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and times of mourning and abstinence: marriage feasts are of all other wont to be times of mirth and jollity; look then, how unproper it would be for the bridemen that attend the wedding to fast while the bridegroom is celebrating his marriage with great cheer and mirth, so unfit would it be for my disciples to fast and mourn while I their Master and Saviour am personally present with them; but as, when the wedding feast is over and the bridegroom is gone the guests may then give place to fasting and sad austerity and it is seasonable so to do, even so shall my disciples when I am taken from them find it meet to mourn and humble themselves by fasting and such like bodily exercises.
IX. 16, 17. No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles : else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
There must be great wisdom and discretion in making choice of those things, which are fit to be imposed upon several persons: that, which is meet for one, is not meet for another: my disciples are like unto a cloth, or a bottle: an austere course of life is like to a new rough cloth, or to new wine that is full of strong and busy spirits. Now look, how unmeet and dangerous it is to piece a new cloth to an old, or to put new wine into an old crazy cask, for hence the rent in the garment grows greater and the wine breaking the cask is spilt and lost; so unfit and inconvenient it might be, to put my disciples, which are yet but novices in this holy profession they have undertaken, to overstrict and difficult and severe courses, which afterwards upon better experience and more seasoning, they may be fit for.
IX. 23. He saw the minstrels and the people making a noise.
He saw the minstrels, that were wont to be hired for funeral lamentations, and the people also, with much noise expressing their sorrow.
IX. 24. For the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
The maid is not in such a state of death, as under which she shall continue; but she shall be so soon revived, as if she had only slept for a while, and were now to be awaked: and when ye shall see her presently to be raised up and move, ye will be ready to imagine it was no other, &c.
IX. 37. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.
Here is a great and plenteous harvest towards, of many souls, that are to be gathered into the barns and granaries of the Church and of Heaven ; but the labourers and teachers, by whose painful ministry they are to be gathered in, are but few.
X. 5, 6. Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not : But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
It is not yet time, to preach these glad tidings of Salvation to the Gentiles: they shall, in their season, be called: but onwards, do ye confine your pains and preaching, within the bounds of Judea ; and do not so much as go aside into any of the cities of the Samaritans, who, though they challenge an affinity and interest both of blood and religion, yet, for those gross mixtures of heathenism and heresy and idolatry, which they have entertained, are not worthy to be so far respected by me, as to be privileged with this my first mission unto them: But go ye rather to those my peculiar and selected people of Israel, who are, as it were, lost in their own infidelity and disobedience, and labour to reclaim them.
X. 9, 10. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves : for the workman is worthy of his meat.
Make no provision of money, for the charge for your journey; as if ye should labour and travel upon your own cost: Neither carry with you provision of victuals : neither take with you change of suits; whether of coats for your backs, or of shoes for your feet, or of staves for your hand, but content yourselves with what you have then about you; and if any of these should fail you,
in your way, they shall be supplied unto you, by those among whom ye bestow your pains : for the workman is worthy of his maintenance, whithersoever he goes.
X. 11. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, en. quire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
When ye enter into a city or town, enquire who may be the fittest host for you, and most worthy, through his good report, to be graced by your presence; and when ye have pitched in any house, do not change your lodging, while ye remain in that city, that ye may not seem inconstant or delicate, and may by this means give discontent to your first host.
X. 13. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, then let your peace return to you.
And if the house be worthy, let that blessing, which your prayers have wished thereunto, fall upon it; but if it be not worthy, those well wishes of yours shall return back into your own bosoms.
X. 14. Shake off the dust of your feet.
Shake off the dust of your feet; to signify unto them, that ye do not mean to have ought to do with them; and to let them see, that their contempt of my message hath made them so
odious to God, that the very dust of their streets is a kind of pollution to the feet of those that tread upon it.
X. 17. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues.
They are wolves and not men, amongst whom I must send you: take heed therefore of these wolvish men ; for they will persecute you for your message' sake, and deliver you up as offenders into the hands of authority, and scourge you in their assemblies.
X. 19. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak : for fc.
When they deliver you up to their rulers, be not ye too fearfully solicitous what answers ye shall give; neither do herein trust too much to your own wit, and dexterity of replying; but know, that the Spirit of God shall be present with you, and shall put answers into your
mouth. X. 23. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another : for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.
It is not enough for you, that ye have in one city endured persecution; but when ye have suffered there, ye must betake yourselves to another city : for verily I say unto you, All the cities of Israel must have this Gospel of mine preached unto them by you ; but, ere ye can have gone through them all, I, the Messiah, who send you, will personally second you in this mission of mine, and make manifest to the world my power and kingdom.
