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Coxt. XXII.] THE TRIBUTE-MONEY PAID.
diverted to the Roman exchequer. There of an humble virgin, and choosest not a Moe was no necessity that the Roiran lords roval state, but a servile. I dispute not mielies should be tied to the Jewish reckonings; it thy natural right to the throne, by thy lidrink was free for them to impose what payments neal descent from the loins of Judah and
they pleased upon a subdued people : when David: what should I plead that which thou a great Augustus commanded the world to wavest? It is thy divine royalty and son
ini be taxed, this rate was set. The mannerly ship which thou here justly urgest: the arin collectors demand it first of him with whom gument is irrefragable and convictive. If
they might be more bold: “Doth not your the kings of the earth do so privilege their
Master pay tribute ?" All Capernaum knew children, that they are free from all tributes mein Christ for a great Prophet : his doctrine and impositions, how much more shall the
had ravished them; his miracles had as- king of heaven give this immunity to his tonished them; yet when it comes to a only and natural Son? so as in true reason, money matter, his share is as deep as the I might challenge an exemption for me and rest. Questions of profit admit no difference. my train. Thou mightst, O Saviour, and Still the sacred tribe challength reverence: no less, challenge a tribute of all the kings who cares how little they receive, how of the earth to thee, by whom all powers much they pay? yet no man knows with are ordained: reason cannot mutter against what mind this demand was made ; whether this claim; the creature owes itself, and in a churlish grudging at Christ's immunity, whatsoever it hath, to the Maker; he owes or an awful compellation of the servant nothing to it. “ Then are the children free." rather than the master.
He that hath right to all, needs not pay any. Peter bad it ready what to answer. I thing, else there should be a subjection in hear him not require their stay till he should sovereignty, and men should be debitors to go in and know his Master's resolution; but, themselves. But this right was thine own as one well acquainted with the mind and peculiar, and admits no partners: why dost practice of his Maker, he answers, Yes. · thou speak of children, as of more, and, ex.
There was no truer paymaster of the tending this privilege to Peter, sayest, “ Lest king's dues, than he that was King of kings. we scandalize them?" Was it for that thy Well did Peter know that he did not only disciples, being of thy robe, might justly give, but preach tribute. When the Hero. seem interested in the liberties of their Mas. dians laid twigs for him, as supposing that ter: surely no otherwise were they children, so great a Prophet would be all for the liberty no otherwise free. Away with that fanaand exemption of God's chosen people, he tical conceit, which challenges an immunity
chokes them with their own coin, and told from secular commands and taxes, to a Luna them the stamp argued the right : “ Give spiritual and adoptive sonship: no earthly unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's." saintship can exempt us from tribute to
O Saviour, how can thy servants chal. whom tribute belongeth. There is a free. - lenge that freedom which thyself had not? | dom, O Saviour, which our Christianity
Who, that pretends to be from thee, can calls us to affect; a freedom from the yoke claim homage from those to whom thou of sin and Satan, from the servitude of our gavest it? If thou, by whom kings reign, corrupt affections: we cannot be sons, if forbearest not to pay tribute to a heathen we be not thus free. Ofree thou us, by prince, what power under thee can deny it thy free spirit, from the miserable bondage to those that rule for thee?
of our nature, so shall the children be free. That demand was made without doors. | But as to these secular duties, no man • No sooner is Peter come in, than he is is less free than the children: 0 Saviour,
prevented by his Master's question, “What thou wert free, and wouldst not be so; thou E ibinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings wert free by natural right, wouldst not be
of the earth receive tribute? of their own free by voluntary dispensation, “ Lest an -, children, or of strangers?" This very in offence might be taken.” Surely had there
terrogation was answer enough to that which followed an offence, it had been taken only,
Peter meant to move: he, that could thus and not given. “Woe be to the man by e know the heart, was not, in true light, liable whom the offence cometh! it cometh by to human exactions.
