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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
deep repentance d, or such an universal change
of mind and character.

lost.

be in

heaven over

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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

sons,

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SECT.

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.

IMPROVEMENT,

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

instruction ;

be repre

sons, &c.] It cannot be our Lord's mean- version of the most abandoned sinners,
ing here, that God esteems one penitent and the great Fother of all so readily forgives
sinner more than ninety-nine confirmed and and receives them, that he may
established saints (who are, undoubtediy, sented as having part in the joy.".
the persons spoken of as needing no repen- Thongh, by the way, when human passions
tance, or no universal change of heart are ascribed to God, it is certain they
and life, in which sense the word :20.youce are to be taken in a figurative sense, en.
is commonly used ;) for it would be in- tirelv exclusive of those sensations which
consistent with the Divine wisdom, good result from the commotions of animal
ness, and holiness, to suppose this. But nature in ourselves.
it is plainly as if he had said,

“ As a fa e She calls her female friends [Tas 0.725]
ther peculiarly rejoices when an extrava and neighbours together.] It might seem
gant child is reduced to a sense of his duty, hardly worth while to ask the congratula-
and one whom he had considered as utter tion of her friends on so small an occasion
ly ruined by his follies, and perhaps as as finding a drachma, (for that is the piece
dead, returns with remorse and submis- of coin here mentioned, in value not above
șion ; or as any other person who has re- nine-pence;) but is represented as the tenth
covered what he had given up for gone, part of her little stock, and the impressible
has a more sensible satisfaction in it than and social temper of the ser may be per-
in several other things equally valuable, haps thought of as adding some propriety
but not in such danger : so do the holy to the represeutatiou.
inhabitants of heaven rejoice in the con-

cxxii.

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! .

SECT. CXXIII.

Our Lord farther pursues the design of the preceding parables, by

delivering that of the prodigal son. Luke XV. 11, to the end,

сxxiii.

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
me into inine own hands that portion of goods,
which ,according to an equitable distribution,falls
to my share. And he, unwilling to make any

individious distinction in distributing his effects,
VOL, VII.

divided

Luke XV, 13.

36 Having spent all his substance, he is reduced to want
SECT. divided his living between them both ?, and gave
cxxiii.

them his chief stock of money, reserving the
house and estate in bis own hands.
And not many days after this division was

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.
14 And when he had consumed all in this wretched 14 And when he had

course, it so happened, through the righteous spent all, there arose
judgment of God upon him, that there was an that land; and he be-
extreme famine in that country where he sojourn- gan to be in want.
ed; and he soon began to be in want of the

very
15 necessaries of life. And, finding no shelter or 15 And he went
relief among those who had been the compa-

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.

eat :

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

Saubers

cxxiii.

Luke

Awakened at last to a sense of his folly, he returns home. 37

eat : and vet there was no man that would take sect.
so much pity upon him as to give unto him one
morsel of food ; so sparing did the famine make
them, and so much did every one despise this XV. 16.

foolish and scandalous prodigal.
17 And when he And now the infamy and distress of his present 17
came to himself, he situation began to lead him into serious conside-
servants of my father's ration; and coming to himself, he so far recover-
have bread enough and ed his reason, which had before been dethroned
to spare, and I perish and extinguished by the mad intoxication of sen-

sual pleasure, that he said in his own mind, Alas,
how many hired servants in the family of my
good father have bread enough and to spare, while
I his child, who have known so many better
days, am even perishing with famine, and am not

thought worth my food by this unkind master
18 I will arise, and to whom I have hired myself! Whatever be 18
go to my father, and the consequence of it, I am resolved that I will
Father, I have sin nei sit no longer in this miserable condition ; but I
against heaven, and will immediately arise, and go to my father, if
before thee,

all my little remaining strength can carry ine
such a journey; and, without vainly attempting
an apology, I will say to him, O my dear injured
father, I hunbly confess that I have sinned against
the great God of heavene by a long course of
vice and wickedness, and have been guilty also
of the vilest behaviour before thee, in abusing

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
son: make me as one
of thy hired servants. I expect the favour of being admitted into thy

family on such terms again; nevertheless, do not
suffer me to perish, but rather make me as one
of thine hired servantsf, and I will be contented
for the future to labour and to fare as they do,

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,

Providence

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ther.

Saubert himself gives of it be true, svine and it shewed also that his heart was
would hardly have been fed with any thing touched with a sense, not only of the fol-
but the husky part of this, in a time of ex- ly but the guilt of his conduct, and that
treme fainine. I therefore choose to retain the fear of God began to take hold of
our version; but take it, on the whole, to him.
have been the fruit of a tree something of f Make me as one of thine hired ser-
a wild chesnut kind. See Drusius in loc. vants.] He mentions this, not because

e Sinned against the great God of hen- such servants fared worse than slaves ; but
ven] This was, as Dr. Goodman observes because he was himself an hired srcant,
( Parable of the Prodigal, p. 207), an ac and therefore naturally compared bis own
knowledgment that his father's yoke had condition with those of that rank in his
been so easy, that his throwing it offiad father's family,
been an act of rebellion against God:

8 The

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