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or of strangers ? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
What thinkest thou, Simon? Cæsar's officers call for that tribute from us, which was instituted and appointed to be paid for sacred uses: we are privileged persons; is it due to be paid by us? Do earthly princes require these payments of their children and familiars? How much less fit is it then, that he, who is the King and Possessor of all the World, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, should pay tribute to any earthly Sovereign for himself or his.
XVII. 27. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money : that take, and give unto them for thee
Yet, however I might justly challenge this freedom, lest they, who know not the just ground of my immunity, should be scandalized at my forbearance, as if I did not yield due homage and respect to secular powers: go thou to the sea, and cast in a hook, and take up the first fish that is caught, and in his mouth thou shalt find a piece of silver, of the value of two shillings sixpence: that take, and give it to them for me and for thyself, in whose house I abide.
XVIII. 1. Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
Master, which of us shall be the greatest in that glorious kingdom, which thou art about to restore unto Israel?
XVIII. 3. Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Verily I say unto you, Except ye put off all ambitious thoughts, and become meek and humble as little children, ye shall not be meet to take up any stations, in this my Spiritual Kingdom here, and much less in the Glorious Kingdom of Heaven above.
XVIII. 4. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
It is my rule, to measure greatness by humility : whosoever shall so humble himself as this little child, abasing himself in his conceits below all others, that man is and shall be the greatest in my kingdom.
XVIII. 5. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
And whosoever shall shew kindness to one of these my lowly and meek-spirited servants, for my sake, I shall esteem it as done to myself.
XVIII. 6. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were
hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
And whosoever shall offer any wrong or indignity to any one of these humble clients of mine, that believe in me, it were better for him, that he were drowned in the depth of the sea, or underwent any other temporal death ; for this unjust measure of his shall be punished with eternal.
XVIII. 7. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh !
Woe be to the world, because of those many stumbling blocks, which men lay in each others' way to salvation! Such there will be every where, but woe to those, by whom they are laid !
XVIII. 9. And if thine eye offend thee, fic. See chap.
XVIII. 10. For I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
For they are in so high and dear respect with God, that he hath appointed his angels in heaven to take charge of them here on earth; and they are ever ready, pitching their tents about them; and do ever attend, either to their safeguard or revenge.
XVIII. 13. And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
He is more affected with the recovering of that one sheep which was lost, than with the safety of the rest of the flock; because the danger wherein that one sheep was, and the care and fear that he was in for it, caused his joy to be thereupon increased.
XVIII. 15. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone : if he will hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
When thy brother hath done an offence whereto thou only art privy, do not at the first bring him to public censure, but first deal privately with him, for his repentance and reformation; and if he shall receive the good counsel and admonition thou gavest him, thou hast gained thy brother.
XVIII. 17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
And if he shall neglect the advice and reproof of them, make thy complaint to them who have the managing of the public censures of the Church, that they may proceed against him accordingly: but if he neglect or disregard those public courses of his reformation, let him be avoided of thee as a man unworthy of thy conversation or respect, no less than as if he were a mere heathen or publican ; the one whereof religion makes odious, the other his trade of life.
XVIII. 18. Whatsoerer ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in hearen : &c. See John xx. 23.
XVIII. 19. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in hearen.
The single prayers of faithful suppliants shall not want audience and respect from God; but when they are doubled, by the conjunction of the hearts of more suitors and the united forces of many fervent desires, they cannot but be more effectual, and shall receive a gracious acceptation from my Father which is in heaven.
XVIII. 20. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
For, so highly do I respect the assemblies of my faithful servants, that, where any number of them shall be met together in a sincere desire to do me service, I will be there present with them by my Spirit, for the exciting, and directing, and accepting of their holy endeavours.
XVIII. 22. I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until serenty times seren.
I say unto thee, thou mayest not be too severely niggardly of thy remissions, to bound them within a set and small number; but must be open-handed to a free forgiveness, though it be never so oft, where thou shalt see likely arguments of repentance, and hopes of amendment.
