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244 The Firji murmur, that the Loft receive as much as they. Sect. 138. Steward, Call the Labourers, and pay them their

^, Wages, beginning from those who were the Last

''hired, and so going on even to the First.
9 And having thus been ordered to present them-
selves, when they accordingly came foremost, who
[were hired] about the Eleventh Hour, and so had
entered Last into the Vineyard, they each of them
received no less than a Penny, the Master having
directed, they should be thus generously rewarded.
10 And upon seeing this, when those who were
the First came to be paid, they reckoned with them-
selves that they Jhould receive considerably more;

Call the Labourers, and give them their Hire, beginning from the kst unto the first.

9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh Hour, they received every Man a Penny.

10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more j and they likewise re

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but they were also paid the same, and only received ceived every Man a Penny.

every one a Penny. And having received [it,]

they murmured against the Master of the House (e),

who had set them to Work, and said, Truly

these Last have laboured but one Hour, and thou

hast made them equal in Reward to us, who have

borne the whole Burthen, and all the Heat of the

Day from Morning to Night.

But he calmly answered and said to one of them, who spoke in the Name of the rest, Friend, it is most apparent, that I do not in any Degree injure Thee, or any of thy Companions; Didst not thou agree with me to labour all the Day for a Penny, and hast thou not received it? Take what is justly thine, and be gone, without pretending to dictate to me in an Affair wherein thou hast no manner of Concern j for I will do as I see fit, and give to this Last Man, who came in but anHour ago, even as I do to thee (f). And what Colour hast thou for Complaint? Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own Property (g)?


11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the Good-man of the House,

12 Saying,These last have wrought but one Hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the Burden and Heat of the Day.

13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no Wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a Penny?

14 Take that thine isy and go thy Way: I will' give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15 Is it not lawful for

me to do what I will with


(e) They murmured against the Master of the House.~\ That this was the Case of the J run, upon a general Notion of the Gentiles being, according to the Christian Scheme, intended to be Partakers with them in the fame Church Privileges, is plain from a Variety of Scriptures. See Acts xi. 2, 3. xiii. 45,-50. xvii. 5, 13. xviii. 6, 13. xxii. 21, 22. xxviii. 29. Rom. xi. 28. and 1 iheff. ii. 16.

(f) I will give to this Last, even as to thee.] Since no Murmurings can happen among the Blessed, this must refer to the unbelieving Jews; but as it is certain they will have no Place in the Kingdom of Heaven, we plainly fee that it would be very absurd to pretend to draw Doctrinal Consequences from every incidental Circumstance of a Parable.

(g) Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own P] So many Scriptures declare expressly,, that God at the Great Day will render to every one according to his IVorks, and intimate, that there shall be an exact Correspondence between every Man's Character, and


But the Mafler may do what he will with his own. 245

mine own? Is thine Eye What if I pleased to give it to one, who had done Sect. 138. evil, because I am good? nothing at all for it? Is thine Eye evil (h), or dost ^^"^

thou look on with an envious and malignant, at" Countenance, because I am so good, that out of' Compassion to these poor Men I freely give them, what they could not justly have claimed? 16 So the last shall be And thus, said Jesus at the Conclusion of this 16

rf^t tiled? buVsew If able> y- <"ee (as 1 hTM Just been telling you,
chosen. Mat. xix. 30.) there are some who seemed to be

the Last in Privileges and Advantages, who Jhall
be First in the Reward and Happiness that shall
be given to them -, and on the other Hand, there
are many in those Respects the First, who shall
be Last. And this i9 a Remark peculiarly applicable
to the Jewish Nation si), who will murmur at
the Calling of the Gentiles to equal Dignities and
Privileges with themselves, and on that Account
will reject the Gospel, and persecute you the
Preachers of it : For tho' many are called, and
the Messages of Salvation are sent to vast Multi-
tudes, even to all the Thousands of Israel, yet
there are but few chosen (k): A small Remnant
only will be saved according to the Election of
Grace, (Rom. xi. 5.) while the rest will be justly-
disowned by God, as a Punishment for so ob-
stinate, and so envious a Temper.

the Reward which, (thro* the Riches of Divine Grace) shall then be bestowed* that it would
be very unreasonable, from such a Circumstance as this in the Parable, to infer the contrary.
But if any should maintain, that all the Favours of Divine Providence and Grace must now
be dispensed, only in Proportion to the Wisdom and Goodness of the Persons concerned, I
apprehend they would argue directly contrary to the whole Design of this Parable, and to
what daily appears to be Fail, which therefore cannot give Way to any Hypothesis,

(h) Is thine Eye evil?] Here is an evident Reference to that malignant Jspecl, which is generally the Attendant of z selfijh and envious Temper.

