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Reflections on the cure of the crooked woman SECT. soever he came, and travelling on toward Jeru. villages, teaching and cxvi. salem ; to which he had now begun to steer his

rusalem.
Luke course, as he intended to be there at the ap-
XIL.22. proaching feast of the dedication, John x. 22.

sect. cxxxiv.) and to spend the little remainder
of his time during his continuance upon earth
in that city, or the neighbouring parts; no more
returning to these northern regions, till he ap-
peared here after his resurrection.

IMPROVEMENT.

Ver. AGAIN do we see, in a very instructive instance, the power

12 and goodness of Christ. It wrought on a poor despised creature ; 16 but our Lord considered her as a daughter of Abraham, and

honoured, even in her, whatever traces of her father Abraham's faith and piety his penetrating eye might discern. Her zeal and

willingness to attend on public worship brought her out, though 11 she could not stand upright, and had probably in that respect a

much better excuse for staying at home than many could make, who now often absent themselves from the much nobler services

of the Christian sanctuary. 10,13 She met with Christ in the synagogue, and returned with a cure.

And oh, how many, as the effect of such a pious zeal, though they have not been loosed from their infirmities, have at least been

greatly strengthened to bear them. 16 Our Lord says that Satan had bound her. That malignant

enemy to our bodies and souls rejoices in any opportunity of hurting either. But it is pleasing to think, that his power is always under the controul of Christ ; and therefore shall never be exercised on his people any farther than their gracious Redeemer sees it consistent with their good, and will take care to render it sub

servient to it. 14 How gravely does this ruler of the synagogue instruct the people

in a point of ceremony, while his heart was full of enmity to

Christ, and hardened against every sentiment of human compas. 15 sion! Justly was his hypocrisy confounded and exposed.

We should with pleasure see this Sun of Righteousness thus victoriously breaking through those clouds, wbich envy and malice

had raised to obscure him, and diffusing his sacred light from one 18, 21 end of the heavens to the other. With pleasure should we view

the accomplishment of these parables, which represent the success of his gospel as so great ; and we should daily pray, with increasing earnestness, that all the remaining nations and kingdoms of this world may at length become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ : and sincere converts flock to him from every side, even as doves to their windows ! Rev. xi. 15. and Isa. Ix. 8.)

SECT. Heaven should be sought with great and early care.

15

SECT. CXVIII.

Christ warns his hearers of the difficulty and importance of entering

into the kingdom of heaven : and is not intimidated by the fear of Herod from pursuing his work. Luke XIII. 23, to the end.

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LUKE XIII. 23.

LUKE XIII. 23. THEN said one unto him, Lord, are there A

AND, as Jesus was proceeding in his journey Sect: few that be saved ? 1 towards Jerusalem, where he designed to And he said unto them, be present at the feast of the dedication, being Luke

attended by several of his disciples, in a pretty XI11.23.
large compass which he took by the way, one of
them said to him, Lord, are there [but] few that
shall be saved ? Surely, if thy kingdom be so
extensive as these parables intimate, see ver.
19, 21.) the number must be very considerable,

But he said to them, Instead of amusing your-
selves with such curious inquiries with relation
to others, attend to what more nearly concerns

you, and be solicitous to secure your own safe24 Strive to enter ty: And let me urge it upon you, that you 24 in at the strait gate : erert your utmost strength to enter in at the strait for many, I say uuto

gate, which I formerly mentioned as leading
you, will seek to en- &
ier in, and shall not be to eternal life, (Mat. vii. 14. Vol. VI. p. 235.)
able.

and strain, as it were, every nerve to break
your way through those enemies, who are al-
ways ready to oppose your passage : for I
seriously tell you the time is coming, when many
will importunately seek to enter in", and shall

not be able to do it. 25 When once the And, howsoever they may now despise and 25 Master of the house is

trifle with the means of grace, this will hereafrisen up, and bath sbut ter be the case, even with the most stupid and

negligent

a Where he designed to be present at fully expresses this. It imports the act of the feast of the dedication.] Mr. Whiston contending in the most ardent and resolute and some others place the following pas manner coith antagonists in games or in sages in a different order, and introduce war; and may well intimate that the strait them after this feast ; but it does not ap- gale is beset with a variety of enemies, pear that Christ was ever in Galilee be through which, if we aspire to a crown of fore his resurrection, after this journey. eternal glory, we must break and force our He was indeed at Ephraim, or Ephrem. way : a representation equally just and (John xi. 54. sect. cxli.) but, as that city awakening ! Compare I Cor. ix, 25. Col. lay on the confines of the tribe of Benja- i. 29. 1 Tim. vi. 12. and 2 Tim. iv. 7. mio, at no great distance from Jerusalem c Many will seek to enter in.] The Prus(Lighfoot's Disquisit. Chorogr. in Joan. cap. sian version renders it, shall try, or attempt : vii. 9 1.) the argument which Mr. Whiston but I apprehend from the context, that it draws from thence in favour of his order refers to importunate entrealies when they must be very inconclusive. See Whiston's were actually excluded, rather than to Harmony, p. 385 and 403.

