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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 caft into outer Darkness as an unprofitable Servant. The plain Defign of this Parable, is to fhew the Neceffity of Diligence in the Improvement of all our Mercies and Advantages, Matt. xxv. 14-30. Luke xix. 12-27.
37 Q: What is the Parable of the Prodigal Son? A. The younger Son of a Family grew prodigal, and wafted his Eftate in rioting abroad, while the elder Son lived at home, and ferved 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 fhall forfake their Sins, and return to God, though the Jews will be envious and quarrel with this Conduct of Providence, Luke xv. 11-32.
38 Q. What is the Parable of the rich Man and Lazarus ?
A. The rich Man, who spent his Days in Luxury, and was cruel to the Poor, died, and went to Hell; but Lazarus, a Beggar, was religious, and went to Heaven. The rich Man, in his Torments, would fain have Lazarus fent to warn his Kindred of their Danger: But Abraham tells him, that if they will not hear Mofes and the Prophets, neither will they be perfuaded to leave their Sins, though one rofe from the Dead, Luke xvi. 19-31.
39 Q. How could the Hearers of Chrift underftand thefe Parables?
A. There were many of them which they did not understand: But when they were retired from the
the Multitude, Chrift expounded the Parables to his Difciples, Mark iv. 9—12, 34.
40 Q. Befides thefe public Sermons and Parables, had not Jefus Chrift fome Converfation and Difputes with feveral Sorts of Perfons?
A. Yes; he had fome Difcourfes with the Multitude, and with his own Difciples, which would be too long to repeat; and befides thefe, he had, alfo fome Debates with Nicodemus, with the Woman of Samaria, with the Herodians, with the Sadducees, with the Pharifees and Doctors of the Law, with the Ruler of the Synagogue, and the Chief Priefts and Elders of the People.
41 Q. What was his Difcourfe 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 finful Nature renewed into Holiness, if he would fee the Kingdom of God; and that God jent his only begotten Son to fave as many as would believe on him, John iii. 1—21.
42 Q. What was our Lord's Difcourfe with the Woman of Samaria ?
A. He told her of her living in the Sin of Fornication; and affured her, the Time was juft at Hand when God would not regard Perfons ever the more on account of the Places in which they worshipped him, whether it were at the Temple of Jerufalem or Samaria; but on the Account of the fpiritual 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 Difcourfe had Chrift with the Herodians?
A. They inquired of him, whether it was lawful to give Tribute to Cæfar? that, if he denied it, they might accufe him to the Romans; if he
afferted it, they might render him odious to the Jews, and particularly the Pharifees; but Jefus gave them a very wife Anfwer, and avoided their Snares, by bidding them Render to Cæfar the Things that are Cafar's, and unto God the Things that are God's, Matt. xxii. 15-22.
44 Q. What Difpute had Chrift with the Sadducees?
A. The Sadducees thought to ridicule him about the Doctrine of the Resurrection, by inquiring, To which of her feven Husbands a Wife would belong in that Day? But, as he proved the Refurrection to them from the Law of Mofes, fo he affured them that there was no fuch Relation as Marriage in that State, Matt. xxii. 23-33.
45 Q. What Difputes did our Saviour hold with the Pharifees, and the Scribes, and the Teachers of the Law?
A. He had many Difputes 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. I-20. chap. xxiii. and xii. 17.
46 Q. What was his Debate with the Ruler of the Synagogue and other Jews?
A. About his healing difeafed Perfons 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 Mofes, Luke xiii. 14-17.
47 Q. What Controversy had Chrift with the Chief Priefts 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. I. The MIRACLES of CHRIST. 48 Q.T HUS we have finifhed the two firft Designs of the public Life and Miniftry of Chrift, namely, his appearing with the Character of the Meffiah upon him, and his teaching the People, What is the third confiderable Defign 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 fome of the chief of the Miracles which our Saviour wrought for this Purpose?
A. Thefe that follow.
1. He turned fix Veffels full of Water into excellent Wine, John ii. 7—11.
2. He fed five thousand Perfons once with five Loaves and two fmall Fishes; and again, he fed four thousand with feven Loaves, and at both Times there were feveral 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. John v.
4. He healed the Leprofy, the Fever, the Palfy, the Dropfy, and other Distempers, by a Word of Command, Matt. viii, and ix. Mark i. Luke xiv.
5. He walked on the Water, and fuppreffed a Storm at Sea by a Reproof given to the Seas and Winds, Matt.xiv. 25. and chap. viii. 29.
6. He delivered several Perfons from the Poffeffion of the Devil, by rebuking the evil Spirits, and commanding them to depart, Luke iv. Matt. viii. Mark i.
7. He raised a few Perfons from the Dead, namely, the Ruler's Daughter in the Chamber, the Widow's Son in the Street, 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. Thefe four Things.
1. That almost every wondrous Work performed by Chrift was a Work of Love and Goodnefs, whereas many of the Wonders of Mofes were Works of Destruction.
2. His Miracles were very numerous, fo that Mankind could not be mistaken in all of them, though they should object against fome.
3. They were wrought in many Places of the Jewish Nation, and feveral of them before the Eyes of the Multitude, who could atteft them,
4. They were fuch Miracles as were foretold fhould 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, John x. 37, 38. chap.xv. 24. and xiv. II.
SECT. IV. The EXAMPLE of CHRIST.
51 Q. LET us proceed now and inquire, What was the fourth Thing defigned in the
public Life and Miniftry of Chrift?
A. To give an Example to the World of univerfal Holiness and Goodnefs, John xii. 13. 1 Cor. xi. I. Rom. xv. 5.