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40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

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37. They will reverence my son. Strictly speaking, indeed, this thought does not apply to God; for He knew what would happen, and was not deceived by the expectation of a more agreeable result; but it is customary, 4747     “C’est la coustume de l’Escriture;” — “it is the custom of Scripture.” especially in parables, to ascribe to Him human feelings. And yet this was not added without reason; for Christ intended to represent, as in a mirror, how deplorable their impiety was, of which it was too certain a proof, that they rose in diabolical rage against the Son of God, who had come to bring them back to a sound mind. 4848     “Qui estoit venu pour les retirer de leurs meschantes façons de faire;” — “who had come to withdraw them from their wicked courses of life.” As they had formerly, as far as lay in their power, driven God from his inheritance by the cruel murder of the prophets, so it was the crowning point of all their crimes to slay the Son, that they might reign, as in a house which wanted an heir. Certainly the chief reason why the priests raged against Christ was, that, they might not lose their tyranny, which might be said to be their prey; 4949     “Pource qu’ils avoyent peur de perdre la proye; c’est a dire, de dimineur quelque chose de leur tyrannie;” — “because they were afraid of losing the prey; that is to say, of diminishing something of their tyranny.” for he it is by whom God chooses to govern, and to whom He has given all authority.

The Evangelists differ also a little in the conclusion. For Matthew relates that he drew from them the confession, by which they condemned themselves; while Mark says simply that Christ declared what punishment must await servants so unprincipled and wicked. Luke differs, at first sight, more openly, by saying that they turned away with horror from the punishment which Christ had threatened. But if we examine the meaning more closely, there is no contradiction; for, in regard to the punishment which such servants deserved, there can be no doubt that they agreed with Christ, but when they perceived that both the crime and the punishment were made to apply to themselves, they deprecated that application.