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Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they sball hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” Again, “ The whole need not the physician, but they that are sick.” It is also written, 66 They shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”
3d. As to the purchase, what has the sinner to sell which will enable him to purchase Christ? and if this could be done, how could it be said that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, &c. ? On the other hand, is it not said that Christ bought his church with his own blood ? Are we not told, that we are not our own, but that we are bought with a price? and that we are not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ? Though it would be uncharitable to accuse com mentators of insincerity in turning the scriptures contrary to their manifest meaning, yet we may venture to set the common opinion of the parablo of the pearl of great price, to the credit of antichrist, as it is by such turns that he opposes
Christ as the Saviour of sinners.
The objector to the opinion that human nature is the pearl of great price, and Christ the merchant-man, will say that mankind, in a state of sin, cannot justly be represented by a treasure, or pearl of great price. This objection would have all the weight which the objector would attach to it, if human nature were totally depraved, as is generally supposed. But this cannot be granted, for reasons given in the illustration of the notes on the parable of the leaven, together with those that follow.
Ist. When God made man, he pronounced him very good. Now if wan was very good, could he be made good for nothing as easily as is generally represented ? If the wisdom of God pronounced man very good, is it not reasonable to conclude that he was so viewed, in the wisdom of God, in relation to the whole futurition of his existence.
2d. The general tenor of the gospel represents the Saviour as giving himself for us, giving himself a ransom for all, redeeming us with his own blood, &c. Now is not this CHRIST the same wisdom of God, which pronounced man very good, in the beginning ? St. Paul calls." Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” And is not this the wisdom of God which speaks in the 8th of Proverbs, saying, “ Then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him : rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth: and my delights were with the sons of men."
If any change had taken place in the sons of men, after creation, before Christ, who is the wise. dom of God, came in the flesh, which rendered them of no value in the eye of this wisdom, then how is it possible that Christ should still set his affections and love, upon them?
3d. As it is impossible for divine wisdom to set too high a value on any object, it must be conceded, that if God loved us with a GREAT LOVE, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN ŠIN, that there is in us a value equal to being thus loved. If it be objected, that this argument, though as clear as light, and as simple as truth, exalts the creature, wherein he oughi to be abased; let it be replied, that this argument sets up no value or worth in the
creature which is the result of
agency, or physical power at his disposal ; but it shows a value or worth which divine goodness gave the creature in creation, of which, however ignorant we may be of it, divine wisdom can never lose sight.
4th. The supposition that there is not a value in man as great as this argument contends for, but that he is a totally depraved creature, casts an un. favorable reflection on the creator, turn the argument which way we will. To say that God created a being of no value, in his own sight, is more than any person can believe. And to say that he created a being of so little worth, or placed that worth on such a principle as it should be destroyed forever, is an absurdity of equal deformity as the other; for the creator might have made hiş creature good for nothing in the first place, as well as to constitute him so as he would become good for nothing afterwards.
5th. The process of divine grace in bringing mankind into a state of holiness and reconciliation to God, is represented by WASHING, PURGING, CLEANSING, PURIFYING, REFINING, &c. Now none of those terms can be justly applied to that which is of no value. See Mal. ij. 1, 2, 3, 6 Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall
bea fore me; and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold he shall come saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap: and be shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver : and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that
was wroth: and he sent furth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burnt up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all, as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a weddinggarment ? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into utter darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.?
1st. Christ in this parable represents the Father of all mercies, by a king who made a marriage for his son.
2d. Himself, by a Prince, for whom his father make a wedding
3d. The then present opportunity of receiving Christ and his doctrine, while he was graciously preaching the word of the kingdom, and evidencing his authority by incontestible evidences of power and grace, is signified by a wedding.
4th. The house of Israel, undoubtedly, is meant by those who were bidden.
5th. The message, brought to the Jews by Christ and those whom he ordained to preach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, is represented by the call to those who were bidden.
6th. The persecution which they met with from
the Jews, is shown in the treatment which the servants experienced.
7th. The neglect of the Jews on this occasion, is signified by those who were bidden making light of the invitation, one going to his farm, and another to his merchandise.
8th. The destruction of the Jews by the Romans, is meant by the king's being wrathful, and sending forth his armies to destroy these murderers, and to burn up their city; meaning Jerusalem.
We now come to that part of this parable which corresponds with the one above written; the same thing being meant by the servants' being sent inte the highways as is meant by a net's being cast into
And the reader will easily observe, that the same thing is meant, by gathering together all, as many as were found, both bad and good, as is mcant by the net's gathering of every kind. And the man who had not a wedding-garment, in the parable of the marriage, answers to the bad in the parable of the net ; and the binding of the man and casting him into utter darkness, answers to the casting of the bad fish away,
But let us look diligently, that we may find who were represented by bad fish, in one parable, and by a man who had not a wedding-garment, in the other.
Isi. By wedding-garment I understand the righteousness of Christ, of which I spoke in notes on chap. ix. 16.
2d. The garment which was not accepted as a wedding-garment, was the garment which we found in notes last referred to, which was prepared by putting a piece of new cloth to an old garment, whereby the rent in the old garment was made worse.