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15 And he said unto them, Take heed and beware of covetousness; a for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

a 1Ti.6.7-10. b Job 2.4. Matt.6.25.

right; but they have no power to take the place of a magistrate and settle contentions in a legal way.

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do : I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my souí,

c Ja.4.15,16.

Riches increase thought and perplexity. Indeed this is almost their only effect, to engross the thoughts and steal the heart away from better things, in order to take care of the useless wealth. ¶ No room. Every thing was full. T To bestow. To place, to hoard, to collect. ¶ My fruits. Our word fruits, is not applied to grain. But the Greek word is applied to all the produce of the earth, not only fruit, but also grain. This is likewise the old meaning of the English word, especially in the plural number.

put wheat, barley, &c. They were commonly made, by the ancients, under ground, where grain could be kept a long time, more safe from thieves and from vermin. If it be asked why he did not let the old ones remain, and build new ones, it may be answered that it would be easier to enlarge those already excavated in the earth than to dig new ones.

15. Beware of covetousness. One of these brothers, no doubt, was guilty of this sin; and our Saviour, as was his custom, took occasion to warn his disciples of its danger. Covetousness. An unlawful desire of the property of another; also, a desire of gain, and riches, beyond what is necessary for our wants. It is a violation of the tenth commandment (Ex. xx. 17), and is expressly called idolatry. Col. iii. 5. Compare, 18. I will pull down my barns. The also, Eph. v. 3, and Heb. xiii. 5. TA word barns, here, properly means graman's life. The word life is some-naries, or places exclusively designed to times taken in the sense of happiness or felicity; and some have supposed this to be the meaning here, and that Jesus meant to say that a man's comfort does not depend on affluence-i. e., on more than is necessary for his daily wants. But this meaning does not suit the parable following, which is designed to show that property will not lengthen out a man's life, and therefore is not too ardently to be sought, and is of little value. The word life, therefore, is to be taken literally. Consisteth not. Rather dependeth not on his possessions. His possessions will not prolong it. The passage, then, means: Be not anxious about obtaining wealth; for however much you obtain, it will not prolong your life. That depends on the will of God, and it requires a different preparation from wealth, to be ready to meet him. This sentiment he proceeds to illustrate by a beautiful parable.

19. Much goods. Much property. Enough to last a long while, so that there is no need of anxiety or labor. Take thine ease. Be free from care, about the future. Have no anxiety about provision for want. Eat, drink, and be merry. This was just the doctrine of the ancient Epicureans and Atheists. And it is, alas! too often the doctrine of those who are rich. They think that all that is valuable in life is to eat, and drink, and be cheerful, or merry. Hence their chief anxiety is to obtain the luxuries of all the world; to secure the 16. A parable. See Note, Matt. xiii. productions of every clime at any ex3. ¶ Plentifully. His land was fertile, pense; and to be distinguished for splenand produced even beyond his expecta-did repasts and luxurious living. What tions, and beyond what he had provided a portion is this for an immortal soul! for. What folly to think that all that a man 17. He thought. He reasoned, or in-lives for is to satisfy his sensual appetites; quired. He was anxious and perplexed. to forget that he has an intellect to be

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Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

b

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool! this night' thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? d

21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take a Ps.49.18. b Ec.11.9. 1 Co.15.32. Ja.5. 5. 1or, do they require thy soul. c Job 20. 20-23. 27.8. Ps.52.7. Ja.4.14.

cultivated, a heart to be purified, a soul to be saved from eternal death.

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From this instructive parable we learn: 1st. That wicked men are often signally prospered-their ground brings forth plentifully. God gives them their desire, but sends leanness into their souls. 2d. That riches bring with them always an increasing load of cares and anxieties. 3d. That they steal away the affections from God-are sly, insinuating, and danger

20. Thou fool. If there is any supreme folly, it is this. As though riches could prolong the life, or avert for a moment the approach of pain and death. This night, &c. What an awful sentence to a man who, as he thought, had got just ready to live and enjoy himself! In one single moment all his hopes were blast-ous, to the soul. 4th. That the anxiety ed, and his soul summoned to the bar of his long-forgotten God. So, many are surprised as suddenly, and as unprepared. They are snatched from their pleasures, and hurried to a world where is no pleasure, and where all their wealth cannot purchase one moment's ease from the gnawings of the worm that never dies. Shall be required of thee. Thou shalt be required to go to God, to die, and to give up your account. Then whose, &c. Whose they may be is of little consequence to the man that lost his soul to gain them. But they are often left to heirs that dissipate them much sooner than the father procured them, and thus they secure their ruin as well as his own. See Ps. xvii.

14.

