church is commanded to pray to the Holy Ghost; to "direct their heart into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." (2 Thes. iii. 5.) I humbly beseech the reader, (and if he be a gracious reader, I venture to persuade myself he will regard my request,) to consider here by the way, how in every part, and by every event more or less, in the word of God, the great fundamental truth of our holy faith is revealed. It is incorporated through the whole volume of Scripture. It stands in the most legible characters to every enlightened eye in every book of inspiration. And while the Unity of the Divine Essence appears as though written with a sun beam, through every part of the holy word; the Trinity of persons in the GodHEAD, not only is again and again revealed by distinct and personal acts of each, in full proof of Almighty supremacy; but the acts themselves, which can be wrought by none less than God, and which are equally performed by the whole, necessarily prove, "that there are Three, which bear record in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these Three are One." (1 John v. 7.) And what a blessed and irrefragable proof is added to these testimonies of Holy Scripture, when the renewed heart can and doth bear witness to the same, in the spiritual apprehension and enjoyment of the "love of God the Father, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ; and the communion of the Holy Ghost!" (2 Cor. 13, 14.)

I must not dismiss the subject of Christ's reading the heart, without a short observation more on a matter so highly interesting. While as in the instance of the ruler of the Synagogue, it becomes an awful consideration to the ungodly; the Lord's people will find sweet consolation from the consciousness of it. Men of the world cannot but dread such an Inspector as the Lord. An Almighty Anatomist dissects all the foldings and recesses of iniquity, and traces the evil of

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their thoughts through all the ramifications. hence, when no human eye can form conclusions but from outward appearances, the Lord rips open, as in the case of this man, and detects under all covering, and like the removal of varnish from a picture, when that is rubbed off, the real colouring appears. But the Lord's people desire to exercise an holy jealousy over themselves. And conscious that after the strictest scrutiny of their own, much evil lurks beneath; from human examination, they turn to seek divine, and in the words of Scripture say unto the Lord: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.) And the redeemed and regenerated child of God finds rich consolation from this exercise. For as he knows the Lord hath said: "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh unto me;" (Levit, x. 3.) the most anxious desire of his soul is, to approach the Lord in the sanctification of Christ. He knows that he of God is made unto him "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption." (1 Cor. i. 30.) Hence his confidence, in all his approaches to the mercy-seat, is in the Lord; and he saith with one of old: "If I regard iniquity in my heart: the Lord will not hear me. But verily God hath heard me he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me." (Psalm lxvi, 18-20.)

But let us now prosecute the history: The Son of God, having thus assumed to himself the exercise of what was his own personal and peculiar right, as Judge of quick and dead, and pronounced judgment on this ruler of the synagogue, as an hypocrite; proceeded to the proof of it. The Lord made an appeal in the audience of the people to every one present, from the

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common circumstances of human life, to convict this man in his own conscience. And not only him, but to put every one that was there to the blush also, if there were any professing, like him, a reverence for the sabbath, while cruelty and envy so rankled in the heart."Doth not each one of you, said Jesus, on the sabbath day loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? To be sure. The wants of nature, both of man and beasts, are imperative, and will be attended to. History can hardly furnish an instance, where any man purposely tied up his ox or his ass, from watering or food, that the poor animal might perish. And beside, the Lord's appointment of the sabbath, over and above the spiritual design of that sweet day to his people, for more immediate communion with himself, had a special respect in mercy to the beasts. The brute that perisheth hath no sabbath, excepting that of rest. And therefore, to deny the animal his only refreshments, becomes the most palpable breach of the Divine command. The law for the observance of the sabbath, ran in those words: "The seventh day thou shalt rest, that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thine handmaid and the stranger may rest." (Exod. xxiii. 12.) I pause here to meditate on the awful breaches of this law of God, in this our sinful land! Oh! who shall calculate the number of profanations on this holy day, in the troops of pleasure-pursuing men, women and children, who in defiance to all laws, both human and divine, neither reverence the sabbaths of the Lord themselves, nor give rest to their horses. Who shall mark down the transgressions on those occasions, of the most open and avowed contempt to the divine institution, which come up before God!

But we must not stop here: for the Lord hath not rested at this part of the subject, while convicting at the bar of his own conscience this ruler of the syna-,

gogue. The Lord having referred to the common and universal clemency of the world, in leading their ox, or their ass, to watering on the sabbath day, grounds the most conclusive and unanswerable arguments for shewing mercy to our fellow creatures by acts of healing, though it be on the sabbath day. "And ought not," said Jesus, "this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo! these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?"

I beg my reader to observe, one by one, the several weighty and most decisive reasons the Lord hath here brought together to heighten the case in point. He begins with the lowest, until by a climax, the Lord riseth to the highest; and in the most finished manner, demands in a way of question, which needs no answer; for in fact it answers itself: And ought not, said Jesus, this woman, under all these circumstances to be healed? Let us follow our most glorious Lord, through the several particulars in his statement, for it will abundantly recompense our attention. The Lord hath here shown, what is elsewhere said of him: "Never man spake like this man." (John vii. 46.)

And, first: The Lord begins with the lowest degree of his statement in the justification of himself, for working this miracle of healing on the sabbath day. "And ought not this woman?" Here the Lord Jesus shows the superiority of our nature to that of the brutes. If men in compassion to the dumb creation, lead them to watering who cannot provide for themselves, and have no faculty of speech to ask the supply of their wants; ought not one formed in the image of God, and designed by the possession of rational and spiritual faculties for communion with God, to be regarded with yet greater attention in all cases of need! The Lord him

self, in the chapter preceding this hath drawn the. compassion and mercy due to our nature, in so gracious a manner, as states the superiority of men to the inferior creation; and most blessedly confirms the doctrine: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke xii. 6, 7.)

But the Lord advances higher in the subject, when he adds, that this woman was a "daughter of Abraham." Here was a more special claim upon the benignity of our most glorious Lord, than the common wants of humanity. For being a daughter of Abraham, she was in the covenant of grace. And though the ruler of the synagogue knew it not, yet the Lord himself knew it, and had regarded her as his own, from before all worlds. And the church in after ages, hath been clearly taught the same by the Holy Ghost: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one. And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Gal. iii. 16.) And this chain of the same relationship runs link by link, through all generations, For so it is said: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. iii. 29.)

But thirdly; We ascend another step in the gradation used by Christ, when stating the case of this daughter of Abraham before the Jewish synagogue. She is said to "have been bound by Satan." So that it was no ordinary affliction. Neither was it of short duration, for it extended to no less a time than eighteen years." And ought not such a case, so dreadfully afflictive, and so highly aggravated, to be relieved as soon as possible? Would any man, under pretence of reverencing the sabbath, protract her


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