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unto shall I liken the king vades the whole meal, so the Gospel dom of God? It is like shall spread itself over the whole
world. leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. And he went through the cities and villages teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 Vain question! The great con23 Then said one unto him, cern of each individual is to strive Lord, are there few that be after his own hope of life eternal, saved? And he said unto ere death “shut to the door," and them. Strive to enter in at there be no more opportunity of the strait gate : for many, I grace. say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us ; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are ; 26 Then shall ye begin to say, 26 What availeth it to possess the We have eaten and drunk in means of grace, unless we apply thy presence, and thou hast them! taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are ; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And,
30 The Gentiles shall first enter the behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are
Gospel-kingdom. first which shall be last. The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill 32 He shows the nearness of those thee. 32 And he said unto « tribulations, through which he was them, Go ye, and tell that to enter into glory;" and adds, that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, according to the Jewish law, he must and I do cures to day and to be “ judged in Jerusalem.” morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 34 How affecting is this burst of which killest the prophets, feeling, on foreseeing the misery and stonest them that are awaiting his wretched country! An
his anxious care, how was it rejected sent unto thee; how often and scorned ! 'Who shall wonder would I have gathered thy that ungrateful Jerusalem—its house, children together, as a hen its city, and its temple—was left dedoth gather her brood under
solate ? and who can doubt that,
when the desolation fell upon it, her wings, and ye would not!
many, in the bitterness of remorse, Behold, your house is left blessed that very Messiah who had unto you desolate: and verily visited them in the name of the I say unto you, Ye shall not
Lord. Take we heed, lest we, spisee me, until the time come afresh
ritually, “crucify the Son of God
and so our house also be when ye shall say, Blessed is left unto us, desolate ! he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
MARCH 3, JULY 2, Oct. 28. "And it came to pass, as he ? Jesus never declined mixing in went into the house of one society. of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, 6 His sound reasoning and let him go; Sand an
them. swered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again 7A Christian spirit of deference to these things. ' And he towards others, throws its quiet put forth a parable to those charm over those common courtesies which were bidden, when he of life, of which our Lord's precept marked how they chose out and example combine to sanctify the
observance. the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room ; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest 10 It is equally unchristian and unroom. 19 But when thou art courteous to be prominent, and in a bidden, go and sit down in presuming spirit to place ourselves the lowest room ; that when above our superiors in the social he that bade thee cometh, he circle may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher : then shalt 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 2 This caution was given to prevent shall be exalted. 22 Then an ostentatious and self-interested said he also to him that bade display of hospitality. him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours ; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind : and thou shalt be blessed : for they cannot recompense thee : for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of 15 To Reat bread in the kingdom the just. ? And when one of God," is to partake of the priviof them that sat at meat with leges of the Gospel. him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the king- 16 By “ the great supper," is to be dom of God. Then said understood the Christian dispensehe unto him, A certain man tion, to which the Jews were first made a great supper, and bidden. bade many : and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one con
1$ How many, on some or other
18 sent began to make excuse. worldly plea, now neglect the word The first said unto him, I and ordinances of God that rich have bought a piece of feast to which He bids us. Who shall ground, and I must needs go wonder that the Lord of the feast is and see it: I pray thee have any me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them : 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. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet
23 As the Jews refused the invita
23 there is room.
tion; lord said unto the servant, Now, as then, the ministers are bound Go out into the highways to urge, with all their power, an aeand hedges, and compel them ceptance of the gracious call.
24 The Jews accordingly are not to come in, that my house
partakers of the blessing. may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. And there went great multitudes with him : and he turned, and said 26 Yet the same Jesus committed unto them, 26 If any man his mother to the care of St. John.
come to me, and hate not his So that we are only guarded against father, and mother, and wife, allowing any, even the highest and and children, and brethren,
holiest earthly consideration, to in
terfere with a sincere devotion to and sisters, yea, and his own God. life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my dis- 28 Calculate well the comparative ciple. 28 For which of you, advantages of this world and the intending to build a tower, next, and make your choice wisely. sitteth not down first, and Shall your gain be for time or for counteth the cost, whether actiuy. 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 31 Have you offended the Almighty? king, going to make war Sin no more, lest “ thou be found to against another king, sitteth fight against God.” Implore thy not down first, and consult advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, to eth whether he be able with intercede. ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand ? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. * So likewise, whosoever he 33 This was often the required be of you that forsaketh not proof of discipleship. Nobly did the all that he hath, he cannot early Christians meet it. be my disciple. 34 Salt is
34 Christians are as the salt of the
earth—they are to meliorate and good : but if the salt have
preserve from corruption the mass lost his savour, wherewith of society. But if they are preshall it be seasoned ? It is tenders—“ if the salt have lost its neither fit for the land, nor savour"- how are they to benefit yet for the dunghill; but men
oth cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
MARCH 4, JULY 3, Oct. 29. Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. ? And the Pha- 2 Blind to their own hateful sins of risees and scribes murmured, hypocrisy and spiritual pride. saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable 4 Blessed be God's watchful care ! unto them, saying, " What It is like that of a shepherd-by man of you, having an hun- night and by day--exercised unweadred sheep, if he lose one of riedly.
them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me ; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek dili- O God holds the souls of men as his gently till she find it? And treasure. These he stamps with his when she hath found it, she own image by Jesus Christ, and calleth her friends and her would fain preserve as his OWIL. neighbours together, saying, (Con
(Col. iii. 10.) Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, 10 If God deigns to rejoice in the there is joy in the presence conversion of a sinner, who can doubt of the angels of God over that angels share that joy! one sinner that repenteth. 11 This parable of the two sons, de.
signated the Jews and the Gentiles " And he said, A certain
- the Jew, the elder; the Gentile, man had two sons : and the the younger brother. But it is apyounger of them said to his plicable to us all : we must all be father, Father, give me the penitent, if we would be accepted". portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land ; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat : and 17 Like one, who having awaked no man gave unto him. "And from a delusive dream, awakes to when he came to himself, he danger, and seeks such safety as he said, How many hired ser- may. vants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son:
* The Jew, as the elder son, had professedly adhered to the knowledge of the true God—the Gentiles served other gods. When, however, the Gentile was willing to return at the call of the Gospel, the Jew murmured at this, their participation of divine favour.