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Jesus'himself, if duly invited, would be present at them
And be rendered subservient to the welfare of our souls-]
2. Wherever Jesus comes he will contribute much to our happiness
[No doubt his conversation was edifying and instructiveAnd the want, occasioned by his presence, was richly supplied What a season of holy joy must that company have
Thus, he never fails to instruct and comfort those who seek him
He turns our most common blessings into the richest dainties
The very bread we eat, or air we breathe, are made doubly sweet
The more we know of him, the more delight shall we find in him
The comforts which the world gives, though sweet at first, are at last embittered
But Jesus always gives us the best wine last
How true shall we find this when we sit down at his marriage supper!h
Let us then seek communion with him as our chief joy~]
3. - If we leave our concerns to Jesus, he will surely glorify himself at last
[We are too apt to dictate to him as to the time and mode of our relief
But such presumption will ever meet with a rebuke
He both knows all our wants, and the fittest time to supply them
He will regulate his dispensations towards us with consummate wisdom
And order every event for his own glory, and our greatest good
Let us then commit our every concern to him
And our very straits shall redound to his honour and our eternal happiness-]
6 Matt. xviii. 20.
b Rev. xix. 9.
CCLXXIX. THE DRIVING OF THE BUYERS AND
SELLERS OUT OF THE TEMPLE.
John ii. 17. And his disciples remembered that it was written,
The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. WE are apt to think that we receive no benefit from what we read or hear, unless it produce an immediate effect upon us
But the word, like the seed, often springs up long after it has been sowna
God often brings it to our minds by some great and singular occurrence
And then we see a beauty and importance in it which we never saw before
The apostles themselves forgat many things which were spoken to them by our Lord, till the Holy Spirit brought them to their remembrance
They had often heard the Psalms read in their synagogues
But probably never reflected on the passage before us, till our Lord's conduct suggested it to their minds, and reflected the true light upon it
We shall consider
There he found that the temple of God avas scandalously profaned
And he immediately set himself to rectify the abuses that were there tolerated
[The outer court of the temple was appropriated to the use of the Gentiles
But many of the Jews had rendered it a place of merchandize
There they exposed for sale the cattle that were proper to be offered in sacrifice
And stationed themselves with tables of money for the
accommodation of the strangers who might want to exchange their foreign coina_
Thus they insulted the Gentiles and greatly dishonoured God
To correct this evil, our Lord exerted his divine authorits
He drove out the cattle, and ordered the doves to be removed
He overturned the tables of money, and commanded all the traders to depart
Nor did any of the people dare to oppose his sovereign command
This act of his could not fail of attracting universal notice
[Such profanation of the temple was indeed a grievous sin
Nor could his righteous soul behold it without the utmost abhorrence
His anger was justly excited by the indignity offered to 'his Father
To have felt it less, would have been a crime; and to have refrained from manifesting it, a mark of cowardice
We indeed are not called to manifest our displeasure in the same authoritative way
But we should never behold sin but with pain and grief
Nor can our indignation be ever sinful, provided it be di. rected against sin as its object, and be felt only in proportion to the malignity of the offence. committed
We can never err, if we follow the example of those eminent saints 2. His courageous zeal for God
[The priests themselves were accessory to the dishonour done to God
If they did not encourage it for gain, they at least prompted it by connivance
Thus they, no less than the traders, were interested in main, taining the abuse
And, no doubt, would be forward to uphold it with all their power
But - Jesus - feared not the face of men, though-all shoulel combine against him
. Every one had occasion for an half shekel for the service of the temple, Exod. xxx. 13-16. b Ps. cxix. 53, 136, 158. Jer. ix. 1. VOL. III.
He resolutely determined to suppress these gross abominations
And, without any regard to consequences, set himself to perform his duty Thus should we move undaunted in the way
of duty Nor ever be deterred from it by the dictates of carnal policy -) 3. A miraculous power over the minds of men
(What but this could prevent their rising against him?He detected their hypocrisy, removed their impiety, mortified their pride, opposed their interests, and loaded them with disgrace
He did this singly, unarmed, unsupported, and in opposition to the existing authorities
Yet, behold, they were all constrained to yield submission to his will
We cannot doubt but that he miraculously overawed their minds—
Nor was this a less exertion of omnipotence than any other of the miracles which he wrought-]
The sight of these things particularly affected his inmediate followers * And brought to their recollection a portion of scripture which they had never before noticed II. The words themselves The words were justly quoted in reference to Christ
[In their primary sense indeed they had their accomplishment in David
David elsewhere expresses in very strong terms his zeal for Godd
Nor can we forget how he manifested it when he danced before the arke
But David in Ps. Ixix. confessedly personates the Messiah
Some parts are applicable to himself, and some to Christ, alone from
The words before us may very properly be applied to both
Indeed the strength of the terms would almost lead us to confine them to Christ
His holy soul was inflamed with incessant zeal for God's honour
• Jer. i. 17
é 2 Sam. vi. 140 5 Ver. 5. cannot well be applied to any but David; nor can ver. 21. to any but Christ. It is thus that the literal and prophetical parts of scripture are continually intermixed.
Nor did he ever suffer one opportunity of promoting his glory to pass unimproved
The occasion now before us called forth the strongest exertions of his zeal
And manifested the full accomplishment of this prophecy in his person-]
They are also replete with useful instruction to use
They reprove the shameful want of zeal amongst his followers.
[God is greatly dishonoured by men on every side His name is blasphemed, his word despised, his authority rejected
Does it become his people to behold these things with indifference?
Should they not resemble Paul when he beheld the idolaters at Athens?
Should they not imitate John, and adopt the words of Jeremiah?
Should they not reprove sin in others as well as abstain from it themselves?
But how miserably defective are even good people in this particular!
How often do fear or shame restrain them from bearing their testimony for God!
Alas! what a sad contrast does our conduct form with that of our Lord!
Have we not reason then to be ashamed, and mourn for our neglect?
But many, so far from rebuking sin in others, indulge in it themselves
Even in the very house of God they harbour worldly and carnal thoughts
Nor are at all concerned to have their hearts purified from vile affections
Surely this cannot but be most offensive to the heart-searching God
Let us remember the solemn caution given us by the apos tle
With respect to others, let us never presume to use the petu. lant language of Cain
But rather endeavour to obey the injunction which God has given us"
And, with respect to ourselves, let us seek in all things that conformity to Christ which is required of uso—
& Acts xvii. 16.
Eph. v. 11. n Lev. xix. 17.
h Mark vi. 18.
i Jer. xiii. 17. m Gen. iv. O.