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cance, for every Sin truly repented of, is blotted out of our Acccount, and put on the Account of Christ, who hath fatisfied for it. And Lastly, Let us every Night e're we seep, examine how all Things stand on our Account, and be sure to set all streight. The darkness of the Night, and the sleep we are going to take, represent unto us Death in its Image ; and thereby should mind us to go to Bed, as we would go into the Grave; and to have our Accounts ready as we are concern'd to have them when we die; because we know not whether or no we shall ever awake aagain: This therefore is one of God's calls, and let us hearken unto it as we love our Sculs; and see that we sleep not in Impenitence. Whenever we break off our Sins by Repentance, and with the Sincerity of Resolution return to our Obedience unto God, our Accounts are made up, and we are sure they will be allow'd of for the sake of our blessed Saviour JESUS Chrift.
Verse 3. and 4.
And the Steward said within him
self, What shall I do? For my Lord taketh away from me the Steward]hip : I cannot dig,
to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the Stewwardship, they may receive me into their Houses.
INTE have been taught in the first two Verses
y of this Parable, what our present Condition in this world is, and how we all stand related to God, who made us, and placed us here, as Stewards, to whom he, as the great and universal LORD, and Master of all the World, which is his great Family, hath commited some Portion, more or less, as it seems good to him, of his Goods to manage, and improve to his glory,
and our own advantage ; and farther, that we are all great Masters of these Goods, and that this is not unknown to God, but he observes us how we behave our selves, and will certainly call us to an Account for our Misbehaviour, that the end of this Life is the end of our Stewardship, and that it greatly concerns us to consider in what stare we stand, and what Account we are ac ble to make; and lastly, That is not wanting to us in putting us in remembrance to prepare our Accounts, that they may be ready whenever he shall call for them. All this our blessed JESUS hath taught us by an obvious and casy similitude of a rich Man, who hearing that his Steward had wasted his Goods, calleth him, and lets him know, that he is refolved to turn him out of his Office, and bids him bring in his Accounts, that he may examine them, and use him afterwards, as he shall see Cause for it. · Now in the next five Verses which follow, he tells us, what Effect this had upon that unjust Steward, and what course he took to provide for himself. Not designing thereby to teach us to imitate him in his wicked Craft and policy; but by shewing us the Disposition of such Men, and how shifry and cunning they are for the things of this World, to make us afham'd, if by honest and wise Courses, such as we may easily take, and God allows, we do not as carefully provide for the Things of a better, and eternal Life. .
Let us to this end take notice of the shift which this unjust Man invented to Live by after his Stewardship was taken from him, and of his
whole Behaviour, afrer his Master had call'd him to give an Account. His Master had told him plainly, That he might be no longer Steward, and had comnianded him to give an Account of his Stewardship for the time he had been in it. And now we may observe what Effect this had upon him.
1. It awakend him into a serious Consideration. He said within himself. · 2. It put him into fome perplexity and trouble of mind, he said, What shall I do ?
3. Upon what Account he was thus troubled, and it was two fold.
1. His loss of the Stewardship whereby he had liv'd at his case, and enjoy'd his pleasure.
2. The difficulty of finding any other way of Living so for the future. First, faith he, My Lord taketh away from me the Stewardship : And then Secondly he adds, I cannot dig, to beg, I am bham'd.
4. His Resolucion upon this Consideration, I am resolu'd what to do, that when I am put out of the Stewardship they may receive me into their Houses. What that was we are told in the next three Verses. .
- I pretend not, that all the Particulars of this
Relation of the unjust Steward's Behaviour are to · be accommodated to the main End of the Parable: Yet may we learn something from each of them, which may be useful to us, and cherefore I shall fay something of them briefly in chat Order as they here stand.
1. The Master's threatening this unjust Stews ard to cast himoff, had this Effect on him, that it brought him into a serious Consideration; ic made him think and contrive what might be fittest for him to do. He had gone on long in his way of Profuseness and waste, like an unthinking Fool, as such wicked Men generally are. But then when his Master had told him he must be no longer Steward, and he saw there was no Remedy, but he must give up an Account, such as he could: Then he said within himself, that is, he began to think, or consider. What should he trouble his Head with, or what needed he ca consider, who had all that he had a mind 10, enough to use, and enough to waste, and all without any cost or trouble to him? He had not his Master's Eye always over him, nor did he fear that any Body would give himself the trouble to inform against him, and therefore he took his pleafure, and made what waste he pleas’d.
We see here the Temper of Wicked Men, and especially of such of them, as are bewitch'd with Pleasures and carnal Delights; chey, regard nothing buat the prefent Gracification of their Lusts; they are not apr to consider what will come afrer, or in what all their Pleasures are like to end. Solittle are fuch Men ape to think of preparing their Accounts, that they have hardly their Minds fo much aç Liberty, as to remember that there is any such thing as an Account of iheir lives and Actions to be given, or that God cakes any no
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