Luke 19:1
Then Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.
Sermons
The Consequences of SinS. Baring-GouldLuke 19:1
Zacchaeus; the Triumph of EarnestnessW. Clarkson Luke 19:1-9
A Household BlessingThe Congregational PulpitLuke 19:1-10
A Son of Abraham Found in Zacchaeus the PublicanR.M. Edgar Luke 19:1-10
Christ Seeking and Saving the LostA. J. Morris.Luke 19:1-10
Christ Seeking and Saving the LostT. Manton, D. D.Luke 19:1-10
Christ Seeking and Saving Those Who Were LostS. Lavington.Luke 19:1-10
Christ Seeks AllChristian HeraldLuke 19:1-10
Christ's Estimate of SinF. W. Robertson, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
Christ's MissionC. F. Deems, L. L. D.Luke 19:1-10
Christ's Words to ZaccheusW. Anderson.Luke 19:1-10
Conscience MoneyLuke 19:1-10
Difficulties OvercomeDr. McAuslane.Luke 19:1-10
Doing Good PromptlyH. Smith.Luke 19:1-10
Effectual CallingC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 19:1-10
Evidences of True ConversionChas. Walker.Luke 19:1-10
Gifts to the PoorT. T. Lynch.Luke 19:1-10
God Calls Men DawnT. B. Baker.Luke 19:1-10
Good News for the LostC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 19:1-10
Jesus Finds the SinnerLuke 19:1-10
LessonsJames Foote, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
Lessons from This PassageJ. Hewlett, B. D.Luke 19:1-10
Making an Effort to See JesusT. T. Lynch.Luke 19:1-10
ObstaclesT. Kelly.Luke 19:1-10
On RestitutionS. Partridge, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
Our Saviour's Visit to ZaccheusC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 19:1-10
Persistent SearchDe W. Talmage, D. D.Luke 19:1-10
RedemptionE. Hicks, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
RestitutionJ. N. Norton, D. D.Luke 19:1-10
RestitutionHenry Varley.Luke 19:1-10
RestitutionLuke 19:1-10
Restitution a Fruit of FaithLuke 19:1-10
Restitution as Proof of RepentanceFamily TreasuryLuke 19:1-10
Restitution Must be MadeDe W. Talmage, D. D.Luke 19:1-10
Restitution Necessary to PeaceD. L. Moody.Luke 19:1-10
Salvation for ZaccheusT. T. Lynch.Luke 19:1-10
Salvation in the HouseH. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
Saving the LostLuke 19:1-10
Seeking the LostFamily MagazineLuke 19:1-10
The Character of ZaccheusT. Kelly.Luke 19:1-10
The Christian not of the CrowdR. W Evans, B. D.Luke 19:1-10
The Conversion of ZaccheusG. R. Leavitt.Luke 19:1-10
The Conversion of ZaccheusT. Kelly.Luke 19:1-10
The Conversion of ZaccheusA. Boyd.Luke 19:1-10
The Duty of RestitutionS. K. Kolloch, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
The Lost and Sought-For SoulE. Johnson, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
The Lost are FoundT. Adams, D. D.Luke 19:1-10
The Mission of the Son of ManC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 19:1-10
The Nature of RestitutionArchbishop Tillotson.Luke 19:1-10
The Seeker SoughtJ. T. Woodhouse, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
The Seeking SaviourF. G. Davis.Luke 19:1-10
The Sinner's SaviourC. H. Spurgeon.Luke 19:1-10
Tholuck's Personal Effort for Individual SoulsLuke 19:1-10
Triumph Over HindrancesF. W. Robertson, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
Zaccheus a Type of the Christ-SeekerP. C. Croll.Luke 19:1-10
Zaccheus SavedG. Fisk, LL. B.Luke 19:1-10
Zaccheus the PublicanD. C. Hughes, M. A.Luke 19:1-10
The incident here recorded provides a very good opportunity for the imagination. We can picture the scene before us quite vividly; it is a subject for the sacred artist. But let us look at the triumph of earnestness as illustrated in the story of Zacchaeus.

I. It triumphed over THE PERIL WHICH ATTENDS WEALTH. This man was rich (ver. 2). Riches are unfavourable to religious earnestness; we have Christ's own word for it (Luke 18:24; see homily). They present a very strong inducement to their owner to forsake the fountain of living waters, and to quench his thirst in the lower streams. Far too often they lead to luxury, to indulgence, to spiritual indifference. But Zacchaeus did not suffer this calamity to befall him, this fatal injury to be wrought upon him. His spiritual solicitudes won the victory over his temporal circumstances.

II. It triumphed over THE DEMORALIZING CALLING IN WHICH HE WAS ENGAGED. Our daily vocation must necessarily have a very great influence over us for good or evil; and if it be one that tends to lower and degrade a man, he is placed in the greatest possible peril. Much wisdom of mind, much resoluteness of soul, and much devoutness of spirit must be required to withstand the adverse powers. But though Zacchaeus was engaged in a pursuit that invited avarice and oppression, still he did not lose his religious earnestness.

III. It triumphed over AN EVIL REPUTATION. Few things are more degrading than a bad name. Men quickly become what they are supposed to be and what they are called. Let all his neighbours consider and call a man a rogue, and it will be strange indeed if he maintains his integrity. Yet, although Zacchaeus was denominated and dismissed as "a publican," spoken of by a term which was full of the strongest reproach, he did not descend to that level.

IV. It triumphed over THE OBSTACLES WHICH STOOD BETWEEN HIM AND CHRIST. He could not venture to solicit an interview with this holy Prophet; that he knew was completely barred by his vocation. He found it difficult to secure even a view of him as he passed along; his smallness of stature was against him. But such was his determination that he disregarded all considerations of dignity and decorum, and ran any risk of popular derision and affront, and climbed up, as if he had been a boy, into a tree to command a view of Jesus of Nazareth. So he prevailed.

V. IT WON WHOLLY UNEXPECTED GOOD.

1. The honour of entertaining this great Prophet at his own house; thus securing a standing to which he had long been a stranger.

2. The advantage of a protracted interview, an extended privilege, in which he could not only secure a few sentences from the great Teacher, but could unburden his heart to him and learn his holy will.

VI. IT LED TO NEWNESS OF LIFE. (Vers. 8, 9.) Zacchaeus from that day forth was a new man. His character was thenceforth determined: whatever selfishness or wrongness there had been, it should be renounced, and, where possible, reparation should be made. Character and life were to be cleansed and renewed; and Christ took him up into his favour and friendship. He was to be perfectly restored to the position he had lost. By his pursuit and practice he had become an alien, disinherited, no longer admitted to the services of the sanctuary. But now he was to be, in the fullest and deepest sense of the word, "a son of Abraham," a far truer son of his than many who prided themselves on their descent from the "father of the faithful." Thus earnestness of spirit completely prevailed.

1. Only earnestness will prevail. Indifference will go down to the death from which it is already not far removed. Halfheartedness will go only a very little way towards the goal; it will have to take some trouble and to suffer some pains, but it will not win the prize. Even impulsiveness, ]PGBR> which bears a considerable resemblance to earnestness, but is not the same thing, will fail before the way is trodden and the end secured. Only earnestness wins.

2. It always must. Whatever comes in the way; whatever inward or outward obstacles present themselves; whatever personal or social hindrances intervene; however victory be delayed; notwithstanding that the case may again and again seem hopeless; - still in the end earnestness will succeed. Jesus Christ will manifest himself; he will be found in the home; his presence and his grace will fill the soul with joy; he will declare sonship and heirship to his devoted and determined follower. - C.







A man named Zaccheus.
I. THE GRACIOUS ENTRY.

II. A COMMENDABLE CURIOSITY.

1. This curiosity unusual.

(1)A rich man anxious to see Jesus.

(2)A rich man overcoming hindrance that he might gratify such curiosity.

(3)Are there any here anxious to see Jesus?

(4)Are you willing to seek Him now?

III. A WONDERFUL SURPRISE.

1. In the unexpected detection.

2. In the unexpected summons by name.

3. In the unexpected declaration of Jesus.

IV. AN UNUSUAL RESPONSE.

1. In its alacrity.

2. In its obedience.

3. In its sincerity.

(1)What an example to follow!

(2)What blessedness such obedience ever brings!

V. AN UNCALLED-FOR COMPLAINT.

1. In its spirit.

2. In its argument.

VI. A GENUINE PENITENT.

1. Shown in his implied confession.

2. In his sincere reformation.

3. In the fact of his salvation.

VII. THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF CHRIST. Practical questions:

1. Have you ever desired to see Jesus?

2. Have you ever truly sought to find Jesus?

3. Have you ever believed on Jesus?

4. If not, will you now?

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

Shall we have no interest in Him? Shall we not desire to see of Him all that we can? We cannot, indeed, with all our endeavours and reaching upward, see His countenance and person, as Zaccheus did, by mounting into a tree; but we may see much more than he did, who saw Him but in the flesh, not yet glorified. We may see Him in spirit, we may behold Him through faith, and in such glory as Zaccheus had not power to conceive. We may have in our hearts the tokens of His presence, and we may receive from Him the earnest of that glory with which He will clothe His people, that they may be like unto Him. But then, again, after they have begun to entertain something like a wish and desire, do not many desist, from the fear of being thought singular, from the dread of appearing unlike other people! They dare not make themselves so conspicuous. And yet what rules of modesty will not people break, what public notice will they not brave, when some attractive spectacle of this world's pomp and splendour is to be seen I Then the man of gravity, then the female of delicacy, are seen to make no scruples of mounting up above the heads of the crowd into the most preposterous and ludicrous positions.

(R. W Evans, B. D.)

I. HOW DID ZACCHEUS HAPPEN TO BE CONVERTED? He wanted to see Jesus, what sort of a man (τίς ἐστιν) He was — a low motive, but it was the salvation of Zaccheus. It is surprising that he should never have seen or heard Jesus, when Jericho was so near Jerusalem, and Jesus was so famous a prophet. The ignorance of intelligent men concerning religion is astonishing. We should encourage people to go to see who Jesus is, pray that they may go, from curiosity if from no higher motive. Taking Zaccheus's standpoint, the awakening of his curiosity probably explains how he happened to be converted. From Christ's standpoint we get a different view. He had Zaccheus in mind, so it appeared. When He came to the tree and called his name and bade him come down, He said, "To-day I must abide at thy house." "I must." This was among the events in the fixed, predetermined order of those last solemn days. "To-day" the seeking sinner and the seeking Saviour were to meet. "We see from the story," says Dr. Brown, "that we may look for unexpected con. versions."

II. WHAT CONVERTED ZACCHEUS? Suppose he had been asked the question that evening. He would have given different answers. He would have spoken of the influence of Bartimeus, or of Matthew. Again, he would speak of the call of Jesus, the brief, thrilling words, beginning with his own name. Or, in another mood, he would say, "It was because I heeded, first the voice within, and then that voice Divine. I converted myself. I listened. I came down. I received Him. How fortunate that I took that resolution!" At another time he would emphasize the work of the Holy Spirit. "I never should have taken the first step, the thought of it would never have lodged in my mind, without some power from without moving me. It was not like me. It was contrary to the whole course of my life. It must have been the work of the Holy Ghost." So it is in the case of every convert. Each answer would contain a phase of the truth.

III. WHEN WAS ZACCHEUS CONVERTED? "Somewhere between the limb and the ground" — Moody. The prodigal was converted when he said, "I will arise," Zaccheus when he said, "I will go down." There is no interval between surrender and conversion. If Zaccheus had died as he moved to descend, he would have been saved. God does not delay us. He gives when we take.

IV. WHAT WERE THE EVIDENCES OF THE CONVERSION OF ZACCHEUS?

1. He received Christ. Notice that it was Zaccheus who received Christ. We must receive Him before He can receive us (John 1:12).

2. Joyfulness. He received Him joyfully.

3. Zaccheus "stood." He made, that is, an open confession. It was harder to do this than to climb the tree. This, every true convert will do (Romans 10:6-10).

4. Confession and reformation.

(G. R. Leavitt.)

I. THE CHARACTER OF ZACCHEUS. A Hebrew name with a Greek termination, signifying "pure." A man may have a noble ancestry and an ignoble calling — a good name and a bad reputation. There is an important difference between a man's reputation and a man's character. Reputation is what men say about us, character is what a man is.

1. We may learn from this verse something about Zaccheus's social standing. "He was the chief among the publicans." Some men are exposed to special temptations from the positions they hold. A dishonest calling blunts our finest sensibilities, hardens our heart, and degrades our whole nature.

2. We may learn from this verse something about Zaccheus's secular position. "And he was rich."

II. THE CURIOSITY OF ZACCHEUS. Curiosity, which is commonly regarded as a dangerous disposition, is natural to man, and may be serviceable in the most sacred pursuits. It excites inquiry, it stimulates research, and it leads to the solution of many of the dark problems of life.

