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Christ delivers the parable of the barren fig-tree.

9 se shall all likewise except you repent, you shall all perish thus; you SECT. perish.

shall be pressed under the insupportable load of
the Divine vengeance, and be destroyed un-

Luke der the ruins of that holy city in which you XIII. 5.

trust. 6 He spake also this And, in order to awaken them more effectually 6 parable: A certain man to such deep and serious repentance, he spake in bis vineyard; and this purable to them; There was a certain man he came and songht who had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; and fruit thereon,and found he came, for several successive seasons, searching 7 Then said he unto for fruit upon it, but he found none.

And at 7
the dresser of his vine- length, despairing of any better success, he said
yard, Behold, these to the keeper of the vineyard, Behold, these three
seesing fruit on this years together! I have come to look for fruit upon
fg-tree, and find none: this fig-tree, and still I find none; cut it down
citit down, why cum- therefore immediately, as a barren tree: for why
bcreth it tbc ground?

does it thus cunber the ground, filling up the
place of more profitable plants with its useless

bulk, and drawing away nourishment from those
8 And he, answer- that grow round it? But such was the concern 8
ins, said unto him, of the vine-dresser for its preservation, that he
year a'so, till I shall said to him in reply, Sir, I desire thou wouldst
dis about it, and dung let it alone this year also, till I shall dig up the

ground about it, and lay dung to the root of it: 9 And if it bear And then perhaps it may bear fruite, and if so, fruit , well: and if not, it is well

, and thou preservest thy tree; but if
tten after that thou
shait cut it down. not, after this thou shalt, if thou pleasest, cut it

down, and I will say nothing farther to prevent
it. By which parable our Lord did plainly re-
present to the Jews the Divine displeasure against
them for having neglected the many opportuni-
ties they had enjoyed as planted in the vineyard
of God's church (compare Isa. v. 1, 2. xxvii.
2, 3.) and in an awful manner intimated, that
though they had hitherto, at his intercession,
been spared, yet, if they continued unfruitfuí
under the additional cultivation they were short-
ly to receive, on the descent of the Spirit, and


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d These three years.] Many have sup- if it had disappointed the expectation of the posed that these words allude to the time planter three years together after the time, Christ's personat ministry, which, as most in which it should have yielded fruit, which have computed the chronology of the Nero

was yet worse. Testament, had now lasted three years: but e Perhaps it may bear fruit: x'av MEN it is certain the patience of God bore with TJO19C) nepov.] It is in the original some. then much longer than anotier year Gro- thing of an abrupt way of speaking, of tias therefore thinks it more probable, it which Rophelius has produced many exmay refer to the nature of a fig-tree, which, amples, ( Annot. er. Sen. p. 102, 103); if it bear at all, generally begins to do it but I think, the way of rendering the idiom within three years after it is planted; but I have here used, would suit it in most of Daight to be sure be looked upon as barren, those instances.


10 Reflections on the guilt and danger of unfruitfulness.

the proposal of the gospel in its full extent and
evidence', they must expect nothing but speedy,

irresistible and irrecoverable ruin.
XII. 9.

SECT. cxvi.


Ver. Which of us may not learn a lessen for himself from this in6 structive parable of the fig-tree? Have we not long been planted

in God's vineyard, and favoured with the cultivation of his ordinances, yea, with the dews of his grace too ; and yet how little 7fruit have we borne in proportiou to those advantages ? How long bas he come seeking it in vain, while we have frustrated the most reasonable expectations, perhaps not only for three, but several of us for more than thirty years ? Wonderful is it, that the

dreadful sentence has not long since gone forth against us, Cut 8 them down, why cumber they the ground ? We owe it to the intercession of our blessed Redeemer, the Great Keeper of the garden of God, that this has not long since been our case. Let us not be high minded, but fear! (Rom. xi. 20.) Let barren sinners reflect, 9 that this may be the last year, perhaps indeed the last month, or

last day of their trial; for even now also is the ax laid to the root of the tree ! (Mat. iii. 10.) And let them remember, that though there be hope of a tree, when it is cut down, that it may sprout again, (Job xiv. 7), vet, when the doom is executed on them, their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom will go up like dust (Isa. V. 24); and every tree which brings not forth good fruit, will be hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Let such therefore meditate terror, when the judgments of God are abroad in the earth ; and, when others are overwhelmed in

ruin, let them not harshly censure the sufferers, as if they were 3, 5 greater sinners than any others; but let them apply that salutary,

though awful admonition to their own souls, repeating it again and again, till they are pricked to the heart by it, Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Terrible indeed was the case of those, whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices, and of those who were dashed to pieces in a 4 moment by the full of Siloam's tower: but infinitely more dreadful

will be the condition of them, that fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. x. 31), especially of those deceivers, who, having surrounded his altars with the bypocritical forms of devotion, shall themselves be made the victims of his justice, and be crushed by the resistless weight of his almighty vengeance.


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f Under the additional cultivation, &c.1 ing of the apostles, might, with great proThe cxtraordinary means used to bring them priety, be expressed by digging round the tu repentance aiter the resurrection of Christ, barren tree, and applying warm compost, or by tue effusion of his Spirit, and the preach- dung, to its roots.

a Had

Christ cures a crooked woman in the synagogue.



Christ cures a crooked woman in the synagogue, and vindicates his

doing it on the sabbath day; and afterwards repeats the parables of the grain of mustard-seed, and of the leaven, Luke XIII. 10–22.





