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truly humble, who are sensible of their sins, who feel their utter dependance upon God, and cry unto him for mercy, shall be exalted. Pure and undefiled religion is benevolence and humility of heart, and uprightness of conduct. Those who possess this, even though they neglect what the world miscalls religion, will be justified in the sight of God. In the parable, the distinction is clearly made between spurious and true worship; and the disposition ascribed to the publican is worthy of being imbibed by all mankind.

Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard.

MATT. XX. 1-15.

"For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour. and saw others standing idle in the market-place. And said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 'But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the good man of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny: Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? is thine eye evil because I am good?"

THIS parable was designed unquestionably to illustrate what is said at the close of chap. xix. viz.


"Many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first." Dr. Campbell remarks that the particle gar with which the parable commences, "shows manifestly that what follows was spoken in illustration of the sentence with, which the preceding chapter concludes, and which, therefore, ought not to have been disjoined from this parable." The whole connexion belonging to the parable, extends from chap. xix. 27 to xx. 16, which should have been made a chapter by itself..

The kingdom of heaven is here put for the laws and institutions of that kingdom. The dealings of God with men in that kingdom, are like the conduct of a householder, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. He agreed with several for a penny a day, and sent them into his vineyard. This would be thought a very small compensation for a day's labor. It should be remembered that the piece of money here referred to was Roman coin, about the value of ten cents. This was the ordinary price of a day's labor at that time. See Tobit v. 14. Adam Clarke remarks, that "in 1531 the price of labor was regulated in England by Parliament; and it is remarkable, that corn weeders and hay makers, without meat, drink, or other courtesy demanded, were to have one penny per day. In 1314 the pay of a chaplain to the Scotch Bishops was three half pence per day. See Fleetwood's Chronicon Precios, p. 123, 129."2 This would have been miserable wages, had not every thing been cheap in proportion. The householder went out again about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market place, and he sent them into his vineyard, with the assurance that whatever was right he A Note on the place.

2 Note on Matt. xx. 2. ."


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would give them. "The Jews computed their hours of the civil day from six in the morning till six in the evening: thus their first hour corresponded with our seven o'clock, their second to our eighth, their third to our nine, &c." The householder went out about the sixth and ninth hours, and sent others into the vineyard. Again, about the eleventh hour, five o'clock in the afternoon, he went out, [into the market place, see ver. 3] and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, why stand ye here all the day idle? The reason they assigned was, because no man hath hired us. He sent them into his vineyard, with the promise that what was right he would pay. It seems to have been the custom for laborers, to go early in the morning to the market, and stand there until hired; and the customary hours of working were from six in the morning until six in the evening.?

We shall now turn from this notice of the customs on which the parable was founded, to seek the proper application of it. We have already stated, that the whole subject connected with this parable, extends from chapter xix. 27 to xx. 16,

1 Horne's Intro. iii. 161.

2 This custom remains to the present day in Persia. In the city of Hamadan there is a maidan or square in front of a large mosque. "Here," says Mr. Morier, we observed every morning before the sun rose, that a numerous band of peasants were collected with spades in their hands, waiting, as they informed us, to be hired by the day to work in the surrounding fields. This custom, which I have never seen in any other part of Asia, forcibly struck me as a most happy illustration of our Saviour's parable of the laborers in the vineyard in the 20th chapter of Matthew, particularly, when passing by the same place late in the day, we still found others standing idle, and remembered his words, why stand ye here all the day idle? as most applicable to their situation for in putting the very same question to them, they answered us, because no one hath hired us,' "" Morier's second Journey through Persia, p. 265.


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which should have formed a chapter by itself. There is even a remote connexion with circumstances which are narrated farther back in chapter xix. than the 27th verse. A young man came to Jesus with the question, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" xix. 16. Jesus answered him in substance, that he must keep the law. His reply was, "all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" xix. 20. In reply Jesus told him, to sell all that he had, and give to the poor. When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 22. This drew from the Saviour the following remark: "a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." 23, 24. This similitude, drawn in the strong eastern manner, was designed to shew the extreme difficulty with which the rich in this world's goods, were persuaded to leave their possessions, and become poor and enter the kingdom of Christ, and become his followers. The young man had just afforded an instance of the truth of the remark; and as to become a follower of Christ, in that persecuting age, required a sacrifice of all earthly considerations, so, of course, it would be more difficult for the rich, who were bound to the earth by a thousand ties, to get released from its influences, than the poor. When his disciples heard his remark, concerning the difficulty with which the rich would enter his kingdom, they expressed their surprise by saying, "who then can be saved?" We have already given the sense of this phrase, pp. 96, 97. Jesus intimated that even such would be converted, for although with men this was impossible,

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