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HAVE ME EXCUSED;



OB,



A PRACTICAL EXPOSITION



PARABLE



GREAT SUPPER.



BY



EZRA D. KINNEY, A.M.

PASTOR OF THE cilURCH IN DARIENj CONN.



LUKE XIV. 15-24.
"A certain man made a great Supper, and bade many."



i NEW- YORK :

M. W. DODD,

BRICK CHURCH CHAPEL, OPPOSITE THE CITY HALL.
1846.



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1346,

BY EZRA D. KINNEY, A.M.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the State of Connecticut.



CONTENTS.



PREFACE - - - ',?***.. * -. - - vii
To THE READER .... .,..,. ix
I. CHRIST ALWAYS DOING GOOD 13
II. THOSE WHO RIGHTLY IMPROVE GOSPEL PRI-
VILEGES ARE HAPPY - - - 16-

III. THE GOSPEL SUPPER is GREAT - 19

IV. WHAT LED CHRIST TO MAKE THIS GREAT

SUPPER ? 21

V. MANY INVITED TO THIS GREAT SUPPER 25
VI. THE SERVANT WHO CARRIES THE INVITATION 27
VII. THE SUPPER is NOW READY '* - - 29
VIII. WHY MEN DO NOT COME TO THIS SUPPER 31
Sec. 1. Total Depravity not an insurmountable Ob-
stacle - - - v ' - /:: :V/ -*'' ;'- *' 31
" 2. God's Purposes no insurmountable Obstacle 33
3. Election not in the Way ... 35
" 4. None need be Excluded by Reprobation 37
" 5. Men can come to the Great Supper - 38
" 6. Regeneration does not debar from the Sup-
per - ... - - - 41
" 7. Evil men and Satan cannot keep others from

the Supper 42

" 8. Men need the Provisions of the Great Sup-
per .......44

" 9. A want of Room keeps none Away . - 46

'* 10. No want of Provisions .... 47



IV CONTENTS.

Sec. It. None Stay away for want of an Invitation 49

" 12. All would be Welcomed to the Supper - 50
" 13. Sinners stay away from the Feast for want

of Appetite - .... 52
" 14. Sinners are unwilling to have an Appetite

for this Supper - 3^- ' * *- 54
" 15. Sinners don't like the Terms of Admission 56
" 16. Sinners don't like God's People - * 58
" 17. Sinners don't love God .... 61
" IS. Sinners think they can do without the Gos-
pel Supper .... .f 62
" 19. Some think all will Enjoy the Supper uncon-
ditionally - > - - - -64
" 20. Some delay coming because they Hope the

Supper will be kept waiting for Them 66

IX. SINNERS EXCUSE THEMSELVES FOR NOT

COMING TO THE GREAT SUPPER - 68

Sec. 1. A new Purchase of Land lay in the Way 69
" 2. Oxen a Hindrance - - - 71
" 3. A wife is a Hindrance ... 74

" 4. I don't know that the Bible is True - - 75
" 5. Universalism a Hindrance to Salvation 78

" 6. The Moralist's Religion hinders his Salvation 89
7. A cavil about Original Sin made a Hindrance 99
" 8. Too Young to be a good Christian - 101

" 9. Religion would make me less Happy - 108
" 10. The Fear of Man is a Snare - - - 112
" 11. Inconsistent Professors are a Stumbling Block 115
" 12. No notion of being Scared into Religion - 120
" 13. How came Sin into the World ? - - 125
" 14. I want to wait for others' Halting - 128

" 15. If I begin, I can't finish - - - - 131



CONTENTS. V

Sec. 16. My Business and Religion would not Agree 135
" 17. Many Cares and no Time - 139
" 18. Religion would ruin my Property and Repu-
tation - - - - - - - 144

' 19. Prayers, an Abomination ... 149

" 20. I'll be no Hypocrite , ^ v r , - - - 152

" 21. Not enough Convicted .... 155

" 22. Religion not for Me 160

" 23. The thought of Repentance Painful - 163

" 24. Religion don't come at one's beck - - 165

" 25. Waiting God's time - - . - - 168
" 26. If the Thief found Mercy at last, why may

not I? 172

" 27. If I am to be Saved, I shall be Saved - 176

" 28. I don't Believe in Hurrying - - - 181

29. The Eleventh Hour - - 185

" 30. I have a Hope ...... 190

" 31. I Mean to live Differently ... 194

" 32. I have a Good Mind to undertake it - - 198

" 33. I don't like to Pledge myself - ^ - 201

" 34. I can't do any thing - - - - - 205

" 35. There are so many Denominations . 210

36. I can't get Religion - - - - - 212

X. THE SERVANT MAKES HIS REPORT TO THE

MASTER - -*- - - 216
XI. THE MASTER is ANGRY AT THE EVIL RE-
PORT 219

XII. THE MASTER DETERMINES TO SUPPLY HIS

SUPPER WITH GUESTS ... 222

XIII. THE SERVANT DOES AS COMMANDED 225

XIV. YET THERE is ROOM 226
XV. THE BLESSINGS OF THE FEAST TO BE URGED

UPON ALL ...... 228



VI CONTENTS.

