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The Parables of Our Lord
written by "Arnot, William, 1808-1875"
...is word a length, and breadth, and height, and depth, which were formerly concealed. In our day, as well as when the parables were first spoken, it is to his own disciples that their true meaning is made known. Another cognate requisite to the true spiritual comprehension of these divine sayings, is sympathy with the view which Jesus took and gave of human nature in its fallen state. He spoke and acted not only as the Teacher of the ignorant, but also as the Saviour of the lost: if we do not occupy the same stand-point, and look upon humanity in the same light, we shall stumble at every step in our effort to comprehend what the Speaker meant. These two qualifications are supreme; and they apply alike to divine revelation as a whole, and to each of its parts; there are others which are important though subordinate, and which bear more specially on the particular department of Scripture exegesis with which we are here engaged, the Parables of the Lord.8 1. The faculty of perceiving and appreciating analogies. It is certainly not necessary that an interpreter of Scripture  should be a poet; but to possess in some measure that eye for parallels which constitutes the basis of the poetic faculty, is a most desirable qualification for one who proposes to help his neighbours in the study of the parables. It is, indeed, true that a man who possesses only a very small measure of this or of other mental gifts, may read these lessons of the Lord with spiritual profit to himself; but the pictorial theology of the New Testament is not safe in the hands of a teacher who is signally defective in the faculty to which it specially appeals. Learning, and zeal, and faith combined may, in this department, expend much labour to little purpose, for lack of power to perceive the point of the analogy. But, on the other hand, 2. A stern logic is as necessary as a lively imagination. Deficient in the analogical faculty, you cannot in this department ...

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