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QUESTION OF REPELLING FROM THE LORD'S
LUKE xiv. 23, 24.
"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."
THESE words of our blessed Lord will very well apply to the point reserved for separate consideration:-I mean, the question of repelling from the Holy Communion. But first let the passage be recited at length in which, under the
Parable of the Great Supper, our Saviour showeth how worldly-minded men who contemn the word of God shall be shut out of heaven. "A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come :”—in all of which words there is a covert allusion to that proclamation in the book of Deuteronomy which bore reference to those who might be dismissed from any war which the children of the people had in hand. If made, certain excuses, under the law, might be avail
able, though excuses could be never wise. Moreover it was added further, "What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart." But, to let that pass, and to proceed with the parable, which goes on thus:-"So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."
Whatever excuses it may have pleased
God to wink at under the law, and in times of ignorance, these would serve no more when "the fulness of the time was come," and the "truth as it is in Jesus" made known to such as would receive it. And under this impression it is that this very Parable is adopted into the Second Exhortation, and engrafted after this manner: "Consider earnestly with yourselves how little such feigned excuses will avail before God. They that refused the feast in the Gospel because they had bought a farm, or would try their yokes of oxen, or because they were married, were not so excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast;" in other words, they were repelled from it, as "open and notorious evil livers" are to be repelled from that holy and heavenly Supper of the Lord which is "a feast of good things" unto all sin-laden and truly penitent souls. Yea, such are even to be compelled to come in
persuasion the most earnest, which is, as it were, a holy violence, is to be used toward such. Poor, maimed, halt, and blind, in their own estimation, the Lord is the Healer of them all, and calleth them unto Himself, and in them is the saying true, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God !" None who humble themselves as they ought to do under the mighty hand of God shall be cast out of the kingdom of God on earth, much less from that kingdom which is to come hereafter. And so, as respects the Supper of the Lord, the exhortation to the willinghearted, the faithful, and the true, is this: "Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled!" It is only to the profane and the notoriously evil livers that it is refusedonly to those who have unthankfully refused to come, that it is at length said, "None of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."