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unto his disciples: Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall bardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is 24 easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it
, 25 they were exceedingly amazed, saying: Who then can be saved? But 26 Jesus beheld them, and said unto them: With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Then answered Peter, avd 27
put to the proof, and found wanting ence of centuries. Religion has in that spirit of self-sacrifice and re- scarcely any mightier fue to connunciation required by Christianity. tend with than wealth and its natuHe might have an amiable and up- ral concomitants. Mat. xiii. 22. 1 right character, but the fountains of Tim. vi.9, 10. the great spiritual deep had not 24. Jesus here speaks yet more been opened in his soul. He did emphatically, and uses a proverb not yet see that the grand, towering, that signifies the greatest difficulty heavenly good of life consisted in and improbability.- Easier for a supreme love to God and man, camel, &c. A similar expression is however fortunes might come or found twice in the Talinud, with go. His great possessions were the the substitution of the term elegrave of his spirit. He retires sor- phant in the place of camel. An rowful, as we may suppose, with absolute impossibility is not, of hanging bead, and sad countenance, course, meant, for some rich men and slow and heavy steps, and became disciples of our Lord. The heavier heart. No high promptings moral dangers of riches are, that of the better nature can be resisted they will engross time and the affecwithout sorrow. It is goodness, not tions to the exclusion of nobler selfishness, that is light-hearted and things, and lead to fraud, oppression, serenely happy. The so called gay and covetousness in their acquisilife of folly and sin is the saddest tion, and in their possession and use of all lives, for the inner heart is engender pride, luxury, and dissicold and leaden.
pation, or congeal the whole man 2:3. Jésus converts the occasion with a contracted, icy avarice. into a lesson of warning against the 25. Exceedingly amuzed. Beinoral dangers of riches.-A rich
cause they looked for a temporal man. Explained in Mark by " them kingdom, in which wealth would be that trust in riches.”—Shall hardly en- an important element. ter. Shall with difficulty enter. The 26. Jesus beheld them. A descriprich are tempted to trust in their tion of the mingled astonishment and riches as the supreme good. They earvestness of his manner as he lookwere therefore disinclined, more ed on them.--Who then, i. e. what than the poor, from entering into rich inan.-With God all things are the service of Christ on earth, and possible. Surprised as you are at the thence into the spiritual life of strength of my assertion, impossible heaven. We read of only two rich as it may seem to human apprehenmen who became disciples of Je- sion, and as it concerns human sus, and that, too, secretly; and the power, yet by divine aid, by the declaration of Jesus stands con- motives of the
Gospel, even the rich, firmed by the accumulated experi- with all their temptations to world
said unto him: Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what 28 shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them: Verily I say
ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon 29 twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one
that haih forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hun
liuess, may be quickened in the spir- their minds.—Twelve thrones. As itual life.
that was the number of the Apos27. We have forsaken all, &c. Pe- tles.-Judging. Ruling, or exerci. ter's question refers to verse 21. Je- sing authority over, as the word sus had directed the young man to go often signifies in Scripture.-Twelve and sell all, to relieve the poor; and tribes of Israel. After the Gospel the inquiry naturally arises, What dispensation, this appellation was reward shall we bave, who have given to the Christian world, as it left our houses, families, and call- had been before to the chosen peoings, to follow you? It was an ple. James i. 1. This wonderful, inquisitive, not a boastful spirit in but then so improbable prediction, the disciple. Their all was indeed has been gloriously fulfilled. The but little, but it was their all to them, fame and doctrine of those obscure as much as if it had been the wealth men have gone forth into all counof Cresus, or the crown of Alex- tries. That new religion, which is ander.
