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ADVERTISEMENT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLISHERS.

That a work has reached a third edition in England, although one evidence of its merit, may not always be a safe or satisfactory reason for its republication in this country. But in regard to the volume herewith sent forth, the subject of which it treats is of such general interest, and the ability with which it has been prepared is so marked, and has been so universally acknowledged, that the publishers cannot hesitate to believe they are doing good service to the cause of sound theological learning in making it accessible to a large class of American readers, who in all probability would not otherwise be able to possess it.

The parable, whilst it is amongst the earliest modes of conveying truth to the mind, is at the same time the most effective. Never losing its vigor by age of repetition, it convinces sooner than logical argument, and strikes the imagination more readily than a living example.* From the fact that the parables of our Lord form a very considerable portion of his recorded teaching, and that he was accustomed by them to enforce the highest moral precepts, to illustrate important points of doctrine, and to give prophetical intimation of future events relating to himself and his mission, it is obvious that a competent knowledge of this portion of the Gospels, while it is essential to the Christian teacher, is of the greatest value to every member of the Church. And amply will these sacred fictions repay the most constant perusal. Attractive in the highest degree, even to childhood, while as yet like Samuel the little hearer“ does not know the Lord, nor is the word of the Lord yet revealed to him” (1 Sam. iii. 7), they are the delight of riper manhood, and never fail to offer to the attentive reader, beauties to admire,

* Hæc autem docendi ratio, quæ facit ad illustrationem antiquis seculis plurimum adhibebatur. Ut Hieroglyphica literis, ita Parabolæ argumentis erant antiquiores. Atque hodie etiam et semper, eximius est et fuit Parabolarum vigor; cum nec argumenta tam perspicua nec vera exempla tam apta, esse possint.-Baconi De Augmentis Scientiarum, lib. 2, cap. 13.

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principles to ponder, and examples to allure. Thus do they illustrate the wisdom and benevolence of that Heavenly Teacher “who spake as never man spake," and exhibit a skill in the statement of moral principles to which no merely human intellect was ever equal, and a power and beauty of illustration which no poet or orator ever approached.

In the present work the parables of our Lord are collected together, compared, and explained ; and by a judicious use of learning, and a fertile and happy employment of illustrative comment, they are rendered eminently profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness.” “As a mere delight to the understanding,” says Dr. Arnold, “I know of none greater than thus bringing together the different and scattered jewels of God's word, and arranging them in one perfect group. For whatever is the pleasure of contemplating wisdom absolutely inexhaustible, employed on no abstract matter of science, but on our very own nature, opening the secrets of our hearts, and disclosing the whole plan of our course in life; of the highest wisdom clothed in a garb of most surpassing beauty; such is the pleasure to the mere understanding of searching into the words of Christ, and blending them into the image of his perfect will respecting us.” If the understanding can be thus delighted and improved, can it fail but that at the same time the heart will be made better? Mr. Trench, while informing the understanding, has never neglected the opportunity to excite the affections, to regulate them, and lead them to seek the blessed influences of that Holy Spirit which can alone purify them and fit them for the service of God. These “scattered jewels of God's word,” of which Dr. Arnold speaks, he has brought together, and fixed them in a setting, not worthy indeed of their richness and lustre—what silver, or gold even, of human workmanship could possess such value ?—but the framework is yet skilfully constructed, and is wrought by a devout as well as a learned and earnest mind, and will hold its pearls of wisdom so that we may have the opportunity of gazing upon them in their concentrated form with delight and profit.

Under these convictions of the importance of the subject and the successful manner in which it has been treated by Mr. Trench, this volume is now commended to the notice of American readers by the Publishers.

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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

CHAPTER I.

ON THE DEFINITION OF THE PARABLE.

Those writers who have had occasion to define a parable* do not appear to have found it an easy task to give such a satisfying definition as should omit none of its distinguishing marks, and yet at the same time include nothing that was superfluous and merely accidental. Rather than attempt to add another to the many definitions already given,t I will seek to note briefly what seems to me to difference it from the fable, the allegory, and such other forms of composition as most closely border upon it. In the process of thus distinguishing it from those forms of composition, with which it is most nearly allied, and therefore most

* Tlapaßoan, from tapaßádelv, projicere, objicere, i. e. od tin, to put forth one thing before or beside another; and it is assumed, when tapaßoań is used for parable, though not necessarily included in the word, that the purpose for which they are set side by side is that they may be compared one with the other. That this is not necessarily included is proved not only from the derivation, but from the fact that the word itself and the whole family of cognate words, as tapáßolos, napabóws, parabolanus, are used in altogether a different sense, yet one growing out of tho same root, in which the notion of putting forth is retained, but it is no longer for the purpose of comparison, which is only the accident, not of the essence of the word. Thus tapáboros, qui objicit se præsentissimo vitæ periculo, one who exposes his life, as those called parabolani, because they buried infected corpses at Alexandria.

† Many from the Greek Fathers are to be found in SUICER's Thes., S. V. Tapaßorth. Jerome, on Mark iv., defines it thus: Sermonem utilem, sub idonea figura expressum, et in recessu, continentem spiritualem aliquam admonitionem; and he calls it finely in another place (Ad Algas.), Quasi umbra prævia veritatis. Among the moderns, Unger (De Parab. Jesu Naturâ, p. 30): Parabola Jesu est collatio per narratiunculam fictam, sed verisimilem, serid illustrans rem sublimiorem. Teelman: Parabola est similitudo à rebus communibus et obviis desumta ad significandum quicquam spirituale et cæleste. Bengel: Parabola est oratio, quæ per narrationem fictam sed veræ similem, à rebus ad vitæ communis usum pertinentibus desumtam, veritates minus notas aut morales repræsentat.

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