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Many at laft shall cry in vain to be admitted.

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25.

139
with great Earneftnefs, Lord, Lord, we beseech Sect. 118.
thee that thou wouldst open to us, and receive us:
Be affured, that be, who now fo graciously in- Luke XIII.
vites and waits upon you, fhall then reply to you,
I know you not, who you are, or from whence you
are come; but determine to treat you as Stran-
gers, for whom I have no Friendship or Regard,
and who have never been approved by me.

Some of you may perhaps then plead an inti- 26
mate Acquaintance and profeffed Friendship, and
urge the Privileges that you once enjoyed, and the
confpicuous Figure you made in his Church: But

if any of you can carry it fo far, as that you shall
begin to fay, Lord, we have eaten and drank in thy
Prefence, in a familiar Manner (e), and thou haft
thyfelf lived among us, and often taught in our
Streets and Houses, fo that thou canst not sure
have forgot us : Nevertheless he will perfift in 27
difowning you, and fay, I tell you again, I know
you not, or I regard not, whence you are; all the
former Relation to which you refer, is (as it
were) blotted from my Remembrance, fince your
Hearts were still infincere, and your Lives unfuit-
able to your fair Profeffions; and therefore depart
from me, all ye that habitually practife Iniquity;
for none of your Character fhall ever be admitted
here. (Compare Mat. vii. 22, 23. Vol. i. pag.
267.)

This awful Word, how little foever you may 28
now regard it, fhall wound you to the Heart,
and throw you into Agonies of everlasting De-
fpair: And there fhall be the bittereft weeping and
gnashing of the Teeth for Madness and Rage,
when you shall fee your holy Ancestors Abraham,
and Ifaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets of the
fucceeding Ages, in the Kingdom of GOD; and
fhall find yourselves caft out with Contempt, and

thruft

(e) We have eaten and drank in thy Prefence.] Perhaps fome of the Nine Thousand, whom he had fed by Miracle, may at laft be in this miferable Number. (Compare John vi. 26.) Brennius refers it to their having eaten the Sacrifices prefented to Go D, according to the Mofaic Conftitution. But different Perfons may ufe this Plea in different Senses; and they, who while their Hearts were hardened in Impenitence and Unbelief, have profaned the Lord's Supper by an unworthy Participation of it, will find a fad Senfe peculiar to them felves, tho' it might not be chiefly intended.

S 2

(f) Herod

140

Luke XIII. 29.

Some think to terrify him with a Threatening from Herod :

Sect. 118. thrust back with juft Indignation. Yea, they fhall come from the most distant Heathen Lands, even from the Eaft and the Weft, and from the North and the South, and fhall fit down in joyful Multitudes, at this Heavenly Banquet with your pious Ancestors, in the Kingdom of GOD, while you are excluded from any Share in it. (Compare Mat. viii. 11, 12. and Note (f), Vol. i. pag. 339.)

30

31

And behold, this fhall be the Cafe, not only of a few, but of great Numbers; for there are many, who are now laft in point of religious Advantages, that shall then be firft in Honour and Happiness; and there are many who now appear first, that fall then be found last, and on Account of their abufed Privileges, fhall appear as the most infamous and miferable of Mankind. (Compare Mat. xix. 30. and Mark x. 31. Sect. 137.)

Thefe Things our Lord faid in his Journey thro' Galilee towards Jerufalem; making many Paufes in his Way, that in Confequence of the Shortness of his Stages, he might have an Opportunity of greater Usefulness. And it came to pafs on that Day, when he uttered these Discourses, Some of the Pharifees came, and that they might, if poffible, intimidate, and drive him to a Distance, they faid to him, Go forth, and depart from hence with all poffible Speed, into the Territories of fome other Prince; for Herod the Tetrarch, who is Master here, is at this very Time determined to kill thee (f), as he did John the Baptist, thy Friend and Affociate, and feeks but an Opportunity to effect it.

But

29 And they shall come from the Eaft, and from the Weft, and from the North, and from the South, and shall fit down in the Kingdom of

GOD.

