Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 147 gave them proper inftrufions concerning their behaviour, and the do&rines they were to preach. Having laid before them the particular duties of their miffion, he fent them into different parts of the coun- try, and ordered them to vifit thofe parti- cular cities, towns, or villages, where he intended himfelfto follow them, and preach the doftrines of the everlafting gofpel to the inhabitants. The reafon which our great Redeemer affigned, for fending thefe feventy difciples on this important meflage, was the fame which he had before advanced for the mif- fion of the twelve : The harvelt truly is great, but the labourers are few. Andbe- ing never more to preach in Chorazin, Bethfaida, and Capernaum, the cities wherein he ufually refided, and where he had fo often delivered his heavenly dif- courfes, and difplayed his miraculous power and divine benevolence, in many wonderous works ; he was naturally led to reflect on the réception which himfelf and his doctrines had met with, from thofe wicked, impenitent cities. He was fenfible ofthe terrible evils which would flow from rejecting the Son of God, and perfiftingin the obftinacy of unbelief, notwithflanding the mighty works which they had feen, and all the opportunities which they had for inftruction and improvement ; and, though he was grieved for their obftinacy and perverfenefs, he pronounced the fol- lowing fentence agaìnft them : Wo unto thee, Chorazin! Wo unto thee, Bethfaida! For, if the mighty works had been done in Tyreand Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, fitting in fackcloth and afiles. But it(hall be more tolerablefor Tyre and Sidon, at the day ofjudgment, thanforyou. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, fhalt be thruft down to hell. To this our exalted Redeemer added, as a confedera- tion which ought to adminifter comfort, and give encouragement to his difciples He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that defpiifeth you, delPifeth me; and he that difeth me, defftifeth him thatfent -tne. This kind and encouraging declaration was particularly calculated to comfort and fupport the difciples he was now fending out, under the contempt and ill-ufage they would meet with in executing the duties of their million : they could not be ignorant, that the preaching of CHRIST himfelf had often been unfuccefsful, and that he had been oppofed, reviled, and defpifed ; and, therefore, they had no reafon to conclude, that they fhould find a welcome reception, and be received, honoured, and efleemed: but it would, at the worft of times, afford them great confolation to refleét, that the Eternal God was on their fide, and, how- ever they might be defpifed and rejefìed by man, they were fure to be received, honoured, and efleemed by their Maker. The feventy difciples, having received their commiffion and inftruftions, and be- ing, by their Mailer, invefted with the power of working miracles, they departed and preached according to the tenor of their commiffion, in the cities and villages of Judea and Perea; and, after vifiting fe- veral places, publilhing the glad-tidings of falvation, and working many miracles in confirmation ofthe truth, they returned to their Matter with great joy, faying, Lord, even the devils are fubjell unto us, through thy name. From thefe expreflions, it feems reafon- able to conclude, that the difciples, when they fet out on this journey, did not know that their power extended fo far as to cafe out devils, and they were, no doubt, plea - fingly furprifed, to find that the apoftate fpirits trembled at their Matter's name. To this our great Redeemer replied, I be- held Satan, as lightening, fallfrom heaven : as much as to fay, You need not be afto- nifhed at the fubjeétion and difmay of the apoftàte fpirits, their prince is fallen, I faw him fall as fwift as lightening from heaven; I have triumphed over him, I came down from heaven, and was manifeft in the flefh, to deftroy his works ; and he knows I (hall finally