1. In this case curiosity awakened an earnest desire to see Jesus.

2. In this case curiosity overcame the difficulties that were in the way of seeing Jesus.

III. THE CALLING OF ZACCHEUS.

1. This was a personal call. Christ not only knew his name, but his nature. He knew the place he occupied, and the thoughts he cherished.

2. This was an urgent call. "Zaccheus, make haste, and come down." The coming of Christ is unexpected, and His stay brief. He is passing to-day, and may have passed to-morrow. What we have to do must be done quickly.

3. This was an effectual call. "And he made haste, and came down." What a mighty energy there is in the word of Christ! At His word the blind received their sight, and the dead started to life again.

IV. THE CONVERSION OF ZACCHEUS. "This day is salvation come to thy house." Personal contact with Christ ensures special blessing from Christ. When Christ is present with us, there will be light in the eye, music in the voice, and gladness in the heart.

1. This was a present salvation.(1) What a marvellous change was wrought in his character! The dishonest man became honest, the selfish man became generous, and the sinful man became righteous.(2) What a glorious change was wrought in his service! Instead of living for self, he began to live for the Saviour; instead of seeking the things of time, he began to seek the things of eternity.

2. This was a practical salvation. "And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor." This is a splendid liberality. He does not give a tenth, not a fifth, but the half. He does not say I will leave at my decease, but I give during my lifetime. When Christ comes to abide in a rich man's house, he will open his heart to give to the poor.

(J. T. Woodhouse, M. A.)

I. THE MAN.

1. His nationality. A Jew.

2. His official position. Chief among the publicans.

3. His financial condition. Rich. As is too often the case, Zaccheus, perhaps, owed his official position more to his purse than his purity — more to what he had than to what he was. From the view I get of Zaccheus, I am not surprised that "he was rich." Those who compass chieftancy and riches are the men who know how to step out of the beaten track, and without regard to sneers or criticism, can "run" and "climb," in order to accomplish their object.He possessed certain traits of character which are the secret of success in every department of human endeavour.

1. He was self-reliant. He did not passively rely upon others for his inspiration and resolves. He was a man of originality of thought and purpose — a sort of genius in method and movement.

2. He was prompt and persevering. Zaccheus knew how to handle an opportunity. An old Latin maxim says: "Opportunity has hair in front, but behind she is bald; if you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her but if suffered to escape, not Jupiter himself can catch her." By the style of the man, and the fact that his ancestry is not mentioned, I am inclined to think that Zaccheus began life a poor boy. The majority of those who have risen to riches and honour, have come up through the rough regions of toil and poverty, and were not ashamed afterwards to work with their own hands, though possessed of thousands of this world's goods.

3. His purpose. "To see Jesus, who He was." Why so anxious to "see"? why not be content with hearing? There were thousands who had seen Him and formed their opinions as to "who He was," and were not backward in telling them. The Pharisee would have told him: "He is a devil"; the scribe, "a fanatic"; the priest, "a blasphemer"; the Rabbi, "a heretic"; the poor, "a prophet"; the many, "an impostor"; the few, a "God." Zaccheus could not afford, therefore, to trust to hearsay; and so, like a wise man, he made up his mind to see for himself. He was a good judge of human nature, and could form a pretty correct opinion of a man, by getting a good square look at him. The noblest purpose that can actuate the human heart is expressed in these three little words: "To see Jesus."

4. His failure. "Could not for the press, because he was little." Here is a man earnestly trying "to see Jesus," who is opposed and defeated by obstacles he had no hand in producing, and over which he had no control.(1) "The press," and(2) "Little of stature." He had no hand in producing either of these, and yet they defeated him. But, was that fair? Has Zaccheus had a fair chance? Whether fair or not, he has had all the chance he will have, unless he makes another.

5. His determination. "He ran before and climbed into a sycamore." Here we get an idea of the force and fibre of the man. He did not waste his precious time in upbraiding himself for being "little," or finding fault with his surroundings. He simply started off in search of a better vantage ground. No time is more unprofitably spent than that which is used in finding fault with our instruments and surroundings. Zaccheus never would have been "chief among the publicans, and rich," if he had not learned to make a virtue out of necessity, and turn even failure into a pedestal from which to reach a grander success. When a man's conscious littleness compels him to "run" and "climb," he will master his obstacles and get a better knowledge of things than the men who think they can see all there is to be seen without climbing. In a world like this, where we are all "little" in so many places, no man will reach the highest success unless he feels his littleness and knows how to "climb." Learn from this narrative that all barriers give way before the man who has made up his mind to see Jesus Christ.

(T. Kelly.)

Zaccheus was undoubtedly, up to this time, a worldly, grasping, wicked man; who, though a Hebrew by birth and education, had so far forgotten God, and allowed the love of money to master him, that in his business relations he did not always observe the laws of equity or the principles of righteousness. The impression I get of him from the narrative is, that he was a sharp, shrewd, business man; a man whose judgment in business matters was unusually good, and who, if he did any business at all, would be sure to make money. The love of money, and the conscious power to make it, cannot exist in the same person without great possibilities of evil. Ambition. Rivalry. But though Zaccheus was a grasping, selfish man, yet I am profoundly impressed with his independent spirit and individuality of character. He is a striking illustration of the fact that neither riches nor worldly position can satisfy the cravings of the human soul; and that a ready response is accorded to gospel overtures, sometimes where we least expect it. A mere surface reading of the narrative can give us no adequate idea of the force of character it required to face the tremendous discouragements which Zaccheus had to meet in becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. I notice just two of these: —

1. He had no character to begin with. His whole environment tended to keep him as he was. The very social atmosphere in which he lived tended to blight every aspiration and hope of becoming a better man. However badly he might act, he had nothing to lose, for he was already an outcast from society. Another serious and humiliating fact which Zaccheus had to face was —

2. His dishonest business transactions. "If I have taken anything of any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." That kind of restitution would soon seriously impoverish the bank accounts of some people. It would compel many of our mushroom aristocracy and sky-rocket millionaires to go to the almshouse, or turn their hands to honest labour, and "earn their bread by the sweat of their brow." Zaccheus does not use the words, "If I have taken anything," as though he were in doubt, and wished to leave a similar doubt on the mind of others. His guilt is clearly implied in his own words. And no person who did not carry the making of a noble Christian character would have made such a declaration would have deliberately entered upon a course of life which, at the very outset, involved the unearthing of a life of fraud and dishonesty, which no doubt no person could have proven, and perhaps of which nobody had the slightest suspicion. Now let us turn to the incident of this memorable day. Notice here —

I. HOW PUSH AND PERSEVERANCE TURN DEFEAT INTO VICTORY. A few moments ago he was completely defeated — "could not see Jesus" for the "press." Now he has a better view of Him than any man in the crowd. So the earnest seeker will always find that the very "press" of isms and sects and critics that surround the Saviour, and which compel him to "run and climb," to think and act for himself, will be the means of securing for him a clearer and more satisfactory view of Jesus Christ than he could have possibly obtained on the ordinary highway of common effort.

1. Observe the movements of Jesus.(1) "He came to the place," — He always does. No man ever yet started out with the full purpose to see Jesus Christ and frilled.(2) His method. He "looked."

2. Notice the order and significance of the descriptive words in this verse: "When Jesus came to the place, He looked... and saw...and said." That is the order of description needed, but, alas, sadly lacking in our churches. We have too many who can look without seeing; they possess so little of the Master's spirit that they can pass along the highways of life, and through orchards of sycamores, and never set eyes on a sinner anxious "to see Jesus."

II. THAT PROMPT, UNQUESTIONING OBEDIENCE ALWAYS SECURES THE DIVINE APPROVAL AND BLESSING.

1. The Saviour's command. "Zaccheus, come down." This command was both startling and unexpected. Zaccheus had no thought of being addressed personally by the Saviour, or of being called upon to come down in the presence of the crowd. In coming in vital contact with Jesus Christ, the seeker always finds new, unexpected things happening; and, like Naaman, is soon made to see that God's way is not man's.

2. The Saviour's perfect knowledge of the seeker. "Zaccheus, come down." There is something unutterably precious in the fact that God is intimately acquainted with all our names. No person can assume any attitude of service, or self-sacrifice, or supplication before God, without having his very name associated with the act. "Zaccheus, come down." Implying that his character and wants were as well known as his name.

3. The prompt obedience of Zaccheus. The conversion of Zaccheus reached not only his head and his pocket, but it also reached his conscience. No conversion, however loudly proclaimed, will be of any lasting value unless it includes and practically displays a New Testament conscience.

(T. Kelly.)

I. HOW TO SEEK CHRIST, AS ILLUSTRATED BY ZACCHEUS.

1. We must go in the way along which He appoints us to go.

(1)Christ's way is that of the sanctuary.

(2)Christ's way is that of the Holy Scriptures.

(3)Christ's way is that of the closet.

2. We must go with earnest resolution. Be not deterred by station, connections, business occupation, or fear of abuse or ridicule.

3. We must go in time. There comes a last opportunity to each. It may be to-day.

II. WHAT COMES OF SUCH SEEKING OF CHRIST?

1. Christ stops in His course to take note of the seeker.

2. He comes to such homes and blesses them. Where Jesus enters, salvation goes.

3. He makes the seeker's heart just and tender.

4. He defends us against persecution.Conclusion —

1. Have you ever thus sought Christ?

2. What effect has your Christian profession had on your life?

(P. C. Croll.)

From an attentive consideration of the distinct parts of this passage of St. Luke's Gospel, we may derive many useful truths and salutary reflections.

1. First, let us, like Zaccheus, have a view to the improvement of our minds in piety and virtue, even in the gratification of curiosity. Instead of flocking, with childish folly, to such trifling amusements as are unworthy of a rational being, we should endeavour to combine pleasure with instruction, and the employment of time with advantage. While thousands would have crowded with joy to see a pageant, a triumph, or the barbarous spectacle of Roman games, "Zaccheus ran and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see our Lord pass by"; and when He honoured him so far as to take up His abode with him for that day, he not only received Him joyfully, but, without doubt, listened to His conversation with reverence, and heard the glorious truths which His lips revealed with adoration and praise. "This day is salvation come to this house."

2. The hospitality of Zaccheus, and his great satisfaction on this occasion, may direct us also in the choice and entertainment of our friends. The common intercourses of the world are too often nothing but associations of pleasure or confederacies of vice.

3. We may further learn from our blessed Lord's conduct towards Zaccheus, to banish from our minds those uncharitable prejudices which so strongly marked the character of the Jews.

(J. Hewlett, B. D.)

1. Let the desire of all of you, in coming up to the house of God, be, like that of Zaccheus, to see Jesus. You may see Him, and should earnestly desire to see Him, by knowledge and faith, in the glories of His person, character, and redemption. If you obtain a sight of Him, and come to know who He is, in this way, you will be like Abraham, who "rejoiced," or "greatly desired," to see His day, and saw it, and was glad; and the words will then be applicable to you, in their best sense, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see."

2. See that those of you who profess to be Christians give the same evidences of conversion as Zaccheus. Remember that repentance is to be judged of, not so much by its terror at the time, as by its permanent effects on the heart and life. You must, like Zaccheus, "bring forth fruits meet for repentance."

(James Foote, M. A.)

He sought to see Jesus
The experience of Zaccheus, in his efforts "to see Jesus," is a striking illustration of a universal fact in human history. Men are constantly opposed and thwarted, in their efforts to do right, by obstacles and enemies which they never produced. Satan, for instance, is the persistent opposer of all who seek "to see Jesus Christ." But man had no hand in producing Satan; he was here before man came, and, for aught I know, here because he saw man coming. You may start out to see Huxley, or Tyndall, or any of the great philosophers or scientists, and Satan will pay no attention to you; but if you start out "to see Jesus Christ" he will instantly summon his resources, and form a "press" against you. How persistently he follows the young Christian with the fascinations of the world on the one hand, and the "press" of discouragements on the other. Then the laws of heredity come in and raise up obstacles, the full power of which our limited knowledge does not enable us to compute. We all take on hereditary damage, of one kind or another, from our ancestry. This, of course, is soon rendered vastly more serious by our own moral behaviour, and the result is a dwarfed, squattish spiritual stature. So that the ordinary "press" of the world's cares and attractions is quite sufficient to shut us out from God and a saving view of Jesus Christ. So Zaccheus found himself defeated. "Could not." Mark the descriptive words here: "Chief," "Rich," "Could not." Then chieftancy and riches cannot do everything for a man. Official position and wealth go only a little way in removing the distressing and annoying phases of life. Human power, however commanding and extensive, soon reaches the solid masonry of the impossible, upon which the only thing it can scribble is the little words, "Could not." Let us add another descriptive word, and we shall see how it was that Zaccheus failed. "He was little." The words "little" and "could not" are closely related in human affairs. Every man is "little " somewhere — "little" in spots. No man is fully hemisphered on both sides of his nature.

(T. Kelly.)

