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- purpose of impressing religious truth. When

he spoke the words which have been recited, he was sitting at meat at the table of a wealthy Pharisee. From the antecedent part of the chapter it appears that he had already taken occasion twice, from incidents which ôcciirred at this entertainment, to deliver an important lesson to those who were present. First; in reproving the pride which impelled them eagerly to contend for the places accounted the most honourable ; he taught the excellence of humility in the fight of men as well as of God. And afterwards, he admonished them not to be anxious, when they prepared a dinner or a supper, to assemble their opulent relations and neighbours, in order that they might be themselves invited to feasts in return: but rather to call to their table the poor, the blind, and the distressed, from whom they could look for no retribution, that God; the friend of the wretched, might bless them, and recompence them at the resurrection of the just. A person of the company was forcibly struck with these discourses; and exclaimed, Blessed is he that Shall eat bread in the kingdom of God: blessed is he who shall be received as an associate of the promised Redeemer; and after having been admitted as a member of his kingdom

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upon earth, shall finally become a partaker of the glories and happiness of heaven. Whether this man believed Jesus Christ to be the promised Redeemer is very doubtful. Our Lord however replied to the observation by a parable: in which he predicted that numbers, who professed a zealous desire to hear and obey the gospel, would disregard and reject it when preached to them; and would prefer the pursuits of the present world to the falvation of their souls. A certain man, faid he, made a great fupper, and bade many. God has prepared a glorious kingdom for those who shall embrace and fedfastly obey the gospel of his Son; and has invited all the human race to participate in its blessings. And be sent bis fervant at fupper time, to far to them that were bidden, Come: for all things - are now ready. Ar the period ordained from

eternity Jesus Christ appeared upon earth, and preached the gofpel to the Jews. After his ascension he preached it by his disciples to many other nations. At this day he preaches it by his ministers to you, and to millions in various parts of the world. He now invites you, as in former ages he invited the Jews and the Gentiles, to come unto Him for salvation ; and encourages you with the assurance that you cannot be more solicitous


to ask than he is to bestow. How did the Jews, to whom the offer was first made, receive it? They all with one confent began to make excuse. The first said, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it. I pray thee have me excused. And another faid, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them. I pray thee have me excused. And another faid, I have married a wife: and therefore I cannot come. The nature of these excuses will be examined hereafter. At present it is sufficient to observe that all the rest who were invited had their pretences ready, some of one kind, fome of another, for not going to the feast. All began to make excuse, 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 bither the poor and the maimed, and the halt and the blind. The Jews refused to receive Jesus Christ; and completed their guilt by crucifying him. The anger of God was kindled. He cast them off from being his people. He com. manded the ministers of his word to go forth, and to preach the gospel to the Gentiles: 10 the nations whom the Jews abhorred as outcasts from the divine mercy; whom they be. held with an eye of fuperiority not less conteinp03


tuous than that with which the poor, the halt, and the blind, if stationed as guests at the tar ble, would have been viewed by the proudest of those originally invited to the feast. Still however the guest-chamber was not full, The servant said; Lord, it is done as thou ball commanded; and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant ; Go out into the highways and bedges, and compel them to come in, by urgent importunity and persuasion constrain them to enter, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. Though the apostles preached the Christian religion with great success among many națions of the Gentiles, both in Asia and Eu. rope, and also in some of the coasts of Africa; yet the kingdom of heaven was not replenished with inhabitants, nor was the mercy of God exhausted. He has therefore continued during more than seventeen hundred years to provide a constant fupply of ministers of his gospel; and to send them forth even to the most distant corners of the earth, and to per. fons sunk in the lowest state of ignorance and wretchedness, with the kindest offers to every man of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus, and with the most urgent invitations to accept it. And we know from the certain de


clarations of prophecy, that he will gracioully persevere, until the clofe of all things, to invite by his messengers all mankind to repent and believe ; and that all the kingdoms of this world Shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Chrift. We know that at last even the Jews themselves shall look on Him whom their forefathers pierced ; that they shall mourn with the deepest humiliation and anguish for the crucifixion of the great Redeemer; and with contrite hearts and faith unfeigned shall embrace the gospel, and shall again be received as the people of God. But those who deny the Lord of glory, those who flight his offers of salvation, shall neither be admitted into his church on earth, 'nor into the glorious inheritance which he has prepared beyond the grave for his fervo . ants.

Such is the general import of this parable. Let us Rudy through the blessing of God to apply it to ourselves. :

I. We learn in the first place the guilt and the dreadful consequences of rejecting Christ; of refusing to believe his religion, or of believing without obeying it. Not one of those who were bidden Fall taste of my fupper. When we had no claim to be delivered from



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