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Zedekiah the king said; Behold he is in your hand for the king is not he that can do anything against you. Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech that was in the court of the prison; and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; so Jeremiah sunk in the mire."

Thus " persecuted they the prophets which were before:" beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

37. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

38. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

39. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.'

40. When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

41. They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which will render him the fruits in their seasons.

Struck with the force of this parable, as David was with that of Nathan, but like David, not perceiving its application, that they themselves were the guilty husbandmen, these priests and elders acknowledge, by anticipation, the justice of God, in the re

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The resemblance is exact. This is the heir; come let us kill him. So the Jews said to Pilate, We have a law; and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God." So again: they cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. And Jesus "suffered without the gate." See Heb. xiii. 13.


jection and destruction of his rebellious people. As David said, "the man that has done this thing shall surely die;" so the priests answer, he will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen. What the Jew What the Jew proves unworthy of, the Gentile shall receive.

The Lord proceeds to show them that this event had been already foretold in prophecy, where they might learn, that he who had been " despised" of men, whom the rulers and elders had " rejected," should be made head or chief, and establish a kingdom which his enemies should wonder at and envy.

42. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes ? 6

43. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

The stone is Christ Jesus and his Gospel: the stone which the builders rejected. He who falls on or against a stone, is bruised: he on whom a stone falls, is crushed. To this difference the verse alludes. There are many who fall, as it were, against the stone; after the manner of those who said, "Look and see, how out of Galilee ariseth no prophet:" or, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Such are they to whom the doctrines of the gospel are "a

5 2 Sam. xii. 5. 6 Ps. cxviii. 22. 7 John vii. 52; vi. 52.

stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even they which stumble at the word, being disobedient." These close against themselves the gate of God's mercy. But as there are different degrees of faith, and therefore different degrees of reward; so are there different degrees of sinfulness in unbelief, and therefore different degrees of punishment. On whomsoever this corner stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. It will heavily fall on those who opposed to the Son of God their prejudice, and their malice, and their enmity: who perverted his words, spoke falsely of his miracles, assailed him with calumnies, and prevented others from receiving the benefits of his mercy. "Wrath will come upon such to

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the uttermost.' "It were better for that man if he had not been born."

45. And when the chief Priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

46. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

They could not do anything at all against him, "unless it were given them from above." And his time was not yet fully come.

$ 1 Pet. ii. 8.



MATT. xxii. 1-14.

1. And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4. Again, he sent forth his servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready : come unto the marriage.

5. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandize :

6. And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

Thus far the Jewish nation is described in the parable. For them, in the first place, the marriage feast was intended: John the Baptist, the seventy disciples, and our Lord himself, and afterwards the twelve apostles and other preachers of the gospel, bade them to the wedding; invited them to enter the kingdom of God. But some made light of it; and others, still worse, crucified the Son for whom the

marriage was made, and his apostles they spitefully entreated and slew. And now the destruction of their city was at hand, and the Gentiles were bidden to take the place of which the Jews had shown themselves unworthy.

8. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good and the wedding was furnished with guests.

The apostles complied with the command here given, when they said to the unbelieving and persecuting Jews, "Lo, we turn unto the Gentiles." And the Gentiles fulfilled their part of the parable, when they heard the word gladly, and gathered themselves to the Christian church. Thus the wedding was furnished with guests.


The parable now turns aside from any particular allusion either to Jew or Gentile, and comes to the qualifications which must be found on all alike, who shall sit down at last in the kingdom of God. servants go out into the highways, and gather together all as many as they find, both bad and good: and the wedding is furnished with guests. This accurately describes the state of a country in which the gospel is received and professed as the national religion. The wedding is furnished with guests; but their characters are very different; both bad and good; some have and some have not the faith to which the pro

1 Acts xiii. 46.

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