The ants are a little people, but they are exceeding wise. People that want size must make up for it by sagacity. A short man up in a tree is really taller than the tallest man who only stands on the ground. Happily for little men, the giants have seldom any great wit. Bigness is not greatness; and yet smallness is in itself no blessing, though it may be the occasion of a man's winning one. It is not pleasant to see every one about you a bigger person than yourself. And this is a sight many do see who are not dwarfs in stature. But Zaccheus was a dwarf in stature; and, notwithstanding, had become a man of consideration. But they called him "Zacchy," or even "little Zacchy" sometimes no doubt; and, rich as he was, and firm hold as he had on many people, he was far from happy. Though small, he was strong; but then, though strong, he was sour. He despised the religious people, and yet did not like to be despised by them. Many men knew he was cleverer than they, but they never forgot he was shorter! This man could not come at Jesus for the press. Though not a blind man, he had his difficulties in seeing. But he would very much like to see Jesus, what kind of man He was. People pointed him out, and said, "That's Zaccheus; isn't he a little fellow?" The short man felt a curiosity as to the personal appearance of the famous Prophet. We may be sure Zaccheus had heard good things of Jesus Christ. And he was soon to hear good words from Him, words more healing, more fragrant, than the Jericho balsams. Zaccheus had gone on before. You must get at your tree before you can climb it! He makes haste, runs, climbs, for he is very eager in this business; and he not only sees Jesus, but, what is much better, is seen by Him. If a man looks for God, God knows that he is looking. He that seeks is sought. Take trouble to win a blessing harder for you to get than for others, and you shall have one bestowed on you better than you sought for.

(T. T. Lynch.)

We have all read and heard of the "pursuit of knowledge under difficulties," and of the remarkable way in which these have often been overcome. The shepherd, with no apparatus save his thread and beads, has lain on his back on the starry night, mapped the heavens, and unconsciously become a distinguished astronomer. The peasant boy, with no tools save his rude knife, and a visit now and then to a neighbouring town, has begun his scientific education by producing a watch that could mark the time. The blind man, trampling upon impossibilities, has explored the economy of the beehive, and, more wondrous still, lectured on the laws of light. The timid stammerer, with pebbles in his mouth, and the roar of the sea-surge in his ear, has attained the correctest elocution, and swayed as one man the changeful tides of the mighty masses of the Athenian democracy. All these were expedients to master difficulties. And now notice the expedient which Zaccheus adopts to overcome his difficulties. Yonder, in the way where Jesus is to pass, is a sycamore-tree. It stands by the wayside. Its roots are thick and numerous, its girth is ample, its wide-spread arms may be called gigantic, its leaf resembles the mulberry, its fruit is like that of the fig — indeed it is a member of the fig family. An itinerant preacher in the backwoods once puzzled himself and his hearers with an elaborate criticism about this tree. He and his audience were familiar only with the sycamore of their fiat river bottoms, which are tall as a steeple, and smooth as hypocrisy. "Why," said the orator, "a squirrel can't climb them," and the conclusion reached was that the sycamore must have been a mulberry tree. But Dr. Thomson, who retails this anecdote, assures us that the sycamore is every way adapted to the purposes for which Zaccheus used it, for he saw one in which were a score of boys and girls, who could easily look down aport any crowd passing beneath. Zaccheus fixes his eye upon the sycamore in the distance. If he were upon one of its branches his object would be gained; but then he is not a boy. Besides, he is a rich man, and the chief amongst the publicans, and what will the people say if he climbs it to see Jesus of Nazareth? Yea, what will the boys say and do, who are perhaps on the tree already? There is a struggle going on within his bosom, but there is not a single moment to lose, for Jesus is coming. Regardless of what others may say, he beeches like a boy again; he runs to the tree and climbs it.

(Dr. McAuslane.)

Zaccheus, make haste and come down
Our Saviour for the first time invited Himself to a man's house. Thus He proved the freeness and authority of His grace. "I am found of them that sought Me not" (Isaiah 65:1.) We ought rather to invite Him to our houses. We should at least cheerfully accept His offer to come to us. Perhaps at this hour He presses Himself upon us. Yet we may feel ourselves quite as unlikely to entertain our Lord as Zaccheus seemed to be. He was a man —

1. In a despised calling — a publican, or tax-collector.

2. In bad odour with respectable folk.

3. Rich, with the suspicion of getting his wealth wrongly.

4. Eccentric, for else he had hardly climbed a tree.

5. Excommunicated because of his becoming a Roman tax-gatherer.

6. Not at all the choice of society in any respect.To such a man Jesus came; and He may come to us even if we are similarly tabooed by our neighbours, and are therefore disposed to fear that He will pass us by.

I. LET US CONSIDER THE NECESSITY WHICH PRESSED UPON THE SAVIOUR TO ABIDE IN THE HOUSE OF ZACCHEUS. He felt an urgent need of —

1. A sinner who needed and would accept His mercy.

2. A person who would illustrate the sovereignty of His choice.

3. A character whose renewal would magnify His grace.

4. A host who would entertain Him with hearty hospitality.

5. A case which would advertise His gospel (vers. 9 and 10).

II. LET US INQUIRE WHETHER SUCH A NECESSITY EXISTS IN REFERENCE TO OURSELVES. We can ascertain this by answering the following questions, which are suggested by the behaviour of Zaccheus to our Lord: —

1. Will we receive Him this day? "He made haste."

2. Will we receive Him heartily? "Received Him joyfully."

3. Will we receive Him whatever others say? "They all murmured."

4. Will we receive Him as Lord? "He said, Behold, Lord."

5. Will we receive Him so as to place our substance under the control of His laws? (Verse 8.) If these things be so, Jesus must abide with us. He cannot fail to come where He will have such a welcome.

III. LET US FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT NECESSITY INVOLVES. If the Lord Jesus comes to abide in our house —

1. We must be ready to face objections at home.

2. We must get rid of all in our house which would be objectionable to Him. Perhaps there is much there which He would never tolerate.

3. We must admit none who would grieve our heavenly Guest. His friendship must end our friendship with the world.

4. We must let Him rule the house and ourselves, without rival or reserve, henceforth and for ever.

5. We must let Him use us and ours as instruments for the further spread of His kingdom.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. NOTICE SOME OF THE HEIGHTS FROM WHICH GOD'S PEOPLE ARE FETCHED DOWN BY THAT GOSPEL.

1. High thoughts of self-importance (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5).

2. Natural efforts, or legal endeavours (Romans 10:3).

3. From the basis of false hopes (Job 8:13).

4. From carnal confidence (Jeremiah 2:37).

5. From vain apologies for sin.

II. THEIR SENSATIONS IN COMING DOWN.

1. In spiritual consideration (Psalm 119:59).

2. In deep anxiety for salvation (.Acts 16:30).

3. In despair of salvation but by God (Jeremiah 3:23).

4. In gracious resolutions (Luke 15:18).

5. To self-denying practices (Matthew 16:24).

6. To God's righteousness (Romans 3:21).

III. SOME REMARKS ON THE DAY OF CONVERSION.

1. It is our new birth-day (Isaiah 43:1).

2. A day of despatch — Come down (Hebrews 3:15).

3. Of love and kindness (Ezekiel 16:6).

4. Of union between Christ and the soul (Hosea 2:20).

IV. REASONS WHY THE LORD CALLS US DOWN.

1. Because it is God's design in the Gospel (Isaiah 2:11-17).

2. Because ascending too high is very dangerous.

3. That free grace may be exalted.

4. That we may meet with Christ (Isaiah 57:16).INFERENCES: —

1. How high and lofty man is in his natural state.

2. Hence God humbles him for his eternal good.

3. The nature of true faith is coming down.

4. Admire the riches of God's grace towards us.

(T. B. Baker.)

I shall give you a division which you will not be able to forget, or if you do forget it, you will have nothing to do but simply to turn to the Bible, and look at the text, and the punctuation will give you the heads.

I. Look, then, at the first word, "ZACCHEUS." Christ addresses this man by name; He saw him before he went up into the sycamore, and he had not been long there when He called out to him, "Make haste and come down." Oh! but some people say that ministers have no business to be so personal. Well, my friends, they are very unlike their Master, the great model Preacher, if they are not personal.

II. Take the next two words for our second head — "MAKE HASTE." We are told in the sequel that Zaccheus did not halt between two opinions, but came down quickly and received Christ joyfully. If you, my unconverted hearer, will listen to me, what I wish to say to you is this — make haste and come to Jesus, for you will never find a more favourable opportunity than the present. Wait ten thousands, years, and your sins will not be fewer; God's mercy will not be greater. The fool who, wishing to cross a river, lay down on its bank till the water would run past, is only a faint emblem of you, if you delay. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." That clock says "now"; this pulse says "now"; this heart says "now." The glorified in heaven and the lost in hell, the one by their songs, the other by their wails, together cry, "Make haste." But, once more, make haste, for your salvation may soon become extremely difficult. Sin is like a fire, it may soon be quenched if the cold water engines are brought to play upon it in time; but let it burn on a few hours, and perhaps a city is laid in ashes. Sin is like a river, the further from the fountain-head the greater the volume, the more rapid and irresistible the current. Sin is like a tree: look at your sapling, your infant's arm may bend it: let a few years pass away, a few summers shine upon it, and a few winters blow upon it, and that tree will hurl defiance at the loudest storm. So with the sinner: he gets accustomed to all the appeals, and becomes gospel proof. Again, make hasten your salvation may become extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible. Man is a bundle of habit, and habit becomes second nature. You ask, "How long may a man live on in sin, and yet be saved?" I reply, Do not try the experiment — it is a very dangerous one. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Make haste, and learn that He has suffered for you what you deserved as a sinner, and obeyed for you what you owed as a creature. This may be your last opportunity.

III. Look, now, at the last three words, and you will find our third head: "AND COME DOWN." Zaccheus was upon one of the many branches of the sycamore; and you, my unsaved friend, are upon one of the many branches of the great, mighty-spreading, world-embracing tree of human corruption, and I call upon you in the name of my Master to "come down." Now, I wish to be charitable, but I do solemnly declare that I cannot find the branch of atheism, even on the tree of human corruption. At all events, if there be such a branch, I hesitate not to say it is the rottenest one on the whole tree. Come down from it! Then there are other branches: scepticism, drunkenness, pride, etc.

(W. Anderson.)

1. Now, first, effectual calling is A VERY GRACIOUS TRUTH. You may guess this from the fact that Zaccheus was a character whom we should suppose the last to be saved. He belonged to a bad city — Jericho — a city which had been cursed, and no one would suspect that any one would come out of Jericho to be saved. Ah! my brethren, it matters not where you come from: you may come from one of the dirtiest streets, one of the worst back slums in London, but if effectual grace call you, it is an effectual call, which knoweth no distinction of place. But, my brethren, grace knows no distinction; it is no respecter of persons, but God calleth whom He wills, and He called this worst of publicans, in the worst of cities, from the worst of trades. Ah! many of you have climbed up the tree of your own good works, and perched yourselves in the branches of your holy actions, and are trusting in the free will of the poor creature, or resting in some worldly maxim; nevertheless, Christ looks up even to proud sinners, and calls them down.

2. Next it was a personal call.

3. It is a hastening call — "Zaccheus, make haste." God's grace always comes with despatch; and if thou art drawn by God, thou wilt run after God, and not be talking about delays.

4. Next, it is a humbling call. "Zaccheus, make haste and come down." God always humbles a sinner. Oh, thou that dwellest with the eagle on the craggy rock, thou shalt come down from thy elevation; thou shalt fall by grace, or thou shalt fall with a vengeance, one day. He "hath cast down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek."

5. Next, it is an affectionate call. "To-day I must abide in thy house."

6. Again, it was not only an affectionate call, but it was an abiding call. "To-day I must abide at thy house." When Christ speaks, He does not say, "Make haste, Zaccheus, and come down, for I am just coming to look in"; but "I must abide in thy house; I am coming to sit down to eat and drink with thee; I am coming to have a meal with thee."

7. It was also a necessary call. "I must abide." It is necessary that the child of God should be saved. I don't suppose it; I know it for a certainty. If God says "I must," there is no standing against it. Let Him say "must," and it must be.

8. And, now, lastly, this call was an effectual one, for we see the fruits it brought forth. Open was Zaccheus's door; spread was his table; generous was his heart; washed were his hands; unburdened was his conscience; joyful was his soul. Sinner, we shall know whether God calls you by this: if He calls, it will be an effectual call — not a call which you hear, and then forget, but one which produces good works.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner
The old contempt of the sinner's Saviour lingers in the world still. In one way or other the charge is repeated, that Christianity is too lenient to the sinner, that it tends to discourage the naturally amiable and virtuous, and looks too favourably upon the vicious and disreputable, etc. How easily could we turn the tables upon these slanderers, for usually those who talk thus have but a scanty supply of morals and virtues themselves.

I. WE ADMIT THE TRUTH OF THE CHARGE. Jesus did go to be guest to a man that was a sinner, and did so not only once, but as often as He saw need. He went after the sheep which had gone astray, and He had a wonderful attraction for the disreputable classes.

