« PreviousContinue »
The Law and the Prophets continu'd in force till the time that Fohn entred upon his Office, nor were there any Rules known but what were contain'd in the Precepts of the one, and the Prophecies of the other : But after that John began to preach unto you, the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven have been more fully opend, and the Rewards that attend the Obedience to 'em have been manifested to
you. This Personage, if you will believe me, is that Elias, who according to the Pro phecy of Malachi, ch. 4. 5. was to appear before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord.' Whoever has a serious concern for his own Salvation, and is convinc'd 'tishis Duty to examine into the means propos’d for the obtaining of it, let him ponder my Words, and infer from them what it is not necessary for me at present to express more plainly to him. A great Multitude of the common People, and the very Publicans, out of a due sense of the greatness of their Crimes, which had stir'd up God's Justice against them, have embrac'd the Baptism of John, and are become truly penitent; but the Pharisees, and almost all the Doctors of the Law, those eminently learned and holy Persons, as they would fain be thought, have rejected the Counfil of God exhorting them to Repentance, thro Pride and Contumacy, and refus’d to be baptiz’d by John, that they might not be oblig'd to make an open Confeflion of their Vices.
Which Behaviour of theirs I can liken to nothing more properly than to the pro-. verbial Saying among Children at their Play : We have piped, and you have not danced; we have lamented among you, and no body has been concern'd at it. Thus these men have not been persuaded to comply with God's Messages to them, inviting them to a Reformation, and the Advantages that attend it in the Kingdom of Heaven. John the Baptist, who was first sent to them, led a most austere Life in the Deserts, sustaining himself without either Bread or Wine; by which Severity of Life they might have concluded him to be one, who laying alíde all care after the Conveniences of this Life, made it his great business to put in execution the Commands he received from God : Him they calumniated as one possessed with an evil Spirit, which hurried him into the Desert, and made bim neglect the Sacerdotal Duties, and the Benefits annexed to them. Whereas I, on the contrary, who have conform’d, in all outward respects, to the general Customs of Men, who have made no difference in the use of Meats and Drinks, who have not avoided the Conversation of the Vulgar, that I might make the more Profelytes to Virtue, am traduc'd by them as a Glutton, a Lover of Wine, and a Friend to Publicans and
35 But wisdom is jufti-
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented nor.
2Ị Wo unto thee Chorazin, wo unto thee Bethfaida : for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repenced long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23
And thou Capernaum, which are exalced unto heaven, Thalc be brought down to hell :
Sinners. But whoever has a true relish of heavenly things, will easily perceive the divine Wisdom in these so different ways of living, and with how much reason they both tend to one and the fame end.
Then began Fefies to upbraid the Inhabitants of those Cities in which and in whose Country he had wrought his Miracles, for their not being prevail'd on to amend their Lives. O how great Punishments, said he, remain for you, ye Inhabitants of Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the Tyrians and Sidonians, a People the most abandou'd to Idola. try, had seen those Miracles that have been shown to you, they would long ago have repented, and implor'd the divine Mercy in Sackcloth and Áthes
. who are Jers, who have the true God for the Object of your Worship, have not been fo affected with them as to amend your Lives. They therefore, tho Idu laters, thall not be fo feverely punish'd as you in the Day of Judgment.
And you, Inhabitants of Capernaum,who have been hitherto judg’d happy by my Residence, and the Miracles I have perform'd among you, your Obstinacy hereafter Shall be punisht with the greatest Severity of all : for if the Citizens of Sodom had
СНА Р. XI.
for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unco you, that it shall be more colerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, chan for thee.
25 At that time Jesus an. swered and said, I thank chee, O Father, Lord of heaven. and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wife and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes.
26 Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27 All things are delivered inco me of my Father : and no man knoweth the Son buc the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father fave the Son, and he to whomfoever : the Son will reveal him:
28 Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you resto
feen the Miracles of which you have been Eye-witnesses, their City would not have been destroyed : Those men, tho fo wicked and impure, by a timely Reformation would have appeas'd the Wrath of God, and shall therefore fuffer less Punishment than you. After thefe Exclamations, Jesus addressing himself to God, I thank theç, said he, and acknowledg the Wisdom of thy Providence, in that thy Gospel has been receiv'd by the unlearned and undefigning part of Mankind, while the men of repute for Learning and Policy reject it
. Thus it has pleas'd thee to order for thy own wife purposes, which it is imposible for men to penetrate. Then turning himself to the Auditory, Whatsoever I teach you, said he, I have receiv'd from: my heavenly Father, and there is no one knows what I am to do and suffer, inaf much as no Mortal is acquainted with his fecret Determination but the Son only, and they sto whom the Son shall reveal it. O all ye that defire Ease, ye who have been wearied out by the many Journies the Law obliges you to make to Jerusalem, and who groan under the Burden of many and grievous Rites, imbrace my Discipline, and you shall find relief.: Oblerye my Precepts, and you will see how
much I differ from the Pride and Haughtiness of your Rabbies ; those of the meanest Condition shall be receiv'd by me as well as others, and all that I exped from you is a found Morality. 'Tis in these Commands of mine that your Souls may rest satisfied, and not in your Jewis Ceremonies, the observance of which is requir'd with so much rigour. When you have been a while inur'd to my Discipline, you will acknowledg. I have impos'd nothing on you, but for your own Profit, and that the Tasks I have enjoynd you contain nothing in them grievous or hard to be perform'd.
CH A P. XXV.
Feast his Feet are anointed by a Woman who had liv’d an unchasi Life.
greater sense of Humanity, and were more obliging to him: Among thefe was one Simon, who at a certain time invited him to Dinner, which Jesus accepted of. While he was at this Entertainment, there fell out a very remarkable Accident: for having plac'd himself at the Table with the other Guests, a certain Woman of that Town, who had led a louse Lif?, but had been lately converted by the