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haughtily rejecting all offers of reconciliation, insisting on the highest possible satisfaction and submission, and carrying these sentiments of implacable rancour with them to the grave? And yet these people call themselves Christians, and expect to be themselves forgiven at the throne of mercy!
Let then every man of this description remember and most seriously reflect on this parable; let him remember that the unforgiving servant was delivered over to the tormentors till he should pay the uttermost farthing. Let him recollect that all the world approves this sentences that he himself cannot but approve it; that he cannot but feel himself to be precisely in the situation of that very servant, and that of course he must at the last tremendous day expect that bitter and unanswerable reproach from his offended Judge; "O thou wicked servant! I forgave thee all that debt because thou desiredst me; shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant even as I had pity on thee?" Van 0.
THE passage of Scripture which I propose to explain in the present Lecture, is a part of the 19th chapter of St. Matthew, beginning at the 16th verse.
"Behold," says the evangelist, "one came and said unto him (meaning Jesus), Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother:
mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions."
The conversation here related between
young ruler (for so he is called by St. Luke) and our blessed Lord, cannot but be extremely interesting to every sincere Christian, who is anxious about his own salvation. A young man of high rank, and of large possessions, came with great haste and eagerness; came running, as St. Mark expresses it, to Jesus; and throwing himself at his feet, proposed to him this most important question: "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" This was not a question of mere curiosity, or an insidious one,
Jas the questions put to our Lord (especially by the rulers) frequently were, but appears to have been dictated by a sincere and anxious wish to be instructed in the
way to that everlasting life, which he found Jesus held out to his disciples. His conduct had been conformable to the precepts of that religion in which he was born and educated, the religion of Moses ; for when our Lord pointed out to him the commandments he was to keep, his "All these things have I kept from my youth up;" and his disposition, also, we must conclude to have been an amiable one; for we are told that Jesus loved him, beheld him with a certain degree of regard and affection. In this state of mind then he came to Jesus, and asked the question already stated ; " Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
Our Lord's answer was, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. The young man saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou
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shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." In this enumeration, it is observable that our Lord does not recite all the ten commandments, but only five out of those that compose what is called the second table. Now we cannot imagine that Jesus meant to say that the observation of a few of God's commands would put the young man in possession of eternal life. His intention unquestionably was, by a very common figure of speech, to make a part stand for the whole; and instead of enumerating all the commandments, to specify only a few, which were to represent the rest. "Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, and so of all the other commandments, to which my reasoning equally applies." Nor does he only include in his injunction the ten commandments, but all the moral commandments of God contained in the law of Moses; for he mentions one which