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the people were much divided in their sentiments concerning him and his teaching; some said, "he hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him ? Others said, These are not the words of one that hath a devil. Can a de vil open the eyes of the blind ?”

From the pride, envy, obstinate perverseness, and implacable resentment of the Pharisees, we should learn to contemplate the crafty insinuationa and subtle endeavours of the enemies of the Cross of CHRIST in these latter times: nor need we be surprised, if we find the same insinuations in different shapes levelled against ourselves, if we are enabled to embrace the truth of the gospel, and to confess before all men the glory, honour, and dignity of him who hath opened our eyes, and brought us" out of darkness into his marvellous light." It is contrary to the nature of the world, or worldly-minded men, to love our Lord JESUS CHRIST, or to esteem those who profess to know him and bear witness concerning the world, that it's works are evil. Let us not, therefore, be discouraged if we find the world to hate us, and load us with unjust reproaches for our attachment to the cause of our great Redeemer; but like the blind man, whose case we have been considering, let us openly and boldly profess the truth, and declare the power of God, who hath illuminated our dark minds, and lead us in the paths of everlasting light and happiness.

The feast of dedication now drew near, and our Lord prepared to go to Jerusalem, to be present at the solemnity. This feast was not appointed by Moses, but by that noble warrior, and heroic reformer, Judas Maccabeus, in commemoration of his having cleansed the temple, and restored it's worship, after both had been profaned and polluted by that abominable tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes.

But though this feast was of human institution, our Lord chose to be present at it, although he knew that fresh attempts would be made against his life; his time on earth he knew was short, his public ministry was drawing to a period, and therefore, he would not omit any opportu nity of preaching to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and doing good. to the children of men; nor did he now, as he had formerly done, travel in private, but openly declared his intention of going to Jerusalem.

The road to the capital from Galilee, to which our Lord had retired after the miracle of restoring sight to the blind man, lay through Samaria. The inhabitants of this country, entertained the most inveterate hatred against all who worshipped in the temple at Jerusalem: JESUS was no stranger to this disposition of the Samaritans, and therefore be sent messengers before him, that he might find reception for him in one of the villages but the Samaritans being informed, that the intention of his journey was to worship at the temple in Jerusalem, they suffered their old national prejudice to prevail so far, as to induce them to refuse him admit-、



The messengers who had been sent on this business returned, & gave an account of the inhospitable treatment they had received; which so exceedingly offended the disciples, that they prevailed on James and John to propose to their Master the calling down fire from heaven to destroy them, pleading the example of the prophet Elijah for such precipitate proceedings: "Lord, wilt thou," said they," that we command fire from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did ?"

But the blessed JESUS, whose meekness on all occasions was beyond example, rebuked them for entertaining so hasty and unbecoming a resentment: "Ye know not," said he, "what manner of spirit ye are of:" ye are ignorant of the sinfulness of the disposition which ye have now expressed, nor do ye consider the difference between the dispensation of the law and the gospel: the severity of the prophet Elijah was a just punishment to a wicked and cruel, as well as idolatrous king, and a people who bad consented to his crimes, and had forsaken the worship of the God of

their fathers; it was a punishment very proper for the times, and what the nature of the offence required; it was consistent with the character of a prophet, and not unsuitable to the Mosaic dispensation: but the gospel breathed a very different spirit; the design of our Redeemer's coming into the world not being to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

Behold here, ye despisers of the gospel dispensation! Ye advocate for the purity and dignity of human nature, and the despisers of the cross of CHRIST! Behold here an instance of patience under an unprovoked injury, which cannot be matched amongst all the boasted heroes of antiquity; an instance of patience which expressed infinite sweetness of disposition, worthy to be imitated by all the human race, especially by those who call themselves the disciples of Christ.

Entertainment and reception being denied by the inhospitable inhabi tants of this Samaritan village, our great Redeemer, with his disciples, directed their way towards another; and as they were on the way, he was met by a stranger, and accosted with this language, "Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest." The blessed JESUS, to whom the hearts of all mankind are open, well knowing that it was only the riches and hon. ours af the Messiah's expected temporal kingdom which excited this person to make the declaration; he thought proper at first to undeceive him: "Foxes have holes," said he," and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" alluding to the conduct of the inhospitable Samaritans, and foretelling what they must expect to suffer, who espoused the cause and joined the train of our great Redeemer.


Soon after, our blessed Saviour met with one who had formerly been his disciple, and commanded him to disengage himself from worldly concerns, and join in his train; but this person excused himself, under pretence of filial piety, and a desire to attend on, and administer relief to his aged parents: Lord," said he, "suffer me first to go and bury my Father:" but our Rreat Redeemer replied, "Let the dead bary the dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." Let those who are immersed in worldly affairs, follow the concerns of the world but let those who have received the great truths of the gospel, and made a profession of our Redeemer's name, do every thing in their power to spread the "gladtidings of salvation over the whole earth.

