Wright - BT300 W8 1788

and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, and his APOSTLES, ßc. 161 rational creature, a daughter ofAbraham, who had been bound by an incurable dif- temper, the tedious fpace of eighteen years, was abundantly juflified: nor could this bigotted ruler have thought otherwife, had not his reafon been blinded by his fuper- flition. Such was the fentiment of the Son ofGod, who anfwered him with this fe- vere rebuke, Thou hypocrite, cloth not each one ofyou on the Sabbath, loofe his ox or his afs from theflail, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter ofAbraham, whom Satan halt bound; lo, thefe eighteenyears, be loofed from this bond on the Sabbath-day? And when he had laid thefe things, all his ad- ves- acies were afhamed; and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. From this inflance we may remark the evil effeífs of fuperflition, and a bigotted attachment to cufioms and ceremonies, which have no foundation in reafon nor the revealedwill ofGod ; thefe pernicious principles oppofe the ufe of the faculties, root compaffion out of the heart, and de- flroy the feelings ofhumanity. Our Lord having filenced the proud ruler of the fynagogue, and received the acclamations and applaufès of the people, he refleéfed with plcafure on the truth, rea- fon, and divine power from above, which fupport his kingdom ; and, on this occa- fion, he repeated the parables of the grain ofmuflard feed, and the leaven, to fhew the future fuccefs of the gofpel, and the power and influence of his religion on the hearts and lives of men, and it's rapid pro- grefs through the world, notwithflanding the oppofition of the great men of the earth, and the fury of the unthinking mul- titude. Our Lord having thus fown the feeds of the gofpel in the country of Perea, he croffed Jordan, and proceeded by flowand short Rages towards Jerufalem, preaching the gofpel in every village, and publifhing' the glad-tidings of falvation to the inhabi- tants of the countries he paflèd through. No. 54. While he was thus profecutitig the great work of infiruring mankind, one of the perlons who accompanied him, inquired, Lord, are there few that be faced. Pro- bably the perfon who propofed this que[lion, had heard our Lord defcribe the fuccefs of the gofpel, by the parables of the mufiard feed, and the leaven; and had no further views of the kingdom ofthe Meffiah, than the fetting up a temporal dominion. Thefe notions were entertained by the Jews in general, and' induced them to conclude, that CHRIST hereby meant no more than . a temporal falvation. But JESUS, to con- vince this curious inquirer, and the refs of the Jews, that he had no intention to ereff a fecular kingdom, anfwered his queftion in a fpiritual manner, by which he gave the Jews to underfiand, that very few of them would be partakers of the ho- nour and happinefs of his kingdom ; and he exhorted them to ufe their utmofi ef- forts to know the truth, and become mem- bers of the church and heirs of glory, by improving the means which were afforded them ; for the time would foon come, he aflured them, when the means which they now enjoyed would be taken away, and they would perceive their flate to be finally and irrevocably determined, and then, however earneflly they might defire fuch opportunities as they now enjoyed, they fhould not be able to attain them : Strive, Paid he, to enter in at the ftraight gate : for many, Ifay unto you, will leek to enter its, and {hall not be able. When once the Matter of the houfe is rifen up, and hash /hut to the door, andye begin to/land with- out, and to knock at the door, Paying,. Lord, Lord, often unto us, and he fhall anfwer, andfayunto you, Iknowyounot whenceyou are. This fentence, our Lord informedthem, would be final, and not to be altered by their moll earnefl petitions and expoflula-. Lions: Then, added our great Redeemer, /hall ye begin to fay, We have eaten and drank in thy prefence, and thou hail taught inour flreets. But he"hallfay, I tellyou, I know you not whenceyou are ; departfrom _ Rr me,