Eighth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc. 16. v. I. Sunday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

GOSPEL Luke 16: 1-9 
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: "There was a certain rich man, who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he was wasting his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, 'What is this that I hear of thee? render the account of thy stewardship; for thou canst be no longer steward.' "And the steward said within himself, 'What shall I do, seeing that my lord taketh away the stewardship from me? I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.' And calling to him each one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first, 'How much owest thou unto my lord?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said unto him, 'Take thy bond, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' Then said he to another, 'And how much owest thou?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He saith unto him, 'Take thy bond, and write fourscore.' "And his lord commended the unrighteous steward because he had done wisely: for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles."

Sunday Meditation

This rich man, that had a bailiff, is Christ Jesus, who is God and man,and every one of us is his bailiff, in regard whereof we call him our Lord and Master.  He is rich, that is to say, infinite rich: For as he is God, he is King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords, The earth, as the Prophet David sings,is his, and the plenitude or fullness thereof: and in another place; The heaven of heavens and all things therein contained, are our Lords, and if this were little, he could with one word make to himself a thousand worlds more.

Who is richer then he that may have, what he will? God may have, what he will. As Christ is man, all that is Gods is his, being the only natural son, and heir of God; yea in some sort he is richer then his Father, because in regard of his manhood, he hath merited not only his own glory, but grace and salvation for all mankind in the world, and (if there were so many) a thousand worlds more, though every particular man had as many sins, as all those worlds besides, and therefore he is said in this part, not to be a rich God, but a rich man, because our salvation being attributed to him, he is infinitely richer to us, then if he had not been man; that we may love and honor him so much the more, that we reverence his holy name so much the more, that in the name of the son of God that became man, to save mankind, Every knee, should bow, of them in heaven, in earth, and under the earth: unto this rich man every one of us, men and women, is a bailiff.

For as St. Paul sayth: What have we, that we have not received of him, to wit, as Bailiffs and Stewards to render an account thereof, and if we have received it as such, why should we glory in it, and carry ourselves in the managing thereof, as if we were absolute Lords, and Masters, being indeed to render and accompt of it to the uttermost farthing: so doth Christ plainly tell us, in the Gospel, in these words: Make an atonement with thy adversary whilst thou art in the way, that is to say, make up thy accompts in this life, while thou hast time, least the Judge deliver thee to the Jailer, & the Jailer cast thee into prison: verily I say unto thee (mark how seriously Christ affirmeth it, with, a verily, which was his usual oath) thou shalt not go from thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing: & the forgetting of this that what we have, we have received if of God, not as absolute Lords and Masters thereof to do with it what we list, but as bailiffs, and stewards, to give a strict accompt for it, is that which  St. Paul here doth so expostulate with us as a great error, & the occasion of many errors, and sins, yea of all the sins of the world.

For if we did persuade ourselves indeed, and remember we are but bailiffs of all we have, and are to give a strict accompt thereof, in this life or the next, and to be punished severely for the abuse of the goods of so good and mighty a Master, doubtless we would not abuse them, contrary to our Masters will, as we do.

Yet if we do, this much we have for our comfort, if we be penitent for it, were our sins never so great, nor our repentance never so late, if it were at last, God hath promised to forgive us, and before he judge us he doth commonly give us warning by sickness, adversity, sermons, good books, good inspirations, or the like to prepare our accompts before hand, as he did this bailiff, giving him warning to provide for himself, against his accompting day, by means whereof, though we have played the ill bailiffs as they did, yet we may make friends to ourselves as he did.


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