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heart of one whom the hand of God has bruised. Let him practise what it is, with Elijah's transport, to say to the afflicted widow,- See, thy son liveth!- -liveth by my charity, and the bounty of this hour, to all the purposes which make life desirable, to be made a good man, and a profitable subject: On one hand, to be trained up to such a sense of his duty, as may secure him an interest in the world to come; and with regard to this world, to be so brought up in it, to a love of honest labor and industry, as all his life long to earn and eat his bread with joy and thankful
"Much peace and happiness rest upon the "head and heart of every one who thus brings "children to CHRIST.-May the blessings of "him that was ready to perish, come seasonably "upon him.The Lord comfort him, when he 、 most wants it, when he lies sick upon his bed; "make thou, O GOD! all his bed in his sickness; and for what he now scatters, give him, then, that peace of thine which passeth all un"derstanding, and which nothing in this world +66 can either give or take away." Amen.
Pharisee and Publican in the Temple.
LUKE Xviii. 14. 1ft part.
I tell you this man went down to his house justified
rather than the other.
HESE words are the judgment which our SAVIOUR has left upon the behavior and different degrees of merit in the two men, the Pharisee and Publican, whom he represents, in the foregoing parable, as going up into the tem ple to pray. In what manner they discharged this great and solemn duty, will best be seen from a consideration of the prayer which each is said to have addressed to God upon the occasion.
The Pharisee, instead of an act of humiliation in that awful presence before which he stoodwith an air of triumph and self-sufficiency, thanks God that he had not made him like others-extortioners, adulterers, unjust, or even as this Publican. The Publican is represented as standing afar off, and with a heart touched with humility, from a just sense of his own unworthiness, is said only to have smote upon his breast, sayingGod be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, adds Our SAVIOUR, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.
Though the justice of this determination strikes every one at first sight, it may not be amiss to enter into a more particular examination of the evidence and reasons upon which it might be
founded, not only because it may place the equity of this decision in favor of the Publican in a stronger light, but that the subject seems likely to lead me to a train of reflections not unsuitable to the solemnity of the season *.
The Pharisee was one of that sect, who, in our SAVIOUR'S time, what by the austerity of their lives-their public alms-deeds, and greater pretences to piety than other men, had gradually wrought themselves into much credit and reputation with the people; And, indeed as the bulk of these are easily caught with appearances, their character seems to have been admirably well suited to such a purpose. If you looked no farther than the outward part of it, you would think it made up of all goodness and perfection; an uncommon sanctity of life, guarded by great decorum and severity of manners, profuse and frequent charities to the poor,—many acts of religion,much observance of the law-much abstinence-much prayer.
It is painful to suspect the appearance of so much good and would have been so here, had not our blessed SAVIOUR left us the real character upon record, and drawn up by himself in one word-That the sect were like whitened sepulchres, all fair and beautiful without, and enriched there with whatever could attract the eye of the
eholder; but, when searched within side, were full of corruption, and of whatever could shock and disgust the searcher. So that, with all their affectation of piety, and more extraordinary strictness and regularity in their outward deportment, all was irregular and uncultivated within-and all these fair pretences, how promising soever, blasted by the indulgence of the worst of human passions ;-pride-spiritual pride-the worst of all
* Preached in Lent.
pride-hypocrisy, self-love, covetousness, extortion, cruelty, and revenge. What pity it is that the sacred name of religion should ever have been borrowed, and employed in so bad a work, as in covering over such a black catalogue of vices, or that the fair form of virtue should have been thus disgraced, and for ever drawn into suspicion, from the unworthy uses of this kind, to which the artful and abandoned have often put her! The Pharisee seems to have had not many scruples of this kind, and the prayer he makes use of in the temple is a true picture of the man's heart, and shows with what a disposition and frame of mind he came to worship.~~
GOD! I thank thee, that thou hast formed me of different materials from the rest of my species, whom thou hast created frail and vain by nature, but by choice and disposition utterly corrupt and wicked.
Me, thou hast fashioned in a different mould, and hast infused so large a portion of thy spirit into me, lo! I am raised above the temptations and desires to which flesh and blood are subject, -I thank thee, that thou hast made me thus-not a frail vessel of clay, like that of other men—or even this Publican, but that I stand here a chosen and sanctified vessel unto thee.
After this obvious paraphrase upon the words, which speaks no more than the true spirit of the Pharisee's prayer,-you would naturally ask, What reason was there for all this triumph-or what foundation could he have to insult in this manner over the infirmities of mankind-or even those of the humble Publican who stood before him?-Why, says he, I give tithes of all that I possess-Truly a very different account of himself-and if that was all he had to offer in his own behalf, God knows, it was but a weak foundation to support so much arrogance and self-con
ceit; because the observance of both the one and the other of these ordinances, might be supposed well enough to be consistent with the most profligate of life and manners.
The conduct and behavior of the pear very different-and, indeed, as verse to this as you could conceive. we enter upon that, as I have spoke largely to the character of the Pharisee, it will be but justice to say a word or two in general to his. The Publican was one of that order of men employed by the Roman emperors in levying the taxes and con tributions which were from time to time exacted from Judea, as a conquered nation. Whether from the particular fate of that employment, owing to the fixed aversion which men have to part with what is their own, or from whatever other causes it happened so it was, that the whole set of men were odious, insomuch, that the name of a Publican was a term of reproach and infamy among the Jews.
Publican apmuch the reBut, before
Perhaps, the many instances of rigor to which their office might direct them-heightened sometimes by a mixture of cruelty and insolence of their own, and possibly always made to appear worse than they were, by the loud clamors and misrepresentations of others all might have contributed to form and fix this odium. But it was here, no doubt, as in all other classes of men, whose professions expose them to more temptations than that of others-that there are numbers who still behave well, and who, amidst all the snares and opportunities which lie in their way,— pass thro' them, not only with an unblemished character, but with the inward testimony of a good .conscience.
The Publican, in all likelihood, was one of these and the sentiments of candor and humility, which the view of his condition inspired, are such VOL. III. G