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warded in Proportion to their Improvement; but he who laid up his Talent in a Napkin, and made no Improvement of it, was cast into outer Darkness as an unprofitable Servant. The plain Defign of this Parable, is to thew the Neceflity of Diligence in the Improvement of all our Mercies and Advantages, Matt. xxv. 14–30. Luke xix. 12--27.
37 . What is the Parable of the Prodigal Son
A. The younger Son of a Family grew prodigal, and wasted his Eftate in rioting abroad, while ihe elder Son lived at home, and served his Father ; but upon the Return of the Prodigal, and his Repentance, his Father'received him with much Compaffion and Joy; at which his elder Brother was angry. So fhall the Mercy of God be fhewn to the repenting Gentiles, when they shall forsake their Sins, and return to God, though the Jews will be envious and quarrel with this conduct of Providence, Luke xv. II-32.
38 Q. What is the Parable of the rich Man and Lazarus ?
A. The rich Man, who spent his Daysin Luxury, and was cruel to the Poor, died, and went to Hell; out Lazarus, a Beggar, was religious, and went to Heaven. The rich Man, in his Torments, would fain have Lazarus sent to warn his Kindred of their Danger : But Abraham tells him, that if they will not bear Mofes and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded to leave their Sins, though one rose from the Dead, Luke xvi. 19-31.
39 Q. How could the Hearers of Chrift under: stand thefe Parables ?
A. There were many of them which they did not understand : But when they were retired from
the Multitude, Christ expounded the Parables to his Disciples, Mark iv. 9-12, 34.
40 Q. Besides these public Sermons and Parables, had not Jesus Chrift some Conversation and Disputes with several Sorts of Persons ?
A. Yes; he had some Discourses with the Mul. titude, and with his own Disciples, which would be too long to repeat; and besides these, he had, also some Debates with Nicodemus, with the Woman of Samaria, with the Herodians, with the Sadducees, with the Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, with the Ruler of the Synagogue, and the Chiet Priests and Elders of the People.
41 Q. What was his Discourse with Nicodemus? A. He taught Nicodemus, who came to him by. Night, that a Man must be born again ; that is, he must have his old sinful Nature renewed into Holiness, if he would see the Kingdom of God; and that God jent his only begotten Son to save as many as would believe on him, John iii. 1—21.
42 Q. What was our Lord's Discourse with the Woman of Samaria ?
A. He told her of her living in the Sin of Fornication, and assured her, the Time was just ac Hand when God would not regard Persons ever the more on account of the Places in which they worshipped him, whether it were at the Temple of Jerusalem or Samaria ; but on the Account of the spiritual Worship which they paid him from their Hearts; and he let her know plainly that he was the Meffiah, John iv. 7-26.
43 Q. What Discourse had Christ with the Hesodians ?
A. They inquired of him, whether it was lawful to give Tribute to Cæfar? that, if he denied it, they might accuse him to the Romans; if he O
asserted it, they might render him odious to the Jews, and particularly the Pharifees; but Jesus gave them a very wife Answer, and avoided their Snares, by bidding them Render to Cæfar the Things that are Cæfar's, and unto God the Things that are God's, Matt. xxii. 15-22.
44 Q. What Dispute had Chrift with the Sadducees ?
4. The Sadducees thought to ridicule him about the Doctrine of the Resurrection, by inquiring, To which of her seven Husbands a Wife would belong in that Day? But, as he proved the Resurrection to them from the Law of Mofes, so he assured them that there was no such Relation as Marriage in that State, Matt. 'xxii. 23–33.
-45 Q. What Disputes did our Saviour hold with the Pharifees, and the Scribes, and the Teachers of the Law?
A. He had many Disputes with them about their exceffive Fondness for Ceremonies and Traditions, wherein he fhewed that they made void the Law of God by their own invented Traditions ; and that the Duties of Morality, Righteousness, and Goodnefs, were more valuable even than the Ceremonies of God's own Appointment, and are to be preferred where they may happen to interfere : For God will have Mercy, and not Sacrifice, Matt. xv. 1-20. chap. 'xxiii. and xii. 1-7.
46'Q. What was his Debate with the Ruler of the Synagogue and other Jews ?
A. About his 'healing diseased Persons on the Sabbath-day, at which they cavilled; but he proved to them, that it was a very lawful Thing, even from the Care that God took of Cattle on the Sabbath-day in the Law of Moses, Luke xiii. 14-17.
47 Q. What Controversy had Christ with the Chief Priests and Elders of the People ?
A. About his own Authority for Preaching, wherein he filenced them, by inquiring of them, what Authority had John the Baptift? whom all the People had esteemed as a Prophet, Matt. xxi. 23-37
Sect. Ill. The MIRACLES of CHRIST. 48 Q.THUS we have finished the two first
Designs of the public Life and Ministry of Chrift, namely, his appearing with the Character of the Messiah upon him, and his teaching the People. What is the third confiderable Design of his public Life and Ministry?
A. To work Miracles for the Confirmation of his Doctrine, and for the Proof of his being fent from God to be the Saviour of the World,
49. Q. What were some of the chief of the Miracles which our Saviour wrought for this Purpose?
A. These that follow.
1. He turned fix Vessels full of Water into excellent Wine, John ii. 7-11.
2. He fed five thousand Persons once with five Loaves and two small Filhes; and again, he fed four thousand with seven Loaves, and at both Times there were several Baskets of Fragments, Matt. xiv, and xv.
3. He gave Sight to the Blind, Hearing to the Deaf, Speech to the Dumb, Strength and Vigour to lame and withered Limbs, Mark viii. John ix. Mark vii. Matt. xx. yohnv.
4. He healed the Leprosy, the Fever, the Palfy, the Dropsy, and other Distempers, by a Word of Command, Matt. viii, and ix. Mark i. Luke xiv.
5. He walked on the Water, and suppressed a Storm at Sea by a Reproof given to the Seas and Winds, Matt, xiv, 25. and chap. viii. 29.
6. He delivered several Persons from the Por. session of the Devil, by rebuking the evil Spirits, and commanding them to depart, Luke iv. Matt. viii. Mark i.
7. He raised a few Persons from the Dead, namely, the Ruler's Daughter in the Chamber, the Widow's Son in the Sueet, as he was carried to his Burial, and Lazarus was called out of his Grave, when he had been dead four Days, Mark ix. Luke vii. John xi.
50 Q. What is there remarkable in these Miracles of our Saviour?
A. These four Things.
1. That almost every wondrous Work performed by Christ was a Work of Love and Goodness, whereas many of the Wonders of Moses were Works of Destruction.
2. His Miracles were very numerous, so that Mankind could not be mistaken in all of them, though they should object against some.
3. They were wrought in many Places of the Jewish Nation, and several of them before the Eyes of the Multitude, who could atteft them,
4. They were such Miracles as were foretold should be wrought in the Days of the Meffiah ; and therefore he continually appeals to his miraculous Works for a Testimony of his Commiffion from God, Johnx. 37, 38. chap.xv. 24. and xiv. II.
Sect. IV. The EXAMPLE of CHRIST.
sil. L E T us proceed now and inquire, What
was the fourth Thing designed in the public Life and Ministry of Chrift?
A. To give an Example to the World of universal Holiness and Goodness, John xii. 13. 1 Co. xi. I. Rom. xv. 5.