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: instead of looking into the Spirit and Mean-SERM.

ing of the Law; instead of flying for Succourant af to him, to whom it referred them; they fixed

their Eyes upon the Letter only, and placed

their Trust in an Observance of the outward i Ceremonies and Rités. Nay even these they s observed not in such Manner as God himself I had prescribed in the Law; but either blend. i ed and adulterated them with Observances of E their own; or else laid them entirely aside, to & make way for other Rites of their own Inven

tion. For rejecting (faith our Saviour) the 1 Commandment of God, they held the Tradition I of Men, Mark vii. 8, 9. Making the Word

of God of none Effeet through their Tradition,
ver. 13. by their own Superstitions and Forms,
which they mixed with or substituted in the
Room of the Law, they took away and altered
the Natùre of their Cerenonies, and made
them cease to be of any Use, as ceasing from
the End for which they were applied, viz.
to be Figures and Types of Christ. Under
this Corruption of a State that originally owed
áll it's Virtue to the Relation it bore to the
Gospel State ; how could Christ better time
the Miracle we are speaking of, which was
worked, you have heard, to signify the Pre-
eminence of the Gospel to the Law, than by

T 4 doing

SERM. doing it at the very Minute when all their

XIII. w Wine had failed, and there was nothing but

Water left in the House. This shewed that
their Estate was now quite lifeless and dead;
that it was worse than even in the Prophet's
Time, who only complained, Thy Silver is
become dross, thy Wine mixt with water, Isaiah
i. 22. But now, says our Lord in the Mira-
cle before us, Thy Drink is all Water, there
is no Wine left. And therefore in this deplora-
ble State the Almighty Power and Mercy of
God interposes to help them; the poor and
spiritless Element of Water, he changeth in-
to rich and generous Wine; the weak and
beggarly Elements, Gal. iv. 9. of the Law,
into the Gospel Power and Life. Thus too
reserving his best Dispensation to be last dif-
played, contrary to the Methods of the Ene-
my of Mankind, who always offers his good
Things first: An Observation particularly hinta
ed in the Passage, whence I have taken my
Text: For there we are told, that when the
Ruler of the Feast had tasted the Water that
was made Wine, and knew not whence it was;
He called the Bridegroom, and faith unto him,
Every Man at the Beginning doth set forth
good Wine ; and when Men bave well drunk,
then that which is worse ; but thou haft kept


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i the good Wine until now. This Commenda-SERM * tion of the Wine last drawn, was intended

XIII. intended and

A I by the Governor of the Feast for the Brideà groom of Cana, to whom he spoke : But if

we read it with a spiritual Eye, we shall easily

understand it as truer of Christ, the heavenly I Bridegroom of his Spouse the Church, who V in every Oeconomy fo directs and governs his Affairs, that the better always succeeds the

worse. The Bondage of the Law shall pre-
cede and make Way for the Freedom of the
Gospel ; the Church Militant for the Church
Triumphant, and even the Kingdom of Christ
for that still more glorious State of Things
which we know is to follow, when the Son ·
shall surrender up all to the Father; i Cor.
xy. 28.

This Procedure of Christ, with relation to
his tempering his worse Things with the
Hopes and Expectation of better to come,
may also be observed in his Dealings with
Men in their several private and single Capa-
cities : His chosen Servants he tries with Ąf-
flictions and Temptations here, in order to re-
ward their Perseverance and Faith with end-'
less Glory and Happiness hereafter: Where-
as the Devil, on the contrary, deludes his Ser-
vants with every thing that is smooth and


SER M. prosperous in this World, in order to retaini XIII.

them secure to himself for the Extremity of Misery and Wo in the next. The Rich-man, in the Parable, we are told, in his Life Time. received his good Things, and Lazarus his evil Things : But what was the Consequence, the following Words immediately declareBut now, he is comforted, and thou árt tor. mented, Luke xvi. 25.

And thus we have seen from the Scripture we have been considering the exceeding Tenderness and conjugal Affection of Christ to his Church. He saw her oppressed by the Weight and Burden of a ceremonial Law, not able to bear up any longer, under it, but just upon finking, helplefs and weak. He resolved therefore in his Compassion to pity her Estate, to change her numerous and tiresome Rites for a more internal and spiritual Law; and to enable her to keep it, determining to impart to her of his own Power and Strength, and in order to this, leaves his Father, comes down from Heaven, and espouses her to himself. And to this Affection and entire Devotion of himself to his Church it might possibly be owing, that in the Passage before us he shews fo cold a Regard to his Mother. For when, out of a charitable and friendly Desire to main

7tain the Decency of an hospitable Entertain- SERM.

XIII. ment, the sues to our Lord for a supply of - Wine, when what was provided in the Houfe E was failed; Jesus faith unto her, Woman,

what have I to do with thee? Mine Hour is E' not get come. This being an Answer that - seems to incline towards Harshness and Seve: rity; it has pretty much perplexed our Com

mentators, how to account for it: But if we

bear in Mind this nearer Relation of Jesus to 1 his Church, and read it, with one of the an

cient Fathers *, with a Point of Interrogati-
on; we may conjecture a little at our Lord's
Intention. Woman, what have I to do with
thee? Is not mine Hour yet come? For fo the
Greek will bear to be rendered, and when so
rendered may be paraphrased thus. Woman,
for now I must call thee by that Name, since
thy Relation to me, as Mother, continues no
more: Thou hast born me, it is true, and
nourished me up, with all imaginable Ten-
derness and Care : But thou knoweft there is
a nearer Relation of Wife, a dearer Friend,
for whom, by the express Decree of God, both
Father and Mother and all must be left. The
Wife I have chofen is infinitely nearer and
geares to me, than any Relation, meerly hu-
* Greg. Nyp


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