« السابقةمتابعة »
selves. "To us also are the words of this salvation sent." "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." 1 And surely it is a just demand, that men reverence Him when they see Him.
For consider the offer made. "This is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life." 2
Consider the mercy displayed in such a message. "Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."3
Consider the authority with which he came invested. "God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Consider the mighty works by which His authority was established: the excellent doctrines, worthy of Him who taught them, by which He corrected the errors of the people, and instructed all future ages, and raised the moral standard of mankind.
Consider the beings who are the subjects of this offer beings who are entirely dependent upon Him who made them, who cannot add a
cubit to their stature, or make a single hair white or black: beings uncertain of a day: uncertain whether before the morrow's dawn they may not be summoned into the presence of their Creator, "to give an account of the things done in the body."
Surely of such we might say beforehand, they will reverence the Son of God when they see Him.
But it has not proved so. Of the Jewish nation, we know that they cast Him out of the vineyard and killed Him. And amongst ourselves, how many of those who live within the reach of his mercy and the sound of his word, reject Him as entirely from their thoughts, as the Jews did from their city! How many more, who would not refuse in words to "call Him Lord," "in works deny Him;" "crucify the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame." As a people, indeed, we style ourselves a Christian people, and many blessings, incalculable blessings, belong to the national profession of the gospel and many more are presumed upon, as the Jews presumed upon being the children of Abraham. But as Jesus said to them, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham :" so does He assure us, 66 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." If ye reverence the Son, and receive 5 John viii. 39.
Him as king to reign over you, then acknowledge His laws. Make them your rule of right and wrong, and not the practice of the world. Judge of conduct and of character by these, and not by the standard of men. When he says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," "blessed are the meek," "blessed are the pure in heart," "blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness;"-let these be the qualities which you promote in yourselves and approve in others. Let the father set them before his children, the master before his servants; as the apostles, who recognise no other rule-"Ye know the words of the Lord Jesus "-"let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." This is, indeed, to reverence the Son: otherwise, He will justly inquire, "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
The concluding words of the parable point out in awful language the danger of despising the mercy of God.
15. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
16. "He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid."
He did come, and blotted the kingdom of the Jews out of the book of nations, and gave the vineyard to the Gentiles. It was vain to answer, God forbid! Jesus pointed to the Scripture which foretold it.
17. "And he beheld them; and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
18. "Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."
Most complete has been the accomplishment of these words. The Jews refused to rebuild their church upon the foundation of the prophets, and according to the spirit of the law, making "Jesus Christ the chief corner stone." Many individuals stumbled against that stone and were broken and at last the stone fell upon the whole people, and ground them to powder: since which it has "become a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
From first to last, the dispensation utters a fearful, yet a merciful warning: "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder:" and that ye perish not, do not disappoint the just expectations of God; who when He sent His Son into the world, that as many as believe in Him might have everlasting life, had reason to demand that the world should reverence His Son.
Isa. xxix. 14. See Acts xiii. 41.
JESUS DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS THE DOOR OF THE
JOHN X. 1-10.
1. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2. "But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3. "To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4. "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5. "And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him for they know not the voice of strangers." THE last chapter described the manner in which the Pharisees treated the blind man, when they cast him out of the synagogue because he took the part of Jesus, who had given him sight. Yet the Pharisees were leaders of the people, their instructors: they professed to guide and feed the sheep: whom they would they admitted, and whom they would they excluded from the fold. This may have led to the parable which we are now to consider. The Lord speaks of the people as of sheep that are folded. And He speaks of the fold as having a door of entrance. And He describes himself as that door, through