Imatges de pÓgina

The author of these

to their combustible treasures. illustrations has just witnessed a scene of this nature, which took place between two professed ministers of Jesus Christ. One is a laborer in the ministration of life, and the other a zealous laborer in the ministration of death and endless, unmerciful punishment. They meet in spiritual warfare; and the following are the circumstances of the contest. C, the minister of condemnation, asked B the minister of life, if he were not willing to allow that God has a right to do what he will with his own? B answered in the affirmative, and added, that he believed that God not only has a right to do what he will with his own, but that he actually will perform it. To this C also agreed. Thus far these two watchmen saw eye to eye: thus far they appeared like loving brothers. I rejoiced in my heart to see them thus agree, and began to cast in my mind how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. But I found something very different to attract my attention. The moment B called for the scripture authority, to show and determine what the will of God is respecting the world of mankind, C discovered evident tokens of embarrassment, and seemed rather confused. After waiting a proper time for C to decide the question, which he did not attempt to do, B brought the testimony to the purpose, showing from St. Paul's exhortation to Timothy, that God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. C immediately attempted to avoid this pointed weapon, by saying that the word all might not mean the whole. B still directed the point of the weapon to its object, by observing that as the apostle used this fact to prove the propriety of praying for all men, it was plain that God will have as many saved as it is right to pray for. C being in the habit of pray


ing for all men without exception, as all antichristian ministers do, merely out of custom, he could not avoid a wound; but on receiving it, tacked directly about, and suggested that the word will might not mean an effective will, so as to insure the accomplishment of the fact proposed. But here was no place of safety; for B having in his hand a sword which would cut one way as well as the other, did not fail to make it do so, by observing that this will must be absolute enough to render it proper to pray for all without exception; to which C could do no less than accede. Then B presented this unavoidable conclusion; if the will of God in the salvation of all men, be absolute enough to justify our praying for all without exception, it must be absolute enough to justify our believeing for all without exception, as whatsoever is not of faith is sin. By this time the tinder had received a spark, a ray of light lit on the hypocrisy of praying for the salvation of those whom he contended were destined for endless misery. C was all agitation and manifested the real spirit of the high priests who gnashed on Stephen with their teeth, because they could not withstand the wisdom of his words. There is, to besure, some difference in outward circumstances, between the Pharisees of ancient and modern times, but there is no difference of doctrine, spirit or temper.

As the ancient Pharisees believed that God had no mercy for those whom they called wicked, so they had no mercy themselves; and this is the case, and has been, in all ages of the world. And as it is the nature of truth to cast out darkness, so those, whose light is

darkness, are sorely afflicted when the true light shines.


"Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents: but forasinuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence, and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not : but went and cast him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto thair lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.'-Matt. xviii, 23-34.

THE reader, by observing the conversation between Christ and his disciples which immediately precedes this parable, will learn that the parable was intended to enforce the necessity of forgiving one another.

The particulars of this parable, I state thus:

1. The great debt which the sinner owes by reason of transgression, is represented by a servant's owing his lord ten thousand talents.

2. The impossibility of a sinner's atoning for, or purifying himself from sin, is signified by the servant's having not to pay.

3. The demand for vengeance on the soul, made by the law, through the medium of a defiled and guilty conscience, is meant by the lord's commanding the

servant, his wife, children, and all that he had, to be sold, and payment to be made.

4. A humble and contrite spirit, and its fervent supplication for pardoning mercy and divine clemency, is signified by the servant's falling down and desiring patience, and even forgiveness of the debt.

5. The condescension of the Father of all mercies in forgiving a repenting sinner, is shown by the lord's loosing the servant and letting him go, having forgiven him the debt.

6. The accountability in which men stand one to another, and the possibility of their violating the trust in which they are placed, is shown by the forgiven servant's going out and finding one of his fellow servants who owed him an hundred pence.

7. Transgression against the pure principles and dictates of that grace by which the soul is made free from condemnation, is signified by the unforgiving temper of mind manifested in the last mentioned creditor towards his fellow servant.

8. The sorrow of heart, felt by the true disciples of Christ, at beholding such a violation of the pure principles of christianity, is meant by the sorrow of the fellow servants.

9. That christians ought to lay before God such a fault, by the spirit of humiliation and prayer, rather than to fancy themselves arbiters of others' offences, is intended by those fellow servants coming and telling their lord of the disagreeable circumstances which had happened.

10. That those, who have received clear manifestations of divine mercy in the forgiveness of sin, ought, according to the forgiveness which they have obtained, to forgive their brethren of the human race all their

trespasses. Showing to others the same favor which all stand in infinite need of receiving from God, is shown by the lord's saying to the forgiven, but unforgiving servant, 'Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?'

11. That God will call to an account and severely chastise his children who wickedly depart from the grace which they have received, we understand by the lord's committing the undutiful servant to the tormen


12. That although in mercy we may obtain pardon, or forgiveness of the awful debt, written as with the pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond on tablets of our guilty hearts; yet, it does not secure us from contracting other debts; for, it is made evident in our text, that though the ten thousand talents were forgiven, and the servant could not be called upon therefor, the debt being discharged; yet, for his cruelty to his fellow servant, his lord committed him to the tormentors until he should pay all that was due to him. Now it is evident, that this debt is new, and of that kind which the servant could pay, which is simply to forgive his fellow servant. And it ought to sink deep into our minds, that our heavenly Father will do by us all as the lord did by his servant, if we do not, from our hearts, forgive our brethren their trespasses.


Because it is said in the parable, 'And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him,' it has been sup

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