him that gives it, it cometh by him that But, O Saviour, may I presume to ask, takes it, when it is not given: no part of what this is to thee? Thou hast said, “My 1 this blame could have cleaved unto thee kingdom is not of this world :" how doth either way. Yet such was thy goodness, it concern thee what is done by the kings that thou wouldst not suffer an offence of the earth, or imposed upon the cons I unjustly taken, at that which thou mightst
justly have denied. How jealous should we be even of others' perils! how careful so CONTEMPLATION XXIII. - LAZARUS DEAD. to moderate our power in the use of lawful things, that our charity may prevent others' O The wisdom of God in pesning his scandals! to remit of our own right for an own story! The disciple whom Jesus loved other's safety! O the deplorable condition comes after his fellow evangelists, that he of those wilful men, who care not what might glean up those rich ears of history blocks thiey lay in the way to heaven, not which the rest had passed over: that eagle forbearing, by a known lewdness, to draw soars high, and towers up by degrees. It others into their own damnation!
was much to turn water into wine; but it To avoid the unjust offence, even of very was more to feed five thousand with fire publicans, Jesus will work a miracle. Peter loaves. It was much to restore the ruler's is sent to the sea, and that not with a net, son; it was more to cure him that had been but with a hook. The disciple was now in thirty-eight years a cripple. It was much his own trade. He knew a net might into cure him that was born blind; it was close many fishes, a hook could take but more to raise up Lazarus that had been so one: with that hook must he go angle for long dead. As a stream runs still the the tribute-money. A fish shall bring him stronger and wider, the nearer it comes to a stater in her moutlı; and that fish that the ocean wlience it was derived: so didst bites first. What an unusual bearer is thou, O Saviour, work the more powerfully here! what an unlikely element to yield a the nearer thou drewest to thy glory. This piece of ready coin!
was, as one of thy last, so of thy greatest, O that omnipotent power, which could miracles: when thou wert ready to die thycommand the fish to be both his treasurer self, thou raisedst him to life who smelt to keep his silver, and his purveyor to bring strong of the grave. None of all the sacred it! Now whether, O Saviour, thou causedst histories is so full and punctual as this, in this fish to take up that shekel out of the the report of all circumstances. Other mi. bottom of the sea, or whether by thine al racles do not more transcend nature, than mighty word thou madest it in an instant in this transcends other miracles. the mouth of that fish, it is neither possible. This alone was a sufficient eviction of to determine, nor necessary to inquire: 1 thy Godhead, O blessed Saviour! None rather adore thine infinite knowledge and but an infinite power could so far go beyond power, that couldst make use of unlikeliest nature, as to recall a man four days dead, means; that couldst serve thyself of the from not a mere privation, but a settled corvery fishes of the sea, in a business of earthly ruption. Earth must needs be thine, from and civil employment. It was not out of which thou raisest his body; heaven must need that thou didst this; though I do not needs be chine, from whence thou fetchest find that thou ever affectedst a full purse- his spirit. None but he that created man, what veins of gold, or mines of silver, did could thus make him new. not lie open to thy command?_but out of a Sickness is the common preface to death; desire to teach Peter, that while he would no mortal nature is exempted from this combe tributary to Cæsar, the very fish of the plaint; even Lazarus, whom Jesus loved, sea was tributary to him. How should is sick. What can strength of grace or this encourage our dependence upon that dearness of respect prevail against disease, omnipotent hand of thine, which hath hea- against dissolution? ven, earth, sea, at thy disposing! Still thou! It was a stirring message that Mary sent art the same for thy members, which thou to Jesus: “ He whom thou lovest is sick :" wert for thyself, the Head. Rather than as if she would imply, that his part was no offence shall be given to the world by a less deep in Lazarus than hers. Neither seeming neglect of thy dear children, thou doth she say, He that loves thee is sick; wilt cause the very fowls of heaven to but, “He whom thou lovest:" not pleading bring them meat, and the fish of the sea to the merit of Lazarus's affection to Christ, bring them money. O let us look up ever but the mercy and favour of Christ to him. to thee by the eye of our faith, and not be Even that other reflection of love had been wanting in our dependence upon thee, who no weak motive; for, O Lord, thou hast canst not be wanting in thy providence said, “ Because he hath set his love upon
me, therefore will I deliver him." Thy goodness will not be behind us for love. who professest to love them that love thee.
