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tified rather than the other," our LORD does not mean that both were justified, and that the Publican had rather more justification than the Pharifee: but it implies, either that the Publican as actually juftified, but the Pharifee was not; or, that the Puu was in a better way to receive juftification, than the Pharifee; according to our LORD's faying, "The Publicans and Harlots enter into the kingdom of heaven before you." That the Pharifee was not justified is certain, for "GOD refifteth the proud ;" and that the Publican was at this time actually justified (and perhaps went home with a fense of it in his heart) we have great reafon to infer from the latter part of the text, "For every one that exalteth himself fhall be abafed, and he that humbleth himself fhall be exalted."
The parable therefore now fpeaks to all who hear me this day for that our LORD intended it for our learning, is evident, from his making fuch a general application; "For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
The parable of the Publican and Pharifee, is but as it were a glass, wherein we may fee the different difpofition of all mankind; for all mankind may be divided into two generalclaffes. Either they truft wholly in themfelves, or in part, that they are righteous, and then they are Pharifees; or they have no confidence in the flesh, are felf-condemned finners, and then they come under the character of the Publican just now described. And we may add also, that the different reception these men met with, points out to us in lively colours, the different treatment the self-jufticiary and self-condemned criminal will meet with at the terrible day of judgment: "Every one that exalts himself fhall be abafed, but he that humbleth himself fhall be exalted."
Every one," without exception, young or old, high or low, rich or poor (for GoD is no refpecter of perfons) "every one," whofoever he be, that exalteth himself, and not freegrace; every one that trufteth in himself that he is righteous, that refts in his duties, or thinks to join them with the righteousness of JESUS CHRIST, for juftification in the fight of GOD, though he be no adulterer, no extortioner, though he be not outwardly unjuft, nay, though he faft twice in the
week, and gives tithes of all that he poffeffes; yet fhall he be abased in the fight of all good men who know him here, and before men and angels, and GOD himself, when JESUS CHRIST comes to appear in judgment hereafter. How low, none but the almighty God can tell. He shall be abased to live with devils, and make his abode in the lowest hell for evermore.
Hear this, all ye felf-jufticiaries, tremble, and behold your doom! a dreadful doom, more dreadful than words can exprefs, or thought conceive! If you refuse to humble yourselves, after hearing this parable, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that GOD fhall vifit you with all his ftorms, and pour all the vials of his wrath upon your rebellious heads; you exalted yourselves here, and God shall abafe you hereafter; you are as proud as the devil, and with devils shall you dwell to all eternity. "Be not deceived, GOD is not mocked;" he fees your hearts, he knows all things. And, notwithstanding you may come up to the temple to pray, your prayers are turned into fin, and you go down to your houfes unjustified, if you are self-jufticiaries; and do you know what it is to be unjustified? why, if you are unjustified, the wrath of GoD abideth upon you; you are in your blood; all the curfes of the law belong to you: curfed are you when you go out, curfed are you when you come in; curfed are your thoughts, curfed are your words, curfed are your deeds; every thing you do, fay, or think, from morning to night, is only one continued series of fin. However highly you may be efteemed in the fight of men, however you may be honoured with the uppermoft feats in the fynagogues, in the church militant, you will have no place in the church triumphant. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of.. GOD:" pull down every felf-righteous thought, and every proud imagination, that now exalteth itself against the perfect, perfonal, imputed righteousness of the dear LORD JESUS: For he (and he alone) that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
He that humbleth himself, whatever he be: if, instead of fafting twice in the week, he has been drunk twice in the week; if, inftead of giving tithes of all that he poffeffes, he has cheated the minifter of his tithes, and the king of his taxes; notwithstanding he be unjust, an extortioner, an adul
terer, nay, notwithstanding the fins of all mankind center and unite in him; yet, if through grace, like the Publican, he is enabled to humble himself, he shall be exalted; not in a temporal manner; for chriftians must rather expect to be abafed, and to have their names caft out as evil, and to lay down their lives for CHRIST JESUS in this world: but he fhall be exalted in a spiritual fenfe; he shall be freely justified from all his fins by the blood of JESUS; he fhall have peace with GOD, a peace which paffeth all understanding; not only peace, but joy in believing; he fhall be tranflated from the kingdom of Satan, to the kingdom of GoD's dear Son: he fhall dwell in CHRIST, and CHRIST in him: he fhall be one with CHRIST, and CHRIST one with him: he fhall drink of divine pleasures, as out of a river: he fhall be fanctified throughout in fpirit, foul and body; in one word, he fhall be filled with all the fulness of GOD. Thus fhall the man that humbleth himself be exalted here; but O, how high fhall he be exalted hereafter! as high as the highest heavens, even to the right-hand of GOD: there he shall fit, happy both in soul and body, and judge angels; high, out of the reach of all fin and trouble, eternally fecure from all danger of falling. O finners, did you but know how highly GoD interds to exalt thofe who humble themselves, and believe in JESUS, furely you would humble yourselves, at leaft beg of GOD to humble you; for it is he that must strike the rock of your hearts, and caufe floods of contrite tears to flow therefrom. O that GOD would give this fermon fuch a commiffion, as he once gave to the rod of Mofes! I would ftrike you through and through with the rod of his word, until each of you was brought to cry out with the poor Publican, "GOD be merciful to me a finner." What pleasant language would this be in the ears of the LORD of Sabbaoth!