1. The object of Christ, and the design of the gospel, is the saving of sinners.

2. Our Lord does actually call sinners into the fellowship of the gospel.

3. The man Christ Jesus does very readily come to be guest with a man who is a sinner, for He stands on no ceremony with sinners, but makes Himself at home with them at once.

4. Our Lord goes further, for He not only stands on no ceremony with sinners, but within a very little time He is using those very sinners who had been so unfit for any holy service — using them in His most hallowed work. Note how He makes Zaccheus to be His host.

5. Ay, and the Lord favoured Zaccheus, the sinner, by granting him that day full assurance of salvation.

II. WE DENY THE INSINUATION WHICH IS COVERTLY INTENDED BY THE CHARGE brought against our Lord. Jesus is the friend of sinners, but not the friend of sin.

1. Christ was guest with a man that was a sinner, but He never flattered a sinner yet.

2. Neither does the Lord Jesus screen sinners from that proper and wholesome rebuke which virtue must always give to vice.

3. Again, it is not true, as I have heard some say, that the gospel makes pardon seem such a very easy thing, and therefore sin is thought to be a small matter.

4. Nor, though Christ be the friend of sinners, is it true that He makes men think lightly of personal character.

5. It has been said that if we tell men that good works cannot save them, but that Jesus saves the guilty who believe in Him, we take away all motives for morality and holiness. We meet that again by a direct denial: it is not so, we supply the grandest motive possible, and only remove a vicious and feeble motive.

III. WE REJOICE IN THE VERY FACT WHICH HAS BEEN OBJECTED TO, that Jesus Christ comes to be guest with men who are sinners.

1. We rejoice in it, because it affords hope to ourselves.

2. We rejoice that it is true, because this affords us hope for all our fellow-men.

3. We rejoice that this is the fact, because when we are waiting for the Lord it cheers us up with the hope of fine recruits. I remember a sailor, who before conversion used to swear, and I warrant you he would rattle it out, volley after volley. He became converted, and when he prayed it was much in the same fashion. How he woke everybody up the first time he opened his mouth at the prayer-meeting! The conversion of a great sinner is the best medicine for a sick Church.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The half of my goods I give to the poor
He gives half his goods to the poor. Was he under any obligation to do so? are we? Certainly not: nor to give half our time, or half our thought. But there have been men who have given the chief part of their time and thought to the poor: and as there are so many who give the poor none of their time, or thought, or money, is it not well that there should be a few otherwise minded? Is money more precious than time and thought that a man should not give that, if so inclined? Zaccheus was so inclined. And were a man in our day to spend half his fortune in promoting the comfort, education, health, virtue, and piety of the poor, would not his name be fragrant both in earth and heaven? But there are very many people who cannot give half their goods to the poor, for they have not as yet secured half enough for the wants of their own household. Let these, then, give time and thought.

(T. T. Lynch.)

Zaccheus saith not, "I have given," as an upbraider of God; or, "I will give," as a delayer that means to give away his goods after his death, when he can keep them no longer; but he saith, "I give," to signify that his will is his deed, and that he meaneth Dot to take any days of payment for the matter; for as before he ran apace to see Christ, and came down hastily to entertain Christ in his own person, so doth he here give quickly to relieve Christ in his needy members. This is Zaccheus's last will and testament that he maketh before his death, and seeth the same proved and performed before his eyes. If, therefore, we desire to do any good to any of our poor brethren, let us learn of Zaccheus to do it quickly while we are alive, for time will prevent us, and death will prevent us.

(H. Smith.)

I restore him fourfold
I. THE FOUNDATION OF THIS DUTY.

1. The nature of justice, which consists in rendering to every one what belongs to him.

2. Holy Scripture (Exodus 22.; Leviticus 6.; Numbers 5.).

3. Restitution is a duty so indispensable, that without it there is no salvation. Tell me, can we be in a slate of salvation, when we have no love to God, and no love to our neighbour? But the man who refuses to make restitution loves not God, for he despises His laws and tramples upon His authority; nor does he love his neighbour, for he voluntarily persists in wronging him, and withholding from him his rights.

II. WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS DUTY?

1. We must examine with care whether we have ever wronged our neighbour, and in how many modes we have done it. Allege not for your excuse, example, custom, the necessity of acting like others. All this is of no avail now in the sight of the Omniscient — will be of no avail hereafter at the bar of God.

2. Restitution should be prompt. "I will, at some future time, make restitution." But when? You as yet know not the time, and perhaps it may never arrive.

3. Restitution must be full and entire. Fearful lest he should not fully recompense them, his generous heart makes the resolution, and his piety is ready instantly to execute it.In view of this subject I remark —

1. How small is the number of those who are saved! We know that thousands of frauds are daily committed, and yet how few acts of restitution do we witness!

2. What great discoveries shall be made at the day of judgment.

3. This subject teaches us the nature of true religion. It consists in benevolence to man as well as love to God, and assures us that without the former we can never exercise the latter.

4. This subject should lead us to avoid the very beginning of sin, and to pay the most scrupulous attention to the duties of truth and justice. Thus we shall be prevented from defrauding our fellow-men; thus, if necessity ever requires it, we shall be able easily to make full restitution.

5. Show by your conduct, ye who have in any degree defrauded your fellow-men, that you feel the force of conscience and the truth of God; imitate Zaccheus, and make restitution.

(S. K. Kolloch, M. A.)

The duty which the Christian world needs to learn over again, just now, is the duty of malting restitution for wrong-doings. Shame is not enough; remorse is not enough; confession is not enough; there must also be restitution. It is a melancholy and mortifying fact, that we often meet with men of the world, making no claim to being religious, whose honour and integrity put to shame the hollow pretensions of nominal Christians. When the chief councillor of Sultan Selymus advised him to bestow the marvellous wealth which he had taken from the Persian merchants upon some charitable hospital, the dying Turk answered that God would never be pleased with such an offering, and commanded that the spoils should be restored to the owners.

I. Restitution should be PROMPT. Dr. Finney, in his interesting autobiography, tells of a young woman, the only child of a widow, who once came to him in great distress. She had stolen, whenever she could, various trinkets, etc., from her schoolmates, and desired his advice as to what she ought to do. He told her that she must make restitution, and also confess her sin to those whom she had wronged. This, of course, was a great trial, but her repentance was so sincere, that she began at once to follow his advice. As she went on with the mortifying task, she remembered more and more; some persons to whom she made restitution saying, "She must be crazy, or a fool," while others were deeply touched. They all readily forgave her. The unhappy girl had stolen a shawl from Bishop Hobart's daughter, and when her spiritual adviser insisted on its being returned, she folded it in a paper, rung the bell at the bishop's door, and handed the parcel to the servant, without a word of explanation. Conscience whispered that she had not done her whole duty, and that somebody might be wrongfully suspected. She immediately went back to the house, and asked for the bishop. She was shown into his study, and told him all the truth. The good bishop, with all his impulsiveness and warmth of heart, wept aloud, and laying his hand on her head, prayed God to forgive her, as he did. Restitution was now made, and her peace was full and complete. The young woman became a devout Christian, adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour by a blameless, useful life, and, at a ripe old age, entered upon her everlasting inheritance.

II. Restitution should not only be prompt, BUT FULL AND ENTIRE. Half-way measures will serve no good purpose. It would be as well to keep back the whole of ill-gotten gains, as a part.

(J. N. Norton, D. D.)

I. For the ACT. Restitution is nothing else but the making reparation or satisfaction to another for the injuries we have done him. It is to restore a man to the good condition from which, contrary to right and to our duty, we have removed him.

II. For the latitude and extent of the object, as I may call it, or THE MATTER ABOUT WHICH IT IS CONVERSANT. It extends to all kind of injuries, which may be reduced to these two heads; either we injure a person with or without his consent.

1. Some injuries are done to persons with their consent. Such are most of those injuries which are done to the souls of men, when we command, or counsel, or encourage them to sin, or draw them in by our example.

2. Injuries are done to persons without their consent. And these, though they are not always the greatest mischiefs, yet they are the greatest injuries. And these injuries are done either by fraud and cunning, or by violence and oppression: either by overreaching another man in wit, or overbearing him by power.

III. As to the manner HOW RESTITUTION IS TO BE MADE.

1. Thou art bound to do it voluntarily, and of thy own accord, though the person injured do not know who it was that did him the injury, though he do not seek reparation by law.

2. Thou must do it in kind, if the thing be capable of it, and the injured party demand it. Thou must restore the very thing which thou hadst deprived thy neighbour of, if it be such a thing as can be restored, and be still in thy power, unless he voluntarily accept of some other thing in exchange.

3. If thou canst not restore it in kind, thou art bound to restore it in value, in something that is as good. As for spiritual injuries done to the souls of men, we are bound to make such reparation and compensation as we can. Those whom we have drawn into sin, and engaged in wicked courses, by our influence and example, we are to endeavour by our instruction and counsel to reclaim them from those sins we led them into, and "to recover them out of the snare of the devil."

IV. AS TO THE MEASURE AND PROPORTION OF THE RESTITUTION WE ARE TO MAKE. Zaccheus here offers fourfold, which was much beyond what any law required in like cases.

1. Where restitution can be made in kind, or the injury can be certainly valued, we are to restore the thing or the value.

2. We are bound to restore the thing with the natural increase of it; that is, to satisfy for the loss sustained in the meantime, and the gain hindered.

3. Where the thing cannot be restored, and the value of it is not certain, we are to give reasonable satisfaction, that is, according to a middle estimation; not the highest nor the lowest of things of the kind.

4. We are at least to give by way of restitution what the law would give, for that is generally equal, and in most cases rather favourable than rigorous.

5. A man is not only bound to restitution for the injury which he did, but for all that directly follows upon his injurious act, though it were beyond his intention.

(Archbishop Tillotson.)

I shall speak to you at large concerning the necessity of restitution, and the obligations to it; because when this point is established, the performance of it speedily and completely will appear to be unquestionable parts of this duty. I say that we are obliged to restitution — first, as we are men, by the law of nature. It is an original law, graven on the hearts of all men, that every man ought to possess, and have the undisturbed use of his own proper goods. Now, can any acquisition, which was unjust in the moment wherein it was made, become just, and a man's rightful property, in succeeding moments? Can it be lawful to keep what it was unlawful to take? Therefore restitution is the only method by which these disorders can be repaired; and it is indispensably necessary on natural principles. But his natural honesty was further instructed on this point by the revealed law. Considered as a Jew, he was under an additional obligation by the law of Moses. For the Levitical law regulated exactly the proportions in which restitution was to be made in different cases; as, "five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep." To this argument may be added that which arises from the example of holy men under the Old Covenant, whose conscience would not suffer them to retain goods obtained unjustly, and who considered the law of restitution as sacred and inviolable. Among which examples, that of Samuel is remarkable, in the eleventh chapter of his first book: "And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I am old and grey-headed." Zaccheus thought himself bound to restitution on a third principle — as a penitent, by the conditions of repentance. There is, in one respect, a remarkable difference betwixt robbery and most other sins. The crime of the latter may pass away, and be cancelled, upon our sincere repentance, and prayers for the Divine forgiveness; but the crime of the former continues as long as we retain the fruits of it in our hands. Does any man think of presenting his robberies to God and to His Church? Many persons, I fear (in former times particularly), have sought to make this impious exchange, pretending to give unto God what they had stolen from their neighbour. Besides this general engagement to make restitution, as a penitent, by the conditions of repentance, Zaccheus found himself under a fourth — and that a particular obligation, derived from the nature of his occupation, as a publican; that is, a collector of the tribute which the Jews paid to the Romans. Thus it is, that a reformed Christian, or one converted to Christianity, must begin the exercise of his religion. And it is in this fifth view that I consider Zaccheus making restitution; namely, as a proselyte, or convert to Jesus Christ. The Divine grace had now touched his heart, and inspired him with a resolution to break those bonds of iniquity in which he had been holden, and to qualify himself for that forgiveness which Christ offers to sinners only on this condition. Enough has been said, I trust, to show the necessity of restitution. A few words will be sufficient to show that it ought to be performed speedily and completely. I am willing (says one) to restore even at present; but I must be allowed to compound the matter: I cannot resign the whole, but I am ready to give up a part. This is the last mistake and fault which the example of Zaccheus condemns and corrects, when he declares, "I restore fourfold." Now, this surplus, is it justice, or liberality? It partakes of both. For it is just to restore beyond the exact amount; because, besides the lawful interest of his money which our neighbour has been deprived of, every robbery occasions some inconvenience and detriment that cannot be completely repaired by a mere restitution of the things taken. It is better, therefore, to exceed than fall short.

(S. Partridge, M. A.)