feeble attempts now ; though it is an awful b Erert your utmost strength to enter in at truth that these likewise will be unsuc.. the strait gate.] Theoriginal word aywysogo cessful.

d The

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Luke

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Many at last shall cry in vain to be admitted. SECT: negligent of mankind, as soon as ever the great shut to the door, and Lord and Master of the family shall, as it were,

s out, and to knock at have risen up from his seat, and with his own the door, saying, Lord, XIII.25. authoritative hand shall have shut and barred the Lord, open unto us ; doord, and you among the rest, shall begin to a

and say unto you, I stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, know you not whence with great earnestness, Lord, Lord, we beseech you are : thee, open to us; but you will cry in vain, and he who now so graciously invites and waits upon you, shall then reply to you, I know you not, who you are, or from whence you are come; but determine to treat you as strangers, for whom I have no friendship or regard, and who have

never been approved by me. 26 Some of you may perhaps then plead an inti- 26 Then shall ye mate acquaintance and professed friendship, and begin to say, We have

eaten and drunk in urge the privileges that you once enjoyed, and thy presence, and thou the conspicuous figure you made in his church : hast taught in our but if any of you can carry it so far as that you streets. shall begin to say, Lord, we have eaten and drank in thy presence in a familiar manner, and thou hast thyself lived among us, and often taught in

our streets and houses, so that thou canst not sure 27 have forgot us: Nevertheless, he will persist..27 But he shall say, in disowning you, and say, I tell you again, I not whence you are :

I tell you, I know you know you not, and, whatsoever you pretend to, I depart from me, all ye regard not whence you are; all the former rela- workers of iniquity. tion to which you refer, is (as it were) blotted from my remembrance, since your hearts were still insincere, and your lives unsuitable to your fair professions ; and therefore depart from me, all ye that habitually practice iniquity ; for none of your character shall ever be admitted here.

(Compare Mat. vii. 22, 23, Vol. VI. p. 238, 239.) 28 This awful word, how little soever you may 28 There shall be now regard it, shall wound you to the heart, a

1, of teeth, when ye shall and throw you into agonies of everlasting de- see Abraham, and Ispair : and there shall be the bitterest weeping saac, and Jacob, and and gnashing of the teeth for madness and rage, when you shall see your holy ancestors, Abraham,

and

all shall

The master of a family, &c.] There ing eaten the sacrifices presented to God is a majesty and pathos in this passage, as according to the Mosaic constitution.-But in many others, which no paraphrase can different persons may use this plea in difretain, in which the very words of our ferent senses; and they who, while their Lord do not make a part.

hearts are hardened in impenitence and e We have eaten and drank in thy pre- unbelief, have profaned the Lord's-supper sence.] Perhaps some of the nine thousand by an unworthy participation of it, will whom he had fed by miracle may at last be find a sad sense peculiar to themselves, in this miserable number. (Compare John though it might not be chiefly intended. vi. 26.) -Brennius refers it to their hav

f Herod wicked,

last.

Some think to terrify him with a threatening from Herod. 17 all the prophets in the and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets of the SECT. kingdom of God, and wereadinc,

succeeding ages, in actual possession of the cXVlll. you yourselves thrust out.

kingdom of God; and shall find yourselves cast out Luke

with contempt, and thrust back with just in- XII 28. 29 And they shall dignation. Vea, they shall come from the inost 29 come from the east; distant heathen lands, even from the east and the and from the west, and from the north, and west, and from the north and the south, and shall from the south, and sit down in joyful multitudes, to partake of the

all sit down in the heavenly banquet with your pious ancestors in kingdom of God.

the kingdom of God, while you are utterly ex-
cluded from it. (Compare Mat, viii. 11, 12,

and notef, Vol. VI. p. 295.)
30 And, behold, And, behold, this shall be the case, not only of 30
there are last which

a few, but of great numbers; for there are many

fo
shall be first, and there
are first which shall be who are now last in point of religious advan-

tages, that shall then be first in honour and
happiness; and there are many who now appear
first, that shall then be found last ; and, on
account of their abused privileges, shall appear
as the most infamous and miserable of mankind.
(Compare Mat. xix. 30, and Mark x. 31, sect,

cxxxvii.)
31 The same day. These things our Lord said in his journey 31
there came certain of through Galilee towards Jerusalem; making
the Pharisees, saying
unto him, Get thee many pauses in his way, that, in consequence of
out, and depart hence: the shortness of his stages, he might have an
for Herod will kill

in all opportunity of greater usefulness. And it came

to pass on that day, when he uttered these dis-
courses, some of the Pharisees came, and that they
might, if possible, intimidate and drive him to a .
distance, they said to him, Go forth, and depart
from hence, with all possible speed into the ter-
ritories of some other prince; for Herod the
tetrarch, in whose dominions thou art, is at this
very time determined to kill thee', as he did John
the Baptist, thy friend and associate, and seeks

but an opportunity to effect it. 32 And he said unto But Jesus was so far from being at all alarmed 32 them, Go ye and tell at this intimation, that he said to them with great that fox, Behold I cast a out steadiness, Go, and tell that fox, that crafty,