(/') Peculiarly applicable to the Jewish Nation.] The Remark itself is far more extensive, as I intimate both in the Paraphrase, and Improvement. But as this was a memorable Instance of it, so it is plainly what Chrijl had immediately in his View.

(4) Many are called, but few chosen.] Grotius has a very learned and ingenious Note on' thit Text; but no Genius or Learning can be sufficient to prove, what he seems to intend, that Persons are called the Chosen of GOD, merely with Respect to the Divine Complacency in them on Account of some distinguished Virtue and Excellence. Compare Deut.

vii. 6,—8. ix. 6. John xv. r6. Aclt ix. 13, 15. Rom. xi. 5, 6. and 1 John iv. 19.

To understand the Expression here of chosen and excellent Servants, (as Mr. Le C/erc, Dr, Wall, and many others do,) is quite to contradict the Design of the Parable. On that Supposition the Mafler must have said, "These Last have done as much in one Hour, as you "in many; or I chose them, because I knew they were Men remarkable for their Dili* "gence." This is the-Turn, which the Talmudifls have given to the Parable in their insipid. Imitation of it, which may be seen in Dr. Lightfoot, Hor. Heb, on Mat. xx. r.


246 RefleBiom on our Duty to improve our Privileges.


Sect. 13^. TV It A Y we by Divine Grace appear in the happy Number of those, t^-v-v. » XVX who are not only called, but chosen too! If we are First in PriviMat.xx. 16. jSges an(j Opportunities, let us be careful that our Improvement be proportionable; otherwise we shall be Last, and fee ourselves another Day exceeded, and perhaps condemned, by those who stood in a Rank much below us. Ver. 1. We are called to a Course of holy Labour, even to -work in our Lord's

Vineyard, or in every Station, whether publick, or private, to do our utmost to promote the Glory of God and the Happiness of Mankind. Ver. 6. Let us not, with so many Calls, and so many Advantages, stand all the Day idle; but let us be active and patient, and chearfully willing to Ver. i2. bear all the Burthen and Heat of the Day in so good a Cause; knowVer. 8. ing that e'er long the Evening will come, and that he who employs us, faith, Behold, I come quickly, and my Reward is with me, to give every Man according as his Work Jhall be. (Rev. xxii. 12.)

Let such as have long neglected the great Business of Life, be encouVer. 6. raged with this Thought, that some were called at the Eleventh Hour: But let none presume on their having such a Call j nor strain the Parable so far, as to imagine, that an equal Reward awaits all, without any Regard to their Characters, or Improvements; which is most contrary to the Reason of Things, to the Word of God, and to the great Intent of that Day, which is to render to every Man according to his Deeds. (Rom. ii. 6.) Ver. g. The Gentiles are indeed now called to equal Privileges with the yews,

to which this Circumstance of the Parable refers: And we all see, how Ver. 11,12. odious a Temper it was in that favourite Nation, to be offended with the Gospel on that Account, which (hould rather have recommended it to their more joyful Acceptance. Let us be careful to avoid every Degree of Envy, whoever may be put on a Level with us, or preferred to us. Ver. 15. Let us acknowledge the Sovereign Right of God to do what he will with his own, and let not our Eye be evil, because he is good. To prevent this, let us labour after that unfeigned Love to the Brethren, which never will allow us to repine at their Advancement to the greatest Privileges, but will engage us to behold the Favours that are shewn them with Delight and Satisfaction, and to rejoice in their Honour and Happiness, as our own. So (hall we exchange the basest and most uneasy Passion of Human Nature, for that which is of all others the noblest and die most delightful.


Christ it informed that Lazarus of Bethany was fcL 247


Our Lord hearing of the.Sickness of his Friend Lazarus, and afterwards knowing that he was dead, determines to go from the Country beyond Jordan to Judea, tho again/} the Persuasion of his Disciples. John XL 1,— 16.

John XL s.

NOW a certain Man was sick, named Lazarus of Bethany, the Town of Mary and her Sister Martha,

2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with Ointment, and wiped his Feet with her Hair, whose Brother Lazarus was £ck.)

3- Therefore his Sisters fern unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou love's, is sick.

4 "When Jesus heard that,

he said, This Sickness is not


John XI. 1.

