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of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even fo it is
not the will of your
thefe little ones
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two
or three witnesses
the church but if
18 Verily I fay unto you, Whatfoever ye fhall bind on earth, fhall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye
14. Even fo God is not willing, that the meaneft of his Servants should perish; but employs the Miniftry of his Angels to preferve them; and when they erred, has fent his Son into the World to recover them; and expects that ye fhould, every one in your ftation and proportion, endeavour to encourage thofe that ftand, and with tenderness recover those that fall.
15. If therefore any of your Fellow Christians fin or commit a Trefpafs against you, ufe all poffible means to recover and reclaim him. First tell him privately of his Fault between your felves, reprove and endeavour to convince him of it, and exhort him to Repentance; and if he be hereby perfuaded to amend, you have gained your pur pofe and faved your Brother.
16. But if he reject and defpife your private Admonition, then take with you two or three other Perfons; that by the prefence of thefe Witneffes he may, if poffible, be convinced and made afhamed, and by their Authority may be moved to repent.
* See 1
17. But if this method alfo prove ineffectual to reform him, then tell your Cafe to the whole Body of the Church, that he may be rebuked and admo. nifhed before many. And if he be ftill Tim. v. fo obftinate, as not to be worked up- 20. & 2 on by this publick Reproof and Cen- Cor. ii. 6. fure, then you have delivered your felf, you have done your Duty, you may leave him as a defperately incorrigible Sinner, and have no more to do with him.
18. Affuredly I tell you; whatever ye fhall determine upon Earth, proceeding according to thefe my Directions, fhall Í 2
be confirmed and ratified of God in Heaven.
19. And whatever two or three of you shall agree to ask of God, in order to your acting conformably to the Inftructions I have given you, fhall certainly be granted by him.
20. For where-ever there be gathered together, tho' never so small a Congregation of you, in my Name and according to my Appointment; there am I always ready to affift and join with you, and intercede for you.
21. Then Peter asked Jefus, faying; Lord, if a Man trefpafs against me, and repent; and afterwards trefpass again and repent; how often am I bound to forgive him, if he continues to repent after repeated Offences? Muft I forgive him seven times?
22. Jefus answered: Nay, you must not confine your Refolution of forgiving, to any number of Offences; but how often foever a Man may have trefpaffed against you, yet if he repent, muft continue to forgive him. For fince God forgives Men more and greater Offences, which have been committed against his Divine Majefty; nothing can be more reasonable, than that they fhould be obliged to forgive one another their smaller Trefpaffes.
23. And this you will more clearly understand by an eafie Similitude. A certain King called all his Servants to an Account, that he might fee how each one Stood indebted to him: Thus God examines and judges the Actions of all Men; who receive what they have from him, and are bound to employ it to his Service and Glory.
24. Now when this King began to look into his Accounts, he found one
fhall loofe on earth, fhall be loofed in heaven.
19 Again I fay unto you, that if two of you fhall agree on earth as touching any thing that they fhall ask, it fhall be done for them of my Father which is in hea
20 For where two
or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
21 Then came Peter to him, and faid, Lord, how oft fhall my brother fin against me, and I forgive him? till feven-times?
22 Jesus faith unto him, I fay not unto thee, Until feven
times: but, Until feventy times feven.
which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forafmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be fold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The fervant
therefore fell down, and worshipped him, faying, Lord, have patience with me,and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the ford of that fervant was moved with compaffion, and loofed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the fame fervant went out, and found one of his fellow-fervants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, faying, Pay me that thou oweft.
29 And his fellow fervant fell down at his feet,and befought him, faying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee
Man that owed him no less than ten thousand Talents. Thus God, when he infpects the Actions of Men, finds that fome have wholly mifemployed the Abilities he intrufted them with, and that all have committed very many Offences against him.
25. Then, this Man having spent all, and having nothing to pay, the King commanded him, and all that he had, to be fold; that fo the Debt might be dif charged: Thus God threatens wicked Men, to inflict the Punishment of their Sins upon them.
26 & 27. But the Man fell on his Knees before the King, and promised if he would give him time, to pay him all; whereupon the King in compaffion fet him at liberty, and forgave him the Debt. Thus God, when great Sinners appear forrowful, humble, and penitent, mercifully affords them space of Repentance, and is ready to forgive them all their paft Tranfgreffions.
28. The Man being thus fet at liberty, meets afterwards with one of his own Debtors, who owed him only an hundred Pence: and not confidering how mercifully he had been dealt with himself, violently demands the Debt of him: Thus wicked Men, not confidering how much Mercy they ftand in need of themselves, and with what long-fuffering God defers and is willing to re
mit their own Punishment; are fierce and eager to have the little Affronts, which others do to them, immediately revenged.
29 & 30. And tho' the poor Debtor fell down on his Knees, and begged only that he might have time allowed him; yet this Man would hear nothing, but threw him prefently into Prifon : Thus
went and caft him into prifon, till he fhould pay the debt.
31 So when his fellow-fervants faw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, faid unto him, O thou wicked fervant, I forgave thee all that debt,becaufe thou defiredst
33 Shouldeft not thou also have had compaffion on thy fellow-fervant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he fhould pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewife fhall my heavenly Father do alfo unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their tref paffes.
CHA P. XIX.
Of Divorces, ver. 1. Of Marriage, ver. 10.
4 And he anfwered and faid
unto them, Have
1. WHEN Jefus had inftructed his
2. And there also the People gather-
3. But the Pharifees, as ufual, grieved at his Doctrine and Miracles, watched all opportunities of finding fome Accufation against him, and of difcrediting him before the People. And particularly, hoping to entangle him in his Talk, they came and asked him whether he thought it lawful for a Man to put away his Wife upon any account : Imagining, that if he fhould fay it was lawful, he muft contradict his own Chap. v Doctrine; and if he should say it was ver. 32. not, he must seem to deny the Law of Mofes.
4. Jefus, knowing their Thoughts, prevented their Cavil by giving an Anye not read, that fwer out of the Scripture it felf, faying; he which made made Have ye not read (Gen. i, 27.) that I 4