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They abuse the Servants that their Majier sent.

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34 And [at the Season] when the Time of the Fruit drew near, he sent his Servants to the Husbandmen,

[mark XII. 2. Luke
XX. 10.—]

35 And the Husbandmen [caught] his Servants, and Seat one, [and sent him away empty,] and killed another, and stoned another. [marK XII. 3. Luke XX.—10.]

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and built a Tower, and let the Grapes (a); and he also built a Tower in it, Sect. 1 c2l jf out to Husbandmen, and for ^ Accommod2tion and Desence rf ^ La_ ^^j

bourers.j and then he let it out to Hujbandmen,^1' XX1,

who were to pay him a certain Acknowledgment

out of the Produce of it; and he himself departed'

thence, and took a Journey for a long Time into

a distant Country.

And at the proper Season, when the Time of 24gathering in the Fruit approached, he sent his Ser...„,..,, vanis t0 the Hujbandmen who had farmed it, that that they might receive he might receive from the Hujbandmen that Pro[from the Husbandmen of portion 0f the Fruit 0f fa vineyard which was

the fruit of the Vineyard.] j . 1 1r ■, n J J » rr n ,

J due to him for the Rent. And the Hujband-
men wickedly conspiring to keep the Vineyard to
themselves, instead of receiving them with due
Respect, and returning the appointed Payment,
seized his Servants, and beat one of the Chief of
those who arrived first, and sent him empty away;
and as the Demand grew more pressing, they
took up the Weapons, with which their Lord him-
self had furnished them for very different Pur-
poses, and flew another; and stoned another till
they had driven him away.

And when their Lord heard the Report of 36
this their Injustice, he did not immediately arm

„„„„. „.vwul.. LJU himself against them, but sent again other Ser

at him who was the Chief vants to treat with them, more in Number, and

they cast Stones, and wound- higher in 0ffice fa fa fr* fi|rf stm persistin
ed him in the Head, and sent . °. . T¥r. , , r , J J,. , , _ r . °

in their Wickedness, they did the fame unto them;
and particularly at him [who was the Chief] Per~
son employed to account with them, they threw
Stones, and wounded him dangerously in the Head,
and sent him away not only empty, but very dis-
honourably and shamefully treated.

And again the third [Time] he sent another ofMaikTCtl.^,
his principal Servants; and him also they wounded,
as they had done the former, and cast him out of
the Vineyard, [and] killed him: And in like
Manner they assaulted many others, who came


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him in the Head, and sent him away shamefully handled,] [luk. and empty.] [mark XII. 4. Luke XX. 11.]

Mark XII. 5. And again he sent another [the third Time ;] and him they [wounded also, and cast him out, and] killed : and many others,

(?) A Fat for the Wine.} Matthew uses the Word Ajhw, and Mark vn\m». The former lignihes the Wine-press, the other the Cavity under it, in which the Vessel was fixed, which received the Liquor pressed from the Grapes. The one of these naturally implies the other; but our Lord might without any Impropriety mention both.

VoL-n- Tt {b) I wilt


others, beating some, and killing some. [luke XX.

Luke XX. 13. Then said the Lord of the Vineyard, What (hall I do i I will send my—Son. [mar. Having yet therefore ^One Son, his well-beloved, he sent him also last [of all] unto them, saying,] It may be they will reverence [my Son] when they see him. [mat. XXL.37. Mark XII. 6.1

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330 And when at hfl he sent his Son, they killed Elm.

Sect. 152. with, or after him, on the same Errand, beating > some of them, and killing others outright

Then the Lofd of the Vineyard, being still unwilling to proceed to the last Extremity with them, tho' they had been so very wicked and ungrateful in their Treatment of his Servants, said to them that were about him, What Jhall 1 do farther to reclaim them? / will send my own Son to them (b). Having yet therefore One Son, who was his well-beloved, and the Heir of the Family, be sent him also last os all to them, as the only gentle Expedient that remained, saying, Perhaps they will reverence my Son, when they fee him (c); for surely they must needs have some Respect forhim, and will not presume to offer him any Injury. But when the Husbandmen saw the Son come into the Vineyard, instead of paying any due Regard to him, they grew yet more outragious in their Wickedness, and reasoned among themselves, faying, This is the only Heir of the whole Estate; come, let us kill him, and seize on bis Inheritance (d), that [it] may be ours from Generation to Generation, and no Descendants of our Master may remain to give any Disturbance to us or our Children in the Possession of it. And with malignant Hearts and cruel Hands they fell upon their Master's Son, and seized him; and fearing neither GoD nor Man, they cast him out of the Vineyard, and slew him (e), exposing his


(l>) I will send my Son,"]' The Question is not here, how prudent it would have been in a Human Father, to venture his Son in such a Case as this; for the Power which GOD had of raising Christ from the Dead, and making all his Sufferings redound to his Glory and Happiness, quite alters the Cafe. The Design is, to (hew the Patience of God, and the Wickedness of the Jews, by this Emblem, than which nothing could be more expressive.

