Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 67 power warm his heart, which overpowering every worldly confideration, he teems to have left his accounts all unfinifhed, and immediately obeyed. He foon, by our great Redeemer, was led into á mpre honourable and important employment, and afterwards became an evangelift, as well as an aponle. A few days afterthis, 'the new called publican made a great entertainment, to which he, with CHRIST and his difciples, invited feveral of his own profellion; no doubt hoping that his heavenly converfa- tion might ftrike their hard hearts with remorfe for their wickednefs and extortion, and lead them to true repentance and amendment of life. But the haughty fell- concèited Scribes and Pharifees, who Concluded all men vile and finful in compa- rifon with themfelves, and bore aparticular hatred to the publicans above all others, were highly offended that a perfon who claimed the high dignity of a prophet, and a teacher fent from God, fhould fo far demean himfelf as to be feen in fuels company as this. They carried their re- fntment fo far, as, with an air of infolence and contempt, to ails the difciples of CHRIST how their Mailer could fit at the fame table with publicans and finners ? To this infulting queftion our Lord immediately replied, that thofe who conceited them- felves fo righteous that they needed no forgivenefs, and fo wife that they needed no inliruftion, were not the perfons who were likely to receive benefit by his con verlation ; as it is not the healthy, but the Fick, which nand in need ofthe phyfician. The Scribes and Pharifees, by their pride and haughty felf-fu$iciency, and by oppo- fing and refilling the mefhod in which only the great King of the univerfe had deter- mined to have mercy on hisfallencreafures, had put themfelves out of the way of receiving benefit from the Redeemer of mankind ; and therefore :CHRIST reminds them, that, in the gofpel- difpenfation, God will have mercy, and not facrce; and as thofe who confelfed themfelves finners were the only proper objeas of that mercy, our Lord declared that he was not come to call the righteous, but finners to repentance; and to blame him for converting with publicansand finners was as great a piece of abfurdity as to blame a phyfician for vifiting the fiele. This anfwer from the great Friend and Redeemer of loft finners, was far from fatisfÿing the haughty felf-con- ceited Scribes and Pharifees: and as they made great oftentation of their fatting and abílinence, they took this opportunity to give themfelves confequence on that ac- count; and, joining with John's difciples, prefumed to blame our great Redeemer becaufe his difciples were not fo frequent in this practice as themfelves. To this our Lord replied, that the prefent was not a time for failing ; for his difciples need not fail and mourn in the prefence of their Matter, any more than the friends of the bridegroom need fact and afflif themfelves while they enjoyed his company. But, faid he, the day will come, when the bridegroom will be 'taken away from them, and then they fhall fall. r Intimating by this, that the calamities, troubles, . and aft-HE-lions, which they would fuller after the death of their Mailer, would oblige them to fait and mourn but the corrupt nature of man, which was the caufe of his coming into the world, required different treatment:- the rent would not be patched up with morti- fication, farting, or any external perform- ances ; filch treatment as this would be like fewing a piece of new cloth on an old rotten garment-, which would only make the rent worfe, or putting new wine into old leather bottles, which would burft as foon as the liquor fermented. C H A P T E R