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Salvation a Ready and Prepared Thing.

Salvation a Ready and Prepared Thing.

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Published by glennpease
BY FRANCIS TRENCH,


Luke xiv. i6, 17.

A certain man made a great supper^ and bade many :
and sent his servant at supper time to say to them
that were bidden^ Come; for all things are now
ready.
BY FRANCIS TRENCH,


Luke xiv. i6, 17.

A certain man made a great supper^ and bade many :
and sent his servant at supper time to say to them
that were bidden^ Come; for all things are now
ready.

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Published by: glennpease on May 27, 2013
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SALVATIO A READY AD PREPARED THIG.BY FRACIS TRECH,Luke xiv. i6, 17.A certain man made a great supper^ and bade many :and sent his servant at supper time to say to themthat were bidden^ Come; for all things are nowready.THESE words were spoken by our Lord JesusChrist while He was sitting at meat in the houseof one of the chief Pharisees on the Sabbath day.Ahnost all the instruction which He gave on thatoccasion is drawn from the subject of meals andentertainments. The perfection of His teachingis seen in such things ; because instruction likethis would have far more of reality, life andinterest than that drawn from topics of a distantkind.To illustrate what I say. In the seventh verseof this chapter we find Jesus teaching the needof himiility. And how does He enforce it on" those which were bidden, when He marked howSALVATIO BY JESUS CHRIST. 101they chose out the chief rooms," or places of distinction? He draws His instruction from amarriage feast. Again in the twelfth verse Heinculcates all loving attention to the poor anddestitute. And how does He do it ? By tellingof one act towards the rich — of another towardsthe poor. Thence He shews what the nature of God's dealings with us will be — what sort of conduct will meet a recompense from Christ atthe " resurrection of the just," when all that hasbeen done merely with self or the world as itsobject shall be viewed in its true colours, ex-posed, and rejected. We may well suppose thatall His hearers would now have their mindsenlivened and occupied, while Jesus was using
 
such helps and lively illustrations towards theknowledge of divine things. This is proved inthe fifteenth verse — "And when one of themthat sat at meat with Him heard these things,he said unto Him, Blessed is he that shall eatbread in the kingdom of God.^' And then oncemore, out of the abundance of His divine stores — out of the rich imagery of His thoughts, shapedinto words by Him, "who spake as never manspake" — Jesus continues in the same strain. Heagain draws the doctrines of eternal and spirituallife from the subject of human feasts. Hepreaches the Gospel — ^the message of mercy froma reconciled God, through Himself, as our greatRedeemer: and how does He do it? In thelanguage of the text. " A certain man made agreat supper, and bade many: and sent his102 SALVATIO BY JESUS CHRISTservant at supper time to say to them that werebidden. Come ; for all things are now ready."It was a custom, and may be so still*, in theeast, where there has always been more form insalutation and invitation, and mere outward mat-ters of society than is usual in our western climes,for those who intended to give any grand feast(3uch as that which this parable describes) notonly to engage their guests some time before, bydue notice, but also to send a second invitationwhen the time of the festival came. This was toremind them of it, and to do them fresh honour.I mention this because it is possible that thiscustom may not be known generally: and yetwithout knowing it, the words of the seventeenthverse could hardly be understood, telling how themaster of the feast " sent his servant at suppertime to say to them that were bidden. Come;for all things are now ready." And I am gladto notice this, not only because it is a delightfulthing either to learn ourselves or to communicateany thing which renders the words of Jesusmore clear to our apprehension, but, besides this,because it appears to me that this custom, and
 
^ Somewhat of the same custom may be traced in the sub- joined notice : ** Our invitation came early in the morning,which we thought strange : but we were informed that the firstnote oi invitation meant nothing, but was merely intended as anannouncement, to enable the guest to be prepared for the occa-sion. Between six and seven o^clock another messenger arrived,caUed the Zazy watz, or Reminder ; and he delivered us anothermore formal invitation." Custom at Berezof, from the "* Revela-tions of Siberia." Vol. i. 226.' A BEADY AD PREPARED THIG. 103these words of the parable very closely representwhat Grod has done for man at successive periods.It seems to illustrate the great and leading plansby which He has revealed Himself, when invitingsinners to be saved and to sit down for ever inthe blessedness of His kingdom. By Abel, byEnoch, by oah, and by all the patriarchs, whowere holy witnesses for God upon earth amongtheir fellow men — by Abraham, and Isaac, andJacob, and Joseph, and by all who lived " a lifeof faith" in their day and generation — andperhaps, above all, by Moses the mediator of theold covenant — I say, that by all these saints, andspecially by Moses, God, as it were, sent the firstmessage, that men should come to Him, andpartake of His mercies and gifts. This was thefirst message, sent by God, and brought by Hisservants, at various times, to mankind. Butwhen the period came for the great Immanuel tovisit this very earth — when He, who " at sundrytimes and in divers manner, had spoken in timepast unto the fathers by the prophets ^" sent Hisown Son — when Jesus arrived, taking on Himself the " form of a servant," and calling sinners toHimself, in whom all was ready and preparedfor their eternal festival of joy — then it was thatthe second message came ; and it said '' to themthat were bidden. Come ; for all things are nowready."That parable, in which these words appear, isso perfectly well known to aU who are acquainted

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