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Woe Unto the World

Woe Unto the World

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Woe unto the world, because of offences.



Woe unto the world, because of offences.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 09, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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WOE UTO THE WORLDEDITED BY REV. EDWARD ATKYS BRAYFROM DOE*. MATTHEW XVlll. 7- Woe unto the world, because of offences. The man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. The man Moses was so : but the child Jesus was meeker still. Compare Moses with men, and he will scarce be paralleled. Compare Moses with Him, who, being so much more than man, as that he was also God, was made so much less than man, as that he was a worm, and no man ; and Moses must in- stantly give place. If you consider what Moses would willingly have parted with for his brethren, (Pardon them, or blot my name out of thy book, J yet will the zeal of St. Paul bear full comparison with that of Moses, * John Donne, Dean of St. Paul's, was born 1573) and died 1631. n V 78 in that he wished himself to be separated frortt Christ, rather than that his brethren should be so* But what comparison has a sudden, passionate, and unexecuted vehemence of love, (for Moses was not
blotted out of the book of life, nor was St. Paul separated from Christ for his brethren ;) what com- parison has such a love, that was but said, and per- haps should not have been said, (for hardly can we excuse Moses or St. Paul, of all excess and inor^ dinacy in what they said,) with a deliberate and an eternal purpose in Christ Jesus to come into this world and die for man ; and then, in the fulness of time, really to do so ? The meekness of Moses had at least an inter- ruption, when he revenged the wrong of another upon the Egyptian whom he slew. But, ere Christ had interfered with either, a bruised reed might have stood unbroken, and smoking flax might have lain unquenched for ever. And therefore, though he sent his disciples to the Scribes and Pharisees, because they sat in Moses' seat, for other lessons, yet for this, he was their Master himself ; Learn of me, for I am meek. He gives them the ele- ments of true instruction ; rule and example. He finds them contending for precedence ; who should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He sets before them a little child, and tells them, that un- less they become as humble, as gentle, as tractable as that little child, they could not enter into the kingdom of heaven^ And he gives them a second 7d lesson, in this doctrine of meekness against scflwcZa?5 and offences ; against an easiness in giving, or an easiness in taking offence. In commenting on the words of the text, I shall first consider the denunciation contained in them : Woe unto the world. It is, as it were, expressed in the voice of condolence and lamentation, God
laments the necessity of those judgments which the sins of men have made inevitable. It is even so expressed by the Prophets that denounced them ; The burden of Damascus ! the burden of Egi/pt / the burden of Babylon ! signifying, not only that the judgment would be a heavy burden, when it fell upon them, but that the very contemplation and denunciation of it was a burden to the Prophet hi7n- self that was sent upon that message. We have but two express intimations in Scrip- ture of Christ's toeeping : and both were in com- passion for others. When Mary wept for her dead brother, Lazarus, Jesus also wept : he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. This was but for the sorrow of one family, (it was not a mortality over the whole country ;) it was but for one person in that family, (it was not a contagion that had swept, or threatened the whole house;) nay, it was but for a person in that family whom he meant immediately to restore to life : and yet Jesus wept, and groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. He would not lose that opportunity of showing his ten- derness and compassion in behalf of others. How, 7 85 then, must he have grieved when he beheld his beloved Jerusalem, and wept over that devoted city I Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, says the Apostle. Extort not from him those judgments, which he cannot in justice forbear, and yet is grieved to inflict. We use it as a motive to divert young men from evil courses : "• How will

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