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The Vineyard.

The Vineyard.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. OCTAVIUS PERINCHIEF



Luke 20 : 15, 19. — So thej cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
What therefore shall the Lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come
and destroy these husbandmen and shall give the vineyard to others, and when
they heard it, they said, God forbid. And He beheld them and said — What
is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected the same
is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone,
shall be broken ; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to pow-
der. And the chief priests and the scribes, the same hour sought to lay
hands on Him, and they feared the people: for they perceived that He had
spoken this parable against them.
BY REV. OCTAVIUS PERINCHIEF



Luke 20 : 15, 19. — So thej cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
What therefore shall the Lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come
and destroy these husbandmen and shall give the vineyard to others, and when
they heard it, they said, God forbid. And He beheld them and said — What
is this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected the same
is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone,
shall be broken ; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to pow-
der. And the chief priests and the scribes, the same hour sought to lay
hands on Him, and they feared the people: for they perceived that He had
spoken this parable against them.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 29, 2013
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THE VIEYARD.BY REV. OCTAVIUS PERICHIEFLuke 20 : 15, 19. — So thej cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.What therefore shall the Lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall comeand destroy these husbandmen and shall give the vineyard to others, and whenthey heard it, they said, God forbid. And He beheld them and said — Whatis this then that is written, the stone which the builders rejected the sameis become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone,shall be broken ; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to pow-der. And the chief priests and the scribes, the same hour sought to layhands on Him, and they feared the people: for they perceived that He hadspoken this parable against them.I CAOT, of course, direct your attention to everythought contained in this Scripture. There is enoughin it for many sermons. But there are a few generalthoughts which pervade the whole. Indeed, this entirechapter, while it touches upon several distinct subjects,at the same time conveys one general impression, theunwisdom of the Jews in failing to comprehend the respon-sibility of life ; and suggests one general thought, thedanger we are in of deceiving ourselves." All Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that theman of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished untoall good works." This is the purpose, object, or end of all Scripture. Our church, above all other branches of the church universal, seems to have contemplated thisidea, in that she appointed so. large a portion of God'sword to be given us on all occasions of public worship.It is especially provided that on all Sunday morningsthe Second Lessons shall be chiefly, almost exclusively,from the four Gospels — so that we shall have constantlybefore us the words of Christ himself. This is the gloryof our church. It was the glory of the reformation, thatit liberated the Scriptures — gave to man^ for whom itwas intended, the message God had sent. Jesus Christdelivered His message, not exclusively, not chiefly, tothe learned and so-called wise, but to the common peo-ple. The common people not only heard Ilim, butheard Him gladly. Woe is to us when we cannot hear
 
Him. Woe is to us, when we do not hear Him gladly.Possibly, the race would still hear Him gladly, if wecould hear Him and not our commentaries upon Him. Itis one thing to have the Scriptures and another thing tomake them profitable for doctrine, for rei)roof, for cor-rection, for instruction in righteousness. The Jews usednot so the Old Testament. The Christians have notTHE VIEYARD. 243always so used the ew Testament. We like certaindoc/nneSy but we like not reproof, nor correction, nor in-struction in righteousness. When, in order to learn themeaning of a Scripture, I resort to the commentators,they tell me something about the grammar and construc-tion of the language — something about the geographyof the holy land — something of the history of the Jews ;all well enough, and true enough, so far as it goes ; butI can get little help toward the one object I have, of finding out what that Scripture has to do with me^ withthe times I live in. When Jesus spake, He dwelt uponliving themes. We must remember that, in order tounderstand the hatred the Jews had toward Him. TheScribes were living things ; the Pharisees, everybodyknew who they were. The topics he discussed had im-mediate reference to existing errors, parties and issues.Every word- He uttered fell point-blank upon one orother of these. The glory of all He uttered is, thatwhile the occasion of it was temporary and local, thecause or origin of it was in the depths of eternal wisdom,and the application of it to every place — to all time.In order therefore to make the application of them Godintended, we must put them not into grammar nor his-tory but into the questions or issues that live aroundus, and in which we ought to live ; with reference towhich, whether we choose or not, God will hold us re-sponsible. The principles of Jesus are for life and theliving; otherwise, our commentaries are useless^-ourpreaching is but beating the air.God hath a vineyard. What is that vineyard ? Youknow that this expression is but a figure, and yet, suchis language, these figures are the highest expressions towhich we can attain. A vineyard, a garden, is a place
 
244 SERMOS.cut off from nature's domain for purposes of high andspecial culture. It does not condemn, nor abandon allthe rest of nature. That is good enough so far as itgoes, but the garden is intended to go further and sup-ply what nature, left to herself, could nit produce. Agarden implies, to begin with, a piece of ground fencedabout, then trees and plants, each of specific value, forfruit or flower. It implies in itself a better being thanis anywhere else in nature, and that better being meetsor accomplishes the object of its being, the benefit orglory of its owner. God's vineyard is, in a broad sense,this human race. He has fenced it about by barriersthat cannot be passed. It is His peculiar delight. Ina restricted sense this vineyard is the better part, or apart of the human race, separated from the rest andcalled His church. The Jews were such a vineyard.The Christian nations now are such a vineyard. To ex-tend the figure somewhat, a garden implies a gardener.The human race is the garden, the church is the garden-er. Christians are the husbandmen. I thinly God ex-pected the Jews to be the blessing of nations. At anyrate He expects it of Christians. There you have theground and the husbandmen. What are the plants andfruits, that ground and those husbandmen, are to pro-duce ? The garden is to produce that which is meet forthe owner's use — ^that which is coincident with thewants of his nature. God is a moral and spiritual intelli-gence ; his garden must produce that tvhich is in harmonymth such a nature — truth, love and wisdom, faith, hopeand charity. This does not exclude any good thing,but it does not put art and science, architecture andmusic, for religion. Every garden has its walks, withtheir flower borders j every garden has its arbors ; everyTHE VIBYARD. 245garden has even its ornamental trees. It does not ex-clude the exercise of taste. But what would that gar-den be worth which had in it nothing else ? The gar-dener himself would starve. Then the garden is not toturn the gardener into a creature of pomp and import-

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