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THE

WESLEYAN METHODIST ASSOCIATION

MAGAZINE,

FOR

1851.

The right of private judgment in the reading of the Sacred Volume.

VOLUME THE FOURTEENTH.

LONDON:

ASSOCIATION BOOK ROOM,
6, HORSESHOE COURT, LUDGATE HILL.

MDCCCLI.

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THE

WESLEYAN METHODIST ASSOCIATION

M A GAZIN E.

JANUARY, 1851.

THE PRODIGAL SON.

THE Parable of the Prodigal Son is beautiful, pathetic, and instructive. It was probably delivered by our Lord in the house, or court, of one of the Pharisees with whom he had been dining on the Sabbath-day. On this occasion he performed a miracle upon a man who was afflicted with the dropsy, and delivered several very important discourses. These things probably were rumoured abroad, for great multitudes drew near to hear him. At this, the proud and haughty Pharisees—a sect who thought themselves holier than all others—were displeased, and began to find fault. They could not imagine how a person who professed to be so holy, and made such high pretensions of being from heaven, could think of associating with such wicked persons as these publicans, or tax-gatherers : men whom they hated with perfect hatred. Hence they murmured among themselves, saying, “ This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” Our Lord condescends to reply to this charge, and to reason with them respecting their conduct. He exposes their improper feelings, in the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Piece of Money. He then introduces the parable of the Prodigal Son, to show them that God is perfectly just, and that it is in accordance with his merciful and gracious design to pardon repentant sinners. The outline of this beautiful and inimitable allegory may be briefly stated. A certain rich man had two sons, the younger of whom, dissatisfied with his situation, asks for his portion, and then quits his parental home. He is soon after reduced to want, and determines upon his return home. The father kindly receives him, and bids him welcome. This circumstance excited a feeling of anger in the mind of the elder son, which induced the father to administer to him a suitable reproof. The parable may be divided into four parts—The departure of the Prodigal—his return home-his indulgent and gracious reception by his father, and the conduct which the elder brother manifested. We notice

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