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and the nearer and more immediate access to the Lord, which those who were killed for His name's sake should receive from Him. And be these as they may, yet, doubtless, a more than common happiness is laid up, not for the martyr only, but for every one, in proportion to his losses and trials in the cause, who, though he has borne a lighter and less illustrious cross, has still borne cheerfully whatever cross his Master has given him to carry. We know of men in hard and dangerous professions, who rejoice when sent on services of still greater danger and hardship, as knowing that where peril is, promotion may also be found; and the sufferer for conscience sake may, much more, exult in his trials, as knowing that, in the strength of God's grace, He will come off even more than conqueror.
But, fourthly, lest all these hopes should fail us in the hour of danger, it is wise, nay it is most needful, to accustom ourselves to frequent self-denial, even in lawful indulgences; to obtain, by frequent exercise, a complete mastery over ourselves; by a constant study of God's word to store our minds before-hand with a deep sense both of His threats and of His promises, and by daily meditation and prayer to accustom our thoughts to the constant spectacle of Christ on the cross, entreating His grace to frame our minds into the likeness of His Heavenly temper.
So shall we fear God; and, fearing Him, be fearless of all besides :-so shall we love God; and, for His sake, count all the world as dross in com
parison of His services;-so, amid the changes and chances of this mortal life, shall our hearts be there fixed where unfailing joys are to be found; and where all which now distresses us shall appear but as a painful dream when we awake from sleep refreshed and thankful, and the light of Heaven's great morning beams in through the windows of the sepulchre !
THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN.
[Preached at Ghazeepoor, August 29, 1824.]
ST. LUKE Xviii. 14.
I tell you that this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
THE parable of which these words form the conclusion, was spoken by our Saviour, as the Holy Scripture itself tells us, in reproof of certain persons who "trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others;" and of the persons, accordingly, whom He sets before us, the first is of a class of men who, more than all others among the Jews, enjoyed the reputation of a strict and scrupulous piety; while the second was from a description of persons, many of whom were, really, of depraved and infamous behaviour, and all of whom, from the prejudices of their countrymen, were regarded, whether justly so or no, as depraved and infamous. "Two men," are our Lord's words, "went up into the temple to pray; the one a pharisee, and the other a publican."
The pharisees, it may be here necessary to observe, were a party among the Jewish nation whose name is taken from a Hebrew word signifying division or separation, because they had divided themselves in many circumstances of dress and manners and society from the generality of their brother Israelites, and of those who worshipped the same God with them in the same temple, on pretence of superior holiness, and of keeping themselves altogether unspotted by the company, the amusements, and even the touch of carnal and worldly persons. They were famous among their countrymen for their dislike of all diversions, however innocent, for the length of their prayers and of their graces both before and after meat, for their rigid observance of the Sabbath and fasting days appointed by the law of Moses, and by the zeal which they showed for not only the slightest observances recommended in that law, but for many other additional rules and restrictions which, though the law said nothing of them, they professed to have received from the tradition of the elders. Thus the law respecting the Sabbath, in itself strict, they straitened still more by forbidding men so much as to heal the sick on that day, to take physic themselves, or to give physic to others. On fasting days they not only refused to eat all food before the appointed hour, but if they took a draught of water took care to strain it through a cloth, lest any thing solid might lurk in it, and be accidentally swallowed. The blue fringe which it was the cus
tom of the Jews in general to wear on their clothes, the pharisees wore twice as large as other men, in order to prove that they were not ashamed of their religion; and their wrists and foreheads were usually bound round with strips of parchment written over with texts of Scripture, "to keep," as they said, "the law of God before their eyes, and to prevent its ever escaping from their memories."
On the whole, as their manners and appearance were formal, grave, and melancholy, so they chiefly lived among their own members, calling themselves in their books and in their general conversation, "the godly," "the elect," "the wise," and the "disciples of the elders;" and shunning not only the company, but the touch and the neighbourhood of those who did not belong to their own little circle, and of whom they therefore spoke as "the men of the world," "the unclean," and "the vulgar," or "unenlightened."
With all these pretences to piety, many grievous crimes, as it appears from Scripture, prevailed among them. Many of them were extremely covetous; and even made their outward piety a means of obtaining wealth and legacies from their countrymen; “devouring widows' houses under the pretence of long prayers;" and "making clean the outside of the cup and the platter, while the inward part was full of ravening and wickedness 1." But though such faults were but too common
'St. Matt. xxiii. 25. St. Luke xi. 39.