(e) Perhaps they will reverence my Son, bfc."]., Numbertess Predictions in the Old and New Testament plainly shew, that God foresaw Christ's Death as a certain Event. This therefore, like many others, is merely an ornamental Circumstance, which cannot without Absurdity be applied in the Interpretation of the Parable.

(dj Come, let us till him, &c] If such a Proposal would have been, the Height of Folly, as well as Wickedness, in these Hujbandmen, it was so much the more proper, to represent the Part the Jewijh Rulers acted in the Murther of Christ, which they were now projecting, and which they accomplished within Three Days. The Admonition was most graciously given; but served only in an astonishing Manner to illustrate that Degree of Hardness, to which a sinful Heart is capable of arriving.

(c) And caji him out of the Vineyard, and flew him.~\ So Matthew and Luke express it; but Mark has changed the Order of the Words, and fays, They killed him, and cajl him tut ef the Vineyard; if we may not render that Clause, They both stew him, and cast him out,

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Mat. XXI. 38: Biifr when the Husbandmen saw the Son, [iju K. they reasoned among themselves, faying.] This is the Heir j come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his Inheritance, [Lu K. that it may be ours.l [mark XII. 7. Luke XX: 14.]

39 And they caught him^. and cast him out of the Vineyard, and flew him [mark. XII. 8. Luke XX. 15.-]

40 When the Lord therefore of the Vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those Husbandmen? [mark XII.9.— Lukexx.—15.]

4.1 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked Men, and will let out his Vineyard unto other Husbandmen, which {hall render him the Fruits in their Seasons.

He w*# therefore destroy them, and let the Vineyard to others. 331

•dead Body in a most contemptuous and insolent, Sect. 152. as well as inhumane Manner. <^~v-v^,

When therefore the Lord of the Vineyard him- Mat. XXI.
self cometh, armed with a Power which they will 40-
be utterly unable to resist, -what will he do, think
you, to those treacherous and cruel Husbandmen,
when he has them entirely at his Disposal?

And as the Jewish Rulers did not understand, 41
that they themselves were these unfaithful Hus-
bandmen, they say unto him, There is no Doubt
but he will wretchedly destroy those wicked and in-
corrigible Wretches, nor is the most tormenting
Death too severe for them to expect; and he will
then let out the Vineyard to other Husbandmen, who
shall faithfully render him the Fruits of it in their
proper Seasons.

Thus did they, before they were aware, con- Luke XX.
demn themselves; and \sfesus added,] You have l6,
answered right: He shall indeed quickly come,
and destroy these Husbandmen of whom I speak,
whoever they shall appear to be, with terrible
Severity, and will give the Vineyard to others. And
all this was, as if he had said, Consider your own
Concern in what you have heard: God has plant-
ed a Church among you, and given you an ex-
cellent Revelation of his Will j abundant Provi-
sion has been made, both for your Protection, and
your Improvement too: But you have ungrate-
fully refused the Fruits of Obedience, which were
so justly his Due; and when he has frequently
sent his Servants the Prophets, with one Message
and Demand after another, you the Rulers and
Teachers of Israel, to whom the Cultivation of
the Vineyard has been committed, have treated
them in a most ungrateful and barbarous Man-
ner: And now at last he has sent his Son, and
you are going to seize on him, and to add that


Lvkexx. 16.— [Jesus said,] He (hall come and destroy these Husbandmen, and (hall give the Vineyard to others. £marjixii.—5.]

so as not to determine which was done first. One cannot suppose, Christ uttered it both these Ways; so that if there be no accidental Transposition in Mark, he probably meant thereby to intimate what is hinted in the Paraphrase, the exposing his dead Body in a most daring Defiance of publick Justice.——Those that explain the casting him out of the Vineyard, .of Excommunication, which preceded or attended the Execution of a Capital Sentence, do not observe the proper Import of the Vineyard. See below, Note (i},

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Luke XX 16.

332 Jesus applies the Parabie to the Jewish Rulers*

Sect. i52.Murther, which you are, now contriving, to the Guilt of all your other Crimes. I leave it therefore to your own Consciences to judge what the Event must: be. And for this Reason now I say unto you plainly, that the Kingdom of GOD, which you have thus vilely and ungratefully abused, shall be taken away from you, and given to a Nation which shall bring forth the Fruits thereof: i. e. his Gospel shall be taken from you, and be carried to the Gentries, who will improve it much better than you have done.

And when they heard this fad Denunciation,

with which the Parable concluded, and found

that [it] was aimed at them, they said, GOD

forbid, that this mould be the Cafe with regard

to us, nor can we ever believe that it will.

