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may be viewed. O Saviour, I would be loath not to see thee in thine assemblies; but I would be more loath not to see thee in my closet. Yet, had Zaccheus been but of the common pitch, he might perhaps have seen Christ's face over his fellow's shoulders ; now his stature adds to the disadvantage, his body did not answer to his mind; his desires were high, while his body was low. The best is, however smallness of stature was disadvantageous in a level, yet it is not so at a height. A little man, if his eye be clear, may look as high, though not as far, as the tallest: the least pigmy may, from the lowest valley, see the sun or stars as fully as a giant upon the highest mountain. O Saviour, thou art now in heaven; the smallness of our person, or of our condition, cannot let us from beholding thee. The soul hath no stature, neither is heaven to be had with reaching : only clear thou the eyes of my faith, and I am high enough.

I regard not the body; the soul is the man. It is to small purpose, that the body is a giant, if the soul be a dwarf. We have to do with a God that measures us by our desires, not by our statures. All the streets of Jericho, however he seemed to the eye, had not so tall a man as Zaccheus.

The witty publican easily finds both his hinderances, and the ways of their redress. His remedy for the press is to run before the multitude ; his remedy for bis stature is to climb up into the sycamore: he employs his feet in the one, his hands and feet in the other. In vain shall he hope to see Christ, that doth not outgo the common throng of the world. The multitude is clustered together, and moves too close to move fast: we must be nimbler than they, if ever we desire or expect to see Christ. It is the charge of God, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil:" we do evil, if we lag in good. It is held commonly both wit and state for a man to keep his pace; and that man escapes not censure, who would be forwarder than his fellows. Indeed, for a man to run alone in ways of indifferency, or to set an hypocritical face in outrunning all others in a zealous profession, when the heart lingers behind, both these are justly hateful : but in an holy emulation, to strive truly and really to outstrip others in degrees of grace, and a conscionable care of obedience, this is truly christian, and worthy of him that would hope to be blessed with the sight of a Saviour.

Tell me, ye fashionable Christians, that stand upon terms

of equality, and will not go a foot before your neighbours in holy zeal and aidful charity, in conscionable sincerity; tell me, who hath made other men's progress a measure of yours ? Which of you says, I will be no richer, no greater, no fairer, no wiser, no happier than my fellows ? why should


then say, I will be no holier ? Our life is but a race, every good end that a nian proposes to himself is a several goal : did ever any man that ran for a prize say, I will keep up with the rest, doth he not know that if he be not foremost, he loseth? We had as good to bave sat still, as not “ so to run that we may obtain.” We obtain not, if we outrun not the multitude.

So far did Zaccheus overrun the stream of the people, that he might have space to climb the sycamore ere Jesus could pass by. I examine not the kind, the nature, the quality of this plant; what tree soever it had been, Zaccheus would have tried to scale it, for the advantage of this prospect; he hath found out this help for his stature, and takes pains to use it. It is the best improvement of our wit, to seek out the aptest furtherances for our souls. Do you see a weak and studious Christian, that being unable to inform himself in the inatters of God, goes to the cabinet of heaven," the priest's lips, which shall preserve knowledge ;” there is Zaccheus in the sycamore: it is the truest wisdom that helps forward our salvation. How witty we are to supply all the deficiencies of nature ! if we be low, we can add cubits to our stature; if ill coloured, we can borrow complexion; if hairless, perukes ; if dim-sighted, glasses ; if lame, crutches : and shall we be conscious of our spiritual wants, and be wilfully regardless of the reinedy? Surely, had Zaccheus stood still on the ground, he had never seen Christ; bad he not climbed the sycamore, he had never climbed into heaven. O Saviour, I have not height enough of my own to see thee; give me what sycamore thou wilt, give me grace to use it, give me an happy use of that grace.

The more I look at the mercy of Christ, the more cause I see of astonishment. Zaccheus climbs up into the sycamore to see Jesus ; Jesus first sees him, preventing his eyes with a former view. Little did Zaccheus look that Jesus would have cast up

his eyes to him. Well might he think, the boys in the street would spy him out, and shout at his stature, trade, ambition ; but that Jesus should throw up his eyes into the sycamore, and take notice of that small despised morsel of flesh, ere Zaccheus could find space to distinguish his face from the rest, was utterly beyond his thought or expectation; all his. hope is to see, and now he is seen: to be seen and acknowledged, is much more than to see. Upon any solemn occasion, many thousands see the prince, whom he sees not; and, if he please to single out any one, whether by his eye or by his tongue, ainongst the press, it passes for an high favour. Zaccheus would have thought it too much boldness to have asked what was given him. As Jonathan did to David, so doth God to us, he shoots beyond us: did he not prevent us with mercy, we might climb into the sycamore in vain. If he give grace to him that doth bis best, it is the praise of the giver, not the earning of the receiver: how can we do or will without lim? if he sees us first, we live; and if we desire to see him, we shall be seen of him. Who ever took pains to cliinb the sycamore, and came down disappointed? O Lord, what was there in Zaccheus, that thou shouldst look up at him? a publican, a singer, an arch extortioner; a dwarf in stature, but a giant in oppression; a little man, but a great sycophant; if rich in coin, more rich in sins and treasures of wrath: yet it is enough that he desires to see thee; all these disadvantages cannot hide him from thee. Be we never so sinful, if our desires towards thee be hearty and fervent, all the broad leaves of the sycamore cannot keep off thine eye from us.

