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LECTURE XI.

LUKE, IV.13--32.

And when ihe devil had ended all the temptation he departed from him for a seafor. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee : and there went out a fame of him througlz all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the fabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Esaias: and, when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me .10 preach the gospel to the poor; he hạth jent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of fight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised; to preach the accepta. ble year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the /ynagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, is not this

Foseph's lon? and he said unto them, ye will surely say unto me this proverb, physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, verily, I jay unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own.country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Eløs, when ihe heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias jent, lave unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in lircel in the time of Elijcus the pro. phet; and none of them was cleansed, javiny Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the Synagogue, when ihey heard these things, were filled with wrath, and toje up and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down head!ong. But he, passing through the midft of them, went his way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Gali'ee, and taught them on the

Jabbatte

fabbath days.. And they were astonished at his doctrine : for, his word. was with power.

W H EN the Son of God came for the Salvation of a loft

VV world," verily he took not on him the nature of angels ; but he took on him the feed of Abraham ;” he assumed. pot royal state, but “ the form of a servant;”. his progress, was marked, not by the blood of those who opposed them. felves, but by the benefits which he conferred on the evil and unthanktui. Subject himself to the sinless infirmities of hu.. man nature, he was experimentally taught to fympathize with. the weak; " in that he himself bath suffered being tempted, he. is able to succour them that are tempted.".

The wilderness exhibited a wonderful display of the divine nature united to humanity, of the humiliation of the “ man of, sorrows and acquainted with grief," and of the majesty of: the mighty God, who has all creatures at his disposal, and under his control. The man." was an hungred," and exposed to, temptation, and arbitrarily disposed of by an insolent foe : He was humbled to the hearing of blasphemous suggestions, and the bearing of cruel and unmerited insults. The Divinity miraculously sustained the infirmity of nature, quenched the fiery darts of the devil; put Satan to flights received the bomage and service of angels. In all he presented an object of admiration and love, and in every display of human excellence he exhibited a pattern for imitation.

Jesus had now attained his thirtieth year, The Spirit of God and of glory rested on him; and a voice from heaven had declared his generation. In the folemnity and folitude of a forty days retirement from all human converse, the order of his future procedure is settled, according to the plan of the

eternal mind. Behold him then, in the power of the Spirit, in - the greatness of his strength, in the travail of his soul, returning from the desert into Galilee, to enter on his arduous and important undertaking. The public attention was fixed, and expectation excited by the fingular circumstances attending his birth and baptism. The discerning eye of the Baptist saw in him “ The great Prophet who should come into the world," and with the finger he pointed him out as “ the lamb, of God which taketh away the fin of the world." His sudden disappearance after his baptism, and after the testimony then borne to him from above, must have been an occasion of some wonder, and a subject of much conversation, for on his return, at the end of the forty days, we find his fame already spread abroad, and a general disposition to receive and to hear him

manifested.

manifested. And where does he begin his career, and what character does he assume, and what arms does he employ? At Rome, the seat of empire, in the triumphant state of a con, queror, with his sword dyed in the blood of his enemies ? No, in Galilee, the proverbially reproachful refilence of almost his whole life, in the humble character of a teacher of religion, and employing only the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. In this we behold him teaching us a generous

fuperiority to the little invidious diftin&tions of country and · kindred, a noble contempt of the glory of this world, an ar

dent zeal for the glory of God, a benevolent concern for the happiness of men, and a juft discernment of the means beft a. dapted to the attainment of these ends.

What a Glent instructor had his childhood and youıh been of subjection to parental authority, of conientment with a poor and mean condition, of holiness in all manner of conver, fation ? What an interesting object was prelented to the eye in a form so fair, animated by a mind to pure and exalted ! With what delight must the ear have hung upon those lips which wisdom inspired, and into which grace was poured ! How commanding, how attractive that goodness which was incessantly aiming at communicating good to others ! Is it any wonder that when He became the public and active instructor of his countrymen, he should be "glorified of all.” It was probably about this period, that " the beginning of his mira, cles" he performed at Cana of Galilee, “and manifestedaforth his glory,” by turning water into winę, at the marriage solemnity of one of his relations or friends. By this he approved himself the affectionate, condescending brother of mankind, and, at the same time, the great Lord of nature, to whom all elements are subject ; and whereby he reproves the unbend, ing pride of affected wisdom, the uncomplying preciseness which refuses to partake of the harmless intercourse and en. joyments of human life, and the coldness and indifference with which selfishness endeavours to file the voice of blood, of friendlhip and of natural affection. How greatly must his public miniftrations have been enhanced and endeared by the meekness and gentleness of his privale deportment ! What force must divine truth, delivered in the synagogue, . have derived from the utterance of that tongue which in do mestic and social communication was governed by “the law of kindness."

