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THE PARABLES OF OUR SAVIOUR.
EDWARD N. KIRK, D.D.
(CORNER OF WHITE STREET.)
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by
EDWARD N. KIRK,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
District of Massachusetts.
THE parables spoken by our Lord have always, and deservedly, attracted a peculiar share of attention. All the utterances of him, who spake as never man spake, are wonderful. But the pious readers of the Scriptures have ever felt a peculiar charm in these simple unfoldings of the sublimest truths.
Scientific men have labored to define the parables; but have generally failed, by aiming too high. The popular notion of a parable is, that it is a fictitious narrative, illustrating a religious principle, like that of the Prodigal Son. And yet all persons have admitted among the parables many statements or comparisons, which in no degree partake of the narrative form.
The word Parable is employed in nearly fifty places in the New Testament, and in various specific senses. Its generic notion is simply that of comparison, or similitude. The English translators have rendered it by “comparison ” (as in Mark iv., 30); “figure” (Heb. ix., 9); "proverb " (Luke iv., 23); and “parable.”
Regarding the parables then as strictly mere figures, more or less expanded, and more or less explained; about one hundred of them occur in the discourses of our Lord; to only twenty-two of which is the name of parable applied by the sacred writers.
Viewed in this light, it is very interesting to contemplate them, first, as groups of natural objects; then, as emblems of