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companions, to the prejudice of the fairness and impartiality of their common employer, they should have concluded that he had good reasons for what he was doing, as well as an unquestionable right to make what distinctions he pleased. Yet that they do not stop to reason thus, but give way at once to the feeling of anger and irritation, which the disappointment of their hopes had occasioned-was natural enough to persons in their situation.

The propriety of the language in which this feeling gives itself vent, has been already pointed out in one instance and besides this, another circumstance is incidentally disclosed in the narrative, which places the impulse of which it is the natural expression, in a striking point of view. The master, reasoning with one of the loudest in his complaints, is supposed to say to him, ἆρον τὸ σὸν, καὶ ὕπαγε—words, which should not be rendered, "Take that thine is, "and go thy way," but "Take up that is thine, and "go thy way." So rendered, they lead to the inference, that the penny, which had been tendered to this man in payment, had been received, indeed, but in the expectation that more would be offered along with it and when he found his expectation disappointed, had been thrown by him on the ground in disgust.

Lastly, the reply of the master to the murmurs of his workmen, which might have been as sharp as their complaints were unreasonable, is yet remarkable only for firmness of manner, mixed with moderation and calmness of tone. It is in unison with that attention to decorum, which appears in all our Saviour's parabolic conceptions, that the sternness of rebuke, which might have been consistently assumed,

is softened down to a mild, but dignified expostulation, which defends the conduct of the master, and exposes the unreasonableness of the workman at the same time; reminding him gently of his own engagement, with the letter of which he had strictly complied; and, provided no injury was done by his own liberality, to the rights of another, asserting the liberty of a master to act as he pleased in his own concerns, and to give what he would, and to whom he would, of his own money; and insinuating rather than alledging, the true cause of his complaint, in the evil eye which could not look without envy on the receiver of a benefit, nor without dissatisfaction on the author of it, because it was excluded from partaking in a share of it, itself-though with no reasonable claim to expect it. For that this is a just description of the nature and operation of the passion of envy-to begrudge the good-fortune which has fallen to another, though with no right to partake in it itself-and that jealousy of the kindness extended to his companions, as well as the disappointment of cupidity in his own behalf, lay at the bottom of the complaints of the discontented labourer, may equally be taken for granted.

The above explanation of the material circumstances of the parable will prepare the way for the consideration of its moral, and subsequently of its interpretation; but before we proceed to this, the peculiarity of a narrative which turns almost entirely on the engagement of one succession after another, of a common description of persons, for a common end and purpose, at different periods of the

same interval of time, renders it manifestly proper to premise certain observations on this part of the œconomy of the parable; which will be found only necessary to its ulterior explanation.

The labourers engaged at so many different times, and constituting by each engagement, a separate body of men, it may be advisable to call the labourers of so many orders, according to the times of their engagements respectively. The labourers of these several orders agree in some things, and differ in others; both which require to be pointed out. They agree in the character of labourers in general -in the circumstance of being hired by the same master, out of the same place, and for the same purpose. They agree in being all sent into the same vineyard, and all rendering there the same kind of services, and all in bearing there some portion or other of the burden and heat of the same day. They agree, lastly, in being treated alike at the close of the day, and being placed on a par in the receipt of the wages respectively due to them, for the services respectively rendered by them.

They differ from each other first, the labourers of the first order from those of every other, in being engaged at the morning of the day, and consequently for the labour of the entire day; secondly, the labourers of the second order, in being engaged at the earliest period of the day, and consequently for the greatest share of the toil and fatigue of the day, next to the labourers of the first order; and thirdly, the labourers of the third order, from those of the fourth, and those of the fourth, from those of the fifth, in being engaged at earlier periods, and consequently for more of the duration, and more of the

labour and fatigue of the same day, than any who came after them, though for less than all who had preceded them.

They differ further, the labourers of the first order, from those of every other, in being engaged with an express stipulation beforehand what they should receive at the end of the day, in return for what they should do through the day; and the labourers of every other order from those of the first, in being engaged with a stipulation what they should do, but with no stipulation what they should receive; and in being engaged upon such terms, for part only of a day, and yet receiving at the end of the day, though for part of the day, as much as the labourers of the first order, by virtue of a special contract, for the whole of the day.

They differ again, the labourers of the second and the fifth orders from those of the third and fourth, in being specified as separately engaged, while those of the other two, though doubtless engaged distinctly, and at different periods of the same day, are yet summarily mentioned as engaged together; whence it is not unreasonable to infer that these two orders agreed in some circumstance, which so far identified them with each other while it discriminated them from the rest. They differ again, the labourers of the second and the fifth order, from those of the third and the fourth, that the proper stipulation which must be supposed to have been made with the labourers of every order, next after the first the stipulation of receiving whatever was just and right-is actually specified of those of the second, and those of the fifth order respectively, but not of those of the third and those of the fourth.

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They differ lastly; the labourers of all the orders next after the first, as well as those of the first, from the labourers of the fifth, that the engagement of the former, in each instance, was the result of design, or the effect of a visit to the market-place expressly to find them; that of the latter appears to have been accidental, or the consequence of discovering persons in the market-place, at the close of the day, whom one in search of workmen could not have expected to find there still unengaged, so late in the day.


If it is reasonable to suppose that our Saviour's parables are well-connected histories, the parts and circumstances of which have all a proper meaning, and conspire to some common result-it must be evident that the first part of the preceding narrative is preliminary and subordinate to the second. The final end proposed by the account of the engagement of labourers for hire, on the service of a vineyard, during a certain day, would not have been answered without the account of the payment of their wages, as the due for that service, at the end of the day. The narrative itself too, which touches summarily on the fact of the engagement, and leaves to implication the fact of the stipulated services, begins to be circumstantial with the account of the payment of the wages.

Admitting however, that the first part of the parabolic narrative, relating to every thing which passes during the day-is preliminary to the account of what passes at the end of the day-still when the history comes to this account, it dwells

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