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The parable of the lost piece of mony.
33 mured, saying, This others, who had lain under the most aggravated SECT.
cxxii. and eateth with them. guilt. But the proud Pharisees and scribes, who, were present, murmured when they saw such a
Luke crowd around him, and said, This man, while he XV. 2. sets up for a religious Teacher, upaccountably gives access to the most profligate sinners, and sometimes eats with them, and makes no scruple to accept of invitations to their houses. (Com
pare Mark ii. 16. Vol. VI. p. 372.) 3 And he spake this But [Jesus) for the encouragement of these 3 parable unto them,
poor penitents, as well as to rebuke the censorisaying,
ous and uncharitable Pharisees, spake to them 4. What man of you this parable, and said, Il hat man is there of you 4 hasing hundred that has a flock of an hundred sheep, wbo will sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave not, upon loosing one of them, immediately leave the ninety and nine in the ninety nine that were feeding together in the af et that which is lost, pastures of the desert, b, and go from place to until he find it?
place in search after that which was lost, till he 5 And when he find it? And having at length found it, he lays 5 hath found 1, he lay it on his shoulders, greatly rejoicing, as a man in ethit in nis shouiders,
such a circumstance naturally would : (coinpare rejoicing :
Mat. xvii. 12, 13, sect. xciv. Vol VI. p. 494.) 6. And when he com. And when he cometh home, he calls together his 6 eth home, be calleth friends and neighbours, and says unto them with nichbours,saving unto the greatest pleasure, My frien.s, you may now them, Rejoice with rejoice with me ; for my labour and search bave me, for I have found not been in vain, but I have found my sheep my sheep wbich was
which was lost. And as he thus is more delight7 ! say unto you, ed with the recovery of the sheep which he had that likewise joy shall lost, than with the safety of the rest, which had 7 one sinner that repent
not wandered ; so, I say unto you, that greater eth, more than over and more sensible joy will be in heaven, among ninety aad nine just the blessed and benevolent spirits that dwell persons which need no
there ', over one penitent sinner, than over ninerepentance.
ty-nine righteous persons who do not need such
b In the pastures of the desert.] Uncul- asserting a thing merely because the Jews tirated ground, used merely as common of used thus to represent and conceive of pasture, was called wilderness, or desert, it.-We may rather conclude from ver. by the Jews, in distinction from arabte, 10, that, at least in some extraordinary or inclo ed land. Compare Josh. xv. 61. cases, the angels are, either by immediate 1 Kings ii. 31. 2 Kings ii. 8. Mat. ii. 1. revelation, or otherwise, informed of the and Mark vi, 31. (Compare also note c, conversion of sinners, which must to those on Mat. xviii. 12. sect. xciv.)
benevolent spirits be an occasion of joy ; ç Greater joy will be in heaven, &c.] por could any thing have been suggested Alluding, says Mons. L'Enfant (a little more proper, to encourage the bumble ton cold'y,) to the style of the Jews, with penitent, to expose the repining Pharisee, whom it was u-ual to represent the angel's or to animate all to zeal in so good a treeping, for the corruption of men, and work, as endeavouring to promote the rejoicing at their conversion. But it seems repentance of others. very unwarrantable to suppose Christ thus d Than over ninety-nine righteous per
9 And when she bath
34 Reflections on the joy in heaven over a penitent sinner.
8 Either what wo. Or, to illustrate the matter by another obvious cxxii. . similitude, that it may yet more powerfully of silver, if she lose
man having ten pieces Luke
strike your minds, What poor woman having ten one piece, doth not XV. 8. pieces of silver money, though they were each light a candie, and of them but the value of a drachma, if she lose sweep the house, and
seek diligentiy till she one of them out of her little stock, will not pre- find it ? sently light a lamp, and take the pains to sweep
out the house, and search carefully in all the cor9 ners till she find it? And when she has found it,
found it, she she joyfully calls her female friends and neigh, calleth her friends, and bours together, to acquaint then with her good her neighbours togesuccess ; and concluding it will be agreeable ther, saying, Rejoice news to them, she says, Rejoice with me, my found the piece whicla
friends for I have found the piece of money which I had lost. 101 had lost. And, so I say unto you, that there is 10 Likewise I say in like manner a peculiar joy in heaven, among
unto you, There is joy the angels of God over one repenting sinner. angels of Gud over one
in the prisence of the Do not therefore wonder if I labour to promote sioner that repenteth. their joy on this account, and condescend to familiar converse with those, whom you proudly despise as unworthy your regard.
Ver.1. How graceful and lovely does our Lord appear, while thus
opening his compassionate arms and heart, to these wretched out-casts, for whose souls no man cared! Who can choose but rejoice at this jubilee, which he proclaimed among them, and at the cheerful attention which they gaveto these glad tidings of great joy ? May we, who are his followers, never despise the meanest or the worst of men, when they seem disposed to receive religious
sons, &c.] It cannot be our Lord's mean- version of the most abandoned sinners,
“ As a fa e She calls her female friends [Tas 0.725]
The parable of the prodigal son,
35 instruction ; but rather exert ourselves with a distinguished zeal, SECT: as knowing that the joy of the heavenly world in their recovery will be in some measure proportionable to the extremity of their Ver. former danger.
