Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and. SAVIOUR, y.Esus CHRIST. .125 =the above converfotion, but firfta{Iced'them, what they were difputing about by the way? They 'welt confounded at the queflion, and, as they knew it would be in vain to -attempt, either to evade a difcovery, or to conceal the truth, they feared to return an anfwer. Jesus, per- ceiving their confufion, foon gave them to underftand, that he well knew the fubjea of their debate, and that he highly difap- proved it: having commanded their par- ticular and eárnell attention to what he was going to advance, he faid, Ifany man defires to be firft, the fame fhall be and fervant of all. And then, to teach them the ufeful leffon of humility, lie took a little child, and fet him in the mid(' of them : Verily, Ifay unto you, fail he, ex- ce,bt ye be converted, and become as little children, ye(hall not enter into the kingdom ifheaven. Whfoever, therefore,Iliad humble himfelf as this little child, the fame is great eft in the kingdomof heaven. As our Lord, at this time, thought pro- per to difcountenance all pretenfions to fuperiority amongft his difciples, it is evi- dent, that he had given no fupremacy to Peter, when he -declared his approbation of his declaration of faith, as before re- lated. Had he, when he told that difciple that he gave him the keys of the kingdom of 'heaven, defigned to exalt him above the ref] of the difciples : or had theyunder- Rood his words in that fenfe, they could 'tot poffibly have been at any lofs to know who was to be the greateft ; nor is it likely they would have contended about an affair which had, in the prefence of them all, been finally fettled by their YVlafler: neither is it poffible to fuppofe, that, if our great Redeemer had given the pre-eminence to Peter, he would have blamed his difciples for talking about it, and not on this urea- Pon have confirmed hisformer grant. The juflice of this remark is further confirmed by the anfwer which our great Redeemer gave to the wife of Zebedee, when the prefented a petition to him in behalf of her fons ; the had fitongly im- No. if. bibed the national error of the Jews, re- fpeeling the Meffiah's kingdom ; and, as fbe fuppofed that her fons, from their near relation to our Lord, might claim a pe- culiar {hare in his favour, fhe prefented her requeft, that onemight fit on his tight- hand, and the other on his left, in his king- dom. To this petition, our Saviour re- plied, To fit on my right-hand and Oil my left-hand, is not mine to give; but it 'hall be given to themfor zohom it is prepared. The refs of the difciples having heard the requefi, and remarked our Redeemer's reply, were much offended at the pride and vanity of the brothers, and could not fee any reafon, why they fhould expe& fo peculiar and 'diflinguifhed a mark of fa- vour. To put an end to all contention on fo weak and frivolous an account, our Lord called his difciples in fuch a manner, 'as to engage and fix their attention, and feid unto them, Ye know that they which areaccounted to rule over the ,Gentiles, ,ex- eréife lord/sip over them; and their great ones exercìfe authority upon them : but fo it 'hall not be amongfi you; but whfoever will be great amongfl you, 'Fall beyour rrainfer; and zuhofoever of you will be the chiefefl, fiall be thefervant-ofall. Such is the language of our -great Re- deemer, who is foie King and Lawgiver in Lis church ; and may we not juftly con- elude, that the pretences of the church of Rome to infájlibility and fupremacy, which fhe would have us believe have defcended from the apofile Peter to the pope, as his fucceffor, have no foundation in Scripture or reafon, but are an unjuft -and arbitrary ufurpation, defigned to advance and enrich the prieflhood, and impoverifh, abide, and eniave mankind. The exalted Saviour ofmankind, having thus gently rebuked his difciples for their eager and unabating-defires after worldly grandeur, John, one of the Eons of Zebe- dee, perhaps to give a turn to the con- verfation, informed his Matter, that they had feen one carting out devils in his name, and had forbidden him, becaufe Hh he