And Jesus looked upon them with great Seriousness and Solemnity in his Countenance, and said unto them, What is this then that is written? (Psal. cxviii. 22, 23.) Did you never read, or never reflect upon this remarkable Passage in the Scriptures, " The Stone which the Builders refused, the lt same is become the Head-Stone of the Corner (f): "This is the Lord's Doing, and it is wonderful "in our Eyes?" Words, which tho' they might leem to be accomplished in the Exaltation of David to the Jewish Throne, are in their highest: Sense applicable to the Mesfiah (g), who, tho* disdainfully rejected by you Scribes and Pharisees and Rulers of the People, whose Office it is to build up the Church, is nevertheless chosen by God to be its great Support and Ornament. And therefore let me plainly tell you, that whosoever


Mat. XXI. 43. Theresore fay I unto you, The Kingdom of God (hall be taken from you, and given to a Nation bringing forth, the Fruits thereof.

Luke XX.—16. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

17 And [ Jesus ] beheld them, and said [unto them,] What is this then that is written ? [Did ye never read [mar. this] in the Scriptures,] The Stone which the Builders rejected, the fame is become the Head of the Corner: [This is the Lord's Doing, and it is marvellous in our Eyes?] [mat. XXI. 42. Mark. XII. 10, n.]

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18 [And] whosoever shall fall

(f) the Head-Stone of the Corner.'] This I take to be the Meaning of the Words M^om ymviaf, rather than the Chief Corner-Stone, as it does not appear exactly to answer to axftyuvuuov, (Eph. i'u 20. and 1 Pet. ii. 6.) which, as the Connection in those Places shews, (as well as the Use of it in other Authors,) signifies that great Corner-Stone, which lay st the Bottom of the Building as its Support. What is mentioned afterwards of this Head-Stone

falling on a Person, seems not to suit with the Supposition of its being laid on,, or under the Ground. Compare Zech. iv. 7.

(g) Tho' they might seem to be accomplished in the Exaltation of David &c] Mr. Jefftry has justly observed, (in his Review, pag. 119.) that on the Principles of Analogy this

Passage will be much to the present Purpose, tho' it should be confefled, that P/al. cxviii. was immediately meant of David; as it would prove, that the great Builders of Israel might refuse one, whom God intended for the Head Stone of the Corner,

(h) On

*They would have seized him, but are afraid os the People. 33 3 foil upon [this] Stone, (hall ever Jhall fall upon this Stone, i. e. whosoever shall Sect. 152'.

stumble at me and my Doctrine, while I am^-^NCw-' here on Earth in this humble Form, he (hall be lgu

be broken; but on whomsoever it fliall fall, it will grind him to Powder. [mat. XXI. 44-1

ig—And [when] the Giief Priests and the Scribes

Sand Pharisees had heard his 'arables, they] the fame Hour fought to lay Hands on him; for they perceived that he had spoken this Parable against them. [mat. XXI. 45. Mark. XII. «—]

Mat. XXI. 46. But— they feared the Multitude, because they took him for a Prophet: [ and they left him, and went their Way.] [mark XII.—12. Luke XX.—19J

broken and damaged by it ; but on •whomsoever it
frail fall, when raised up to so glorious an Emi-
nence, it frail even grind him to Powder (h), Ijke
a brittle Potsherd crushed by the Weight of some
huge Stone falling upon it from on high: (Com-
pare Dan. ii. 44.) So whoever shall oppose me
after my Exaltation to Glory, and the pouring
out of my Spirit for the full Revelation of my
Gospel and Proof of my Mission, he will bring
upon himself aggravated Guilt, and dreadful un-
avoidable Destruction.

And when the Chief Priests and the Scribes and 19,
Pharisees had heard his Parables, which he had
now delivered, they were so provoked at what he
had said, that even in that very Hour they sought
to lay their Hands on him, that they might pro-
secute him even to Death; for they plainly per-
ceivedy that he had spoken this Parable of the wick-
ed Husbandmen that should be destroyed, against,
them (i), and had in effect set them all at De-
fiance by the Application of so signal a Prophecy
to himself. But they feared the People, who Mat. XXL
were then present in the Temple, because they *6,
esteemed him as a Prophet sent from God, and
would not have borne that immediate Assault
upon him, which the Rage of these Rulers would
otherwise have engaged them to. make. And
therefore, not daring for the present to attempt to
seize him with an open Violence, they left hims
and went away to take Counsel in private against


(f>) On whomsoever it Jhall fall, fcfV.] Dr. Whithy supposes, that here is an Allusion te the Two different Ways of Stoning among the Jews; the former, by throwing a Person down upon a great Stone; and the other, by letting a Stone fall upon him. But as I caivnot fee, that the latter was at all more dreadful than the former, since in such a Case a quick Dispatch might seem most desirable, it seems to me that the Force and Beauty of this pathetic Passage would be in a great measure lost by such an Interpretation.

(i) They perceived that he had spoken this Parable again/1 them.] One would think, they could be at no Loss for the Interpretation of it, considering how nearly it resembles that in Isa. v. 1,—7. with which they were, no doubt, well acquainted. Only it is to be observed, that there Israel is the Vineyard, here the true Religion is represented under that Figure; accordingly there it is threatened, that the Vineyard should be dcjlroyed, but here that it should be let out to other Husbandmen; each Event suiting its Connection.

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