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train, have I not immediately told them, without reserve or disguise, how slight the accommodations are with which I am provided? and that the Son of man has not here one quiet and settled habitation of his own? When the rich man, who was also a ruler, came to me, saying, "Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?" Luke xviii. 18, did I pitch upon some easy precept, the better to bring in such an one, either for my own, or your present advantage? did I not remind him of the commandments of God? And when he answered, that he had kept them, did I not say unto him: "Go, and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me?" Whereupon he went away sorrowful.
This my plainness and openness in treating men, may fully satisfy you of my integrity, and that I act sincerely, when I assure you, that there is another world beside the present. 5. Recollect, what has been my behaviour toward persons of influence and authority in the world.'
Have you observed me to seek my own, or your honour and interest, by gratifying and pleasing men in power? No, you know very well, that I have openly denounced the displeasure of God against the scribes and pharisees, upon account of their doctrine and conduct, derogatory to the honour of God, and the interest of religion. Insomuch that even the worst, and most inveterate of my enemies have afforded me the character of an impartial teacher of truth, without undue respects to the persons of any men, Matt. xxii. 16.
6. Especially you inay perceive by my behaviour toward yourselves, whether I am sincere, and may be relied upon, in what I now say.'
When I called you to attend me, I did not invite and draw you by worldly offers. You are sensible, that when you obeyed my call, "you left all and followed me, "Matt. xix. 27; Mark x. 28.
The doctrine of the cross, the practice of self-denial, I have inculcated upon all, especially upon you. I have indeed declared to you, that "the labourer is worthy of his hire," Luke x. 7; and that in discharging your office you will meet with kind and courteous entertainment from worthy persons. But I have as plainly told you, that many others will treat you with a spirit of the bitterest enmity and displeasure: that they "will persecute you from city to city," and that "you will be brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake:" directing you however "to possess your souls in patience," Luke xxi. 19, and assuring you, that "he who endureth to the end shall be saved," Matt. x. 22.
I have likewise intimated to you, that you cannot expect better treatment than I have had, if you keep close to my doctrine and example, as you ought: for "the disciple is not above his master: nor the servant above his lord," Matt. x. 28. "And because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world," many therein, "will hate you,' John xv. 19.
You must likewise be sensible, that as I have with much care and tenderness cherished and encouraged every good principle; so I have also freely warned and admonished you, as there has been occasion.
I have plainly told you, that you are happy, and my disciples indeed, if you do the things that I have commanded: and that not calling me Lord, Lord; nor even working miracles in my name, but only doing "the will of my Father which is in heaven," will entitle you to the rewards of the kingdom which I have so often spoken of: and that all others will be rejected by me at the last, though they had been familiar friends and acquaintance, "and had eaten and drunk in my presence," Luke xiii. 26.
Whatever has been amiss in you I have reproved and condemned, even the weakness of your faith, and the slowness of your understandings, owing to prevailing prejudices: and especially all faulty conduct, proceeding from a worldly frame and too strong affection for earthly things.
When I spake to you of my future sufferings, and thereupon Peter, who before had made a very agreeable confession of my being the Christ, the Son of God, began to remonstrate, saying, "Be it far from thee, Lord, this shall not be unto thee," Matt. xvi. 22, did I not turn me about, and, in the presence of you all, say unto him: "Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence to me for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men?" ver. 23. And when you had a strife one with another, who should be the greatest in the kingdom of the Messiah supposing it to have in it places of honour and preferment, such as it really has
not: did I not say unto you: "Unless ye be converted, and become as little children, ye not enter into the kingdom of heaven ?" Matt. xviii. 1-3.
Do you not remember likewise what I said to the two sons of Zebedee, when their mother came to me with that petition, that " they might sit, the one on the right hand, and the other on the left, in my kingdom ?" Matt. xx. 20-24.
And have I not told you, that whereas in the kingdoms of this world they who are great exercise dominion and authority: "so it shall not be with you, but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister: and whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant?" Matt. xx. 25, 27.
Thus I have treated you from the beginning to this time. I have encouraged you to follow me, and to continue faithful to me, with the hazard of all things: and have directed you not to seek great things for yourselves here by any means, but riches and honour in the kingdom of heaven. And when I now speak to you of another world, and mansions therein, can any of you doubt the truth of what I say? How strange an idea must you then have of me! how injurious! But far be such a supposition as this. You are well satisfied of my sincerity: you have had full proof of that, and of my knowledge of all things: you must therefore be fully persuaded, that there are, as I say unto you," mansions in my Father's house" for myself, and for you, and for all whom you, in the service to which you have been called and appointed, shall be able to bring to true virtue and goodness.
