Imagini ale paginilor

in the regeneration ral
when the Son of
man fhall fit in the

throne of his glory, ye alfo fhall fit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Ifrael.

29 And every one that hath forfaken houfes, or brethren, or fifters, or father, or mother, or wife,

or children, or lands for my names fake, fhall receive an hun dred fold, and fhall everlasting



30 But that many are firft fhall be laft; and the last shall be first.

Renovation of Things, when I fhall be exalted to everlafting Dominion, and fit upon the Throne of eternal Glory; ye, I fay, fhall then be exalted alfo, and fhall fit by me in the next Degree of Glory and Power.

29. And all other good and fincere Men, who for the fake of true Religion and Virtue, fhall fuffer any Loffes in this prefent World; thefe alfo, befides that their Loffes fhall be abundant

ly recompenfed even in this Life, by the Joy of a good Confcience, by the Love and Affiftance of all good Men, by the Comfort of the Holy Ghoft, and by the glorious expectation of future Happiness; fhall moreover be rewarded with eternal Life.

30. Only many of thofe, who are here first in Time, and feem now to have the Precedence in many Advantages, (as the Jews, which are first called,) fhall then be ranked in a lower Degree: And on the contrary, many of those who are here later in Time, and seem now inferior in many refpects, (as the Gentiles which are laft called,) fhall then, if they come in readily and heartily, and be fincere and more diligent in their Time, equal or exceed the former in Dignity and Glory.

* Ἐν τῇ παλιγγενεσίας.

C H A P.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


The Parable of the Labourers hired into the Vineyard, ver. 1. Jefus again foretelleth his Paffion, ver. 17. Upon occafion of Salome's Petition, he teacheth his Difciples Humility, ver. 20. Two blind Men healed, ver. 29.

1.NOW the Equity of God's thus
diftributing his Rewards, that
those to whom his Will is difcovered
later, if they be fincere and diligent in
their Labours, may be fo honoured by
the abundance of the Divine Liberali-
ty, as to be equalled or even preferred
to those who were called first; the Equi-
ty, I fay, of this, may be illuftrated by
this Similitude. A Houfholder went out
early in the Morning, to hire Labour-
ers into his Vineyard: Thus God in
the beginning of the World revealed
his Will to Mankind, and that in a
more special manner to the Patriarchs
and Ancestors of the Jews: And thus
alfo to fome Men he has difcovered his
Will early, and brought them to the
knowledge of the Truth in the begin-
ning or former part of their Lives.

I FOR the king

dom of heaven


like unto a man that is an houfholder,

which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

Though this Parable was primarily intended, to fhew the Equity of God's equalling the Gentiles with the Jerus; yet fince one great Objection of the Jews againft equalizing with them the Gentile Converts, was the Idolatry and Wickedness of the former part of these Gentiles Lives; and fince the feveral Parts of the Parable may aptly enough be applied to the different Parts of Man's Life, as well as to the different Ages of the World; I have therefore endeavoured to exprefs both thefe Senfes together.

[blocks in formation]

2. And agreeing with the Labourers for a Penny a Day, he fent them to work in his Vineyard: So God, when firft he revealed his Will to Mankind, promised Life and Happiness as the Reward of Obedience: And the fame condition is then offered to every particular Man, when he firft comes to the ufe of Reason, and to understand the difference between Good and Evil.

3, & 4, & 5. Afterwards going out at the third Hour, and again at the fixth and ninth Hours, he found other Labourers ftanding idle in the Market; and them alfo he hired to go and work in the Vineyard, promifing to give them what was reasonable: Thus God in the following Ages of the World made new Revelations of his Will, to Mofes and the Prophets, &c. with repeated Promifes of Life and Happiness to Obedience: And thus alfo thofe particular Men, whofe Natural Knowledge of good and evil has been corrupted and worn out by a bad Education, God oft-times in the following parts of their Life, by affording them new Means of Knowledge, invites them to Repentance, and promises them Happiness.

6 & 7. Lastly, going out at the eleventh hour, he found other Labourhired into the Vineyard, promifing to ers ftanding idle; and them also he give them what was reasonable: Thus God in the latter Ages of the World, making a new Revelation of his Will by Chrift, admitted the Gentiles, who had before lived in Ignorance and Wickedness, to the Conditions of the fame Covenant with the Jews And thus alfo many particular Perfons, who



want of Inftruction have lived in Ignorance and Wickednefs the greateft part of their Lives, do yet at laft through the Mercy of God come to the Knowledge of the Truth, and Believe, and Obey it.

8. Now when the Evening was come, the Mafter commanded his Labourers to be called, and their Wages to be paid them, without refpect to the order of time when they were hired: So at the end of the World God will reward all his Servants, not in Proportion to the times of their being called, but according to the fincerity of their Service.

9 & 10. They who came in at the eleventh hour, because they wrought diligently during that time, received each one a Penny; and they who came in at the Morning, though they expected more for having laboured longer, yet, according to their agreement, received each one likewife a Penny: So the Gentiles, and they who are late inftructed in the Knowledge of the Truth, fhall for their Sincerity and Diligence during their Time in the Service of God, receive the reward of Eternal Life; and the Jews who came in firft, though they expect fome Preheminence over the last both in the Church here on Earth, and in the

right, that shall ye

8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard faith unto his fteward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the laft unto the firit.

9 And when they
came that were hired
about the eleventh
hour, they received

every man a penny.
10 But when the

firft came, they fup-
pofed that they
fhould have receiv
ed more, and they
every man a penny.

Note, This part of the Parable does not countenance the late and willfully deferred Repentance of Chriftians. For fuch Perfons are not called into the Vineyard at the eleventh Hour, (as were the ignorant Gentiles,) but being called in at the first Hour by the early preaching of the Gofpel, they have yet food idle (not in the Market, but) in the Vineyard till the eleventh Hour. Which is plainly a different Cafe; as Origen well obferves upon

the Place.

11 And

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

World to come, fhall yet only receive equally the farne Reward.

11 & 12. Then they who were hired firft, murmured, that thofe which came in laft, and laboured but one hour or two, bould receive as much wages as they who had worked all day: Thus the Jews, who were the firft People of God, and they who have been longest in the Church, valuing themselves upon outward Performances, may be apt to think it hard, that thofe who came in late, should be equalled to them in their Reward.

13& 14 & 15. But the Mafter replied; Is it not just, if I pay you according to your agreement; and at the fame time, out of my abundant liberality, give thefe others freely as much? May I not do what I will with mine own, and be bountiful to others for their great diligence and fincerity during their Time, without injuring you? Thus the equity of God's Difpenfations may be vindicated, in that, while his Reward is not only free, but alfo infinitely greater than any Man's Work deferves, he injures no Man by his extraordinay Liberality to others.

16. After this manner therefore, many of those who were here later in time, and feem now inferiour in many Refpects, (as the Gentiles, and they which are laft called,) fhall finally equal or even exceed others in Glory and Dignity: And many of those who are here firft in time, and seem now to have the Precedence in many Advantages, fas the Jews, and they which are first called,) fhall then be ranked in as low, or perhaps lower degree than the reft. For many indeed are Called VOL. I.



« ÎnapoiContinuă »