But yet the argument is more forcible from | thy love to us, since thou hast just reason
to respect everything of thine own, more I loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus."
than aught that can proceed from us. Even | It is no standing upon terms of precedency: E-s we weak men, what can we stick at where the Spirit of God is not curions in mar
we love? Thou, O infinite God, art love shalling of places. Time was when Mary to itself. Whatever thou hast done for us is was confessed to have chosen the better
it out of thy love; the ground and motive of part; here Martha is named first, as most 143 all thy mercies is within thyself, not in us, I interested in Christ's love: for aught ap
and if there be aught in us worthy of thy pears, all of them were equally dear. Christ 3 love, it is thine own, not ours; thou givest had familiarly lodged under their roof. How
what thou acceptest. Jesus well heard | fit was that to receive him, whose indwel. is the first groan of bis dear Lazarus; every lers were hospitable, pious, unanimous ! * short breath he drew, every sigh that he hospitable, in the glad entertainment of
gave, was upon account; yet this Lord of Jesus and his train ; pious, in their devolife lets his Lazarus sicken, and languish, tions; unanimous, in their mutual concord. and die; not out of neglect or impotence, As, contrarily, he baulks and hates that but out of power and resolution : « This house which is taken up with uncharitablesickness is not to death.” He to whom ness, profaneness, contention. the issues of death belong, knows the way But, O Saviour, how doth this agree? both into it and out of it. He meant that thou lovedst this family, yet, hearing of sickness should be to death, in respect of their distress, thou heldest off two days the present condition, not to death in re- more from them. Canst thou love those spect of the event; to death, in the process thou regardest not ? canst thou regard them of nature, not to death in the success of | from whom thou willingly absentest thyself his divine power, “ that the Son of God | in their necessity? Behold, thy love, as it is might be glorified thereby." O Saviour, above ours, so it is oft against ours. Even thy usual style is the Son of Man; thou out of every affection art thou not seldom that wouldst take up our infirmities, wert absent. None of thine but have sometimes willing thus to hide thy Godliead under the cried, “How long, Lord?” What need we coarse weeds of our humanity; but here instance, when thine eternal Father did thou sayest, “ That the Son of God might purposely estrange his face from thee, so be glorified.” Though thou wouldst hide as thou criedst out of forsaking? . thy divine glory, yet thou wouldst not Here thou wouldst knowingly delay, whe. smother it. Sometimes thou wouldst have ther for the greatening of the miracle, or thy sun break forth in bright gleams, to show for the strengthening of thy disciples' faith. that it hath no less light even while it seems Hadst thou gone sooner, and prevented kept in by thy clouds. Thou wert now the death, who had known, whether strength near thy passion: it was most seasonable of nature, and not thy miraculous power, for thee at this time to set forth thy just had done it ? hadst thou overtaken his title. Neither was this an act that thy death by this quickening visitation, who had liumanity could challenge to itself, but far known, whether this had been only some transcending all finite powers. To die was qualm or ecstacy, and not a perfect dissoluan act of the Son of man, to raise from death tion? Now this large gap of time makes was an act of the Son of God.
thy work both certain and glorious. Neither didst thou say merely that God, And what a clear proof was this before. but " That the Son of God might be glori. hand to thy disciples, that thou wert able fied.” God cannot be glorified, unless the to accomplish thine own resurrection on Son be so. In very natural relations, the the third day, who wert able to raise up wrong or disrespect offered to the child re- Lazarus on the fourth! The more difficult flects upon the father; as, contrarily, the the work should be, the more need it had parent's upon the child : how much more, of an omnipotent confirmation. where the love and respect is infinite! where He that was Lord of our times and his the whole essence is communicated with own, can now, when he found it season. the entireness of relation !
able, say, “Let us go into Judea again." O God, in vain shall we tender our de- Why left he it before? was it not upon the votions to thee indefinitely, as to a glorious heady violence of his enemies? Lo! the and incomprehensible Majesty, if we kiss stones of the Jews drove him thence; the not the Son, who hath most justly said, I love of Lazarus and the care of his divine - Ye believe in the Father, believe also glory drew him back thither. in me."
We may, we must be wise as serpents What a happy family was this! I find for our own preservation; we must be carenone upon earth so much honoured: “Jesus | less of danger, when God calls us to the nazard. It is far from God's purpose to would have dissembled, is graciousls ds give us leave so far to respect ourselves, as pelled by the just consideration of a sere that we should neglect him. Let Judea be and inevitable Providence: “ Are there pe all snares, all crosses: O Saviour, when twelve hours in the day," which are di thou callest us, we must put our lives into set, and proceed regularly for the direais our hands, and follow thee thither. of all the motions and actions of mea?