21. So is he. This is the portion, or the doom, &c. Layeth up treasure for himself. Acquires riches for his own use-for himself. This is the characteristic of the covetous man. It is all for himself. His plans terminate here. He lives only for himself, and acts only with regard to his own interest. Rich towards God. Has no inheritance in the kingdom of God - -no riches laid up in heaven. His affections are all on the world, and he has none for God.

of a covetous man is not what good he may do with his wealth, but where he may hoard it, and keep it secure from doing any good. 5th. That riches cannot secure their haughty owners from the grave. Death will come upon them suddenly, unexpectedly, awfully. In the very midst of the brightest anticipa tions-in a moment-in the twinkling of an eye-it may come, and all his wealth cannot alleviate one pang, or drive away one fear, or prolong one moment of his life. 6th. That the man who is trusting to his riches in this manner, is a fool in the sight of God. Soon, also, he will be a fool in his own sight, and will go to hell with the consciousness that his life has been one of eminent folly. 7th. That the path of true wisdom is to seek first the kingdom of God, and to be ready to die; and then it matters little what is our portion here, or how suddenly or soon we are called away to meet our judge. If our affections are not fixed on our riches, we shall leave them without regret. If our treasures are laid up in heaven, death will be but going home, and happy will be that moment when we are called to our rest.

22-31. See this passage explained in Matt. vi. 25-33.

26 If ye then be not able to do | your Father knoweth that ye have that thing which is least, why take need of these things. ye thought for the rest?

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they toil not, they spin not: and yet I unto you, say that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to-day in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith!

29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and

1 or, live not in careful suspense. a Matt. 6.33. b Ps.34.10. Is.33.16. Ro.8.31,32. c Is. 40.11. Jno.10.27,28.

32. Little flock. Our Saviour often represents himself as a shepherd, and his followers as a flock, or as sheep. The figure was beautiful. In Judea it was a common employment to attend flocks. The shepherd was with them, defended them, provided for them, led them to green pastures and beside still waters. In all these things, Jesus was and is eminently the Good Shepherd. His flock was small. Few really followed him, compared with the multitude who refused to love him. But though small in number, they were not to fear. God was their Friend. He would provide for them. It was his purpose to give them the kingdom, and they had nothing to fear. See Matt. vi. 19-21.

33. Sell that ye have. Sell your property. Exchange it for that which ye can use in distributing charity. This was the condition of their being disciples. Their property they gave up; they forsook it, or they put it into common stock, for the sake of giving alms to the poor. Acts ii. 44; iv. 32. John xii. 6. Acts

v. 2.

Bags which wax not old. The word bags, here, means purses, or the bags attached to their girdles, in which they carried their money. See Notes, Matt. v. 38. By bags which wax not old, Jesus means that we should lay up treasure in heaven; that our aim should be to be prepared to enter there, where

31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

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32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms: provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure ƒ in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

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d Matt.25.34. Jno.18.36. He.12.28. Ja.2. 5. 2 Pe.1.11. Re.1.6. 22.5. e Matt.19.21. Ac.2.45. 4.34. fMatt.6.20. 1 Ti.6.19. g Ep 6.14. 1 Pe.1.13. h Matt.25.1,13.

all our wants will be for ever provided for. Purses, here, grow old and useless. Wealth takes to itself wings. Riches are easily scattered, or we must soon leave them; but that wealth which is in heaven abides for ever. It never is corrupted; never flies away; never is to be left. Wax. This word is from an old Saxon word, and in the Bible means to grow.

35. Let your loins, &c. This alludes to the ancient manner of dress. They wore a long flowing robe as their outer garment. See Notes, Matt. v. 38-41. When they labored, or walked, or ran, it was necessary to gird or tie this up by a sash or girdle about the body, that it might not impede their progress. Hence, to gird up the loins means to be ready, be active, be diligent. Compare 2 Kings iv. 29, ix. 1; Jer. i. 17; Acts xii. 8. Your lights burning. This expresses the same meaning. Be ready at all times to leave the world and enter into rest, when your Lord shall call you. Let every obstacle be out of the way; every earthly care be removed, and be prepared to follow him into his rest. Servants were expected to be ready for the coming of their Lord. If in the night, they were expected to keep their lights trimmed and burning. This expression refers to the duty of servants, when their master was away,

36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

37 Blessed a are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

39 And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

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40 Be ye therefore ready also : for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

a Matt.24.46,&c. b1Th52. 2 Pe.3.10. Re.3.3. 16.15. cc.21.34,36. d 1 Cor.4.2.

41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

d

42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.

