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hast made shall come and worship before thee, o Lord, and shall glorify thy name.” Txxxvi. 9. " And I, if I be listed up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John xii. 32. " In thee shall all nations be blessed." Gal. iii. 8. 66 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” Eph. i. 10. " At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. ii. 10, 11. The passages to this point are too numerous to be all quoted in this place.
Parable of the Treasure.
MATT. XIII. 44.
“Again, The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field ; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field.”
By the kingdom of heaven, in this passage, we are to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, which he had previously likened to a grain of mustard seed,' and to leaven.' This kingdom was represented by a treasure hidden in a field, which, when a man had found, he concealed, or did not make it known that he had found it, and for joy went and sold all he had, and bought that field.
The object of this parable appears to have been, to set forth the great value of the gospel, and the wisdom of parting with all earthly treasures for the sake of obtaining it. The man who purchased the field, is represented as surrendering all he had to obtain it; by which Jesus impressed on his disciples the important fact, that the love of glory, of riches and of pleasure, must be renounced, when brought in competition with the religion he bestowed
upon the world. TI character which our Lord here draws for the imitation of his followers, is put by way of opposition to that of the man mentioned in ver. 22, in whom the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choked the word, and he became unfruitful.'
When Jesus was on earth, the greatest personal sacrifices were necessary in those who would be faithful to him. Such was the opposition he had to meet, and such the bitterness of his cnemies, that any man who should profess his name, might reasonably expect to be called on to give up all that the world would call dear of this he fairly gave mankind warning. He did not entice them to become his disciples through the hope of earthly gain, and aggrandizement, but forewarned them that they must forsake all, and follow him. In doing this they would not really be losers—they would exchange the paltry toys of earth, for heavenly and substantial good. The gospel is the greatest of all riches. It is the riches of God's grace, Eph. i. 7, the exceeding riches of his grace,' ii. 7, “the unsearchable riches of Christ,' iii. 8, and hence the reproach of Christ is said to be greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. Heb. xi. 26
In him, it is said, are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.' Col. ii. 3. These were the treasures of the kingdom of heaven; and when people obtained these, they were said to lay up "treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.' Matt. vi. 20. The propriety of parting with all things to obtain these treasures, Jesus proposed on a certain occasion to the young man, of whom we read in Matt. xix. 21. 66 Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” Because it required a willingness in men to part with all earthly possessions for the kingdoin of God's sake, it was hard for a rich man to enter that kingdom. Ver. 23. The apostles forsook all, and followed Christ; and he assured them, that every one who had forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for his name's sake, should be abundantly the gainer thereby,he should receive an hundred fold-he should enjoy that everlasting life, which the knowledge of the true God imparts to the mind. Compare Matt. xix. 29 with John xvii. 3.
Parable of the Pearl of great Price.
MATT. XIII. 45, 46.
Again, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
The design of this parable is the same with that of the last, viz. to show that the gospel is the greatest of all treasures, and that it was wise in the followers of Christ to surrender all things to obtain it, as the merchant sold all that he had, and purchased the pearl of great price. In the use of
this comparison, Jesus alludes to a well known maxim among the Jews, that true knowledge was better than silver, or gold, or precious stones.
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire, are not to be compared with her.' Prov. ii. 13—15.
As the observations under the preceding parable, apply with equal force to this, we shall pass to the consideration of another subject, without any further remarks.
Parable of the Net.
MATT. XIII. 47-50.
"Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just: And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
The subject intended to be illustrated in the parable before us, is the same which formed the basis of the parable of the tares of the field The net gathered of every kind, good and bad ; and the field contained both tares and wheat. The good were gathered into vessels, but the bad were cast away ; and in the harvest, the tares were rooted up from among the wheat. The application of the two parables is precisely the same. They were both to be fulfilled (en te sunteleia tou aionos) in the end of the age. Compare vers. 40 and 49. The angels, or messengers, were to separate between the good and bad in both cases; and in both it is said of the enemies of Christ, that they should be cast “into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” In the full explanation, therefore, which we have given of the parable of the tares, we may be said to have explained at length that of the net. It cannot be necessary that we go over again with the arguments and illustrations we have already advanced; the two parables are so plainly referable to the same subject, that if the reader will peruse what we have said on the former, he will be fully able to understand the latter.
It is worthy of remark, in this place, that our Lord was in the habit of drawing his images from present objects and circumstances. When he uttered the parable of the net, he was in a ship, upon the sea of Galilee, addressing a multitude who stood upon the shore ; and this lake abounded with fish, a circumstance that evinces the propriety of the parable being uttered on that occasion, and shews the events that called it up to the Saviour's mind. Several writers have treated on this trait in his discourses, but none perhaps with greater effect than Arch-Bishop Newcome, who has collected the various instances in which our Lord's instructions were suggested by accidental objects, and arose in an easy and natural manner from present or recent occasions and circumstances. He brings the section to a close in which he has recorded various instances of this kind, with language like the following: “By so strongly marking