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and trust to their own weak judgment: too many there are who, careless of admonition and reproof, seek their own destruction, unmindful of the heart-breaking sorrow which imbitters the days of their tender parents, and robs them of repose. Such ungrateful children ought to be left to feel the want even of the common necessaries of life, till their reformation begins to appear ; and then the kind hand of parental affection should be stretched out for their relief, and they should not be suffered to perish, nor be driven to despair, but have all possible encouragement to return to the paths of vir. tue and religion ; for the Divine Being himself is ready to receive returning sinners.
Brother and sisters may also learn from this excellent parable, to be kind and affectionate to each other: and to banish from their minds selfishness, jealousy, and envy, which are ever torinents to the heart in which they are allowed to dwell.
And he said also unto his disciples, There was a cer. tain rich man which had a steward; and the same was accased unto him that he had wasted his goods,
And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship.: for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship; 1 cannot dig, to beg I am ashameda.
I ana resolved what to do, that when I am pnt out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.. "
So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first. How much owest thou unto my lord ? · And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write four. score.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely : for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light, · And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive ye into everlasting habitations. · He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much : and he that is unjust in the least, is un. just also in much... - If therefore ye have not been faithful in the un. righteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?. ". And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? • No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other ; or else he will hold
to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve . God and magmon.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him,
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed amongst men, is abomination in the sight of God.
The law and the prophets were until John ; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS,
- The design of this parable was, to shew that the things ef this world should be so employed by us as to promote our eternal interests. By the children of this world, our LoRD evidently meant those people who attend only to their worldly concerns without any regard to a future life; by the children of light, those who, walking by the light of divine revelation, look forward with hope
to an eternal inheritance. The children of this world, says our Saviour, are in their generation, or according to their specific character, wiser than the children of light, for they make to themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, they employ the things of this world in such ways as are likely to secure the interests they have in view ; but the children of light are too apt to be negligent and careless in respect to the use of temporal blessings. The unjust steward took advantage of his stewardship before he gave up his accounts, and engaged his Lord's debtors to admit him into their houses, as one who had a title to their kindness, by which he secured himself from labour and beggary. And his Lord, judging according to the principles of worldly-minded men, commended him because
he had done wisely in respect to his worldly concerns.
Our SAv Iour admonishes the children of light to take the unjust steward for an example in respect to his assiduity and forethought, in providing for his future welfare; but he tells them to make to themselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousnes, that when these fail they may be received into everlasting habitations ; and that they may know how to do this, he adds that they are to act the part of faithful stewards in respect to the things. of this world, intrusted to them by their heavenly Lord ; and to look beyond the grave for a recompence. Though our Lord addressed this parable, and the subsequent discourse, to his disciples, he had certainly a view, to the Pharisees, many of whom were rich and covetous; such persons our Lord observed are not qualified to receive spiritual blessings; because they do not make a right use of temporal blessings; and they must not look for an eternal reward, unless they wean their affections from worldly things, and place them upon heavenly treasures. The Pharisees as usual, instead of receiving this exhortation with thankfulness, derided our Lord ; on which he reproved them for their hypocrisy, and told them they were no longer to look upon the Jcwish nation as the only people of God, because from the time of John the Baptist's preaching the kingdom of GoD was offered to all mankind ; at the same time our LoRD said the moral law would be enforced rather than
destroyed. From our Lord’s own mouth we learn, that though temporal things are not to be trusted to for eternal happiness, they may be made subservient to it. By a proper application of riches, the favour of God may be ebtained, and an entrance into everlasting habitations secured; but this can never be done by such means as the unjust steward employed to make friends for himself; therefore the children of light should never have - rCCQll ISG recourse to them, but, on the contrary, they should, according to their ability, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, and relieve the prisoner, that at the last day they may partake of the gracious invitation of the heavenly king, Came ye, blessed of my FATHER, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the fourdation of the world, Let us, then, behave ourselves like faithful stewards, in the management of those good things which our heavenly Master has intrusted to us; and we shall be happy in the reflection, that in proportion to our fidelity will be our eternal felicity; for
God has graciously connected our interest with our duty.
| THE PARABLE of The Rich MAN AND LAZARUS. From Luke, Chap. xvi.
THERE was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich . man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But