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The Forlorn Son

The Forlorn Son

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Published by glennpease

BY SAMUEL RUTHERFORD



And He said, A certain man had two sons : and the younger of
them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that
falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living." — Luke xv.
11, 12.^

BY SAMUEL RUTHERFORD



And He said, A certain man had two sons : and the younger of
them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that
falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living." — Luke xv.
11, 12.^

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 30, 2013
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The Forlorn Son
BY SAMUEL RUTHERFORDAnd He said, A certain man had two sons : and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods thatfalleth to me. And he divided unto them his living." — Luke xv.11, 12.^ this parable, beloved in our Lord, we haveto consider these particulars, the meaningof the parable, and then Christ's scopetherein. All parables in the Word of Godthey are no other but only continued similitudes andmetaphors illustrating some spiritual thing. In thisparable there is a man and a householder spoken of, afather who has two sort of sons. For the meaning of the text, we have to understand, first, what is meant bya house here ; second, [who is the father] ; and third,what is meant by the two sons." In the MS. there is no date given to the following sermons furtherthan '* Sermons preached by Mr. Sam. Eutherford; " but one or two phrasesin them would seem to fix them to about 1640, when the Scotch army wasin England. Rutherford seems to have been fond of courses of sermons ona particular book or chapter of Scripture. The sermons on the Song of Songs,on Zechariah, and Revelation, in Dr. Bonar's edition of Rutherford's " Com-munion Sermons," are evidently parts of courses that he had delivered onthese books. "Forlorn" in the sense Rutherford here uses it occurs inShakspere, Henry VI. part iii, iii, 3.Henry.Is of a king, become a banish'd man.And forced to live in Scotland a, forlorn.198 SEEMOS BY SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.ow for the first. Ye know it is ordinary for the Lordin His word to resemble His Kirk or the kingdom of grace to a house or a family ; for Christ om' Lord Heholds a house here wherein all the bairns^ of the house
 
are free to the table, for there is a difference even herebetween the bairns of the house, and those who are onlyservants, and goers and comers as it were.Then, secondly, what is meant by the father ? Thereis greater difficulty in that to know what is meantthereby, because the Word of God it does ordinarily callthe first Person of the Trinity, the Father, distinct fromthe other two persons. And yet there are three goodreasons wherefore this is to be understood of Christ, thesecond person of the Trinity.Eirst : If we will look unto the scope and drift of theparable, it will say this much to us, for the text tells usthat the Scribes and Pharisees murmured at Him say-ing, *' This man receiveth sinners, and He eateth withthem,'' and so they thought He could not be the Messiahand the Saviour of the world, who used ^ such companythat haunted among godless and profane persons. owto take away this scruple and objection, Christ our Lorduses this parable that now we have read, and so laboursto let them see how welcome such are to Him, who havebeen runaways, who have been lewd and lasciviouspersons, if so be they will come home, and will indeedacknowledge that they have need of Christ. He willshow that He has the mind of a father towards such,and welcomes them home again as kindly as the fatherdoes his lost bairn,^ who has spent all that his father* Children. 2 Frequented. 3 Child.THE FOBLOB SOl^. 199gave him to live upon, and, having spent all, repents of hismisspending, and comes home again to his father in asubmissive and humble manner. Again — Secondly, to prove that it is Christ that is here meantis clear by this : This parable in substance is all onewith the former two parables in this chapter, concerningthe lost and wandered sheep, and the lost piece of silver.If a shepherd be careful, having lost a sheep, to seek it in again to the flock, and will receive it in gladly,meikle ' more will He, who is the Good Shepherd, have acare of those who are His sheep, to seek those who are
 
lost, and welcome them when they come. In John x. 11Christ says, ''I am the Good Shepherd, the goodshepherd giveth his life for his sheep." If, then, thisparable be one in substance with the other two parables,and these be spoken of Christ, that it is He who losesthe groat, and from whom the sheep wanders, and Heseeks them in again, and will not rest till He find them,then it cannot be another father who receives a prodigalwaster, runaw^ay child, than Christ. And — Thirdly, thus to call Christ Father is not againstScripture neither, but is agreeable to divers placestherein. And to leave all the rest, and take to this oneplace it makes it clear Heb. ii. 13 ; it is said there thatChrist has many bairns ^ and sons for glory, and there-fore having many bairns He must be a father. That isbrought out in the words cited out of Isaiah, " Behold Iand the children whom the Lord hath given Me." Andthis style 3 it is also given unto Christ, Isa. ix. 6 : " TheEverlasting Father," so that both the scope of the' Much. = Children. 3 Title.200 SERMOS BY SAMUEL BtlTSEBFOBD.parable itself and of the parable going before, and otherplaces of Scripture clear unto us, that here, by the father,is meant the Son of God.ow, the third word is, we are to consider, what ismeant by the two sons. The younger son some havetaken to be the Kirk of the Gentiles, and the other sonto be the Kirk of the Jews. And there is reason forthis, because the Kirk of the Jews they had the morningmarket of Christ, and He made a covenant with thembefore He made a covenant with us, who are Gentiles.But however it be, the text it will bear further than this.As Christ, He casts none away who come to Him, Jewor Gentile, and repents of their sin's provocations. Bythe older son we take to be meant all they who livewithin the visible Kirk, who profess themselves to beChrist's, and yet, in the meantime, they are nothing elsebut rotten hypocrites. And by the younger son, whocraved his portion of goods of his father, and went awayhaving gotten the same and spent it riotously, and then

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