“the wonder, the beauty, and the 28. In the regeneration. The best glory of the earth,” first spoke its critics place the comma before in- divine accents abroad among the stead of after these words, for they nations, through their “ tongues of relate not to the past, but to the fu- fire," and shone with the irradiations ture ; not to their following Christ, of their meekness and love. What but to their reigning with him in influence of poet or philosopher glory. Regeneration here refers can compare with the mighty im, not to the change in individual char- pulses which they communicated acter, so much as to the moral refor- to the hearts and lives of their own mation of the world at large, its and all succeeding generations ? new creation by Christianity.—Sit What glory of monarch or warrior in the throne of his glory, &c. Said can be likened to the thrones of Jesus, This shall be your reward: beavenly light in which those inen you shall rank next to me in the have swayed the world, “who first kingdom of righteousness and truth fished for their living in the Sea of which I am to establish on earth, Galilee, and then were called to be and in the future world you shall Apostles of Christ”? They “shine inherit everlasting life and happi- as the brightness of the firmament,
But in expressing this idea, and as the stars forever and ever.” he enrobes it in a Jewish costume, 29. Jesus goes on to extend the and uses such material figures as promise of noble rewards, beyond were adapted to their ignorance and the circle of the Twelve, to all who unspirituality, and as would array should strive and suffer in the Christhe splendid promise in the most tian cause. - For my name's sake, i. e. brilliant, but really true colors, to as my disciple, or in behalf of my
dred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. -But many that are first 30 shall be last; and the last shall be first.
holder, which went out carly in the morning to hire laborers into
religion.-An hundred-fold. Mark the treatment of his laborers by the adds," with persecutions," intiina- owner of a vineyard. We have ting the conditions of suffering and here a continuation of the converdeath, on which they would secure sation in the last chapter, and the these illustrious blessings. Rom. parable can only be understood viii. 17, 18.
with reference to that. Peter had 30. This verse has, by the ill- inquired respecting the rewards of judged division into chapters and discipleship. The Saviour replies, verses, been separated from the fol- that the Apostles would attain the Jowing parable, to which it belongs; bighest honors, next to himself, and though it is found in Mark, where that all other disciples would reno parable succeeds it, and where ceive abundant rewards, both in this we must suppose it connected with life, and in that which is to come. the preceding remarks, as we may But, he adds, do not suppose that conjecture it to be in some degree the earlier converts under the Gosalso in Matthew, for the conversa- pel dispensation will on that action was continuous. It is a pro- count be any more meritorious, or verbial phrase, generally under- better rewarded, than those who, stood to apply to the reception of being called later, manifest an equal Christianity by the Gentiles, earlier fidelity and zeal. The virtue and than by the more favored Jews; but acceptableness of the act consisted more likely, fronı its connection not in the time, but in the promptiwith foregoing remarks, designed tude and conscientiousness with to teach the disciples that the pri- which the call was obeyed, whenority of time of their becoining fol- ever it came. Yea, even the first, lowers of Christ would not entitle as to time and privileges, may bethem to any higher rewards than come inferior to the last, and the later converts would receive, would last become first. This parable has not elevate them to loftier dignities, been supposed generally to refer to as they erroneously supposed, in the calling of the Gentiles, and the the new kingdom. Character, not equality they would be put upon the time of conversion, would give with the Jews; but the above interthern distinction one above anosher. pretation covers that ground and
much more, and is more consistent CHAP. XX.
with the general strain of the con1. The parable of the laborers is versation. It hardly need be staconnected with the last verse of ted, that it has not a particle of althe preceding chapter, as is indica- lusion to the individual age at which ted by the word for. The king- persons become Christians, nor furdom of heaven, or the dealings of nishes one jota of encouragement God under the Christian dispensa- for the efficacy of death-bed repenttion, may be likened, said Jesus, to ance. The successive hours corres
2 his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny 3 a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the 4 third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place; and said
unto them: Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right I 5 will give you. And the went their way. Again he nt out about 6 the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh
hour he went out, and found others standing idle, aud saith unto them: 7. Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him: Because no
man bath hired us. He saith unto them: Go ye also into the vineyard; 8 and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was
come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward : Call the labor
ers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last, unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they re10 ceived every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed
that they should have received more ; and they likewise received every 11 man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against 12 the goodman of the house, saying: These last have wrought but one pond to different periods of the tunities of doing it.-Why stanul ye Christian dispensation, not to the here all the day idle ? seasons of human life. An house
“ The God of glory walks his round, holder. A master of a family. From day to day, from year to year, Early in the morning, i. e. the first And warns us each, with awful sound,
No longer stand ye idle here !! hour, at six o'clock.- Vineyard. Recall us to thy vineyard, Lord! The cultivation of the grape was And grant us grace to please thee there." an important part of Jewish agri 8. When even was come. Or, six culture.
