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off, would not lift up so much as Serm.
HIS Parable was spoken by
trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others; as the
preface to it informs us, ver. 9. The Defign of it was to shew, that every one that exalteth bimself hall be abafed, and be that humbleth himself Mall be exalted; as we learn from our Saviour's own Application of it, ver. 14
Two Perfons of very different Characters, a Pharisee and a Publican, addressed themselves to the Duty of Prayer, at the same time, and place, viz. the Temple. We are told in what manner each of them prayed, and the different Success they met with. The Parable itself is so plain, that, I think, nothing can be said to make it more so.
What I propose, is to make some general Observations on the different manner in
SERM. which these two persons prayed, and then
with some practical Remarks.
I. I shall make some general Observations on the different manner in which these two Persons prayed. And,
1. Let us consider the Prayer of the Pharisee. Which was this" God, I thank
tbee, that I am not as other Men are, “ Extortioners, Unjust, Adulterers, or even as " this Publican; I fast twice in the Week, I
give Tithes of all that I posless.”
This Prayer, you see, (if we may call it fo) is exactly in the Character of those Perfons for whose Adınonition this Parable was intended ; that is, the Pharisees, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and deSpised others. And that this Pharisee did so, appears from his very Prayer. I fast twice "a Week, I give Tithes of all I poljefs ;” there is his Self-righteousness, and his Boast of it. And, " I thank God that I am not as other “ Men, nor as this Publican,” Thews how much be despised others.
But to consider this Prayer of the Pharisee more particularly,
1. There is much Self-confidence in it., Serm.
He stood and prayed thus with bimself. Or, X. as some render it, be stood by himself, (at a distance from the profane Publican, in some conspicuous Place, where he might be seen by qthers) and prayed thus. “ GOD, I thank " thee, that I am not as other Men are.” What a bold assuming Air is this, with which to come into the presence of the great God! And after this general Self-applause, he descends to particulars; that he was no Extortioner; no Adulterer, &c. Nay, his Righteousness was not negative only, but positive. And he mentions some particulars also of that fort. I fast twice in the Week; as the Pharisees were wont to do, viz. on Monday and Thursday. I give Tithes of all that I possess. Indeed he thanks God, for this; but it is in such a manner as plainly shews, he thought the Thanks due to himself; and is a Language and Temper very different from that of the Apostle Paul, when he said, by the Grace of God I am what
His words express no real thankfulness of Heart for the Grace of God that had made the difference between him and others; but have evidently the Air of an
SERM. arrogant and oftentatious Hypocrite. I am X.
not so bad as others, I thank God. When at the same time, it is plain that all he meant was Self-applause.
2. There appears a good deal of secret Pride in this Address.
He was fully persuaded that he was more holy than other Men, and upon that grows mighty fond of himself. The particular Detail of his good Works shews the vanity of his Heart. He boasts of this, and dwells with pleasure on the Subject. As if all his Business at the Temple was, to tell Al. mighty God. how good he was ; like those Hypocrites mentioned, Ifai. lviii. 3. W kerefore have we fasted, say they, and thou feest not. Here is not the least Expression of any sense he had either of his wants or his Sins. His Pride had made him blind to both.
3. He not only discovers much Pride buts great Ignorance.
For supposing all the many good things he here says of himself were true, it amounts to no more than this. That he was no profligate, or openly profane Sinner, but that he conformed to some of
the external Modes of Religion. Which SERM.
4. There is much Hypocrisy in this
Hypocrisy consists in a person's affe&ing to appear more religious than he really is. And it is always a fhrewd Sign of it, when there is an over-eager Zeal for the Formalities and Circumstantials of Religion ; which this Prayer of the Pharisee fhews to be exactly his Character.
5. It shews him to be at the same time very uncharitable and censorious.
There was but one Man in the World that he seemed to have a good Opinion of, and that was himself. I thank God, that I am not as other men are. He speaks indefi