Imágenes de páginas


ST. MATTHEW, xviii. 23.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

[ocr errors]

I SHALL speak to you this evening about a very beautiful and excellent parable. Some time since, I told you what a parable was. I shall, at present, remind you only, that a parable is spoken, when an instructor or teacher supposes something to have happened, which may not really have happened, and draws from it some good lesson and advice. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was very fond of instructing people in this way. He once repeated to them


the parable of the sower, which is perhaps most easily understood of all his parables, and gives you a good notion of what a parable is. Perhaps, you remember it. You may remember how he compared the word of God to seed sown by a sower. word of God meets sometimes with a good and sometimes with a bad heart, just as seed meets with good and bad land. The good land brings forth abundantly: the bad land, little or nothing at all. A good heart brings forth good words and good actions: a bad heart makes no return for the word sown in it; but either brings forth nothing at all, or what is bad.

I now go on to tell you our Saviour's parable of the unforgiving servant, which you will find, at least such of you as can read, in the 18th chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. It begins at the 23d verse, and reaches to the end of the chapter.

Peter, one of our Lord's disciples, went

to him and said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?" Shall it be for seven times only? Jesus had before bidden them to forgive their enemies, that is, any body who did them wrong and Peter wished to know how often he was bound to forgive. Whether, for instance, if any body injured him often, whether he was bound to forgive him every time, or whether he was not allowed at last to revenge himself. Jesus tells him, that he was not to forgive seven times only, but seventy times seven, that is, as often as he was offended or injured. And he then speaks the parable I was telling you of. The kingdom of heaven, says he, is likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants : that is, would settle their accounts, and find out what they had earned for him, and gained in the way of trade. "And when he began to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents, a very great sum, amounting to many thou

sand pounds of our money. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his Lord or Master commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children," according to the custom of the country in those times, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, that is, paying him the humblest submission, begged and entreated him, saying, “have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence," only a very few shillings, and “he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, have pa tience with me, and I will pay thee all And he would not, but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was

done," they were very sorry to see so much wrong and injustice and ingratitude practised," and came and told unto their Lord all that was done." Then his Lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, "O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest thou not also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee. And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors (or keepers of the prison) till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise," says the blessed Jesus, "shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother" his brother man," their trespasses."

This is the beautiful parable. I am sure you must all understand it: no words of mine can make it plainer to you. And I am sure, you must, in your hearts blame and condemn the wicked and unforgiving

« AnteriorContinuar »