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creatures, in this life, and became the just object of divine punishment in the next.

* When he was near the mount of transfiguration, which the evangelists describe as a high mountain, he said to his Apostles, “ If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence unto yonder place; and it shall remove.And Jortin has observed that, as he passed by the mount of Olives, the disciples wondered at the sudden withering of the fig tree ; upon which Jesus answered, “Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this e mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done.” * A like pointing out of present objects occurs while our Lord was in the way to the feast of dedication. “ The apostles said to him, Increase our faith. And he said, f If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree. Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea ; and it should obey


* Martha having said to him, “ Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone ? bid her therefore that she help me:" he answered, ” Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one & thing is needful.”

Being about to raise Lazarus, he extended his discourse to the general resurrection : “I am the h resurrection and the life : he that believeth in me,

Luke xvii. 5, 6.

d Matt. xvii. 20. % Luke x. 40, 41, 42.

e Matt. xxi. 21. b John xi. 25, 26.

though he die yet shall he live [at the last day : ] and whosoever liveth [at the general resurrection) and believeth in me, shall never die.”

When some brought young children to him, he took occasion to observe that of k such like was the kingdom of heaven : adding, “ Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

* The remark of one of his disciples as he went out of the temple, “ Master, 1 see what manner of stones, and what buildings, are here,” occasioned this reply, “ Seest thou these great buildings ? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down;" and introduced a most illustrious prophecy relating to the destruction of Jerusalem.

At the time of the vernal equinox, when the trees put forth their leaves in Judea, he spake this parable : “Behold - the fig tree and all the trees: when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own. selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

When Peter said to Jesus, “Thou shalt never wash my feet,” Jesus answered him, “ If In wash thee not [in a spiritual sense] thou hast no part with me.”

Having called the fruit of the vine his blood, or appointed it as the perpetual representation of his blood shed for mankind, he went on to call himself the true o vine, his father the husbandman, and his

See John iv. 14. k Mark x. 14, 15. "ib. xii. 1, 2, &c. * Luke xxi. 29-31. John xiii. 8. John xv. 1-6. Grotius observes here, and Jolin vii. 37. Mos est Christi ex rebus obviis

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disciples the branches: declaring that, if they abode in him, they should bring forth much fruit, but severed from him should be cast forth as withered branches, and burnt.

And, lastly, after his resurrection he thus prophesied of Peter's death, “, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest : but, when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not :” beautifully alluding to the circumstance that Peter, when he received an intimation that Jesus was standing on the shore, “ 9 girt his fisher's coat unto him, and cast himself into the


The following quotation from Macknight will shew that our Lord's images were taken, if not from present objects, yet from obvious ones.

" The sower going forth to sow, the growth of the corn, the trees putting forth their branches and leaves, the dressing of vineyards, the grass of the fields, the fowls of the air, the foxes' holes, the gathering of chickens under the wings of their dam, the affections of a father, the putting of the hand to the plough, the building of houses, the making of war, the robbing of a traveller, the breaking of houses by thieves, and many such similitudes, are introduced by him,

sermonis sui occasionem sumere. It is unnaturally supposed by some, that a vine tree presented itself to Jesus at this time : because the scene is the guest chamber where he ate the passover.

P John xri. 18. 9 ib. o. 7. See Macknight's Harmony, p. 661, 2d. ed. Gospel History, p. 80, 1.

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to convey striking impressions of the truths which he was delivering."

Mr. •Townson's instances are, “ his comparing the perverseness of the Jews to the froward and sullen humour of children; and the solicitude of heaven for the conversion of sinners, and the joy of angels on their repentance, to a woman lighting a candle and sweeping her house, in search after her lost piece of silver, and, when she had found it, calling her neighbours about her to rejoice with her.”

Other examples are, the burning of tares and the storing of wheat, the separation of good fishes from bad, the dunging of a fig tree, the quality of leaven, the importunity of petitioners, the seeking of a lost sheep on the mountains, the dividing of sheep from goats, the customs of nuptial and other feasts, the conduct of stewards, labourers and domestic servants. But it is unnecessary to make an attempt towards a complete induction of particulars.

By so strongly marking our Lord's peculiar mode of instructing, and, instead of repeated general lessons on religious and moral topics, introducing so many references to time and place, to occasional occurrences and present objects, the evangelists furnish a presumption that his discourses are not artfully and cautiously' invented by them, but are always the substance of what he said, and often his very expressions.

• See an ingenious visitation sermon preached at Chester. 1778. *This is among the many very masterly observations made by Dr. Jortin. See Discourses on the Christian Religion, p. 229, 245, 246.

And as our Lord's conversation so constantly took this turn, it may be collected that his grand purpose was to be useful and instructive.

It has been further observed, that his excellent lessons were likely to be better retained this way; as every object and event to which he had alluded served for a monitor and remembrancer.

It may be added, that this manner of teaching must sometimes have given a peculiar animation to his discourses : that a proud display of knowledge and wisdom is best avoided by pursuing this method : that it proves how full our Lord's mind always was of the best thoughts, his mouth speaking out of the abundance of his heart : and that it may teach good men distantly to copy his admirable manner, by making a right use of common incidents on fit occasions.

And again : Our Lord's familiar way of instructing is strongly contrasted to the terrors which accompanied the giving of the law.

We are not come to the mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness

Bishop Law's Observations, &c. p. 322. See an instance of his private instructions, John xi. 24. w I have often admired, says an elegant writer, the spirited theatrical manner of the Italian and eastern poets when they recite in the open air, pointing out each object of description in an imaginary scene of their own extemporaneous creation ; but availing themselves at the same time of every real appearance of nature within view of their audience, that is applicable to their subject, and connected in some degree with the spot where the recital is made. Wood's Genius of Homer, p. 22, 4to. * Heb. xii. 18-24. y It is ingenious to supply rend

' or å with Junius and Wall. But the mountain capable of being touched may be opposed to the heavenly one mentioned o. 22.

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