XVI. THE SEATS MUST ALL BE OCCUPIED - 230

XVII. COMPEL THEM TO COME IN - - - 231
XVIII. THE MASTER CAN DO WITHOUT THOSE WHO

WILL NOT COME - - - 233

CONCLUSION.

1. The Kindness and Benevolence of God - 235

2. The Folly of Mankind 236

3. The Ingratitude of Men 237

4. The Distinguishing Grace of God - - - 238

5. God's Justice in the Doom of the Ungodly 241

6. Sinners will have Bitter Reflections in Hell 242



PREFACE.



ALTHOUGH the author has been in the habit, for many
years^of furnishing matter for the periodical press, yet this
is his first effort at book making. And he does not make
this book in consequence of thinking that there are not
many, who have never written a book, that are far better
qualified than himself for such a task. The train of cir-
cumstances which have led to this undertaking, is the fol-
lowing : While the author was engaged in school-keeping,
in a mountain town of Vermont, during vacation in col-
lege, the late Rev. Abraham Baldwin, who was then la-
bouring as a missionary in a neighbouring town, preached
a lecture one evening in his school-house from the text,
" And they all, with one consent, began to make excuse."
That lecture may be called the germ of this little book.
During the author's ministry of twenty years, he has learn-
ed from personal experience, that every impenitent person
has something in the shape of an excuse, which is prevent-
ing his conversion. He has been led, on this account, to
note down, and refute, very many of these excuses in his
public discourses. It has been the author's delightful pri-
vilege to have more or less to do in about fifty revivals, in
which some twelve or fifteen hundred souls have profess-
ed an interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has found,
that the Lord has often seen fit to make many of the






Vlll PREFACE.

thoughts contained in this book, the means of awakening
the unconverted, and of leading them to look to the Lamb
of God for salvation. It was this consideration, and the
hope that what God had blessed when preached, he would
also bless whea read, which have induced him to think of
publishing.

The author has not attempted to make a book for the
fastidious, or the learned ; but for " the wayfaring man ;"
the simple-hearted, and the child. He has sought to clothe
his thoughts in a plain, every-day, Anglo-Saxon dress. If
he can make the unlearned and the ignorant understand his
meaning, he has no fears but others will understand it also.

The author would embrace this opportunity to express
his grateful sense of obligation to those personal friends
and others, who have been so kind as to subscribe for his
book, before he sent it to the publisher. While some of
the members of his own church, and some who profess to
have been converted in connection with his unworthy la-
bours, have said to himself or his agent, " Have me ex-
cused" you have stepped forward and lent him a helping
hand, without which his book would never have seen the
light. Whether it will be for better, or for worse, that you
have caused it to be printed and read, the judgment-day
will disclose. The author would take his farewell by ask-
ing you to unite your prayers with his, that this little vol-
ume may be made the means of salvation to many souls.

E. D. K.

DARIEN, Conn., Nov. 2, 1846.



TO THE READER.



ARE you a professor of the religion of Christ ?
This book will give you many hints, and present
before you many motives in regard to Christian
duty. If you are in doubt as to your eternal pros-
pects, here you will find truths and considerations,
which will assist you in understanding your true
character. If you are desirous of rendering your-
self useful in your intercourse with your fellow
men, here you will see how our Divine Master
conducted under the different circumstances of life,
when he was setting us an example that we should
follow. Do you wish to be instrumental in win-



X TO THE READER.

ning souls to Christ, and in converting sinners
from the error of their ways, this book will furnish
you with reasons, persuasions, and arguments, with
which to meet the difficulties, and objections, and
cavils, and excuses of different classes of uncon-
verted persons. Seldom will you meet with an
impenitent sinner, whose excuse for not being a
Christian is not here shown to be groundless, and
unwise, and unsafe. Carry this book with you for
reference, until its arguments are familiar. God
has often blessed these truths to the conversion of
souls, and he doubtless will bless them again.
When you employ them to remove the excuses of
the ungodly, always do it with fervent prayer, that
the Holy Spirit would use the truth, as the fire and
the hammer, in breaking the rock in pieces.