10 Let us often recollect the charity and goodness of those per: 7 fected spirits, who look down from their own glory with compassion on mortals wandering in the paths of the destroyer, and who sing antheins of thankfulness and joy, when by Divine grace they are reclaimed from them. Let every sinner be touched with a generous desire, that he who has been in so many instances the offence and burden of the earth, may become the joy of heaven by his sincere conversion. And let the solicitude with which the little pos- 4,6 sessions of this world are sought, when they are lost by any acci- 8, 9 dent, engage us more earnestly to seek what is infinitely more valuable, our own salvation, and that of the immortal souls of others. May we in our different stations labour successfully for their recovery ; that we may another day share in that higher joy, which angels and glorified suints shall express, when they see them not only rednced to the paths of virtue and happiness, but fixed in abodes of eternal glory! .
Our Lord farther pursues the design of the preceding parables, by
delivering that of the prodigal son. Luke XV. 11, to the end,
Luke XV. 11.
LUKE XV.11. AND he said, A certain man had WITH
ITH the same design of vindicating him- sect. two sons :
self in conversing with publicans and sinners, of reproving the envy of the Pharisees, and
Luke of encouraging every sincere penitent by moving xv. 11, representations of the Divine mercy, our Lord went on to utter another most beautiful and affecting parable. And he said, while this various multitude was standing round him, There was a certain man in plentiful circumstances, and of a
very condescending temper, who had two sons 12 And the younger that were now grown up to manhood. And 12 of them said to his fa
the ther, Father, give me
younger of them, fondly conceited of his own the portion of goods capacity to manage his affairs, and weary of the that falleth to me. And restraints of bis father's house, suid one day to be divided unto them his indulgent parent, Father, as I am now come his living.
to years of discretion, I desire thou wouldst give
individious distinction in distributing his effects,
Luke XV, 13.
36 Having spent all his substance, he is reduced to want
them his chief stock of money, reserving the
13 And not many
days after, the younger made, the younger son gathering all bis treasure
son gathered all toge. together, and pretending a design of trafficing ther, and took his jourwith it, took a journey into a very distant country; ney into a far country, and there forgetting his relations at home, and and there wasted his
substance with riotous living with a knot of companions like himself, living. in a very riotous, debauched, and extravagant manner, he quickly squardered away the whole
of his substance.
course, it so happened, through the righteous spent all, there arose
and joined himself to
a citizen of that counnions of his luxury, and shared in the spoils of
try; and he sent him his substance, yet unable to brook the mortifica- into his fields w leed tion of returning home in such circumstances, swine. he went and joined himself as a servant to a citizen of that place ; reho, thinking such a worthless creature unfit for any better post, sent him away into his grounds belonging to an estate in the country, where he employed him to feed swine; to which, however mean and disagreeable the employment was", this unbappy youth, who
had once lived in so much plenty and splendor, 16 was forced to submit: And even then, through 16 And he would
the unkindness of his master, and the extremity fain, bare filled his of the season, he was kept so poorly that he had that the swine did eat: not bread; but would gladly have filled his hungry and no man gave unbelly with the sorriest husks d which the swine did to him.
a Divided his living between them both.) the figure which Eumeus makes in the It is plain, no significant sense can be put Odyssey : but this was an age of greater on this circumstance of the parable, as re refinement; the unhappy youth was obligferring to the dispensations of God to his ed to tend the suine himself; and if he creatures. It is one of those many orna be considered as a Jew, the aversion of mental circumstances, which it would be that nation for this unclean animal must weakness over-rigorously to accommodate render the employment peculiarly odious to the general design.
to him; and probably this circumstance b Who-sent him into his grounds. ] That was chosen by our Lord to represent him Hill, in such a construction, should be ren as reduced to the most vile and servile state dered in this manner, the accurate Elsner that could be imagined. has shewn by a variety of convincing in d With the sorriest husks.] A late transe stances. (Obseru. Vol. I. p. 248.)
lation (after Brown, Sauhert, Grotius, and c However mean and disagreeable the many others) renders repeelwy carraways, or employment was.] It is true, that among the fruit of the carub-free, which bore a the ancient Greeks, the chief swineherd mean, though sweetish kind of fruit, in was looked upon as an officer of no incon- long crooked pods; which by some is called siderable rank; as evidently appears from St. John's bread; but if the account which
Awakened at last to a sense of his folly, he returns home. 37
eat : and vet there was no man that would take sect.
foolish and scandalous prodigal.
sual pleasure, that he said in his own mind, Alas,
thought worth my food by this unkind master
all my little remaining strength can carry ine
thy goodness, and grieving thee by my unna19 And am no more tural rebellion ; And in consequence of this I 19 worthy to be called thy
am no more worthy to be called thy son, nor can
family on such terms again; nevertheless, do not
I may but live in thy sight. 20 And he arose, And accordingly he arose at that very instant, 20 and came to his fa- and set forward on his long journey, passing through all the stages of it with a firm resolution,
Saubert himself gives of it be true, svine and it shewed also that his heart was
e Sinned against the great God of hen- such servants fared worse than slaves ; but