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birth, whether in Jew or Christian, makes a son of Abra-

10. For the !Son of man is come to seek and to save tliat which
was lost.

312 ST. LUKE. [chap. XIX.

All men are indeed lost, if sin makes us lost. Let us
find a lost state in ourselves, and he will certainly find us.
Till then he seeks, but does not save.

Chap. xix. ver. 11 — 27.


11. And as tliey heard these things, he added and spake a
parahle, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they
thought that the kingdom of God sliould immediately appear.

Which they supposed would be a glorious kingdom
upon earth, with the Jewish nation at the head of it. Let
us not mistake in our day. If we belong to the kingdom
of Christ, he has work for us to do in it, and will come in
his own time to inquire how we have performed it.

12. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far coun-
try to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

As Christ has received for himself, and his faithful ser-
vants a kingdom. But let us remember the word return.

13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten
pounds, and said unto them. Occupy till I come.

Every man has his work, under Christ, assigned him.
What kind of Ciiristians are those who never take account
of it 'i Each one of us has sins to be forgiven, an evil na-
ture which needs to be cleansed, and a heart to be turned
from the world unto God ; and he who says, " Occupy,"
does not leave you without helps. This should be thought
of. Again, attend to the words, " Till I come."

14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after In'm,
saying, We will n have this man to reign over us.

The citizens who hated Christ were the Jews at the

VER. 11—27.] ST. LUKE. 313

time the parable was spoken, and all persons now who will
not see a want of him, or who love their old state better.

15. And it caine to pass, tliat when he was returned, having
received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be
called vnito liim, to whom lie had given the money, that he might
know how much every man had gained by trading.

Let us set that time always before our eyes when Clirist
will call us, and think we hear that call now.

How few know what the Christian's trade is, — consider
it as the great business of life, — compute or compare its
great advantages, — or keep any regular account of gain and
loss, as men do for this world !

16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained
ten pounds.

17. And he said unto him. Well, thou good servant : because
thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over
ten cities.

It is but a very little we have to be faithful in, or can
do for Christ; and yet our reward will be unspeakably
great ; for every pound gained authority over a city. Yea,
more, an everlasting kingdom in heaven.

18. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained
five pounds.

Why did not he also gain ten ? God alone can answer
this question. Let us be faithful to our ability, and he
will require no more of us ; our reward will be in propor-
tion to our gains. But if we make this a pretence for sloth,
and think to be accepted for doing nothing, that which fol-
lows will strike all our hopes dead.

19. And he said hkewise to him. Be thou also over five cities.
A similar diligence has a similar reward. — Edit.

20. And anotlier came, saying, Lord, l)ehoI(l, here is thy pound,
which I have kept laid up in a napkin.

Every one is this hidcr of his pound, who does not
plainly purpose and sincerely endeavour to grow in grace,

314 ST. LUKE. [chap. XIX.

and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; and who
does not carry on his work by prayer.

21. Fori feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou
takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst
not sow.

God knows what we shall have to say to him at the last
day. But this very excuse lies closer to our hearts than
we imagine ; and though our souls are at stake, many say
openly, this, or that is hard. And what is this but making
God a hard task-master ? What did this man say more ?

22. And he saith unto him. Out of thine own mouth will I
judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an
austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I
did not sow.

Every mouth will be stopped, when God comes to reckon
with us, and our consciences will join with him in con-
demning us. And mark it well ; he is a wicked servant,
because he is a slothful one. He is condemned, not so
much for doing ill, as for doing nothing. Our bodies will
perish by idleness, as well as by a stab. Think of thy
soul. It is in a sickly, starving condition, and if thou
wouldest save it, thou must be working for it day and

23. Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank,
tliat at my coming I might have required mine own with usury ?

As if he had said. Why didst thou not endeavour to do
what was commanded, if thou thouglitest such a strict
account would be required of thee ?

24. And he said unto them that stood by. Take from him the
pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

A reward beyond his desert. Tiie answ^er of the Lord
implies that the servant had been faithful, and therefore
he should have more.

25. (And they said unto him, Lord, ho hath ten jiounds.)

2t>. For I say unto you, 'I'bat unto every one which hath sludi

VEIL 28—48.] ST. LUKE. 315

be given ; aiitl from him that hatli not, even that he hath shall be
taken away from him.

The man " that hath not," is he, who does not use and
improve what lie hatli, to the end for which it was given-
As keeping money always locked uj) in a chest, is the same
as not having it.

27. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should
reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

We see who are Christ's enemies. There is no middle
way. If we do not take him unfeignedly for our Lord and
King to reign over us, he knows we are enemies to him in
our hearts. Such he will command to be slain, to be cast
into the lake of fire, and given up for ever to the second


Chap. xix. ver. 28—48.



28. And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending
up to Jerusalem.

This should not pass unobserved. He led the way, though
he knew he was going to suffer the whole weight of God's
vengeance for the sin of the world.

29. And it came to ])ass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage,
and Bethany, at the mount called (he mount of Olives, he sent
two of his disciples,

30. Saying, Co ye into the village over against you: in the
which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never
man sat : loose him, and bring him hither.

31. And if any man ask you. Why do ye loose him P thus
shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

Though Jesus was Lord of all tilings, he would not have
his disciples take the colt without leave.

316 ST. LUKE. [chap. XIX.

32. And they that were sent, went their way, and found even as
he had said unto them.

33. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said
unto them. Why loose ye the colt ?

34. And they said. The Lord hath need of him.

35. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their gar-
ments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.

They placed Jesus, the king of heaven and earth, upon
a colt, the foal of an ass. The word Jesus is here empha-
tical. By choosing to enter into Jerusalem on an ass, he
declared that his kingdom is not of this world. The tri-
umph of Jesus is humility. He preached it in his birth,
and he preached it to the last. It is a hard lesson ; but
so necessary, that he would stoop very low to teach it.

36. And as they went, they sjiread their clothes in the way.
To do honour to him as their King.

37. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of
the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to
rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works
that they had seen ;

We have now read an account of a great many of Christ's
mighty works in the gospel, and all to this end, that we
may praise God for his mighty work in us, and say as
these persons did.

38. Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the
Lord : peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

This peace in heaven, is by the reconciliation of sinful
man to God through Christ. O that our hearts were
made to speak, and join their song of thanksgiving with the
blessed angels, for this adorable manifestation of his great

39. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude, said
unto liim. Master, rebuke thy disciples.

These were blind Pharisees! Jesus, however, knew best
who they were who deserved the rebuke.

40. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if

VER. 28— 48.J ST. LUKE. 317

these should hold their peace, the stones would immediatclv cvv

Can this be said of us, that we hold our peace ? We
have, it is true, the praise of Christ many a time upon
our tongues; but if it begins and ends there, he regards it

41. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wej)t
over it,

He thought not of himself, and his own sufferings. O
these were speaking, convincing tears ! Could he not then
save them, if he would ? No, he could not ; they would
not be saved. Everything had been done for them on
God's part, and all he could do farther was to weep over

42. Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this
thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace ! but now they
are hid from thine eyes.

This is written, that it may be a warning to every one
of us, that we may know, that our destruction will be of
ourselves, if we neglect the great salvation of God.

43. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall
cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee
in on every side.

44. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children
within thee ; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon
another ; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

This is as exact and circumstantial a description of the
siege and taking of Jerusalem, nearly forty years before the
event took place, as if it had been made on the spot, and
spoken after the event.

45. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them
that sold therein, and them that bought;

He was moved with holy zeal for the honour of the tem-
ple, and exerted his divine authority against its sacrilegious
profaners. The instruction to us, is to bear a suitable re-

318 ST. LUKE. [chap. XX.

verence to the place of God''s worship ; and, especially, not
to bring our worldly thoughts into it.

46. Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of
prayer : but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Praying hearts would bring us constantly to the house
appointed for the worship of God, through the mediation
of his only-begotten Son ; and keep us close to the busi-
ness of it.

47. And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests
and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,

48. And could not find what they might do : for all the people
were very attentive to hear him.

Let us hear him now. Let us hear his words in the Holy
Scriptures : — let us hear him speaking to our hearts. This
attention is life, happiness, and salvation.

Chap. XX. ver. 1 — 8.


1. And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught
the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the cliief priests
and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

Jesus preached the gospel, — remission of sins, and peace
with God ; the way to it, by repentance, and faith ; the way
to keep it, by newness of life.

2. And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority
doest thou these things ? or who is he that gave thee this au-
thority ?

Jesus had told them this by his miracles over and over
again ; and his telling them in plain words would not have
cured them of their blindness. What indeed will cure us,
when we are resolved not to see .'*

VKR. 1—8.] ST. LUKE. 319

3. And he answered and said untotlicm, I will also ask yon one
thing ; and answer nie :

4. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men ?