44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat! the men-servants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

47 And that servant which A e ver.37. f Matt.22.6. 1 or, cut him off. g Ps. 37.9. 94.14. h Ja.4.17.

and when he would return from a wed-of a servant, (Phil. ii. 7), and ministered ding, as they knew not the hour, they were to be continually ready. Compare Notes on Matt. xxv. So we, as we know not the hour when God shall call us, should be always ready to die.

to our wants. In our nature he has wrought out salvation; and has done it in one of the humblest conditions of the children of men. How should our bo soms burn with gratitude to him, and how should we be willing to serve one another! See Notes on John, xiii. 1

36. See Notes on Matt. xxv. 1-13. 37. Shall gird himself. Shall take the place of the servant himself. Ser--17. vants who waited on the table were girded in the manner described above.

Shall make them sit, &c. Shall place them at his table, and feast them. This evidently means that if we are faithful to Christ, and are ready to meet him when he returns, he will receive us into heaven, will admit us to all its blessings, and make us happy there-as if he should serve us and minister to our wants. It will be as if a master, instead of sitting down at the table himself, should place his faithful servants there, and be himself the servant. This shows the exceeding kindness and condescension of our Lord. For us, poor and guilty sinners, he denied himself, took the form

38-46. See Matt. xxiv. 42-51. T Second watch. See Matt. xiv. 25.

47. Which knew his Lord's will. Who knew what his master wished him to do. He that knows what God commands and requires. Many stripes Shall be severely and justly punished. They who have many privileges; who are often warned; who have the gospel, and do not repent and believe, and do good works, shall be far more severely punished than others. They who are early taught in Sunday schools, or by pious parents, or in other ways, and grow up in sin and impenitence, will have much more to answer for than they who have no such privileges.

knew his lord's will, and prepared | earth; and what will I if it be alnot himself, neither did according to ready kindled ? his will, shall be beaten " with many stripes.

b

a

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

49 I am come to send fire on the a De.25.2. b Ac.17.30. c Le.5.17. Jno. 15.22. 1 Ti. 1.13. d 1 Ti.6.20.

They will justly suffer more than almost any other class of mankind.

50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I! straitened till it be accomplished!

e

51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

ƒ Mi.7.6.

He

53 The father ƒ shall be divided 1 or, pained. e Matt.10.34. desirous, that they should come.' Idid not wish evil in itself; but, as it 48. Few stripes. The Jews did not was the occasion of good, he was deinflict more than forty stripes for one sirous that, if it must take place, it offence. Deut. xxv. 3. For smaller should take place soon. From this we offences they inflicted only four, five, learn, 1st. That the promotion of relisix, &c., according to the nature of the gion may be expected to produce many crime. In allusion to this our Lord says contests, and bitter feelings. 2d. That that he that knew not—that is, he who the heart of man must be exceedingly had comparatively little knowledge-wicked, or it would not oppose a work shall suffer a punishment proportionally like the Christian religion. 3d. That light. He refers, doubtless, to those though God cannot look on evil with who have fewer opportunities, smaller approbation, yet, for the sake of the begifts, or more ignorant or fewer teach-nefit which may grow out of it, he is ers. T Much given. They who willing to permit it, and suffer it to have much committed to their disposal, come into the world. as stewards, &c. See the Parable of the Talents, in Matt. xxv. 14-30.

49. I am come, &c. The result of my coming shall be that there will be divisions and contentions. He does not mean that he came for that purpose, or that he sought and desired it; but that, such was the state of the human heart, such the opposition of men to the truth, that that would be the effect of his coming. See Matt. x. 34. Fire. Fire, here, is the emblem of discord and contention, and consequently of calamities. Thus it is used in Ps. lxv. 12; Isa. xliii. 2. ¶ And what will I, &c. This passage might be better expressed in this manner: 'And what would I, but that t were kindled. Since it is necessary for the advancement of religion that such divisions should take place; since the gospel cannot be established without conflicts, and strifes, and hatreds; I am even desirous that they should come. Since the greatest blessing of mankind must be attended with such unhappy divisions, I am willing, nay,

50. A baptism. See Matt. xx. 22. ¶ Am I straitened. How do I earnestly desire that it were passed! Since these sufferings must be endured, how anxious am I that the time should come! Such were the feelings of the Redeemer, in view of his approaching dying hour. We may learn from it, 1st. That it is not improper to feel deeply at the prospect of dying. It is a sad, awful, terrible event; and it is impossible that we should look at it aright without feeling

scarcely without trembling. 2d. It is not improper to desire that the time should come, and that the day of our release should draw nigh. To the Christian, death is but the entrance to life; and since the pains of death must be endured, and since they lead to heaven, it matters little how soon he passes through these sorrows, and rises to his eternal rest.

51-53. See Matt. x. 34-36.

54-57. See Notes, Matt. xvi. 2, 3. South Wind. To the south and southwest of Judea were situated Ara

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