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1. There was a certain rich Man which had
4 Steward; and the same was accused unto
him, that he had wasted bis goods, 2. And he called him, and said unto him: How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an 4
account of thy Stewardship; for thou maist
be no longer Steward. 3. And the Steward said within himself. What Mall I do ? For my Lord taketh away from me the Stewardship; I cannot dig, to
beg I am ashamed. 4. I am resolved what to do, that when I am
put out of the Stewardship, they may receive
me into their Houses. i; 5. So be called every one of his Lord's
Debters unto him, and said unto the first,
How much owest" thou unto my Lord : 6. And he said, an hundred Measures of Oyl.
And he said unto him, Take thy Bill, and ht down quickly, and write Fifty.' 7. Then said he to another, and how much owest
thou? And he said, An hundred measures of Wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy Bill, and write Fourscore.
8. And the Lord commended the unjust Steward,
because he had done wisely; for the Children of this World are in their generation wiser
than the Children of light. 9. And I say unto you, make to your selves
Friends of the mammon of unrighteousness;
that when ye fail, they may receive you inta everlasting habitations.
Here be two very dangerous Rocks in our way to Heaven by JESUS Cbrist, which it behoves us all, as we would
be saved by him, most carefully to Thun, I mean, Despair and Presumption. We are to fear God's wrath; but we must also believe his goodness, and hope for his mercy. We must hope well; but we muf also repent of our Sins, and be cautious how we wilfully offend, and break his Commandments. To fear without bope, and to persuade our felves, that God will not have mercy on us, tho' we repent, is to despait. And to hope, without repenting, and carefully keeping God's Laws, is to presume; and either of these two ways we shall lose the benefit of a Saviour, and ruin our selves to all eternity. . .
In the foregoing Chapter our blessed JESUS hath in three. Parables caught us, how little cause the very worst of Sinners have to despair of God's mercy, and gracious acceptance, when they fin. cerely repent, and return to their Obedience. And because we are generally too apt to turn his Grace into Wantonness, and by making an ill use of God's mercy, and all the encouragements which he gives us to serve him cheerfully, to undo our felves by growing too careless in our behaviour towards him; therefore our blessed Saviour here in another Parable gives us a very seasonable warning to take heed of this presumption,
And the Thing that he would principally here teach us is this, That we should endeavour to contrive as wisely for our eternal bappiness in the other World, as the Men of this World, that is, Worldly Men are wont to do for the Things they love, as conducing (in their Opinion at lealty to their present bappiness in this Life. That we hould take as much care to provide well for our Souls, as Men usually do in providing for their Bodies; who, tho' they have good hopes of obraining what they labour for, yet are not encourag'd thereby to grow careless in their business, but rather use the greater diligence; and not only are the more cheerfully industrious, but also the more cautious, left through fotb or negligence they should be disappointed of their Designs. Andmore particularly our blessed JESUS would here teach us to make a good use of our WorldlyWealth, and wisely and faithfully to husband it, in what propor. rion soever we enjoy it, that so it may be no hind'rance, but rather a help to us in our way to Blessedness, and that we may not be the lefs bappy in the other World, for our having been rich in this.
And he said also to bis Disciples; fo beginneth shis Chapter. In the beginning of the former we are told, That it was to the Scribes and Pharifees he there fpake. These murmured, that he suffered Publicans and Sinners to be his Auditors, and Guests, or Entertainers racher, saying, This Man receiveth Sinners, and eatetb with them. Hence took he occasion in three Parables to thew them the goodness of God to all penitent Sinners, and the Care he took to seek Sinners out, to make them penitents; so that the very Publicans and such Other Sinners as the proud Pharisees despis'd, need
ed not to despair of God's Mercy, and gracious Acceptance; if they sincerely repented of their Sins. And now, having thus Instructed the Pha. rifees and Scribes, he here curneth his Discourse to his Disciples, laying something also to them very fit for them to learn.
We pretend to be Cbriftians, that is, the Disciples and followers of Christ. What he here in This Parable said unto his Disciples, we are to look upon as said to all Christians. Let us then suppole our selves, as we ought to be, his Disciples; and that we now hear him thus speaking unto us. .
. · 'All you that believe in me your Saviour, and
have repented of all your Sins, resolving to live ' in Obedience to my Gospel; go on with all Cou
rage and Chearfulness in the way which I have
taught you to walk in ; and never fear but the • end of it will be eternal Life. Let not any Sins ! which heretofore you have committed, but now . have forsaken, of what sort foever they were, ' or how long focver in the days of your Igno'rance they have been practised by you, dauns * or difhearten you ; for your heavenly Father
hach by me his only begotten Son, calld you to * repentance, and reconciled you to bimself, and "is most willing to receive you into favour,
and to feast you with all his choice Blessings, and there is joy in Heaven, in the presence of the • Angels of God, over one Sinner that repenteth. But * now remember, that the more gracious God ‘ your Father is, so much the more careful ought
you to be, to behave your felves towards him ' like thankful and duriful Children. Take heed • how ye presume, because he hath once pardon'd you, and receiv'd you into Favour after a very