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When visited by affiction, he always acknowledged | it, and explore it as a secret source of inexhaustible and the hand of God, and maintained tranquillity of mind in evergrowing aggrandisement and wealth. a very wonderful degree. He had a tender heart, and Such fortunate discoveries, however, of the golden sad things, as Burnet remarks, were apt to make deep repositories of nature, have always been so rare, as to impressions upon him; yet the regard he paid to the unfit them for being made the groundwork of metaphors wisdom and providence of God, and the just estimate or narratives like those before us, which were intended he had of all worldly things, tended to support him for the familiar and the obvious illustration of truth; amid all his bereavements. But we will not enlarge and the veins in which they are found generally extend, any more upon the character of this illustrious man; wherever they appear, in such abundance, as soon acfrom what we have already said, it must be obvious quires for them too great value and importance in the that he was indeed a true, sincere, and consistent public eye, to admit of the man who discovered the Christian, testifying his faith by his works, and looking field where the treasure is hid, purchasing or long reon this world only as a preparation for another and a taining it as his private property. Besides, Judea was better. In the words of his biographer, “ He was one never ranked among the countries where in ancient of the greatest patterns his age has afforded, whether in times the precious metals were obtained, nor did its sohis private deportment as a Christian, or in his public litary river, like the famed Pactolus, wash down from employments, either at the bar or on the bench." the neighbouring mountains the golden pebbles which
its overflowing banks deposited in the fields through
which it ran, enriching many of the peasants to whom HID TREASURES.*
our Lord was addressing this parable of the hid treaBy The Rev. Robert JAMIESON,
sure, at no great distance from the banks of the Jordan.
The propriety of the simile, therefore, which is introMinister of Westruther.
duced, both in the parable of Christ and in the Proverbs " If thou seekest for knowledge as silver, and searchest for her as for of Solomon, must have been founded on something more
hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, nearly allied to the general habits and associations of and find the knowledge of God."-Prov. xi. 4, 5.
Eastern people---something more likely to come home “ The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field ; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof
to the hearers of the one, and the readers of the other, goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that tield."- than that which was known to lead some of them to the MATT. xii. 44.
purchase of new possessions, or to have greatly enThe similes used in both these passages are conceived hanced the value of such as were already their own. by the generality of commentators to be founded on the The readers of oriental tales are familiar with stories of circumstance, that the precious metals, which are held persons, who, by some fortunate discovery of bidden in so much estimation among men, on account of the treasure, were suddenly raised from poverty to un. purposes of utility or ornament to which they are ca- bounded wealth, and they are probably accustomed to pable of being applied, are not found strewed on the ascribe such extraordinary variations of fortune to the surface of the ground, but lie deeply imbedded in the poetic license which writers of fictitious narratives are bowels of the earth, unknown and imperceptible to hu- never challenged for taking. But a little consideration man observation. To the ignorant and inexperienced will suffice to shew, that the tried and extensive fame eye, there may be nothing in the external appearance
of these beautiful fictions, which, in the countries where of nature to give token that she has there imparted any they were produced, form for whole seasons the only thing beyond the clods and the verdure, by which they night's entertainments, bas arisen solely from their may be covered. Yea, to such a depth are these valu- being pictures of real life, and that while there is no able treasures occasionally sunk, that the most practised idea which the inhabitants of all parts of the Eastern observers are not unfrequently deceived, and never world are so prone to entertain as that of treasure hid dream of penetrating the bosom of the earth, for stores,
in the field, the universality of the notion has originated, of the existence of which she seems so studiously to
