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34

Ver. 26.

Reflections on an unforgiving and revengeful Spirit. Sect. 95. fore might he caft us into the Prison of Hell, till we paid the uttermoft Farthing. And were we to fall at his Feet, with a Promife of paying him all on his patient Forbearance, it must be the Language of grofs Ignorance, or of prefumptuous Folly; when addreffed to a Being, who knows our Poverty, and knows that, in Confequence of it, we are utterly incapable of making him any Amends. But he magnifies his Grace in the kind Offers of a free Forgiveness: And fhall we who receive it, and hold our Lives, and all our Hope by it, take our Brethren by the Throat, because they owe us a few Pence? or fhall we carry along with us deep continued Refentment, glowing like a hidden Fire in our Bofoms? GOD forbid! For furely if we do fo, out of our own Mouth fhall we be condemned, while we acknowledge the Juftice of the Sentence here paffed against this cruel Servant.

Ver. 27.

Ver. 28.

Ver. 34.

Ver. 35..

Chrift himself has made the Application: So fhall my Heavenly Father deal with you, if you do not forgive your Brethren: And he has instructed us elsewhere, to afk Forgiveness only as we grant it. (Mat. vi. 14, 15.) Let us then from this Moment difcharge our Hearts of every Sentiment of Rancour and Revenge, nor ever allow a Word, or even a Wish, that favours of it. And as ever we hope our Addreffes to the Throne of Divine Mercy fhould meet with a favourable Audience, let us lift up holy Hands, without Wrath, as well as without Doubting. (1 Tim. ii. 8.)

Sect. 96.

Mark IX.

38.

SECT. XCVI.

CHRIST reproves John, for prohibiting one, who caft out Dæmons in his Name, because he was not of their Company. Mark IX. 38,---41. Luke IX. 49, 50.

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(a) Interrupted our Lord.] I have inferted this Story apart here, that the Thread of the preceding Difcourfe might not be broken; that the 93d Section might not be lengthened beyond due Bounds; and that I might have Room to illuftrate and improve this Paffage, which, tho' fhort, has both its Difficulty, and its Use.

(b) Cafting

one cafting out Devils in thy Name, and he followeth not us and we forbad him, [becaufe he followeth not with us.] [LUKE IX. 49.]

35

Mark IX.

38.

A Stranger afting in the Name of CHRIST, is not to be forbid. anfwered him, when he had just been urging a Sect. 96. Readiness to receive one of the leaft of his Servants in his Name, (Mark ix. 37. pag. 20.) by faying, Mafter, while we were in our late Progrefs, we Jaw one cafting out Dæmons in thy Name (b), who does not follow us, nor converfe with us as Brethren: And we forbad him to do it any more, because he does not follow thee among us, and never had, as we apprehend, any regular Commiffion from thee, and fo might poffibly have proved an Occafion of Neglect or Reproach to the reft of thy Difciples.

39 But Jefus faid [unto him,] Forbid him not: for there is no Man which fhall do a Miracle in my Name, that can lightly speak Evil of me. [LUKE IX. 50.-]

40 For he that is not a

gainst us, is on our Part.

[LUKE IX.-50.]

41 For whofoever fhall give you a Cup of Water to

drink,

But Jefus faid unto him, Do not forbid him at 39 prefent; for to be fure he must have fome Reverence and Regard for me, fince there is no Man, who shall be seen to work fuch a Miracle in my Name, that can quickly, or on any flight Occasion, Speak Evil of me. And be that Regard ever fo 40 imperfect, I would not difcourage fuch Perfons now: For with refpect to them, and in a Cafe like this, I may ufe a Proverb, (the Reverse of that which I mentioned on a different Occafion,) and fay, Whosoever is not against us, is for us (c); and therefore I would by no means condemn a Man for doing that, by which the Kingdom of Satan is in Fact weakened, and my Name glorified, tho' he have not my immediate and express Commiffion. I rather take it in good Part, as 41 I am willing to do any Thing, that looks like a Token

(b) Cafting out Demons in thy Name.] Probably this was a Cafe, fomething resembling that of the Sons of Sceva: (Acts xix. 13-16.) And GoD might fee Reason now, to grant that Efficacy to their Adjurations, which he afterwards denied, when the Evidences. of the Gofpel were propofed fo much more diftinctly and fully, after the Defcent of the Spirit.Dr. Clarke fuppofes, that he was one of John the Baptift's Difciples.