7. The relation we stand in to each other may assure you of my sincerity, and that I am 'to be relied upon in what I now say.'
Do men use to impose upon and deceive, and that in matters of importance, those whom they love, and by whom they are esteemed and beloved? I chose you out of the whole number of my disciples, to be usually with me: and I have taught you in public and in private: I have answered your questions, and removed your scruples: I have treated you as my friends: "for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you," John xv. 15. And is my affection changed, that I should not "love you to the end" of my life? ch. xiii. 1.
"You" too "have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God," John xvi. 17. You have made a very acceptable profession of faith in me, and respect for me. When "many went back, and walked no more with me," John vi. 66, 67, you would not forsake me, though I left you to your own choice, to abide with me, or "go away:" and hitherto "ye are they. which have continued with me in my temptations," Luke xxii. 28, and have shared in the reproach and obloquy cast upon me; whereby, as you cannot but know, you have not a little endeared yourselves to me and now by your grief for my departure, in the manner I have spoken of (though that grief be not duly regulated) you have evidently shewn an esteem and value for me, and a concern for my honour and can it be thought, that I should intend to delude you? Is it not much more reasonable to conclude, that the reality is fully answerable to the expressions made use of by me?
8. Once more, the circumstances we are in may assure you of my being sincere in what I
Dying men have seldom any inclination to deceit and fallacy. The near prospect of death puts an end to such artifices, though they had been practised before. Moreover the cheerfulness, with which I speak of dying, and such a death as I have in view, may assure you, I am well satisfied about the consequences of it, as to myself. And "if I live, ye shall live also," John xiv. 19. If you love one another, as I have loved you, and perform all other things which I have recommended to you, our interests are the same. You are not now to go with me, nor to follow me immediately but you shall follow me some time hence.
Let not then any afflictive circumstances in this world deject your spirits, or cause you to abandon a just and well-grounded expectation. My departure is only like that of one who goes before, to prepare for the rest of the company. And hereafter, if need be, I will come forth, and conduct you into the mansions which I now speak to you of.
So did our Lord comfort and encourage his disciples.
III. Having spoken to the two points in the text, I shall now add some remarks and inferences.
1. We may hence conclude, that it is of great importance to maintain the hope and expectation of another life.'
Our Lord was pleased to enforce the conviction and persuasion of a future state upon the minds of his disciples, by the consideration of his own integrity, of which there were so many proofs, and which was absolutely unquestionable.
His apostles afterwards shew a like earnest concern to keep up in the minds of Christians a firm persuasion and lively hope of another life after this: "Wherefore," says St. Peter, " gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope unto the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Pet. i. 13. In like manner the apostle to the Hebrews: "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward: for ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise: for yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry," Heb. x. 35, 36. And it is with warmth that St. Paul expresseth himself to the Corinthians: "Now, if Christ be preached, that he rose from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead? -Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners," 1 Cor. xv. 12, 33. Never let us hearken to such suggestions; for they discourage all generous actions. This life, at its best estate, is then, indeed, altogether vanity: yea this whole system of things, and all the designs of Providence, would then be mean and inconsiderable, and below the great characters of Creator and Governor of the world.
2. We hence learn how life and immortality may be said to be brought to light in the gospel.' Allowing, that a future state of recompense, or immortal life, may be surely deduced from reason, and argued from divers parts of the Old Testament, it may be justly said to be brought to light through the gospel; it having there received a great deal of additional evidence. Here we have the solemn and express declaration and promise of one teaching in the name of God, and proving his mission by miracles: and the expectation is confirmed by every part of his doctrine, by the precepts and rules of life delivered by him, by the whole of his behaviour in this world, toward those who were dear to him, and toward others, by his unparalleled disinterestedness, by his zeal for the glory of God and the welfare of men, and by every virtue of his most excellent and exemplary life, and also by his death and resurrection, and by the sending down of gifts upon those who believed in him.
Moreover here the idea of the future happiness is improved above all the discoveries of reason. The body is to be raised up incorruptible and immortal: good men shall be made like unto the angels: they shall see God; and they shall meet together, and live and reign with Christ. Thus is the felicity of the saints described by the apostle at the consummation of all things: "And so shall we ever be with the Lord," 1 Thess. iv. 17. In like manner speaks Christ himself to the disciples here: "And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." And thus he prays for them: “ Father, I will, that they whom thou hast given me be with me, where I am, that they may behold the glory which thou hast given me," John xvii. 24. By living with him, and "seeing him as he is," 1 John iii. 2, they will be brought to a most happy resemblance of him in purity and holiness; and their now frail bodies shall be made "like unto his most glorious body, Philip. iii. 21. This is a very delightful and exalted idea of the future happiness. How desirable is it to be with him, who is so excellent and amiable! whose society on earth was so engaging and improving! to be with him not only for a while, but for ever; and to be like him in eternal glory, and the perfection of virtue!
