Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 127 faid he, fall trefpafs againfl thee, go and tell him his fault between 'thee and him alone : if hefhall hear thee, thou halt gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witneffes every word may be eftablghed. And if he (hall negleoi to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Our Saviour then proceeds to inform them, that the Supreme Judge of heaven and earth will intereft himfelf in their be- half, when they are juffly offended, and the fentence which they pafs on fuch of- fenders will be ratified in heaven: Verily, Ifay unto you, proceeded he, whatfoever ye (hall bind on earth, fhall be bound in heaven : and whatfoever ye fhall loofe on earth, 'hall be looted in heaven. The mean- ing of this is, that if the method you take with an offending brother is bleffed to the end you defigned, and he is brought to a _real repentance, he is loofed from the guilt of his fin, and hands acquitted at the bar of Supreme Juftice : but, on the other hand, if all methods are ufed in -vain, and the offender hill continues impenitent, and perfifls in his evil ways, he is bound by the chains of his guilt, and cannot efcape deferved punifhment. Our blefled Saviour then proceeded to lay down force confederations, which ought to encourage good men to ufe their utmoh endeavours to convince Miners of the error of their ways, and bring them to fin- cere repentance, and to offer up their earneft and perfevering prayers to the God of all grace, for his divine affiftance in fo great a work, by which only it can be ef- felled: for our Lord informs them, that his heavenly Father would always hear their prayers, and grant their petitions, if confiffent with the defigns of his provi- dence, and the methods of his grace. Again, flay unto you, laid, he, that if two ofyou'hall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they fhall afh, it fhall be done for them of my Father which is in hea- ven : for where two or three, -are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midit of them. Peter had carefully attended to the doc- trine of forgivenefs of injuries, as incul- cated by his Mager; doubtlefs, he law the beauty and dignity of fuch a rule of con- dul, and defred it to be further explained: Lord, laid he, how oft 'hall my brotherfin againft me, and Iforgive him? till(even times? It feems by this queftion, that, however great and noble he apprehended this rule of conduit to be, he thought it was neceffary to obferve force reftrihtions in the praftice of it; but his Matter in- formed him, that it muff not be limited to feven times, but carried on to feventy times leven, if the cafe required it. In order to thew the beauty and dignity of this excellent moral precept, and the neceflìt'y of forgiving the greateft injuries in every cafe, where the offending perfon is fenfible ofhis fault, and promifes amend- ment ; our Lord, by way of illuftration, propofed the parable of two fervants, debtors to one lord: Therefore, faid he, is the kingdom heaven likened unto a cer- tain king, which would take account ofhis fèrvants. And when hehad begun to reckon, one was brought unto himwhich owed hint ten thoufand talents. Butforafmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be fold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, andpayment to be made. The fervant, therfore,fell down, andworfhipped him, faying, Lord, have patience with me, and Iwill play thee all. Then the lord of that fervant was moved with compáffion, and looted him,, andforgave him the debt. But the fame fervant went out, andfound one of his fellowfePvants, which owed him an hundredpence ; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, Paying, Pay me that thou owell. And hisfellow- fervantfell down at hisfeet, and befought him, faying, Have patience withme, and I will pay thee all. And he would not : but went and cafe him intoprfon, till hejhould pay the debt. So