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'came not to judge the world, but to
save the world. 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth
not my words, haih one iliai jucigeth him: the word that I have spoken, the
same shall judge him in the last day.
the Father which sent me, he hath
say and what I should speak.
is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”
These verses are so plain as to need no comment: I shall, notwithstanding, just observe to you, that they were designed to show to the Jews the union of CHRIST with his Father : that if they refused the divine grace which was offered to them, the words which he now spake, would be sufficient evidence to justify their condemnation, as it was entirely the effect of their own obstinacy: that he did not address them as a common teacher, but spoke to them the very words of God*: That obedience to God's commandments is the way to eternal life, and he will surely condemn those who are disobedi
ent to his word. Let us remember then, that the same word which will condeinn the obstinate and unbelieving Jew, will also condemn the wicked and hypocritical Christian. .
We have now followed our. blessed LORD through the second day of the week in which he suffered, and have beheld him with great seriousness and earnestness reforming abuses, and teaching the people. And now the scene of his persecutions and of the ignominious death to which he was to submit, begins to open upon us. The chief priests and scribes heard his doctrine, and were so offended at it, that'they sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people were astonished at his doctrine. And when the evening was come, he went out of the city, and retired, probably to some private place with his disciples.
We too, my Brethren, will now retire; but let me first entreat you to meditate seriously on what you have heard, and in your private addresses to ALMIGHTY God to pray, that you may ever be of that number who gladly hear the Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ, and that you may so hear it, as to bring forth fruit unto eternal life.
Mark xi. 20.
AND IN THE MORNING, AS THEY PASSED BY, THEY SAW THE FIG-TREE DRIED UP FROM THE ROOTS.
Mark xii. 1.
AND HE BEGAN TO SPEAK UNTO THEM BY
THIS, my Brethren, is the third day
of that week, which the Church of England has particularly recommended her members to observe with more than ordinary solemnity; therefore the occurrences of this day, as they are generally supposed to have arisen, I am now, according to the plan i proposed, to take into consideration : and by a due meditation on those already brought to your recollection, and on those which remain to be considered, it may with confidence be presumed, that your attendance here cannot be entirely unprofitable, nor your time considered as by any means lost. Need I suggest to you, that you will have had an opportunity of joining in publick prayers, which must in justice be considered the principal part of publick worship; although it is unquestionable, that discourses delivered from this place, as far as they are agreeable to the word of God, will promote your edification; for St. Paul has put the question, How shall they hear without a preacher*? It being therefore a duty incumbent on me to preach, it is no less so on you to give an attentive hearing: and may God severally supply us all with his preventing grace, that we may faithfully discharge our respective duties of minister and peo
Our principal observations last evening were on CHRIST's cursing the barren fig-tree, of his driving the buyers and sellers out of the temple, as he had done the day before, and of the offence which the chief priests and scribes took at his doctrine, by which he asserted his mission and authority from God: offence so great, that they sought how they might destroy him. This however they did not attempt at that time, for they feared the people who had a high veneration for
him: and he retired peaceably to Bethany, as he had done the night before.
We find him the next morning, that is on tuesday, the day we are about to consider, returning into the city with his disciples; who, as they were passing by the spot on which they had, the day before, seen the fig-tree, to all appearance, in a very flourishing state, were struck with wonder and astonishment, when they perceived that the beauty of it was gone, and that it was become a withered trunk. They immediately expressed their surprise, and exclaimed, probably one to another, How soon is the fig-tree withered away! But one of them in particular, Peter, who is frequently represented by the evangelists to be more quick in his observations than the rest of them, addressed himself particularly to JESUS, Master, behold the fiy-tree which thou cursedst, is withered away. It is pleasing to remark, how readily the blessed Jesus instructed his disciples to derive information from every event: and the answer which he gave to Peter and to the other disciples, affords a lesson of the utmost importance; it therefore deserves. our most serious attention. We will give the answer as recorded by the two evangelists St. Matthew and St. Mark. And