If their hearts would have suffered them to have given
a right answer, it might have opened a way for them to
the w^hole truth. We are not to suppose that this question
was evasive, or only to escape the snare that was laid for
him. He knew that he was within a very few days of his
death, and had no thought of avoiding it. His design was
to let in the liglit upon them, if they would have given way
to it.

5. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say.
From heaven ; he will say, Why then believed ye him not ?

So men who are prejudiced against the truth, turn them-
selves into all shapes to avoid it. Though they are never
so hard put to it, something or other they must pretend, to
blind conscience, and keep off conviction.

6. But and if we say. Of men ; all the people will stone us : for
they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

7. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

They would not please Christ with their answer, and
durst not displease the people. They had not one grain
of sincerity in them, and did not speak their minds either
one way or another. He was as reserved with them,
and showed that he could have nothino; to do with such

8. And Jesus said unto them. Neither tell I you by what au-
thority I do these things.

They were not worthy to know. He left them to them-
selves. It was a precious moment for them, and they lost
it. How many such seasons do we lose ?

320 ST. LUKE. [chap. XX.

Chap. XX. ver. 9 — ]8.


9. Then began he to speak to the people this parable ; A cer-
tain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and
went into a far country for a long time.

The vineyard was the Jewish church and people then ;
it sets forth Christians now, with all the means of grace
and salvation in their hands. The parable is for us, as
well as them ; and we shall get no instruction from it, if it
does not help us to see our own case.

10. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that
they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard : but the hus-
bandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.

It was at the season, when he knew fruit might be ex-
pected ; having given them time, and afforded them means
for it. " But the husbandmen beat him, and sent him
away empty." — One was a consequence of the other. Not
having fruit, their wicked nature worked according to its
kind, and they could not afford the servant civil usage ;
they did not only send him away empty, but beat him also.
It is the same world still.

1 1. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also,
and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away em])ty.

12. And again he sent a third : and they wounded him also,
and cast him out.

Observe, and wonder at the patience of God ; and also
what sufferings he exposes his servants to for the sake of
men's souls. When will they be as dear to ourselves ? Still
he does not give them up. So long as one thing more can
be done for them, they shall not perish. All wlio do pe-
rish, will know one day that they have resisted all the
means that could be used to prevent it.

13. Then said the lord of the vineyard. What shall I do ? I

VRR. 9 — 18.] ST. LUKK. 321

will send my belovoil son : it may be they will reverence liini when
thoy see him.

" What shall I do?" what can I do more.'* what will I
not do for these unhappy creatures, who are thus pulling
destruction upon their own heads ? Oh ! it is a marvellous
opening of our danger in sin, and God's concern for us.

We may easily apply the verse, as we proceed. We
know who this beloved son is, and that he hath been sent
to us. " It may be they will reverence him when they see
him." God knew, indeed, that they would not. The de-
sign of the expression is to show what might have been
expected, and what in all reason they should have done.

14. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among
themselves, saying. This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that
tlie inheritance may be cur's.

We may think their sin unparalleled, and that we abhor
it. But sinners are always the same; and those who re-
ject Christ now, would have joined with the Jews in cruci-
fying him. The scripture says plainly, " they do crucify
to themselves the Son of God." The end they propose is to
obtain the inheritance. So many think in their hearts,
though, perhaps, they do not believe it, and dare not speak
it out, that they should be better, if not without God in
the world, yet without his law. If they had their choice,
they had rather be left to themselves. This is, in fact, the
choice of all who do not submit to Christ.

15. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What
therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them ?

A little before it was said, What shall I do to save
them .'' Now that time is past ; mercy is at an end, and
judgment must have its turn.

16. He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall
give the vineyard to others.

God grant that we may rendei' him the fruit of it ! For
we are now the husbandmen, and if we do not, their doom
will be our*'s.


322 ST. LUKE. [chap. XX.

\G. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

This was a vain wish, and as vain a protestation of their
innocence. Notwithstanding, they were destroyed, for a
warning to all. It is a vain wish in others, when they are
ripe for destruction, to deprecate the judgment of God.
He cannot deny himself to spare us. He is not just such
a being, as we please to make him. His justice is as much
his nature, as his mercy. He has so revealed himself; and
we are undone, by not noticing his attributes and perfec-
tions. Ex. xxxiv. 6, 7.