30 And behold, there are

laft which fhall be first, and there are firft which shall be

laft

31 The fame Day there fees, faying unto him, Get came certain of the Pharithee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

(f) Herod is determined to kill thee: Denes de aronlewat.] For the Force of this Phrafe, compare John vii. 17. pag. 47. and Note (a) on John i. 43. Vol. i. pag. 127. It is very probable, confidering both the wicked Character, and fufpicious Temper of Herod, that tho' he had a Curiofity to fee Chrift, (compare Luke ix. 9. xxiii. 8.) he was uneafy at his fpending fo much Time in Galilee, left he should occafion him fome Embarraffment, either with regard to the Jews, or the Romans; yet fearing, after all the Anxiety which the Murther of John the Baptift had given him, to make any Attempt on his Life, he might think fit thus to endeavour to terrify him with an empty Threatening. In this View there would be a peculiar Propriety, in calling him Fox, rather than Lion, Wolf, or Bear; to which favage Beafts the Prophets had fometimes, with a Plainnefs becoming their Character, compared wicked Princes. Compare Zeph. iii. 3. Ezek. xxii. 27. and Prov. xvii. 12.

(8) And

But he is not afraid of his Defign against his Life.

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141

But Jefus was fo far from being at all alarmed Sect. 118.
at this Intimation, that be faid to them with great Luke XIII.
Steadiness, Go, and tell that Fox, that crafty, 32.
wicked, and voracious Prince, Behold, I caft out
Dæmons, and perform Cures in thy Dominions
To-day and To-morrow, and carry on my Work a
little while longer, and the Third Day I fhall be
perfected (g); the appointed Time will quickly
come, when I fhall finish my Course, and have
done all that I intend here. In the mean while, 33
he may well allow me a License to stay in his
Territories fo long, at least on fuch kind and gra-
cious Defigns: Or how foever he may be unwilling
to allow it, yet nevertheless I must go on in this
leifurely Progrefs, (as I juft now faid,) To-day, and
To-morrow, and the Third Day, till the deter-
mined Season comes, in which my Miniftry fhall
be fulfilled: Nor do I fear the Effects of Herod's
Malice; for it cannot be fuppofed that a Prophet
fhould perish, or be put to Death, any where out of
Jerufalem (b); that unhappy City, the Seat of
the fupream Court, challenging, as it were, to
itself the fad Prerogative of being the Slaughter-
houfe of the Meffengers of GOD.

And upon this, turning in Thought at least to- 34.
wards Jerufalem, tho' it lay at the Distance of so
many Miles, he took up a most affectionate La-
mentation over it, and faid, Ob Jerufalem, Jeru-
falem, thou guilty and miferable City! who tho'
thou haft been diftinguished by Divine Favours
beyond any Place on Earth, yet with the utmost
Ingratitude and Cruelty flayeft the Prophets, and'

Stonest

(g) And the Third Day I fhall be perfected.] Many fuppofe, and I think very reasonably, that our Lord is not to be understood, as speaking exactly of Three Days, but of a little Period of Time. See Hof. vi. 2. and compare the Original of Gen. xxxi. 2. Exod. iv. 10. Deut. xix. 4. Joh. iii. 4. 1 Sam. xix. 7. and 1 Chron. xi. 2. in all which Places, Yesterday, and the Third Day, fignifies lately, or a little while ago.On this Interpretation, the Word Texeμai, I shall be perfected, may refer to Chrift's finishing the Work of Redemption, and being by Death confecrated to his Office, as the great High-Prieft and Captain of our Salvation; as the Word is ufed, Heb. ii. 10. v. 8, 9, 10. vii. 27, 28.

(b) It cannot be fuppofed that a Prophet, &c.] John the Baptift had lately perished in Galilee; fo that the Expreffion sx evdexelas can import no more, than this Verfion expreffes, which Elfner has fhewn to be its proper Senfe. (Elfner. Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 242.)Dru fius, Grotius, Knatchbull, and many other eminent Criticks, refer this to the Right which. the Sanhedrim alone had, to punifh a Perfon as a falfe Prophet.

(i). You

34.

142

CHRIST laments over Jerufalem.

Sect. 118. ftonest as the vileft Malefactors those who are fent
unto thee as the Embaffadors of GOD! How often
Luke XIII. would I have gathered thy Children to myself, with
all the Tenderness of Parental Love, and have
fheltered, comforted, and cherished them, even
as a Hen [gathers] her little Brood of Chickens
under her Wings? yet you were ftill regardless of
the Offers of my Grace, and would not be per-
fuaded, to hearken to my Call, and to accept my
35 Favour.
And now alas, behold, and remark
the Prediction and Event, your Houfe is left unto
you defolate; and the Hour is juft at hand, when
your Children, whom I would have gathered to
myself, shall perish, and your Temple shall be ut-
terly deftroyed: And in the mean Time, I affu-
redly fay to you, that I will quickly cease my La-
bours among you, and retire in fuch righteous Dif-
pleasure, that you shall fee me no more, till the Time
come, when, taught by your Calamities, you shall
be ready and difpofed to fay, Bleffed [be] he that
cometh in the Name of the Lord (i), and shall in
vain wish for the Succour of him, whom you now
defpife. (Compare Mat. xxiii. 37,-39. Sect. 158.)