3. This doctrine affords support and comfort under all the troubles and afflictions of this mortal life, particularly the departure of dear and valuable friends.'
Our Lord makes use of this argument to pacify his disciples, who were greatly perplexed and distressed at the thought of his going away from them. St. Paul improves the same argument to the like purpose: "But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep that ye sorrow not even as others, who have no hope: for if we believe, that Jesus died and rose again; even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him-Wherefore comfort one another with these words," 1 Thess. iv. 13—18.
It is happiness to know good and great men: but then it is afflictive to part with them. However the principles of religion afford us comfort upon this, as well as other occasions of grief. Though earthly friends die, God lives for ever: and he will be with us, and bless us, if we fear and serve him, "When father and mother," and other friends, "forsake us," we are cast upon the divine care and protection: and then especially he will "take us up," Ps. xxvii. 10,
and care for us. As for them, their removal is to their advantage. To "be with Christ is far better," than to abide here, Phil. i. 23. "Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord: they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them," Rev. xiv. 13. This we cannot doubt to be the case of our late excellent friend.
Shall I now take some notice of the gifts bestowed upon him, the use he made of them, the acceptance he met with, and the fruit of his endeavours? Will not this answer some good ends and purposes? May it not assuage our grief, increase our gratitude to God, excite our emulation, and direct our practice?
Dr. JEREMIAH HUNT was born in London, June 11, 1678. His father dying, when he was not more than two years of age; he, with his two sisters, was left, under Providence, to the care of a tender mother: who, when he grew up, intended to put him to a trade. But he choosing to serve God in preaching the gospel, and earnestly desiring to continue his studies with that view, she complied with his request: and with the assistance of her relations, of whom she had several in good circumstances, she gave her son a truly liberal education.
When he had been sufficiently instructed in grammar learning, ne began his academical studies at Mr. Thomas Rowe's, a minister in this city. After that he went to Edinburgh, and from thence to Leyden in Holland.
There is sometimes a happy concurrence of circumstances for forming and qualifying persons of elevated minds for important service; such seems to have been the case here: and, as we may reasonably think, not without a kind and over-ruling Providence: forasmuch as the gifts, bestowed upon any men, are not barely for themselves, nor for vain shew and ostentation, but for the benefit of others.
The professors of Leyden at that time were men of great renown for ability and skill in the several branches of literature: and indeed it is so ordered by the wisdom of the government, that for the most part the professors chairs in that university are filled with men who are an ornament to the republic of letters, and greatly advance its interests by their writings and other labours and there is a great resort of youth of all ranks, who are designed for law or magistracy, divinity and medicine; and that not only from the several cities of the Province of Holland, but from all the Provinces, and from several parts of Europe; more especially from England, Germany, and the Northern Countries. And many of them come thither with the same views, that carry our young Gentlemen over; for completing the studies, which they had begun, and made some progress in, at universities nearer home. Whence it comes to pass, that there are many, who are not mere novices, but have made some considerable advances in knowledge and the quality, especially from Germany, are usually attended by governors, who are well-bred Gentlemen, and are not only masters of the ancient learning, but well acquainted likewise with modern history, and the views and interests of the several courts of Europe.
Education in such a place of general resort is of great use and acquaintance with men of different nations, and remote countries, who bring with them the knowledge they have gained in distant nurseries of learning, though that acquaintance should be slight and transient only, opens and enlarges the mind, renders men less impatient of contradiction, and less offended at the different opinions and manners of men, and lays the foundation of many other agreeable advantages to the person himself, and to those among whom his future lot is cast.
He also met with a competent number of his own countrymen, persons of good families, sober, well-disposed, studious: many of whom have since made a good figure in life, some in the ministry, some in other stations of honour and usefulness.
Moreover, Mr. Millan, the minister of the English church at Leyden, was a man eminent for piety, learning, and a just discernment of things: and his discourses on Lord's days in the forenoon were, as I have heard, as suitable and profitable for students, especially for students in divinity, as the professors lectures.
