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Out of Place.

Out of Place.

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Published by glennpease

LUKE 14:7-11

LUKE 14:7-11

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Published by: glennpease on May 20, 2013
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OUT OF PLACE.BY JOSEPH PARKER LUKE 14:7-11"And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he markedhow they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou artbidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest amore honourable man than thou be bidden of him ; and he that bade theeand him come and say to thee, Give this man place ; and thou begin withshame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit downin the lowest room ; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say untothee, Friend, go up higher : then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall beabased ; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."THERE is a fitness of things. We all know it We feel it,though we may not be able to explain it in words. Thereis an instinctive judgment about proportion, and social rightness,and personal action. There is a regularity in irregularity. Lifeis not so tumultuous as it seems. If we could see the action otall the lines of life we should see that beneath all the tumult anduproar, all the eccentricity and irregularity, there is a steady line,direct, inevitable, persistent It is upon that line that God lookswhen he talks of progress and the final out-blossoming of all thethings he has sown and planted in the earth. There is what iscalled tendency. It can hardly be measured ; it is often imper-ceptible; it may require whole centuries in order to note thevery least progress that that tendency has made. It is in the air,it is in the remoter thought of men, it is in the things which theysay to themselves when nobody hears them. It is thus that Godleads us on from one point to another, whilst we ourselvesimagine that things are irregular and upsidedown and wantingin order and peacefulneas. There are two looks: there is theoutward and superficial look that sees nothing, and there is thepenetrating and spiritual look to which you may trust for a trueand profound criticism. There is therefore, I repeat, a fitness of S3I332 THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE, [Luke xi v. 7-11.
things, a sense of proportion, and colour, and weight, and values.We know one another at once ; in a few minutes we soon learnwhether the man should be here or there, or elsewhere : there isa spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth himunderstanding. There is an order of things which every onemust approve. You may talk as much democracy and vulgarityas you please, but there is an order appointed of God, and youcannot upset it. It is not an order based upon mere money.When money is mere money there is nothing so poor on all theearth : nobody wants it, nobody will change it, nobody will trustto it.' Money by itself is mockery, imposition, disappointment.There is no order or classification founded upon mere goldensovereigns. It is not an order of dress. Men shine brightlythrough their clothes. The clothes of a poor man are alwaysradiant, not to the eye of vulgar judgment; but there is some-thing about the man that makes his very cloak shine and glistenas no fuller on earth can whiten it. It is a marvellous process,wholly mysterious, and out of the way of the common run of criticism \ but there it is, and we feel that the man has a rightto be at the top. He does not look much, but let him give a judgment, let him utter one sentence, let him put his finger downupon one point in the argument; and at once the primacy isconceded. It is the ghostly, the mental, the spiritual, that rulesall things in the long-run.This order or fitness of things is not merely hereditary. Wedo not despise that which is hereditary. Because it ought tobring history with it There ought to be a good deal of greymoss on certain names, and grey moss ought to be full of wisewriting, it ought to be the treasure-house of experience andcharacter and honour and service. But the fitness of things Irefer to now is not founded either upon money or dress, orheredity, or anything that is external. It is a house not madewith hands. Hands spoil everything. o man can pluck aflower without killing it. Plucking means killing. You cannotput back the drop of dew on the rose-tip that you shook off justnow. That dew will not be handled. How sweet a thing it is,and beautiful, to know that our hands have done so little I Andwhatever our hands do time wears out, nature begins to quarrelLuke xiv. 7- 1 1 .] OUT OF PL A CE, 333with at once. You no sooner put the roof upon your house thannature begins to take it off. There is an inner fitness, a spiritual
relation and kinship, and when souls that know one another meet,how accidentally soever, they know one another instantly; anintroduction would be a dishonour: the introduction comes upfrom eternity and is stamped upon the face of the occasion.There is a spirit in man.I could imagine all the bankers in London gathered togetherwith all their gold with them, pile on pile, and quite a snow-storm of financial paper ; and I could imagine it being announcedto them that Robert Burns, who hardly ever had a sovereign inhis life, was at the door, and would be glad to look in if theywould allow him. I could imagine all the bankers of Londonstarting to their feet to receive the ploughman. How so ? Hehas a right to such salutation. He has no paper, he has nobullion, but he has written words that make life doubly pre-cious : he has sent angels through the air singing of commonthings and little things; he makes the house the pleasanterwhenever he comes by his songs into it. He would be recognisedat once as welcome, and honoured, and honourable. This is alsoa marvellous thing, that the spirit that is in man bows to spirit.For a time it may bow to the gold, but there are times whenit recognises its true kinship, and when it rises and bows itself down again in humble and reverent homage before its ownhigher kindred. I could imagine all the lords of Great Britainand Ireland assembled under their gilded roof, and I couldimagine circumstances under which they would also rise to theirfeet to welcome a stranger. Let it be announced to them thatBeethoven was at the door and would like to come in, andthere is not a lord amongst them that would not rise and say.Welcome I Why ? He was no peer, he was a poor man. Hehas been set down even at great royal festivals to sit and dineapart, but he also was so much of a man and a king that whenthey set him down at the side-table he took up his hat and wentout, and lefl them to dine without him as well as they could ;and on other occasions he was called to the chief seat, where hehad a right to be. It is mind that must be at the top : beauty of soul, pureness, grandeur of imagination, massiveness of intellect,J34 THE PEOPLE'S BIBLE. Luke xiv. 7-1 1.that must rule ; and every other aristocracy must pay tribute toits majesty. There must always be an aristocracy of mind. Ido not like the free-and-easy way which I have seen in somecountries. I do not care for that broad and vulgar doctrinewhich says that all men are equal, because I know that is a lie.

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