not in some vain and delusive dream, which their warm have withheld all knowledge; and as the spots in which imaginations are fond of indulging, but in their knowsuch valuable mines are discovered have generally been ledge of the immense riches which have frequently, in of a barren and unpromising character, it has not un- this manner, been acquired, and of the causes which frequently happened, that they have been consigned to
render such places their chosen receptacle. The fact is, neglect, and allowed to lie in a waste and uncultivated that the practice of hiding treasures is one which has state, as altogether incapable of rewarding the labour risen out of necessity. In these quarters, so often the and expense of tillage ; so that age may succeed to age,
theatre of sudden revolutions where the throne is occuand one proprietor convey it to another, without one of pied by a needy despot, who scruples at no means wherethe busy multitudes that tread upon its surface ever
by to replenish his treasury, and where the subordinate dreaming of the precious ore that lies deposited beneath. governors imitate the rapacity of their superiors, the But let some happy accident reveal the secret
, and give people, taught by experience that the suspicion of wealth but a hint, that beneath a surface apparently so unpro- often brings along with it a notoriety that proves dangermising, the most valuable treasure is concealed, and
ous to the possessor, endeavour to provide against emer. from that moment, the field that contains it attracts an
gencies which they have so good reason to fear, by depoattention, and acquires an importance, to which it had siting their money in places which are not liable to be afnot formerly the shadow of a claim. However it may
fected by the dangers of anarchy or war. When a person continue to be neglected or undervalued by the rest of has accumulated any considerable amount of wealth, he the world, yet in the eyes of the discoverer bimself
, it begins to think of the best means of securing it ; 'and will appear infinitely more precious than the fairest and
the usual practice in such cases is,-after reserving as most extensive domains by which it may be surround
much in hand as may be necessary for the purposes of ed,—it will become the idol of his imagination by day, livelihood and trade, and expending another portion on and rise before him in the visions of the night and jewels, which, from their portable nature, may not renever will he be satisfied or at rest till he has secured
tard his flight, to bury the rest under ground, the only ell his resources of labour and of strength to bear upon satisfaction of knowing that he will find it safe and enthe undisputed possession of it to himself, and brought bank being the earth, where, if the money remains a
dead and unprofitable stock, the owner has at least the • To correct a misapprehension in the minds of some of our tire, whenever his necessities or inclination prompt him readers, it may be right to state, that all the articles from the pen of Mr Jamieson, with the exception of that in our first Number, have
to retake it. In the selection of this place of concealbeen written expressly for The Scottish Christian Herald.--Ed.. ment, he is guided by no motive but that of secrecy;
anc it matters little where the treasure is hid, provided | Among the Turks, the same habit has long prevailed, thedeposit can be effected without any traces being and a memorable instance is recorded by Dr Perry, of leftto excite suspicion, and bring others to a know- immense treasures belonging to some of the principal lede of the secret. The more remote, of course, the people of the Turkish empire being concealed under sitution of the place, the greater is its recommendation ground, which, upon a revolution, were discovered by as a place of safety; and hence the field is so generally some of the domestics who had penetrated the secret. pitaed on as least of all the scene of public or general Nor is the custom of hiding money under ground less
For the knowledge of this private hoard is common in India. “ We are constantly hearing,” says studously confined to the bosom of its owner, and Mr Roberts, late missionary in Hindostan, “ of treashoud he, in the course of events, be compelled to sures which have been and are about to be discovered ; abandon the spot, or die before he has an opportunity and it is no rare thing to see a large space of ground of rturning to it, the secret dies with him, and will be completely turned up, or a group of old and young digfor ever unknown to the world, unless some happy ac- ging amid the foundations of an old ruin, all full of the cidert bring it in the way of the peasant as he turns up greatest eagerness and desire to reach the expected treathe soil with the plough.