o'clock.-Steward. The overseer 2. A penny. The Roman dena- of the domestic economy. From rius or penny is equal to the Gre- the last, unto the first. This was cian drachm; about fourteen cents. done so that the first migbt not go This was the usual pay of laborers away, but be present at the dialogue and soldiers. Tobit v. 14.
which followed. 3. Third hour, i. e. nine o'clock. 9. The price may have been left -Idle in the market-place. Mean- unsettled with those who went last ing unemployed. This was the into the vineyard, that they might lausual place for persons to resort to bor the more strenuously, by know, in order to obtain hire, as well as ing that they would be paid accord, to sell and buy goods.
ing to the amount of work done, 4. Whatsoever is right. Or, reason and not according to the time of able. No specific agreement was labor. made with those last hired,
11. The goodman of the house. 5,6, Sixth—ninth-eleventh hour. The word is translated householder At twelve, three, and five o'clock in verse 1. It is an old English respectively. The different peri- term, now obsolete, to express the ods are liere represented at which head of a family, without regard to persons became the disciples of moral quality. Jesus, according as they had oppor 12. Have wrought but one hour,
hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said : 13 Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way. I will give unto this last even as 14 unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with nine own ? Is 15 thine eye evil, because I am good ? So the last shall be first; and the 16 first, last. For many be called, but few chosen.
And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart in 17 the way, and said unto them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem ; and the 18 Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gen- 19 As they were hired at the eleventh Many shall be called to be disciples, hour, or five o'clock, and left their but few shall be chosen, i. e. choice work at even, or at six o'clock. disciples. Reference is made in this part of the 17-19. Parallel to Mark x. 32parable, it would seem, to Peter's in- 34. Luke xviii. 31–34. quiry, in chap. xix. 27, made as if he 17. Going up to Jerusalem. This and bis associates expected a great was his last journey towards the er reward than others, who entered holy city. As many others were later into Jesus' service.
probably on their way to the festi15. Thine eye evil. Or, envious. val of the passover, he withdraws An evil eye is used as an emblem his disciples apart to coinmuwicate of envy
Art thou jealous and something of the deepest interest. grudging, because I am good, or Mark says, that Jesus went before gracious and liberal. The master them, and that they followed him in of the house performed bis prom amazement and fear, thinking perise, and therefore wronged no one haps that their safety and lives by his generosity to the last labor- would be endangered at Jerusalem.
God will dispense his gifts The fearless bearing of their Masaccording to bis own pleasure and ter àwed and astonished them. benignity, and deal justly with all, 18, 19. The Son of Mun. See however some may murmur at their note on chap. xi. 19.—Shall be beown, or envy the lot of others. He trayed, &c. The minuteness of this is no respecter of persons, and Gen- prediction, and its exact fulfilment, tiles, as well as Jews, will share in is the clearest proof of the Saviour's his iinpartial love.
prophetic and divine knowledge. 16. So. According to the illus- This is the third time he spoke of tration now given. Not the first the unwelcome subject.—Condemn called, but the most zealous, would him to death. The Jewish Sanhebe the most approved. The period drim could not pass à judicial senof becoming disciples would make tence of death upon hin, or carry it no difference in the rewards. into execution, but they could judge Many be called, but few chosen. him to deserve such a A further proverbial expression, Mat, xxvi. 66, xxvii. 2.-To the Genthought by some eminent critics tiles. They would even call in the to be an interpolation. An allusion aid of the Gentiles, whom they is made, according to some, to the abominated, to help them in their selection of soldiers for an army, bloody crime. All these particulars