Wright - BT300 W8 1788

166 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED LORD There is no perfon on earth fo juft and holy, and whofe condur hath been fo regular, and uniformly correM, as to need no repentance ; but the proud Pharifees, to whom our Lord direkted thefe parables, would fain have been efl:eemed by the world as fuch perlons ; and thefe are particularly referred to in this reprefentation, which was intended to difplay the amazing and infinite extent of divine forgivenefs. A fecond parable which our great Re- deemer publilhed with the fame view, was that of the loft piece of filver : Either, faid the Divine Inftruétor, what woman having ten pieces offzlver, iffhe lofe one piece, Both not lighta candle, and 'weep the houfe, and fearch diligently tillfhe find it? and when flee hathfoundit, fee calleth herfriends and her neighbours together, Saying, Rejoice with me; for I havefound the piece which I had lo.. Likewife, I fay unto you, there is joy in theprefenceofthe angels ofGodover one'inner that repenteth. This parable is founded on the fame principles, and publilhedwith the fame de- fign as the former, only the cafe and cir- cumfl:ances are varied and qur great Re- deemer condefcends in various forms and methods of addrefs to inculcate the fame truth. The infinite mercy ofGod to (inners, and the kind reception theywill find, when they are enabled to repent and return, is the great doarine which runs through his gofpel, and this is the great defign of all his undertakings ; to accomplilh this, to re- move everydifficulty which attended it, to overcome and fubdue every power which oppofed it, and to publifh the glad-tidings to a finful world, he left the glories of the heavenly regions, he laid afide the dignity and glory ofhis heavenly nature, and con- defcended to become man; he was a. par- taker-of the evils confequent on fin, that finful men might be delivered from them; he was a man offorrows and acquainted with grief, that we might be partakers of fubftantial and eternal joy; and he died that we might live. To publifh this great truth, and to prevail on the world to re- ceive it, was the whole defign or his mi- niftry; every* doarine he advanced, every miracle which he wrought, had a natural tendency to promote this benevolent de- fign ; and this great end, in various forms of inftruction, and various methods of addrefs, he invariably purfued during the time of his abode on earth. And that no methodofaddrefs, no formof inftruaion, might be omitted, which would powerfully operate on the mind and pre- pare it for the reception of a truth, fowor- thy of God, fo friendly to man, our Lord condefcended to appeal to the feelings of humanity; and from the natural affeétion which an offended father feels for a repent- ing fon, he urged the certainty and the extent of divine forgivenefs. The parable which our great Redeemer propofed with this view, is the fineft pic- ture of nature ; it contains all the beauties of jufl defcription, and is particularly cal- culated to engage the attention and affea the heart; the evangelift Luke bath given it in the following words : A certain man had twofons: And the younger of themlaid to. hisFather, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after, theyoungerfon gathered all together, and took' hisjourney into afar country, and there wafted hisfubfianceaoith riotous living. And when he had fpent all, there ,arofe a mighty famine in that land ; and he began to be in want. And he went and joivzedhint felfto a citizen of that country; 'and hefint him into his fields to feedfwine. And he would fain havefilled his belly with thehulks that the fwine did eat; and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himfelf; he faid, How manyhiredfervants ofmyfather's have bread enough, and to 'pare, and I pe- rills withhunger! I will arife and go to my father, and I will fay unto him, Father, I have finned againfl heaven, and before thee, and am no snore worthy to be called thy Jan : make one as one of thy hired fervants. And he arofe, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great wayof, hisfather Jaw