I once saw a deep tank made completely dry by Imumerable stories of the discovery of treasure hid in immense labour in the hope of finding great treasures, the held are found in the pages of authentic history from which were said to have been cast in during the ancient Herodotus down to the present day. That venerable wars." father of history gives a long account of an ancient Nor is money the only article which the timid spirit King of Egypt who had amassed 400,000 talents in the of oriental society seeks in this manner to secure. The course of his life, which he had securely deposited in same necessity which led to the concealment of their the garden adjoining his palace, and which was never gold and silver in the bowels of the earth, suggested to known nor suspected by any till he imparted the secret the natives the expedient of committing to the same to his sons on his death-bed. Josephus informs us that faithful custody as much of their other effects as could Solomon laid up vast treasures in the royal sepulchre, be spared from immediate use; and what was at first which was reckoned the place of the greatest security, resorted to only in the most dangerous and unsettled from the sacredness attached to the abodes of the dead; crisis, as the best means of placing their property beyond and the same historian also tells us that the inhabitants the reach of untoward accidents, was afterwards conof Jerusalem, during its last and memorable siege, con- tinued in more peaceful times from the feeling of secucealed their treasures in the streets, and under the floor, rity attending it, and became the common mode in which and within the door-posts of their houses, and in various people of all ranks preserved their valuable commodiunfrequented parts of their city, and that the precious ties—the opulent, their luxuries—the traders, their mersecret would have been for ever buried in the grave chandise—the farmers, the precious fruits of harvest with the owners, had not the plough of the conquerors vast quantities of grain, oil, wine, honey, and apparel passed over the ruins of the holy place and reduced it to have been discovered thus hoarded up in subterranean à field. Discoveries of a similar kind are related in the cells, several hundreds of which have been found in the modern histories of the East. Amadedulat, who reigned same field—and although, from the nature and variety in Persia in the tenth century, according to D'Herbelot, of the goods deposited in them, these must have been found himself reduced to great difficulties from the im- often required to be of great magnitude, yet so carepoverished state of his treasury, and walking one day in fully and dexterously had the holes been filled and the one of the rooms of his palace, which had been the favour- surface levelled, that not a vestige remained to shew ite residence of his predecessor, he perceived a serpent that the earth had been moved. Such were the treasures, putting its head out of a chink of the wall. The king with the discovery of which Jeremiah (xli. 8.) tells us, having ordered the place to be searched and the ser- that ten unfortunate Israelites ransomed their lives from pent to be killed, found in the opening of the wall, a the hands of the treacherous and sanguinary Ishmael. secret place, in which, though they missed the reptile, " But ten men were found umong them, that said unto they found some treasure, and renewing their search Ishmael, stay us not ; for we have treasures in the field, with greater eagerness, lighted on a great number of of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey." large coffers loaded with the treasure which the former It will be readily supposed, that the knowledge of prince had amassed and concealed there. Sir John this custom of concealing treasure in the field having Malcolm, in his history of Persia, relates that Ismail prevailed from time immemorial in the East, would give Samanee, having pledged his word to the inhabitants of rise to many a desire to meet with ocular demonstrations a conquered city that he would not surrender it to be of its existence; and that the more eager and sanguine plundered by his soldiers, found himself obliged, to avoid votaries of Mammon, in all ages, would leave no means the temptation of violating his word through the mur- untried that promised to put them in possession of such murs and discontent of his soldiers, to withdraw from valuable acquisitions. Accordingly, men were not wantthe neighbourhood of the place. He had not gone far, ing in ancient times, who, taking advantage of the preSir John continues on the authority of Persian authors, vailing anxiety, pretended to discover the places where when a ruby necklace of one of his ladies was carried treasure was hid by the arts of sorcery. Many Asiatic away by a vulture, being from its redness mistaken for princes carried those sorcerers in their train to the cities méat. The bird was watched, and seen to deposit the they had won by their arms, to point out the places jewel in a dry pit, which was immediately searched. where the vanquished had concealed their treasures. The necklace was recovered, and several boxes of trea- And one remarkable instance is recorded of an Arab sure were found near it, which proved to be part of the chief, who by the aid of a person of this description, wealth of the captured monarch. “ About ten years striking with a stick on the walls and on the ground, ago,” says Volney, in his travels through Syria, " a small discovered the spots that had been hollowed, and obcoffin was found at Hebron, full of gold and silver; and tained in consequence immense sums. Whether, as is in the country of the Druzes, an individual lately dis- most likely, these conjurors were guided entirely by covered a jar, with gold coin in the form of a crescent, superior sagacity and skill, which they dexterously atbut as the chiefs and governors claim a right to those tributed to art, it is certain that the people of the East discoveries, and ruin those who have made them under are universally of opinion that sorcery is the only effecpretence of obliging them to make restoration, those tual means of making the discovery of hidden treasure.
