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obstinacy, and the admission of the Heathens to the privileges of Christianitýin their room.
“ The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son.”
That is, the dispensations of the Almighty, with respect to the Christian religion, which is called the kingdom of heaven, may be compared to the conduct of a certain king, who (as was the custom in those times, especially among the eastern "nations) gave a splendid feast in consequence of his son's marriage. ' "And in this comparison there is a peculiar propriety, because both the Jewish and the Christian covenant are frequently represented in Scripture under the similitude of a marriage contract between God and his people*
« And he sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding, and they would not come. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, tell them which are bidden, Behold I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the marriage." This signifies the various and repeated offers of the Gospel to the Jews; first by John the
* See Isaiah, liv. 5. Jeremiah, iii. 8. Matth. xxv.5. Lig Cor. xi. 2.
Baptist, then by our Saviour himself, then by his apostles and the seventy, disciples, both before and after his ascension. ".. But all these gracious offers the greater part of the nation rejected with scorn. They would not come to the marriage; they made light of it, and went their ways, one, to his farm, another to his merchandize; and the rempant took his servants and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. They not only slighted and treated with contempt the words of eternal life, and preferred the pleasures and the interests of the present life to all the joys of heaven, but they pursued, with unceasing rancour, the first preachers of the Gospel, and persecuted them even unto death.
« But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth; and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed these murderers, and burnt up their city.” This points out, in the plainest terms, the Roman armies under Vespasian and Titus, which, not many years after this
after this was spoken, "besieged Jerusalem, and destroyed the city, and slaughtered an immense number of the inhabitants. This terrible devastation our Lord here predicts in general terms, as he
does more particularly 'anel minutely in the twenty-fourth chapter; and he here represents it as the fudgment of God on this perverse and obstitrate people for their rejection'
of the Christian religion, their satage treatméhtür the apostles and their associates, and their many other atrocious crimes. This punishz. ment however is here, by anticípution, repres sented as braving been inflicted dating the marriage feast; though it did not in fact take place till afterwards, till after the Gospel Had been for some time promulgated: 2254 seco *** Then said he to his servants; dhé'wedáftig is ready, but they which were bidder where not worthy. Go getherefore into the high ways, and as many
as many as ye shall find bid to the marriage.' So those servants kert bne irits the highways, and gathered together all de thany as they foundt, both bataird'gudd ; an! tlie wedding was furnished withi' guests."o:is It may be thought, perhaps, at the first
views that our Lord has here introduced a cirehinstarice not very natural or probable. It may De stadgired that mit a magnificent Föyalentera tainment, if any of the guests happened to fail in their attendance, a great king would neret prininux
think of supplying their places by sending his servantş into the highways to çallect to: gether all the
the travellers and strangers they could meet with, and make them sit down at the marriage feast. But strange as this may seen, there is something that approaches very, near to it in the customs of the eastern nations, even in modern times. For a tráveller of great credit and reputation, Dr. Pococke, informs us, that an Arab prince will often dine in the street before his door, and call to al! that pass, even to beggars, in the name of Godi, and they come and sit down to table; and, when they have done, retire with the usual form of returning thanks *
This adds one more proof to the many others I have already pointed out in the course of these Lectures, of the exact correspondence of the various facts and circumstances recorded in the sacred weitings to the truth of history, and to ancient oriental customs and manners. - This part of the parable alludes to the calle ing in; jof the Gentiles of Heathenonton there privileges of the Gospels after they has been
#Pódoeke, 661.4.b. 67 and 182. Sếé also Diod. Sicrh säilipa $75, 376. I TO U tots vioit
haughtily rejected by the Jews. This was
first done by St. Peter, 'in the instance of Cornelius, and afterwards extended to the Gentiles" at large by him and the other apostles, conformably to what our Lord declares in another place*. Many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God; but the children of the kingdom (that is the Jews) shall be shut out." And in this gracious invitation, no exceptions, no distinctions were to be made. The servants gathered together all' as many as they found, both bad and good; men of all characters and descriptions were to have the offers of mercy and salvation made to them, even the very worst of sinners; for it *was these chiefly that our Saviour came to * call to repentance; “ for they that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick-t;" and of these great'numbers did actually embrace the gracious offers made to them; for our Lord told the Jews, is the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God be fore you * Matth. viți. 11, f Ib. ix. 12. # Ib, xxj. 31.