Luke xiii.

35.

Ver. 34.

AN

are fent unto thee: how thy Children together, as a Hen doth gather her Brood under her Wings, and ye would not?

35 Behold, your Houfe is verily I fay unto you, Ye left unto you defolate And fhall not fee me, until the Time come when ye fhall fay, Bleffed is he that com

eth in the Name of the Lord.

IMPROVEMENT.

ND who would not welcome fuch a Saviour, when he appears on fo kind a Defign! Who would not bless him that cometh in the Name of the Lord, to gather our Souls with the tenderest Care, and to shelter us from Wrath and Ruin! that Saviour, whofe Bowels yearned over us, and whose Heart poured forth its Blood for us! Too many reject him, and will not hearken to the kindeft Calls of his compaffionate Voice. Unhappy Creatures! the Time will come, when they too late will be convinced of their fatal Error.

Let

(i) You shall fee me no more, till-you fhall fay, Bleffed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.] Some fuppofing thefe Words refer to the Congratulations, which Christ received on his Entrance into Jerufalem, (Mat. xxi. 9. Mark xi. 10. Luke xix. 38. and John xii. 13. Sect. 146.) urge them as a Reafon for placing this Section after the ixth and xth Chapters of John, or between the Feast of the Dedication, and his laft Paffover. But as our Lord repeats this Expreffion again, after his triumphant Entry, (Mat. xxiii. 39. Sect. 158.) they muft be capable of another Interpretation, and therefore can afford no fuch Argument; nor is there any Intimation of his Return into Galilee between thefe Two Feafts. -It does not imply, they fhould ever fee Jefus at all; but only, that they should earnestly wish for the Meffiab, and in the Extremity of their Diftrefs be ready to entertain any one, who might offer himself under that Character. Compare Luke xvii. 22, 23. Sect. 128.

Reflections on the Neceffity of friving for Heaven.

143

Ver. 23.

Let each of us be folicitous for himself. Away with those vain Curiofi- Sect. 118. ties, which ferve only to amufe, and distract our Thoughts. Let us call, and fix them down, to the great Concerns of our own Salvation: And if we would fecure it, let us prepare to encounter Difficulties, and frive as for our Lives, to break thro' all the Oppofition of our Enemies, and refolutely to enter in at the ftrait Gate. How many have fought it, when Ver. 24. the Door has been barred? and how foon may the great Master of the House Ver. 25. arife, and fut it for ever, against those who are yet trifling!

Let not Hypocrites truft in vain Words. The Workers of Iniquity fhall Ver. 26, 27. be difowned by Christ at laft, tho' they may have eaten and drank in his Prefence. But oh, who can exprefs the Disappointment, the Rage, and Ver. 28, 29, Despair of those, who fall from fuch towering Hopes, and plunge, as from the very Gates of Heaven, into the lowest Abyss of Darkness and Horror! Their Hearts will endeavour to harden themselves in vain; their doleful Cries fhall be diftinguished in that Region of univerfal Horror; but they shall not penetrate the Regions of the Bleffed, nor interrupt the Delight, with which even the dearest of their pious Relatives fhall fit down in the Kingdom of GOD.

If we thro' Grace have more fubftantial Hopes, let us imitate the Zeal Ver. 31-33; and Courage of our Divine Leader; and whatever Threatenings or Dangers may oppose us, let us go on Day after Day, till our Work be done, and our Souls at length perfected in Glory. But let us carefully diftinguish between thofe Things, in which our Lord meant himself as our Pattern, and those which were peculiar to his Office, as a Prophet fent from GOD. That extraordinary Office juftified him, in ufing that Severity of Language, when fpeaking of wicked Princes and corrupt Teachers, to which we have no Call; and by which we should only bring Scandal on Religion, and Ruin on ourselves, while we irritated, rather than convinced or reformed. thofe, whom we undertook fo indecently to rebuke.

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Our LORD being invited to dine with a Pharifee, cures a
Man who had a Dropfy, cautions them against an Af-
fectation of Precedence, and urges them to Works of
Charity. Luke XIV. 1,---14.

LUKE XIV. I.

ND it came to pass, as

AN

LUKE XIV. 1.

The we came to as A AND END it came to pass, that just as our Lord was Sect. 119. finishing his Journey thro' Herod's Domi

of

LukeXIV.1.

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