« PreviousContinue »
The first murmur that the last receive as much as they. 113 10 But when the first
And upon seeing this, when those who were sect, came, they supposed the first, and had been working all the day,
CXxxviii. that they should have received more : and came to be paid, they reckoned with themselves
Mat. they likewise received that they should have received considerably more; XX, 10. every inan a penny. but they were also paid the same, and only re11 And when they ceived every one a penny.
And when they had 11 had received it, they received [it], instead of being satisfied with what god man of the house, was promised them, they murmured against the
master of the house e who had set them to work, 12 Saying, These And said, Truly these last have laboured but 1 2 one hour, and thou hast one hour, and thou hast made them equal in the made them equal unto recompence they have received to us, who have us, which have borne borne ihe whole burden, and gone through all the burden and heat of the toil and heat of the day from morning to the day.
night. 13 But he answered But he calmly answered and said to one of them, 13 one of them, and said, who spoke in the name of the rest, friend, it is wrong: didst not thou most apparent that I do not in any degree injure agree with me for a thee, or any of thy companions: didst not thou
agree with me to labour all the day for a penny, 14 Take that thine and hast thou not received it? Take what is 14 is, and go thy way: justly thine, and be gone, without pretending to I will give unto this dictate to me in an affair wherein thou hast no last, eveu as unto thee.
manner of concern ; for I will do as I see fit,
and give to this last man, who came in but an 15 Is it not lawful hour ago, even as I do to thee f. And indeed 15 for me to do what ! what colour bast thou for a complaint? Is it will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, be not lawful for me to do what I will with what cause I am good? is undoubtedly mine own property? What if
I pleased to give it to one who had done nothing
e They murmured against the master of what is here suggested, so many scriptures the house ] That this was the case of the declare expressly that God at the great Jews, upon a general notion of the Gen- day will rendler to every one according to his tiles being, according to the Christian corks, and intimate that there shall be an scheme, intended to be partakers with exact correspondence between every man's them in the same church-privileges, is character and the reward which (through plain from a variety of scriptures. See the riches of Divine gracc) shall then be Arts xi. 2, 3. xii. 45--50. xvii. 5, 13. bestowed, that it would be very uvieasonxviii. 6, 13. xxii. 21, 22. xxviii. 29. Rom. able, from such a circumstance as this in xi. 28. and 1 Thess. ii. 16.
the parable, to infer the contrary. But if f I will give to this last even as to thee.] any should maintain that all the favours Since no murmurings can happen among of Divine Providence and grace must now the blessed, this must refer to the unbelieva be dispensed only in proportion to the ing Jews; hut as it is certain they will have wisdom and goodness of the person conno place in the kingdom of heaven, we cerned, I apprehend they would argue plainly sec that it would be very absurd to directly contrary to the wbole design of pretend to draw doctrinal consequenres this purable, and to what daily appears to from every incidental circumstance of a be fict, which therefore cannot give way parable.
to any hypothesis. g And indeed is it not larful for me to h Is thine eye evil?] Here is an evia do what I will with mine oun] That the dent reference to that malignant aspect particles 7 may thus be rendered, and in which is generally the attendant of a selfish deed, has been oliserved before, note', on and envious lemer. Mat. vii. 9. Vol. VI. p. 233.-And as to
16 So the last shall
114 Reflections on our duty to improve our privileges.
SECT. on with an envious and malignant countenance, cxxxviii
. because I am so good, that out of compassion to
these poor men I freely give them what they XX. 15. could not justly have claimed ? 16
And thus said Jesus at the conclusion of this parable, You see (as I have just been telling you, last : for many be cal
be first, and the first Mat. xix. 30.) there are some who seemed to be led, but few chosen. the last in privileges and advantages, who shall be first in the reward and happiness that shall be given to them; and, on the other hand, there are many in those respects the first, who shall be last. And this is a remark peculiarly applicable to the Jewish nation', who will murmur at the calling of the Gentiles to equal dignities and privileges with theinselves, and on that account will reject the gospel, and persecute you the preachers of it: for though many are called, and the messages of salvation are sent to vast multitudes, even to all the thousands of Israel, yet there are but few chosenk: a small remnant only will embrace the gospel so universally offered, and so be saved according to the election of grace, (Rom. xi. 5.) while the rest will be justly disowned by God, as a punishment for so obstinate and so envious a temper.
