Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUIt, , E S US CHRIST. unto you, I am the door of the fheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers. He that entereth not by the door into the fheefifold, . but çlimbeth up fume other way, the fame is a thief and a robber. Though there fimilitudes contained a yery fevere reproof, directed to the falfe teachers of Ifrael, they did not underftand the meaningof them, and the people were much divided in their fentiments concern- ing him and his teaching; force faid, He bath a devil, and is mad; whyhear ye him? Othersfaid, Thefe are not the words ofone Mat bath a devil. Can a devil often the eyes of the blind ? From the pride, envy, obftinateperverfe- nefs, and implacable refentment of the Pharifees, we fhould learn to contemplate the crafty infinuation and fubtle endea- vours of the enemies of the crofs of CHRIST in thefe latter times: nor need we be furprifed, if we find the fame mali- cious infinuations in different fhapes levelled againft ourfelves, if we are enabled to em- brace the truths of the gofpel, and to confefs before all men the glory, honour, and dignity of him who bath opened our eyes, and brought us out of darkngil into his marvellous light. It is contrary to the nature of the world, or worldly-minded men, to love our Lord JESUS CHRIST, or to efleem thole who profefs to know him, and bear witnefs concerning the world, that it's works are evil. Let us not, there- fore, be difcouraged if we find the world to hate us, and load us with unjuft re- proaches for our attachment to the caufe ofour dear Redeemer; but, like the blind man, whofe cafe we have been confidering, let us openly and boldly profefs the truth, And declare the power of that God, who bath illuminated our dark minds, and led us in the paths ofeverlafting light and hap:. pinefs. The feaft of dedication now drew near, and our Lord prepared to go to Jerufalem, to be prefent at the folemnity. This feaft ' was not appointed by Mofes, but by that No. 13. 145 noble warrior, and heroic reformer, Judas Maccabeus, in commemoration of his ha- ving deanfèd the temple, and reftored it's worfhip, after both had been prophaned and polluted by that abominable tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes. But, though this feaft was of human in- ftitútion, our Lord chofe to be prefent at it, although he knew that frefh attempts woú]d be made againft his life : his time on earth he knew was fhort, his public miniftry was drawing to a period, and, therefore, he would not omit any oppor- tunity of preaching to the loft fheep of the houfe of Ifrael, and doing good to the children of men; nor did he now, as he had formerly done, travel in private, but openly declared his intention of going to Jerufalem. The road to the capital from Galilee, to which our Lord had retired after thè miracle of refloring fight to the blind man, lay through Samaria. - The inhabitants of this country, entertained the molt inve- terate hatred againft all who worfhipped in the temple at Jerufalem: Jesus wai no firanger to this difpofition of the Sama= ritans, and therefore he fent meffengera before him, that they might find reception for him in one of the villages : but the Samaritans being informed, that the in- tention of his journey was to worfhip' at the temple in Jerufalem, they fuffered their old national prejudice to prevail fo' far, as to induce them to refufe him admittance. The meffengers who had been fent on this bufinefs returned, and gave an account of the inhofpitable treatment they had re- ceived ; which foexceedingly offended the difciples, that they prevailed on James and John to propofe to their Mafter the calling down fire from heaven to deftroy thém, pleadingthe example of the prophet Elijah for fuch precipitate and violent proceed- ings": Lard, wilt thou, faid they, that we command fire to come dawn from heaven; and confume them, even as Elias did? But the bleffed JEsus, whofe meeknefs on all occafions was beyond example, re- N u buked