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unto him, Son, thou art ever with me (dl), and all 32 that I have is thine. It was meet that we should
make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found
CH A P. XVI. ? AND he said also unto his disciples. There was a
certain rich man which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his. 2 goods. And he called him, and faid unto him,
How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account
of thy ftewardship: for thou mayest be no longer 3 steward. ,Then the steward said within himself,
What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from
me the stewardship: I cannot dig, to beg. I am 4. ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that when I
am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me 5 into their houses. So he called every one of his.
lord's debtors (a) unto him, and said unto the first, 6 How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said,.
An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him,
Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty: 7
Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat..
And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write 8 fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust
(d) By the son that was ever with his
father, we are to understand: the Jews, who had been long in possession of the blessings of God's covenant; and by the fon that was lost, are meant the Heathen na-tions, who were in a moral sense dead. in trefpaffes and fins, but quickened and revived by the riches of the grace of God through Jefus Christ. Ephef. n. 1, 5.
(a) By his lord's debtors are probably meant his tenants, who paid their rent, not in money, but in kind, being a certain pros portion of the prodace of their farms,
steward (6), because he had done wisely: for the
children of this world are in their generation wiser 9 than the children of light. And I say unto you,
Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of un
righteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive Io you into everlasting habitations. He that is faith
ful in that which is least, is faithful also in much :.
and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in II much (c). If therefore ye have not been faithful in
the unrighteous mammon (d), who will. commit to 12. your trust the true riches ? And if ye have not been
faithful in that which is another man's... who shall.
give you that which is your own (e)? 13
No servant can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other'; or elfe he will hold to the one, and despise, the other.. Ye.cannot:
(6) It was not Chrift
, but the unjust steward's master, that comemended him : Our blessed Saviour recommends his example only for the wisdom and foresight he shewed in providing for his future welfare. And ihis is surely what a Christian ought to be no lcfs care-ful about than the unjust feward was, though upon different princi.ples : for whereas, that dishonest man looked no. farther than this world, the true Chriftian must use the good things of this life, as not abusing them; with a conscience void of offence, both towards God, and towards men; and employ them to such purposes as may. make them (although perishable and uncertain in themselves) the súre foundation of everlasting happinessy and the means of being at last received into the joy of his Lord.
(c) He that commits an act of injustice in a small matter, will the more easily yield to the like temptation in a larger; and who knows where he shall stop ? Beware of the beginnings of fin of every kind. They corrupt the mind, and prepare it for further degrees of wickeedness,
(d), The unrighteous mammon is the false riches of this world,, as putin opposition to the true riches of the next.
(e) The true riches are to be expected in the next world; but.. you will never obtain them, unless you make a right use of what you are entrusted with here. It is your behaviour here that will i determine what..your.llate shall be hereafter,
14 serve God and mammon (f). And the Pharisees
also, who were covetous, heard all these things : 15 and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye
are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts : for that which is highly
esteemed among men, is abomination in the sight of 16 God. The law and the prophets were until John (8):
since that time the kingdom of God is preached, 17 and
every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law 18 to fail. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and mar
rieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband,
committeth adultery (). 19 There was a certain rich man, which was cloth
ed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously 20 every day (i). And there was a certain beggar,
named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full 21 of fores, And defiring to be fed with the crumbs
which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the 22 dogs came and licked his fores. And it came to pass
that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels
into Abraham's bofom : the rich man also died, and 23 was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being
in torments, and feeth Abraham afar off, and La24 zarus in his bosom. And he cried, and said, Father
Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and
cool my tongue ; for I am tormented in this fame. 25 But Abraham faid, Son, remember that thou in thy
(f) See Matt. vi. 24.
(g) Since the preaching of Fohn another state of religion is begun, and the gospel-covenant, on the terms of repentance, is offered to all men, without distinction of Jew and Gentile.
(h) See Matt. xix. 9. Note.
(i) In this parable we see how the good things of the world are apt to be abused by luxury; and, instead of softening the heart, tend to harden it against distress.
life-time receivedst thy good things, and likewise
Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and 26 thou art tormented. And besides all this, between
us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot ; nei
ther can they pass to us, that would come from 27 thence (k). Then he said, I pray thee, therefore, fa
ther, that thou wouldft fend him to my father's 28 house: For I have five brethren; that he may testi
fy unto them, lest they also come into this place of 29 torment. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses 36 and the prophets, let them hear them. 'And he said,
Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from 31 the dead, they will repent. And he faid unto him,
If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (1).
1 THEN faid he unto the disciples
, It is impoffible but that offences (a) will come: but wo unto him 2 through whom they come. It were better for him
that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of
these little ones. 3
Take heed to yourselves : if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive 4 him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in
(k) There is no ground to imagine that the souls in torment can be relieved by any thing done for them here. And yet that
is the express doctrine of the church of Rome in the article of Purgatory:
(2) If we neglect to profit by the ordinary means of grace, vain pretence to say, that we should make a better use of extraordinary ones, if vouchsafed to us. (a) See Matt. xvii. 7. Note.
it is a
a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee,
saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. 5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our (6) 6 faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of
mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine-tree,
Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted z in the sea ; and it should obey you. But which of
you, having a servant plowing, or feeding cattle,
will say unto him, by and by, when he is come 8 from the field, Go and fit down to meat (c)? And
will not rather say unto him, Make ready. wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I
have eaten and drunken, and afterward thou shalt 9 eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because
he did the things that were commanded him? I 10 trow not (d). So likewise ye, when ye shall have done
all those things which are commanded you,, say,, We are unprofitable servants : we have done that which was our duty to do (?)..
(b) This seems not to be a continuation of the foregoing dif-.. course, but to have been said on some other occasion. Indeed the disciples frequently confess their want of faith; by which they mean not want of faith to believe any article of religion, but want of a due reliance on the power of God, to enable them to perform miracles, for the great work of converting men to the Christian religion. This appears to be their meaning by our Lord's reply in the
(c) But be not vain, however, of your faith, or of whatever fpiritual gifts God may be pleased to grant you ; nor entertain an high opinion of yourselves for being any way useful in promoting God's glory, or the cause of religion ; for this is the
very office you
under.. take to execute, and the proper duty of your station, which you are expected to perform.
(d) I think, he does not:
le) The servants in those days were, for the most part, slaves. bought by their master, to do every thing in their power for his sero. vice. Let us confider ourselves in this light as purchased by the blood of Christ, which is so inestimable a price that no man can ever posibly sepay is, though he were to serve him ever so faithfully,