Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

of divine mercy, as if there were no such things to be heard of upon earth.

O fools, and blind! do men ever behave in this senseless manner with respect to their bodily wounds? A man will give all that he hath for the saving of his life, while he neglects to have his soul saved, though it might be saved for nothing. This corporeal pain is felt and understood while the misery of a soul wounded by the Devil, is never felt, or never complained of.

It appears, secondly, that works of mercy are required of every follower of Christ: for nothing can be plainer than the admonition which directs us to follow the example of this Samaritan. He who refuses this upon any consideration, conducts himself as if he were no neighbour to his fellow-creaturès, nor they to him; but keeps himself in a lofty abstracted state, like that hateful tribe of Pharisees and hypocrites, whose felicity seemed to consist in a contempt for other men: and he who misunderstands this great duty toward his neighbour, which comprehends one half of the divine law, will have but a partial title to the inheritance of eternal life; like that narrow-minded teacher of the law to whom this parable was directed, and whose principles were condemned out of his own mouth.

Lastly and chiefly, we are hence to learn the motive and source from which all our works of mercy are to be derived. The faith which receives the christian redemption, and the gratitude which that faith will inspire, should lead us to the practice of goodness and mercy toward all mankind, as well as to those who are of the household of faith. Christ hath here proposed his own example to us, and we are to have compassion upon others, even our very enemies, as he had

Grant, there>

compassion upon us in the same state. fore, O blessed Lord, that thy people may know how to value and imitate thy example, how meanly soever their spirit and their practice may be esteemed by a proud and mistaken world. Above all, grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries, to whom thou hast committed the inestimable means of grace in thy Church, may not pass by, like the unprofitable Priest and Levite, but carry on that great work, which thou thyself didst descend from heaven to begin amongst As thou hast shewed thyself a neighbour to him that fell among thieves, let them go and do likewise.

us.

END OF THE FOURTH VOLUME.

Printed by Law and Gilbert, St. John's Square, Londons/

1

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »