Page images


Mark X. 29.

no man, that hath left

108 They that leave all for Christ shall be great gainers.

SECT: it were, be born anew from their graves ; when man shall sit in the Cxxxvii.

throne of his glory, ye created nature shall put on its fairest forms to

also shall sit upon receive them, and the Son of man presiding over twelve thrones, judging XIX, 28. that august assembly, shall sit on the throne of the twelve tribes of his glory, exalted above the highest angels of Israel. (Mark X. 29

LUKE XVIII. 29.-) God, you also, my faithful apostles, shall sit around me upon twelve radiant thrones k, judging the twelve tribes of Israel ; concurring joyfully with me in the sentence which shall then be passed, on the Jewish nation, and on all the professed members of my church, as they have been sincere, or faithless, in their profession, and in the observance of those laws, wbich you by authority from me, their cxalted Sovereign, shall have given them.

And though some peculiar rewards are re MARK X. - 29. served for you, with regard to your apostolic [And], there is character; yet there is no man in any state or house, or brethren, or condition of life, whether in this or in any future sisters, or father, or age of the world, who hath left, or shall here- mother, or wife, or after leave, his house, or brethren, or sisters, or (LUKE, for the kingfather, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands; dom of God's sake, in one word, none who shall undergo the loss that is:]

[name's] sake, and of any temporal advantages, for the sake of the the gospel's, (MAT.

kingdom of God, that is for my name's sake xix. 29. – LUKE 30 and the gospel's; But he shall receive manifold XVIII.-29.] )

30 But he shall remore for it, in the inward satisfaction and Di- ceive [Luke, manivine consolations attending real religion, [.yea] told more, yea] even an hundred-fold, now in this present time, this [Luke, present] more than all the comfort he could naturally time, houses, and brehave found in houses, and brethren, and sisters, thren, and sisters, and and mothers, and children, and lands; such mothers, and children, shall be the delights of a good conscience, and cutions, and in the the secret manifestations of Divine acceptance

world and favour, which shall mingle themselves with all the persecutions he shall here endure!; and







wbere mentions as that in which he should k Shall sit upon treelde thrones.] Ous
sit on the throne of his glory. Mat. xxv. 31, Lord well knew that Judas would fall from
32.--Mr. Pierce (on Heb. i. 5.) tollows his office and dignity ; but as Matthias
Brennius in expounding the regeneration filled his place, and so stood intitled to the
of the time when Christ should be (as it promise, he did not think it fit to enter
were) beyotlen again by his resurrection into any particular distinction; but speaks
from the lead; but the criticism seems very to the whole body of the apostles in words
unnatural, and the objection mentioned which he knew would be accomplished
above lics against it in its full force. --The to the far greater part of those to whom
laboured argument which Dr. Thomas Bure they were addressed,
net deduces from hence, to prove the re I Shall receive-an hundred-fold now in
novation of the earth at the millennium, is this present time--with persecutions.) Dr.
very precarious; since the words will so Massey, in his Fernacula Sacra, p. 16, pro-
fairly admit of another sense, referring poses a very different version of this period,
them to the general resurrection. See Bur- viz. Though he may not receive [tay king
net's Theory, Vol. II. p. 229, 230. doen] an hundred-fold (or a sufficient re-




Reflections on the hopeful youth forsaking Christ. 109 world to come [shall when they are over, as they will quickly be, SECT: inherit) eternal life.

in the world to come he shall inherit everlasting

life, and be for ever enjoying that happiness, Mark
which God has prepared for all his children, X. 30.
especially for such heroic sculs as these, when
all earthly relations are ceased, and the world

itself is dissolved.
31 But many that But such will be the issue and event of things 31
are first shall be last;, under the gospel, that many [who are] first in
be first. (M A T. the advantages and privileges they enjoy, shall
XIX. 30.)

notwithstanding this fall short of others, and
be last in the great day of accounts; and those
who are the last, shall prove in this respect
to be the first : For some, from whom it might
be least expected, shall embrace the gospel,
and courageously endure the greatest hardships
for it; while others, with far greater advan-
tages, shall reject it, and under much stronger
engagements shall desert it.

and the



[ocr errors]

X 17.

Who can behold, without weeping eyes, and a bleeding heart, this lovely youth perishing in sin m! What could have appeared more promising, than this solicitous concern about eternal life, in a young man, rich in the possessions, and high in the honours of Mark the present world! To see him running with such eagerness to the feet of a Redeemer, kneeling down, with such humility before him, calling upon him by so honourable a title, and professing so sincere a desire of instruction, could not but lead us to conclude, Surely this man was not far from the kingdom of God; nor do we 21 wonder, that Jesus beholding him loved him. Who would not have looked on such an object with complacency! Who would not have expected, that this pleasant plant should have brought forth grapes; but behold, it brought forth wild grapes ! (Isa. v. 2.) So bave we seen, in the compass, perhaps, of our small observation and experience, many a fair blossom fall withering to the ground. So


[merged small][ocr errors]

compence) 100 in this time, houses, and m Lovely youth perishing in sin.] Dr.
brethren, und sisters, and mothers, and chil- Watts's excellent Sermon on this subject,
dren, and lands ; yet after persecution, and with this title, will, I doubt not, be
[resia dowqpov] and in the world to come, recollected by multitudes on this occasion.
he shall reccirc eternal life." But I neither There is so much beauty and pathos, so
think the authority of Thcophylact sufii- much wisdom and piety in it, that I could
cient to warrant our substituting diwymoy wish it might be attentively perused,
for èi wypewr; nor can I find any satisfactory especially by every one of my younger
example of such an ellipsis as this version readers ; for I would hope there are few
supposes in the original, if that variation capable of reading it without some serious
were allowed; to which we may add, that impressions,
the parallel passages both in Mat. and Luke
lie strongly against the version proposed. 0 2

[ocr errors]


110 Reflections on the hopeful youth forsaking Christ. SECT. have the hopes of ministers, and parents, and other religious

friends, been disappointed, with respect to many young persons, Mark adorned with a variety of amiable qualifications, yet lacking one X. 21. thing, and parting with Christ when put to the trial, after all the

regard they have shewn to his name, and all the pleasing expectations they have given of a willingness to serve him. () my Young Reader, whoever thou art, I earnestly pray, that thou

mayest not be added to that number! 19, 20 This unhappy youth imagined himself in the certain way of sal

vation, because he was free from the stains of fraud and injustice, of adultery and theft, of perjury and murder, or any other gross and infamous sin. But bebold, how awful a method Christ takes, to open to him that insincerity of heart, which he seems

himself not to have known. Observe, bow strange a command he 21 gives him, to sell all, and distribute to the poor. We cannot sav,

that the very same is directly required of us; yet by this order that was given to him, we are obliged to part with our all, when it cannot be preserved with a good conscience; and by the general rules of Christianity, and its fundamental precepts, we are in duty bound, conscientiously to use, not only a little part of our substance, but even the whole of it for God, as stewards who are another day to give up a strict account for all. And if we like not Christ and glory on these terms, our end will be no better than his. Of him we read, that after all his morality, and all his zeal, he

went away from Christ, (though sorrowful,) because he had great 22 possessions. Oh dear-bought wealth, which was the price of his soul!

Let us look upon him, and receive instruction ; let us learn to be upon our guard against this vain world, that specious harlot, who hath cast down many wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her ; (Prov. vii. 26.) How universally are riches desired, how eagerly are they pursued, by persons in all stations and of all professions of life! Yet what do they generally prove

but shining mischief and gilded ruin! If we believe the incarnate 23--25 wisdom of God, they make our salvation exceeding hazardous.

Yet who does not wish for them? Who does not think that he has wisdom and grace enough to stand the danger? But God knows otherwise, and therefore he keeps, or makes, so many of his children poor.--Let them be contented with their safer state; and

let those who are rich be importunate with God for those influences 27 of his grace which can effect those things that are impossible with mien.

On the whole, let us not think much of any thing which Christ demands, knowing that whatever we may lose, or whatever we 29 may resign, we shall gain far more by bis favour. The testimony



The parable of the labourers in the vineyard.

111 of a good conscience before him, a life of friendship with God, the sect. consolations of his Spirit, and the hopes of his glory, will yield, even for the present, an hundred-fold more satisfaction than the Ver. possessions of the greatest riches, or the enjoyment of the most 30 tender and beloved relatives. How much more abundantly then will all be repaid in the heurenly state! And, if we cannot trust the promise of our Lord for it, we are no more real Christians than if we were publicly to worship mammon, or Plutus, with all the idolatrous rites of the ancient heathens.




Christ, by the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, warns the

Jeż's against envying the Gentiles those equal privileges to which they should be called in the Messiah's kingdom. Mat. XX. 1--16. MAT, XX. 1.

MAT. XX. I. FOR the kingdom of

heaven is like anto IN order to illustrate the obtinuation which our existi a man that is an house

making, “ Cxxxvii, holder, which went out who were first should be last, and


last early in the morning should be first,” he added the following para- xx. 1. to hire labourers into his vineyard.

ble, and said, This will be found to be the case
in many instances; for the kingdom of heaven,
or the gospel-dispensation, is like, or may be
fitly represented by the similitude of a man a
that was the master of a family, who went out

early in the morning to hire labourers for his
2 And when he had zineyard, at the time when the vintage ras to
agreed with the labour-
ers for a penny a dar,

be gathered in. And having agreed with the 2 he sent them into his labourers for the usual price of a denarius, or vineyard.

Roman penny, a duy', he sent them into his vine3 And he went out about the third hour, yard, to be employed there in his service. And going out again about the third hours, 3



a Is like, or may be fi:ly represented of provisions, when a measure or donir of by the similitude of a man.] See note i wohent, which was the usual allowance to on Luke vii. 22, Vol. VI. p. 307.-Those one man for a day, and was about an who are acquaited with the eastern man- English quart, was sold at that price. ners know that this parabic is exactly suited c About the third hour.] Dr. binitby in to them in a variety of circumstances, his Paraphrase explains the first call in the which many learned commentators have morning, of the earliest days of Christ's observed, but which it does not seem ne preaching; that of the third hour, as reCessary to enumerate here. See Petav. ferring to the mission of the apostles when Dogmal. Theolog. Vol. 1. p. 305, & seq. they were first sent forth to preach among

b A denarius, a Roman penny, a day.] the Jews; those of the sixth and ninth It seems from hence that this (which was bours, of their preaching the gospel, after in value about seven-pence halfpenny of the descent of the Holy Ghost, to the Jews our money) was the usual price of a day's in Judea, and then to the dispersed in other Service among the Jews; as Tacitus tells parts; and that of the elevenih hour, of the us it was among the Romans. (Annal. calling of the Gentiles : but this seems an 1. 17.) It is therefore 'justly mentioned, excessive nicety of distinction.—The Jens Rev. vi. 6. as a proof of the great scarcity were ready to look upon themselves with


сxxxviii. .

idle in the market




The labourers are hired at different hours. SECT. (or at nine in the morning) he saw others stand- and saw others standing ing unemployed in the market, where it was cus

place, tomary for servants to stand, in order to their XX. 4. being hired. And he said to them, Go ye also 4 And said unto into the vineyard, and whatsoever is the reasonable them, Go ye also in.

to the vineyard, and value of your labour", I will be sure to give you. whatsoever is right, And they went away to their work without any I will give you. more particular agreement.

they went their way. 5 And again going out about the sixth and ninth 5 Again he went hour (or at noon, and at three in the afternoon) and ninth hour, and

out about the sixth he did the same, and sent others to work on the did likewise. same general promise of giving them as much

as they could reasonably expect. 6 And once more about the eleventh hour, (or 6 And about the

eleventh hour he went at five in the afternoon) going out of liis house,

out, and found others he returned to the market, and found other's standing idle, and saith standing unemployed : and he says to them, Why unto them, Why stand do ye stand here and do nothing Do you choose ye here all the day

thus to trifle away your time, and continue the 7 whole day unemployed ?

They say unto him, 7 They say No; but we continue here, because no one has him, Because no man hired us to any kind of labour. Then he says to saith unto them, Go them, Go ye also into the vineyard, where you ye also into the vinemay be employed, and whatsoever is fit and yard, and whatsoever reasonable to be given for your labour, you receive.

is right, that shall ye shall receive. 8 Now when evening was come (or at six 8 So when even was

o'clock), the time when workinen were paid off, come, the lord of the and sent home, the lord of the vineyard says to his steward, Call the lasteward, Call the labourers who have been work. bourers, and give them ing in the vineyard, and pay them their wages, from the last unto the

their bire, beginning beginning from those who were the last hired, first.

and so going on even to the first. 9 And having thus been ordered to present them 9 And when they selves, when they accordingly came foremost who came that were hired,

thic eleventh {were hired] about the eleventh hour, and so had hour, they received entered last into the vineyard, they each of them every man a penny. received no less than a penny, the master having directed they should be thus generously rewarded.



hath hired



complacency, as a people who had for Gentiles, many of whom met with much
many ages adhered to the worship of the the same treatment on their embracing
true God, and in some peri'ds had endured Christianity. Sce 1 Thess. ii. 14.
great extremities out of a regard to it; and d Whatsoever is reasonable.) So I think
it seems natural to intrpret what is said, the word diyarov may be rendered, Phil.
(ver. 12.) of bearing the burden and heat of i. 7. Col. iv. 1. and 2 Pet. i. 13. and that
the day, with a reference to this, rather it signifies not only what a person may
than to any peculiar hardship which the legally claim, but what he might equita-
earlier converts among the Jews might bly expect from a person of honour and
bave endured more than the believing humanity.


« PreviousContinue »