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Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Parable of the Prodigal Son.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. WM . M. JACKSON.

And he said, A certain man had TWO sons, &c.— Luke xv. 11 — 24.
BY REV. WM . M. JACKSON.

And he said, A certain man had TWO sons, &c.— Luke xv. 11 — 24.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 07, 2013
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04/08/2014

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PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON.
BY REV. WM . M. JACKSON.And he said, A certain man had TWO sons, &c.— Luke xv. 11 — 24.This beautiful story, which you have often heard before,is called a parable. A parable, you know, means a com-parison. It is to make something plain to us ; to help usto understand something that we ought to know, or to teachus something that we ought to do.The parable you have just heard, is meant to show ushow it is with a sinner, when he becomes very wicked, andforsakes God altogether ; and then how it is with him whenhe becomes sorry for his wickedness, and goes to God forpardon. Every man is a sinner, and every little child is achild of sin. We are all like the prodigal son, in somethings, and if you will attend to what I am going to say,you will see that one half the story is exactly suited toyourself. I hope it may all be suited to yourself, beforevery long, and that in every thing you may be like him.It was a very wicked thing for him to go away from hisfather's house. There he had every thing that was goodfor him, plenty of food and clothing, and his father lovedhim. But his bad heart was not satisfied with all that.a27)128 SERMOX X.He wanted to be his own master. He could not bear to beunder his father's authority. He did not want to be re-strained from doing some wicked things, that were pleasantto him. He did not like to have his father's eye alwayswatching him. And so he gathered up all his things — hisclothes and his money — and went away. That's just theway with every sinful man. He does not like to be underGod's law. He wants to be free to do just what he chooses;and so he tries to go away from God. He does not wantto be near him. He does not like even to think about him.The father did not drive the prodigal son from his house.No. He went of his own accord. And just so, when everysinner wanders from his heavenly Father. He goes of hisown accord. Nobody drives him. God does not drive himaway.' Oh, no ! He never drove any man to do what waswrong. It is a bad heart that makes us do bad things.And where did that young man go ? Did he stay in theneighbourhood ? No ! " He took a journey into a farcountry." He went into a strange land and among strangepeople. And so it is that every bad man does when hekeeps on doing wicked things. The more he sins, the fur-ther he wanders away from God. He loves to be among
 
people that are strangers to God.But what does he gain by his wickedness ? "What didthat young man gain ? For a short time, indeed, he livedwell. While his money lasted, he enjoyed himself; and hefelt that it was a fine thing to be his own master ; to do justas he chose ; to drink, and frolic, and feast with his wickedcompanions, and to indulge his sinful inclinations. Verypleasant it must have been, as long as it lasted. But thepleasures of sin never last long. By and by his moneybegan to give out, and after a little while it was all gone ;PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON. 129and, to make matters worse, " there arose a mighty faminein that land;" — bread was very scarce, and he had nomoney to buy food with, and hunger began to pinch him,so that he was almost ready to starve. And then, I sup-pose, he had to sell his clothes to buy himself bread, forthe wicked men who were his friends before, cared nothingfor him now. What shall he do ? Wretchedness, and misery,and death are staring him in the face. What shall he do ?Go back to his father ? No, no. He had not yet come to him-self. Far better would it have been for him, if he had done soat once, and confessed his sin ; for then he would have savedhimself the bitter troubles that afterwards came upon him.And if every sinner would only go to Jesus the moment hebegins to see his danger and his guilt, how much better it wouldbe for him. But the prodigal had not yet '' a broken anda contrite heart." That was the reason he did not go backto his father, as soon as he " began to be in want." Al-though there was not one thing in the land he cared for —no more riotous living — no more pleasure — nothing butpoverty and misery — yet he cannot go back to his father.His proud heart is not yet humbled, and he cannot bringhimself to acknowledge that he has done wrong.And now, I think I see him, all pale and hungry, stand-ing at the door of a rich man. He has gone there to hirehimself as a servant. And what did the rich man do ?He hired him, but for what kind of work ? " He sent himinto his fields to feed swine,'' 0, Satan is a hard master,and all he wants, is to make his servants as filthy and ashateful to God as possible.But how wretched did that young man now become !Trouble and sorrow came down heavy upon him. There hewas, far away from his father's house — in a land of famine130 SERMON X.— glad to get even " the husks that the swine did eat," tosatisfy his hunger; but his cruel master refused to givehim even that ; and when he went to beg ^or food at other
 
people's doors, they, too, drove him away. *•' No man gaveunto him." Perhaps they had not any food to give, andeven if they had, they were too cruel to give any to him.How miserable did he become by his wickedness ! And soit must be with every sinner. Sooner or later he will beworse off than that young man was, unless he does as thatyoung man did. Sin always brings misery. If it does notbring it at first, it brings it afterwards. And the furtherwe wander from God, the further do we get into a land of famine, where there's nothing for the soul to eat — nothingto make us truly happy. yes, in the world, away fromGod, we are always wanting something, and never satisfied." The world can never give the bliss for which we sigh."But, when the sinner becomes a sincere Christian, thenJesus gives him peace and happiness, more than all theworld beside could give. The humblest servant of Jesus isa thousand times better off than the greatest and the rich-est man upon earth who is a sinner. But now the poorprodigal, at last, begins to think seriously about his con-dition. Indeed, his sufferings were enough to make himthink. His clothes were worn away to rags. He hadnothing to sleep on but the naked ground. His strengthwas almost gone. The flesh was wearing away upon hisbones, and he hadn't a single friend that he could talk to.How natural that he should think of home ! There, heknew, the " hired servants had bread enough and tospare," "and here am I," said he to himself, "perishingwith hunger." But he thought of something besides that.He thought about his wickedness. Yes, and he felt it too.PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON. 131His proud heart was bowed down to the dust. JSfoiv he'sready to humble himself at his father's feet. And hemakes the happy determination, " I will arise and go tomy father, and will say unto him ; Father, I have sinnedagainst heaven, and before thee, and am not worthy to becalled thy son ; make me as one of thy hired servants."Do you know why he felt that he was not worthy tobe called his father's son ? I will tell you. There werethree reasons. First, because he knew how filthy and un-clean he was. He knew how degraded and abominable hehad become. Another reason was, because he had done somany wicked things, and felt himself to be so guilty. Andthe other re-eson was, because he had no interest now in hisfather's property. He had received his share and spent itall; and now he felt that, as he had no claim upon hisfather, he could ask for nothing more than to be made asone of his "hired servants."Now this is the very picture of a man when he feelshimself a sinner. Like the prodigal son, he sees his danger.He is convinced that, if he keeps on being a sinner, hemust perish. Yes ! perish in everlasting fire. He thinksof God's people — how happy they are ! — and, above all, he

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