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of the punishment which they had thereby incurred, and which was about to be inflicted. Nor would this transaction, on that account, be less adapted to become the means of conveying a general moral lesson, to caution even those who though not placed under the same kind of dispensation, might yet be guilty of the same offence; which if it was likely to excite the anger of God formerly, was likely to do so still ; if it was calculated to provoke the effects of his anger then, must have the same tendency now. The only difference in the circumstances of the two cases would be this; that the interposition of the Deity which might have been open, direct, and avowed before, would be more concealed and indirect now; yet might be just as much penal in its design and effect, as before.
PARABLES THIRTEENTH AND FOUR
THE SERVANTS LEFT IN WAITING FOR THEIR LORD.
THE SERVANT LEFT INSTEAD OF HIS LORD.
LUKE XII. 22—48. HARMONY, P. IV. 32.
LUKE xii. 22—48. 22 And he said unto his disciples,
“ For this reason I say to “you, Take no thought for your soul, what ye may eat; nor “ for your body, what ye may put on you. 23 The soul is more “ than its subsistence, and the body than its clothing. 24 Con“sider the ravens, that they sow not, neither do they reap: for “ whom there is not storeroom, nor barn : yet God feedeth “them. How much are ye rather better than the fowls! 25 And “which of you, taking of thought, is able to add one cubit to “ his stature? 26 If then ye are not able to do even that which “is least, why do ye take thought about the things besides ? “ 27 Consider the lilies how they grow : they toil not, nor do
they spin ; and I say unto you, not even Solomon in all his
glory clad himself as one of these. 28 But if God arrayeth " in such wise the grass which to-day is in the field, and tomorrow is cast into an oven; how much rather
of “ little trust! 29 And do not ye seek what ye may eat or what
ye may drink : and be not of wavering mind. 30 For all “ these things do the nations of the world seek after : but your ~ Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 Only “ seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be " added unto you.
“ 32 Fear not, my little Aock : for your Father hath been “ well-pleased to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your pos
“sessions, and give them as alms ; make unto yourselves purses “ which grow not old, a treasure in heaven, that is not to be
forsaken, where thief approacheth not, neither doth moth destroy : 34 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be
« 35 Let your loins be girded round about, and your lamps burning, 36 and yourselves like unto men who are waiting for “ their lord, when he shall come back from the wedding feast; " that when he is come and hath knocked, immediately they
may open unto him. 37 Blessed shall be those servants, whom “ their lord, being come, shall find waking. Verily I say unto
you, He will gird himself about, and make them sit down to
meat, and will come forward and minister unto them. 38 And “ should he come in the second watch, and should he come in “ the third watch, and find it thus, blessed are those servants. “ 39 And this ye know, that if the master of the house were
ware at which hour the thief is coming, he would have “ kept awake, and not have left his house to be dug through “ (to be broken into). 40 Therefore, do ye also become pre“pared; for at what hour ye are not thinking so the Son of “ man is coming."
41 And Peter said unto him, “Lord, speakest thou this pa“ rable with reference to us, or even with reference to all ?" 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise “ steward, whom his lord shall appoint over his servants, to give “ the allowance of provision in due season ? 43 Blessed shall be “ that servant, whom his lord, being come, shall find so doing. “ 44 Of a truth I say unto you, he will appoint him over all his
possessions. 45 But if that servant should say in his heart, My lord is long in coming; and should begin to beat the
men-servants and the maid-servants, and to eat and to drink “ and to become drunken ; 46 the lord of that servant shall “ come in a day which he expecteth not, and at an hour which “ he knoweth not, and shall cut him off, and set his portion among the unfaithful.
“ 47 Now that servant, who knew the will of his own lord, “ and made no preparation, neither did according to his will, “shall be beaten with many stripes : 48 but he who did not "know it, yet did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with “ few stripes. And unto whomsoever much hath been given, “much shall be required from him : and to whom they have “ committed much, of him they will ask the more exceed
PRELIMINARY MATTER. The third general division of the discourse extends from verse 22-40; and may be considered as one whole, because it was delivered without interruption, until the point of time when Peter put the question, recorded in verse 41. Regard, however, being had to the obvious distinction of its topics, which are not the same throughout, it admits of being distributed into two halves, one from verse 22-34; the other from verse 35–40, including the first portion of the parabolic matter, which we have next to consider.
On the first of these subdivisions we may remark, first, that so much of it as is comprehended between verse 22 and 31, and even the remainder of it, from verse 32—34, occurred substantially before, in St. Matthew's account of the first sermon upon the mount a ; and so far was repeated on the present occasion. In considering, therefore, what was now said we are at liberty to avail ourselves, if need be, of the light which may possibly be thrown upon its sense, by what was said in reference to the same subjects before. In the next place, it is evident that, whereas our Lord, up to the close of the parable last considered, had been speaking to the people, he begins now to address his own disciples, and for some time after confines his discourse to them. It was to these in particular that he began to speak originally; and to these that he had continued to address himself, until he was interrupted by the man from the multitude. In resuming his discourse to the disciples, then, at this point of time, he was so far resuming the original plan and design of his sermon; and it is not less observable that the subject of the recent address to the people themselves, that is, the very interruption which his sermon had experienced, is the means employed in connecting the sequel of his discourse, as specially applicable to his own disciples, with the preceding part of it, as intended for them also.
a Matt. vi. 25-34. and 19-21, Harm. P. ij. 23.
It is evident that the train of reflections which follows from this point of time, though directly addressed to the disciples, is ushered in by a reference to what had just been said to the people; Alà TOŪTO úuiv néyw: “ For this reason I say unto you;" that is, “ because such and such is the case in ge
neral, therefore I say unto you in particular.” It seems to me, that this reference cannot so naturally be understood either of the particular declaration last subjoined to the parable by way of moral, or even of the parable itself—as of the general caution to beware of the spirit of undue desire, and of the reasons on which that caution was founded, which preceded : it being evident as to the particular observation which summed up the parable, that it was intended to illustrate and apply the parable, just as much as the parable itself to illustrate or explain the preliminary caution.
If this be the case, the general ground of the precepts which begin now to be addressed to the disciples, must be the necessity of the same or a similar