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They have in the heart somewhat of the same which our Saviour mentions in another parable, wherein some, who laboured through the heat and burden of the day murniured against the good man of the house, because he had given others, who had only been called into the vineyard in the last hour of the day, the same with them, and had even paid the last first; but our Saviour makes his dealings just, by saying, “ Cannot I do what I will with my own?”. And in this same parable he makes the father reason with the other brother, till his self-righteousness dies away,
and he is convinced of the meetness and justice of his father's dealings with his younger sou, and then he comes in. Thus our Saviour would have his self-righteous children learn, that he is a Sovereign, and can do what he will with his mercy and grace, and that there is often more trouble to get one of these into the house, than the publicans and sinners. It was this spirit that ruined the Jews : it made those offended to whom Jesus addresses the latter part of this parable; it hinders many to be saved who stand cavilling and quarrelling with free grace, till they blaspheme and stumble at the stumbling-stone. It makes it difficult to bring home even an awakened soul who unhappily is fallen into this spirit. It is hard for such to go to heaven. But one thing I must observe, the father entreated even his offended and murmuring soņ to come in ; may he do so with all of his mind! may he convince them of his just and true ways, and make them glad to be saved freely themselves, and glad that their dear Saviour will receive sinners! All our own righteousness is caused by ignorance of our state and nature. When Jesus opens the eyes of the most innocent, he is thoroughly convinced he has no real good in him, and is humbly thankful “ that ihis man receiveth singers." He is not stumbled at the
many places where the scripture preaches the justification of the ungodly, of being saved freely, or by faith alone, but he thinks and sings,
How glad am I that thou so loving art,
What should I do!
May we all experience the care of our Good Shepherd, the faithfulness of the Holy Ghost, and the tender love of the Father to our own eternal welfare, and to the honour of the Lamb; to whom with his father, and the Holy Ghost, be praise for evermore. Amen.
LORD, the prodigal have been,
2. My innocence, my spotless dress,
I've lost, and all my righteousness;
Nothing but filthy rags I wear.
Would fain have eaten husks with swine ;
4. For heavenly bread I pant, I pant!
I know I now begin to want:
5. My Father's servants happy are,
While I the sinner perish here:
6. I'll rise, and, wretched as I am,
7. Behold a sinner, Lord! I'll say,
Thy son, who lately went astray;
8. See me, though far from thee, and run
To meet thy poor returning son:
9. Bring the best robe, thy righteousness, And let
feet be shod with peace : Seal with a ring my trembling hand, And bring me to my native land.
10. Let all thy children now above,
Rejoice at thy redeeming love;
11. Grant this, my Father, and my tongue
Shall mingle with the blessed throng
12. I dead in sin remain'd, till God
Redeem'd my soul from death by blood,
THE SYROPHENICIAN: OR, A PATTERN
OF INVINCIBLE FAITH.
Matt, xv. 28.
O woman! great is thy faith, be it unto thee even as
THESE gracious words of our Saviour were spoken
to a poor woman, a gentile of Canaan, who having found him preaching near Tyre and Sidon, desired him to heal her daughter, who was possessed of an evil spirit; and after some time, when she had met with several repulses from the disciples, and some triats from our Saviour himself, and yet continued her intreaties, Jesus answered her in these words, and sent her away rejoicing.
I look apon the whole history as a most instructing and profitable part of the scripture, and as a pattern of invincible faith; and I think all relations and accounts of this sort are delivered down to us with this view and intent, that we may be stirred up and encouraged thereby to inherit by faith the pronrises of God, after their example who are gone before, and through their mercy obtain mercy. O may that God, whose mercies endure for
ever, make it a blessing to us this day, when it becomes the matter of our consideration, and teach us so to believe in him, that he may also once say to