we are to observe, that both the extraordinary and ordinary exertions of faith, must be attended with certain requisites, otherwise they will prove ineffectual; and these requisites are declared in most express terms to be hearty and sincere prayer for Divine assistance, and a forgiving disposition towards each other: and here also it is to be remembered, that such prayer as is here supposed, will never be directed to improper objects. You see then, my Brethren, that whatever petitions you offer unto GOD, you must offer them in faith, nothing wavering*, and that you must not expect to receive blessings or forgiveness of your sins at GoD's hands, if you do not forgive the trespasses of others, and live in charity with all men.

Before I quit this interesting passage, I will offer one observation more for the comfort of all Christians, while they are passing through the changes and chances

* James i. 6..

of this mortal life, which is taken from an Exposition of the New Testament by "This proa very celebrated writer.

mise," says he, "of our Saviour to his disciples, I apprehend, relates chiefly to the enabling them to perform miracles ; yet in a degree it may be applicable to all Christians, as affording them assistance in the midst of difficulties and distresses, which may appear like removing mountains*.

The conversation which arose, and the instructions which were the consequence of it from our LORD to his disciples, passed between them, as they were going. from Bethany to Jerusalem; and here we cannot but admire the great condescension of their Master in thus rendering their walk pleasant by his instructive and edifying discourse; and declare the happiness of the disciples in having so able and willing a teacher at hand, to solve their difficulties, and to lead them into a method of profiting by them. Happy was it for those disciples, that they had a living monitor with them! and happy is it for us, would we but acknowledge, and make a right use of, the blessing, that the same monitor instructs us, as powerfully and as effectually, by his written word!.

* Gilpin.

JESUS and his disciples had now reached the city: the former well knowing, the latter ignorant of, what was, in a short time, to befall them there. Had the disciples then known it, they might perhaps have been intimidated: but the zeal of the Master,-increased rather than diminished by this knowledge, -led him to the place where his enemies were contriving his destruction. JESUS went again into the temple, and there began, as he had the two preceding days, to instruct the people; who, hearing that he was come, flocked around him with great eagerness, and were attentive to hear the gracious doctrine of the Gospel, which, with mild persuasion and insinuating address, he delivered unto them.

Here we have another opportunity of remarking the different conduct of the multitude who were there assembled to hear him, and of the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people who were as desirous to entangle him in his talk, and to discover something in it that they might accuse him.

This day and the following we find him engaged in great variety of discourse, and delivering many instructive parables, which are related by the evangelists at large. Those are included in the occur

rences of the day, which therefore I will endeavour to bring to your recollection as briefly, as I can; but I fear with too much brevity, to do justice to the narrative*.

While, as has been observed, the people heard him gladly, the chief priests, the scribes and the elders sought to destroy him, entering on their malicious design by demanding his authority for doing what he had lately done in the temple, and who gave him that authority? Without giving a direct answer to their question, JESUS asked them, Whether the baptism of John was of heaven or of men? Their pretended ignorance determined JESUS. to vouchsafe no answer to their question..

*The latter part of this, and the former part of the following lecture, consisting of the parables which our blessed LORD spake, and of the various conversation in which he was engaged on tuesday, would have taken up too much time to be delivered from the pulpit in one discourse; I therefore thought it better to defer them, till I had taken notice of the other occurrences of the week, and then to deliver them in two separate discourses: but as that objection need not operate against interweaving them here in the order in which they were spoken, I have introduced some of them in this lecture, and the rest, although they were spoken on tuesday, in the lecture for wednesday, previous to the recital of the occurrences of that day..

His they could not answer without acknowledging John's mission to be divine, which would in fact have been to own CHRIST'S to be so too: an acknowledgement which their malice prevented, and their envy disdained.

The chief priests and his other enemies being thus unexpectedly baffled and silenced, are reproved for their malice and ingratitude by the parable of the two sons, who were commanded by their father, to go and work that day in the vineyard; comparing them to that son, who said unto his father, I go, sir, but went not : and declaring them to be more wicked in not receiving John the Baptist, than the publicans and harlots who believed his preaching; and consequently that their excuse would be less satisfactory, and their condition more deplorable.

This rebuke of these hypocritical priests and elders in the temple was followed by another parable, setting forth the ingratitude of the Jews in persecuting the prophets, and crucifying the LORD of life. The parable is that of a vineyard which had been well improved, and let out to husbandmen, when the master was about to go into a far country for a long time. These husbandmen are represented as ill using the servants of the householder→

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