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them to their duty: you would say, Lord, “bid my sister help me; dost thou not care that she hath left me to serve alone ? ” Peace ! careful Martha ! Do not tax thy Divine Master with taking less care of thy sister than thou dost. “ He careth for thee,” he careth for her; he is not" an hireling, who careth not for the sheep," he is “the good shepherd, he knoweth his sheep,” and all his 6 sheep hear his voice,” and follow him. Yes, all his sheep hear his voice, and by the wise management of teaching a Gospel, and causing it to be written, he hath established an universal conversation, and though dead, and gone far, far from us, “.yet speaketh” by hisword in all our religious assemblies, in all our houses, and in every place where the heavenly instruction
See, he is this moment speaking terror and reproof to that man, in whose ears, by his own fireside, one of his children is now reading this passage,
66 How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and you would not."
Observe that other wandering sheep looking once more toward the fold, from which his roving disposition made him stray ; see, he is sitting under a tree, and now reading this passage, 66 Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than thy sins ?” See, his countenance changes, he is grieved that his conduct should make his love to Christ suspected, he bursts into tears, and saith, 66 Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest I love thee !" Behold yon distressed family, the man and his wife, and two sons, and three daughters, just returning from burying Isaac, the eldest son, the support and delight of the family. Listen; the youngest son is now reading to the rest, the eleventh chapter of John; Jesus saith, " Thy brother shall rise again. I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die. Believest thou this?” Observe in another house that old disciple just at the brink of the grave, now lying in his last illness. Mark, his aged companion through life, sitting by his bed-side, ană with his spectacles reading to him these
words, “Let not your heart be troubled : you believe in God, believe also in me. In
Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." O wise and judicious management! O incomparable gift of tongues, lent and distributed awhile at Pentecost, but resting now forever on the head of the church, speaking to the dwellers in Asia, Egypt, Rome, and all other places, and obliging all to say, " Never man spake like this man.”
Before we part, let us see whether a Christian be able to answer the objections made by the Pharisees against our most excellent instructer. Say they, “ Have any of of the rulers believed on him ?" We reply, Yes, Nicodemus hath, and so hath Joseph of Arimathea: but what if they had not ? Are rulers always the wisest and the best of men ? Do they of all men spend most time in examining religion? Are they infallible guides in religion, and do truth and virtue stand in absolute need of their approbation to be or not to be? Have they the Scriptures of the Prophets ? So have we.
Have they understanding ? So have we. Have we a Master in heaven? So have they. Dare they impartially examine every part of religion? We dare do more: we dare follow our convictions to prison, and to death. But the Pharisees do not believe on him! O! the Pharisees of all men ! 6 Blind hypocrites, full of all uncleanness and iniquity,” shedders of the blood, and builders of the tombs of the prophets! The object of a Pharisee's hatred stands on that account recommended to good men. But the common people, who follow Christ,
know not the law, and are cursed !” No, they are not cursed for their poverty. Is the God of the whole earth the God of the rich only? Why should they not know the law? The laws of religion are plain and easy, and the poor do know the law, and make it the rule of all their actions. You, poor people! Go home, and by a holy life wipe off this cruel slander cast upon you. No, you are not cursed, and doomed to be ignorant. If the disciples of Moses could understand and practise the religion he taught them, how much more reason have we to expect that you should understand and practise the religion of Jesus Christ; for "never man spake like this man," whose disciples you profess yourselves to be. May God grant you this grace! To him be honour and glory forever. Amen.
DISCOURSE VIII. .
THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST OBTAINED THE REMISSION
HEBREWS ix. 22.
Without shedding of blood is no remission.
Blood!... shedding of blood !... my soul recoils at the thought, and the feelings of a man, the reason of the whole world, and the dictates of religion justify me for shrinking, and 6 stopping my ears from hearing of blood.” Peace be with the worst enemy. I have in the world! Precious may his blood be in the sight of all mankind! A tender heart feels pain at the shedding of the blood of animals, and it was to nourish this tenderness, that one of the earliest commandments given to the world from heaven was,
66 You shall not eat blood,” that is, the blood of animals; and “ whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' So sacred was the blood of man held, that God would not forgive a beast for shedding it; but required it to be
66 I will require your blood at the hand of every man, and at the hand of every beast.” These laws given to Noah were incorporated by Moses into his laws, and speak nothing but the sense of all mankind. Many, very many laws have been made to guard the lives of mankind, and some few to take away the lives
of such bloody men as would not suffer others to live in quiet; and there have been too many instances in this wretched world of shedding innocent blood: but if reason and Scripture unite to inspire us with pain at the shedding of man's blood, what horror doth it not excite in us at the shedding of the blood of an innocent man! When Jonah was thrown overboard, at his own request, to perish in a great tempest raised for his sake, even the sailors, who are not the most religious of mankind, prayed and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, “lay not upon us innocent blood !” Even Judas, that shame to human nature, could not bear the thought of his having betrayed innocent blood : but cast down the price, " and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
Where then are we to-day? Here is Moses with the blood of calves and goats sprinkling “the tabernacle, the vessels, the book of the law, and all the people, and saying, This is the blood of the covenant which God hath made with you.” If Moses uses blood, in religion, surely there must be a necessity for it; for Moses was a great character, and respect for the man obliges us at least to examine what reason he assigns for a practice, which must give pain to a man of his mild temper. - The man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth,” and on this account we admire the prudence of his father-in-law for setting him to “keep his flock."
Moses does not pretend to institute shedding of blood to gratify his own temper; he does not even pretend to do it, either to offend the Egyptians, or to please the Jews : but he pretends to have the express command of God, and to kill by authority from heaven.
What the inspired writers of the New Testament tell us of this subject, is more astonishing still. They not only commend the fidelity of Moses, but they inform us that the blood-shedding instituted by him was a
66 cessary pattern," and that the pattern was copied exactly by a better person, who shed “his own blood,” and that by so doing he obtained eternal redemption for us,” freeing us by his death, not only from an obligation to offer sacrifices, but also from sin and punishment due