If we look at thee with the eye of faith, thou wilt look at us with the eye of mercy; “The

eye of the Lord is upon the just,” and he is just that would be so; if not in himself, yet in thee. O Saviour, when Zaccheus was above, and thou wert below, thou didst look up at him; now thou art above and we below, thou lookst down upon us, thy mercy turns thine eyes every way towards our necessities. Look down upon us that are not worthy to look up unto thee, and find us out, that we may seek thee.

It was much to note Zaccheus, it was more to name bim. Methinks I see how Zaccheus startled at this, to hear the sound of his own name from the mouth of Christ; neither can be but think, Dothi Jesus know me? is it his voice, or some others in the throng? lo, this is the first sight that ever I had of him. I have heard the fame of his wonderful works, and held it happiness enough in me to have seen his face; and doth he take notice of iny person, of my name? Surely, the more that Zaccheus knew himself, the more doth he wonder that Christ should know him. It was slander enough for a man to be a friend to a publican ; yet Christ gives this friendly compellation to the chief of publicans, and honours him with this argument of a sudden entireness. The favour is great, but not singular; every elect of God is thus graced: the Father know's the child's name; as he calls the stars of heaven by their names, so doth he his saints, the stars on earth; and it is his own rule to bis Israel, “ I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine." As God's children do not content themselves with a confused knowledge of him, but aspire to a particular appreliension and sensible application, so doth God again to them : it is not enough that he knows them, as in the crowd, (wherein we see many persons, none distinctly) but he takes single and several knowledge of their qualities, conditions, motions, events. What care we that our names are obscure or contemned amongst men, while they are regarded by God; that they are raked up in the dust of earth, while they are recorded in heaven.

Had our Saviour said no more, but, Zaccheus, come down,” the poor man would have thought himself taxed for his boldness and curiosity : It were better to be unknown, than noted for miscarriage. But now the next words comfort hiin; “ For I must this day abide at thine house." What a sweet familiarity was here ; as if Christ had been many years acquainted with Zaccheus, whom he now first saw! Besides our use, the host is invited by the guest, and called to an unexpected entertainment. Well did our Saviour hear Zaccheus' heart inviting him, though his mouth did not : desires are the language of the soul, those are heard by Him that is the God of spirits.

We dare not do thus to each other, save where we have caten much salt; we scarce go where we are invited : though the face be friendly, and the entertainment great, yet the heart may be hollow.

be hollow. But here, He, that saw the heart, and foreknew his welcome, can boldly say, “I must this day abide at thine house." What a pleasant kind of entire familiarity there is betwixt Christ and a good heart! “ If any man open, I will come in and sup with bim.” It is much for the King of Glory to come into a cottage, and sup there; yet thus he may do and take some state upon him in sitting alone, No, “I will so sup with him, that he shall sup with me. Earthly state consists in strangeness, and affects a stern kind

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of majesty aloof. Betwixt God and us, though there be infinite more distance, yet there.is a gracious affability, and a familiar entireness of conversation. O Saviour, what dost thou else every day, but invite thyself to us in thy word, in thy sacrament! who are we that we should entertain thee, or thou us! dwarfs in grace, great in nothing but unworthiness ! Thy praise is worthy to be so much the more, as our worth is less. Thou that biddest thyself to us, bid be fit to receive thee, and, in receiving thee, happy.

How graciously doth Jesus still prevent the publican, as in bis sight, notice, compellation, so in his invitation too! That other publican, Levi, bad Christ to his house, but it was after Christ had bidden him to his discipleship. Christ had never been called to his feast, if Levi had not been called into his family. He loved us first, he must first call us; for he calls us out of love. As in the general calling of Christianity, if he did not say, “ Seek ye my face,” we could never say, “ Thy face, Lord, will I seek :” so, in the specialities of our main benefits or employments, Christ must begin to us. we invite ourselves to him, before he invite himself to us, the undertaking is presumptuous, the success unhappy.

If Nathaniel, when Christ named him, and gave him the memorial-token of his being under the fig-tree, could say, “ Thou art the Son of God;" how could Zaccheus do less in hearing himself upon this wild fig-tree named by the same lips? How must he needs think, If he knew not all things, he could not know me; and if he knew not the hearts of men, he could not have known my secret desires to entertain him? He is a God that knows me, and a merciful God that invites himself to me: no marvel therefore, if, upon this thought, Zaccheus came down in haste. Our Saviour said not, Take thy leisure, Zaccheus, but, “ I will abide at thine own house to-day.” Neither did Zaccheus, upon this intimation, sit still and say, When the press is over, when I have done some errands of my office; but he hastes down to receive Jesus. The notice of such a guest would have quickened his speed without a command: God loves not slack and lazy executions. The angels of God are described with wings, and we pray to do bis will with their forwardness : yea, even to Judas, Christ saith, “What thou dost do quickly.” O Saviour, there is no day wherein thou dost not call us by the voice of thy gospel! What do we still lingering in the sycamore?

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