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f Herod is determined to kill thee : Jeret the anxiety which the murder of John the e asexleiva..] For the force of this phrase Baptist had given him, to make any atcompare notebon John vii. 17, sect. xcix. tempt on his life, he might think fit thus and note a, on John i. 43, Vol. VI. p. 126. to endeavour to terrify him with an empty It is very probable, considering both the threatening. In this view there would be wicked character and suspicious temper of a peculiar propriety in calling him for, Hcrod, that though he had a curiosity to see rather than lion, wolf, or bear; to which Christ (compare Luke ix. 9, xxiii. 8.) he savage beasts the prophets had sometimes, was uneasy at his spending so much time in with a plainness becoming their character, Galilee, lest he should occasion him some compared wicked princes. Compare Zephaembarrassment either with regard to the niah ii. 3, Ezekiel xxii. 87. and Prov. Jews or the Romans; yet fearing, after all xvii. 12.

& And

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cures to-day and

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Christ laments over Jerusalem. SECT. wicked, and voracious prince, Behold, I cast out out devils, and I do cxviii. demons, and perform cures in thy dominions

morrow, and the third Luke to-day and to-morrow, and carry on my work a day I shall be perfected. XIII. 32. little while longer, and the third day I shall be

perfected $; for the appointed time will quickly

come when I shall finish my course, and have 33 done all that I intend here. In the mean while 33 Nevertheless ! he may well allow me a license to stay in his

w to-morrow, and the territories so long, at least on such kind and gra- day following : for it cious designs: or howsoever he may be unwilling cannot be that a proto allow it, yet, nevertheless, I must go on in this phe

rusalem.
leisurely progress (as I just now said) to-day,
and to-morrow, and the third day, till the deter-
mined season comes in which my ministry shall
be fulfilled: nor do I fear the effects of Herod's
malice ; for it cannot be supposed that a prophet
should perish, or be put to death, any where out
of Jerusalem h; that unhappy city, the seat of
the supreme court, challenging, as it were, to
itself the sad prerogative of being the slaughter.

house of the messengers of God.
34 And upon this, turning, in thought at least, 34 O Jerusalem, Je.
towards Jerusalem, though it lay at the distance rusalem, which killest

the prophets, and of so many miles, he took up a most affectionate stonest them that are lamentation over it, and said, 0 Jerusalem, Je- sent unto thee: how rusalem, thou guilty and miserable city! who, cathered thy children

nd miserable witve lehe often would I have though thou hast been distinguished by Divine together, as'a hen doth favours beyond any place on earth, yet with the gather her brood under utmost ingratitude and cruelty slayest the pro

the on her wings, and ye

would not ?
phets, and stonest, as the vilest malefactors, those
who are sent unto thee as the ambassadors of God!
How often would I have gathered thy children
together unto myself, with all the tenderness of
parental love, and have sheltered, comforted,
and cherished them, even as a hen (gathers] her
little brood of chickens under her wings ? yet you
were still regardless of the offers of my grace,
and would not be persuaded to hearken to my

call,

& And the third day I shall be perfected.] High-Priest and Captain of our Salvation ; Many suppose, and I think very reasonably, as the word is used Heb. ii. 10. v. 8, 9, 10. that our Lord is not to be understood as vii. 27, 28. speaking exactly of three days, but of a h It cannot be supposed that a prophet, &c.] little period of time : see Hos. vi. 2. and John the Baptist bad lately perished in compare the original of Gen. xxxi. 2. Exod. Galilee ; so that the expression 8% xydry dlan iy. 10. Deut. xix. 4. Josh. iii. 4. 1 Sam. can import no more than this version exxix. 7. and i Chron. xi. 2. in all which presses, which Elsner has shewn to be its places yesterday and the third day signifies proper sonse; / Elsner Obserd. Vol. I. p. 242) lately, or a little while ago. On this inter- - Drusius, Grotius, Knatchbull, and many pretation the word tellspan, I shall be other eminent critics refer this to the right perfected, may refer to Christ's finishing which the sanhedrim alone had to punish the work of redemption, and being by a person as a false prophet, deatla consecrated to his office as the great

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