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draw such an inference. Even a publican was not necessarily wicked: and the consciousness Zaccheus had, of freedom from extortion, is obvious from his appeal; "If I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." It is even the duty of official agents to be exact and full in lawful demands. We will therefore take it for granted, that Matthew was rightfully engaged when our Saviour took knowledge of him; and, as Divine favour has been shewn towards many others recorded in the Scriptures, while filling up the duties of their station, we learn that diligence in our calling is acceptable to God, as well as approved of men. The angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds while keeping their flocks by night, and announced the birth of the Messiah. Saul was seeking his father's asses when Samuel met him, and anointed him king over Israel. While drawing water at the well, Rebecca, and Rachael, and Zipporah, found each a husband-The woman of Samaria found the Saviour of the world.
Here it may be asked, Was our Lord's thus meeting with Matthew, the effect of chance, or of design? To this question, we boldly answer, Of design. There is nothing accidental in the conversion of a sinner-If a man be saved, and called with a holy calling in time, it is according to God's purpose and grace given him in Christ Jesus before the world began.
"And he saith to him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him." He hath a mighty voice. He upholds all things by the word of his power. By the same word he made them all. He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. He said, Let there be light, and there was light. So it was in the old creation; and in the new, he calleth things which are not, and they appear. As the address was instantaneous, so the obedience was immediate. What a change did the call produce in the soul of this man! How did it enlighten his mind, and inflame
his heart! Doubtless his head was filled with worldly cares; but this voice, like a charm, dispossesses him. The meanness of our Saviour's appearance, and the lowness of his attendants, weigh nothing with him. He was now in prosperity; he was to leave a gainful office; and perhaps saw before him only reproach and persecution: but he is satisfied; and would rather be a poor minister of Christ, than a rich officer of Cæsar. In a case of such magnitude, it might be supposed that he would have required some time to consider and examine matters. But, like Paul, he confers not with flesh and blood. The King's business requires haste. True obedience is always prompt and unreserved-He immediately followed him. O blessed Jesus, may thy call to us be so effectual, that when thou sayest, "Seek ye my face;" our hearts may answer, "Thy face, Lord, will we seek." And, at thy bidding, may we arise, and forsaking every carnal pursuit and worldly attachment, follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth!
Though Matthew formally surrendered his office, and all its concerns, we have no reason to believe that he sacrificed his effects. Rather, we are persuaded, that he carefully secured them, to be properly used and applied. Whatever we possess at the time of our calling, may be consecrated to the Redeemer, and advantageously employed in his service, and the cause of benevolence. And when the heart is open, the hand and the house cannot be shut. Matthew therefore makes an entertainment for our Lord, and "behold, many Publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples." These persons had formerly visited Matthew; partly for business, and partly for pleasure: now they came, invited by him with the hope of their deriving benefit from our Saviour's conversation. "Who knows," says he, "but the voice that has reached my heart, may also call them by his grace?" How invariably is such a disposition found in every subject of Divine grace!
Come with us, said Moses to Hobab, and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel. O taste and see, says David, that the Lord is good blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Come and see him, said the woman of Samaria to her neighbours. In the same spirit, Matthew makes a feast, to which he calls his old friends and companions. And our Saviour gave them the cheerful, though not the sinful meeting: teaching us thereby not to be repulsive in our manners-nor to refuse social intercourse. Of two things, however, we should be careful-To design good, as our Saviour did, when we enter company-and also to remember the difference there is between him and us. He had no corruption within, for temptation to operate upon; while we are easily receptive of corrupt impressions; and must always watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.
But the Pharisees (pious souls!), when they saw this, were scandalized. Yet, as Satan always loves to get over the hedge where the fence is lowest; and as he assailed Eve apart from her husband: so they, from fear, do not express their dissatisfaction to our Lord himself; but "said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with Publicans and sinners?" What did they mean? It was the tradition of the Elders, that the sanctified and devout should never be seen in company with the wicked. Affecting superior sanctity, they acted upon this principle themselves; and said, "Stand by thyself; come not near to me; I am holier than thou." And they here insinuate, that if Jesus was what he professed to be, he would shun such characters as he was now with. And they seem even to feel a concern for his honour. All this was mere pretence, supported by malice and envy. They were strangers to every feeling of piety or benevolence. They strained at a gnat, and swallowed a camel. They made long prayers for a pretence, and devoured widows' houses. They were
wolves in sheep's clothing: sepulchres painted without, and full of rottenness within.
If we are Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile, we shall be severe towards ourselves, and candid towards others. We shall see more evil in our own hearts, than we can ever see in the conduct of our fellow-creatures. And though, in proportion as we are pure and heavenly, we must feel whatever is contrary thereto-we shall bewail it before God, rather than complain of it to men. And never shall we, when the character is fair, and the life blameless, go a motive-hunting, and indulge in the vileness of suspicion. Let us not judge, that we be not judged. Let us remember, that he who knows what is inman, represents censoriousness as the offspring and proof of hypocrisy. "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite! first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." O for more of that charity, that "thinketh no evil; that rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth-beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things!"
Nov. 9.-"But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." Matt. ix. 12.
To perceive the force of these words, we must remember the design of them. They are in justification of
our Lord's conduct. Matthew, having been called by his grace to follow him, made an entertainment, to which he invited his former friends and companions; hoping that they might derive advantage from the intercourse. But when the Pharisees saw it, they were offended, and said to his disciples, "Why eateth your Master with Publicans and sinners?" Though the murmur was not addressed to himself, it concerned himself; and he was acquainted with it: and though the complainers were undeserving of his notice and he was under no obligation to vindicate what he was doing-he said, "I am about my proper business. I have not mistaken the objects of my attention. I came to seek and to save that which was lost. I could now have been enjoying the company of angels in heaven. My mixing, on such an occasion, with publicans and sinners, is not agreeable in itself-but I entered the world as a physician. Where should a physician be, but among the disordered and dying? They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."
The vindication insinuates the real condition of mankind. They are diseased. We refer to their moral maladies. The soul has its disorders, as well as the body-and the disorders of the soul are worse than those of the body. They vitiate a nobler part; they expose to a greater danger. The consequence of the one, is only temporal death; the result of the other is death eternal. These maladies are the effects of the Fall; and they may be seen in the errors of the judgmeet-the rebellion of the willthe pollution of the conscience-the sensuality of the affections-the debasement and violence of the passions. We are sometimes blamed for degrading human nature. But we do not undervalue it, as the workmanship of God; or as to its physical and intellectual powers: but only as to its moral state and propensities. And here, not only the language of the Liturgy, but all Scripture, and history, and