XIX. 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives : but from the beginning it was not so.
Neither God nor his servant Moses ever allowed this course of your frequent and misgrounded putting away of your wives, upon slight and unwarrantable occasions : only God, by Moses, because he saw your cruelty and hard-heartedness towards your wives, to avoid further extremities gave order, that, since ye would needs
causes, or else do worse, ye should give them such a writing, as might testify that this dismission of theirs was not for any crime by them committed, but upon some other dislikes: but if
look to the first institution of marriage, ye shall find that from the beginning it was not so; this liberty was not granted to the husband to put away his wife.
XIX. 10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
His disciples say unto him, If it be so, that what distaste soever the wife give unto her husband, he may not, save only
in the case of adultery, put her away, it is the best way for a man to avoid this yoke of bondage, and not at all to marry.
XIX. 11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this suying, save they to whom it is given.
Ye say it is the best way to abstain from marriage: but all men are not capable of this resolution; but only they, who, by a special gift of God, have the power of continency.
XIX. 12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb : and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men : and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of hearen's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive.
For, there are two sorts of eunuchs; some of necessity, and some of will: those, which are eunuchs of necessity, are such, as either are born such, or such as are made so by men forcibly; the other, which are voluntary eunuchs, are those, who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, have subdued their lustful desires, and so brought their bodies in subjection, as that, being freed from the inordinate heat of their unruly affections, they give themselves freely over to the service of God. He, who finds himself able, by the help of prayer and abstinence, to maintain and receive this state and gift of continency, let him receive it.
XIX. 14. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
For of them, and such as they are, so humbly and meekly affected, doth the kingdom of heaven consist.
XIX. 17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Upon what ground is it, that thou givest me this title of Good? for herein thou affirmest a greater truth, than thou art aware of.
There is none good but one, and that is God, only: he is truly and absolutely good, and he alone; so as, while thou callest me good, thou impliest me to be, what I am, the true God. It is a great and good demand, which thou hast made, how thou mayest come to heaven ; although, if thou knewest the exactness of the law and thine own weakness, thou wouldest easily find that it is not doing, that can bring thee thither, but believing; but, if thine aim be to purchase heaven by thy works, behold thy task lies open before thee, keep all the laws and commandments of God, which if a man do, he shall live in them.
XIX. 20. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up : what lack I yet?
Lord, if this be all that is required of me, I am safe enough; for all these have I kept exactly and carefully, ever since I
came to the years of discretion; having not failed, in respect of any main violation, in any of them: Is there no further matter then to be performed, for the attaining of eternal life?
XIX. 21. Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven : and come and follow me.
Alas! young man : thy self-love hath made thee apt to misi take thyself and thy condition: the truth is, there is no one of these commandments, which thou hast not broken ; for the law of God is spiritual, and doth not only reach to the outward act, but to the inward motions and dispositions of the heart : but, since thou standest upon thine own abilities and perfections, herein shalt thou give proof of thy sincerity in loving God above all things, which the Law requireth ; go thy ways, sell that which thou hast, and give it to the poor, for the sake of that God, who shall remunerate this bounty of thine with better treasures in heaven; and, when thou hast done, come and follow me, as a true and constant disciple.
XIX. 24. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
There is nothing in the world more difficult, than for that man, who hath set his heart upon his riches, to enter into the kingdom of God.
XIX. 28. Verily. I say unto you, That ye which have followed me; in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Verily I say unto you, Ye, that have followed me in this mine humbled state upon earth, shall, in the day of the great restoration of all things, when the elect shall enter into a new life of unspeakable glory, even in that great and dreadful day, when the Son of Man shall sit upon his Throne of Majesty, to judge the quick and the dead, then shall ye, my Apostles, who are now despicable and mean, have the honour to sit upon several thrones, to second and assist this awful act of final judgment of the rebellious tribes of Israel.
XIX. 29. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
As for those, who have not gone so far, as to forsake and abandon all things, but only some particular comforts, whether houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, because they could not enjoy any of these together with the profession of my Truth and Gospel; they shall receive, in lieu thereof, that true and solid consolation, which shall be more unto them, than a