X. 25. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
I am the great Master of the Family, my Church; ye are my servants and attendants therein : if they have not stuck to cast reproaches upon me your Master in so high a degree, as to call me a devil, how much less do ye think will they spare you of my household ?
X. 26. Fear them not therefore : for there is nothing corered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Fear them not, therefore; neither be discouraged with the obscureness of this errand of the Gospel, which I do now commit unto you: for, howsoever it be now only preached in corners, in some little parcel of the world, it shall spread forth to all the utmost coasts of the earth; and, howsoever the despiteful world do now load you with slanders and unjust reproaches, yet the day shall come wherein your innocence and their malice shall be openly manifested unto all the world.
X. 27. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
Be not, therefore, afraid to publish this message of mine: what I deliver to you in private, speak ye openly; and, what I speak to you alone, do ye proclaim it aloud from those places whence your voice may be best heard.
X. 29. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Let the tyrants of the world threat what they please, they cannot do ought against you, but what is limited by my Providence ; even the meanest of all the creatures are not exempted from the care and overruling power thereof: what bird is more cheap and worthless than a sparrow, whereof two are sold for a farthing? and yet the eye of Divine Providence is so over them, that nothing can befal to one of them, but what your Father in Heaven hath predetermined.
X. 30. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
But, for you, so precious is your life in the sight of God, that every thing that pertains unto you, even the very hairs of your head, is regarded by him; so as your enemies cannot touch one of those hairs, without the allowance of the Almighty.
X. 34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth : 1 came not to send
but a sword. You are mistaken, if ye think, that, upon the coming of the Messiah, there shall be nothing but outward peace in the world: no; make account rather of the contrary: for it will fall out, through the corruption of man's nature, that he shall take occasion from the Gospel to be moved to unquietness, both in himself and with others; and Satan, the common enemy of mankind, being enraged with the publication thereof, shall stir up broils and oppositions against it: so as not peace, but war and contention, will, through the wickedness of devils and men, follow upon the preaching of this Gospel of Peace.
X. 35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, fc.
For, it will follow upon my coming, as if it had been a thing intended by me therein, that the son, hating and persecuting my truth, will make head against the father, which embraceth and professeth it, &c.
X. 39. He that findeth his life shall lose it.
He, that makes so dainty of his life, as that, when he is thereto called, he will not expose it to danger or loss, for my Name's sake, shall be sure to lose it everlastingly.
XI. 2, 3. He sent two of his disciples, Saying, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
John sent two of his disciples to Jesus, to enquire of him, whether he were the Messiah that should come. Not, for that John the Baptist did any way doubt of this truth, who had heard the voice from heaven acknowledging Jesus to be the Son of God, and had seen the Spirit descending upon him, and had
said so often and long before, Behold the Lamb of God, &c.; but, that, by this means, he might procure a full confirmation hereof to his disciples, who, he knew, would be sent back by Jesus fully convinced, and settled by his wonderful miracle's and heavenly doctrine, in this persuasion and assurance.
XI. 5. And the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor hare the Gospel preached to them.
The deaf hear, the dead are raised up; so as I have, by many undeniable miracles, made good unto the world the truth of this whereof ye enquire; and, moreover, tell your master, that in me is fulfilled that, which Esaias fore-prophesied of the Messiah to come, That the Gospel is preached to the poor.
XI. 6. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
And blessed is he, that doth not take occasion to be offended at my mean and homely condition; but sees and acknowledges Majesty and Power, in this my outward Poverty and Infirmities.
Ål. 7. What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? A reed shaken with the wind ?
To what purpose went ye out into the wilderness, to see John Baptist? What conceit or expectation drew you thither? Did you think to see there a man light and unconstant to his own courses and resolutions ?
XI. 8. But what went ye out for to see ? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Or, did you think there to see a man gaily or richly clothed? this kind of outward bravery of apparel is to be looked for in the courts of kings and princes, not in a rude desert.
XI. 9. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. No, ye say ye went out to see a Prophet, for such indeed
ye acknowledge him; and yet ye regard not the testimony that he gives concerning me: herein ye are not mistaken, that ye hold John no less than a Prophet; yea, let me add somewhat to your valuation of him, I say he is more than a Prophet.
XI. 10. Behold, I send fc. See Malachi ïïi. 1.
XI. 11. Verily I say uuto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist : notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Verily I say unto you, that, among all those ancient Prophets which have been most famous in the world in former times, there hath not arisen one greater or more honoured in his function, than John Baptist. They all have spoken of the Messiah to come; and this hath been their principal glory, that they have foreshewed him to the world, long before he was exhibited: but this is the privilege and honour of John, that he