This journey thou hast purposed and con- in this course of mine, which I must a trived: but what needest thou to acquaint on earth, there is a set and determined tin thy disciples with thine intent? where didst wherein I must work, and do my Father's thou ever, besides this, make them of coun- will. The sun, that guides these hours, E sel with thy voyages ? Neither didst thou the determinate counsel of my Father, and say, How think you if I go? but, “ Let us his calling to the execution of my chiam go.” Was it for that thou, who knewest while I follow that, I cannot miscarry, Do thine own strength, knewest also their more than a man can miss his known 9 weakness? Thou wert resolute, they were at bigh noon: this while in vain are ett timorous; they were sensible enough of your dissuasions or the attempts of enemies; their late peril, and fearful of more: there they cannot hurt, ye cannot divert me. was need to forearm them with an expec. The journey then holds to Judea : hits tation of the worst, and preparation for it. attendants shall be made acquainted with Surprisal with evils may endanger the best the occasion. He that had formerly deniri constancy. The heart is apt to fail, when the deadliness of Lazarus's sickness, woul it finds itself entrapped in a sudden mischief. not suddenly confess his death, neither ret
The disciples were dearly affected to La- would he altogether conceal it; so will be zarus ; they had learned to love where their therefore confess it, as that he will shadur Master loved ; yet now, when our Saviour it out in a borrowed expression : ** Lazarus speaks of returning to that region of peril, our friend sleepeth.” What a sweet lite is they pull him by the sleeve, and put him here, both of death and of Lazarus ! dea:) in mind of the violence offered unto him : is a sleep, Lazarus is our friend. Lo, ki “ Master, the Jews of late sought to stone says not, my friend, but ours; to draw thes thee, and goest thou thither again?” first into a gracious familiarity and con
No less than thrice, in the foregoing munion of friendship with himself; for sha: chapter, did the Jews lift up their hands to doth this import, but,“ ye are my friends," murder him by a cruel lapidation. Whence and Lazarus is both my friend and yours? was this rage and bloody attempt of theirs? “our friend." only for that he taught them the truth con- O meek and merciful Saviour, that dis. cerning his divine nature, and gave himself dainest not to stoop so low, as that, while the just style of the Son of God. How thou “thoughtst it no robbery to be equal subject carnal hearts are to be impatient of unto God," thou thoughtst it no di:pa. heavenly verities ! Nothing can so much ragement to match thyself with weak and fret that malignant spirit which rules in wretched nen! “ Our friend Lazarus !" those breasts, as that Christ should have | There is a kind of parity in friendship. his own. If we be persecuted for his truth, There may be love where is the most inwe do but suffer with him with whom we equality, but friendship supposes pairs: vet shall once reign.
the Son of God says of the sons of men, However, the disciples pleaded for their “ Our friend Lazarus." O what a high and Master's safety, yet they aimed at their own: happy condition is this for mortal men to they well knew their danger was in wrapped aspire unto, that the God of heaven should in his. It is but a cleanly colour that they not be ashamed to own them for friends! put upon their own fear. This is held but Neither saith he now abruptly, Lazarus our a weak and base passion; each one would | friend is dead; but, “Lazarus our friend be glad to put off the opinion of it from sleepeth." himself, and to set the best face upon his O Saviour, none can know the estate of own impotency.
life or death so well as thou that art the Thus, white-livered men, that shrink and Lord of both. It is enough that thou tellest shift from the cross, will not want fair pre-us death is no other than sleep; that which tences to evade it. One pleads the peril of was wont to pass for the cousin of death, is many dependents, another the disfurnishing now itself. All this while, we have misthe church of succeeding abettors : each will taken the case of our dissolution : we took have some plausible excuse for his sound it for an enemy, it proves a friend : there skin. What error did not our Saviour rectify is pleasure in that wherein we supposed in his followers! Even that fear, which they horror.
