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as for a gift indispensable to your future life; and be always proving what measure of it you may have received, by exercising it, both on small and great occasions, to the glory and honour of the Giver. They who will do thus shall doubtless abide steadfast, and evermore abound, being rooted and grounded in love. There are enough discouragements in the world to extinguish any charity, which a man of himself can light up. The spurious charity of human nature presently faints, on encountering ingratitude and perverseness. But that from God, which is thus infused, and cherished, is of a kind which “ many waters cannot quench, “ neither the floods drown." It is able to rise above every trial, and, however for a time it may seem of small reputation, of its beauty and increase there shall be no end.
LUKE xiii. 5.
1 Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
13RD THESE words contain a declaration on the subject of repentance, from which there should seem to be no evasion nor escape. It is too positive to be argued against, or turned aside, and too plain not to be clearly understood. All are expressly included in it: and lest any might plead that he did not hear, it is uttered a second time by Jesus in the text.
The word, likewise, “except ye repent, ye “shall all likewise perish,” may serve to remind us, that our Lord was speaking to persons who had an example of perishing before them. In fact there were two examples which moved Him twice to proclaim this doctrines then current in the mouths of men; and it is to be supposed, that the larger number of ourselves are able more or less perfectly to recollect them. However, we should always desire clearly to apprehend, and carry with us, in our consideration of any doctrine, the occa- .
sion which originally produced it. Wherefore, for the better instruction, not only of the persons who may never have known, or may already have forgotten those transactions, but of such also as are not adequately acquainted with them, let me begin with distinctly stating what the circumstances were, which moved Jesus thus repeatedly and comprehensively to preach the indispensable necessity of repentance. is. There were present, it appears, at that season, “ certain, who told Him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their
sacrifices.” The case of these Galileans is here mentioned, as one generally conversed about, and known. They were so called probably for the twofold reason, that Galilee was their native country, and because they had been followers of Judas of Galilee, a seditious leader referred to by Gamaliel in the fifth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. This Judas arose, it is there said, in the days of taxing, and drew away much people after him, by his doctrine, that tribute should not be paid to the Romans. Such doctrine not being according to godliness, his end was, that he perished, and so many as obeyed him came to naught. The Romans, however, were still vehemently incensed against all who had taken his part, and gone with him, not sparing them wheresoever they might be found. To such a degree were they suspected and hated by the governor, that there was no safety for them, even while sacrificing in the temple; and on a late occasion, Pilate having given commandment to slay some of their number who were thus employed, the blood of themselves and of their victims had flowed together. At the foot of God's holy altar, and in the very act of propitiating His mercy, a number--we are not informed how many—of the persons who have been described, had suffered the pain of a violent death. An occurrence this, sufficiently striking in its nature and circumstances to excite universal interest, and, one might have imagined, universal commiseration. But many amongst the Jews, were more disposed to regard it in the light of a peculiar vengeance ordained from Heaven upon the sufferers, signifying them to have been of all men the most wicked: and they who related the transaction to our Lord, or at the least some of them who were standing near, had adopted concerning it, that uncharitable idea. Accordingly, Jesus, who would always give to every subject the turn most profitable to his hearers, instead of taking occasion to represent in its most heinous light the exceeding sinfulness of the dead, chose to rebuke the self-complacency of the living. *Suppose ye,” He replied,-ye who are condemning the slain, and thinking good of yourselves by comparison,“ suppose ye that these “ Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, “ because they suffered such things ? I tell you, « Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all like“ wise perish.” “Or,” He continued, adverting of his own accord to another somewhat similar instance, which had probably about that time occurred,“ or those eighteen, upon whom the tower “ in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that " they were sinners above all men that dwelt “ in Jerusalem ? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
So earnest did Jesus shew Himself, in pressing home their need of repentance upon the Jewish people. When they had supplied Him with one opportunity, He took up another, and thence urged it upon them again. Nor, as the event proved, was He more earnest with them than their state required. His warnings proved exactly, perhaps I should say prophetically, true. Within about forty years from the time when Jesus spake, as above cited, the Jews, who neglected His admonition, were overtaken by a destruction remarkably similar to that of the Galileans, whom Pilate slew, and of those upon whom the tower in Siloam fell. The Ro