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1. Our Saviour Chargeth Judas and the rest not to give her any disturbance. Then said Jesus, let her alone. Saint Matthew and St. Mark express Christ's Charge unto them more fully, thus, Why trouble ye the Woman, She hath wrought a good work upon me.
'Tis a trouble indeed, a great trouble to good Men to have their best actions ill resented, and causeless exceptions made against them. But this measure we must often expect to meet with in this world. The greater part of Men are neither fo Wise nor fo Charitable as to judge aright of things, and to make such constructions of them as they ought. It was Mary's Cafe to have her actions in which she expreft greatest Love to her Saviour, misunderftood, and ill taken; and if it be fometimes your Case also, wonder not at it, nor fuffer your self to be difquieted or discomposed by it. Let it satisfie you that you have acceptance with God in what is well done, though you have not with Men. If Christ faith of you, as of Mary, let her alone, fhe hath wrought a good work, it matters not who are of another Mind. If he be pleased to manifest his Approbation and Acceptance of what you do, let Men censure
you, and clamour against you while they please. In the mean time they must know that they shall have no thanks from Christ that give causeless trouble to any of his Servants upoh what pretence foever, yea though their pretences should be, as seemingly Pious and plausable as Judas his pretences here in the Text were. So much concerning our Saviour's Charge for giving Mary no disturbance, Let her alone. The first Reason which he subjoyns is taken, as hath been said, from the suitableness of her action to his Death and Burial
approaching. Against the Day of my Burying hath she kept this. Which we may not fo understand as if it were indeed by Mary so intended. It was rather God's design and intention therein than Mary's. He foresaw that she would not have an opportunity of perforniing that Office to his Dead Body because his Resurrection would prevent it and therefore he intended that this her anointing his Living Body before-hand should be inftead of it. Thus to lhew his great acceptance of this Office of so great Love, he puts a better coustruction upon it than fhe intended. O how good and
kind a Master do we serve who thus resents and interprets our most weak and imperfect Services ! O that we had but a little of his Kindness and Goodwill! If we had but a little of it, we would make better and more favourable constructions of Mens actions than many times we do. Then instead of blasting the good actions of others, we would make just and seasonable Apologies for them as he did for Mary's, and defend them against the contradictions and gainsayings, the malignant glosses, and sinister interpretations of evil-minded and disaffected Persons. Certain it is that Charity obligeth us to do it, and so far as we neglect it, we fall short of the discharge of our Duty.
There is one thing more which it may not be amiss to take notice of by. the way, before I disiniss this first Reason of our Saviours Charge for not give ing any trouble or disturbance to Mary; and 'tis the mildness and moderation of Christ's Language and Carriage towards Judas though he knew him to be a Thief, and such a one as would shortly become a Traytor. All that Christ faith is this, let her alone, against the Day of
my Burial bath she kept this : or why trouble
the Woman, she hath wrought a good work upon me. He discovers not the fecret Wickedness, Hypocrisie and Covetousness which he knew to be in Judas his Heart ; he faith no more to him than he doth to the rest ; Let her alone, why trouble' ye the Woman? O how many amongst us upon the like occasion, and especially in a case wherer their own respect and Honour was concern'd, as Christ's was in this action of Mary ; I say how many amongst us would have ript up all that they knew by him, would have called him Hypocrite, and Covetous Muck-worm, and Thief, and Pick-Purse, and what not. Let us all learn Moderation and Forbearance from our Saviour, speaking no more of the faults of others, especially of their secret faults known only to our selves than is absolutely necessary and not please our selves and gratifie those with whom we converse by speaking all the Evil we know or causelesly firmise against them. This is a very Evil and Sinful Practice, and very ill becoming those who profess themselves to be the Disciples and Followers of Christ. And fo I come to the second
Reason of his Charge for giving Mary no trouble, drawn from the seasonableness of the Office of Love she had
performed to him, in regard the time drew near when he was to leave this World : For the poor always ye have with you, but me ye have not always. Christ is not against the Relief of the Poor ; that's a Duty which he often enjoyned and pressed, but he would have every thing done in its Season. There would still be opportunities enough of doing good to the Poor, but not of performing such Offices to Himself.
He was now shortly to ascend up into Heaven; he should no longer be here on Earth as to his Bodily Presence; and then no such expressions of Love and Honour as related to his Body and Corporeal Presence could be made. Marys action therefore was not only good in it self, but most seasonable. She testified her Love to Christ now while she had the opportunity of doing it, which shortly The must be deprived of by Christs withdrawing his Corporeal Presence and returning to his Father. Hence we may learn these two things,