bo find any thing endeavour carefully to conceal it, by So universal is this persuasion, that we are informed secretly melting the antique coins, or burying them by many modern travellers who have gone in quest of again in the same place where they were found.” | Eastern antiquities, that their researches have been great
ly retarded, and sometimes entirely prevented, by the culable value of the treasure it contains, they wil reajealousy of the natives, who are incapable of conceiving dily submit to any labour, however arduous, or o any them animated by any liberal motives, and who, regard- privation, however great, in order to secure the ontiing all Europeans, from their extensive attainments in nued possession of it to themselves. Not that anything science, as notorious sorcerers, conclude that they have they can give or can part with is equivalent to the price travelled so far for no other purpose than to discover of it. “ It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver and take away the vast treasures which they believe be weighed for the price thereof-it cannot be valued lie concealed in various quarters of their country. It with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx or the is to this belief in the skill of sorcerers to discover hid sapphire,”-and, therefore, in this sense, they can never treasures, that the Prophet Isaiah (xly. 3.) is conceived give an equivalent for it; but, impressed with a deep to allude. “ As God," says Hariner,
sense of the value of the treasure, and the unspeakable prophets at various times to pretended sorcerers, it is importance of possessing it, they are willing to part not unlikely that the prophet points at some such pro- with the nearest and dearest object that may endanger phetic discoveries in these remarkable words: And I its security, or be incompatible with the possession of will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches it; to give up any pursuits—relinquish any hopes foreof secret places, that thou mayest know that I the Lord, go any pleasure-sever any connexions that are found to which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel: i. e., come between them and the enjoyment of that which I will give them, by enabling some prophet of mine to they know and feel to be worth more than the world tell thee where they are concealed.”
itself; and this is the sense in which the man who has These observations may serve to illustrate that de- found the “ treasure hid in the field" of the Gospel, sire, or rather passion, to seek for hid treasure which “goeth and selleth all that he hath, and purchaseth the exists so strongly in the breasts of Eastern people, and field.” has been characteristic of them in all agesa desire which has originated in their knowledge of customs,
DISCOURSE. which the frequent wars and the unsettled state of society have rendered general in all countries of the East,
BY THE Rev. JAMES BUCHANAN, and which being felt by the Jews,* in common with their
Minister of North Leith, neighbours, both our Lord and the wise king of Israel have mentioned as the measure of the strong and ar- “ Wherefore, I say unto thee, her sins, which are dent zeal with which we ought to seek after that know- many, are forgiven ; for she loved much: but to ledge which makes rich towards God and for eternity. whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”The field in which this precious treasure is hid, is the
LUKE, vii. 47. Gospel, which is offered and open to the researches of There were present at this interview with the all; and yet as multitudes often wander unconsciously over the spots where the most valuable stores are de- Saviour of the world, two persons whose characposited, so multitudes who have the Gospel within their ters were in many respects widely different ; a reach, and are able to read it, are ignorant of the un- Pharisee, who appears from his language to have searchable riches it contains—have no acquaintance with imbibed the spirit of his sect, which our Lord himits divine excellence, because they have never set them, self elsewhere describes, as “trusting in their own selves in sober earnestness to examine into its nature and explore its contents ; or, as is the case with many, they righteousness, and despising others :" and a woman may have done so, and yet, confining their views to its his from the city, who was “a sinner,” and as such tory, its poetry, or the useful and virtuous maxims it the object of the Pharisee's contempt. Both were prescribes for the economy of life, are equally far as the privileged to meet with the Saviour, and both former class from having discovered its real treasures, professed and intended to do him honour. But just because they have not gone to it in the right way the Pharisee was offended, because a sinful wo-in the spirit and with the feelings of those to whom it is addressed. Let them but acknowledge themselves
man was permitted thus to minister to one who to be sinners_let them feel, in all its reality and power,
laid claim to the character of a messenger from the conviction that they are fallen and guilty-desti- | God: and although he gave no utterance to bis tute of all claims to the favour of God, and in a perishing thoughts, our Lord availed himself of what was condition, and then they will be in a state of mind and passing in his mind, to shew how far his views spirit to appreciate the unscarchable value of the Gospel; differed from the plan of God for the recovery of they will betake themselves to it with all the urgencies sinners
