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and protected: In one Case, preserved from the Violence of the Wicked; in the other, from the Contagion of their Punishment. In a Word, Offences against Men must be corrected and discouraged by present Punishment, or else this world will be a Scene of great Woe and Misery to the best Men: Violence will prevail, and the Meek, far from inheriting the Earth, will be rooted out of it.
Offences against God, though of a deeper Dye, yet have not in them the fame Call for immediate Vengeance: For God suffers not from the Wickedness of Men; the Ends of Justice are best served by the Delay, and his Goodness is at present displayed in his Forbearance; and his Honour will soon be vindicated in a more public Theatre than that of this present World, in the Sight of all the Dead, as well as of all the Living.
MATTHEW xxvi. 41, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into Temp
tation: The Spirit' indeed is willing, bus the Flesh is weak,
*98***OR the better understanding of
you F to reflect a little
casion they were spoken, and Maps *
in what Circumstances our Sa, viour was, when he made this Exhortation to
his Disciples. The Time of his Crucifixion was now near at hand, and he had foretold his Disciples that they should all be offended because of him; upon which St. Peter made a very forward Profession of Constancy, as did likewise all the Disciples. But it does not appear that they clearly understood our
Saviour, or were apprehensive that they should so soon lose their Master ; if they had, they could not have been so supinely negligent and unconcerned for his Welfare, as immediately to fall asleep, as we read they did. But our Saviour, as he had a different Sense of what he was to undergo, so was he differently affected: He began to be sorrowful, and very heavy; and expressed himself to his Disciples, that his Soul was exceeding forrowful, even unto Death. He began to feel the Weakness and Infirmities of human Nature upon the Approach of Death, and the Terror and Apprehension of it increased so fast, as to draw that Petition from him, O
Father, if it be possible, let this Cup pass from me.
In which Prayer he was so earnest, and his Agony fo great, that the Sweat fell from him like Drops of Blood.
No one was ever more willing to fulfil the Will of God than he was: He came into the World to do the Will of his Father, and was ready to finish the Work set before him. But yet, in this last and fharp Trial, he found how great the Weakness of the Flesh was, and how powerful Impressions it had upon him: From whence probably arose the Reflection mentioned in the Text, The Spirit
indeed is willing, but the Flesh is weak; which he makes the Ground of his Exhortation to his Disciples, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into Temptation. When he returned from Prayer to them, he found them asleep, and, after expostulating with them for the Unconcernedness it betrayed towards him in his Distress and Affliction, he exhorts them rather to employ their Time in watching and praying; for, though they had made a very forward and bold Resolution rather to die with him than deny him, yet he knew that a Resolution and Willingness to obey were not a sufficient Support against the Weakness of human Nature, but that they stood in need of all the Advantages that might be reaped from Watchfulness and Prayer. If he himself found Difficulties from the Weakness of the Flesh, he might well conclude how unable his Disciples would be, when their Time of Trial should come. So that the Words of the Text, The Spirit indeed is willing, but the Flesh is weak, seem rather founded on what our Saviour experienced in his late Agony, than from any thing thař was criminal in his Disciples. They were alleep indeed, which was an unkind Part, when they saw in how great Distress their