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ther's have bread enough and to spare; and I perish with hunger! I will arise, and go to my father; and say to him, • Father, I have sinned against heaven and against thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants." Then he arose and came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him; and he had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against thee; and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” But the father said to his servants, “ Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him ; and put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Now his elder son was in the field; and as he drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. He therefore called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said, “ Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.” And he was angry, and would not go in; therefore his father came out and entreated him. But he answering said to his father, “ Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I, at any time, thy commands; yet thou never gavest me a kid to make merry with my friends. But as soon as this thy son is come, who has devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.” Then his father said to him, “Son, thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine; it was meet that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”
By this parable our Lord means to shew us, that our Heavenly Father is always willing to receive us again into his favour, if he sees that we are truly penitent for the sins which we have committed. If we sincerely repent, he will not cast us off for ever, but will give us new opportunities of loving and serving him. This, then, should be an encouragement to us to confess our sins to God, with a contrite spirit, and to strive with all our hearts to lead better lives for the time to come.
PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN AND
(Luke xvi. 19–31.) THERE was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table : moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, « Father Abraham, have pity upon me; and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that thou in thy life-time didst receive thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, neither can they pass to us, who would come from thence."
Then he said, “I pray thee, therefore, father, that thou wouldst send him to my father's house; for I have five brethren; that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Abraham saith unto him, “They have Moses and the prophets ; let them hear them.” And he said, “ Nay, father Abraham ; but if one went unto them from the dead, they would repent." And he said unto him, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
PARABLE OF THE PHARISEE AND THE
(Luke xviii. 9–14.)
And he spake this parable to certain persons, who trusted in themselves, that they were righteous, and despised others.