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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 sacts and circumstances recorded in the sacred writings to the truth of history, and to ancient oriental customs and manners.

This part of the parable alludes to the calling in of the Gentiles or Heathens to the privileges of the Gospel, after they had been haughtily rejected by the Jews. This was sirst done by St. Peter in the instance of CorneYms, a.wd afterwards extended to the Gentiles at large by him and the other apostles, consormable to what our Lord declares in another placef. "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 the 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 ossers 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 sicks;" and of these great numbers did actually embrace the gracious ofsers made to them; for our Lord told the Jews, "the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you[|."

In this manner was the wedding surnished with guests. "And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment; and he said unto him, Friend, how earnest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? and he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into .outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth: for many are called, but sew are chosen."

* Pococke, vol. i. p. 57. and 18*. See also T>ioi. Sic 1. xiii. p. Z7S, 376.

f Matth. viii. n. $ Ib. ix, is. || Ib. xxl 31.

In order to understand this part of the parable, it must be observed, that among the ancients, especially m the ^ast, every one that came to a marriage seast was expected to appear in a handsome and elegant dress, which was called the Wedding Garment. This was frequently a white robe; and where the guest was a Jlrdnger, or was not able to provide such a robe, it was usual for the master of the seast to surnish him with one; and if he who gave the entertainment was of high rank and great opulence, he sometimes provided rnarriage robes for the whole assembly. To this custom we have allusions in Homer, and other classic writers*; and there are some traces of it in the entertainments of the Turkish court at this very dayf. It must be remarked also, that it was in a very high degree indecorous and offensive to good manners, to intrude into the sestivity without this garment; hence the indignation of the king against the bold intruder who dared to appear at the marriage seast without the nuptial garment. " He was cast into outer darkness;" he was driven away from the blaze and splendor of the gay apartments within, to the darkness and gloom of the street, where he was left to unavailing grief and remorse for the offence he had committed, and the enjoyments he had lost.

This man was meant to be the representative of those presump tuous persons who intrude themselves into the Christian covenant, and expect to receive all the privileges and all the rewards annexed to it, without possessing any one of those Christian graces and virtues which the Gospel re-, quires from all those who prosess to believe and to embrace it. Nothing is more com.aon in Scripture than to represent the habits and dispositions of the mind, thofe which determine and distinguish the whole character, under the sigure of bodily garments and external habits. Thus Job says of himself, "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was us a cloak and a diadems." And again in Isaiah it is said, "He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with a robe

* Odyss. viii. 401. Diod. Sic. L xiii. p. 375. 376.

f At the entertainment given by the grand vizier to Lord Elgin and his suite, in the palace of the seraglio, pelisses were given to ail the guests. '$ Job nix. 14. i

©r righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels*.'* In the same manner we are commanded in the Gospel to put on charity, to be clothed with humility: and in the book of Revelationf, the elders are described as sitting before the throne of God clothed in white raiment. And in the nineteenth chapter there is a passage, which is a clear and beautisul illustration of that now before us. "The marriage of the Lamb is come; and to her (that is to the church) was granted, that she should be arrayed in sine linen, clean and white; and this sine Ymen, we are expresely told, is the righteoufnefs nf faints. "And he saith unto me, Write, blessed are they which. axe tailed to the marriage fupper of the Lamb; that is Christ the kings." This is a plain allusion to the parable besore us; and most evidently shows, that the man without the wedding garment is every man that is not clothed with the robe os righteoufnefs; every man that pretends to be a Christian, without possessing the true evangelical temper and disposition of mind, without the virtues of a holy lise; every one that expects to be saved by Christ, yet regards not the conditions on which that salvation depends; every prosane, every unjust, every dissolute man; every one, in short, that presumes to say, "Lord, Lord, yet doeth not the will of his sather which is in Heaven||." All these shall be excluded from the marriage seast, from the privileges of the Gofpel, and the joys of heaven, and shall be cast into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth j for many, we are told, are called, but few are chofen; that is, many are ca/led upon and invited to embrace the Gofpel; but sew, comparatively speaking, receive it, or at least conduct themselves in a manner suitable to their high and heavenly calling, so as to be chofen. or deemed worthy to inherit the kingdom of heaven.

