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thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee."'
For whosoever exalteth himself, shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neigh, bours, lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.
But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and blind:
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
And when one of them that sat at meat with him, heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of Go D.
Tken said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at suppertime, to say to them that were bidden, Come, for all things are now ready.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them K I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry, » said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind,
0. 3 And . And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I say unto you that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
The poor man who was so dreadfully afflicted with the dropsy, had caused himself to be conveyed to th« places where our Lord was. Jesus, knowing- what passed in the minds of the Pharisees, answered the ob> jections they were about to make, before they uttered them, and they were unable to reply; he therefore, before them all, exerted his miraculous yower, and cured' ( the man. Knowing that they were studying for objections against him, he proceeded as before to answer their thoughts, and confounded them still more: he thenadmonished them of a fault they were generally addicted'to, that of being fond'of precedency. One of the Company attending with pleasure' to this edifying discourse, and understanding, by our Lord"s expression, the resurrection of the just, that he referred to the M^ssl Ah'skingdom, acknowledged, thar tor be admitted ta feast tfcerc certainly would be higher recompense than robe invited to the table of the greatest man upon earth. This occasioned our Lord to speik a parable, which represents the grace and mercy of God in the Gospel dispensation, his invitation to trie whole Jewish nation to partake of it, their backwardness to accept ir, thus preferring temporal" to spiritual concerns; God's just resentment for their ungrateful return to his goodness;
the the exclusion of those to whom the Gospel was first preached; and the calling of the Gentiles.
By this excellent parable we learn, what provision the Lord graciously made for the salvation. of| Jews an4 Gentiles, and that it is entirely their.own fault if, after having had the Gqspel made known to them, they do not obfaio it. What our Saviour. at that. time foretold has been accomplished; and the Gentiles, who long lived in ignorance of the true God, haye received the glorious light of the Gospel, whilst the Jews live in ignorance of their Messiah and. his, laws, Bjn;. let us.ngj b.s too secure; though we. haye. received. the inyit^atjon, we shal^ be.. rejected ajsp if vie. aire indifferent tQ. the typings offered, to, us,thrqugh Ch;r.is.t; a,n4.if* instead «>f taking advantage of. the.glqrious.pr,iyiJege w,e enjoy, \y paying a willing attentjqn to the duties. qf Christiar iiity, we suffer tricing concerns. to /sngross our time at)d thoughts.
This parable is. us.najly applied to thajv hply feast, wAich our Lord has graqiqusly provided upon earth for "his faithful people, the Sacrament op Tiie Lord's Supper. How frequently do we see Christians absenting themselves from it, for the very reasons here given; yet what can those expect who wilfully slight the invitation of their divine Lord, that they may attend to their temporal concernSi but that he will finally reject them, and exclude them from that feast of everlasting happiness, which he has prepared for them in the kingdom of heaven? Why wili apy absent themselves through timidity and fear, when the Gospel invites all to partake of it, not only the rich and great, but the daily labourer, nay even the ve&y abjectis of society? Would all: Christians duly consider. the nature of the institution; pregare theij mindsi as the last. answei; in out Church Catechism directs; and devoutly partake of the bread 2 4 and and wine, which represent the Lord's body and blood } they would infallibly experience an increase of com. fort; they would learn to rejoice in their salvation; and would look forward with humble confidence to the resurrection of the just.
From the former part of our Lord's address to the Pharisees, we may learn that, even in respect to our worldly affairs, it is better to be hamble and modest in our deportment, than haughty and arrogant; and that humility is highly pleasing in the sight of God. We may also learn that it is more consistent with the Chris, tian character to feed the poor and indigent, than to make expensive ostentatious entertainments for people who would return the same, by which means much time and money would be wasted; and we may assure ourselves, for we have our Lord's authority for it, that in the exercise of charity we shall enjoy a much nobler satisfaction than the most luxurious banquet can afford; and the truly charitable will find a blessing attached to their good deeds which will follow them to the re. gions of eternity.
OUR iORD URCES THE NECESSITY OP CONSIDERING THE DIFFICULTIES OF RELIGION BEFORE A PROFESSION OF IT.
From John, Chap. xiv. xiii.
And there went great multitudes with him; and he turned, and said unto them,
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. • .
And' whosoever doth not bear his cross, and corhe after me, cannot be my disciple.'
For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, 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 meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Or else, while the other is yet a great way offi he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakethyiat all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung;, hill: but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
It appears that great multitudes attended our Lordv in his journey towards Jerusalem -r and that- observing their readiness to folfow him, he eScharted them to learn what was required of disc'ples before they professed to be sa. The beginning of this exhortation related .chieflyto the first age of Christianity. Our Lord' knew that his disciples would frequently be called upon to quit their dearest interests, to part with their nearest relations, and even to lay dow n tl eir'lives for the sake oF the Gospel; he therefore admonished-his hearers to> Q 5. 1 ''consider