In the mere human teacher, the professional appearance must frequently be at variance with the personal ; a heart torn, with a thousand anxieties, must try to conceal its bitternels under a .

serene

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: Terenc forehead, and calmnels of speeco ; and the unhappy man may be administering to others that consolation to which he himlelt is a stranger, or, what is infinitely worse, may be

called by public duty to declare that truth which is his secret szeproach and condemnation. But O how delightful the enteri tainment, when the hand which dispenses to oihers can with holy confidence take its own appropriated share! How digni. Sed is the characier which, in the closet, in the parlour, in the market-place, in the synagogue, in the pulpit, presents but one and the fame person, the servant of God, the friend of man ; the respectable and amiable member of society, the kind relation, the agreeable neighbour, the gentle master, the patriotic citizen, the faithful paitor! What a model, in all these respects, is presenied to the Christian minifter, in the person, the char. acter and the conduct of his divine Master! What must have been the ineffable charm of that divine eloquence which captivased every ear, every heart'; which commanded universal admiration and applause; and which, alas, such is the enmity of the carnal mind, so soon roused the vile it and worst of hu. man passions in the breast of his neighbours and acquaintance. envy, and jealousy, and malice, and hatred ! O how pleasant it is to acconi pany, in thought, the blessed Jesus from house to house; from devotional retirement, to uletul and necessary employment; from honourable employment, to social endear. ment; from the pure and innocent delights of virtuous friendihip, to the solemn and sublime exercises of public worship; and to observe in all the changing scenes, the same lovely sim. plicity, the same unassuming dignity, the same unvarying charity and good will!

But the Evangelist leads us from general to particular ideas; and gives vivacity and effect to our meditations, by bringing them to one point of time, of place, and of expression. Be. hold him then' at Nazareth, where he had been brought up, in the synagogue on the fabbath day, according to his usual cuf- tom, ftanding up to read, unfolding the prophecy, the prophecy of Ilaias, a remarkable predi&tion, and himself the subject of it; then closing the book, delivering it again to the minister, sitting down to explain and apply what he had read; and how plealant it is to mark the emotion which every word, every action produced in an astonished and delighted audience ! Eve ery one of these circumstances seems to merit a few moments' meditation.

He came to Nazareth. Having visited other parts of GaliSlee, and taught in their synagogues, and received the cheerful homage which heartfelt gratitude pays to real worth ; having

performed

performed the duties of a benevolent neighbour and kind relation at Cana, rejoicing with them that rejoiced, and putting : respect on the ordinance of God, the idea of home suggests ita self, the kind affeétions become concentrated, the calls of na... ture are felt and obeyed. At Nazareth his mother dwelt; he was well aware of her maternal tenderness and solicitude ; his: forty days absence about his “Father's business" must have filled her with pain inexpressible ; her soul was about to be pierced through with many a sword, whose keen point could not be averted; but filial affection will not suffer her to feels the Aroke before the time; and what momenis of ecstacy to a mother those must have been which passed at Nazareth, in the house and in the synagogue, during this bleiled interval! And what delight must it have been to that Son to minister to the consolation of his mother!

He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. The scenes in which early life was passed, are painted in lively cola ors on the imagination. Memory frequently recals, and the heart fondly cherishes them. They are blended with the ideas of gaiety, and want of care, and innocence. I think with raps ture on the tree from which my childish hand plucked the. golden fruit; on the cooling stream which refreshed the tonguesparched with juvenile exercise ; on the flower-enamelled turf' whereon I caft my weary limbs ; on the ascent to the house of God along which my yet unconfirmed footsteps accompanied my venerable grandfire at the hour of prayer; the note of the summoning be!l is even now in mine ears. The feeling is nat-. ural; it is harmless ; perhaps it may be virtuous. And is it a degradation of our subject to say that we see in the history be tóre us, the ingenuous, generous Nazarene, thinking with complacency on the particular spots consecrated by the recollections of early piety, of friendship and of enjoyment; thinking: with affection, such as only the Son of God could teel, on the associates of tender years ; on the relations which the hand of pature, on those which the wisdom of Providence had formed :ftriving in the maturity of thirty, to communicate to grown men. that wisdom and happiness, which the unsuspecting, unenvious generosity of twelve delights to convey to its equal. The Saviour of the world is here held up in the honourable, engag... ing, and attractive character of a liberal and generous town..! man ; rejoicing in the exertion of his ripened i alents, his ima. proved powers, his enlarged abilities, for the information, improvement and comfort of ihe friends of his youth.

Attend to the place which he chose for this purpose-ihe: place of public assembly, devoted to the service of God, to the:

conveyance

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