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been sent to Washington during the past few years as "conscience money." I suppose that money was sent by men who wanted to be Christians, but found they could not until they made restitution. There is no need of our trying to come to Christ as long as we keep fraudulently a dollar or a farthing in our possession that belongs to another. Suppose you have not money enough to pay your debts, and, for the sake of defrauding your creditors, you put your property in your wife's name. You might cry until the day of judgment for pardon, but you would not get it without first making restitution. In times of prosperity it is right, against a rainy day, to assign property to your wife; but if, in time of perplexity, and for the sake of defrauding your creditors, you make such assignment, you become a culprit before God, and may as well stop praying until you have made restitution. Or suppose one man loans another money on bonds and mortgage, with the understanding that the mortgage can lie quiet for several years, but as soon as the mortgage is given, commences foreclosure — the sheriff mounts the auction-block, and the property is struck down at half-price, and the mortgagee buys it in. The mortgagee started to get the property at half-price: and is a thief and a robber. Until he makes restitution, there is no mercy for him. Suppose you sell goods by a sample, and then afterward send to your customer an inferior quality of goods. You have committed a fraud, and there is no mercy for you until you have made restitution. Suppose you sell a man a handkerchief for silk, telling him it is all silk, and it is part cotton. No mercy for you until you have made restitution. Suppose you sell a man a horse, saying he is sound, and he afterward turns out to be spavined and balky. No mercy for you until you have made restitution.

(De W. Talmage, D. D.)

The Rev. B. Sawday was about eighteen years since in the wellknown establishment of Messrs. Hitchcock, St. Paul's Churchyard. A silver watch was stolen from his bedroom, and no trace could be discovered of the missing property. Ten years passed away. About four years since he preached a startling discourse upon repentance and restitution. His words evidently made a deep impression upon the hearers. During the ensuing week a young man came up to Mr. Sawday requesting an interview. In a few words the young man said, "It was I who stole your watch, some years since, at Messrs. Hitchcock's. I am very sorry, and I am deeply, anxious to settle the matter. Here, I'll give you £10 to squash it. I was passing your chapel last Sunday, and saw your name; I thought I would go in and hear you, and your sermon broke me all to pieces; I have been wretched and miserable ever since." "Thank God! " said Mr. Sawday. "No," he added, "I cannot take £10; the watch was only worth £4: I'll take that; but I'm far more anxious that you should confess your sin to God, and obtain His pardon and grace." "That," quietly added the man, "I have sought, and I believe obtained." One of Mr. Sawday's deacons was greatly troubled about the very plain speech of the pastor in regard to this very address, and expressed his fear that such preaching would drive people away from the chapel. The good man, however, was silenced by the sequel.

(Henry Varley.)

Some years ago, in the north of England, a woman came to one of the meetings, and appeared to be very anxious about her soul. For some time she did not seem to be able to get peace. The truth was, she was covering up one thing she was not willing to confess. At last the burden was too great; and she said to a worker, "I never go down on my knees to pray, but a few bottles of wine keep coming up before my mind." It appeared that, years before, when she was house. keeper, she had taken some bottles of wine belonging to her employer. The worker said: "Why do you not make restitution?" The woman replied that the man was dead; and besides, she did not know how much it was worth. "Are there any heirs living to whom you can make restitution?" She said there was a son living at some distance; but she thought it would be a very humiliating thing, so she kept back for some time. At last she felt as if she must have a clear conscience at any cost; so she took the train, and went to the place where the son of her employer resided. She took five pounds with her; she did not know exactly what the wine was worth, but that would cover it, at any rate. The man said he did not want the money; but she replied, "I do not want it; it has burnt my pocket long enough."

(D. L. Moody.)

I. When the gospel is cordially received and fully embraced, it subdues a man's ruling sin.

II. Evidence of Christian character is to be sought, not so much in what a man says, as in what he does.

III. On the disposal of property, there is a wide difference between the opinions of men and the instructions of Jesus Christ.

(Chas. Walker.)

I. THE HINDRANCES OF ZACCHEUS were twofold: partly circumstantial-partly personal. Partly circumstantial, arising from his riches and his profession of a publican. Now the publican's profession exposed him to temptations in these three ways. First of all in the way of opportunity. A publican was a gatherer of the Roman public imposts. Not, however, as now, when all is fixed, and the government pays the gatherer of the taxes. The Roman publican paid so much to the government for the privilege of collecting them; and then indemnified himself, and appropriated what overplus he could, from the taxes which he gathered. There was, therefore, evidently a temptation to overcharge, and a temptation to oppress. To overcharge, because the only redress the payer of the taxes had was an appeal to law, in which his chance was small before a tribunal where the judge was a Roman, and the accuser an official of the Roman government. A temptation to oppress, because the threat of law was nearly certain to extort a bribe. Besides this, most of us must have remarked that a certain harshness of manner is contracted by those who have the rule over the poor. They come in contact with human souls only in the way of business. They have to do with their ignorance, their stupidity, their attempts to deceive; and hence the tenderest-hearted men become impatient and apparently unfeeling. Another temptation was presented: to live satisfied with a low morality. The standard of right and wrong is eternal in the heavens — unchangeably one and the same. But here on earth it is perpetually variable — it is one in one age or nation, another in another. Every profession has its conventional morality, current nowhere else. Among publicans the standard would certainly be very low. Again, Zaccheus was tempted to that hardness in evil which comes from having no character to support. The personal hindrance to a religious life lay in the recollection of past guilt. Zaccheus had done wrong, and no fourfold restitution will undo that, where only remorse exists.

II. Pass we on to THE TRIUMPH OVER DIFFICULTIES. In this there is man's part, and God's part. Man's part in Zaccheus' case was exhibited in the discovery of expedients. The Redeemer came to Jericho, and Zaccheus desired to see that blessed Countenance, whose very looks, he was told, shed peace upon restless spirits and fevered hearts. But Zaccheus was small of stature, and a crowd surrounded Him. Therefore he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore-tree. You must not look on this as a mere act of curiosity. They who thronged the steps of Jesus were a crowd formed of different materials from the crowd which would have been found in the amphitheatre. He was there as a religious Teacher or Prophet; and they who took pains to see Him, at least were the men who looked for salvation in Israel. This, therefore, was a religious act. Then note further, the expedients adopted by Zaccheus after he had seen and heard Jesus. The tendency to the hardness and selfishness of riches he checked by a rule of giving half away. The tendency to extortion he met by fastening on himself the recollection, that when the hot moment of temptation had passed away, he would be severely dealt with before the tribunal of his own conscience, and unrelentingly sentenced to restore fourfold. God's part in this triumph over difficulties is exhibited in the address of Jesus: "Zaccheus, make haste and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house." Two things we note here: invitation and sympathy. Invitation — "come down." Say what we will of Zaccheus seeking Jesus, the truth is Jesus was seeking Zaccheus. For what other reason but the will of God had Jesus come to Jericho, but to seek Zaccheus and such as he? We do not seek God — God seeks us. There is a Spirit pervading time and space who seek the souls of men. At last the seeking becomes reciprocal — the Divine Presence is felt afar, and the soul begins to turn towards it. Then when we begin to seek God, we become conscious that God is seeking us. It is at that period that we distinguish the voice of personal invitation — "Zaccheus!" Lastly, the Divine part was done in sympathy. By sympathy we commonly mean little more than condolence. If the tear start readily at the voice of grief, and the purse-strings open at the accents of distress, we talk of a man's having great sympathy. To weep with those who weep — common sympathy does not mean much more. The sympathy of Christ was something different from this. Sympathy to this extent, no doubt, Zaccheus could already command. If Zaccheus were sick, even a Pharisee would have given him medicine. If Zaccheus had been in need, a Jew would not have scrupled to bestow an alms. If Zaccheus had been bereaved, many even of that crowd that murmured when they saw him treated by Christ like a son of Abraham, would have given to his sorrow the tribute of a sigh. The sympathy of Jesus was fellow feeling for all that is human. He did not condole with Zaccheus upon his trials — He did not talk to him "about his soul," He did not preach to him about his sins, He did not force His way into his house to lecture him — He simply said, "I will abide at thy house:" thereby identifying himself with a publican, thereby acknowledging a publican for a brother. Zaccheus a publican? Zaccheus a sinner? Yes; but Zaccheus is a man. His heart throbs at cutting words. He has a sense of human honour. He feels the burning shame of the world's disgrace. Lost? Yes, but the Son of Man, with the blood of the human race in His veins, is a Brother to the lost.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

A remarkable case of conscience money, which has just come to light, is just now puzzling an excellent secular contemporary. It appears that fifteen years ago, the London General Omnibus Company had in their employ a conductor who, during his twelve months' service, received £10 more than he paid in. He now writes to the company stating this, and that his conscience now prompted him to make restitution, together with interest for the whole intervening period — amounting in all to £13 15s. Towards this he sends £5 on account. The point that troubles our contemporary is the fact that conscience should slumber fifteen years "and then wake up again;" but we have no doubt that many of our readers will find a solution in the Scriptures. No doubt the Spirit of God had been at work. A similar case was that of Zaccheus, and how many years back he went when he made restitution, who can tell?

A little Kaffir girl in South Africa came one day to the missionary and brought four sixpences, saying, "This money is yours." "No," said the missionary, "it is not mine." "Yes," persisted the little black girl, "you must take it. At the examination of the school you gave me a sixpence as a prize for good writing; but the writing was not mine, I got some one else to do it for me. So here are four sixpences." She had read the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19., and "went and did likewise." How much better was this than hiding her sin would have been! After a searching address by Mr. Moody, he next day received a check for £100, being fourfold the amount of which the sender had wronged an individual.

A young man was converted at a meeting in an opera-house in America. He thereupon confessed that he had been a professional gambler, and that he was then a fugitive from justice for a forgery. When he found Christ, some, who saw that he was a man of more than ordinary ability, advised him to take part publicly in Christian work; but he replied that he felt work of a different kind was first required from him. He meant restitution of the monies that he had fraudulently obtained. Finding a situation with a Christian employer, he told him all, and willingly undertook hard manual labour, to which he was quite unaccustomed, until his fidelity and quickness obtained for him a more suitable place. Spending as little as possible upon himself, he put by every dollar that he earned, until, after long perseverance, he had paid back the large sum which he had wrongfully taken, with the legal interest. Years afterwards he was described as "actively engaged in the service of Christ with a love that never tires and a zeal that never flags."

Family Treasury.
An extensive hardware merchant in one of the Fulton Street prayer-meetings in New York appealed to his brother merchants to have the same religion for "down-town" as they had for "up-town"; for the week-day as for the Sabbath; for the counting-house as for the communion-table. After the meeting a manufacturer with whom he had dealt largely accosted him. "You did not know," said he, "that I was at the meeting and heard your remarks. I have for the last five years been in the habit of charging you more for goods than other purchasers. I want you to take your books, and charge back to me so much per cent. on every bill of goods you have had of me for the past five years." A few days later the same hardware merchant had occasion to acknowledge the payment of a debt of several hundred dollars which had been due for twenty-eight years from a man who could as easily have paid it twenty-four years before.

(Family Treasury.)

This day is salvation come to this house
I. We here notice, first of all, THE SECRET PURPOSE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TOWARDS THE PUBLICAN, ZACCHEUS. That Christ entertained towards him a secret purpose of mercy, compassion, and love, there can be no doubt whatever; the salutation, as well as the event, proved it. Electing grace had reached forth the golden sceptre towards the publican, long before "Jesus entered and passed through" the streets of Jericho.

II. The narrative suggests to us another important particular, and it is this: THAT WITH THE SECRET PURPOSES OF DIVINE GRACE TOWARDS ZACCHEUS, THERE WAS CONNECTED AN OVERRULING OF CIRCUMSTANCES, FAVOURING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THOSE GRACIOUS PURPOSES. When Jesus arrived at Jericho, Zaccheus might have been elsewhere — might have been far distant, and out of the reach of that voice which spake so tenderly, and away from the glance of that eye which gazed so kindly on him. Moreover, even if present with the multitudes, he might have been so indifferent, and so absorbed by other objects of pursuit, as to entertain no desire towards the stranger, who had conceived so gracious a purpose towards him. But as Jesus passed through Jericho, Zaccheus was on the spot, anxious to see Him, and ready to heed His words. How was this? No such thing as accident. God was working out His own purpose toward him by His own secret agency.

III. There remains another particular in the narrative, which must not be lost sight of. No sooner had the Lord Jesus said to him, "Zaccheus, make baste and come down, for to-day I must abide at thy house"; than "HE MADE HASTE, AND CAME DOWN, AND RECEIVED HIM JOYFULLY." Does not all this indicate preparedness of mind? Is not the fact a living commentary on the doctrine — "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power"? The currents of Divine mercy, grace, and love were then opening fully, and flowing abundantly towards him; and He, in whose hands are the hearts of all living men, prepared him to receive with gladness, as an honoured guest, that mighty One, "whose own arm brought salvation," and who came in all His energy, power, and love, "to seek and to save the lost," even the lost Zaccheus.

(G. Fisk, LL. B.)

