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And Jesus answering said unto them,
they that are whole need not a Physician: but they that are fick.
HÉSE Words were spoken by
our Saviour in vindication of one T
part of his conduct, which the
envious Scribes and Pharisees had unreasonably impeached. The Cafe was this.
Levi the Publican, or Roman Tax-gatherer, who was also called Matthew, Matth. ix. 9. (and was afterwards an Evangelist and Dif"ciple of Christ, being the fame with him
Serm. who wrote the Gospel that goes under his
Name) sitting at the Receipt of Custom or
Charge is levelled directly against Christ Serm. himself; Why eateth your Master with Publin
II. cans and Sinner's ?
This Charge (though it was the effect of Malice, yet having something plausible and popular in it) he thought himself concerned to answer; and therefore replies in the text and verse following, They that are whole need not a Physcian, but they that are fick; I came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance. The plain Sense and Meaning of which words seems to be this. kway se mistake the Case, if you imagine that I “ chuse Persons of such exceptionablé Cha"racters for my particular and intimate “ Friends. My View in conversing so freely « with them is, that I may have a faiter Op
portunity of doing them good. I attend “ them not as their Companion, but as their
Physician. And where should the Phy* fician be but among his Patients ? It is " therefore out of Compassion that I visit " and converse with them, rather than with “ those self-sufficient and self-righteous Per* sons, who from a fixed and fond Conceit of “ their own Health and Soundness, imagine " that they stand in no need of such a PhyVol. II.
Serm. “ sician, for I came not to call the Righteous, II. “ but Sinners to Repentance."
The Words thus introduced and opened, afford us these two plain Observations, which I shall particularly treat and improve.
1. That Sin is the Sickness of the Soul. II. That Christ is the Physician of it.
1. Sin is the Sickness of the Soul. It is a spiritual Malady which infecis, disorders, weakens, and (if not removed) kills the Soul as natural Distempers do the Body.
In treating this Observation, I shall,
what Sin is.
3. Make Application of the Subject.
I shall not be so particular and circumstantial in this disquisition as the Matter will very well bear, (that I may not digress too far from the main Subject) but shall dispatch it in as plain and concise a Manner as I am able.
If we would not then be mistaken in our Serm. Notions of Sin, let us attend to the Defini- II. tion which the Apostle Yohn gives of it, m 1 John iii. 4. Sin is a Transgresion of the Law. In general then, that which in any supposable Case or Circumstance is a plain and wilful Transgression of the Law of GOD is undoubtedly Sin, for by the Law is the Knowledge of Sin, for I had not known Sin (faith the Apostle) but by the Law, Rom. vii. 7. But this wants a more particular Explication.
The Law of God then is twofold: either natural or revealed; the Law of Reason and the Law of Revelation: the former is immutable, and written in the Heart of Man: the latter, though more particular and explicit, is in some cases alterable
and hath been delivered to the World by holy Men and Prophets, whom God at sundry times, and in diverse manners, inspired for that purpose. But neither of them does or can contradict the other. Because
that supposition God, whose Laws they both are,
would contradict himself. Now that which is a known and wilful Transgression of either of