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Reflections on the contersion of Zaccheus.
113 What cannot the grace of God effect? This publican was in the sect: morning contriving only how he might increase his estate by all possible methods of gain; and, before evening, he cries out, Lord Ver. the half of my goods I give to the poor. Thus does the Spirit of 8 Christ operate on the soul, producing in it the fruits of righteousness and charity to our fellow-creatures, as well as of love to God and faith in the Redeemer. And surely the miracle by which the walls of Jericho were many ages before thrown down by the sound of rams-horns, was not greater in its kind than that is hich now triumphed over the heart of Zaccheus, and threw down all the obstacles which corrupt nature had formed against the entrance of Christ into it.
Now were his eyes opened, and he saw in a moment how much more valuable the pearl of price was than all the riches he could part with to procure it. And he judged rightly of religion when he saw the necessity not only of faith, but of charity too; and not only of charity, but of restitution also to those whom he bad injured, without which the highest pretences to charity are but presenting to God robbery for a burnt-offering.
Our Lord's progress is marked with another work of Divine Mark power and beneficence in opening the eyes of the blind. With what importunity was the cure desired! And when the petitioner was for a while discouraged, with what eagerness was that importunity repeated, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me! Thus will the 48 sinner cry to Jesus when he sees how much be needs him. But, alas ! men are not aware of their spiritual indigence and distress : they say they are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that they are wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. (Rev. ii. 17.)
When once they come to be awakened to a just sense of their case, there is then room for hope, and great encouragement for their address. We may in such circumstances say to them, as was 19 said to Bartimeus, Be of good courage, rise, he calleth thee. With pleasure should we deliver such a message; with pleasure should we lead on the lame and the blind, the weak and the trembling, in their application to Christ; and in all the instances, in which his victorious grace is exercised, should join with those who have received it in glorifying God, and in celebrating the Luke praise of this Deliverer, whom he has mercifully raised up for his people.
The parable of the ten pounds.
Christ delivers the parable of the ten pounds committed by a prince
to his servants, and represents the vengeance taken by him on his rebellious subjects. Luke XIX. 11-28.
Luke XIX. 11
Luke XIX. 11.
LUKE XIX. 11. NOW Jesus, on occasion of Zaccheus's con- Anheas they heard
version, having expressly said that he was added and spake a pacome to be a Saviour, the people, as they heard rable, because he was these things, were ready to conclude that at his pigh to Jerusalem, and
because they thought coming to Jerusalem he would openly declare that the kingdom of himself to be the promised Messiah ; but he con- God should immeditinued [his discourse) and spake a very useful and ately appear. instructive parable, because he was now drawing near to Jerusalemia, and he perceived they thought that the kingdom of God would immediately be revealed among them, and that he, as the Messiah, would assume the government, and not
only free Israel from the Roman yoke, but 12 spread his triumphs over all the heathen nations,
In order therefore to rectify their notions on 12 He said there. this head, and to warn them of the danger they fore, A certain noblewould incur by rejecting him when they saw
country to receive for those secular views disappointed, he offered to himself a kingdom, their consideration this similitude; and said, and to return.
A certain person of a noble birth went to a dis-
afterwards to return, and fix his residence in
13 And he called his journey, having called ten of his servants, he his ten servants, and
man went into a far
a Because he was near to Jerusalem.] The kings of Judea, and other neighbouring following parable considered in this view, states, frequently were by the Romans : as suited to the circumstance of time, and (see Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiv.cap. 14, (al. 26) to the case of those to whom it was deliver- $ 4, 5, & lib. xvii. cap. 9, al. 11.) He is ed, will appear a most wise and seasonable therefore described as setting out with the admonition; and by neglecting the instruc- view of hcing owned at his return as their tion it was designed to give them, the Jews undoubted sovereign. (See Le Clerc's deservedly brought ruin on themselves. Harmony, p. 397.) This representation of
b Went to a distant country to receive a the matter is so natural, that one would kingdom, &c.] The parable seems to sup wonder what room there could be for the pose this noble person to be the son of a controversy between Mallemansius and prince, who, on some domestic or public Athanasius de Paris about it. It is quite revolution, was to enter upon the posses- needless to pretend that this is an historical sion of his dominions, and to be confirined narration, that Archelaus is the nobleman in the government of them by the appro- referred to, &c. bation of some more potent statc: as the
faithful servants are rewarded for their diligence. 145 delivered them ten delivered to them ten pounds“, lodging one pound sect. pounds; and said un, in the hands of each, and said unto them, Trade cxliv. to them, Occupy till I come.
with this money till I come back to take an ac-
xxv. 14, & seq. sect. clxv.) 14 But his citizens But, in the mean time, some of his citizens, 14 hated him, and sent a message' after him, among whom he had before lived in a more prisaying, we will not vate character and station, hated him, and sent have this man to reign an embassy after him", to prevent his establish
ment in bis kingdom; expressly saying, IVe are
secure in their insults. 15 And it came to But, notwithstanding all the confidence of 15 pass, that when he these rebellious citizens, they were unable to received the kingdom, prevent his exaltation to the throne, or to dethen he commanded prive him of the right he had of reigning over these servants to be them. And it came to pass, that when he had called unto him, to whom he had given received the kingdom, and was come back with the money, that he the full powers that were granted to him, he might know how much commanded these bis servants, to whom he had every man had gained by trading.
delivered the money, to be called to him, that he
made. 16 Then came the And the first servant, who had gained the 16 first, saying, Lord, thy most, came near, and said, Sir, the improvepound hath gained tun pounds.
