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when God created Man at the firft, he created them Male and Female?
5. And do ye not remember how the Scripture faith, (Gen. ii. 24.) Therefore shall a Man leave his Father and his Mother, his dearest Relations, and fhall cleave unto his Wife; and they two fhall be joined together by fo ftrict and infeparable an Union, that they fhall be looked upon as but One Body, and may no more be divided than the Members of the fame Body?
6. Since therefore God hath joyned them together by fo ftrict a tie, no Man can feparate and part them, without breaking this Primitive Law of God. 7. The Pharifees replied; Why then doth the Law appoint in fome Cafes, that a Man fhould give his Wife a Writing of Divorcement, and put her
them at the beginning, made them male and female ? this caufe fhall a man 5 And faid, For leave father and mother, and fhall cleave to his wife: and they twain fhall be one flesh.
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath
joyned together, let not man put afunder. him, Why did Mo7 They fay unto fes then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away.
8 He faith unto caufe of the hardthem, Mofes, benefs of your hearts, fuffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not fo.
9 And I fay unto you, Whofoever fhall except it be for forput away his wife, nication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whofo marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adul
If the cafe of the man be fo with his wife, it is not good
11 But he faid unto them, All men cannot receive this faying, fave they to whom it is given. 12 For there are fome eunuchs, which were fo born from their mothers womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eu-. nuchs for the kingdom of heavens fake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
made eunuchs of
and thinking this an hard faying,
II. Jefus faid, 'Tis true; But all Men have not Continence to abftain wholly, and to live chaftly without marrying; but only fome few.
12. And thofe few come to have this Power by one of these three ways; either by the Happiness of their natural Temper and Constitution; or by Violence and an unnatural maiming of the Body; or by a voluntary Refolution of fubduing their natural Inclinations, that they may attend the Business of Religion with fewer Incumbrances and greater Freedom from Secular Affairs. The first of these ways, is not at all in a Man's own Power, but merely the Gift of God: The fecond is unwarrantable and unlawful: The third is rare, and of great difficulty; and they, who know their own ftrength, may, if they please, endeavour to attain to this Excellency.
13. After this, fome of the believing Jews brought young Children to Jefus, that he might lay his Hands on them, and bless them, and recommend them to God by his Prayers. But his Difciples, thinking thofe that brought them too bufie and troublesom, began to chide them and keep them back.
Afterward to Jefus privately in the Houfe; as appears Mark
14. Which when Jefus perceived, he rebuked his Difciples, faying: Do not hinder the Children from being brought to me. For 'tis thefe, and Men qualified like these, with Innocency, Humility, and a teachable Difpofition, free from all Prejudices and Customs of Sinning, that are the only fit Persons to be made Members of my Church on Earth, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of God in Heaven.
15. Then he laid his Hands on them, and bleffed them, and departed.
16. And as he was going, there met him a young Man of good quality, who being of a religious Difpofition, and hearing that Jefus taught new and purer Precepts of Virtue and Piety, came to him and faid; Good Mafter, what excellent and extraordinary thing fhall I do, whereby I may attain eternal Life?
17.. Jefus answered him; Why do you call me Good, whom you do not know to be any other than a meer Man? There is none truly Good but God, who is the only Author of all Goodnefs and Happiness. However, as to your Queftion, you know what are the Conditions of Eternal Life; keep the Commandments of God.
18 He faith unto
him, Which? Jefus faid, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt Thou shalt not steal, not commit adultery, Thou shalt not bear falfe witnefs.
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou fhalt love thy neighbour as thy felf.
20. The young Man, rejoycing at his Answer, and hoping to be greatly commended by Jefus, replied: All these Commandments have I obeyed from a Child; what further Inftructions have you for me?
21. Jefus answered: These are the neceffary Duties, which God hath made the indifpenfable Conditions of Life. But if you aim at a great degree of Perfection, and will do fomething excellent and extraordinary; then go fell all your Eftate, and give it to the Poor, and come and follow me through Afflictions and Poverty; and, laying afide all worldly Affairs, apply your felf wholly to be a Preacher of the Gofpel; and you fhall have an extraordinary degree of Reward in Heaven.
22. At this Answer the young Man was greatly troubled, and went away very forrowful. For he was rich, and very unwilling to part with his Estate. 23. Whereupon Jefus took occafion to reprefent to his Difciples, how great a Snare the Love of Riches is; how unfit it makes a Man, to be a perfect Difciple of Chrift; and how hard it is, for a rich Man to be a good Christian.
24. And he faid; Such is the deceit, fulness of the love of Riches, that it is an exceeding hard thing, (than which
It does not appear, but the young Man might have done well if he had gone away fatisfied with Chrift's first Answer. So that our Saviour does not seem to have bidden him fell his Estate, as a thing abfolutely neceffary to his being a good Man, but only as a thing. neceffary at that time to his being a Preacher of the Gospel; and that he might reprove his Confidence; and that he might have an occafion to represent to his Difciples, the great danger and mifchief of the love of Riches.
hardly any thing can be imagined more difficult,) for a rich man to become a worthy Difciple of Chrift, and to attain that refigned Difpofition of Mind, and readinefs to part with all things for the fake of Religion, which God requires.
25. When the Difciples heard this, they feemed greatly furprized, and faid; if the way of Life be fo very who then can be faved?
to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man
to enter into the
kingdom of God.
25 When his dif ciples heard it, they exceedingly amazed, faying, Who then can be faved?
26. But Jefus looking upon them with a compaffionate Countenance, as pitying their present anxiety of Mind, anfwered: 'Tis true, That difpofition of Mind which the Gospel requires, is fo Holy and Spiritual; and the Temptations which much Riches occafion, are fo many and great; that, morally fpeaking, 'tis hardly poffible in the ordinary courfe of things, for a very rich Man to look beyond the Advantages of this prefent World, and be a good Chriftian: But by the Grace and Affiftance of God, 'tis poffible for fuch Men to overcome all thofe Temptations, to make a good ufe of their Wealth, and to become worthy Difciples of Christ.
27. Then faid Peter to Jefus; Well, We have actually done all, that you required of this young Man: And though we had not indeed great Poffeffions, we have forfaken all that we had, we have left our dearest Relations, we have quitted the Employment we lived by, and we have followed you in Poverty and Want: What Reward then shall we have?
28. Jefus anfwered: Verily ye my Apostles, who have now chearfully followed me in this present ftate of Humiliation and Sufferings, fhall at the final Judgment, at the great and gene