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28 cannot be my difciple (k). For which of you intending to build a tower, fitteth not down first, and counteth the coft, whether he have fufficient to finish 29 it()? Left haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin 30 to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, 31 and was not able to finish. Or what king, going
to make war against another king, fitteth not down firft, and confulteth whether he be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that cometh against him with 32 twenty thoufand? Or elfe, while the other is yet
a great way off, he fendeth an embaffage, and de33 fireth conditions of peace. So likewife, whofoever he be of you that forfaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (m).
34 Salt is good but if the falt have loft his favour, 35 wherewith fhall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men caft it out (n).. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (0).
CHA P. XV.
And he fpake this parable (a) unto them, faying,. What man of you, having an hundred fheep, if he lofe
(k) See Mat. x. 38.
(4) I have given you this warning, that you may not be unprepared for the difficulties you will be expofed to by taking upon you the profeffion of my religion.
(m) This is to be understood as in verse 26.
(n) See Mat. v. 13.
(o) See Mat. xi. 15.
(a) As we are more fenfibly affected with joy on the recovery of any thing that had been loft, than in the enjoyment of what is in
lofe one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is loft, 5 until he find it? And when he hath found it, he lay6 eth it on his fhoulders, rejoicing. And when he
cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, faying unto them, Rejoice with me, for 7 I have found my fheep which was loft. I fay unto you, that likewife joy fhall be in heaven over one finner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine juft perfons, which need no repentance.
Either what woman, having ten pieces of filver, if the lofe one piece, doth not light a candle, and fweep the houfe, and feek diligently till fhe find it? 9 And when the hath found it, the calleth her friends
and her neighbours together, faying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which was loft. 10 Likewife I fay unto you, There is joy in the presence of the angels of God, over one finner that repenteth. And he faid, A certain man had two fons: 12 And the younger of them faid to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And 13 he divided unto them his living. And not many days after, the younger fon gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wafted his fubftance with riotous living. And when he had fpent all, there arofe a mighty famine in that land; 15 and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen in that country (b); and he fent 16 him into the fields to feed fwine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the fwine
comparably more valuable; therefore the fcripture makes ufe of this comparison, not to prefer repentance to innocence, which would be contrary to common fenfe, as well as to the whole tenor of the Gofpel; but to give comfort and encouragement to finners, who, however vile in their own eyes, may be fure of reconciliation and favour with God upon true repentance.
(6) Became fervant to one of the inhabitants of that country.
17 did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he faid, How many hired fervants of my father's have bread enough and to fpare, and 18 I perish with hunger! I will arife, and go to my father, and will fay unto him, Father, I have finned 19 against heaven, and before thee, And am no more
worthy to be called thy fon: make me as one of thy 20 hired fervants. And he arose, and came to his fa
ther. But when he was yet a great way off, his father faw him, and had compaffion, and ran, and fell 21 on his neck, and kiffed him. And the fon faid unto him, Father, I have finned against heaven, and in thy fight, and am no more worthy to be called thy 22 fon. But the father faid to his fervants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and fhoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be 24 merry. For this my fon was dead, and is alive again; he was loft, and is found. And they began 25 to be merry.
Now his elder fon was in the field:
and as he came and drew nigh to the houfe, he 26 heard music and dancing. And he called one of the 27 fervants, and asked what these things meant. And
he faid unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath re28 ceived him fafe and found. And he was angry, and
would not go in therefore came his father out, and 29 entreated him (c). And he anfwering, faid to his father, Lo, thefe many years do I ferve thee, neither tranfgreffed I at any time thy commandment, and yet thou never gaveft me a kid, that I might make mer30 ry with my friends: But as foon as this thy fon was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, 31 thou haft killed for him the fatted calf. And he faid
(c) His father condefcended to entreat him to be pacified, and to go in and join in the rejoicing.
unto him, Son, thou art ever with me (d), and all 32 that I have is thine. It was meet that we fhould make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was loft, and is found.
ND he said alfo unto his difciples, There was a certain rich man which had a steward, and the fame was accused unto him that he had wafted' 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 mayeft be no longer fteward. Then the fteward faid within himself, What fhall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig, to beg I am 4 afhamed. I am refolved what to do, that when I
am put out of the ftewardship, they may receive me 5 into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors (a) unto him, and faid unto the first, 6 How much owest thou unto my lord? And he faid,
An hundred measures of oil. And he faid unto him, Take thy bill, and fit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then faid he to another, And how much oweft thou? And he faid, An hundred measures of wheat.. And he faid unto him, Take thy bill, and write 8 fourfcore. And the lord commended the unjusť
(d) By the fon that was ever with his father, we are to undersland. the Jews, who had been long in poffeffion of the bleffings of God's covenant; and by the fon that was loft, are meant the Heathen nations, who were in a moral fenfe dead. in trefpaffes and fins, bus quickened and revived by the riches of the grace of God through Jefus Chrift. 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 pro portion of the produce of their farms.
fteward (b), because he had done wifely for the children of this world are in their generation wifer 9 than the children of light. And I fay unto you,
Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive IO you into everlafting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is leaft, is faithful alfo in much:. and he that is unjust in the leaft, is unjuft alfo in II much (c). If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (d), who will commit to 12. your truft the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who fhall. give you that which is your own (e)?
No fervant can ferve two mafters: 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
(b) It was not Chrift, but the unjust steward's master, that com--mended him: Our bleffed Saviour recommends his example only for the wifdom and forefight he fhewed in providing for his future welfare. And this is furely what a Chriftian ought to be no lefs care-ful about than the unjust feward was, though upon different princi-ples for whereas, that difhoneft man looked no farther than this world, the true Chriftian muft ufe the good things of this life, as not abufing them, with a confcience void of offence, both towards. God, and towards men; and employ them to fuch purposes as may. make them (although perifhable and uncertain in themselves) the fure foundation of everlafting happinefs, and the means of being at laft received into the joy of his Lord.
(c) He that commits an act of injuftice in a small matter, will the more eafily yield to the like temptation in a larger; and who knows where he fhall ftop? Beware of the beginnings of fin of every kind.. They corrupt the mind, and prepare it for further degrees of wick
(d) The unrighteous mammon is the falfe riches of this world, as、 put in oppofition 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 ufe of what you are entrusted with here. It is your behaviour here that will determine what your flate fhall be hereafter.