Wright - BT300 W8 1788

158 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED LORD temporal things is frnall and fcanty, and we are furrounded with difficulties and troubles : without the affiftance of the great King of the univerfe, all our promifes of fecurity are vain and foolifh ; he can render all our labours abortive; and the richefl and moll opulent perfon, when they think themfelves fecitre, and are planning fchemes of pleafure and gratification, may, in a moment, be flripped ofall their poffeffions, and torn from all their comforts ; when the foul, naked and defencelefs, and clothed in all its guilt, will enter into an awful eternity, and be brought, trembling and aflonifhed, to the throne of it's offended Maker. Our bleffed Saviour, having delivered this awakening parable, proceeded to ap- ply it to his difciples ; and from hence took occafion to warn them of an over- folicitous care, concern, and defire after the things of this world. He rather ad- vifed them to truft in God, whole fatherly care extends itfelf over all his creatures : the fowls of heaven are fed by his bounty, and the lilies are clothed, in brighter hues, and more glorious raiment than the greateft monarch. If, therefore, argued the bleffed JESUS, the great Governor of all things fo carefully provides for the inferior part of his creation; ifhe feeds the ravens and clothes the lilies ; furely the children of men have the higheft reafon to depend on his all -preferving, andall fupporting good- nefs ; efpecially thofe who have the well- grounded hopes, that the great Eternal Maker and Supporter ofall things, has ap- pointed them to happinefs in a future late, have little reafon to doubt that he will not provide them all that is neceffary for their comfort and fupport in this : Fear not, faid he,' little flock; for it is your Father's good filea/ere to give you the kingdom. At the fame time, he gave his difciples another precept, particularly calculated for thofe times, in which the profeflion of the gape! expofed men to the lofs of their fubflance: Sell that ye have, Paid he, and give alms ; provide yourfelves bags which wax not old; a treafure in the heavens, that faileth not, where no thief atfroacheth, neither moth corrupteth: for where your treafure is, there willyour hearts be alto. . Having thus exhorted them to the difen- gagement of their affehlions from the things of this world, he advifed them to be at all times ready for the difcharge of their duty: Let, faid he, your loins be girded about, andyour lights burning; andyeyourfelves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and, kñzocketh, theymay often unto him immediately. This was fpoken in allufion to the cufioms of the eaftern countries, 'where anciently great entertainments were _made in the evening; and, on thefe occafions, fervants demonstrated their diligence, by watching, and keeping their loins girded, that they might be ready to open the door on the firft knock oftheir mailer : nor was it uncommon for the mailer, in order to reward fuch a fervant, to order him a re- paft, and fometimes even to give it hin; with his own hand. In allufion to which cuftom, our bleffed Saviour added, Bleed are thofe servants, whom the Lord, when he cometh, fhallfind watching: verily, Ifay unto you, that he (hall gird himfelf, and make them to fit down to meat, and will come forth andferve them. C H A P T E R