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by his ministers; to such as are careless, He sends his judgments to awaken them; and to wean our affections from this world, and lead us to fix them on a better, He often sends calamities, or visits us with sickness. He visits us by his Holy Spirit ; the humble and contrite heart he comforts; such as are weak, and pray to Him for help, He strengthens; to such as have made good use of the graces He has bestowed upon them, He gives more grace ; till they are rooted in faith, grounded in love, and fitted and prepared, when they die, to behold the great salvation of God. Let us, there. fore, my brethren, watch and pray, and examine and judge ourselves, frequently and solemnly ; that we may not be condemned of the LORD, when He cometh to judge the world in righteousness and equity; to make that final distinction between the good and the bad, “ when they that have * done well shall go into everlasting life, and
they that have done evil into everlasting “ fire." Let us, also, seriously consider the blessed state of all such as have died in the Lord, in peace with man, and in favour with God; and meditate upon, and look forward to, that happy day which shall give us admittance into the regions of happiness, and joy everlasting. Let fervent faith, and the hope of immortality, sweeten all the troubles of this mortal life, and so powerfully excite our longing and desire after the lasting joys of heaven, that we may no longer cling to, and doat upon, the short, vain, and deceitful appearances of happiness, which we meet with during our pilgrimage on earth ; remembering always, that this life is the day of our visitation, and the time given us by God to see, and know, and practise, the things which belong unto our everls t ing peace.
[For the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity)
LUKE xviii, 9.
Jesus spake this parable uuto certain that
trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.
NE of the most striking features in our
blessed Lord's character was humi. lity; and there is no christian virtue which he has recommended with more earnestness to his followers.
• Learn of me," says he, “ for I am meek and lowly of heart;" and when the disciples came unto Jesus, say.
ing, who is the greatest in the kingdom 66 of heaven? CHRIST
CHRIST having called a little child to him, “ set him in the midst of " them, and said, Whosoever shall humble “ himself as this little child, the same is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The
same lesson is taught in the gospel for the day; wherein our holy LORD, by a short, but awakening parable, pointed out the necessity of putting away all spiritual pride from the heart; and “ keeping it low, like a 6 child that is weaned from his mother ; yea
even as a weaned child."
“ Two men,” says he, “ went up into “ the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, " the other a publican.” It may be useful, perhaps, to say a few words on each of these characters. The Pharisees were a religious party among the Jews, very proud and high-minded; who pretended to a greater share of holiness; to a stricter observance of the law of Moses; and to be greater favou. rites with God, than other men. They were very particular in observing all the outward ceremonies of worship, but there their religion ended; for, they were uncharitable in spirit ; hypocrites in heart; and not very honest in principle, whatever they might be in appearance; for, “they devoured " widows' houses; and for a pretence made as long prayers.
The publicans, on the other hand, were tax gatherers. The country of the Jews had been conquered by the Romans, and was at that time ,under their dominion. This subjection was acknowledged, among other things, by the pay
ment of certain taxes to the Roman government: which were collected, in many cases, by Jews appointed for that purpose, and called publicans. These men were both despised and hated by their brethren the Jews. They despised them, because they were mean enough to be employed by their enemies; they hated them, because, by the office which they held, they seemed to take part with the Romans, in oppressing their own countrymen. They appear, also, to have been men of bad characters; loose in their behaviour, and dishonest in their prin. ciples; who made their fortunes by extor-, tion, fraud, and oppression. Such were the pharisees and publicans ; two of whom went up into the temple to pray: an act very praiseworthy in itself; and, one would suppose, (at first sight,) acceptable alike before God from both the worshippers. But this was not the case ; and the parable soon tells us the reason of the difference. • The Pha“ risee stood, and prayed thus with himself: " GOD, I thank thee that I am not as other “ men are ; extortioners, unjust, adulterers, " or even as this publican. I fast twice in “ the week; I give tithes of all I possess. In this address to God there was not a single mark of that disposition of heart, which the ALMIGHTY requires in those who wor