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the Romans, who were the Executioners of God's Vengeance upon them; for they deftroy'd the Murderers that flew this Servants, fack'd ferufalem, and laid both the Temple and City in afhes. Behold (faith our Saviour) your Houfe is left unto you defolate, and all things are fallen to utter ruin. Which made him, when he drew near the City, weep over it, faying, O that thou hadst known in this thy day the things that belong to thy Peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes. ...This is the First Part of this Parable, which contains the many gracious Offers of Mercy and Pardon made to God's own People the Jews, together with their wilful Refufal of them all, and God's utter Rejection of them for their obftinate Infidelity and Unbelief.

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51W doi ri il o The Second Part of it refers to God's calling in of the Gentiles, and taking them within the Pale of his Church, who were before Aliens and Strangers, And that begins in the next Verfe: Then faith he to his Servants, the Wedding is ready, but they who were bidden were not worthy go ye there fore into the High-ways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the Marriage meaning, that tho all things are prepar'd for this Wedding or Gospel-Feaft, yet the principal Guests that were invited, are not prepar'd for it; and having by their wilful Contempt fhew'd themselves unworthy of it, they fhall be waited for no longer. Go ye therefore into the Highways, where the Heathens and Gentiles walk; and how vile foever they may feem in your eyes, bring then in to the Feaft. St. Luke expreffes it thus, Go ye quickly into the Streets and Lanes of the City, and bring in hither the Poor and the Maim'd, the Halt and the Blind. All that you meet with, whether Poor or Rich, Gentle or Simple, preach the Gofpel to them, and invite them to the Feast. Here is God Almighty's free and general Invitation to all People and Nations, to come in and accept of the Grace and Favour of the Gospel: Ho, every one that thirfteth, come ye to the Waters, come buy and eat; yea, come buy Wine and Milk without Mony and without Price. The Apoftles Commiffion was, Go and preach to all Nations, make Disciples of them, and bring them to me. Which Commiffion they executed, as the next words tell us: So thofe Servants went out into the Highways, and gather'd together all as many as they found, both bad and good; and the Wedding was furnish'd with Guests. This was the calling in


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of the Gentiles to be Fellow-Heirs and Partakers of the manifold Grace of God. Before, In Jewry only was God known, and his Name was great in Ifrael. 4 Salena was his At Tabernacle, and his Dwelling in Zion: he had not dealt fa with other Nations, neither had the Heathens the knowledg of his Law. The Gentiles were excluded by a Partition-Wall from the Privileges of the Temple, and were fo many Outcafts and Strangers from the Covenant of Promise; but here this Enclosure was broken down, and both Jew and Gentile became all one in Chrift Fefus. w awol oni cu






The Church now receives all both bad and good, base and honourable, Hypocrites, as well as fincere Chriftians But yet Chrift knows the one from the other, and will make a diftinction between them. For it follows in the next Verfe, that when the King came in to fee the Guests, he Saw there a Man, which had not on a Wedding Garment s that is, he found there one, that came not fo well dress'd and prepar'd as he should be, to the facred Solemnity of fuch a Feaft. Here by a Wedding-Garment we are not to understand any outward Attire, Veftment, or Habit of the Body; for Chrift looks not much to that, tho too many elfe do but the Wedding Garment here refers to the in ward Drefs and Ornaments of the Soul. The Perfon here fpoken of, had not his Mind farish'd with Knowledg, to difcern the Lord's Body; nor his Heart with Grace, fpiri tually to feed upon it: his Soul was not fo cloth'd with Humility, as to be fenfible of his Sins, or forry for them; he had not on the Robes of any real Righteoufnefs, either inherent or imputed he came not to this holy Table as he ought, with the Garments of Praife and Thanksgiving for the Mercies promis'd and convey'd by it. This undress'd or unprepar'd Perfon fell under the fharp Rebuke of the Mafter of the Feaft, who faid unto him, Friend, hom cameft thou in hither, not having a Wedding Garment ? and he was speechless.





The Entertainer found one of the newly-receiv'd Gentiles crouding into the Feaft in his heathenith Vices and Practices, without putting off the old Man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful Lufts, or putting on the new Man, which is renew'd in Righteoufnefs and true Ho linefs, and having found him, he expoftulates the matter with him, how he durft venture upon fo holy a Feast in fo unworthy and unholy a manner and being prefs'd home with it, he was ftruck dumb, and had nothing to say in anfwer




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answer or excufe for his Rudenefs. And therefore his doom was pronounc'd in the next words, Then faid the King to the Servants, Bind him Hand and Foot, and take him away, and caft him into outer Darkness; there fhall be weeping and gnashing of Teeth. This will be the fad Doom of all unwor thy Receivers of God's Holy Word and Sacraments, they will be for ever depriv'd of the Light and Comfort of both, and be fentenc'd to outer and eternal Darkness: fo that 'tis' not all who come to this Feaft, that will find a Welcome; for as the Jews were rejected and punish'd with utter Excifion, for not coming to it at all, fo the intruding Gentile was rebuk'd and punish'd with Damnation for coming to it unworthily.