Reader, are you an unconverted person ? Are
you living without prayer, and without satisfactory
evidence, that you have been born of the Holy Spi-
rit, and that old things are done away, and that all



TO THE READER. xi

things have become new ? This book was written
for your special benefit. It has been the writer's
aim, from the beginning to the end, to promote your
welfare. He has written it with an irrepressible
anxiety, that you might spend your eternal exist-
ence among the happy ones who surround the
throne of God, and the Lamb, in the upper world.
He has endeavoured to find out the excuse, which is
leading you to expose your eternal interests, by ne-
glecting the great, the glorious, the only salvation
for lost men. Do, I pray you, read this book with
seriousness, with candour, with prayer. If you
find the excuse, which you have harboured, or ex-
pressed, for not being a Christian, weigh well and
thoughtfully the answer, which the writer has given
to it. I would not advise you to sit down and read
this book through, at once, or on the same day ;
but read a Chapter, or a Section, at a time, and
ponder on what you read. Read over the contents
of the book, and if you see one subject, more than



Xii TO THE READER.

another, suited to your case, turn to that and give
it a careful consideration. If you really desire to
become a Christian, you cannot fail of becoming
one, if you follow the advice, given in different
forms, in various parts of this book. That the
reading of this book, may result in your salvation
from sin and hell, and in promoting your happiness
and usefulness in your day and generation, is the
earnest prayer of the AUTHOR.




THE GREAT SUPPER.

CHAPTER I.

CHRIST ALWAYS DOING GOOD.

WHEN our blessed Saviour was visibly on
earth, he " went about doing good" He lost
no time. He said : " I must work the work of
Him that sent me, while it is day, for the night
cometh in which no man can work." We find
him always busy, and busy too, in his own ap-
propriate work. His mind was fixed upon one
great object, and he never lost sight of it. That
object was the glory of God in the happiness of
mankind. If we accompany him to scenes of
affliction, we find him imparting health to the
sick ; strength, to the feeble ; soundness, to the
maimed ; mental vigour, to the insane ; life, to
the dead ; and, comfort, to the sorrowful. Be-
hold him, weary and thirsty, at Jacob's well.
"While his disciples are gone to buy provisions
2



14 THE GREAT SUPPER.

at the neighbouring village, we find the Sa-
viour, instead of refreshing himself with gentle
slumber under the cooling shade, engaged in the
most interesting conversation with a dissolute
woman, who came to draw water. He sought,
and procured her conversion, and, through her,
the conversion of many of her townsmen. If
we drop in at the house of Lazarus, as our
Lord stops for a social call, we find his conver-
sation so attractive and heavenly, that the err-
ing Mary is drawn from her wonted avocations
to sit at his feet, and hear his words. Or, if we
take a short journey to Emmaus, Christ will
" talk with us by the way, and open to us the
Scriptures." Or, should we accompany him as
he calls to dine with one of the chief Pharisees,
we should hear him pouring forth divine truth
to the different classes present, with an elo-
quence, which burns like fire on the consciences
of the ungodly, and which attracts the admir-
ing gaze of the whole audience. Wherever he
was, whether he ate, or drank, or whatever he
did, he did all things to the glory of God. When
he was partaking of his daily bread, he did not
seek his own gratification or profit, but he ever
sought the profit of those who were with him.
Even on such occasions, he improved the time



CHRIST ALWAYS DOING GOOD. 15

in comforting the penitent, in rebuking the self-
righteous and the proud, in animating the de-
jected, and in imparting instruction to the
whole company.

Christians should learn from Him, whose
name they bear, to employ their time, their tal-
ents, their opportunities, particularly their
tongues, in promoting the edification, and the
salvation of mankind. Let them do their part
in introducing, and carrying on, profitable con-
versation. Let them ever keep in mind that
they are Christ's representatives in this world,
and that they ought to do, under all circum-
stances, as far as it is consistent and possible,
and proper for them to do, whatever they have
reason to think the Saviour would do, if he
were there acting for himself.



CHAPTER II.

THOSE WHO RIGHTLY IMPROVE GOSPEL PRIVILEGES
ARE HAPPY.