17. And he beheld them, and said. What is this then that is
written. The stone which the builders rejected, the same is be-
come the head of the corner ?

Jesus beheld them with a mixture of authority, indig-
nation, and pity, in his countenance. Doubtless it was a
piercing look. He showed them that they did not under-
stand their own scriptures. He wished them to know, that
he might be the Messiah, notwithstanding their rejection
of him, and that he could not be the Messiah, if he had
not been rejected.

18. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken ; but
on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

It will be an awful thing to fall upon it, or be offended
at Christ on any account whatsoever ; though his venge-
ance will fall heavier on some than on others, according to
the degrees of their obstinacy, and malicious wickedness.
Let us endeavour to know what is in our hearts, since
Christ does.

Chap. XX. ver. 19—38.


19. And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought

VER. 19—38.] ST. LUKE. .T23

to lay hands on him ; and they feared the people : for they per-
ceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

And yet they continued as blind as ever. What ! they
the men ! They protest against it, it could not be. And
their next thought was how to be revenged on him. Let
all wicked men take heed that it be not spoken against
them. If such are full of self-conceit, and proof against
conviction, as they were, let sinners see in them what in-
ward workings they will have. Christ himself is out of
their reach ; but those who preach him truly, must stand
the brunt of the malice of obstinate sinners.

20. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should
feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words,
that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the

21. And they asked him, saying. Master, we know that tliou
sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of
any, but teachest the way of God truly :

22. Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Csesar, or no ?

23. But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them. Why
tempt ye me ?

We may suppose Christ asked this question with grief
and concern. O ! why will you still be making trial of me,
when you should know what is within yourselves ?

24. Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath
it ? They answered and said, CcEsar's.

25. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Ciosar the
things which be Ca;sar's, and unto God the things which be

No one can be a cliristian who has not his eye upon these
two commandments, as well as any other. Tiie world is
very favourable to those who sell or buy unaccustomed
goods, or rob God in his titjies ; but his judgment will be
according to trutii, and not according to man's opinion.
We may keep our reputation with a very bad conscience ;
but the latter only will be inquired into.

Y 2

324 ST. LUKE. [chap. XX.

26. And they could not take hold of his words before the people :
and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

Thus all sinners will be silenced at the day of judgment.

27. Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny
that there is any resurrection ; and they asked him,

28. Saving, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother
die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother
should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother-.

29. There were therefore seven brethren : and the first took a
wife, and died without children.

30. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.

31. And the third took her ; and in like manner the seven also :
and they left no children, and died.

32. Last of all the woman died also.

33. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she ? for
seven had her to vvife.

See here, the wisdom of Christ triumphs over the folly
of men. — Edit.

34. And Jesus answering, said unto them. The children of this
world marry, and are given in marriage :

35. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that
world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are
given in marriage :

36. Neither can they die any more : for they are equal unto the
angels ; and are the children of God, being the children of the

Some of the most important questions whicli a man can
put to himself, are the following : — What is the chief end
and aim of my life ? What is the great wish of my heart ?
Is it to be a cliildof God, that tliereby I may be entitled to
a happy resurrection ? When this hope is lively in us, and
governs all our thoughts, words, and actions, our eyes
are opened : we are ciianged men and women, and born
again of the Spirit. And in all conditions, the thought,
that though all other projects fail us, this never can, will
make life easy, and death welcome.

37. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the

VER. 39 to xxi. 4.] ST. LUKE. 325

bush, when lie calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

The argument seems to be this ; Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, are now living ; because God is not the God of the
dead, but of the living : but the souls only are not the
men ; therefore there will be a resurrection of the body.

38. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living : for all
live unto liiui.

All whose God and Father he is. As they live unto him
here, in faith, love, and obedience, they shall live with him
for ever, in soul and body, in heaven.

Chap. XX. ver. 39 to chap. xxi. ver. 4.


39. Then certahi of the scribes answering said. Master, thou
hast well said.

Saying this truly and from the heart, is life. Not as the
Pharisees did, who, though they held with him in the point
of a resurrection, yet would not hear him in other things;
and especially when he showed them the unsoundness of
their hearts. The Christian can say in all things, " Master,
thou iiast well said."'

40. And after that they durst not ask him any question at

41. And he said unto them. How say they that Christ is David's
son ?

42. And David hiu)self sailh in the book of Psalms, The Lord
said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

43. Till 1 make lliine enemies lliv luotstuol.

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