« VorigeDoorgaan »
deration of our sins, and infirmities should render us all. To such is the Gospel of the kingdom preached, and they with joy receive it. “Blessed « are the poor in spirit; for theirs is " the kingdom of heaven. Blessed " are the meek; for they shall inhe“rit the earth. Blessed are they " that mourn; for they shall be “ comforted.”
To these beatitudes let us add one more, with which our Lord concludeth his answer to the question asked by John's disciples. “ Blessed is he “ whosoever is not offended in me.” In other words And now, blessed, thrice blessed are all they, who shall fo consider the wonderful works done by me, as not to be offended at my poor and lowly appearance, during S 2
the the time of my humiliation and fuffering here on earth; or at the seeming hardiness of my falutary doctrines to flesh and blood. For I welt know, that many, though they have beheld me giving light to the blind, and vigour to the impotent, cleansing lepers, making the deaf to hear, and raising the dead' to life again; yet, because the truths, which I deliver, are contrary to their interests, their pleasures, their pride, their prejudices, which they are determined not to quit, even for the kingdom of heaven; many, I say, will reject what they cannot but acknowledge to be the counsel of God, and put away the word of salvation from them. Let a man only suppress his inordinate defires of things temporal, and he will
be be disposed to hear what I shall tell him of things eternal. Let him cease to love the world, and he will cease to have any objection to the Gospel. Let but his heart be open to conviction, and when the evidence hath been once fairly laid before him, he will never again ask the question, * Art thou he that should come, or .“ do we look for another ?”
Confiderations on the circumstances of
St. John's Death.
W E have now accompanied St.
John through the several stages of his life. We have rejoiced with his parents and kinsfolk at his birth, and spent some time in contemplation with him in the desarts; we have stood by him, as a preacher and a baptist, at the river Jordan, and have been made acquainted with the repeated testimonies born by him, at different times, to the Messiahfhip of Jesus; we have heard him, like another Elijah, reproving another
Ahab, and have visited him in prisoii, where the glory of his great Master, and the salvation of those committed to his care, still continued to be the objects of his attention. It remains only, that we behold him paying that debt to nature, from which the greateft of them that are born of women are not exempted. And here our acquaintance with him must end, till we meet him in the king. dom of God. Thus do scenes of real life pass swiftly away, and, when looked back upon, appear like those which are described within the compass of a small volume like this. In the course of a few years, the child, at whose birth we made merry, is becomea man; he fickens, and dies, and we mourn at his funeral. Some