, and to illustrate the moral principle on of needy dependants who have met with unexpected relief, and having discovered a treasure inexhaustible, and which that plan is founded. of divine value, they will, with all the intense anxiety I. The Pharisee seems to have been offended of those who are seeking for silver and searching for by the Saviour's permitting this woman to apbid treasure," dig deeper and deeper, and never be sa- proach him : she was a sinner, and from the emtisfied, till they have ascertained the real amount of the phasis which is attached to the word, probably stores they have found—or dropping the metaphor, they will betake themselves to the reading of the Gospel,
a notorious one ; and he seems to have thought, not in the formal listless manner of those who would that such a person ought either to have been excomply with an approved custom, nor of those who cluded altogether from converse with Christ, or wish merely to provide themselves with the means of that before coming, she should have gone through intellectual entertainment, but with the earnest and en
a probationary course of trial and reformation. grossing desire of those who, persuaded that they are guilty and miserable sinners, apply to it as the only But such an idea is at variance with the whole source of obtaining a knowledge of the way of salva
scope and tenor of the Gospel ; nor could our tion. They will not only read it, but study it-make
Lord have excluded this sinful woman from his it the subject of their frequent, fervent, and importu- presence, on the ground of any such principle, nate prayers; and perceiving more and more the incal
without virtually abandoning the doctrine of free The ancient Jews may have been led to hide their treasures un
grace altogether. Had he forbidden her approach, der ground for security during the wars with the Philistinçs and
or treated her with stern severity as unworthy of incir other warlike neighbours,
his presence, he must have sanctioned the mis- I welcome you, even as he welconied her! Be not apprehension of the Pharisee respecting the object faithless but believing.
Your sins are many—80 of his mission, and confirmed to the end of time were hers: You are deeply distressed and fearfulthat legal and self-righteous spirit which the whole so was she, when she stood at the Saviour's feet in tenor of the Gospel was meant to rebuke and to tears : You have nothing to recommend you to the sublue. But mindful of the sublime object of his Saviour, nothing to plead in extenuation or excuse mission, “ to seek and to save the Lost," he re- for your guilt, nor had she ;—she wept and was garded “ this woman that was a sinner,” as one silent. And you too, when you retire this evenof the very fittest subjects of his compassionate ing to your closet, and weep a silent flood over the care: for her redemption, and for the redemption remembrance of your sins, will have the com of such as she was, he had come down from passionate eye of the Saviour upon you :
:-the heaven ; and now that he was brought into per- Saviour's heart is not changed—exalted as he sonal contact with the very guiltiest and most is, it is still his delightful office to bind up the wretched, and that too, in the company of a proud broken-hearted : to no friend on earth, to no self-righteous man, he did not shrink from her, angel in Heaven, will
prayer give greater but received her into his presence, and permitted pleasure than to the Saviour himself
. Go then to her to wash and anoint his feet with a benignant your knees with the words of David on your heart, condescension, which may well minister rebuke “ I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh to self-righteous pride, and encouragement to
This woman that was a sinner seems every penitent heart, to the end of time. And to have come uninvited, to a house where, to all this he did, even while he admitted that her sins but the Saviour, her presence was unwelcome or were many.” It was not necessary for him to offensive : you can go, and plead his own invitavindicate her from the charge of guilt ; nor was tion for your warrant, his own recorded love for it consistent with his design to palliate or in any your motive, his own express promise for your way to excuse the sinfulness of her life: on the prayer : and to you, as to her, may the Saviour contrary, He received and welcomed her as a
say, “ Son, daughter, thy sins are forgiven thee; sinner, and it was in so receiving her that he thy faith hath saved thee, go in
peace.” manifested the perfect freeness of redeeming love, II. Another reason why the Pharisee was ofand gave to the Pharisee an affecting exhibition in fended by our Lord's gracious conduct to this practice of what he had elsewhere declared in woman, seems to have arisen from an apprehension words, “ that the whole need not a physician, but that the free forgiveness of sin could not be exthey that are sick,”—“that he came to call not the tended to such characters, consistently with the righteous but sinners to repentance,”- -“ and that interests of morality. He thought that it must rhosoever cometh unto him should in nowise be be an encouragement to vice: that the kindness cast out."