I have only to observe surther on this parable, that although in its primary intention it relates solely to the Jews, yet it has, like many other of our Lord's parables, a secondary reserence to persons of every denomination in every age and nation, who, through indolence, prejudice,

* Isa. bt 10. \ Ch. iv. 4.

\ Rev. lix. 7, %, 9. |i Matth. vu. ai.

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Vanity, pride, or vice, reject the Christian revelation; or who, prosessing to receive it, live in direct opposition to its doctrines and its precepts. The same suture punishment which is denounced against the unbelieving or hypocritical Jews, will be with equal severity inssicted on them.

After Jesus had delivered this parable, the Pharisees perceiving plainly that it was directed against them principally, were highly incensed, and determined to take their revenge, and endeavor to bring him into dissiculty and danger by ensnaring questions. "Then went the Pharisees and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth; neither carest thou for any man, for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawsul to give tribute unto Cæsar, or not I But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Show me the tribute-money; and they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, whofe is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Cæsar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's. When they heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way." In order to understand the insidious nature of the question here proposed to Jesus, it must be observed, that the Jews were at this time, as they had been for many years, under the dominion of the Romans; and as an acknowledgment of their subjection, paid them an annual tribute in money. The Pharisees however were adverse to the payment of this tribute; and contended, that being the peculiar people of God, and he their only rightsul sovereign, they ought not to pay tribute to any foreign prince whatever: they considered themselves as subjects of the Almighty, and released from all obedience to any foreign power. There were many others who maintained a contrary opinion, and it was a question much agitated among different parties. Who the Herodians were that accompanied the Pharisees, and what their sentiments were on this subject, is very doubtsul: nor is it a matter of any moment. It is plain from their name that they were in some way or other attached to Herod; and as he was a friend to the Roman government, they probably maintained the propriety of paying the tribute*. ;.;. ^

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In this state of things both the Pharisees and Herodians came to Jesus, and after some flattering and hypocritical compliments to his love of truth, his intrepidity, impartiarity, and disregard to power and greatness (calculated evidently to spirit him up to some bold and offensive declaration of his opinion) they put this question to him r "Is it lawsul to give tribute to Caesar, or not \n They were perihaded, that in answering this question, he m«i either Tender himself odious to the Jewish people, by opposing their popular notions of liberty, and appearing to pay court to the emperor; or, on the other hand, give offence to that prince, and expofe himself to the charge of sedition and disaffection to the Roman government, by deny, ing their right to the tribute they had impofed. They conceived it impossible for him to extricate himself srom this dilemma, or to escape danger on one side or the other; and perhaps no other person but himself could have eiu-. ded the snare that was laid for him. But he did it com-. pletely: and showed on this occasion, as he had done on many others, that presence of mind and readiness of reply to dissicult and unexpected questions, which is one of:1 the strongest proofs of superior wisdom, of a quick dis-:: cernment, and a prompt decision. He pursued, in short, the method which he had'adopted in similar instances; he i compelled the Jews in efsect to answer the question them-. selves, and to take from him all the odium attending thss{ determination of it. He perceived their wickedness, and .-, said, '* Why tempt ye me? Why do you try to en/hare ;, me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute-money. And: they brought unto him a penny (a small silver coin of the; Romans, called a denarius.) And he said unto them,: whose is this image and superscription? And they say unto him, Cæsar's." . By admitting that this was Cæsar's

* Those whom St. Mark calls the Leaven of Herod, c. viii. 15. St. Matthew in the parallel passage, xvi. $. calls Sadducees. Hence, perhaps, we may inter, that the Herodians and the Sadducees were the fame persons, , .

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