Wright - BT300 W8 1788

16 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE J our BLESSED he had not joined himfelf to their com- pany." To which out Lord replied, that they ought not to have forbidden him, becaufe no perfon would attempt to work miracles in his name, who did not enter- tain a very juft conception of his divi- nity. Forbid him not, faid he ; for there is no man which(hall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly(peak evil of me. By this language our Redeemer exhorted them to confider, that whofoever did not oppofe him, may be confidered as his friends ; and the calling out devils in his name, would advance his reputation, and promote his interefl, though the devils themfelves, and the perfons who ejected them, might defign the contrary he fur- ther informed them, that the leaft degree of friendship and refpect. (hewn to his caufe, though it was no more than a cup of cold water given to his difciples, when they flood in need of fuch a favour, was 'acceptable to him, and would certainly find it's full reward hereafter. Whofoever, faid he, (hall giveyou a cup ofcoldwater in myname, becaufeyou belong to Chr ; verily Ifay unto you, he(hall nót lofe his reward. At the fame time, our Lord gave them to underfiand, that the leaft difcouragement to his fervants in their duty, wouldbe re- marked, and punifhed with the greateft fe- verity: And whofoever (hall °fend one of thefe little ones that believe in me, it is bet- terfor him that amilonewere hanged about his neck, and he were call into thefea. From hence our great Redeemer, took occafion to remark, that it was better and more advantageous to us, to deny our- felves the enjoyment of thofe things which are moll pleafing to our fenfe, and which our corrupt affections might be as loth to part with, as with an hand, a foot, or an eye, than by any indulgence or fenfual gratification, to give offence to the dif- ciples of CHRIST, or prevent the fuccefs of his gofpel: and, as the difciples of CHRÍSTwere appointed -to preach the glo- rious gofpel to a wicked world, to thew all nations the flupidity and folly of their S idolatry, to teach the uncorrupted worship of the true-God, and the practiceofevery virtue, Jefus exhorted them to be parti- cularly careful of their conduct and beha- viour; for, if their lives were difhonour_ able to the caufe of the gofpel, they would be ufelefs and defpifed, like fait which had loft it's favour. But amongst all the vices which prevail in the hearts of mankind, there is none more contrary to the nature and genius of the religion of_JEsus, or more likely to prevent the ufefulnefs of the preachers of his gofpel, than a fpirit of pride ; of this, therefore, our Lord particularly cautioned his difciples to be- ware; for, he affured them, that the meaneff perfon is an object of the paternal care of the great Creator, and is fupported and defended by his particular providence; fuch, therefore, are not to be defpifed ; for our Lord declared, that their angels do always behold theface ofhis heavenly Father. And to. !hew the particular notice and care which his Eternal Father takes of his people, and with what tender regard he always beholds the believers in his Son, our great Redeemer proceeded in this man- ner, How thinkye, faid -he, if aman have an hundred Jheep, and one of them be gone affray, cloth he not leave the ninety andnine, and goeth into the mountains, and feeketh that which is gone affray? And if it be, that he finds it, verily, Ifay unto you, he refoiceth more of that fheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not affray. Evenfo, it is not the will ofyour Father which is in heaven, that one of thef little onesJhouldperfi. Our Lord having declared the heavy vengeance which would certainly fall on all who injured his difciples, and oppofed the propagation ofhis gaper; and obferved the tender care with which his Almighty Father beholds his people, and their cer- tainty of protection and defence ; he proceeds to warn them of taking their caufe into their own hands, and purfuing, with Nally and unreafonable refentment, any who had offended them. Ifthy brother, faid