Ver. May we by Divine grace appear in the happy number of those 16 who are not only called, but chosen too! If we are first in privi
leges and opportunities, let us be careful that our improvement be proportionable; otherwise we shall be last, and see ourselves another day exceeded, and perhaps condemned, by those who stood in a rank much below us.
We are called to a course of holy labour, even to work in our Lord's vineyard, or in every station, whether public or private,
i Peculiarly applicable to the Jewish Acts ix. 13, 15. Rom. xi. 5, 6. and 1 John nation.] The remark itself is far more iv. 19.--To understand the expression here extensive, as I intimate both in the parn- of chosen and excellent servants (as Mr. pohruse and improvement.
Le Clerc, Dr. Wall, and many others do) a memorable instance of it, so it is plainly is quite to contradict the design of the what Christ had immediately in his view. parable. On that supposition the master
k Mand are called, but fere chosen.] Gro. must have said, “ These lait hare done tius has a very learned and ingenious note as much in one hour as you in many; or on this tert; but no genius or learning can I chose them, because I knew they were be sufficient to prove what he seems to men remarkable for their diligence."-intend, that persons are called the chosen of This is the turn which the Talmudists God, merely with respect to the Divine have given to the parable in their insipid com.placency in thein on account of some imitation of it, which may be seen in Ds, distinguished virtue and excellence. Com- Lightfoot, llor. Heb. on Mat. xx. 1, pare Deut. vii, 6-8. ix. 6. John xv. 16.
•}'hile Jesus was beyond Jordan, Lazarus is sick. 115 to do our utmost to promote the glory of God and the happiness sect:
cxxxviii, of mankind. Let us not, with so many calls and so many vantages, stand all the day idle ; but let us be active and patient, 6 and cheerfully willing to bear all the burden and heat of the day in 12 so good a cause; knowing that cre long the evening will come, 8 and that he who employs us saith, Behod, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man aciurding as his work shull be. (Rev. xxii, 12.)
Let such as have long neglected the great business of life be encouraged with this thought, that some were called at the ele-6 senth hour : but let none presume on their having such a call nor strain the parable so far as to imagine that an equal reward awaits all, without any regard to their characters or improvements; which is most contrary to the reason of things, to the word of God, and to the great intent of that day which is to render to every man according to his deeds. (Rom. ii. 6.)
The Gentiles are indeed now called to equal privileges with 9 the Jews, to which this circumstance of the parable refers : and we all see how odious a temper it was in that favourite nation to be offended with the gospel on that account, which should rather 11, 12 have recommended it to their more jovful acceptance. Let us be careful to avoid every degree of envy, whoever may be put on a level with us, or preferred to us. Let us acknowledge the so. 15 vereign right of God to do what he will with his own, and let not our eye be evil, because he is good. To prevent this, let us labour after that unfeigned love to the brethren wbich never will allow us to repine at their advancement to the greatest privileges, but will engage us to behold the favours that are shewn them with delight and satisfaction, and to rejoice in their honour and happi.
So shall we exchange the basest and most un, easy passion of human nature for that which is of all others the noblest and the most delightful.
ness as our own.
Our Lord, heuring of the sickness of his friend Lazarus, and aften.
wards knowing that he was ileud, determines to go from the country beyond Jordan to Judea, though against the persuasion of his disciples. John XI. 1-16.
