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II that fit at meat with thee, For whosoever exalteth

himself, shall be abased; and he that humbleth him- self, shall be exalted. 12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When

thou makest a dinner or a supper (d),call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich

neighbours; left they also bid thee again, and a re13 compence be made thee.

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recom

pense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the re.

furrection of the just. 15

And when one of them that fat at meat with him, heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he 16 that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God (e). Then

faid he unto him, A certain man made a great sup17 per, and bade many: And sent his servant at fupper

time, to say to them that were bidden, Come, for 18 all things are now ready. And they all, with one

consent, began to make excuse (f). The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I

1

(d) This, like the preceding, is a parable, and to be understood as such, in a comparative, not an absolute, sense. The rich therefore are not hereby forbidden to make entertainments, on fit occasions, suitable to their rank and circumstances; but they are cautioned against a splendid way of living, from motives of vanity and oftentalion, or felf-interest; and are exhorted, on the contrary, to take pity on the poor, and relieve their wants.

(e) This is a pious and just reflection, if understood in a fpiritual fense. Our blelled Lord takes occasion to thew them by a parable, that though they had then the opportunity of enjoying the bleflings of the Gospel, which they acknowledged to be fo desirable, yet they would ungratefully reject them, but that God, whose gracious purposes for the falvation of men are 110t to be defeated, would offer them to other nations, who, though now strangers and aliens, should be taken into covenant in their slead.

). Thus it is, that wicked men endeavour, under various prefences, to excuse themselves from attending to the great business of religion; the one thing needful,

Chap. X. 42.

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must needs and see it: I pray thee have me ex19 cused. And another faid, I have bought five yoke

of oxen, and I go to prove them: 1 pray thee have 20 me excused. And another said, I have married a 21 wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant

came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, faid to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,

and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and 22 the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord,

it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is 23 room,

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges (8), and compel them 24 (h) to come in, that my house may be filled. For I

fay unto you, that none of those men which were

bidden, fhall taste of my fupper. 25 And there went great multitudes with him: and 26 he turned, and faid unto them, If any man come to

me, and hate (i) not his father, and mother, and wife,

and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his 27 own life also, he cannot be

my disciple. And who soever doth not bear his cross, and come after me,

man.

(g) It is common in the east for travellers, who do not intend $0 ltay long in a place, to refresh themselves under a hedge by the road side : and it was such as these who were invited by this great

(h). As it was an act of kindness to fend out for those who could not have expected so great a favour, the words to compel them to come in, cannot be understood to signify any more than to use such pressing invitations as could not be refused. Thus, likewise, the word constrained is used, Chap. xxiv. 29. where the disciples certainly used no violence. They only earnefly intreated our Lord to stay with them, and he was pleased to comply.

This passage then gives no countenance to persecution in the cause of religion. See Acts xvi. 15.

(1) Whoever will be my difciple, in this time, when distress and violence are near at hand, must prefer the cause of religion to every other conGderation, even the love of his deareft friends. To hate, means comparatively to disregard.

28 cannot

28 cannot be my disciple (k). For which of you in

tending to build a tower, fitteth not down first, and

counteth the cost, whether he have fufficient to finish 29 it (?)? Left haply, after he hath laid the foundation,

and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin 30 to mock hin, Saying, This man began to build, 31 and was not able to finish. Or what king, going

to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able, with ten

thousand, to mcet him that cometh against him with 32 twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet

a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and de33 fireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever

he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he

cannot be my disciple (m). 34 Salt is good: but if the falt have lost his favour, 35 wherewith shall it be seasoned ? It is neither sit for the

land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out (). He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (0).

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THE
'HEN drew near unto him all the publicans an!

sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth fin

ners, and eateth with them. 3 And he spake this parable (a) unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he

lofe

(k) See Mat. x. 38.

(1) I have given you this warning, that you may not be unprea pared for the difficulties you will be exposed to by taking upon you : the profession of my religion.

(m) This is to be understood as in verse 26., (n) See Mat. v. 13. Note.

o) See Mat. xi. 15.

(a) As we are more sensibly affected with joy on the recovery of any thing that had been lost, than in the enjoyment of what is in

compa-

14

lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine

in the wilderness, and go after that which is loft, 5 until he find it? And when he hath found it, he lay6.eth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he

cometh home, he calleth together his friends and

neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for 7 I have found my sheep which was lost. I fay unto

you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one finner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine

just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman, having ten pieces of silver,

if the lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and

sweep the house, and seek diligently till the find it? 9 And when she hath found it, the calleth her friends

and her neighbours together, faying, Rejoice with

me, for I have found the piece which was loit. 10 Likewise I say unto you, There is joy in the presence of the angels of God, over one finner that repenteth.

And he said, A certain man had two fons : 12. And the younger of them said to his father, Father,

give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took

his journey into a far country, and there wasted his 14 fubftance with riotous living. And when he had

spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; 15 and he began to be in want. And he went and joined

himself to a citizen in that country (b); and he sent 16 him into the fields to feed swine. And he would fain

have filled his belly with the husks that the swine

II

13

comparably more valuable; therefore the scripture makes use of this comparison, not to prefer repentance to innocence, which would be contrary to common sense, as well as to the whole tenor of the Gospel; but to give comfort and encouragement to finners, who, however vile in their own eyes, may be sure of reconciliation and favour with God upon true repentance.

(6) Became servant to one of the inhabitants of that country.

22 fon.

17 did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many

hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and 18 I perish with hunger! I will arise, and go to my

father, and will say unto him, Father, I have finned 19 against heaven, and before thee, And am no more

worthy to be called thy fon: make me as one of thy 20 hired servants. And he arose, and came to his fa

ther. But when he was yet a great way off, his fa

ther saw him, and had compaffion, and ran, and fell 21 on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto

him, Father, I have finned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on 23 his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither

the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be 24 merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive

again; he was lost, and is found. And they began 25 to be merry.

Now his elder son was in the field : and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he 26 heard music and dancing. And he called one of the 27 servants, and asked what these things meant. And

he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy fa

ther hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath. re28 ceived him safe and found. And he was angry, and

would not go in: therefore came his father out, and 29 entreated him (c). And he answering, said to his

father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy,commandment, and yet

thou never gaveít me a kid, that I might make mer30 ry

with my friends : But as soon as this thy fon was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, 31 thou haft killed for him the fatted calf. And he faid

(c) His father condescended to entreat him to be pacified, and to go in and join in the rejoicing.

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