Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.…
These remarks may be sufficient to illustrate the general principle. We will now attend to its operations.
1. If we love our country, we shall be affected with her dangers and calamities. "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem," says the Psalmist; "let my right hand forget her cunning."
2. This principle will restrain us from injuring, and prompt us to serve our country. "Love works no ill." "By love we serve one another."
3. A lover of his country has an affection for the Church of God, and a concern to promote its credit and interest.
4. Love to our country will express itself in prayers for her prosperity. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," says the Psalmist, " they prosper that love thee." I have illustrated the nature and operations of love to our country.I now ask your attention to some reflections which result from the subject.
1. True patriotism is a nobler attainment than some seem to imagine. It includes compassion for the unhappy, hatred of sin, love of virtue, disinterestedness, self-denial, industry, prudence, piety and devotion; yea, everything that is excellent and amiable.
2. There is a great difference between talking warmly in our country's favour, and really loving it. A man may say much in the praise of his country, its constitution, trade, soil, and climate, and give it the preference to all other countries; he may plead for its rights with great earnestness, and do much to support its credit and respectability; and yet not be a real lover of it not have any pure benevolence, any piety to God, or regard to virtue; but be influenced wholly by ambition and avarice.
3. It appears from our subject, that a people who enjoy, who profess to believe, Divine revelation, ought to make some stated provision for maintaining and preserving the social worship of the Deity. This is a plain dictate of reason, as well as Scripture.
4. If we ought to regard the interest of our country at large, we ought, for the same reasons, to consult the peace and happiness of the smaller societies of which we are members.
5. We see how careful we should be, that no selfish or unworthy motive influence our social or religious conduct.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.