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16 tering? And ought not this woman (e), being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo thefe eighteen years, be loofed from this bond on the 17 fabbath-day? And when he had faid thefe things, all his adverfaries were afhamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
18 Then faid he, Unto what is the kingdom of God 19 like? and whereunto fhall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard-feed which a man took and caft into his garden, and it grew (f), and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches 20 of it. And again he faid, Whereunto fhall I liken 21 the kingdom of God? It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (g).
And he went through the cities and villages teaching, 23 and journeying towards Jerufalem. Then faid one į unto him, Lord, are there few that be faved? And he 24 faid unto them, Strive to enter in at the ftrait gate (h): for many, I fay unto you, will feek to enter in, and fhall 25 not be able (i). When once the mafter of the house is rifen up, and hath fhut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, faying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he fhall answer, and fay
(e) See Mark ii. 27.
(f) See Mat. xiii. 32.
(g) As a little leaven ferves to ferment a large heap of meal, fo fhall my religion, from a fmall beginning, very quickly spread through all the world.
(h) Our bleffed Saviour cautions us againft unneceffary curiofity concerning the falvation of others: but teacheth us to be careful in working out our own with fear and trembling, Phil. ii. 12. i. e. with diligence and humility, trufting not to our own merits, but to God's mercy.
(2) They fhall not be able, because they do not strive to enter in until it is too late. The work of piety and religion is not to be wilfully delayed to old age, or the bed of fickness, but ought to be begun early, and carried on through every flage of life.
26 unto you, I know you not whence you are: Then fhall ye begin to fay, We have eaten and drunk in thy prefence, and thou haft taught in our streets (k). But he fhall fay, I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There fhall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye fhall fee Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you your29 felves thruft out. And they fhall come from the east,
and from the weft, and from the north, and from the fouth, and fhall fit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, there are laft which fhall be firft, and there are first which shall be last (/).
The fame day there came certain of the Pharifces, faying unto him, Get thee out and depart hence: 32 for Herod will kill thee (m). And he faid unto them, Go ye and tell that fox (n), Behold, I cait out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third 33 day I fhall be perfected. Nevertheless, I must walk
to-day and to-morrow, and the day following (0): for it cannot be that a prophet perifh out of Jerufalem. 34 O Jerufalem, Jerufalem, which killeft the prophets, and ftoneft them that are fent unto thee: how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a
(k) The means of grace that God is pleased to give us, will be our condemnation unless we make a right ufe of them.
(4) The Gentiles, who now enjoy the fewest advantages, fhall be moft diftinguifhed; whereas the Jews, by not making a right ufe of the benefits they enjoy, fhall be left far behind.
(1) This was faid in craft; not with any good-will towards him, but with a defign to affright him.
(n) That crafty and cruel prince.
(0) He tells them, that neither their diffimulation, nor Herod's fratagems, fhould prevent his continuing to preach and work mifacles until the proper time fhould come that God had appointed. At that time he would willingly refign his life in the place where fo many prophets had been flain before him, viz. at Jerufalem, towards which he was then going, with perfect knowledge of what was to befal him.
hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye 35 would not? Behold, your house is left unto you de-folate And verily I fay unto you, ye shall not fee me, until the time come when ye fhall fay (p), Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
CHA P. XIV.
it came to
as he went into the house of
one of the chief Pharifees to eat bread on the fab2 bath-day, that they watched him. And behold there was a certain man before him which had the dropfy. 3 And Jefus answering, fpake unto the lawyers and Pharifees, faying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath4 day (a)? And they held their peace. And he took 5 him, and healed him, and let him go: And anfwered them, faying, Which of you fhall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull 6 him out on the fabbath-day? And they could not answer him again to these things.
7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the 8 chief rooms (b), saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, fit not down in the highest room, left a more honourable man than 9 thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee
and him, come and fay to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with fhame to take the lowest room. 10 But when thou art bidden, go and fit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may fay unto thee, Friend, go up higher then fhalt thou have worship (c) in the presence of them
(p) Until your calamities fhall oblige you to acknowledge that I act by the authority of God. See Mat. xxiii. 39. Note.
(a) See Mark ii. 27.
(6) Chriftian humility ought to extend to the most ordinary occafions.
(c) Thou shalt have respect.
11 that fit at meat with thee.
For whofoever exalteth
himself, fhall be abafed; and he that humbleth him- felf, fhall be exalted.
12 Then faid he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a fupper (d),call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinfmen, nor thy rich. neighbours; left they alfo bid thee again, and a re13 compence be made thee. But when thou makeft a feaft, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be bleffed; for they cannot recompenfe thee; for thou shalt be recompenfed at the refurrection of the just.
And when one of them that fat at meat with him, heard these things, he faid unto him, Blessed is he 16 that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God (e). Then faid he unto him, A certain man made a great fup17 per, and bade many: And fent his fervant at fupper
time, to fay to them that were bidden, Come, for 18 all things are now ready. And they all, with one confent, began to make excufe (f). The first faid unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I
(d) This, like the preceding, is a parable, and to be understood as fuch, in a comparative, not an abfolute, fenfe. The rich therefore are not hereby forbidden to make entertainments, on fit occasions, fuitable to their rank and circumftances; but they are cautioned against a fplendid way of living, from motives of vanity and oftentation, or felf-intereft; and are exhorted, on the contrary, to take pity on the poor, and relieve their wants.
(e) This is a pious and juft reflection, if underflood in a spiritual fenfe. Our bleffed Lord takes occafion to fhew them by a parable, that though they had then the opportunity of enjoying the bleffings of the Golpel, which they acknowledged to be fo defirable, yet they would ungratefully reject them; but that God, whofe gracious purpofes for the falvation of men are not to be defeated, would offer them to other nations, who, though now ftrangers and aliens, fhould be taken into covenant in their flead.
(f) Thus it is, that wicked men endeavour, under various pretences, to excufe themfelves from attending to the great business of religion; the one thing needful. Chap. x. 42.
muft needs go and fee it: I pray thee have me ex19 cufed. And another faid, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have 20 me excufed. And another faid, I have married a 21 wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that fervant came, and fhewed his lord these things. Then the mafter of the houfe, being angry, faid to his fervant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and 22 the halt, and the blind. And the fervant faid, Lord,
it is done as thou haft commanded, and yet there is 23 room. And the lord faid unto the fervant, Go out into the highways and hedges (g), and compel them 24 (h) to come in, that my houfe may be filled. For I fay unto you, that none of thofe men which were bidden, fhall tafte of my fupper.
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and 26 he turned, and faid unto them, If any man come to me, and hate (i) not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and fifters, yea, and his 27 own life also, he cannot be my difciple. And whofoever doth not bear his crofs, and come after me,
(g) It is common in the eaft for travellers, who do not intend to ftay long in a place, to refresh themfelves under a hedge by the road fide and it was fuch as thefe who were invited by this great
(h) As it was an act of kindness to send out for those who could not have expected fo great a favour, the words to compel them to come in, cannot be understood to fignify any more than to ufe fuch preffing invitations as could not be refufed. Thus, likewise, the word conftrained is used, Chap. xxiv. 29. where the difciples certainly ufed no violence. They only earnestly intreated our Lord to ftay with them, and he was pleased to comply.
This paffage then gives no countenance to perfecution in the cause of religion. See Acts xvi. 15.
(f) Whoever will be my difciple, in this time, when distress and violence are near at hand, muft prefer the cause of religion to every other confideration, even the love of his dearest friends. To hate, means comparatively to difregard.