I. We think that it must be obvious THAT IMPEDIMENTS LIE IN THE WAY OF EVERY MAN'S CONVERSION — impediments in the way of his conversion, and yet impediments that are perfectly distinct from each other: as distinct as men's circumstances are from each other. You shall find that the impediment to one man's conversion is his education; you shall find that the impediment in another man's way is the peculiar circumstances in which he is placed; you shall find that the impediment to a third man's conversion is simply a natural impediment; you shall find that the impediment that lies in the way of another man's conversion is simply the example to which he is perpetually subject. All these things, so to speak, put the different individuals in a false position. They in all probability wish to be God's servants, nevertheless things there are which prevent them from being God's servants, and it is by the steady overcoming of these difficulties that God for ever shows the omnipotence of His grace. Now when we come to look to the immediate history before us, we shall find that these impediments were of a twofold description. The first of these impediments arose out of the man's circumstances, and the second of these impediments arose out of the man's occupation.

II. Consider now some of THE ANTECEDENTS TO HIS CONVERSION. We may have oftentimes observed, at least if we have proceeded far in the consideration of human character, that with most men there are soft spots in their character. You will find it, indeed, impossible to meet with any character that is not accessible through some avenue and approachable by some peculiar circumstance in that character. It is not the fact that every man is wrapped up in induracy and in obduracy. You shall find that now and again there will come back out of the deep darkness that which tells you there is a spot there if you only knew how to reach it. It is like standing in the midst of some of those volcanic regions. All about you looks to be nothing but the hardness and the ruggedness of rock itself, but there are jets of flame and puffs of smoke that come up which tell you that there is volcanic action underneath. You shall find in most men's character there is something of this kind — things that tell you this, that possibly, if only means were used, they are not irreclaimably hopeless; and it is these things we venture to call the antecedents of a man's state of conversion. Now let us bring this explanation to bear upon the case before us, and ask ourselves what antecedents there were in the case of Zaccheus the publican. I turn your attention, in the first place, to the marvellous charity of the man. "The half of my goods I give to the poor." I conceive it to be a mistake to suppose that this is expressed as being the fruit of the man's conversion. We hold it to be the revelation of his very publican life. It is a sort of exculpation of himself against those who said, "He is a publican." He was one of those men that could not see his brother have need without sharing his means with him, ay, up to the very moiety of his fortune — "The half of my goods I give to the poor." We turn to another feature in this man's antecedents. We are not now looking to his temper of charity, but we are looking to his temper of equity. "The half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." The law of Moses simply required this amount of restitution — the restitution of the principal, with one-fifth added by way of interest; but this man transcended this rule. "If I have taken anything from any man,... I restore him fourfold." Why: Not because the law compelled it; net because custom compelled it; not, in all probability, because ostentation dictated it; but simply because there was a high, strong sense of equity in this man's soul, that compelled him to this restoring or restituting that which he had unjustly taken. Now, we hold it is marvellous to find all this in a character, and in the midst of circumstances such as the publican's were in those days — marvellous to find charity in them — still more marvellous to find equity. It is a something, because it is a something telling us this — that there is a soft part still in this man's soul — a point on which you might rest your apparatus for effecting this man's conversion. There was a deep sense of charity, in the first place, and there was the ample recognition of the duty of equity in the second place. What are we to know and what are we to understand in this? Why, we ask you to look round to the world in our better and our more enlightened days. Can we find much that looks like a parody to it? You shall find and know something, perhaps, of the tricks of commerce, and of the ungodliness of trade; but you seldom hear anything of the fourfold restitution. You shall hear, in all probability, of hard bargains being driven — of the simplicity of unwary customers being taken advantage of — of the adroitness of men of wealth practising upon the ignorance of men of poverty; and you shall find, perhaps, that these successful tacticians wrap themselves in the congratulation of their successful doings; but you shall never hear of the fourfold restitution. No, even in our better days the privileged Christian is beaten by the despised publican.

III. We have but one thought more to throw before you. We have looked at the man's impediments, and we have looked at the man's antecedents; in the last place, we have to look to THE MANNER OF THE CONVERSION OF ZACCHEUS THE PUBLICAN. Now there is nothing more certain, as we have said before, than that none of these antecedents could have been the parent of Zaccheus's conversion. There may be, as we have said before, differences of experience upon the road, but that it does not lead to the same termination is, if Scripture be true, an utter impossibility. The Scripture has said, "No man cometh to the Father but by Me." The Scripture has said it, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of His." The Bible has said it, " We must be found in Him, not having our own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith." And none of these up to this moment had Zaccheus the publican. A man of moral propriety, and a man of promising indications he may have been, but as yet outside of the field of conversion. We may, then, ask ourselves the question, how it is that this missing element was to be supplied. We answer, that his conversion went upon these two principles: that Christ sought him, and that Christ spake to him; and that those two things must be fulfilled in every man who is to be truly a believing child of Abraham — the Saviour must come, and the Saviour must speak to him.

(A. Boyd.)

The Congregational Pulpit.
I. THE BLESSING OF SALVATION.

1. Zaccheus now had heavenly riches.

2. Zaccheus had now the highest distinction. A Christian.

3. The home of Zaccheus was now sanctified.

II. THE AUTHOR OF SALVATION.

1. Salvation is Christ's alone to give.

2. The guiltiest are sometimes the first to be saved.(1) This is for our warning. Beware of pride, self-righteousness, assumed morality, ostentation, carnal wisdom, and deep-rooted prejudice. These are the offensive things that make him pass by your door. Remove them quickly, lest you perish a Christless soul!(2) This visit to the guiltiest is also for our encouragement. Satan has two grand devices, presumption and despair. Avoid the former, and do not be crushed by the latter. This man had been so radically bad, but was saved. Let this sustain and strengthen the deep-stained sinner who cries for mercy.

III. THE MEANS OF SALVATION.

1. Zaccheus used the likeliest means to know more of Christ.

2. He strove through difficulties to obtain the object of his desire.

IV. THE SIGNS OF SALVATION.

1. Joy.

2. Rectitude.

3. Benevolence.

(The Congregational Pulpit.)

I want you to learn some lessons from this story of Zaccheus.

1. That Jesus will come home with you and bring salvation to your house if you are anxious, as Zaccheus was, to see Him. Zaccheus was a small man among many great men, and so he could not see the Lord till he climbed; let this teach you not to be discouraged because you are small in the world's eyes, poor, humble, or ignorant. You, like the publican, must climb if you would see Jesus, you must climb by prayer, by the study of your Bible, by Holy Communion, by conquest of yourselves — these are all branches of the Tree of Life; if you climb by these you will see Jesus. Learn also that Jesus will come to you and bring salvation to your house, however poor it may be. He who lay in the manger at Bethlehem does not look for soft raiment and luxurious bedding.

2. When Jesus comes to your house He will bring gifts with Him: He will work miracles for you. It has been said that the age of miracles is gone, it has in one sense only. Jesus will work miracles of mercy in your house. He will give you, too, a new name when He comes to your house. You know that old families are proud of the name which their ancestors have borne for generations, but after all, the best of names is that which your Saviour will give you, the name of a son of God, a child of Christ. And He will give you more than a name, He will give you landed property, even ii you are so poor that a back-yard is all you have to look out upon. He will give you, who perhaps never heard of an estate in fee-simple, or knew what it was to have a house of your own, an inheritance, a place of many mansions, a house eternal in heaven. And He will give you clothing, the very best of clothing. To every one of you who have Jesus in the house, and who have often had to patch and cut and contrive to clothe yourself and your family, He will give a white robe of righteousness.

(H. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.)

"Salvation! How? where? What does Christ mean when He says, 'Salvation has come to this house'? Did He preach 'the way of salvation'? If so, we should like to hear what He said." Well, He said this: — That the Son of Man had found the Son of Abraham, acknowledged him as such, and would make it well with him. And was it not salvation from anger, and sorrow, and hardness of heart, to be thus acknowledged? Men of Jericho, this is a son of Abraham; your blessing is his. Society may reject him; but the God of Abraham accepts him. The sons of Abraham may ban one another; but the Son of Man will bless them all. "Son of Man" is a wider and deeper title than "son of Abraham." The Son of Man's love includes all Jews, because it extends beyond them all. Christ acknowledged Zaccheus in a way very comforting to his Jewish and his human heart. But this was the salvation — the creation of a living bond of affection between Zaccheus and that Holy Love in whose presence he stood. In this Presence Zaccheus felt at once that he grew purer, happier, stronger for good, forgiving to those who had despised him, and humble and thankful in that sense of forgiving confidence which Christ's whole manner towards him breathed. When Christ spoke of "salvation," then, He was Himself the salvation of which He spoke.

(T. T. Lynch.)

To seek and to save that which was lost
Good news from a far country. By meditation on this statement we are led to consider —

I. THE MISSION OF CHRIST. "The Son of Man is come." Predicted in the oracles of God by Balaam, Isaiah, Zechariah, dec.

II. THE PURPOSE OF HIS MISSION. "To seek and to save."

1. It was not an experimental gratification.

2. Not to gain a fair reputation.

3. Not to obtain honour.

III. THE OBJECT OF HIS LOVE. "That which was lost." The whole world. Every Son of Adam. APPLICATION: The text displays —

1. The spirit of self-denial.

2. The spirit of love.

(F. G. Davis.)

We are redeemed —

1. From the power of the grave.

2. From the power of sin.

3. From the curse of the law.

(E. Hicks, M. A.)

There are two ways of looking at sin: — One is the severe view: it makes no allowance for frailty — it will not hear of temptation, nor distinguish between circumstances. Men who judge in this way shut their eyes to all but two objects — a plain law, and a transgression of that law. There is no more to be said: let the law take its course. Now if this be the right view of sin, there is abundance of room left for admiring what is good and honourable and upright: there is positively no room provided for restoration. Happy if you have done well; but if ill, then nothing is before you but judgment and fiery indignation. The other view is one of laxity and false liberalism. When such men speak, prepare yourself to hear liberal judgments and lenient ones: a great deal about human weakness, error in judgment, mistakes, an unfortunate constitution, on which the chief blame of sin is to rest — a good heart. All well if we wanted, in this mysterious struggle of a life, only consolation. But we want far beyond comfort — goodness; and to be merely made easy when we have done wrong will not help us to that! Distinct from both of these was Christ's view of guilt. His standard of right was high — higher than ever man had placed it before. Not moral excellence, but heavenly, He demanded. "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Read the Sermon on the Mount. It tells of a purity as of snow resting on an Alpine pinnacle, white in the blue holiness of heaven; and yet also, He the All-pure had tenderness for what was not pure. He who stood in Divine uprightness that never faltered, felt compassion for the ruined, and infinite gentleness for human fall. Broken, disappointed, doubting hearts, in dismay and bewilderment, never looked in vain to Him. Purity attracting evil: that was the wonder. I see here three peculiarities, distinguishing Christ from ordinary men.

I. A PECULIARITY IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REDEEMER'S MORAL NATURE. Manifested in that peculiar title which He assumed — the Son of Man. Let us see what that implies.

1. It implies fairly His Divine origin; for it is an emphatic expression, and as we may so say, an unnatural one. None could without presumption remind men that He was their Brother and a Son of Man, except One who was also something higher, even the Son of God.

2. It implies the catholicity of His brotherhood. He is emphatically the Son of Man. Out of this arose two powers of His sacred humanity — the universality of His sympathies, and their intense particular personality. What was His mode of sympathy with men? He did not sit down to philosophize about the progress of the species, or dream about a millennium. He gathered round Him twelve men. He formed one friendship, special, concentrated, deep. He did not give Himself out as the leader of the publican's cause, or the champion of the rights of the dangerous classes; but He associated with Himself Matthew, a publican called from the detested receipt of custom. He went into the house of Zaccheus, and treated him like a fellow-creature — a brother, and a son of Abraham. His catholicity or philanthropy was not an abstraction, but an aggregate of personal attachments.

II. PECULIARITY IN THE OBJECTS OF CHRIST'S SOLICITUDE. He had come to seek and to save the "lost." The world is lost, and Christ came to save the world. But by the lost in this place He does not mean the world; He means a special class, lost in a more than common sense, as sheep are lost which have strayed from the flock, and wandered far beyond all their fellows scattered in the wilderness. Blot half a century ago a great man was seen stooping and working in a charnel-house of bones. Uncouth, nameless fragments lay around him, which the workmen had dug up and thrown aside as rubbish. They belonged to some far-back age, and no man knew what they were or whence. Few men cared. The world was merry at the sight of a philosopher groping among mouldy bones. But when that creative mind, reverently discerning the fontal types of living being in diverse shapes, brought together those strange fragments, bone to bone, and rib to claw, and tooth to its own corresponding vertebrae, recombining the wondrous forms of past ages, and presenting each to the astonished world as it moved and lived a hundred thousand ages back, then men began to perceive that a new science had begun on earth. And such was the work of Christ. They saw Him at work among the fragments and mouldering wreck of our humanity and sneered. But He took the dry bones such as Ezekiel saw in vision, which no man thought could live, and He breathed into them the breath of life.

