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accommodation of the strangers who might want to exchange their foreign coins^

Thus they insulted the Gentiles and greath/ dishonoured GodTo correct this evil, our Lord exerted his divine authority— 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—

T ■- 1

It discovered

1. His holy indignation against sin

[Such a 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 directed against sin as its object, and be felt only in proportion to <he 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 promoted it by connivance—

Thus they, no less than the traders, were interested in maintaining 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 should 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.111. Hh


He resolutely determined to suppress these gross abominations—

And, without any regard to consequences, set himself ti) perform his duty—

Thus should we move undaunted in the way of duty—

Nor ever be deterred from it by the dictates of carnal policyc—]

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 immediate followers—

And brought to their recollection a portion of scripture which they had never before noticed II. The words themselves

The words wert 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. lxix. confessedly personates the MessiahSome parts are applicable to himself, and some to Christ, alontf

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. \7 * Ps. ci. 3—8." « 2 Sam.' vi. 14.

'Ver. 5. cannot well be applied to any but Datid; nor can ver. 21. to any but Christ. It is thus that the literal and prophetical parts of scripture are continually intermixed. . i

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 us—

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,b and adopt the words of Jeremiah?'—

Should they not reprove sin in others as well as abstain from it themselves?k—

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>tlei

With respect to others, let us never presume to use the petulant language of Cainm

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 us0—

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They afford us a proper example for our imitation [Phinehas of old was called to execute the judgment he inflicted on ZimriP—

Thus Jesus, as the prophet of the Most High, was called to vindicate God's honour—

In the same manner we should do whatever our place and station require—

We must not all take on ourselves the office of magistrates—

Or assume the authority which does not belong to our situa,tion and circumstances—

Our zeal must be regulated by the word of God—

It must be in a good cause; and in support of truth and virtuei—

It must be pure; and free from bigotry, ostentation, or wrathr

It must be discreet, not precipitating us into unbecoming conducts

It must be proportioned, in a measure, to the occasion, that excites it—

And it must be uniform, opposing sin in ourselves as much as in others'—

Such a zeal aS this cannot be too vigorously maintained"—

An intemperate zeal will injure the cause it attempts to serve—

But that which is duly tempered with meekness and wisdotn will be productive of much good*—

Let us then check the unhallowed zeal that Would call fire frorh heaven*—

And cherish that which is meek, humble, pious and benevolent1

Thus shall we approve ourselves to be God's peculiar people3

And, while we please our God, shall be a blessing to all around us—]

P He was a ruler himself, and acted by the command of the chief magistrate. Comp. 1 Chron. ix. 20. Numb. XXV. *, 7, 8.

>i Rom. x. 2. r 2 Kin. x. 16. » Jude 22, 2 3.

'Rev. iii. 19. u R^,. xji. 11, - * Gal. iv. 18.

r Luke ix. 54. * Jam. iii. 17. » Tit. ii. 14.


John iv. 4&—51. The nobleman saith unto him,Sir, comedown, ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son livcth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And us he was now going down, his servants met him, and tuld him, saying, Thy son liveth.

IF the rebukes of God be in one view tokens of his displeasure, they certainly in another view are expressions of his regard, and have frequently been forerunners of peculiar mercy—The Cunaanitish' woman was frowned upon, as it were, by our Lord, as utterly unworthy to taste the children's bread; yet was immediately afterwards admitted to a participation of it—Thus the nobleman, who now addressed him, received a reprimand for his backwardness to believe; but was nevertheless favoured instantly with an answer suited to his wish—

The circumstances related in the text lead us to observe

I. That weak and strong faith differ widely in their effects

This is particularly discoverable in the history before us [The nobleman's faith, though weak, induced him to take a considerable journey that he might find Jesus, and brought him to apply to Jesus with much humility and respect— Yet he could not refrain from limiting the power of Jesus, and prescribing to him the time and manner in which his request should be granted—And, because his petition was not granted at first, he grew impatient, and intimated his apprehensions, that, if the relief were not instantly afforded, it would soon be too late even for Jesus himself, to interfere— But when his faith was strengthened by the word and spirit of Christ, the tumult in his mind subsided, the irritation yielded to composure, and his apprehensions were banished by a firm expectation that the promised blessing should be given— Though he saw no change with his eyes, yet he doubted not but that a change had'taken place; and he left it to Jesus to accomplish his own word in his own way—]

Such are the various effects produced in us also by a similar cause , .

[The weakest faith, if truly sincere, will bring us to Jesus with reverence and humility—And will make us urgent with him to bestow upon us his benefits—Nor shall we regard any trouble in seeking him, provided we at last obtain the desired blessings—But if our "hope be deferred, it will make our heart sick"—We shall become impatient, if the pardon which we seek be not instantly scaled upon our consciences, or the victory we solicit be suspended for a while in dubious con

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