which the Saviour exercised to the very chief of From this affecting scene, we learn the cheer- sinners must become, in the case of his disciples, ing truth, that many sins do not debar us from a motive to licentiousness. Such an opinion has the Saviour. The very object of his mission was, often been expressed, not only in ancient but also and the great end of his Gospel still is, to save in inodern times; especially by those decent men the guilty. To none but sinners is it suitable ; of the world, who, without much experience of for every sinner it is sutficient. By his sufferings the vital power of religion, have maintained a reand death, as their substitute, he has made re- gard for good morals, and an attachment to the paration to God for the dishonour which had been forms and ordinances of religion. They have put upon his law; and rendered it consistent with thought the doctrine of free grace injurious, or, at the highest interests of the divine government, to least, dangerous to the interests of morality; and extend the free forgiveness of sin to every one of hence their attempts to fetter the gospel with reis that will accept of it. It is emphatically said, strictions, and to re-impose the bondage of legal that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from ALL conditions, which, were they admitted, would have sin. He is able to save UNTO THE UTTERMOST- the effect of excluding every man who has a right none so guilty that he cannot redeem ; none so sense of his own sinfulness from applying to the vile that he will not receive them. Nor is his Saviour at all. That some such thought was passgrace fettered with conditions, or restricted to ing through the mind of the Pharisee, is evident particular classes ; it is alike universal and free, from the scope of our Lord's observations, which -its invitations are addressed to all.
are mainly directed to this point—that the free Are there none in this assembly who will listen forgiveness of sin, so far from being opposed to to this gracious cail: none who feel that they the interests of morality, is, on the contrary, the have much to be forgiven : none who have tasted means of calling into operation, a principle which the bitterness of remorse, and are sick at heart: | insures a life not only of strict but of willing is there not amongst us one solitary spirit, that and cheerful obedience. That principle is love : has begun to feel itself weary and heavy laden, and love to Christ as a compassionate Saviour, and to that wonld gladly welcome a relief from the burden | God as a reconciled Father throngh him ;
that of guilt? Oh! if there be but one such spirit now love which is the sum and substance of the law, present, I point to the woman that was a sinner, the spring of all acceptable obedience, the only and say--go to the Saviour as she did, and he will source of true happiness in religious or moral duty. This love is first awakened by the free grace of Pharisee. He lays hold of the circumstances which the Gospel, and when it takes possession of the had occurred since they sat down to table, as a suffiheart, will manifest its presence by constraining the cient proof that the love of this poor woman was disciple to live no longer to himself, but to Him a more active principle of dutiful obedience, than that loved him and gave himself for him. This is any which the Pharisee himself possessed. Most the secret of the moral operation of the Gospel ; beautiful is the example which our Lord here gives and it is brought out and illustrated in the text of the operation of love in the case of a true conwith peculiar beauty.
