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The case now before us being difficult, and almost desperate, let us enquire what help is to be met with :
The parable proceeds to inform us, that by chaạce there came down a certain Priest that way, and when he saw hịm he passed by on the other side. And like, wise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and ļooked on him, and passed by on the piher side.
By the Priest and Levite, we are to understand the Mosaic law, which was administered by these two orders of men, the sons of Aaron, and the tribe of Levi; or perhaps we shall not err, if we take these figurative persons for the patriarchal and legal dispensations; the former, as well as the latter, having been distinguished by priesthood and sacrifcature, ever since the coinmencement of our present condition. These perbons came to the place, and looked upon the wounded man, as might be expected ; because the law, whether written or traditional, was not made for a righteous ?man, but for the ungodly and for sinners, and would of course point out to them the fallen condition of human nature. They both looked upon him, but could afford him no relief: his wound was sin ; and the blood of bulls and of goats, which they administered, cannot take away sin. So far then was the law from furnishing any effectual remedy to be applied by the Priest and Levite, that it could only shew the wounds to be mortal, and by their endeavours to be incurable. The Priest and the Levite therefore must leave him as they found hịm ; they cannot make apy atonement to God for him, but must pass by on the other side, and let that alone for ever.
But what the law could not do, was at length effected þy llim who cometh after the Levite, who is himself the end of the law for righteousness to all them that bęlieve. For a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to the place where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. The unbelieving Jews, who were fond of representing Jesus Christ as a person false to the interests of his own people, and as one who upon that account should be deemed an alien'and an outcast, appealed to him once in these insolent terms-Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan? There was then a particular aversion in the Jews toward the Samaritans; therefore they meant this for a name of the utmost contempt and reproach. Nevertheless, under all this reproach, we take that person to us as a Saviour, who was to them as a Samaritan; and in this we follow the example of our MASTER himself, who hath thought fit to exhibit a Samaritan to us, under the character of a Saviour. In the person of this Samaritan then, we see the second Adain looking with compassion upon the first: the great High Priest of the human species, touched with the feeling of their infirmitics, and administering relief to his enemies. A Samaritan, saving a Jew in distress, affords us an example of disinterested and ineffable mercy, and as such doth aptly illustrate the condescension and love of that Saviour, who offered himself for those that reviled him as an alien, and who deemed malicious Jews and profane heathens the objects of his compassion : as if he had said " You have in this Samaritan the pattern of a true neighbour, who, generously overlooking all the foolish animosities arising from pride and personal considerations, chuses his worst enemy as a fit object of his mercy; attending first and chiefly to the distress that presented itself, without standing to consider the description of the sufferer.” The journey he took was that of the incarnation, which called upon him to take the same course with his bre.
thren, whom he followed from Jerusalem toward Jericho, that he might bring them back with him on the way from earth toward heaven. In the course of this journey, he came into this vale of tears, and found miserable man naked and helpless upon the earth; and as he came from heaven in the capacity of a physician to the soul, he was furnished with every thing necessary to counteract the works of the Devil. When he had found the wretched object of his compassion, he went to him, and bound up his wounds, poured in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Each of these particulars is well worthy of a particular consideration; and as you may possibly begin to find yourselves interested in the event of this narrative, I hope you will bestow some attention upon them.
His first act was that of binding up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine *: which passage is worth regarding in its physical acceptation; for wine bath an abstersive sharpness in it, which renders it of sovereign use for the cleansing of wounds; while it is the nature of oil to heal, on which account it is a general ingredient common to all ointments, the use of which is to mollify and heal, when the wound is properly cleared and prepared for them. But the virtue of oil is most remarkable when applied to the bite of a serpent, particularly a viper, for which it is now publicly received as an infallible cure, and the experiment is very common in this age. To our understanding such an effect is almost miraculous; for oil is a liquor, in all appearance indolent, insipid, and incapable of pene
An ointment is now in use with many under the name of the Samaritan Balsam. It is composed of sound old wine boiled to a consistence with an equal quantity of olive oil.-It is of great efficacy for the cure of green wounds.
trating in such a manner as to do any good; yet few substances are more quick in their operation, nor is there a fluid in the world which will pass through the body of steel itself in so short a time.
The application of all this is plain enough.---The wine poured by the Saviour into the wounds of man, is his own precious blood, which as St. John expresses it, cleanseth us from all sin. By the oil is signified the power of the holy Spirit, which healeth all our infirmities ; and which in baptisın restores what sin and Satan had destroyed.
The misery of sin, and the cure of it, are represented under the like terms in other figurative parts of the holy Scripture. Isaiah thus describes the corrupt state of the people of his own time-" from the sole of the foot'even to the head” (that is, from the lowest of the people up to the princes and rulers)“ there is no soundness, but wounds, and bruises, and patrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil.” The prophet David, in the person of a natural man, describes his own case in similar expressions—" There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger, neither is there any health in my bones by reason of my sin--my wounds stink and are corrupt, through my foolishness. " the other hand, there are promises to the helpless, that the Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, neither will be deliver him unto the will of his enemies--the Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing, and will make all his bed in his sickness--for he healeth the broken hearted, and bindeth up their wounds. Psal. cxlvii. 3.
The second act of this Samaritan was to set the wounded man upon his own beast. No sinner hath any natural ability to rise from the earth, and convey
himself to a place of safety: any more than a man lying half dead upon the ground can stand upright, and find help for himself by the strength of his own limbs. With the divine help man is brought to a new state : he is removed from the perils and dangers of the world, to find health and refreshment in the Church of God: for the parable adds--he brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The life of a C!ıristian is that of a pilgrim, or way-faring inan, upon his journey from this world of vanity to the heavenly city of God: and to preserve a sense of this journey, as well as of their pilgrimage from Egypt, the Israelites were commanded to eat the passover with their loins. girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staffs in their hands; that is, equipped in all respects as travellers. In the road to heaven we find the Church, which, like an inn, receives all that will come to it, and is open indifferently to people of all nations. The question is never put to any stranger, whether he is Jew or Gentile, Greek or Barbarian, bond or free: these distinctions are of no more account in the christian Church than at an inn on the highway: all men being accepted, and their wants supplied in this place of accommodation. The master of it, standing before the door, and seeing the weary traveller pass by, calls out to hiin with the voice of hospitality and mercyCome unto me, all ye that travel and are heavy laden, and I will re, resh you. In this place, the Sainaritan is said to have tarried a while with his charge, in order to settle things that were necessary toward his perfect recovery. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence,' and gave them to the host, and said unto him, “ take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again I will repay thee.” By the host we are here to understand the iministers