Are there no poor finners among you? what, are you all Pharifees? Surely, you cannot bear the thoughts of returning home unjustified; can you? what if a fit of the apoplexy should feize you, and your fouls be hurried away before the awful Judge of quick and dead? what will you do without CHRIST'S righteousness? if you go out of the world unjuftified, you remain fo for ever. O that you would humble yourselves! then would the LORD exalt you; it may be, that, whilst I am
fpeaking, the LORD might justify you freely by his grace. obferved, that perhaps the Publican had a fenfe of his justification before he went from the temple, and knew that his pardon was fealed in heaven: and who knows but you may be thus exalted before you go home, if you humble yourselves? O what peace, love and joy, would you then feel in your hearts! you would have a heaven upon earth. O that I could hear any of you fay (as I once heard a poor finner, under my preaching, cry out) He is come, He is come! How would you then, like him, extol a precious, a free-hearted CHRIST! how would you magnify him for being fuch a friend to Publicans and finners? greater love can no man fhew, than to lay down his life for a friend; but CHRIST laid down his life for his enemies, even for you, if you are enabled to humble yourfelves, as the Publican did. Sinners, I know not how to leave off talking with you ; I would fill my mouth with arguments; I would plead with you. "Come, let us reaion together;' though your fins be as scarlet, yet, if you humble yourselves, they shall be as white as fnow. One act of true faith in CHRIST, juiliñes you for ever and ever; he has not promifed you what he cannot perform; he is able to exalt you; for, Gop hath exalted, and given him a name above every name,. that at the name of Jesus every kuce fhall bow; nay, God.. Bath exalted him to be not only a Prince, but a Saviour, May, he be a Saviour to you and then I fall have reika to rejoice, in the day of judgment, that I bure net pratet & 125, 101. laboured in rain.
The Converfion of Zaccheus.
LUKE Xix. 9, 10.
And JESUS Jaid unto him, This day is falvation come to this boufe; forafmuch as he also is the Son of Abrabam. For the Son of man is come to feek and to fave that which was loft:
every where through the whole fcrip
ture, is faid to be the free gift of GOD, through JESUS CHRIST Our LORD. Not only free, because GOD is a fovereign agent, and therefore may withhold it from, or confer it on, whom he pleafeth; but free, because there is nothing to be found in man, that can any way induce GOD to be merciful unto him. The righteoufness of JESUS CHRIST is the fole cause of our finding favour in God's fight: this righteousness apprehended by faith (which is also the gift of God) makes it our own; and this faith, if true, will work by love. These are parts of thofe glad tidings which are published in the gofpel; and of the certainty of them, next to the exprefs word of GOD, the experience of all fuch as have been faved, is the best, and, as I take it, the most undoubted proof. That GOD might teach us every way, he has been pleased to leave upon record many inftances of the power of his grace exerted in the falvation of feveral perfons, that we, hearing how he dealt with them, might from thence infer the manner we must expect to be dealt with ourselves, and learn in what way we must look for falvation, if we truly defire to be made partakers of the inheritance with the faints in light.
The converfion of the perfon referred to in the text, I think, will be of no fmall fervice to us in this matter, if VOL. VI. D