Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, jES(1S CHRIST. 89 fequence, if they perfrfled in fuch deteft- able calumnies, when their own hearts told them, that they had no foundation in reafon, but what flowed from malice and refentment: but the moll powerful argu- ments, or the, moll awful threatenings, had no effea on this obilinate and per- verfe race of mortals, who farcaflically anfwered, Mailer, we wouldfee a fignfrom thee. What aftonifhing Rupidity ! Had he not, the moment before, eafl out a devil, and rellored the faculties of fight and fpeéch to the blind and dumb ! Had not he cleanfed lepers, railed the dead, and rebuked the tempefluous winds, and raging waves of the lea ! Were not thefe figes fufficient to have convinced the moll oblli- nate and bigoted mortal ! What, therefore, could thefe ftubborn donors of the law require ! Well might the great Saviour of the world call them a wicked and adulterous generation ; for certainly they could jufily pretend to no part of the faith and piety of their great father Abraham; he believed in God, and it was imputed to him for righteoufnefs :, but they, by their malicious obRinacy, and determined unbelief, added fin to fin; and plunged themfelves into the depth of ini- quity and wickednefs. Perfons of fuch perverfe difpofitions, and incorrigible tern. pers, merited no indulgence ; and, there- fore, our great Redeemer told theft), that no fign fhould be given them, but that of the prophet Jonah, who, by laying three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, was a type of the Son of God, who Ihould continue three days and three nights in the chambers of the grave. Our Lord then proceeded to obferve, that the obRinacy, perverfenefs, and wickednefs of that generation, was greater than that of the moll barbarous, ignorant, and idolatrous nations, who would rife up in judgment with them, and condemn them. The people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah ; and the queen of the South took a long journey to behold the wifdom of Solomon ; but the obíti- nate, wicked, and unbelieving Jews, would not repent at the preaching and repeated warnings of the Son of God, nor learn wifdorn from the Eternal Fountain of Wifdom itfelf. Our Lord then concluded his difcourfe with a parable, which fhewed the great danger of wilfully oppofing and refilling the truth, as fuch praétices tend to,make men habitually and defperately wicked, and, in every refpelt, more obdurate and abandoned than before. During this difpute with the rulers . of Ifrael, Jesus was informed, that his mo- ther and his kinfmen waited without, defiring an interview with him ; upon which, with a look of the tendereft af- feelion, he flretched out his hands towards his difciples, and laid, Behold my mother and my brethren! for whofoever fall do the will of my Father which is in hea- ven, the fame is my brother, and filler, and mother, Matt. xii. 49, 5o. Thefe re- markable words ought to be received with the warmeR gratitude, and the moll exalted joy, by every Chrilian ; fince from this divine declaration, it may be learnt, that a faith in. CHRIST, which works by love, and produces a conformity to the precepts of the gofpel, gives the believer a claim to the high title of a Son of the Moll High, and a near relation to his dear Redeemer: by this divine principle, the believer lays hold on the blellïngs and privileges which belong to his fpiritual birth, he claims a kindred to the Ikies, he becomes acquainted with his union with the Divine Nature, and can Rand before the throne of the Eternal God, and call him his Father. "No. 8. 1" C H A P T E R