Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHR I S 7: 49 deur, and glory ; and on that account they withed -to fee the Meffiah's kingdom, be- caufe they fuppofed it would be a tempo- ral dominion, and that a golden fceptre, inflead of afceptre of righteosefnefs, would be thefceptre of his kingdom; and fo pre- vailing was the opinion of the temporal reign of the Meffiah, that the difciples themfelves retained this notion, till after his refurreaion, and probably were induced to follow him at firft, by theexpeaation of high honours and rewards. The bleffed Jesus, therefore, thought fit to {hew his hearers in general, and his difciples in particular, - their miftakes in fo important a point, and let them know, that happinefs did not confift in the abun- dance of things poflèffed, nor in the opi- nion which the world might form con- cerning them, but in an entire refignation of mind to the will of God, who is per- fealy wife and good, who orders and dif- pòfes all things with the utmoft accuracy and exaanefs, fo as to promote the belt intereft of his people ; and an acknow- legement of his fuperior wifdom, and our own blindnefs and folly, tends to the eafe and quiet of our minds, when we are' oppreffed and affliéied, and cannot difcern the wife ends of his difpenfations. Blfd, faid our great Redeemer, are the poor in fpirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And though the fenfe of our own mean - nefs and unworthinefs, might excite us to mourn, and fill us with forrow of heart, the divine teacher informed his hearers, that this was a true fign of fucceeding happi- nefs : Blfed; faid he, are they that mourn, for they (hall be comforted. Our exalted Redeemer further proceeded to inform his attentive hearers, that true happinefs did not confift in the gratification of their inordinate pariions and inclinations, but in the fuppreffmg of them, and keeping them within the bounds of reafon and religion. Blíd are the meek, for they flail inherit the earth. Bldd are they which _do hunger and Mill? after righte- No. 5. osfnefs, for they 'hall be filled. ' Blíd are the merciful, for they flail obtain mercy. Blefféd are the pure in heart, for they flail fee God. The divine teacher then proceeded to obferve, that happi- nefs did not confift in what the world calls conqueft and glory ; for tyrants and conquerors, who diflurb the peace, and defiroy the comforts of mankind, are molt deplorably miferable : but true happinefs falls to the (hare of thofe who are lovers of peace, and feek to promote kindnefs, benevolence, and all the focial affections amongft men ; for they imitate the perfec- tion of heavenly goodnefs, which fo con- fpicuoufly fhines in their Maker, and will therefore be called his children. Blíd are the peace-makers, faid our exalted Re- deemer;for theyflzall be called the children of God. And if thefe holy and amiable perfons, fhould not at firft find that happinefs, which they are entitled to as heirs of heaven; though they fhould be reviled and perfecuted by the wicked of this world; though they fhould be de- prived of their comforts, and undergo the fevereft trials ; yet the great Savi- our of mankind pronounces them bleffed. Blued, faid he, are they that are perfe- cutedfor righteoufnefs fake, for theirs is the kingdom ofheaven. Solid contentment and true happinefs, the heavenly teacher informs us, are not to be expected from the praife of men,, nor from the noife of popular applaufe, but will hereafter be the portion of thofe who are falfely reviled. for their integrity and uprightnefs, and their heady attachment to the truth ; fuch perfons meafurably partake of the fuf£erings of CHRIST : and' it was by thefe perfecu- dons, and the contempt of the world, that the prophets have been in all ages diftin- guifhed. Blfed areye when men /hall re- vile you, and perfecute you, and fay all manner of evil agairJ you falfely for my fake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for fo perfecuted they the prophets which were before you. N Such 1