To all which 'tis added in the Clofe, that many are call'd, but few are chofen: that is, many are call'd to the external Privileges of the Gospel, that are not inwardly and ef fectually call'd or converted by them; which makes the number of thofe fmall, who are the chofen Veffels fitted for Glory, and feal'd by the Holy Spirit to eternal Life.



Thus we fee the Senfe and Scope of this Parable, appointed to be read as the Gofpel for this Day, from which we may infer many ufeful and profitable Leffons, As,



1. From the free general Invitation to this Gospel Feast, we learn the tranfcendent Love of God to Mankind, in making fuch ample and excellent Provifion for them, and then courting them to accept it. gave us his Son to efpoufe our Caufe, and to be in a manner contrac ted and married to us; who furnish'd a Table, to keep a Fellowship and Correfpondence with us, loving us to the very Death, and inftituting a Feaft in remembrance of it: to which he is pleas'd to invite all Men without exception, fending his Servants or Minifters to call and compel them to come in to tafte and fee that the Lord is gracious. And what unparallel'd Inftances of Love are thefe? God fo loved the World (faith St. John) that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.. And elfewhere, Behold! what manner of Love is this, wherewith the Father hath loved us? St. Paul like one in a Rapture at the Thoughts of it, cries out, Oh the Height and Depth, and Breadth and Length of the Love of God, that paffeth Knowledg! Which fhould teach us not only to admire, but readily to accept, and answer the Defign of it.


2. From

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2. From God's renewing his Invitation to the Jews, upon their firft Refufal, and fending other Servants to call and woo them to the Wedding, we learn not only the great Love, but the great Patience and Long-fuffering of God towards them. Like an importunate Lover, he gave not out upon the first Denial, but renew'd his Suit, and fent other Ambaffadors to befeech them to be reconcil'd and come. He did not punish the Contempt of his Grace and his Word presently, but expected to fee whether they would repent and comply: which fhews his infinite Tendernefs and Forbearance.

3. From their standing out and refusing all these Calls and Obligations; we learn their prodigious Obftinacy and Ingratitude, that nothing could prevail or work upon them: Neither the tendereft Bowels, nor the most importunate Entreaties, nor the largest Offers of Mercy or Kindness could win them to any Compliance. And there are but too many fuch Monsters ftill, who can refift all these Charms, and turn a deaf Ear to all the Calls and Invitations of the Gospel.

4. We learn hence, the Juftice of God in punishing these Jews with utter Rejection, for their incorrigible Obitinacy and Difobedience. When Men have fill'd up the Measure of their Iniquities, and become fo obdurate and harden'd in them, that nothing can reclaim or amend them; then do they become ripe for Destruction, and leave themselves without Excufe or Remedy. This was the Cafe of the Jews, and will be the fad Fate of all stub born and impenitent Sinners.

5. From the Excufes made in the Parable for not coming to the Marriage-feaft, we learn that Earthly-mindedness and an inordinate Love of this World, is the main Hindrance from the Purfuit of better and more heavenly Matters; for all their Excufes were taken from thence: one went to his Farm, and another to his Merchandize; one had a Piece of Ground to fee, another a Yoke of Oxen to try, and another was kept from coming by his Wife: and all thefe made light of Chrift, by hearkening to Mammon; and fo prefer'd the perifhing Trifles of Earth, before the everlasting Treafures of Heaven. But fuch Pretences cannot but appear vain and frivolous at prefent, and will ra ther aggravate than avail any thing at the laft Day.

6. From the fevere Punishment inflicted on the Jews, for not coming to this Wedding-fupper, we learn the great Vol. IV. Part 2. Ff


Danger of abfenting our felves from God's holy Word and Sacraments. They who refus'd to come to the Feaft of the Paffover, were to be cut off from among the People, Exod. 12. and they who here rejected the Dainties of the Gospel, were rejected themfelves, and utterly caft off for ever. Which fhould make us afraid of wilfully abstaining from the Lord's Table, or refufing the Bread of Life, that is there tender'd to us.

7. From the dreadful Sentence pronounc'd against him, who came to this Feaft without a Wedding-Garment, we may learn the extreme Danger, as of not coming at all, so of coming to it unworthily. The Danger is exceeding great on both fides: for he that cometh not at all, ftarves his Soul, by withholding from it its proper Food; and he that cometh unworthily, poifons his Soul, by corrupting this facred Nourishment: Death and Damnation will be the certain End and Iffue of both. To prevent which fad Events, let us take care to prepare our felves beforehand, by Faith and Repentance; and then reverently approach this Holy Table with a facred Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness, and then we may be fure to be fill'd. Let us put on our Wedding-Garment, which confifts not in the Finery of outward Attire, of which many are careful enough, but in the inward Ornaments of a meek, humble, and quiet Spirit, which are in the fight of God of great


Laftly, From the concluding Words of the Parable, Many are call'd, but few are chofen, let us learn not to depend wholly upon the outward Call to the Privileges of the Gof pel, but labour to be inwardly call'd by the renewing of our Minds, that we may be found in the number of those that are chofen to eternal Life.

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