Baxter - HP BV4920 B38 1829

xiii on the sixth and ninth hours, denote those Chrig..' tiart.;, who, after having spent the prime of their youthful vigour in alienation fi:om G~d, ar:d perhaps run out some mad career of gmlt and profligacy, put on their Christianity along with the decencies of their sober and established manhood. Neither is it true, that the labourers of the eleventh hour, the men who had stood all day idle, represent those aged converts who have put off their repentance to the last-those men who have renounced the world when they could not help it-those men who have 'put on Christianity, but not till · they had put on their wrinkles-those men who have run the varied stages of depravity, from the frivolous unconcern qf invitations, were addressed to another people; and at thi3 late period, at this eleventh hour, the men of those countries which had rtever before been visited by any authoritative call from heaven, had this call lifted up in their hearing, and many Gentiles accepted that e':erlasting life, of which the Jews counted themselves unworthy. And as to the people of I srael, ·who valued themselves so much on their privileges-who had tumed all the revelations, by which their ancestors had been honoured, into a matter of distinction and of vain security-who had ever been in the habit of eyeing the profane Gentiles with all that contempt which is laid upon outcasts, this parable received its fulfilment at the tjme when thesP. Gentiles, by their acceptance of the Saviour, were exalted to an equal place among the chiefest favourites of God; and these Jews, by theit• refusal of him, had their name rooted out from among the nations-and those first and foremost .in all the privileges of religion, are now become the last . Now this we conceive to be the real design of the parable. It was designed to reconcile the minds of the disciples to that part of the economy of God, which was most offensive to their hopes and to their prejudices. It asserted the sovereignty of the Supreme Being m the work of dispensing his calls and hi s favours among the people whom he had formed. It furnished a most dec i ~ ivc and silencing reproof to the J ews, who were filled wrth envy against the Gentiles; and who, even those of them that embrac~d the Christian .profession, made an obstinate struggle agamst the admission of those Gentiles into the church on equal terms with themselves ,