III. A PECULIARITY IN HIS MODE OF TREATMENT. How were these lost ones to be restored? The human plans are reducible to three — chastisement, banishment, and indiscriminate lenity. In Christ's treatment of guilt we find three peculiarities — sympathy, holiness, firmness.

1. By human sympathy. In the treatment of Zaccheus this was almost all. We read of almost nothing else as the instrument of that wonderful reclamation, One thing only, Christ went to his house self-invited. But that one was everything.

2. By the exhibition of Divine holiness. The holiness of Christ differed from all earthly, common, vulgar holiness. Wherever it was, it elicited a sense of sinfulness and imperfection. Just as the purest cut crystal of the rock looks dim beside the diamond, so the best men felt a sense of guilt growing distinct upon their souls (Luke 5:8). But at the same time the holiness of Christ did not awe men away from Him, nor repel them. It inspired them with hope.

3. By firmness.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

I. LET ME BRING BEFORE YOU THE INTERESTING STATEMENT OF OUR TEXT.

1. The "lost," then, are the objects of His care and love. There are two ideas comprehended in the expression. When Christ would illustrate the condition of those who were lost, on one occasion, He selected three objects: a sheep — money — and a prodigal (Luke 15.). One of these could only be test in the sense of its owner being deprived of its use. Having no consciousness, the evil of its being mislaid fell upon the "woman." But the other two being lost, suffered or were exposed to evil of their own, as well as occasioned evil to those to whom they belonged or were related. The loss of the "sheep" included danger and trouble to itself, as well as anxiety and deprivation to its possessor; the loss of the "prodigal" entailed distrust and shame upon himself, as well as affliction on his "father's house." And these are the most fitting and forcible symbols of the sinner's case. Lost to God and lost to himself.

2. Man, thus lost, thus spiritually lost — lost to God, and to himself, is the object of Christ's care. He loves us in our weakness, and worldliness, in "our crimes and our carnality." He proposes our salvation: to bring us back to God, to bestow His knowledge, love, and image. Let it be remembered, however, that Christ's chief aim is to secure inward and individual salvation. Whatever may be done for a man is very little while he is lost, in reference to the highest things; you cannot save him, unless you convert him.

3. Christ "seeks" to "save." He goes in quest of men. He had His eye on Zaccheus when he visited the sycamore tree — His "delights were" at the work ere His charity had utterance there. He knew where the objects of His pity were to be found, and directed His course and shaped His plans that He might meet with them.

4. Once more. Christ not only proposes the good of the "lost," even their "salvation," and "seeks" them for this purpose, but "He is come" to do it. What He did on earth — His life and labours and sufferings and death; what He does in heaven, by the agency of men, the ministry of Providence, the operations of the Holy Spirit, are all to be considered in relation to His coming hither — the fact, the manner, and the meaning of His advent.

II. CONSIDER SOME IMPORTANT BEARINGS OF THE STATEMENT NOW ILLUSTRATED.

1. You have in our subject an evidence of our religion — the religion of "the Son of man." Think of His object, principle, and method, and say whether, in the circumstances of the case, they do not necessarily indicate one come from God? There were no materials in that "half-barbarous nation in wholly barbarous times" out of which could have been formed the living "Son of man," and no materials out of which His image could have been formed. He must have been, or none could have conceived of Him; and if He were, He must have been from heaven.

2. You have in our subject a beautiful model of Christian life and labour. What Christ was, we should be.

3. You have in our subject matter for the serious consideration of unconverted men. Christ came to seek and to save men — came to seek and to save you. Are you conscious of your lost condition and bitterly bewailing it? It will be always true that salvation was possible, was presented, was pressed! And this increases your doom.

(A. J. Morris.)

Our sympathies are already aroused when we see anything that is lost. Even a dog that has wandered away from its master, we feel sorry for; or a bird that has escaped from its owner, we say: "Poor thing!" Going down the street near nightfall, in the teeth of the sharp northwest wind, you feel very pitiful for one who has to be out to-night. As you go along, you hear the affrighted cry of a child. You stop. You say: "What is the matter?" You go up and find that a little one has lost its way from home. In its excitement it cannot even tell its name or its residence. The group of people gathered around are all touched, all sympathetic, all helpful. A plain body comes up, and with her plaid she wraps the child, and says: "I'll take care of the poor bairn!" While in the same street, but a little way off, the crier goes through the city, ringing a bell and uttering in a voice that sounds dolefully through all the alleys and by-ways of the city: "A lost child I three years of age, blue eyes, light hair. Lost child!" Did you ever hear any such pathos as that ringing through the darkness? You are going down the street and you see a man that you know very well. You once associated with him. You are astonished as you see him. "Why," you say, "he is all covered with the marks of sin. He must be in the very last stages of wickedness." And then you think of his lost home, and say: "God, pity his wife and child! God, pity him." A lost man! Under the gaslight you see a painted thing floating down the street — once the joy of a village home — her laughter ringing horror through the souls of the pure, and rousing up the merriment of those already lost like herself. She has forgotten the home of her youth and the covenant of her God. A lost woman! But, my friend, we are all lost.

1. In the first place, I remark that we are lost to holiness. Are you not all willing to take the Bible announcement that our nature is utterly ruined? Sin has broken in at every part of the castle. One would think that we got enough of it from our parents whether they were pious or not; but we have taken the capital of sin with which our fathers and mothers started us, and we have by accumulation, as by infernal compound-interest, made it enough to swamp us for ever. The ivory palace of the soul polluted with the filthy feet of all uncleanness. The Lord Jesus Christ comes to bring us back to holiness. He comes not to destroy us, but to take the consequences of our guilt.

2. We are lost to happiness, and Christ comes to find us. A caliph said: "I have been fifty years a caliph, and I have had all honours and all wealth, and yet in the fifty years I can count up only fourteen days of happiness." How many there are in this audience who cannot count fourteen days in all their life in which they had no vexations or annoyances. We all feel a capacity for happiness that has never been tested. There are interludes of bliss, but whose entire life has been a continuous satisfaction? Why is it that most of the fine poems of the world are somehow descriptive of grief? It is because men know more about sorrow than they do about joy. Oh, ye who are struck through with unrest, Christ comes to-day to give you rest. If Christ comes to you, you will be independent of all worldly considerations. It was so with the Christian man who suffered for his faith, and was thrust down into the coal-hole of the Bishop of London. He said: "We have had fine times here, singing gladsome songs the night long. O God, forgive me for being so unworthy of this glory." More joyful in the hour of suffering and martyrdom was Rose Allen. When the persecutor put a candle under her wrist, and held it there until the sinews snapped, she said: "If you see fit you can burn my feet next, and then also my head." Christ once having taken you into His custody and guardianship, you can laugh at pain, and persecution, and trial. Great peace for all those whom Christ has found and who have found Christ. Jesus comes into their sick room. The nurse may have fallen asleep in the latter watches of the night; but Jesus watches with slumberless eyes, and He puts His gentle hand over the hot brow of the patient, and says: "You will not always be sick. I will not leave you. There is a land where the inhabitant never saith, 'I am sick.' Hush, troubled soul! Peace!"

3. Again, I remark that we are lost to heaven, and Christ comes to take us there. Christ comes to take the discord out of your soul and string it with a heavenly attuning. He comes to take out that from us which makes us unlike heaven, and substitute that which assimilates us. In conclusion: You may hide away from Him; but there are some things which will find you, whether Christ by His grace finds you or not. Trouble will find you; temptation will find you; sickness will find you; death will find you; the judgment will find you; eternity will find you.

(De W. Talmage, D. D.)

I. These precious words of the blessed Saviour DESCRIBE AN ADVENT, A COMING, AS ACCOMPLISHED. He has come. It is the statement of a past event, an event which has changed the whole current of human history. Its force lay in the great purpose for which it was undertaken. He did not drop into the world. He was not born as animals are. He came. He chose to come. He planned a coming, which He executed. All that philosophy can perceive, or poetry conceive, of grandeur of emprise, of Divine philanthropy, and of glorious endeavour, are in the enterprise of Jesus. Consider what He left in order to endure the incarnation necessary for the accomplishment of His most transcendent undertaking. He came from other heavens that were glorious places, whose population was not lost, where the kingdom of God was established, and where His will was done. No moral darkness and confusion were there. Think of the world to which He came. It is a planet of wonderful adaptabilities, and inhabited by a race of still more wonderful capabilities. As king of the kingdom of God, to Jesus order is of the highest consequence. He is the author of harmony. How disorderly was the world to which He camel Every man and woman and child frantically or persistently struggling to break themselves from the moral law, which is a cord of love, having lost much of what would seem to be a natural sense of the beauty of holiness, gone so far as to give the Dame of virtue to that kind of brute bravery which meets a wild beast in an amphitheatre very much on the beast's own level; a world full of sin, and full of the anguish and degradation of sin, where He could not turn His eyes without beholding a wrong or a sufferer? Above all, He knew that He was coming to His own, and that His own would not receive Him. It was a plunge out of supernal light into the heart of darkness.

II. We are never to forget, as a most charming characteristic of the coming of Jesus, that IT WAS WHOLLY VOLUNTARY. He CAME. He was not brought. He was not compelled to come. No law of justice could have broken His consciousness of holiness and greatness if He had not come.

III. WHY SHOULD HE HAVE COME AT ALL? There was something to save, something precious in His eyes, whatever it may seem in ours. Cold criticism would ask why it was necessary, whether some other expedient might not have been devised; but love is swifter than reason. How could He come to save us? is the question of reason in moments when it is unloving. How could He not come to save us? is the question of rational love.

IV. HIS INCARNATION DID MANY THINGS FOR US WHICH WE DO NOT SEE COULD BE OTHERWISE DONE.

1. It was a manifestation of God: "God was manifest in the flesh." The visible world had so engrossed us that our race was going down into lowermost materialism, so that the Roman type of thought was "earthly," the Grecian "sensual," and the barbarian "devilish." And on one of these types all human thought would have formed itself for ever. But the Son of man came, and, by His words and deeds and spirit, gave such evidence of the existence of a Personal God and a spiritual world that our intellects were saved. We have since had certain centre and blessed attraction. If the Son of man had not come long before the age in which we live, the intellect of the race would have been utterly lost in the deep abyss of atheism, toward which it was rushing.

2. The heart and head have close fellowship. The corruption of the former does much to increase the errors of the latter, and the mistakes of the head aggravate the sorrows of the heart. The Son of God has come to save our hearts, as well as our intellects, by making the interests of God and man identical.

3. Under the atheistic errors of the intellect and the desperation of the heart, how manhood was sinking away! No human being can now estimate how low humanity would have sunk before our times if the Son of man had not come. All sublime and beautiful living is of the inspiration of His history.

4. He died for us that He might save our souls. The saving of our souls is the great object of the coming of the Son of man.

(C. F. Deems, L. L. D.)

1. "The Son of man."(1) His humanity. What the fulness of time was come, "God sent His Son, made of a woman" (Galatians 4:4). As the flowers are said to have solem in caelo patrem, solum in terra matrem; so Christ hath a Father in heaven without a mother, a mother on earth without a father. Here is then the wonder of His humanity. The "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6) is become a little child. The Son of God calls Himself the Son of man.(2) His humility. If your understandings can reach the depth of this bottom, take it at one view. The Son of God calls Himself the Son of man. The omnipotent Creator becomes an impotent creature.So greater humility never was than this, that God should be made man. It is the voice of pride in man, "I will be like God" (Isaiah 14:14); but the action of humility in God, "I will be man."(1) Esteem we not the worse but the better of Christ, that He made Himself the Son of man. Let Him not lose any part of His honour because He abased Himself for us. He that took our flesh "is also over all, God blessed for ever, Amen" (Romans 9:5).(2) The other use is St. Paul's: "Let the same mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). What mind is that: Humility.

2. "Is come." We understand the person, let us come to His coming. And herein, ecce veritatem — behold His truth. Did God promise a son of a virgin; Emmanuel, a Saviour? He is as good as His word; venit, "He is come." Did the sacrificed blood of so many bulls, goats, and lambs, prefigure the expiatory blood of the Lamb of God to be shed? Ecce Agnus Dei — "Behold that Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world."

3. "To seek." He is come; to what purpose? Ecce compassionem — "to seek." All the days of His flesh upon earth He went about seeking souls. When the sun shines, every bird comes forth; only the owl will not be found. These birds of darkness cannot abide the light, "because their deeds are evil" (John 3:19). Thus they play at all-hid with God, but how foolishly! Like that beast that having thrust his head in a bush, and seeing nobody, thinks nobody sees him. But they shall find at last that not holes of mountains or caves of rocks can conceal them (Revelation 6:16). Secondly, others play at fast and loose with God; as a man behind a tree, one while seen, another while hid. In the day of prosperity they are hidden; only in affliction they come out of their holes. Thirdly, others being lost, and hearing the seeker's voice, go further from Him. The nearer salvation comes to them, the further they run from it.

4. "To save." Ecce pietatem, behold His goodness. Herod sought Christ ad interitum, to kill Him; Christ seeks us ad salutem, to save us. " This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).

