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And said unto them, It is written by the prophet Isaiah, My house is consecrated to holy devotion, to the use of prayer, and all other the sacred services of God; but now, well may the complaint of Jeremy be taken up: ve have made it a den of thieves, in misemploying it to your fraudulent bargains and griping transactions.
XXI. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came purposely to seek that fruit, which he knew he should not find ripe and seasonable ; that he might hence take occasion to work that exemplary miracle upon it, which ensued : for, when he found only store of leaves upon it, and no fruit, that he might in this tree shew how much he hates and will punish a formal profession, such as the Jews made, of religion, without an answerable fruitfulness, he cursed the fig tree, and said ; Let that, which is thy fault, be thy punishment: thou bearest no fruit at all; whereas the nature of thy kind is ever to have one fruit under another, always some, though not ever in a full maturity : since therefore thou bearest no fruit at all, never mayest thou more bear any fruit: and, presently, the fig tree, as blasted with that word of judgment, withered.
XXI. 21 Verily I say "into you, If ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cust into the sea; it shall be done. Verily I say unto you, That, which ye have seen me to do, by my Divine Power, the same shall ye do by the power of your miraculous faith : if ye can stedfastly believe, without wavering and doubts, ye shall not only be able, by your command, to remove the from a tree;
shall be able to remove the greatest mountain, by your word, out of the place wherein it is, and to cast it into the sea.
XXI. 24, 25 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it ? from heaven, or of men ? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heuven ; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? The question you ask me can proceed out of nothing but a wilful cavillation : ye well see such divine power shining forth in my miracles, as may well convince you of the certainty of my mission and authority from God himself. But, since ye will needs move this doubt, I shall give you a full resolution, out of your own answer : if
shall but tell me whence John, my forerunner, had his warrant and authority, both for his preaching and baptism; herein may ye give yourselves full satisfaction: for, if he were a holy Prophet, as ye all account of him, and served only to make way for me as his Lord and Saviour, and pointed to me as that Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world; how
can ye make any scruple of receiving me, as sent from God, for the work of man's redemption?
XXI. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. Ye Priests and Elders of the people, and ye Scribes and Pharisees, are as the undertaking son, that promised well, but did nothing: Publicans and Sinners are as the refusing son, which denied to. work, and yet performed it in their conversion: therefore even Publicans and Sinners shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, however now by you despised, when ye shall be excluded.
XXI. 33 There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it &c. See Isaiah v. 1.
XXI. 57 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. And, after that he had seen all the indignities that they had offered unto his servants the prophets, he resolved to send his Only Son Jesus unto them, whose divine miracles he well knew might justly convince them of their duty to him. ·
XXI. 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir ; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. But when these wicked Jews saw that the Son of God was come personally amongst them, they said, Come, let us kill him, and then there shall be none to challenge the inheritance and command of us : we may then live lawlessly, without any controul.
XXI. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner ? Ye think now, that ye are utterly free from the danger of this accusation, and presume of your own judgment; whereas, he, whom ye reject, shall be approved that true Messiah, on whom the Church of God is built, according to that of the Psalmist. See Psalm cxviii. 22.
XXI. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Christ is as a Rock, every way; as in regard of the use of that spiritual building, so in respect of the danger of opposing him : whosoever will be dashing upon him, shall but split and break himself in pieces; and if he fall, in just revenge, upon any that makes head against him, he shall crush and grind him to powder.
XXII. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. Since the Jews, my selected people, will not obey these gracious invitations, nor approve themselves worthy of this mercy, go ye to the despised Gentiles, and call them to this spiritual marriage feast,
XXII. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good. So those, my Apostles and Evangelists, went to call those that are without; the contemptible heathen, that lay by the highways and hedge-rows of the world, as unworthy of the house-room of my Church, and gathered them, &c.
XXII. 11, 12, 13 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garnient : And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment ? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into utter darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, But, though God vouchsafed to call even the Gentiles to the participation of the privileges of his Church, yet he will not abide that they should dishonour his holy vocation, by their known filthiness and pollution: the King of Glory, the God of his Church, takes notice of his guests, and marks how they come dressed and habited to his spiritual feast; and if he see a man, who, professing Christ, shall notwithstanding continue in the old rags and filth of his natural corruption, he cannot but be highly offended with this foul hypocrisy and presumption, and, after a sharp expostulation, shall adjudge that man to a just and heavy damnation.
XXII. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen. For, think not that all, who are outwardly called by the sweet invitations of the Gospel, are made partakers of grace and salvation. God calleth all sorts of men, and men of all sorts, and they do outwardly answer this voice of God; but his inward and effectual calling, and the election of grace, is but of few.