Luke XIII, 10. AND he was teach- HUS our Lord went on in his journey SECT: ing in one of the

through Galilee for a considerable time; synagogues on the sab. bath.

and as he was teaching in one of the synagogues on Luke 11 And, behuld, the sabbath-day, Behold there was present a X111. 11, there was a which had a spirit of in

poor disabled woman, who (as the Jews used firmity eighteen years, commonly to express it, and was now actually and was bowed toge. the case) had been afflicted by a spirit of weakther, and could in no nessa nó less than eighteen years, and was bowed wise lit up herself,

together in so sad a manner that, from the time
it first seized her, she was utteriy unabletoraise

herself uprightb, or to stand straight. 12 And when Je- And Jesus seeing her, and intimately knowing 12 sus saw her, he called all the sad circumstances of her alliction, and her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou the difficulty with wbich she was then come to art loosed from thine attend the solemnities of Divine worship there, infirmity.

called her to him, and said to her, Iloman, thou
art loosed from that afdiction, which thou hast

long been under by reason of thy weakness and
13 And he laid his malady. And, as be was speaking these words, 13
hands on her: and he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she
immediately she was

straight, and was strengthened, and made straight; so that she glorified God, stood before them all in an erect posture, and

moved with as much ease and frecdom as if
she had never been disabled : and, as was most
reasonable, she in a very affectionate manner
glorified God before the whole assembly ; prais-
ing him for so signal and unexpected a favour,


a Had been afficted by a spirit of roenk. The topic is very judiciously handled by ness,] It is very evident the Jews appre- that illustrious writer Mr. Howe (see his hended that all remarkable disorders of borty works, Vol. II. p. 360, 361); and there proceeded from the operation of some ma- are some curious and entertaining remarks lignant demor. Perhaps they might draw in Wolfius on this text. an argument from what is said of Satan's b Utterly unable to raise herself upright. ] agency in the affliction of Job (chap. i. and This verson of hen Ervapeva ii.) and from Psal. xci. 6. (compare Sen- To warlihaç seems preterable to that other tuag.) and 1 Sam. xvi. 14. They also which the words tç TO wavledes inight considered Satan as having the power of bear; "She could not lift herself up, so as Death, Heb. ii. 14.--And that, in some to stand perfectly straight.(Compare maladies, this was indeed the case, is inti. Heb. vii. 23. Gr.) For on the rendering mated by our Lord's reply here, ver. 16. I bave given, which is equally literal, the and by St. Paul's words, I Cor. v. 5. miracle appears injich more important than where he speaks of delivering an offender on the other. to Setan for the destruction of the flesh.VOL. VII.


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The parables of the grain of mustard-seed and of the leaven. 13 bound, lo these eigh, whom Satan, by the Divine permission, has sec?: teen years, be loosed bound in this cruel manner, lo, for these eighteen

cxvii. from this bond on the sabbath-day? years together, should be loosed from this bond

even on the sabbath-day, especially when it XIII. 16 might be effected without any labour, by no

more than a word and a touch.
17 And when he And when he had said these things, all his 17
had said these things,
allavis adversaries were opposers were ashamed, and perfectly confound-
ashamed: and all the ed by the strength of such obvious and conclu-
people rejoiced for all sive reasoning: and all the multitude who were
thic lorious things that
were done by him.

present rejoiced in his triumph; for they were
greatly delighted with all the wonderful and
glorious things that were done by hin, in which
there was so amiable a display of his goodness as

well as his power.
18 Then said he, Now on this occasion, for the farther encou-18
l'nto what is the king-
dom of God like? and ragement of his friends, and confusion of his
Whereunto shall I re- enemies, our Lord thought proper to intimate
semble it?

the great increase of his kingdom, notwithstand-
ing the malignant opposition it should meet with,
which he illustrated by two parables formerly
delivered elsewhere : and he said, To what is the
kingdom of God like, and what shall I compare

it to ? or bow is it that I shall represent the pro-
19 It is like a grain pagation of the gospel in the world ? It is like 19
of mustard-secu, which
a man took, and cast

a gruin of musturd-seed, which a man took and into his garden, and it sowed in his garden : and from so minute a seed grew, and waxed a il grew to a prodigions bulk, and became such a juals of the air lodg- great tree, that the birds of the air came and ed in the branches of lodged in its branches. So shall my kingdom, it.

which in its first beginning seems to be contemp-
tible, diffuse itself in time over the whole world,
and the inhabitants of distant nations shall seek
their shelter in it. (Compare Mat. xiii. 31, 32.

and Mark iv. 30-32. Vol. VI. p. 353, 354.
00 And again he And again he sait, To what else shall I liken 20
suid, Whereunto small the kingdom of God, of which I have now been
I of

speaking? or how shall I describe the efficacy of 21 It is like leaven, its doctrine? It is like a little quantity of 21 which 3 woman took and hid in three mea

leaven, which a woman took and covered up in a sures of meal, till the mass of dough, consisting of no less than three whole was learcned. measures of meal; and yet it insinuated and dif

fused itself thoughout till the whole lump was
leavened. So shall the gospel make its way,
and, by a secret influence, shall spread its effi-
cacy through the hearts of men, till it has
changed them into a likeness to itself. Com-

pare Mat. xiii. 33. Vol. VI. p. 354.) 92 And he went

And thus he went through all the principal cithrough the cities and villages, ties and villages of Galileo, teaching them where.

B 2


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