(c) Whosoever is not against us, is for us.] Our Lord had formerly faid, (Mat. xii. 30.) He that is not with me, is against me; thereby giving his Hearers a juft and neceffary Admonition, that on the whole, the War between him and Satan admitted of no Neutrality, and that thofe who were indifferent to him, would finally be treated as his Enemies. (See Sect. 61. Vol. i. pag. 375.) But here, in another View, he very confiftently ufes a different and feemingly oppofite Proverb, the Counterpart of the former, directing his Followers to judge of Men's Characters in the most candid Manner, and charitably to hope, that they who did not oppose his Caufe, wifhed well to it; a Conduct peculiarly reasonable, when his Caufe lay under so many Difcouragements. Probably many who now concealed their Regard to him, were afterwards animated couragiously to profefs it, tho' at the greatest Hazard. I cannot, with Mr. Baxter, think an exprefs Declaration in his Favour, to have been more neceffary in the former Cafe, than now; but it is moft obvious, that Chrift requires us, to be more rigorous in judging ourselves, than he allows us to be in judging each other.

36

Mark IX. 41.

Reflections on an envious and cenforious Temper.

Sect. 96. Token of Esteem and Affection to me, be it ever fo inconfiderable; for, as I formerly told you, (Mat. x. 42. Vol. i. pag. 472.) whoever shall preJent you with a Cup of cold Water only in my Name, that is, because you belong to Chrift, verily I fay unto you, He fhall not lofe his proportionable Reward. And fo he went on, to warn them of the Danger of offending any of the weakest of his Difciples, in the Manner recounted and explained above. See pag. 20.

Markix. 38.

Ver. 39, 40.

Ver. 41.

I th

drink, in my Name, because fay unto you, He shall not ye belong to Christ, verily I lofe his Reward.

IMPROVEMENT.

T is fad, that the Spirit which remains in fo many Chriftians, and in this Inftance appeared even in the beloved Saint John, fhould (as the Apostle James expreffes it,) luft unto Envy: (Jam. iv. 5.) How ill does that Spirit become a Difciple, and much more a Minifter, of the benevolent Jefus! The Apostle Paul had learnt, and taught a better Temper,, when he rejoiced that Chrift was preached, even by those who were his perfonal Enemies. (Phil. i. 18.) To feek our own Glory, is not Glory; (Prov. xxv. 27.) and to confine Religion to them that follow us, is a Narrowness of Spirit which we should avoid and abhor.

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Chrift here gives us a lovely Example of Candor and Moderation: He was willing to put the best Conftruction on dubious Cafes, and to treat thofe as Friends, who were not avowed and declared Enemies. Perhaps in this Inftance, it might be a Means of overcoming a Remainder of Prejudice, and perfecting what was wanting in the Faith and Obedience of the Perfons in Question; at leaft it fuited the prefent State of Things, in which Men are to be judged of by their Profeffions and Actions, as their Hearts cannot immediately and certainly be known.

But let us judge ourselves with greater Severity, remembering there is an approaching Day, in which the Secrets of all Hearts will be made manifeft; in which those, who have indeed been Neuters in the War between Chrift and Satan, will be treated as Enemies; and thofe other Words will be fulfilled, He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, Scattereth abroad. (Mat. xii. 30. and Luke xi. 23.)

In that Day, may the Sincerity of our Hearts be discovered; and then we may rejoice in this repeated Affurance, that the leaft of our Services, fhall be kindly remembered, and abundantly rewarded according to the Riches of Divine Bounty and Grace..

SECT.

CHRIST chufes Seventy Difciples,

SE C T. XCVII.

Our LORD fends out the Seventy Difciples with large Inftructions, like thofe he had before given to the Twelve Apoftles. Luke X. 1,---16.

LUKE X. I.

1

LUKE X. I.

37

AFTER thefe Things; AFTER thefe Things the Lord Jefus, intending Sect. 97.

Lord appointed other Seventy alfo, and fent them Two and Two before his Face, into every City and Place, whither he himfelf would come..

2 Therefore faid he unto

when the approaching Feast of Tabernacles was over (a), to make one Journey more over the Country, in the laft Half Year he was to spend on Earth, fixed upon Seventy others of his Difciples alfo, befides the Twelve Apostles fo frequently, mentioned before, (fee Luke ix. 1, & feq. Sect. 74.). and fent them out before him, Two and Two together, into every City, and more private Place, into which he himself intended fhortly to come; and thus, as it were, divided the whole Country into Thirtyfive leffer Circuits.

Luke X. I..

And he gave them many important Inftructions, 2 them, The Harvest truly is nearly refembling those which he had before adgreat, dreffed to the Apoftles; and he faid therefore to. them (b), as he had to their Brethren, (Mat. ix.

