Wright - BT300 W8 1788

146 Tite NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of Our BLESSED buked them for entertaining fo hafty and unbecoming a refentment: Ye know not, faid he, what Manner of fjsirit ye are of: ye are ignorant of the finfulnefs of the dif- pofition which ye have now expreffed, nor do ye confider the difference between the difpenfation ofthe law and the gofpel: the feverity of the prophet Elijah was a juft punifhment to a wicked and cruel, as well as idolatrous king, and a people who had contented to his crimes, and had forfaken the worlhìp of the God of their fathers ; it was a punifhment very proper for the times, and what the nature of the offence required ; it was confiftent with the cha- racter of the prophet, and not unfuitable to the Mofaic difpenfation: but the gofpel breathed a very different fpirit; the defign of our Redeemer's coming into the world not being to deftroy men's lives, but to fave them. Behold here, ye defpifers of the gofpel difpenfation ! Ye advocates for the purity and dignity of human nature, and defpi- fers of the crois of CHRIST ! Behold here an inftance of patience under an unpro- voked injury, which cannot be matched amongfi all the boafted heroes ofantiquity; an inftance of patience which expreffed in- finite fweetnefs of difpofition, worthy to be imitated by all the human race, efpe- cially by thofe who call themfelves the difciples of CHRIST. Entertainment and reception being de- nied by the inhofpitable inhabitants of this Samaritan village, our great Redeemer, with his difciples, direaed their way to- wards another; and aS they were on the way, he was met by a ftranger, and accofted with this language, Lord, I will follow thee whitherfoever thou god. The bleffed JESUS, to whom the hearts of all mankind were open, well knowing that it was only the riches and honours of the Meffiah's expected temporal kingdom, which excited this perfon to make the declaration ; he thought proper at firfi to undeceive him : Foxes have holes, Paid he, and the birds of the air have nes; but the 3 Son ofman hath not where to lay his head; alluding to the condu&of the inhofpitable Samaritans, and foretellingwhat they muff expea to fuffer, who efpoufed the caufe and joined the train of our great Re- deemer. Soon after, our bleffed Saviour met with one who had formerly been his difciple, and commanded him to difengage him.. felf from worldly concerns, and join in his train ; but this perfon excufed himfelf, un- der pretence of filial piety, and a defire to attend on, and adminifter relief to, his aged parents : Lord, faid he, fuller mefarft to go and bury my Father : but our great Redeemer replied, Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. Let thofe who are immerfed in worldly affairs, follow the concerns of the world ; but let thofe who have received the great truths of the gofpel, and made a pro- feffion of our Redeemer's name, do every thing in their power to fpread the glad- tidings of falvation over the whole earth. A third perfon propofed to follow our Lord, but defired liberty to return to his houle, and take his leave of the family : but, though our Lord would not by any means difcourage prudent care in the do- meftic affairs of life, yet he gave this perfon to underftand, that the falvation of the foul was the principal concern, and required our firft and chief regard ; andwe fhould by no means let the concerns of time and fenfe have fuch an influence on our minds, as to make us lofe fight of this great object. Great is the danger of coldnefs and declenfion in our fpirituál af- fairs for our Lord himfelf declared, in anfwer to this perfon's objeflion : No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fitfor the kingdom ofGod. As our bleffed Saviour's minifiry was, from this time till it's final period, to be confined to Judea, and the countries be- yond Jordan, it was neceffary that fome meffengers fhould be fent to every town and village, to prepare his way : accord- ingly, he called his feventy difciples, and gave