« ÎnapoiContinuați »
structions and the reproofs he gave to finners of every denomination, the triumphs he obtained over the most artful and infidious of his enemies, the unrivalled purity and perfection of his example, the divine authority and dignity with which he spoke, the awful punishments he denounced against those who rejected, and the eternal rewards he promised to those who received his words. These things ftill remain, and must for ever remain; must for ever give irresistible force and energy to every word that is recorded as proceeding from the mouth of Chrift, and muft render it "quick and powerful, and sharper than a "two-edged fword, piercing even to the "dividing asunder of foul and spirit*." If eloquence, fuch as this, does not make a deep, and lafting, and vital impreffion upon our fouls; if we do not find it to be, indeed, the power of God unto falvation, we fhall be left without excufe. Let us, then, in the language of our church, most earnestly befeech Almighty God, that thofe facred words which we have now, or at any other time, heard
Heb. iv. 12.
with our outward ears, may, through his grace, be fo`grafted inwardly in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honour and praise of his name, through Jefus Chrift our Lord.
LUKE Vii. 22.
THEN JESUS ANSWERING, SAID UNTO THEM, GO YOUR WAY, AND TELL JOHN WHAT THINGS YE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD; HOW THAT THE BLIND SEE, THE LAME WALK, THE LEPERS ARE CLEANSED, THE DEAF HEAR, THE DEAD ARE RAISED, TO THE POOR THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED.
OU will immediately recollect the occafion on which these words were spoken. They make a part of the answer which our Saviour gave to the two difciples whom John the Baptist sent to him, to ask whether he was the Great Deliverer that was to come, or they were to look for another. The whole paffage is a remarkable one, and affords ample matter
* Preached at the Yearly Meeting of the Charity Schools, in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, May 2, 1782.
for obfervation; but the particular circumstance to which I mean to draw your attention at prefent, is the last clause of the text, in which we are told, that "to the poor the Gospel is preached."
That our Lord should appeal to the miracles which he had wrought before the eyes of the two disciples, as an inconteftible proof that he was the Meffiah, will be thought very natural and proper; but that he fhould immediately fubjoin to this, as an additional proof; and a proof on which he seems to lay as much ftrefs as on the other, that to "the poor the "Gospel was preached," may appear, at the first view, a little extraordinary. We fhall, however, foon be fatisfied that in this, as well as in every other inftance, our divine Master acted with confummate wisdom. He was fpeaking to Jews. His object was to convince them, that he was the MESSIAH. The obvious way of doing this was to fhew, that he correfponded to the defcription which their own prophets gave of that great perfonage. Now they fpeak of him as one, who should not only give eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, feet to the lame, and fpeech to the dumb,