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every one that findeth me shall slay me.” This is dreadful and terrible cry, which is heard from all Cain's progeny; all such as trust to themselves and their own works; who put not their trust in the Son of God, neither consider that he was sent from the Father, made of a woman under the law ; much less that all these things were done for their salvation. And while their ungodliness is not herewith content, they begin to persecute even the sons of God; and grow so cruel, that after the example of their father Cain, they cannot rest until they slay their righteous brother Abel : wherefore the blood of Christ continually cries out against them nothing but punishment and vengeance; but for the heirs of salvation, it cries by the spirit of Christ for nothing but grace and reconciliation.
The apostle here uses a Syrian and Greek word; saying, Abba, Pater. This word Abba, in the Syrian tongue, signifies a father; by which name the chief of monasteries are still called ; and by the same name, Heremites in time past, being holy men, called their presidents : at last, by use, it was also made a Latin word. Therefore that which Paul saith, is as much as, Father, Father; or if thou hadst rather, “my Father.”
Verse 7. “ Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” He saith, that after the coming of the spirit, after the knowledge of Christ, “ thou art not a servant.” A son is free and willing, a servant is compelled and unwilling: a son liveth and resteth in faith, a servant in works. Therefore it appears that we cannot obtain salvation of God by works; but before thou workest that which is acceptable to him, it is necessary that thou receive salvation; then good works will freely flow, to the honour of thy heavenly Father, and to the profit of thy neighbours; without any fear of punishment, or looking for reward.
If this inheritance of the Father be thine by faith, surely thou art rich in all things, before thou hast wrought any thing. It is said, 1 Peter i. Your salvation is prepared and reserved in heaven, to be showed in the last time ; wherefore the works of a christian ought to have no regard to merit, which is the manner of servants, but only for the use and benefit of our neighbours, whereby we may truly live to the glory of God. Lest that any think that so great an inheritance cometh to us without cost, (although it be given to us without our cost or merit,) yet it cost Christ a dear price; who, that he might purchase it for us, was made under the law, and tisfied it for us, both by life and also by death.
Those benefits which from love we bestow upon our neighbour, come to him freely, without any charges or labour of his ; notwithstanding they cost us something ; even as Christ hath bestowed those things which are his upon us. Thus hath Paul called back the Galatians from the teachers of works, which preached nothing but the law, perverting the gospel of Christ. Which things are very necessary to be marked of us also : for the pope, with his prelates and monks, hath for a long time intruded, urging his laws, which are foolish and pernicious, disagreeing in every respect with the word of God; seducing almost the whole world from the gospel of Christ, and plainly extinguishing the faith of sons; as the scripture hath in divers places manifestly prophesied of his kingdom. Wherefore let every one that desires salvation, diligently take heed of him and his followers, no otherwise than satan himself.
Luke X. From the 23d to the 37th verse, inclusive. 23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately,
Blessed are the eyes which see the things which ye see. 24 For I tell you, That many prophets and kings have de. sired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen
and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him,
saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law ? how
readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as
thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do,
and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who
is my neighbour ? 30 And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho,
and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving
him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way;
and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and
'looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he
was : and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in
oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two
pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour
unto him that fell among the thieves ? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said
Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
I HOPE that you rightly understand this gospel, it being preached every year; notwithstanding, occasion now offers, and we shall treat of it again. First,
the evangelist saith that Christ took his disciples aside, and said unto them secretly,
66 Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see : for I tell you
that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” To see and hear, is to be understood in this place, simply of the outward seeing and hearing; to wit, that they saw Christ come in the flesh, heard his sermons, and were present at those miracles which he did among the Jews. The Jews saw the same according to the flesh, yea, and felt them also; yet did they not truly acknowledge him for Christ, as the apostles did ; and especially Peter, who in the name of all the rest did confess him, saying, “ Thou art Christ, the son of the living God.” We grant, indeed, that there were some among the Jews which acknowledged him, as did the apostles, but the number of them was very small ; wherefore he taketh his apostles severally unto himself.
Many prophets and kings have seen Christ, howbeit, in the spirit; as the Lord himself saith to the Jews, of Abraham ; John viïi. “ Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” The Jews thought that he had spoken of the bodily seeing ; but he spake of the spiritual seeing, whereby all christian hearts did behold him before he was born; for if Abraham saw him, undoubtedly many other prophets in whom the Holy Ghost was, saw him also. And although this seeing saved the holy fathers and prophets, yet did they always with most inward and hearty affection desire to see Christ in the flesh, as is plainly showed in the prophets; wherefore the Lord saith unto his disciples, which saw him both in the flesh and in the spirit, Blessed the
which see those things which you see;" as if he had said, now is the acceptable year and time of grace; the matter is so weighty and
precious, that the eyes are said to be blessed which see it; for now was the gospel preached openly and manifestly both by Christ and also by his apostles ; whereupon he here calleth them all blessed which see and hear such grace: which I have preached much, and a long time to you; I would to God that ye keep that which I have spoken fresh in memory.
When the Lord spake these things, a certain lawyer stood up, showing himself, as he thought, to be some great one; who tempting the Lord, saith, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? This lawyer was endued with wisdom, and not unskilful in the scriptures, which even his answer declares ; yet in this place he is proved a fool ; yea, he is brought to shame and ignominy; for Christ taketh away all his glorying in one word; believing that he had observed the whole law, and that he was chief one, with respect to others, as undoubtedly he was, he thought himself sufficiently worthy by reason of his godliness and learning, to be conversant with the Lord. But what doth the Lord in this case ? the following text declares : “ And he said unto him, what is written in the law ? how readest thou ? he answered and said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself. Then he said unto him, thou hast answered right; do this and thou shalt live.” Methinks the Lord gave this good man a hard lesson; he deals very plainly with him, and puts him to shame openly, before all.
He proves that he had done nothing ; who, notwithstanding, thought that he had done all things.
If I had time, many things might be spoken of the two commandments : for they are the chief and greatest commandments in Moses ; on which the whole law, and all the prophets hang; as Christ himself saith in Matthew. If we consider the com