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ble of the charitable Samaritan, Luke x. 30--37; A certain Lawyer, 2.6. a Scribe: or Doctor of the Law, upon Occasion of mentioning this Precept, Tbcu palt love, thy Neighbour as thyfelf, propofeth this Question to Fofus, And who is my Neighbour? If, in Answer to his Question, Chrift had told him, direaly and at once, that, by our Neighbour, we are to understand every Man to whom we have an opportunity of doing Good, and that standeth in Need of our Aflistance, however differing from us in Nation or Religion, yea, though. he were a Samaritan; it would have appeared a very strange Doctrine to the Lawyer, who probably by bis Neighbour, in that Precept, understood a few or a Profelyte, as the Jews generally understood in then, and as their Doctors still understand it. But our Lord, with admirable Wisdom, instead of giving a direct and immediate Answer, proposed a Parable unto him, which in an easy and familiar Way set the Truth before him in so clear and strong a Light as carried Conviction along with it, and gained an Acknowledgment, from the Man's own Mouth, of what otherwise he would have been very unwilling to own: A certain Man (faith he) went down fronz -Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among Thieves, which fripped bim of bis Raiment, and DISCOURSE XII. - 237 wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by Chance there came down a certain Priest that Way, and, when he faw him, he passed by on the other Side. And likewisë a Levite, when he was at the Place, came and looked on bim, and passed by on the other Side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and, when be Jaw him, he had Compdfion on him, and went to him, and bound up his Wounds, pouring in Oil and Wine, and fet him on his own Beast, and brought him to an Inn, and took care of him. And on the Morrow, when he departed, be took out two Pence (two Roman Pence' or Denarius's, making about fifteen Pence of our Money), and gave them to the Hoft, and said unto bim, Take Care of him ; and what foever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. And then follows our Saviour's Application of this Parable : Which now of thefe three, thinkest thou, was Neighbour unto him that fell among the I bieves?
i.e. acted the Part of a Neighbour towards him? And he said, i He that thewed Mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. If our Lord had put the Case of a Samaritan's being in Distress, and that a Jewish Priest and! Levite had passed by him, the Lawyer perhaps would
not have been easily brought to own, that it was the Duty of a yow to concern himself about him; since there were no People whom the Jews hated fo much, as they did the Samaritans. Buts as it was a few to whom all this Compaflion was exercised, he could not deny that it was an excellent Action to thew him so much Kindness in his Distress: From hence it followed, that, if it was a laudable Thing for a Samaritan to treat a jew with so much friendly Tenderness, notwithstanding the Enmity that subsisted between the two Nations, it must also be a good Action in a few to behave after the same Manner towards á Samaritan; and that confequently we should be ready to extend our Benevolence to all Mankind, however differing in Nation or Religion from ourselves, as far as we have Opportunity.
To this may be added another Parable, relating to the Forgiving those that have offended and injured us, which is one of the nobleft, and, at the fame Time, one of the most difficult Instances in which our Benevolence can be exercised. As this is of confiderable Importance, so it is what our blessed Saviour frequently inculcateth and urgeth upon us.
One of the Petitions,
in that short and comprehensive Form of Prayer which he hath taught us, is expressed thus : Forgive us our Trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. To make us sensible, that we are not to expect Forgivenefs of our own Sins from God, if we be not ready to forgive our offending Fellow-Creatures. But no-where is this more admirably illustrated, than in that beautiful and excellent Parable, Matt. xviii. 23. to the End. After having faid, that we must be ready to forgive our offending Brother, upon his Repentance, not merely seven Times, which Peter thought was carrying it very far, but seventy Times feven; he proposeth the following Parable : The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a certain King, which would take Account of bis Servants; and, when ke had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten thoufand Talents. But, forafmuch as he had not to pay, bis Lord commanded him to be fold, and his wife and Children, and all that ke bad, and Payment to be made. Tbe Servant therefore fell down, and worshipped bim, saying, Lord, have Patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then she Lord of that Servant was moved with Compason, and lonfed bim, and forgave bim the Debt. But t be fame Servant went out, and found one of bis Fellow-Seri vants which owed him an hundred Pence : And be laid Hands on him, and took bim by the Throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his Fellow-Servant fell doon at his Feet, and befought him, saying Have Patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not; but went and cast him into Prison, till be should pay the Debt. So, when his Fellow-Servants faw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their Lord all that was done. Tben bis Lord, after he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked Servant, I forgave thee all that Debt, because thqu deprest me : Shouldjt not thou also have had Compassion on thy Fellow-Servant, even as I had Pity on thee? And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the Tormentors, till be fiould pay all that was due unto him. And then our Saviour applies this Parable: So likewise Mall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your Hearts forgive not every one bis Brother their Trespafjes. What an admirable Representation is here of the rich Grace and Mercy of God, and his Readiness freely to pardon the most beinous Offences, which are compared to an immense Debt of ten thousand Talents, if, with penitent and contrite Hearts, we humbly apply to