XXII. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. And they sent unto him their disciples, together with them which were of the faction and clientage of Herod; messengers divided both in opinion and affection; the one part standing for the liberty of the Jews, the other part for the impositions of Cæsar and Herod ; saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and, without all respects to the persons of one side or other, teachest unpartially the way of God in sincerity and truth.
XXII. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cesar, or not? Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou of this point ? Thou knowest that God hath imposed upon us a sacred tribute to be paid unto himself: now, our Roman usurpers require us to pay this very tribute unto their coffers, who do justly challenge to be God's free people ; now then, what savest thou? Is it lawful for us thus to yield unto their exactions, and, abdicating our just privileges, to pay this tribute unto Cæsar or not?
XXII. 18, 19, 20, 21 But Jesus perceived their wickedness,
and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites ? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Cæsar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's. And Jesus, who knew the very secret thoughts of their hearts, perceiving their wicked conspiracy against him, said, Why do ye thus seek to entrap me, under a colour of respect and reverence to me, () ye hypocrites ? Ye think ye now have me in a snare : for if I say it is not lawful, ye Herodians are ready to accuse me as seditious; if I affirm it lawful, ye disciples of the Pharisees are ready to load me with the envy of the people: but ye shall well see how easily I can avoid this net ye have laid for me. Shew me the tribute money. And they brought him a Roman penny (to the value of seven pence halfpenny of the present coin :) and he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription, which is stamped upon this metal? They say to him, Cæsar's. Then saith he unto them, Ye have answered yourselves: this very coin convinces you : ye stand upon your freedom from the subjection to the Roman empire; yet, in this very stamp, ye read
your own subjection': ye are mistaken, if ye think that your spiritual interest in my Father or me discharges you from obligations and duties to your earthly princes : your soul doth or should bear the image of God, and therefore is justly claimed by him, as his ; your coin is stamped with Cæsar's image, to shew his claim unto such part of it, as pertaineth unto him : give therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's.
XXII. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Ye Sadducees do err grossly and damnably in this your misconceit of the Resurrection ; and the ground of your error is your ignorance, both of the Scriptures, which have clearly revealed the truth thereof, and of that omnipotent power of God, whereby only this, otherwise impossible, work shall be effected.
XXII. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. As for that absurdity, which ye suppose would follow upon the certainty of a Resurrection, compared with the Law of Moses; had ye any true insight into the state of heavenly things, ye would easily see, how it vanisheth of itself. For in the Resurrection and Life to Come, there is no such matter as marrying and giving in marriage; no more than there is now among the angels in heaven : for the condition of the Saints shall then be like unto that of the celestial Spirits, equally free from all these earthly relations and carnal respects.
XXII. 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. He doth not say, I was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; or, I am the God of Abraham that once was: but, as imply.
ing his own eternal being, and the certain being of those holy Patriarchs, he saith, I am the God of Abraham, &c. Now God is not the God of those, that are not, and have no existence at all, but of those that have a being ; so as, ye Sadducees are in this palpably disproved, while ye grossly hold, that the souls of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are utterly extinct, and have ceased to be: they are ; and expect the full accomplishment of that happiness and glory, which God, by virtue of his covenant, hath assured unto them.
XXII. 42, 43, 45 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him, Lord, saying, &c. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? I shall need no other proof of the Deity of the Mediator, than your own mouths, and your own attestation to this very Scripture. Ye grant, that the Christ is, and must be, the son of David, according to the flesh as I am : this is assurance enough of his Humanity ; the truth of his Deity is sufficiently evicted by that title and compellation which David gives bim, in calling bim, by the direction of the unfailable Spirit of God, My Lord : how can he, being David's son, be David's Lord, if herein David meant not to acknowledge the Messiah for bis God?
XXII. 44 The Lord said unto my Lord, it down on my right hand, &c. See Psalm cx. 1.
XXIII. 2 Saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat : The Scribes and Pharisees, which are the teachers and expounders of the law of God, however they set false glosses upon many precepts thereof, and corrupt it with their own traditions, yet they do out of God's law shew you how ye ought to live, what sins ye ought to avoid, what good duties ye ought to perform.
XXIII. 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do ; but do not ye after their works for they say, and do not. Their counsels and doctrines carry in them much shew of holiness and austerity, but their practices are full of looseness and iniquity : whatsoever therefore they enjoin you out of the law of God, that observe, and do; but follow not the examples of their actions, for they say well, and do evil.
XXIII. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders ; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. They do, in their many and strict traditions, impose heavy charges of busy and troublesome observations upon the people; but they themselves will be sure to ease their own shoulders, and take the freedom of a lawless kind of licentiousness.
XXIII. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men : they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,