A third person proposed to follow our Lord, but desired liberty to retorn to his house, and take his leave of the family: but though our Lord would not by any means discourage prudent care in the domestic affairs of life, yet he gave this person to understand, that the salvation of the soul was the principal concern, and required our first and chief regard; and we should by no means let the concerns of time and sense have such an influence on our minds as to make us lose sight of this great object. Great is the danger of coldness and declension in our spiritual affairs; for our Lord himself declared, in answer to this person's ojection:"No man having put his hand to the plough, and looketh back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

As our blessed Saviour's ministry was from this time till it's final period, to be confined to Judea, and the countries beyond Jordon, it was necessary that some messengers should be sent to every town and village, to prepare his way accordingly, he called his seventy disciples and gave them proper instructions concerning their behaviour, and the doctrines they were to preach. Having laid before them the particular duties of their mission, he sent them into different parts of the country, and ordered them to visit those particular cities, towns, or villages, where he intended himself to follow them, and preach the doctrine of the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants.

The reason which our great Redeemer *assigned for sending these seventy disciples on this important message, was the same which he had be

fore advanced for the mission of the twelve: "The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few." And being never more to preach in Chorazin, Bethsada, and Capernaum, the cities wherein he usually resided, and where he had so often delivered his heavenly discourses, and displayed his miraculous power and divine benevolence, in many wonderous works; he was naturally led to reflect on the reception which himself and his doctrines had met with, from those wicked, impenitent cities He was sensible of the terrible evils which would flow from rejecting the Son of God, and persisting in the obstinacy of unbelief, notwithstanding the mighty works which they had seen and all the opportunities which they had for instruction and improvement; and though he was grieved for their obstinacy and perverseness, he pronounced the following sentence against thein: Wo unto thee, Chorazin! Wo unto thee, Bethsada! For, if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell." To this our exalted Redeemer added, as a consideration which ought to administer comfort, and give encouragement to his disciples: He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me."


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This kind and encouraging declaration was particularly calculated to comfort and support the disciples he was now sending out, under the contempt and ill-usage they would meet with in executing the duties of their mission they could not be ignorant, that the preaching of CHRIST himself had often been unsuccessful, and that he had been opposed, reviled, and despised; and, therefore, they had no reason to conclude, that they should find a welcome reception, and be received, honoured, and esteemed: but it would, at the worst of times, afford them great consolation to reflect, that the Eternal God was on their side, and, however they might be despised and rejected by men, they were sure to be received, honoured, and esteemed by their Maker.

The seventy disciples, having received their commission and instructions, & being by their Master, invested with the power of working miracles, they departed and preached according to the tenor of their commission, in the cities and villages of Judea Perea; and after visiting several places, pubJishing the glad-tidings of salvation, and working many miracles in confirmation of the truth, they returned to their Master with great joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us, through thy name."

From these expressions, it seems reasonable to conclude, that the disciples, when they set out on this journey, did not know that their power extended so far as to cast out devils, and they were, no doubt, pleasingly surprised, to find that the apostate spirits trembled at their Master's name. To this our great Redeemer replied, "I beheld Satan, as lightening, fall from heaven:" as much as to say, You need not be astonished at the subjection and dismay of the apostate spirits, their prince is fallen, I saw him fall as swift as lightening from heaven: 1 have triumphed over him, I came down from heaven, and was manifested in the flesh to destroy his works and he knows I shall finally conquer him and his legions, and put them down for ever.

Our Lord then for the farther encouragement of his disciples, informed them, that he would enlarge their power, and increase their authority, not only over evil spirits, but over whatever, in this world, had power to hurt or annoy them: "Behold," said he, "I give unto you power to tread on serpents, and scorpions, and over all the powers of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you." At the same time, our Lord was pleas ed to inform them that these miraculous powers were the least part of their privilege, and the consequences attending them, not so much to be rejoic


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ed in, as their title to that eternal reward, which he would bestow on all bis faithful followers : Notwithstanding," said he, “in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, that your names are written in the book of life."

Nor could the blessed Jesus reflect on the wisdom and goodness of the divine dispensations, and the particular care and tenderness which the Supreme Governor of the universe manifests to the objects of his love, however mean and despised they may be in the eyes of the world, without extraordinary joy; so that his benevolent heart overflowed with streams of gratitude and praise ; " I thank thee," said he," O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so Father; for so it seemeth good in thy sight."

