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tion to mount the throne, and cut off the family of Ahab. Judas seemed to have a great concern for the poor, when he was contriving to get into his hands a purse of three hundred pence. But if the woman's ointment had been sold, and the money put into his bag, the poor might have starved for him. He managed his hypocrisy however with such address as to deceive the credulity, and abuse the confidence of his honest brethren. Had they seen the avarice which lay concealed under the mask of charity, their indignation would have been directed against his duplicity, rather than against the woman's piety.

If a pious or useful design is in contemplation, which will be attended with some expense-such as erecting a decent church for the worship of God; providing a competent support for Christ's minister's, when they are depressed by a change of times; or increasing the endowments of schools for the better edification of youth; the man, who to save his own money, wishes to defeat the good design, thinks of no objections more plausible and popular, than those which are drawn from the necessities and inabilities of the poor. Thus the institutions, which were intended especially for their benefit, he labors to defraud for their dear sakes. This pretence of compassion for the poor, the miserable stalking horse of every wealthy hypocrite, has been so hackneyed from Judas's time to the present day, that a man more honest than Judas will be ashamed to take it into his service. But the man, who, to defeat a laudable design, not only pleads compassion for the poor, but endeavors, by the bugbear of expense, to alarm the poor themselves and draw them over to his party, might put even Judas to the blush. Here the traitor's hypocrisy is fairly outdone,

A hypocrite may carry his artifice so far, as to deceive himself, as well as others. "Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." The pharisees, who did all their works to be seen of men, trusted in themselves, that they were righteous, and despised others. They talked so often, and disputed so warmly, and made so much parade about religion, in order to raise their own reputation, that, after a while, they became fully established in a confidence of their own superior goodness; and they rejected with disdain the modest souls, who were afraid to pretend to more religion than they had.

There are those, who think themselves to be something, when they are nothing; and who seem to themselves to be religious, when all their religion is vain. Beware, then, of hypocrisy in its lowest degree; shun every art of religious deception, lest, while you study to deceive others for your temporal advantage, you deceive yourselves to your eternal destruction.

Jesus, when he heard the complaint against the woman, rejected it with marks of displeasure, and gave his open approbation of her piety. "Why trouble ye the woman? She hath wrought a good work upon me."

Be always ready to defend the injured character, and the misrepresented conduct of your virtuous, unoffending neighbors. It is not enough that you never speak evil of them: You must vindicate them from the attacks of envy and malice. If you hear a slander uttered, your silence will patronize and encourage it. Though no vice is more mischievous in its effects, yet none is more freely and frequently practised, than this of evil speaking; for though all pretend to reprobate it, yet few have the boldness to

rebuke it on the spot; and many hear it with smiles of approbation and pleasure. Let Christians imitate their Lord's example, in frowning on the slanderer, and vindicating the innocent; and soon the malignant tongue will be put to silence, and drooping vir tue will raise her head.

"Why trouble ye the woman?"-Reproach is troublesome to those on whom it falls: We feel it to be so, when it falls on us, though, perhaps, we cast it on our neighbor with pleasure. But has nobody feelings, but we? Let us put ourselves in our neighbor's place. Let us ask our hearts, how it feels, to have our well meant actions perverted-our faithful services despised-our innocent words wrested -our honest intentions misconstrued-our disin. terested beneficence abused-our solicited confidence disappointed-our good names defamed ?As this feels to us, just so it feels to him. Let us treat him, as we wish all men to treat us.

Our Lord says, "She hath poured this ointment on my body against the day of my burying.”

It was the custom of the Jews to anoint the bodies of their dead, before they committed them to the grave. In conformity to this usage, Nicodemus, after Jesus was crucified, brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, and took his body and wound it in linen clothes with the spices. In embalming the dead, the Jews applied a composition of aromatic ointments, which they poured and rubbed on the corpses more or less plentifully according to their abilities, and the respect they had for the deceased. After the unction they covered the bodies with a shroud, which they bound with swathes and bandages. It is said of king Asa, "They buried him in a bed, which was filled with sweet odors, and divers kinds of spices, prepared by the apothecaries

art." In allusion to this custom our Savior says, the woman had kept the ointment against the day of his burying, which was then just at hand-within two or three days. It is not probable, that she knew his death to be so near, or had a direct intention to prepare his body, by this unction, for its interment. But it was ordered in providence, that this respectful ceremony should be performed just before the time of his death; that its near resemblance to the Jews' manner of burying might give it the appearance and effect of a preparation for his solemn entombment. We may therefore understand the Sav ior, as speaking to this purpose; "If you think it but a decent token of respect for a deceased friend to anoint his body before you lay it in the grave; blame not this woman, who has paid the same respect to me."


To shew the unreasonableness of the suggestion, that the ointment would better have been applied to the relief of the poor, Jesus says, "The poor ye have always with you, and, when ye will, ye may do them good; but me ye have not always." It is as if he had said, "Charity to the poor, is, indeed, a great duty; but there is a time for every purpose. God has so ordered the state of the world, that there will always be poor people in it; and if you have hearts disposed to charity, you will never be in doubt for objects, to whom your charity may be exercised. But I shall soon be removed from you. Such kind of personal honor and respect as this woman has shewn, must be paid me now, or not at all. The poor you may relieve on another day: This day is the time to express your love to me."

Our Savior teaches us, that we must do every duty in its season. On this circumstance much depend the virtue, beauty and usefulness of all our

actions. There is a time for every purpose. In the day of prosperity we may rejoice.-In the day of adversity we must consider. When we are af flicted we must pray. When we are cheerful we must give praise. There is a time, when we are to join with others in the worship of God, and a time when we are to labor in our worldly calling. There is a time when we are to pay honor to Christ, and a time when we are to shew mercy to the poor. The righteous man orders his affairs with discretion. He so arranges his business, and divides his time, that every part of his duty finds a time in which it may. be done, and every portion of his time finds a duty in which it may be employed.

To make the disciples more sensible of their mistake in censuring this woman, he assures them, that, how much soever they might condemn her, her piety would be celebrated through the world, and live in the memory of future ages. Eminent virtue draws the attention, and excites the admiration of mankind in distant periods of time, and in all places of the earth. "Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also that, which this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her."

Those who honor Christ, he will honor: They who despise him, will be lightly esteemed. Every thing which we do for the glory of his name, and the advancement of his cause, will redound to our honor and happiness, both in the present, and the future world. The piety of this woman is recorded to her praise in the history of the gospel; and it is spread as far as the gospel goes, and will be remembered as long as the gospel lasts.

Our zeal and liberality to support Christ's cause, when many forsake it, or withdraw their aid from it through a love of the present world-our fortitude

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