Wright - BT300 W8 1788

148 The NEW and COMPLETE 'LIFE of our BLESSED finally conquer him and all his legions, and put them down forever. Our Lord then, for the further encou- ragement of his difciples, informed them, that he would enlarge their power, and increafe their authority, not only over evil fpirits, but over whatever, in this world, had power to hurt or annoy them : Behold, faid he, I give untoyoupower to tread on ferpents, and fcorpions, and over all the powers of the enemy and nothing fhall by any means hurtyou. At the fame time, our Lord was pleafed to inform them, that'thefe miraculous powers were the leaft part of their privileges, and the confequences attending them, not fo much to be rejoiced in, as their title to that eter- nal reward, which he would bellow on all his faithful followers: Notwithflanding, faid he, in this rejoice not, that thefpirits are fubjell unto you; but rather rejoice, that your names are written in the book of life. Nor could the bleffed JESUS refleil on the wifdom and goodnefs of the divine dif- penfations, and the particular care and tendernefs which the Supreme Governor of the univerfe manifefts to the objcils of his love, however mean and defpifed they may be in the eyes of the world, without feeling extraordinary joy; fo that his bene- volent heart overflowed with ftreams of gratitude and praife : I thank thee, faid he, 0 Father, Lord f heaven and earth, that thou haft hid thefe thingsfrom the wife and prudent, and haft revealed them unto babes : evert fo Father; for fo it feemed good in thyfight. The difciples being returned from their tour, JEsus left Samaria, and journeying into Judea,, he was met on the road by a certain lawyer, who, in the language of the New Teftament, is a perfon whofe employment is the expounding and ex- plaining the law of Mofes. This perfon was defirous to know whether the dolrine which JEsus advanced, were the fame as the precepts of the law; and, with this view, he afked our Redeemer what he muff do to inherit eternal life. Such was the pride of this teacher of Ifrael, that it feems by the fequel, that he afked this im- portant queffion to tempt, and not to be inffrufed :.but, though our Lord well knew the fecrets of his heart, he did not anfwer him with fuch a rebuke as lie de- ferved, but in fuchamanner as to turn his bate defign, and fophiffical evafions againfl himfelf: What, faid he, is written in the law? How reade ^thou? The Scribe an- fwered, Thou (halt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy foul, andwith all thyflrength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyfelf. This reply our Lord received with ap- probation, and faid to the lawyer. Thou haft anfwered right : this do, and thou(halt live: if thou art able to fulfil thefe great precepts of the law, thou mayeft claim an intereff in the divine favour, on the foot- ing of the eternal rules of righteoufnefs; and as a right to that happinefs which is affigned to the keepers of the law: for on thefe two commandments hang all the lam, and the prophets. The lawyer now perceived himfelf taken in his ownfnare ; his confcience could not acquit him of violating thefe great duties ; he was at a lofs and confounded, and knew not what to reply ; but yet, .. being willing to fay fomething to juftify - himfelf, he in :. quired, And who is my neighbour? A queflion very natural to be afked, by a bigotted Jew, ivhofe narrow, felfifh con- ceptions led him to defpife all who were not the childrenofAbraham. To correil the low littlenefs of fuch a private party fpirit, to open and enlarge the heart to a more generous and noble way of thinking, to chew them the only foundation of true love, and the extenfive, relation which they and all mankind flood in to each other, our Lord delivered the following moff beautiful and inflrultive. parable. A certain man went down from ,7eru-, falem to Jericho, andfell among/i thieves, which gripped him of his raiment, and wounded