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The disciples being returned from their tour, JESUS left Samaria, and journeying into Judea, he was met on the road by a certain lawyer, who, in the language of the New Testament, is a person whose employment is the expounding and explaining the law of Moses. This person was desiTous to know whether the doctrine which JESUS advanced, were the same as the precepts of the law; and, with this view, he asked our Redeemer what he must do to inherit eternal life. Such was the pride of this teacher of Israel, that it seems by the sequel, that be asked this important question to tempt, and not to be instructed: but, though our Lord well knew the secrets of his heart, he did not answer him with such a rebuke as he deserved, but in such a manner as to turn his base design, and sophistical evasions against himself: "What," said he," is written in the law? How readest thou ??? The Scribe answered, Thou shalt love thy Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."

This reply our Lord received with approbation, and said to the lawyer, "Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live;" if thou art able to fulfil these great precepts of the law, thou mayest claim an interest in the divine favour, on the footing of the eternal rules of righteousness; and as a right to that happiness which is assigned to the keepers of the law: for on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

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The lawyer now perceiving himself taken in his own snare: his conscience could not acquit him of violating these great duties; he was at a loss and confounded, and knew not what to reply: but, yet being willing to say something to justify himself, he inquired, and who is my neighbour? A question very natural to be asked, by a bigotted Jew, whose narrow, selfish conceptions led him to despise all who were not the children of Abraham. To correct the low littleness of such a private party spirit, to open and enlarge the heart to a more generous and noble way of thinking, to shew them the only foundation of true love, and the extensive relation which they and all mankind stood in to each other, our Lord delivered the fol lowing most beautiful and instructive parable.

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jerico, and fell amongst thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journied, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed he took out two-pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

By this well-chosen, and most elegant and affecting parable, our exalted

Saviour beautifully inculcated an open and generous disposition and greatness of mind, which lays aside all selfish views, and diligently exerts itself in the great work of doing good to mankind, readily relieving all objects of distress, let their national quarrels and religious disputes be what they will. No persons were more hated by the Samaritans than the Jews; for which reason, our Lord represents a Samaritan relieving and suc couring a distressed Jew, when a priest and lovite, of his own nation and religion, had forsaken him. And this affecting parable our Lord laid down as an answer to the question proposed by the lawyer, "Who is my neighbour ?" and then put it to his own feelings to determine the matter "Which now of these three, thinkest thou," said he, ** was neighbour unto him that fell amongst the thieves?" The case was so plain, that the lawyer could but reply, "He that shewed mercy on him." To which our Redeemer immediately returned, with a look which gave the lawyer to understand that he knew he was silenced, “Go and do thou likewise."



Jesus journeying to Jerusalem to be present at the Feast af Dedication, lodges at Bethany, and is entertained by Martha and Mary: when he arrives at Jerusalem, he attendeth at the Feast, and disputes with the Jews in Solomon's Porch: The feast being over, he retires beyond Jordan, and teacheth his disciples to pray: He casteth out a Devil: He' "dines and disputes with the Pharisees, whom he reprehendeth for their outward Shew of Holiness, and pronounceth woes against them and the **Scribes and Lawyers. CHRIST teacheth his Disciples to avoid Hypocrisy, and not to be fearful in publishing his Doctrine: He refuseth to be Judge in a civil Cause, and warneth the people to beware of Covetousness, by the parable of a rich Man, who boasted himself in his multeplied Stores : He exortoth his Disciples to lay up Treasure in * Heaven by giving Alms ; and to be always ready against our Lord's Coming.

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AFTER our blessed Lord had effectually silenced the cavilling lawyer, he continued his journey towards Jerusalem to be present at the feast of dedication. In the evening he retired to Bethany, a small village about two miles from Jerusalem. In this village dwelt Martha and Mary, two pious sisters, who dwelt together in the same house with their brother Lazarus. In this little family, our great Redeemer took up his abode, and was joyfully received by the religious young man and his virtuous sisters. Whether any former acquaintance had subsisted between this family and our great Redeemer, the evangelists have not informed us; but it seems they were not unacquainted with his character, for he was kindly received and generously entertained. Jesus, as his custom was, wherever he went, took the opportunity of dispensing his divine instructions, and teaching his hospitable friends those things which concerned their everlasting peace. Martha was desirous of expressing her regard to her noble guest, by providing a grand entertainment; but Mary, being of a contemplative disposition, was taken with his divine discourses, and sitting at the feet of our great Redeemer, she listened to his words with the most earnest and steady attention: Martha being greatly fatigued with the burthen of the service, was offended at her sister, because she did not help her, and complained to our Lord of her omission: “Lord," said she," dost thou not care


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