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I am resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first. How much owest thou unto my lord?

And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write four

score.

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

:

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive ye into everlasting habitations.

He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.

If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve GOD and mammon.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things and they derided him.

And

In what an admirable light does our blessed LORD appear, thus extending his compassion to those who were despised by all men; and setting an example to his true disciples, to use their utmost endeavours for the reformation of those who live in error and sin, and gladly to receive them as Fellow Christians, when they discover signs of contrition and amendment! If we are solicitous in respect to our worldly possession, surely we ought to be much more so for the honour of God; and we should strive not only to secure our own salvation, but also to promote, as much as possible, that of others.

The parable of the Prodigal Son had a particular reference to the Jews, not only in respect to the treatment given by the Scribes and Pharisees to the Publi. cans and Sinners who followed our LORD, but also to the offence they would afterwards take at the conver sion of the Gentiles, and their admission into. the Church of Christ. Our LORD addressed himself to the Scribes and Pharisees in such a manner as to avoid giving them offence, allowing to the Jews the privilege of elder brethren; for though the Gentiles were favoured, the Jews were first chosen to be the peculiar people of God, and as such the Gospel was first preached to them before the Apostles were commissioned to invite the Gentiles to embrace it. The behaviour of the elder brother in the parable, was an exact representation of that of the Scribes and Pharisees in our Saviour's time, to Publi cans and Sinners, and of the unconverted Jews afterwards towards Gentile converts. The elder brother boasted of his own virtue and obedience: the Jews gloried in their strict observance of the law. The elder brother complained of his father, as if he had been unkind to him: the Jews were offended that divine favour was extended to others besides them

selves.

selves. The elder brother would not go into his father's house because the other son was admitted, and aggravated his faults: our LORD's reception of publicans and sinners was a pretence with the proud Pharisees for rejecting the Gospel; they judged those whom they called Sinners with rigid censure. Notwithstanding the peevishness of the elder son, his father treated him with affection and kindness; he besought him to come in; assured him, that the kind entertainment he gave to his younger brother was no reflection upon him, nor should be any prejudice to him; that, so far from rejecting, he should still consider him as his heir; but observed that it was both natural and reasonable to rejoice on so happy an

occasion.

From this explanation of the Parable of the Prodigal, we may comprehend the spiritual meaning of it, and how far it may be applied to sinners in general, and to the Gentiles in particular: but it will afford still farther instruction, if we suppose it to be a real story, as in this view it furnishes a lesson well adapted to the present times, so remarkable for extravagance and profusion *. Let us learn then from this example, " that prodigality sooner or later must end in beggary and ruin. Let our fortune be what it will, if we live above ourselves we shall at length be obliged to live below our. selves. It is the usual fate of the Prodigal, that his friends and his fortune forsake him together. Repentance is the final conclusion." But in temporal affairs, repentance is useless, it will not recover a lost estate, and every youth has not a kind father to receive him.

The use which the Prodigal made of the portion which his Father kindly gave him, shews how dangerous it is for youth to leave their best friends and advisers,

See Bishop Newton's Dissertations

́and trust to their own weak judgment: too many there are who, careless of admonition and reproof, seek their own destruction, unmindful of the heart-breaking sorrow which imbitters the days of their tender parents, and robs them of repose. Such ungrateful children ought to be left to feel the want even of the common necessaries of life, till their reformation begins to appear; and then the kind hand of parental affection should be stretched out for their relief, and they should not be suffered to perish, nor be driven to despair, but have all possible encouragement to return to the paths of vir. tue and religion; for the DIVINE BEING himself is ready to receive returning sinners.

Brother and sisters may also learn from this excellent parable, to be kind and affectionate to each other: and to banish from their minds selfishness, jealousy, and envy, which are ever torments to the heart in which they are allowed to dwell.

SECTION LXXXII.

THE PARABLE OF THE UNJUST STEWARD.

From Luke, Chap. xvi.

AND he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship.: for thou mayest be no longer steward.

Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship; I cannot dig, to beg I am ashamed.

I am resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first. How much owest thou unto my lord?

And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write four

score.

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light..

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive ye into everlasting habitations.

He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.

If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve GOD and magimon.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things and they derided him.

And

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