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that, through haste of writing, too weak an expression has escaped him.
“ There is scarce any thing which proves both wisdom and rightness of mind more fully, than proper behaviour on sudden occasions, and
proper answers to unforeseen questions : for what a man shews himself to be at such times, we have in general great cause to believe he really is. Now to this trial our Saviour, living a public life, in the midst of persons taking all advantages to insnare him, was perpetually exposed; and his character never suffered
It was indeed exalted by every such occasion of shewing his wisdom and sedateness : insomuch that his enemies were ashamed, amazed, and silenced ; nay, even paid him the unwilling tribute of public approbation.
u Luke xiii. 17. Matt. xxii. 22, 46. Mark xii. 32.
THAT INCIDENTS, SOMETIMES VERY SLIGHT, AND QUESTIONS,
PARTICULARLY SOME OF A CURIOUS NATURE, WERE TURNED BY HIM TO AN INSTRUCTIVE AND PRACTICAL PURPOSE.
WHEN our Lord's “ disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat :” he took occasion to inculcate that the true feast to a good mind was, to be employed in the service of God and man: “My a meat is, to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
When “a certain woman lifted up her voice and said to him, Blessed is the womb that bear thee, and the breasts which thou hast sucked,” he replied, “ Yea rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.”
* When “one said to him, Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee ; he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said, Behold my mother, and my brethren.
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother."
When he was thus addressed, “ Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me,” he embraced that opportunity of cautioning his hear. ers against the vice which seems to have dictated the request made to him : " Take heed and beware of
- John iv. 34.
• Matt. xii. 47-50. Luke xii. 15. Wetstein's note on this verse is ; Cohærent hæc cum præcedentibus, ut doceamur ver am litisinter fratres causam fuisse
covetousness; for a man's life (or true happiness] consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Nor was he content with delivering a general precept; but went on to enforce what he advanced by a beautiful parable, the moral of which he distinctly pointed out : “so is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.” And afterwards he still further pursued the topic in 8 words confined to the disciples only.
When some told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices, he did not indulge the malevolence of the Scribes and Pharisees by enlarging on the crimes of the unhappy sufferers, whose nation was held in contempt among the rest of the Jews; he was silent on Pilate's cruelty hand impiety, and on the special reasons why God permitted such judgments to overtake men ; choosing to warn his hearers of the national judgments impending over them, which nothing could avert but repentance. “ Unless ye i repent, ye shall all perish in " like manner : [by a like fearful destruction, in the calamitous war with the Romans.] And, the importance of the subject deeply engaging him, he illustrated by a 'parable the danger of unfruitfulness in good works; and the long suffering and goodness of God, shewn by a gracious and earnest invitation of them to amendment at that very period of time.
utriusque desiderium plura habendi. Servius ad Geórg. ii. 496. “ et infidos agitans discordia fratres” infidos autem ait, quod avaritiæ causa dissentiunt. • Luke xii. 16-20. fo. 21. 8o. 22, &c. b See the eighth of Dr. Clarke's Seventeen Sermons ; where most of the instances given in this section occur. T'hose marked * are the author's illustrations.
Luke xiii. 3,5. * ασαύτως, ομοίως. ib. 6-9.
When “one said to him, Lord, are there few that be saved ?” are there few of this generation that will enter into thy kingdom ? he indirectly answered the inquiry which he had solved in another place, and at the same time conveyed much useful instruction: "Strive to enter in at the straight gate :" it is an object worthy of your most earnest contention : use the present season, lest hereafter ye feel inexpressible regret and anguish : lest I say unto you at the last day, Depart from me all the workers of iniquity : lest ye be excluded from the company of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in my glorious kingdom, and the despised Gentiles be admitted.
When Martha received Jesus into her house at Bethany, and complained to him that her sister Mary left her alone to serve, while she sat at Jesus's feet and heard his word; what was our Lord's answer ?
Nil paryum sapit, et semper sublimia curat : Hor. “P Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things ; but one thing is needful : and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.” The one thing needful is the good part chosen by Mary; attention to religious and eternal concerns.
When Jesus's disciples inquired “who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” “ he set a little child in the midst of them, and said, 9 Verily I say unto you, unless ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
in The answer refers to those in whose presence Christ had eaten and drunk, and in whose streets be had taught, o. 26. * Matt. vii. 14. • Luke xii. 23–30. pib, x. 41.
* When Peter came to Jesus and said, “ : Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ; till seven times ?" Our Lord answered him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until
seventy times seven,” But he did not stop here : he proceeded to speak the striking parable of the merciless servant, the application of which he himself made: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
When thus questioned concerning a man blind from his birth, “ Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Our Lord dismissed the deep part of the question in a word, "'Neither did this man o sin, nor his parents ,:” not entering into any discussion about the impossibility Bit4 of a "pre-existing state, nor defining in what cases children might reasonably bear the iniquity of their parents. He kept in view the end of his mission; observed that a fit occasion of working a miracle had arisen, especially as the time of his * departure was
9 Matt. xviii. 2, 3, 4.
. Here a definite number is put for an indefinite.
John ix. 1-5. a j. e. so as to cause the infliction of a judicial punishment. w This is the learned Mr. Farmer's remark : on demoniacs, p. 360. now about six months before his death.
* It was