5. "The lost." There ecce potestatem, behold His power. He is that "strongest man" that unbound us from the fetters of sin and Satan. "Lost!" But where was man lost? There are diverse losing-places.

(T. Adams, D. D.)

I. IN WHAT SENSE WE ARE SAID TO BE LOST.

1. Really and indeed; so we are lost to God and lost to ourselves. As to God, He hath no glory, love, and service from us, and so is deprived and robbed of the honour of His creation.

2. Some are lost and undone in their own sense and feeling. All by reason of sin are in a lost state, but some are apprehensive of it. Now such a sense is necessary to prepare us for a more brokenhearted and thankful acceptance of the grace of the gospel.

II. IN WHAT SENSE CHRIST IS SAID TO SEEK AND SAVE SUCH, Here is a double work — seeking and saving.

1. What is His seeking? It implieth —(1) His pity to us in our lost estate, and providing means for us, in that He doth not leave us to our wanderings, or our own heart's counsels, but taketh care that we be brought back again to God (John 10:16).(2) His seeking implieth His diligence and pains to reduce them (Luke 15:4). It requireth time and pains to find them, and gain their consent. A lost soul is not so easily recovered and reduced from his straying; there is many a warning slighted, many a conviction smothered, and tenders of grace made in vain. I evidence this two ways —(1) Christ is said to seek after us by His word and Spirit.(a) By His word, He cometh as a teacher from heaven, to recall sinners from their wanderings.(b) By His Spirit striving against and overcoming the obstinacy and contradiction of our souls. By His call in the word He inviteth us to holiness, but by His powerful grace He inclineth us.(2) This seeking is absolutely necessary: if He did not seek them, they would never seek Him.

2. To save them. Two ways is Christ a Saviour — merito et efficacia, by merit and by power. We are sometimes said to be saved by His death, and sometimes to be saved by His life (Romans 5:10). Here I shall do two things —(1) I shall show why it is so;(2) I shall prove that this was Christ's great end and business.First, Why it is so.

1. With respect to the parties concerned. In saving lost creatures, Christ hath to do with three parties — God, man, and Satan.

2. With respect to the parts of salvation. There is redemption and conversion, the one by way of impetration, to other by way of application. It is not enough that we are redeemed, that is done Without us upon the cross; but we must also be converted, that is real redemption applied to us.

3. With respect to eternal salvation, which is the result of all, that is to say, it is the effect of Christ's merit and of our regeneration; for in regeneration that life is begun in us which is perfected in heaven.Secondly, I am to prove that this was Christ's great end and business.

1. It is certain that Christ was sent to man in a lapsed and fallen estate, not to preserve us as innocent, but to recover us as fallen.

2. Out of this misery man is unable to deliver and recover himself.

3. We being utterly unable, God, in pity to us, that the creation of man for His glory might not be frustrated, hath sent us Christ.Arguments to press you to accept of this grace.

1. Consider the misery of a lost condition.

2. Think of the excellency and reality of salvation by Christ (1 Timothy 1:15).

3. You have the means; you have the offer made to you (Isaiah 27:13).

(T. Manton, D. D.)

I. THE ORIGIN OF THE SOUL. It is from above. The ancient legends of a distant state of ancestral bliss, from which we have come, and which we have only in part forgotten, are woven out of the universal heart-experience. .Dimly we remember Paradise; amidst the darkness we are groping our way back to the Tree of Life.

II. THE PRESENT STATE OF THE SOUL. An exile and a wanderer. "I also am from God a wandering exile," said the Greek philosopher, Empedocles — a thought that was taken up and made the foundation of systems among some of the early Christian sects. They said that the parables in the Gospel of the lost piece of money, the lost sheep, the wandering and prodigal son, were all variations of this theme of the soul. There has come down to us a Gnostic hymn from very early times, in which the same spiritual theme is clothed in geographical details. A Parthian king's son comes from the bright realm of the East, and wanders through Babylonia to Egypt to seek a precious pearl which is there guarded by a serpent. Parthia stands, in reality, for the bright kingdom of light above, from which the soul has fallen. Egypt means the lower or material world, and Babylonia appears to denote some intermediate state. There is a father and a mother by whom ate meant an ideal first pair of parents of the living; and a brother who appears to signify the second Adam or Son of Man. The great serpent surrounding the sea is the soul of the present evil, or material world, ever an enemy to the human race. "Somehow," the hymn says, "they in Egypt found out that I was not their countryman; and they cunningly gave me their food to eat. I forgot that I was a prince, and I served their kings, and I forgot the pearl for which my parents had sent me, and I fell into a deep sleep. But my parents saw me afar off, and they devised a plan for my good. They wrote me a letter, which ran: "From thy father, the king of kings, and thy mother, the lady of the East, and thy brother, our second one, to thee our son in Egypt, greeting! Rouse up, and rise from thy sleep, listen to the words of our letter. Consider that thou art a son of kings. See into whose slavery thou hast fallen. Remember the pearl, for the sake of which thou wast sent to Egypt. Think of the garment, remember the splendid toga, which thou shalt wear — for thy name is written in the list of the brave — and that thou, with thy brother, our vicegerent, shalt come into our kingdom." The letter, sealed by the right hand of the king, was brought to me by the king of birds. I awoke, and broke the seal, and read, and the words agreed with those that were stamped upon my heart. I recollected that I was a son of royal parents, and my excellent birth maintained its nature." And so he proceeds to the quest of the pearl, which seems to be an allegory of the spark of celestial light and truth, which is still to be found, even amidst the debasement o! earth, by every earnest seeking soul. And the letter stands for a higher revelation, and the splendid garment for the glorious spiritual body which the returned king's son is to wear in the presence of the King of kings. Such is a brief account of this Pilgrim's Progress of the olden time. This world is a goodly place, this body is a pleasant house to dwell in. And it may be that we are often tempted to say, If it be a prison, it is more splendid than a palace, and we are well content to be prisoners and exiles under such conditions. But there are moments of revelation, flashes of memory and insight which tell us otherwise. Away! this is not your rest! A despatch has come from our heavenly Father; its contents speak of what our heart had already spoken. And so we arise and still go on our quest of the pearl of great price, heedless of those smiling Egyptians, who would feed us on lotus, and bid us plunge into oblivion of our native home. No I we are sojourners only, nor can we rest until we have found what we were sent to find, and, holding it fast, come back to Him who sent us, and who is watching for our return.

III. THE RECOVERY OF THE SOUL. One is seeking us; One wills that we should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. His kindly light has not yet, and will not, we trust, ever desert us.

(E. Johnson, M. A.)

I. What is implied in our being lost?

II. How does Christ seek and save those that are lost?

1. Christ seeks those that are lost.

(1)By His word.

(2)By His providence.

(3)By His Spirit.

2. Christ saves those that are lost —

(1)By purchase.

(2)By power.Conclusion:

1. From this subject, in the first place, we learn the wonderful generosity and kindness of Christ.

2. Let us also admire the power, as well as adore the grace, of the Saviour.

(S. Lavington.)

The promises of God are like stars; there is not one of them but has in its turn guided tempest-tossed souls to their desired haven. But, as among the-stars which stud the midnight sky, there are constellations which above all others attract the mariner's gaze, and are helpful to the steersman, so there are certain passages in Scripture which have not only directed a few wise men to Jesus, but have been guiding stars to myriads of simple minds who have through their help found the port of peace. The text is one of these notable stars, or rather, its words form a wonderful constellation of Divine love, a very Pleiades of mercy. But as stars are of small service when the sky is beclouded, or the air dense with fog, so it may be even with such a bright gospel light as our text will not yield comfort to souls surrounded with the clinging mists of doubts and fears. At such times mariners cry for fair weather, and ask that they may be able to see the stars again: so let us pray the Holy Spirit to sweep away with His Divine wind the clouds of our unbelief, and enable each earnest eye in the light of God to see the light of peace.

I. HOW THE OBJECTS OF MERCY ARE HERE DESCRIBED. "That which was lost." A term large enough to embrace even the very worst.

1. We are all lost by nature.

2. Apart from Divine grace, we are lost by our own actions.

3. We are lost because our actual sin and our natural depravity have co-worked to produce in us an inability to restore ourselves from our fallen condition. Not only wanderers, but having no will to come home.

4. We are lost by the condemnation which our sin has brought upon us.

5. Some of us are lost to society, to respect, and perhaps to decency. That was the case with Zaccheus. Now, the Son of Man is come to seek and to save those whom the world puts outside its camp. The sweep of Divine compassion is not limited by the customs of mankind: the boundaries of Jesu's love are not to be fixed by Pharisaical self-righteousness.

II. HOW THE SAVIOUR IS HERE DESCRIBED. "The Son of man."

1. Note here His Deity. No prophet or apostle needed to call himself by way of distinction the son of man. This would be an affectation of condescension supremely absurd. Therefore, when we hear our Lord particularly and especially calling Himself by this name, we are compelled to think of it as contrasted with His higher nature, and we see a deep condescension in His choosing to be called the Son of man, when He might have been called the Son of God.

2. In speaking of Himself as the Son of man, our Lord shows us that He has come to us in a condescending character.

3. He has, moreover, come in His mediatorial character.

4. And He has come in His representative character.

III. HOW OUR LORD'S PAST ACTION IS DESCRIBED. Not "shall come," but "is come." His coming is a fact accomplished. That part of the salvation of a sinner which is yet to be done is not at all so hard to be believed as that which the Lord has already accomplished. The state of the case since Jesus has come may be illustrated thus — Certain of our fellow-countrymen were the prisoners of the Emperor Theodore in Abyssinia, and I will suppose myself among them. As a captive, I hear that the British Parliament is stirring in the direction of an expedition for my deliverance, and I feel some kind of comfort, but I am very anxious, for I know that amidst party strifes in the House of Commons many good measures are shipwrecked. Days and months pass wearily on, but at last I hear that Sir Robert Napier has landed with a delivering army. Now my heart leaps for joy. I am shut up within the walls of Magdala, but in my dungeon I hear the sound of the British bugle, and I know that the deliverer is come. Now I am full of confidence, and am sure of liberty. If the general is already come, my rescue is certain. Mark well, then, O ye prisoners of hope, that Jesus is come.

IV. There is much of deepest comfort in THE DESCRIPTION WHICH IS HERE GIVEN OF OUR LORD'S WORK. "To seek and to save." The enterprise is one, but has two branches.

1. Jesus is come to seek the lost.

(1)Personally.

(2)In His providence.

(3)By His Word.

2. Whom Jesus seeks, He saves.

(1)By pardoning.

(2)By bestowing another nature.Conclusion: Let us who are saved seek the lost ones. Jesus did it: O follower of Jesus, do likewise.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. I lay it down as a self-evident truth, that WHATEVER WAS THE INTENTION OF CHRIST IN HIS COMING INTO THE WORLD, THAT INTENTION MOST CERTAINLY SHALL NEVER BE FRUSTRATED. In the first place, it seems to be inconsistent with the very idea of God that He should ever intend anything which should not be accomplished. But again, we have before us the fact, that hitherto all the works of God have accomplished their purpose. I might use a hundred other arguments. I might show that every attribute of Christ declares that His purpose must be accomplished. He certainly has love enough to accomplish His design of saving the lost; for He has a love that is bottomless and fathomless, even as the abyss itself. And certainly the Lord cannot fail for want of power, for where we have omnipotence there can be no deficiency of strength. Nor, again, can the design be unaccomplished because it was unwise, for God's designs cannot be unwise.

II. I have thus started the first thought that the intention of Christ's death cannot be frustrated. And now methinks every one will anxiously listen, and every ear will be attentive, and the question will arise from every heart, "WHAT THEN WAS THE INTENTION OF THE SAVIOUR'S DEATH? AND IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I CAN HAVE A PORTION IN IT?" For whom, then, did the Saviour die — and is there the slightest probability that I have some lot or portion in that great atonement which He has offered? I must now endeavour to pick out the objects of the Saviour's atonement. He came "to seek and to save that which was lost." We know that all men are lost in Adam. Again, we are all lost by practice. No sooner does the child become capable of knowing right and wrong, than you discover that he chooses the evil and abhors the good. Early passions soon break out, like weeds immediately after the shower of rain; speedily the hidden depravity of the heart makes itself manifest, and we grow up to sin, and so we become lost by practice. Then there be some who go further still. The deadly tree of sin grows taller and taller; some become lost to the Church. Now I will tell you the people whom Christ will save — they are those who are lost to themselves.

III. NOTICE THE OBJECTS OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST — He came "to seek and to save that which was lost."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

John Wesley says in his Journal: "On the 20th of December, 1778, I buried what was mortal of honest Silas Todd. For many years he attended the malefactors in Newgate without fee or reward, and I suppose no man for this hundred years has been so successful in that melancholy office. God had given him peculiar talents for it, and he had amazing success therein. The greatest part of those whom he attended died in peace, and many of them in the triumph of faith."

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