Saturday, March 2, 2013

COOL STUFF FROM LIBRARY BOOKS #21: The Rev. John Brown's Parable Of The Mutineers

Albie's Note: Here's a question that has been asked for thousands of years: Does God have the right to do whatever He wants?

Frankly, I like the answer given-- in the form of a fearful parable-- by the old-time Scottish Bible Scholar and Preacher John Brown (July 12, 1784 – October 13, 1858) in his Expository Discourses on Galatians (1853).  

His parable is provided as a comment on the following two verses:

 Galatians 3:22 and 23
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 
 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

“May I be allowed to speak a parable on this subject? A ship’s crew mutinied against their commander, who was the king’s son; and not only refused to obey him, but threw him overboard with the intention of depriving him of life. Feeling their situation desparate, they commenced pirates, and while disorder and every evil work prevailed among themselves, they carried terror and misery over the ocean and into all the surrounding coasts. The prince, contrary to all probability, reached the shores in safety, and on arriving at his father’s palace, instead of urging the punishment of those who meant to murder him, employed all his influence, and with success, to induce his justly offended parent to lay aside all thoughts of vengeance, and even to despatch immediately heralds of mercy offering a free pardon to them if they would but acknowledge the prince as their saviour and ruler, and submit to be guided by him in all their future proceedings; but reminding them that if they did not accede to this overture mercy, sooner or later they must fall into the hands of some of his war-vessels, and must count on being dealt with according to the rigour of the law.
"On the messengers of mercy approaching the vessel, some of the most determined villains were for treating them as they had done their commander, but this proposal being overruled, they were taken aboard, and their sovereign’s proclamation was made in the hearing of the piratical rebels. Some mocked at it; and even the most sober thinking among them, though they were tired of this scene of discord and ravage, both in the vessel and when they were on shore, said that really they could not give the king credit for such extraordinary kindness, nor bring their mind to acknowledge the authority of the prince, but that they would endeavor to behave better as individuals, to establish better order in the ship, and to restrain their compassions from those excesses of cruelty and rapine in which they had formerly indulged, so that if the king’s cruisers should lay hold of them, as they feared might be the case, the king might be induced to pardon them, perhaps reward them for their good conduct.

"The time dreaded by them all at last arrived. Their vessel is boarded by the king’s servants in irresistible force, and the whole crew are safely lodged in prison, and in due time brought before the king for judgment. With a calmness of inflexible determination, more appalling than the most furious passion, the sovereign pronounces their sentence.  ‘You most causelessly violated your allegiance; you transgressed the law; you in intention murdered my son; yet, on his intercession I proffered you forgiveness – free, full of forgiveness. You refused to give me credit for the generosity I manifested, and dishonoured me by supposing me false and malignant like yourselves. You persisted in  contemning my authority and opposing my will. And even such of ou as have not run to the same enormity of licentiousness and cruelty, have formed laws to yourselves. And you have trampled on my grace as well as my authority. You have spurned mercy on the only terms consistent with my honour to offer it; and you have had the insufferable arrogance of attempting to dictate to me in what way I should bestow my favour. You have had your choice, and you must abide by it. As for those men who would not that I should reign over them, bring them forth and slay them before me.'
"Let the self-righteous see, in this figure, the doom which awaits him if mercy prevent not. The law by which he must be judged is none of the laws of human device, but the law of God!"

"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..."-- Hebrews 2:3

No comments: