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Invitation and Excuse.

Invitation and Excuse.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV THOMAS T. LYNCH.


Luke xiv. 12 to 24.

.... Call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind .... None
of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

We continue to-day our meditation on Luke's account of
a Sabbath meal with Christ.
BY REV THOMAS T. LYNCH.


Luke xiv. 12 to 24.

.... Call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind .... None
of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

We continue to-day our meditation on Luke's account of
a Sabbath meal with Christ.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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IVITATIO AD EXCUSE.BY REV THOMAS T. LYCH.Luke xiv. 12 to 24..... Call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind .... oneof those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.We continue to-day our meditation on Luke's account of a Sabbath meal with Christ.If the merchants invite Honesty to a banquet, theirguest will say many things contrary to the maxims of themarket ; and some present at table will blush, and some willturn pale, and many a hand will tremble as it raises thewine to the lips. And if ministers of religion invite Truthto a banquet, some divines, of much experience in thecaution necessary in dealing with this world, will be sur-prised at the boldness with which Truth speaks, and willsay, " Indiscreet ! indiscreet !" And if any of us invite Je-sus Christ as a guest to the private mansion of the heart,We have invited a ' dangerous' guest ; for things will besaid wholesome, but offensive ; things will be said strange, — intelligible after a little thought, — most applicable to ourown welfare, and yet alarming as we hear them at first.Christ is at the Pharisee's table, and now addressesthe Pharisee himself; and teaches that the happiest use of wealth is to confer happiness. Are we to think that these,were words of rebuke? A prophet must often so speak as to give pain ; but a prophet does not willingly use hifitongue as a sword to smite ; he doth not w^Oin^ geusroO146 IVITATIO AD EXCUSE.
 
and upbraid those whom he addresses. There may seemsome rudeness in our Lord's rebuking the Pharisee, in thisopen way, at his own table. May we not rather think that the Lord commended the Pharisee, because on thisday he had been a little more liberal than usual, at thecost of being a little less respectable, and had invitedseveral common persons from the synagogue, who no^were amidst the more distinguished at his table ? Majnot our Lord's words be encouraging, as if he would sayto the Pharisee, " Are you not happier in that you haveextended your hospitality ? Is it not better to have hum-ble guests, who come and take your meat thankfully, tharproud ones, who offend one another, and disgust you, theninviter, by their strife for preeminence V We will thinlthat our Lord commended the Pharisee ; for surely this isthe divine way. If at any time we have acted a little moregenerously and nobly than we commonly do, it is the di-vine way to commend us, to show how much more happi-ness we may attain if we will only follow on the path upoDwhich we have entered,* When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thjfriends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thjrich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and irecompense be made thee/ ow it surely is natural thaiwe should seek the presence of those who are in social re-lation to us. It is natural that those of our own familyof our own neighbourhood, of our own rank, of our owrculture, should become our associates. This is not for-bidden. And now observe, that if any thing appears tcbe forbidden in Scripture which common sense approvesyou cannot at once accept the Scripture. If common senseapproves something, and the Scripture appears to forbidit, you are perplexed \ what can you do ? Search mowIVITATIO AD EXCUSE. 147
 
carefully. It is not a theological dogma, but it is a simpletruth, that the Word avails little without the Spirit. Godhas given us a book, which must have remained a sealedbook, unless he had also given us a spirit whereby we areable to interpret it. For as you cannot read even a book of travels with relish and advantage, unless you have somespirit of curiosity and adventure ; and cannot read a taleof requited affection with any sympathy, unless you knowwhat it is to love; — so neither can you read the Bible, whichbrings high principles to bear upon familiar and every-dayaffairs, unless you are accustomed to ask for principle asa guide, and to inquire of that guide every day what partyou shall take. The spirit of wisdom is necessary, andthe spirit of kindness is necessary, that we may interpretwords wise and kind. The very brevity of our Saviour'sutterances, as they are recorded, makes them usefully ob-scure. Who would read books, — who does that is capableof reading at all, — the several sentences of which are soobvious, that no effort of the mind and heart is requiredin order to appropriate the instruction ? A book does notstir you, unless there is something in it which demands thevigorous effort of your heart and of your mind.There are words of our Lord's, however, which may beeasily brought to illustrate these. Our Lord says, " If yelove those that love you, what thank have ye ? if ye dogood to those that do good to you, what thank have ye TDoes he therefore mean that we should not love those thatlove us ? o. That we should not do good to those whohave done good to us ? o. But that we should not limitourselves to returning the services of those who havetreated us in a friendly and considerate way. It is mostungenerous to receive and not to recompense ; it is mostungenerous to have found Jdndness in a skaugp cavuiXsrj ,148 IVITATIO AD EXCUSE.and to show no hospitality to the stranger when he visits

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