Wright - BT300 W8 1788

86 The NEW (Ind ..COMPLETE LI FE of our BLESSED and felf- fuf$ciency was this hypocritical generation, and fo greatly they valued themfelves on the exaa performance of external ceremonies, that they could openly accule our great Redeemer of a capital offence for healing the difeafed on the fab- bath-day ; but fo blind and limpid were thefe doctors of the law, that they could not fee that themfelves were profaning and polluting that facred day ofreft, by indulg- ing the molt diabolical difpofitions, and praaifing the molt atrocious actions which could be committed. Such was their en- deavouring to defiroy a virtuous and innocent perfon, who had never injured them, whore conduit and characier.de- manded the higheft refpeci, and whole life was fpent in promoting the bell interefi of mankind. The Saviour of the world was not unac- quainted with their deadly malice, nor their prefent intentions to take an advantage of his heavenly goodnefs ; he knew the ran- cour of their hearts he penetrated their deepeftdefigns ; and unmoved by their im- potent rage, he ordered the perfon to fiand up in the full view of the whole congrega- tion, and publicly avowed his deign to heal him. The hypocritical teachers of Ifrael ex- claimed againfl the beneficent action hewas about to perform, as an impious and un- lawful profanation of the fabbath. Is it, Paid they, lawful to heal on the fabbath- day ? It is not to be fuppofed that, by this exclamation, they defigned to prevent the performance of the miracle, but rather to draw from our great Redeemer fuch an anfwer as they might take advantage of, and which might give them an opportunity to accufe him with the greater fuccefs : but our Lord anfwered them in fuch a manner as let them know that he penetrated their deepefl defigns, and at the fame-time- baffled and confounded their utmoll r rage. Is it, Paid he, lawful to do good on the fabbath-day, or to do evil ? Tofave life, or to dfroy it? Is it lawful for you, ye molt detefiable hypocrites, to harbour in your minds the moll infernal rancour and hatred. againf: me ;_and with the highefl injullice and cruelty to plot againfl my life on the .fabbath-day ? And is it not law- ful for me to reflore to his former firength this poor diftreffed man who flands before you? The juflice and feverity of this re- buke firuck them dumb ; and not being able to reply, they pretended not to under-.. Hand his meaning: but to leave them without excufe, our Lord made ufe of an argument which limpidity itfelf could not miftake, and which all the fophiflry of thefe hypocritical teachers was not able to evade. What man, Paid our exaltedSaviour, fall there be amongfl you, who fall have one feep, and if itfall into a it on the fabbath- day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out -? -How much then is a man better than a f etb ? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the fabbath-days. This plain reference to their ownpractice was fo clear and convincing, that they could not pretend to be ignorant of it ; and fo full that they were effectually filenced, though they were determined not to be convinced. This wicked perverfenefs and unconquerable obfiinacy grieved the fpirit of the meek and lowly, the'kind and bene- volent Son of God, who looking round on his enemies with a mixture of compaf- lion and forrow, . kindly commanded the lame man to firetchout his hand ; the man gladly obeyed, and infiantly it was reflored whole as the other. This afloni.fhing work our great Re- deemer performed in a large congregation, in the full view of all the people, in whom the foregoing d.ifpute liad railed a curiofity to behold the event -; and as, no doubt, it was performed on a perfon that frequented the fynagogue, moll of the perlons there prefent were acquainted with the man, while he laboured-under this infirmity ; and as it was performed by the blelfed Jesus, in