vert, as contrasted with the cold outward respect When our Lord says, “ Wherefore her sins are of a formal professor of religion. “ He turned forgiven, for she loved much,” he does not refer to to the woman, and said unto Simon, seest thou her love as the meritorious or procuring cause of this woman ? I entered into thine house, thou forgiveness ; on the contrary, his illustration, drawn gavest me no water for my feet : but she hath from the case of the two debtors, shows that love washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with is the fruit or effect of forgiveness ; but he points the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: to it in the text as affording a proof that this poor but this woman, since the time I came in, hath woman had been forgiven, and as the genuine fruit not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil and effect of the kindness with which she had been thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath treated.-With this explanation, I observe there anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore, I were two grand points which our Lord wished to say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forestablish. The first, that free forgiveness would given her ;—for she loved much : but to whom produce love ; and the second, that love, when pro- little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” duced, would ensure cheerful obedience. With There is something exquisitely beautiful in this reference to the former of these points, our Lord simple description-something which finds its way makes an appeal to the Pharisee himself, well to the heart in the devoted love of this sinful knowing that the Gospel was adapted to the com- woman to the Saviour of sinners. It might have mon principles of human nature : “ And Jesus been expected, that on meeting with the holy Son answering, said unto him, Simon, I have some- of God, the Pharisee, who made his boast of the what to say unto thee : and he said, Master, say law, and professed great attachment to moral on.
There was a certain creditor which had two goodness, would have shown more reverence and debtors. The one owed five hundred pence, and esteem for the Perfect Pattern of all moral excelthe other fifty. And when they had nothing to lence, than the woman that was a sinner. But it pay, he frankly forgave them both.
was not so: he was cased up in self-righteous therefore, which of them will love him most. Si- pride; but the poor woman knew that she was a mon answered, and said, I suppose that he to whom sinner, she looked to Christ as a Saviour, and he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou having been graciously received by him, his love hast rightly judged.” Here Simon admits, in the awakened a responsive love in her bosom, and she case of an ordinary debtor, that a frank forgiveness followed him as her Master. The free forgiveness will produce love to a generous benefactor ; and of her sins bound her to his service, by a tie that this love will bear some proportion to the which neither shame, nor contempt, nor persecuamount of the debt discharged, or the magnitude tion, could break: her faith wrought by love, and of the love displayed : and in this admission, our that love led her to follow him at all hazards. So Lord had all that he wished for explaining the is it in every case. We have here but an exempliprinciple and vindicating the reasonableness of his fication of what takes place on the conversion of procedure in frankly forgiving the sins of all every sinner, an illustration of the way in which classes, without respect to the little distinctions the Gospel works in the heart of every believer: which might obtain among them. The Pharisee the love of the Saviour produces love to the Sathought himself more righteous than the woman viour, and love to Him secures our sanctification, that was a sinner; whether he really was so in the and renders our obedience alike constant and sight of Him who judgeth the heart, we have no cheerful. When the heart is thus filled with love, means of discovering: but our Lord meets his ob- you see the Gospel fulfilling the very end of the jection to the free forgiveness of the woman, on law, for the law of the universe is love, and that law the distinct ground, that even were his opinion is fulfilled, when, through the free forgiveness correct as to the comparative righteousness of the of sin, Christ is loved as a Saviour, and God is two parties, still the interests of morality were loved as a reconciled Father. When this love secure, since from his own admission “ to whom takes full possession of the heart, religion becomes much is forgiven, the same will love much." a cheerful service ; without it, religion may be
This, then, is the first point which our Lord observed in its outward forms, but it cannot be wished to establish, that whenever a sinner is taught sensibly enjoyed. We must have some sense or to believe the Gospel, and to obtain the free forgive some hope of forgiveness from him, before God ness of sin, a new principle will spring up in his can be loved as our God: when he is thus loved, bosom—he will love the Saviour ; and having esta- he will be cheerfully served : no sacrifice will seem blished this, our Lord proceeds to show (2dly,) the too great, no labour too difficult, no suffering too practical working of that principle, in a way which severe, to be submitted to. Our desire will be to was fitted very deeply to humble the pride of the become in all respects conformed to the will of