X70 W while Jesus was on the other Side Jor-Sect. 139. **- dan, there was one Lazarus of Bethany, i^~^~^ which was also the Town of Mary and Martha ^ohn XI# x* her Sifter, who was sick of a very dangerous Distemper. And by the Way it is to be observed, 2 that it was [that] Mary, who afterwards at a publick Entertainment anointed the Lord with Perfume fa), and wiped his Feet with her Hair, whose Brother Lazarus was sick. The Sifters there- 3, fore, full of Concern for their diseased Brother, knowing where Jesus was, sent to him, and said, Lard, we beg that thou wouldst be pleased to favour us with a Visit, whatever Difficulties may lie in the Way; for behold, he whom thou so tenderly love si, even Lazarus thy Friend, is so exceedingly ill, that without thy Interposition for his Deliverance,, nothing but Death can be expected.

But when Jesus heard [it,] he said, This Sickness is not designed by Providence to end in his



(a) It was that Maty, who anointed' the Lord with Perfume.] Some Commentators have supposed, that this refers to the Story related by Luke, chap. vii. 37, Utfeq. {Sell. 60.) and have argued from thence, that Mary Magdalene, whom they think to be the Person there described as a Woman that was a Sinner, was the fame with this Mary the Sifter of Lazarus. But it seems much more probable, that John himself should mention the Fact that he has here referred' to ;. which if he has done at all, it must be that which he relates, John xii. 3, y fiq. where there can be no Doubt, but that the Person who performed this Instance of Respect to Christ, was Mary the Sister of Lazarus, who was of Bethany near Jerusalem, and therefore must be different from- Mary Magdalene, who was of Magdalat, a Town of Galilee at a considerable Distance. Nor is there any Ground from Scripture to conclude, that Mary Magdalene was the Person who anointed thrift in Luke, which appears- rather to be there described as the Action of a Woman of Nairn, where Christ restored the Widow's Son to Life. [Luk* vii. 37.) Compare Note (b) on Luke viii. 2. Vol. i,

fag. 370. Besides, the Stories are related with such different Circumstances, that it is

strange they should be taken for the fame Fait; and as Luke no where tells us, that the Person he speaks of, was named Mary, so neither have we any Reason to suppose, that the fame Person should anoint him twice,

[b) Tins



He tarries two Days, before he Jets

Death, and final Removal out of this World (b) % but sliall serve for the ^remarkable Illustration of ■ the Glory of GOD, and is suffered to prevail, chiefly with a Design, that the Son of GOD may be glorified by it, and his Divine Mission most signally confirmed.

Now it was well known, that Jesus loved Martha, and her Sifter Mary, and this their Brother Lazarus, with a peculiar Affection, and had often visited them, and lodged at their House; and in Consequence of this, he was determined to order the Affair in such a Manner, as he knew would be most for their final Advantage, tho' it might for a while be an Occasion of greater Affliction.

When therefore he heard that he was sick, be then abode two Days on the other Side Jordan, in the Place where he was before. And then after that, that is, on the third Day, he fays to his Disciples, Let us go back again to Judea (c).

And the Disciples fay unto him, Rabbi, it is but just now that the Jews fought to Jlone thee, (John x. 31. Sect. 134.) and do/I thou intend so soon to go thither again, as if it were to tempt the Danger, from which thou hast so lately with such Difficulty escaped?

Jesus answered, Are there not Twelve Hours in the Day? Now if any Man take the Advantage of them, and walk in the Day, he does not Jlumble at every Obstacle which may chance to lie in his Way; because the Sun is then above the Horizon, and he fees the Light of this World. But if any Man will rather chuse to walk in the


out for Judea.

unto Death, but for the Glory of God, that the Son of G o D might be glorified thereby.

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her Sister, and Lazarus.

6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two Days still in the fame Place where he was.

7 Then after that, faith he to his Disciples, Let us go into Judea again.

8 His Disciples fay unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee: and goell thou thither again?

9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve Hours in the Day? If any Man walk in the Day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the Light of this World.

10 But if a Man walk in the

(bj This Sickness is not to Death, &c] Compare Mat. ix. 24. and Mark v. 39. Vol. i. pag. 446.—Our Lord afterwards so fully explains what he meant by this ambiguous Speech, that nothing reasonable can be objected to it: But it is a remarkable Instance of the Candour and Fidelity of the Evangelists here, and in the fore-cited Places, so exactly to record the very Words of Jesus, tho' Malice might so easily cavil at them.

(c) After that he sap to his Disciples, effr.] From comparing Mat. xx. 17. Mark x. 32. and Luke xviii. 31. [Sect. 142.) many Criticks infer, that what is recorded there, and in the following Verses, happened during the Interval of Chris's Delay to go to Bethany, after he heaid that Lazarus was sick: But I don't find that Christ went to Jerusalem now ; and if Le did, it seems that those Events happened in his very lajl Journey thither, and consequently should not be introduced here; especially as they break the Thread of the Story, out of Regard to which, I think, some small Transpositions may well be allowed in other Places, riio' none be needful here.

(d) For

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