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(a) When the approaching Feast of Tabernacles was over.] It feems to me much more. reafonable to fuppofe, that Chrift fent out the Seventy before the Feast of Tabernacles, than after it; confidering how little Time he had, between that, and the Feast of Dedication, in which Interval he difpatched his laft Circuit in Galilee. To take from thofe three Months, all the Period to be allowed for their Journey and Return, feems inconvenient. But it is aftonishing, that Mr. Le Clerc, and fome others, fhould fuppofe, that these Inftructions were given to them in Chrift's Journey to the above-mentioned Feat: For, not to mention the Impoffibility, of holding a Difcourfe with fuch a Number of People on the Road, about an Affair of fuch Importance; it is exprefsly faid, John. vii, 10. that he went up to the Feaft of Tabernacles privately; which is utterly inconfiftent with his being attended with fuch Train as Seventy, or (according to that Author,) Eighty-two Perfons.; for Le Clerc fup-poles, the Twelve were alfo with him.I fhall elsewhere give my Reasons, why I fuppofe the Story of the Samaritans refusing him Entertainment, (tho' recorded Luke ix. 51, -56.) to have happened later than this. At prefent I would only obferve, that the Expreffion, after thefe Things, in the Beginning of this Chapter, may either refer to the. Stories immediately preceding, in the Clofe of the former, from ver. 57, to the End, or to the. general Series of Events recorded above, tho' (as I think the Evangelift himself strongly intimates,) one little Hiftory be tranfpofed. See Sect. 127. Note (d).

a

(b) He faid therefore to them.] Luke is the only Evangelift, who has given us this Account: of Chrift's fending out the Seventy; and it is the lefs to be wondered at, that he should do it: fo particularly, if the antient Tradition be true, which Origen and Epiphanius have mentioned, that he was himself one of the Number. See Dr. Whitby's Preface to Luke, where

he

Luke X. 2.

And fends them out with large Inftructions.

great, but the Labourers are few Pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harveft, that he would fend forth Labourers into his Harveft.

38 Sect. 97. 37, 38. Vol. i. pag. 453.) The Harvest is indeed great, and many Souls are to be gathered in, but Souls are to be gathered in, but the faithful Labourers are as yet very few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harvest, that he would, by his immediate Accefs to the Spirits of Men, urge more Labourers to come forth to the Work of his Harvest, tho' it may prove fo fatiguing and hazardous, that they are naturally averfe to it (c). 3 And as for you, go your Ways with all the Refolution and Zeal you can employ in your Mini- hold, I fend you forth as ftry, as indeed you will need it all; for behold, I fend you forth as fo many defenceless Lambs, in 4 the Midft of ravenous and cruel Wolves.

5

Yet as

you go under the fingular Care of Divine Provi-
dence, carry not with you any Purfe of Money,
nor even a Scrip for your Provifions, nor any
more Shoes than you have now on your Feet; nor
stay so much as to falute any Man, as you pafs by
him on the Way (d); but let it evidently appear
to all who see you, that your Thoughts are full
of the great Errand on which you go.

And in all the Stages of your Journey, carry
along with
thofe benevolent Affections, which
you
are fo well fuited to the Design of Miffion :
your
Into whatever House therefore you fhall happen to
come, at your first Entrance fay, Peace be upon
this Houfe, and pray that Profperity and Happi-
6 nefs may attend the whole Family.
And if
any Son and Heir of Peace, or any truly good
Man, who is worthy of fuch Bleffings, be there

in

3 Go your Ways: beLambs among Wolves.

4 Carry neither Purfe, nor Scrip, nor Shoes; and falute no Man by the Way.

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he has fhewn this to be highly probable, and no Way inconsistent with what Luke has said at the Beginning of his Gospel.

(c) That he would urge more Labourers, &c.] As both Luke here, and Matthew in a parallel Paffage, (Mat. ix. 38. pag. 453.) ufe the Word excaλan, which literally fignifies to thruft out, I was willing to exprefs the Force of it, in the Verfion, as well as the Paraphrase.

-So many of the Expreffions ufed in this Difcourfe, are to be found in that to the Twelve, Sect. 74, 75. that it is generally fufficient to refer to the Paraphrase and Notes there, for the Explication of them here.

(d) Nor ftay to falute any Man, as you pass by him on the Way.] Our Lord did not intend by this, to forbid his Difciples in general, nor even any of his Minifters, a decent Ufe of the cuftomary Tokens of civil Refpect to others, any more than he forbids the Ufe of Shoes and Purfes: Only while they were employed on this particular Meffage, he required the Forbearance of them, that every one who faw them pafs by, might perceive that their Minds were full of the most important Business, and that they were earnestly intent on the immediate Difpatch of it. (Compare 2 Kings iv. 29.) This was the more neceffary, as they were fo much traitened for Time. See Note (a).

(e) Wipe

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