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General explanation of Parables. -
II. The house built on a Rock, and the house
XVII. The Pharisee and Publican.
XVIII. The shepherd and the sheep.
XIX. The labourers in the vineyard.
XX. The ten pounds and the ten servants.
1. What is a parable?
A parable is a comparison, teaching spiritual things by natural things; it holds up a picture to the mind, and teaches something we do not know, by something with which we are familiar.
2. What are the particular advantages of parables?
They easily secure the attention, and are remembered without difficulty; they pleasingly excite the mind to discover their meaning, and they carry conviction to the understanding.
3. How are Christ's parables distinguished?
They are plain, easy, beautiful, and impressive, in their style; and clear, pointed, comprehensive, and divinely instructive and important, in their meaning.
4. How may we learn the meaning of Christ's parables?
He often explains them; the context often shows their meaning; and by considering the occasion on which they were delivered, their general object will be discovered.
5. Is it necessary that every circumstance mentioned in a parable should have a particular meaning?
No: because some circumstances are introduced which are ornamental, or designed to make the similitude more interesting and attractive.
6. How do the parables show the excellency of Christ as a teacher?
They prove that Christ knew what was in man; that he was a divine teacher; and that his simplest instructions contained such beauties, and imparted such knowledge, that, truly, "never man spake like this man."
7. Are the parables peculiarly suited to the young? Yes: because they are plain, easily remembered, pleasing, and instructive.