As our Divine Master was charming the mul-
titude who were listening to his edifying dis-
course, one of his hearers said unto him,
" Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the king-
dom of God." It is a very precious privilege
to be allowed to enter the visible Church as a
worthy member. Those, who have evidence
that their sins have been forgiven, deprive them-
selves of much true happiness, if they remain
out of the visible kingdom of heaven the
Church. God says to such, " Come ye out from
among them and be ye separate, and touch not
the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and
will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my
sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
If Christ has a visible Church in this world, who
should unite with it, and help add to its beauty
and prosperity, if not those whose sins he has
graciously forgiven ? The Church was institu-



THE OBEDIENT ARE HAPPY. 17

ted on purpose for them. It is to them he says,
" Eat, O friends ; drink, yea, drink abundantly,
O beloved." After our Lord had instituted his
Supper, he said to all who love him, "Eat,
drink, this is my body broken, this is rny blood
shed, THIS DO in remembrance of me" It is
not enough that we reme?nber Christ. He
commands us to do something in remembrance
of him, to DO THIS. Every friend of Jesus
should, therefore, feel himself obliged to unite
with the visible Church, and partake of the
Lord's Supper in remembrance of him. Blessed
is he that is a worthy partaker of the sacraments
of the Church that thus eats bread in the
kingdom of God. He finds the ordinances of
the Gospel to be food for his spiritual nature.
Conscious obedience brings peace of mind, and
joy in the Holy Ghost. Cheerful obedience al-
ways imparts comfort. Said a pious physician,
" The day on which I united with the Church,
and received the sacraments of baptism and the
Lord's Supper, was the happiest day of my
life." Multitudes can testify from similar ex-
perience, that he who eats bread in the king-
dom of God is happy is blessed. If this lit-
tle book falls into the hands of a delaying con-
vert of one who has tasted that the Lord is
2*



18 THE GREAT SUPPER.

gracious, but has not offered himself to become
a member of the visible Church let him be en-
treated by a regard to his own happiness, by a
regard to the prosperity of Zion, and by a re-
gard to Christ's command and God's glory, to
delay no longer. " Blessed is he that shall eat
bread in the kingdom of God." TRY IT.




THE GOSPEL SUPPER IS GREAT.

THEN Christ replied to the man, who had
said, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the
kingdom of God, " A certain man made a great
Supper, and bade many." This certain man
who made the Supper is none other than CHRIST
himself* By his sufferings and death he has
made provisions for the spiritual wants of the
human family.

The Supper which he has provided is a great
Supper. It is sufficient to satisfy the necessities
of & famishing world. Jews and Gentiles, the
rich and the poor, the honoured and the dis-
honoured, the learned and the ignorant, the
free and the bond, the white and the black
all men of every nation, of every complexion,
of every variety of character all, all may find
in this Supper an abundant supply for all their
wants.

Yes, truly, the Supper is GREAT ; greater than
could be furnished by any rich man, or all the



xSU THE GREAT SUPPER.

rich men in the world united ; greater than
would be made by the slaughter of all the flocks
and herds, and fowls and fish of the earth, the
air, and the waters of this terrestrial globe ;
greater than could be procured by all the wis-
dom and wealth and power of all created be-
ings in the universe. Yes, the Gospel Supper
is GREAT ; so great, that none but GOD, with
all the resources of the universe at command,
could bear its heavy expenses, or furnish its in-
finite entertainments ; so great, that it is said
to have impoverished even the Son of God him-
self. Says the apostle Paul, " For ye know
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though
he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,
that ye, through his poverty, might be rich."

Reader, stop and admire the infinite compas-
sion and love of God, which led him to lay out
so much for his enemies ! Will you not give
him your heart ? Will you not hasten to par-
take of this great Supper ?



CHAPTER IV.

WHAT LED CHRIST TO MAKE THIS GREAT SUPPER?

WHAT could induce the Son of God to pro-
vide such a Supper, when he knew that it must
cost his heart's blood ? Was it to get to him-
self a name ? Men are willing, sometimes, to
go beyond their incomes, and even to go to the
utmost limit of their property, to provide enter*
tainments, or to relieve the poor and needy,
that they may thereby gain a name. But this
was' not the motive of our blessed Saviour.
When he was about coming into this world to
provide the Gospel Supper, he said to the Father,
'^Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." And
whilst he was upon earth he testified that he
sought not his own glory, but the glory of the
Father. His motive, therefore, was not a name,
although by furnishing this great Supper, " he
hath received of the Father a name, which is
above every name." That name is JESUS.
" At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,



22 THE GREAT SUPPER.

of things in heaven, of things in earth, and of
things under the earth, and every tongue shall
confess that HE is LORD, to the glory of God
the Father."