I once supposed, from what I had heard occasionally, that Mr. Millan delivered in those sermons a system of Jewish antiquities. But a gentleman, who was then at Leyden, represents the subject of them in this manner: That Mr. Millan for ⚫ many months together preached upon the genuiness and authority of the scriptures of the Old Testament, as they ap'peared from the Masorite doctors and other Jewish writers,
' &c. which afforded much instruction and entertainment to the English students. The gentleman, from whom I have this, was then very young. And it is easy to suppose, that his account is not complete. However it hence appears, that those discourses of Mr. Millan tended to lead his hearers into the knowledge of the scriptures, and Jewish learning.
Mr. Millan's conversation likewise must have been of no small benefit to those English students who were so wise as to desire and value it: and so wise Mr. Hunt was, as will appear presently.
According to the best information I have been able to obtain, Mr. Hunt came to Leyden in August or September 1699, and left it to return home some time in the year 1701.
Whilst he was there, he studied ecclesiastical history and sacred geography under the very celebrated Frederick Spanheim; and heard the lectures of the other professors on philosophy, civil law, and divinity; and particularly the very useful lectures of Perizonius upon universal history, which held ten months, and were always well attended. Here Mr. Hunt entered him'self to be one of the few out of a very numerous audience, who were to be publicly examined every Saturday, concerning the lectures of the preceding part of the week. When he so ⚫ acquitted himself, as to give entire satisfaction and much pleasure to the professor himself, and • all the students in general.'
In the month of January in the year or thereabout, a Rabbi' from Lithuania opened a lecture for teaching Jewish learning. He was reckoned a man of virtue, and very knowing in his profession: and not long after he publicly embraced the Christian religion. Five or six at least of the English students, beside others, had the curiosity to attend his lecture; one of whom was Mr. Hunt: and Mr. Millan too was pleased to join himself to their number. The Rabbi having carried them through the Hebrew grammar proceeded to read and explain to them the Misna, the great repository of the ancient Jewish learning: but it was not long, before several of our young countrymen, disheartened by the difficulty of the study, gave out. Mr. Millan however, and Mr. Hunt, and perhaps another, were unwearied and persevered. Some there were, who could not but wonder at Mr. Hunt's extraordinary diligence in what they deemed a fruitless study: but he was unmoved, and has since declared, that from those lectures he had reaped such pleasure and improvement as abundantly compensated all his past labour and toil.' For certain this was a price put into the hand of one who knew how to make use of it, Prov. xvii. 16.
And thus Mr. Hunt, having good natural parts, and being inquisitive, and thirsting after knowledge, made all the improvement of these several advantages which his friends at home could wish or desire.
He began to preach while he was in Holland: the occasion I take to have been this; there was then a small English congregation at Amsterdam; being destitute of a pastor, they applied to the candidates for the ministry at Leyden for a supply. For any one of them to undertake it, would have been too great an interruption in his studies, and an obstruction to future usefulness. However three of them consented to preach to them by turns for a while: one of whom was our friend.
And it is not unlikely, that this was the first occasion of his preaching without notes, that being the universal custom abroad: but I presume, that he did not then, any more than since, write out his sermons at length; but having with care and diligent examination made himself master of his text and subject, and well digested his thoughts, he clothed them in the language, which offered in the delivery: not neglecting however a due care in the preparation, as well as afterwards, to secure propriety and perspicuity of expression.
Which to me appears an excellent method, when there are sufficient abilities for it; I mean a stock of knowledge, readiness of thought, and a good memory: all which talents fell to the lot of our friend in a high degree of perfection. I have been told, that whilst he was preaching one of those his first sermons in Holland, he was by some means led into a mistaken computa
That Rabbi in the summer following publicly renounced Judaism, and was baptised on a week-day in St. Peter's 'church at Leyden by professor J. Trigland, (who probably was rector of the university at that time.) The professor Trigland appeared to be his good friend, and had him often at his house. This information I have received from a gentleman who was then at Leyden. How that Rabbi behaved, and what became of him afterwards, I have not learned: except that another friend, who was at Leyden some time after this, tells me, he left that city, and went into Germany.
b St. Jerom had two Hebrew masters, first a converted Jew, afterwards another, who retained his Judaism. Ad quam edomandam, cuidam fratri, qui ex Hebræis crediderat, me in disciplinam tradidi. Ad Rust. Ep. 95. al. 4. T. 4. p. 774. m. Hebræam linguam, quam ego ab adolescentia multo labore ac sudore ex parte didici.-Ad Eustoch. Ep. 86. al. 27. p. 686. m. Veni rursum Jerosolymam et Bethleem. Quo labore, quo pretio Bar-aninam nocturnum habui præceptorem! Timebat enim Judæos, et mihi alterum exhibebat Nicodemum. Ep. 41. al. 65. ib. p. 342. f. Vid. et adv. Ruf. 1. 1. p. 363.