ment I have made of thy pound is such that it 17 And he said unto has gained ten pounds more. And when his 17 bim, Well, thou good lord had heard how diligent and careful he had hast been faithful in a
been, he said to him, Well done, (thou] good ser. very little, have thou vant, since thou hast thus becn faithful in a very authority over ten ci- little, I will amply reward it; for I will not
only give thee for thine own this treasure of
servant: because thou
c He delivered to them len pounds.] The d Sent an embassy after him.] This is Mitt, or mina, as it is commonly called, expressed in such a manner as may inticontained sirty shekels, (Ezek. xlv. 12.) mate their sending ambassadors to the supeand therefore, according to the common rior court, to enter their protest against his calculation of the worlh of a shehel, plac- being admitted to the regal power, and to ing it at half a crozen of our money, it declare their resolution to oppose his acwas seven pounds len shillings; but accord- cession. And so it well represents the ing to Dr. Prideaux, who sets the shekel at solemn manner in which the Jews rethree shillings, the mina was nine pounds nounced Christ, acting as in the name of sterling.-Our Lord probably chose to men the Lord, and with a pretended zeal for tion this sinall sum to illustrate the munin his authority and glory. firence of the master in bestowing on the faithful servant so great and noble a reward.
e Be Compare ver. 17.
146 The slothful servant blames his lord, and is condemned.
me, I will advance thee to a most honourable
station under me, and be thou governor over ten Luke
cities. XIX. 18 And the second came, and delivered in his ac 18 And the second
count, saying, Sir, thy pound which was com came, saying, Lord, mitted to me has been improved in such a man- five pounds.
thy pound hath gained 19 ner that it bas gained five pounds. And the 19 And he said like. improvenient be bad made was pleasing to his wise to him, Be thou
also over five cities. Jord, and he said likewise unto this, Thou bast approved thyself a good and faithful servant, and I am pleased with thy diligence, and will reward it proportionably : be thou also governor
over five cities 20 Ånd after him another servant, who had been 20 And another
negligent and slothful, came, and said, Sir, be- came saying, Lord, behold (here is) thy pound which was put into my which I have kept laid
bands; it is not at all diminished, but I have up in a napkin. 21 carefully kept it laid up in a napkin : For [ 21 For I feared thee, feared thee, because I knew thou art an austere because thou art an man, (who) takest up what thou didst not lay down, and reapest, or expectest to reap, what laidst not down, and thou didst not sow: and therefore apprehending reapest that thou didst I might incur thy severity if any accident should not sow. befall this money in trade, I was determined
not to venture it out of mine hands, and now 22 return it just as I received it. But when his 22 And he saith unJord heard him offer such a vile and groundless
to him, Out of thine
own mouth will I judge charge against himself as an excuse for his own thee, thou wicked sernegligence, he was filled with indignation, and vant: thou knewest says to him, Out of thine own mouth will I con
man, taking up that demn thee, 0 [thou] wicked servant : thou hast I laid not down, and taken upon
thee to affirm, thou knewest that I reaping that I did not
I did not sowf; and thou mightest therefore on
sum of money, and to reap where I had thus 23 sown : And if it had been so, and I had really.
23 Wherefore then been as severe as thou wouldest basely insinuate,
austerc man : thou takest
that I was an austere
e Be thou also governor over five cities.]
f Thou knewest that I am an austere man, It is observable, that in Mat. xxv. 20--23, &r.] This is not an acknowledgment of sect. clxv. where the servants are repre- the vile and detestable charge of God's desented as doubling the different sums intrust. manding of men (as Dr Guyse well expresses ed to each, the reuard is spoken of as the it) more difficult services thun he hus furnishers silme ; but here, the sums intrusted being them for, or would assist them in; which is, the same, and the improvement described as as that pious atiter truly observes, a most different, there is a proportionable difference unrighteous thought of God: but his lordoniy in the rezard'; which, as it is a beautiful argues with him on his own base principles, . circumstance, was, no doubt, intended for and shews, that even on thein he would be our instruction.
justly condemned for his negligence.
Faithfulness and diligence shall be rewarded.
147 gavest not thou my why didst thou not (then), for thine own security, SECT. that at my coming í give my money into the bank, that when I came might have required to call for it at my return, I might at least have ininc owo with usury? received it with the common interest, if not with XIX. 23
the extraordinary improvement which might
have attended a successful trade? 94 And he said unto And farther to testify his displeasure, he said to 24 them that stood by, some of them that stood by, Take away the pound Take from him the pound, and give it to
that was intrusted with him, from that idle, sushim hath ten picious, unfaithful creature, who might otherpounds.
wise bave had that, and much more, allotted
him for his own property, and give it to him that 25 (And they said has ten pounds. But they were much surpris- 25 unto hin, Lord, he ed at his assigning it to one who had before rehath ten pounds.)
ceived so ample a reward ; and they said to him,
bast farther added, is surely an abundant recom26 For I say unto pence.
Nevertheless, the prince stood by his 26 you, That unto every former award, and bestowed the other pound be given: and from likewise upon him; declaring, that his faithfulhim that hath not
, ness and diligence was fit to be distinguished even that he hath shall with the most favourable and repeated notice : be taken away from and in this way it is, continued he, that I resolve
to act; for I assure you", That to every one that
xxv. 29. Mark iv. 25. and Luke viii. 18.) 27 But those mine And having thus inquired into the conduct of 27 enemies, which would his servants, and treated them according to the over them, bring his different rise they made of what had been intrust
ther, ed with them, he then proceeded to pass sen
tence on his rebellious citizens who had refused
& They said to him, Sir, he hath ten the diligent servant what he had gained pounds.) So far as this seems to express for himself. any thing of envy in the fellow-servants, h I assure you.] This seems to be the it is not to be regarded as a significant cir- import of that phrase, which so often occumstance; but only as an incidental one, curs, I say unto you; as if he should have to intimate to us, that his lord gave to said, You may take it on my authority. VOL. VII.