Exit Who is afraid, after the weary toils of the Father, in all thy sacred expressions. Thine Pe day, to take his rest by night? or what is own mouth is thy best commentary: what
more refresliing to the spent traveller than thou hast more obscurely said in one pas. E a sweet sleep? It is our infidelity, our im sayr, thon interpretest more clearly in an.
preparation, that makes death any other other. Thou art the sun, which givest us foi than advantage. Even so, Lord, when thou that light whereby we see thyself. i seest I have toiled enougli, let me sleep in But how modestly dost thou discover thy : peace; and when thou seest I have slept deity to thy disciples! not upon the first
enongh, awake me, as thou didst thy La- menrion of Lazarus's death, instantly prozarus : “ Biit I go to awake him." Thon fessing thy power and will of his resuscita. saidst not, Let us go to awake him : those tion; but contenting thyself only to intimate whom thou wilt allow companions of thy thy omniscience, in that thou couldst, in way, thou wilt not allow partners of thy that absence and distance, know and report work; they may be witnesses, they cannot his departure: they shall gather the rest, be actors. None can awake Lazarus out and cannot choose but think, We serve a of this sleep, but he that made Lazarus. Master that knows all things; and he that Every mouse or unat can raise us up from knows all things, can do all things. that other sleep: rinne but an omnipotent The absence of our Saviour from the power from this. This sleep is not without deathbed of Lazarus was not casual, but a dissolution. Who can command the soul voluntary; yea, he is not only willing with to come down and meet the body, or com. it, but glad of it: “I am glad, for your sakes, mand the body to piece with itself, and that I was not there." How contrary may rise up to the soul, but the God that created the affections of Christ and ours be, and yet both? It is our comfort and assurance, O be both good! The two worthy sisters were Lord, against the teriors of death and tena. much grieved at our Saviour's absence, as city of the grave, that our resurrection de doubting it might savour of some neglect : pends upon none but thine omnipotence. Christ was glad of it, for the advantage of
Who can blame the disciples if they are his disciples' faith. I cannot blame them, loath to return to Judea? Their last enter that they were thus sorry: I cannot but
tainment was such as might justly dishearten bless him, that he was thus glad. The gain * them. Were this as literally taken, all the of their faith, in so divine a miracle, was
reason of our Saviour's purpose of so peril. more than could be countervailed by their ous a voyage. they argued not amiss : “ If momentary sorrow. God and we are not he sleep, he shall do well." Sleep in sick alike affected with the same events : he
Dess is a good sign of recovery, for extremity | laughis where we mourn; he is angry where 23. 11, of pain bars our rest; when nature, there we are pleased.
fore, finds so much respiration, she justly | The difference of the affections arises hopes for better terms. Yet it doth not from the difference of the objects, which alwars follow, “ If he sleep, he shall do! Christ and they apprehend in the same oc. well:" how many have died of letharyies! currence. Why are the sisters sorrowful ? how many have lost, in sleep, what they because, upon Christ's absence, Lazarus would not have foregone waking! Adam died. Why was Jesus glad he was not slept, and lost his rib; Samson slept, and there ? for the benefit which he saw would
lost his strength; Saul slept, and lost his accrne to their faith. There is much variety Cite weapon; Isliboshethi and Holofernes slept, of prospect in every act, according to the
and lost their beads : in ordinary course it several intentions and issues thereof; yea, holds well; here they mistook and erred. even in the very same eyes. The Father The misconstruction of the words of Christ sees lois Son combating in a duel for his led them into an unseasonable and errone. country: he sees blows and wounds on the ous suggestion. Nothing can be more dan. | one side, he sees renown and victory on gerous than to take the speeches of Christ the other; he grieves at the wounds, he according to the sound of the letter ; one rejoices in the honour. Thus doth God in error will be sure to draw on more, and if all our afflictions: he sees our tears, and the first be never so slight, the last may be hears our groans, and pities is; but withal, important.
he looks upon our patience, our faith, our Wherefore are words but to express crown, and is glad that we are afflicted. meanings? why do we speak but to be un- 1 O God, why should not we conform our derstood ? Since, then, our Saviour saw diet unto thine? When we lie in pain and himself not rightly construed, he delivers extremity, we cannot but droop under it; himself plainly, “ Lazarus is dead." Such but, do we find ourselves increased in true is thy manner, Othou eternal Word of thy mortification, in patience, in hope, in a con