History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​January 29​> the glory from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven, and these three reasons constitute him the greatest prophet born of a Woman— 2nd. Question— How was the least in the Kingdom of Heaven greater than he? In reply I asked Who did Jesus have reference to as being the least? Jesus was looked upon as having the least claim in all God’s Kingdom, and was least entitled to their credulity as a Prophet. as though he had said. He that is considered the least among you is greater than John, that is myself. In reference to the Prodigal Son, I said it was a subject I had never dwelt upon, that it was understood by many to be one of the intricate subjects of the Scriptures, and even the Elders of this Church have preached largely upon it, without having any rule of interpretation, What is the rule of Interpretation? Just no interpretation at all; Understand it, precisely as it reads. I have a key by which I understand the Scriptures. I enquire what was the question which drew out the answer or caused Jesus to utter the parable. It is not national, it does not refer to Abraham, Israel, or the Gentiles, in a national capacity as some supposed. To ascertain its meaning, we must dig up the root, and ascertain what it was that drew the saying out of Jesus. while Jesus was teaching the people, all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear him, and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying “this man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.” This is the key word which unlocks the parable of the Prodigal Son. It was given to answer the murmurings and questionings of the Saducees and Pharisees [HC 5:261] who were querying, finding fault, and saying, how is it that this man as great as he pretends to be, eats with Publicans and Sinners; Jesus was not put to it so, but he could have found something to illustrate his subject if he had designed it for a nation or nations; but he did not, it was for men in an individual capacity, and all straining on this point is a bubble. “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them” And he spake this parable unto them, “what man of you having a hundred sheep, <​if he lose one of them, doth not leave theninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends, and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me: for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you <​that​> likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.​> The hundred sheep represent one—— hundred Saducees and Pharisees, as though Jesus had said. If you Saducees and Pharisees are in the Sheepfold, I have no mission for you, I am sent to look up Sheep that are lost, and when I have <​found them​> I will back <​them​> up and make joy in heaven. This represents hunting after a few individuals or one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Saducees despised— He also gave them the parable of the Woman and her ten pieces of Silver and how she lost one, and searching diligently found it again, which gave more joy among the friends and neighbors than the nine which were not lost. like I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one Sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons that are so righteous, they will be dam’d anyhow, you cannot save them. [12 lines blank] [HC 5:262] [p. 1459]
January 29 the glory from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven, and these three reasons constitute him the greatest prophet born of a Woman— 2nd. Question— How was the least in the Kingdom of Heaven greater than he? In reply I asked Who did Jesus have reference to as being the least? Jesus was looked upon as having the least claim in all God’s Kingdom, and was least entitled to their credulity as a Prophet. as though he had said. He that is considered the least among you is greater than John, that is myself. In reference to the Prodigal Son, I said it was a subject I had never dwelt upon, that it was understood by many to be one of the intricate subjects of the Scriptures, and even the Elders of this Church have preached largely upon it, without having any rule of interpretation, What is the rule of Interpretation? Just no interpretation at all; Understand it, precisely as it reads. I have a key by which I understand the Scriptures. I enquire what was the question which drew out the answer or caused Jesus to utter the parable. It is not national, it does not refer to Abraham, Israel, or the Gentiles, in a national capacity as some supposed. To ascertain its meaning, we must dig up the root, and ascertain what it was that drew the saying out of Jesus. while Jesus was teaching the people, all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear him, and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying “this man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.” This is the key word which unlocks the parable of the Prodigal Son. It was given to answer the murmurings and questionings of the Saducees and Pharisees [HC 5:261] who were querying, finding fault, and saying, how is it that this man as great as he pretends to be, eats with Publicans and Sinners; Jesus was not put to it so, but he could have found something to illustrate his subject if he had designed it for a nation or nations; but he did not, it was for men in an individual capacity, and all straining on this point is a bubble. “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them” And he spake this parable unto them, “what man of you having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave theninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends, and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me: for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. The hundred sheep represent one—— hundred Saducees and Pharisees, as though Jesus had said. If you Saducees and Pharisees are in the Sheepfold, I have no mission for you, I am sent to look up Sheep that are lost, and when I have found them I will back them up and make joy in heaven. This represents hunting after a few individuals or one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Saducees despised— He also gave them the parable of the Woman and her ten pieces of Silver and how she lost one, and searching diligently found it again, which gave more joy among the friends and neighbors than the nine which were not lost. like I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one Sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons that are so righteous, they will be dam’d anyhow, you cannot save them. [12 lines blank] [HC 5:262] [p. 1459]
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