What, then, did lead the Son of God to make
this Supper ? Was it to make God merciful 7
God has always been " merciful and gracious ;
slow to anger, and plenteous in mercies." Was
it because men were of such vast importance
in God's estimation, that the loss could not be
made up to the universe, if they were suffered
to perish without an effort to save them ? No,
God, by a word, could have annihilated this
world, with ail its guilty inhabitants, and made
a larger and better world to fill its place, and a
better race of intelligent beings to inhabit it.
Did Christ procure this Supper for men, in con-
sequence of their deserving any good at his
hand ? They deserved evil, and only evil, from
>Jie Lord, because they were constantly rebel-
ling against him. Did he provide this feast of
fat things, because God could not be just in
permitting men to perish in their sins, without
this effort to save them ? If God is just in
dealing with fallen angels as he does, then
would he also have been just, had he left our



WHY CHRIST MADE THE SUPPER. 23

guilty race under the penalty of his law, with-
out making any provision for their pardon.

Why, then, was this Supper made ? It was,
that God might consistently show mercy to
those of mankind, who would come and par-
take of this royal feast. In other words, it was
" that God might be just, and the justifier of
him who believeth in Jesus." The wonder
among intelligent beings was, (not, how God
can be just and damn the ungodly, but) how
God can be just and not damn rebellious men.
But the Gospel provisions have solved this diffi-
culty. The universe now see the propriety of
God's accepting of this costly Supper, in the
place of the deserved sufferings of all those,
who can be induced to come and partake of it.
These provisions have rendered it consistent
with God's justice to pardon, and save, all those
who repent and believe in Christ. "God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not
perish, but have everlasting life."

Yes, dear reader, Christ died to remove a le-
gal obstruction to our salvation. For us, he
groaned and died. Without his death, we all
must have perished for ever. If Christ had not



THE GREAT SUPPER.

^htyfj^ 1 * 1 ^' 6Ven theA1 -
we, then,
for him ?



s, even te -

ghty God could not consistently save us. Can
then love Christ too much, or do too mu ch



" Love, so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.'



CHAPTER V.

MANY INVITED TO THIS GREAT SUPPER.

OUR Divine Saviour has not only made this
costly Supper, but he has also bidden many of
our fallen and guilty race to come and partake
of it. And how many has he bidden ? He
has bidden " all those who labour, and are hea-
vy laden." He has invited all who hunger and
thirst. " If any man thirst, let him come."
" Let him that is a thirst, come." " Ho, every
one that thirsteth ; come ye to the waters ; and
he that hath no money : Come ye, buy and
eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk without
money, and without price. Wherefore do ye
spend money for that which is not bread ? and
your labour for that which satisfieth not?
hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that
which is good, and let your soul delight itself in
fatness." Yes, Christ has bidden many. He
says : " Look unto me, all the ends of the
earth, and be ye saved." He has bidden you
3



26 THE GREAT SUPPER.

and me, my dear reader, to come and eat of
this great and costly Supper. He is now say-
ing to us : " Unto you, O men, I call, and my
voice is to the sons of man : hear instruction,
and be wise. Blessed is the man that heareth
me, watching daily at my gates. For whoso
findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favour
of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me,
wrongeth his own soul." If Christ has kindly
invited you to this heavenly feast, will you not
now accept his invitation ?



CHAPTER VI.

THE SERVANT WHO CARRIES THE INVITATION.

THE one who made this Supper, sent his ser-
vant at supper time to invite the guests. Our
blessed Saviour, when here on earth, sent out
his disciples to all the cities and villages,
whither he himself would come. And when
he was about leaving this world, he said to his
Apostles : " Go ye into all the world, and
preach the Gospel to every creature." "It
pleases the Lord, by the foolishness of preach-
ing, to save them that believe." The Gospel
minister, is the servant, whom Christ has sent
out to invite men to this great Supper. Every
Gospel sermon, is an invitation to sinners to
come and share the blessings of divine grace.

The minister, (a word which means servant,)
preaches the word publicly, and from house to
house. He warns, reproves, and entreats his
fellow men to come to Christ for salvation. He,
in effect, says to them :



350 THE GREAT SUPPER.

" Eternal Wisdom hath prepared

A soul-reviving feast,
And bids your longing appetites

The rich provision taste."

But not only is the minister authorized to
invite men to this Supper, but, " let him also
that heareth, say, Come." Every Christian is
authorized, and commanded, to use his influ-
ence to bring men to a knowledge of the truth.
Christ says to them all : " Go, work to-day, in
my vineyard." The pious parent and child,
brother and sister, husband and wife, teacher
and scholar, Bible agent and Tract agent, every
one, who has freely received the grace of God,
is commanded to impart it freely to others.


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