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gave him a penny. When those who went into the vineyard early in the morning, came for their wages, they expected to receive more, but he gave to each of
them a penny. And though he had agreed to give them no more, yet they murmured and complained, saying, "These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, who have born the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them and said, "Friend, I do thee no wrong? Didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way, I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last, says our Lord, shall be first, and the first last, for many be called, but few chosen."
In this parable, our blessed Lord shews to us, that the Heathens, who were called last, would be made equal to the patri
archs and to the Jews, who were called many hundreds of years before them, that the Heathens would be as much members of Christ's kingdom as the favoured Jews, that God was impartial, that every good thing in this world and every good thing in the next was God's own, and that he would give, as he thought right and just. Nay more, as the Jews were so envious, they would be made inferior to the Heathens, and thus the Heathens would be the first, and the Jews the last in the kingdom of Christ. And so it has turned out. The Jews are still Jews. They refuse to be made Christians: and they have ceased to be God's people. The Heathens are now the people of God. Many of those countries, which were once Heathen, are now Christian. The Jews remain, as a people, an outcast and despised people.
But our Saviour adds: 66 many be called, but few chosen." That is, all are now invited to become Christians: all
people in all parts of the world have Christ preached to them. All therefore are called: but they only, who obey the call, and become Christians, and live like Christians, will be chosen-chosen by Jesus Christ to be with him in glory and happiness-chosen to be favourites with him for ever and ever-chosen to eternal life, while the rest go away to everlasting punishment.
My Christian friends and hearers! the Gospel is now at length preached to you. You are called at a late hour. You have been too long overlooked. You have wandered too long in darkness, and ignorance, and sin. But you are now called into the vineyard of Christ's church: and you find, from what I have said, that the lateness of the call is no bar to you from God's favour. He will give unto you, who are among the last, as much as he will give unto us, who have been before you. But remember, for your soul's sake re
member, that not all who are called are chosen. It depends on yourselves, under God's assistance, whether you shall be among the happy few.
your behaviour in this life.
It depends on
forth lead Christian lives.
Christ trust in him: and at the same
time do as he bids you. Let no sin prevail over you and among you. God's grace and Holy Spirit will help you, my
friends and you will then be not only
called, but chosen also.
And now to God, &c.
ST. MATTHEW XX. 20.
Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
My last Lecture had for its object to make you understand the parable of the householder. I hope that such of you as heard it remember it, and particularly the close of it. Many be called, but few chosen. All persons, who are christened, and therefore made Christians in name, are called; but the few, who live like Christians, will be chosen-chosen to be favourites with God and Christ.