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LU KE X. 36, 37.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou,
was neighbour unto him that fell amongst the thieves? And he said, he that bewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him
Go, and do thou likewise.
N the foregoing verses of this chap
ter, the Evangelist relates, that a certain lawyer stood up and tempted JeSUS, saying, master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? To which enquiry, our Saviour, as his manner was, when any ensnaring question was put to VOL. I.
him, which he saw proceeded more from
law, how readest thou ? the enquirer reciting the general heads of our duty to God and Man as delivered in the 18th of Leviticus and the 6th of Deuteronomy, — namely --That we should worship the Lord our God with all our hearts, and love our neighbour is. ourselves; our blessed Saviour tells him, he had answered right, and if he followed that leffon, he could not fail of the blessing he seemed desirous to inherit.This do and thou shalt live.
But he, as the context tell us, willing to justify himself — willing possibly to gain more credit in the conference, or hoping perhaps to hear such a partial and narrow definition of the word neighbour as would, fuit his own principles, and justify some particular oppref
fions of his own, or those of which his whole order lay under an accusation says unto Jesus in the 29th verse, And who is my neighbour ? though the demand at first sight may seem utterly trifling, yet was it far from being so in fact. For according as you understood the term in a more or a less restrained sense - it produced many necessary variations in the duties you owed from that relation. -Our blessed Saviour, to rectify any partial and pernicious mistake in this matter, and place at once this duty of the love of our neighbour upon its true bottom of philanthropy and universal kindness, makes answer to the proposed question, not by any far fetch'd refinement from the schools of the Rabbis, which might have sooner silenced than convinced the man - but by a direct
appeal to human nature in an instance he relates of a man falling amongst thieves, left in the greatest distress imaginable, till by chance a Samaritan, an utter stranger, coming where he was, by an act of great goodness and compassion, not only relieved him at present, but took him under his protection, and generously provided for his future safety.
On the close of which engaging account — our Saviour appeals to the man's own heart in the first verse of the
- Which now of these three thinkest thou was neighbour unto him that fell amongst the thieves? and instead of drawing the inference himself, leaves him to decide in favour of fo noble a principle so evidently founded in mercy. The Jawyer, struck with the truth and justice of the doctrine, and frankly acknowledg