JOHN XI. 1. NOW a certain man
while Jesus was on the other side Jor- SECT. was sick, named Lazarus of Bethany,
dan, whither he bad retired when he left cxxxix. the Jerusalem (John x. 40, sect. cxxxiv.), there was
one XI. I. P
brother Lazarus was
The Sisters send to inform Jesus of it.' one Lazarus of Bethany, which was also the town the town of Mary and
of Mary, and Martha her sister, who was sick of her sister Marthu. John a very dangerous distemper. And, by the way, 2 (It was that MaXI. 2. it is to be observed, that it was [that] Mary who ry which anointed the
afterwards at a public entertainment, in testi- and wiped his feet mony of her high regard and veneration for with her hair, whore him, anointed the Lord with a most precious
sick.) ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, 3 whose brother Lazarus màs sick. The sisters 3 Therefore his sistherefore, full of concern for their diseased bro
saying, Lord, behoid,
4 When Jesus heard
5 Now Jesus loved tha, and her sister Mary, and this their brother Martha, and her sisLazarus, with a peculiar affection, and had of- ter, and Lazarus. ten visited them, and lodged at their house; and, in consequence of this, he was determined to
1 It was that Mary who anointed the Christ in Luke, which appears rather to be Lord with ointment.) Some commentators there described as the action of a woman of have supposed that this refers to the story Naim, where Christ restored the wido:o's related by Luke, chap. vii. 37, & seq. son to lise (Luke vii. 37). Compare note b (sect. Ix. and have argued from thence on Luke viii. 2, Vol. VI. p.319.-Besides, that Mary Magdalene, whom they think to the stories are related with such different be the person there described as a woman circumstances, that it is strange they should that was a sinner, was the same with this be taken for the same fact; and as Luke Mary the sister of Lnzarus. But it seems no where tells us that the person he speaks much more probable that John bimself of was named Mary, so neither have we should mention the fact that he has here any reason to suppose that the same person referred to; which, if he has done to all, it should anoint him twice. must be that which he relates, Jobu xii. 3, o This sickness is not to death, &c.] Com& seg. (sect, cxiv.) where there can be no pare Mat. ix. 24, and Mark v. 39, Vol. VI. doubt but that the person who perform - p. 381.–Our Lord afterwards so fully exed this instance of respect to Christ was plains what he meant by this ambiguous Mary the sister of Lazarus, who was of speech, that nothing reasonable can be ob. Bethany near Jerusalem, and therefore jected to it: but it is a remarkable instance must be differe:nt from Mary Magdalene, of the candour and fidelity of the evangelists who was of Magdala, a town of Galilee at here, and in the fore-cited places, so exa considerable distance. Nor is there any actly to record the cery words of Jesus, ground from scrip!ure to conclude that Mary though malice might so easily cavil at Magdalene was the person who anointed them.
He tells his disciples that Lasarus is asleep.
117 order the affair in such a manner as he knew sIct. would be most for their final advantage, though cxxxix. it might for a while be an occasion of
John affliction. 6 When he had
When therefore he had heard that he was sick, 6 heard therefore that he he then, without declaring he had any thought days still in the same of going to him, abode yet two days longer on place where he was. the other side Jordan, in the same place where
7. Then after that, he was before. And then after that, that is, 7 saith lie to his disci. ples, Let us go into on the third day, he says to his disciples, Let us Judea again.
now go back again to Judcao. 8 His disciples say The disciples say unto him, Rabbi, it is but just 8 unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to now that the Jews sought to stone thee (John x. stone thee: and goest 31, sect. cxxxiv.) and dost thou intend so soon thou thither again ? to go thither again, as if it were to tempt the
danger from wbich thou hast so lately with such
difficulty escaped ? 9 Jesus answcred, Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in 9 Are there not twelve the day? Now if any man take the advantage of any man walk in the them, and walk in the day, he is prepared for all day, be stumbicth not, events, and does not stumble at any obstacle which because he seeth the light of this world.
lie in his way ; because the sun is then above may
the horizon, and he sees the light of this world.
In like manner I am desirous, as I lately told
tection and favour.
Lazarus is fallen asleep; but I am going to him,
C After that he says to his disciples, &c.] Jerusalem now; and if he did, it seems that From comparing Mat. xx. 17; Mark X. those events happened in his very last jour32; and Luke xviii. 31, (sect. cxlii.), ma- ney thither, and consequently should not be ny critics inser, that what is recorded there introduced here ; especially as they break and in the following verses happened during the thread of the story, out of regard to the interval of Christ's delay to go to Be- which, I think, some small transpositions thany, after he heard that Lazarus, was may well be allowed in other places sicki but I do not find that Christ went to though none be needful here.