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CHAP. XXV.

1 rT1 H E N shall the kingdom of heaven he likened unto

ten virgins, wh'.ch took their lamps, and went

2 forth to meet the bridegroom (a). And five of

3 them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with

4 them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their

5 lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all

6 slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go.

7 ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose,.

8 and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are

9 gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and (b) you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

(a) This parable alludes to the ceremony used in Jewish marriages, at bringing home the bride by night; when the virgins who attended her, went out to meet the bndegroom with lamps io give them light in the way.

(b) Quite contrary to this is the Romish doctrine of supererogation, or tranilerring the merits osone person to supply the desects of another; as if it were possible for any to do more than their duty; whereas when we have done all we can, we are but unprofitable servants, Luhcxwi. 10. and instead of supposing that we have enough nf merit to lend to others, we ought to take care that we sall not short ourselves. This is. all that is intended by the parable. The circumstance of buying and selling is introduced for carrying on the literal story; but is utterly inconsistent with a moral and spiritual application. Religion and merit are personal things, depending entirely on the state of a man's own foul, and not on the supposed goodness and worth of any other person whatever, whether living or departed. Be not persuaded then to lean on such a broken reed; but consider the necessity of preparing yourselves for your Lord's coming, by the sincerity and perseverance os your own humble endeavours; trusting only fora supply of your deficiency in his infitite merits, who will graciously open the door, and receive you4in^p the jpy of your Lord.

16 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him

11 to die marriage, and the door was shut (c). Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord,

12 Lord, open to us. But he answered and said,

13 Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour," wherein the Son of man cometh.

€.4 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a sar country, who called his own servants, and

15 delivered unto them his goods (d): And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every man according to his several ability,

16 and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five-talents, went and traded with

17 the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained

18 other two. But he that had received one, went and

19 digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time, the lord of those servants cometh, and

20 reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents, came and brought-other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good aritt saithful servant; thou hast been saithful over a sew things, I will make thee ruler over many things:

22 enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents, came and said, Lord,

(c) Observe trie Fatal effects of putting off the necessary preparation for meeting our Judge. We ought to be ready whenever He shall be pleased to come. When that time will be, it is not in eur power to know.

(d) Whatever talents any man posscsseth, whether many or few, they are intrusted to him by God, who expects a proportionable improvement to be made of them; and according to the improvement will be the reward.

thou

thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have

23 gained two other talents besides them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and saithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a scw things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into

24 the joy of thy Lord. Then he which had received the one talent, came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man (<r), reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not straw

25 ed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent

26 in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should

28 have received mine own with usury (/'). Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him

29 which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have (g) abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken

30 away, even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

3* When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit

32 upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations 5 and he shall separate them

(e) This is a groundless and false pretence. God requires no. more of us than he has given us power to perform. But certainly, the stricter we imagine him to be, the more careful we ought te be in improving the talent he has committed to our trust.

(/) With interest.

sg) Every one that makes a right use of divine grace shall be still sarther assisted. On the contrary, he that neglects' the grace that is given him to profit withal, not only loseth all the benesit he might have made of it in this world, but shall suffer most grievous puniihment in the next.

one one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep

33 from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his

34 right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stran

36 ger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison,

37 and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungfed, and sed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee

38 drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took

39 thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer, and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye

41 have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his

42 angels. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me - no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye

44 visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in pri

45 son, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these,

46 ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

CHAP. CHAP. XXVI.

1 AND it came to pass, when Jesus had finished

2 '^ all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two (a) days is the feajl of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high-priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtil

5 ty, and kill him. But they said, Not on the seastday (b), lest there be an uproar among the people.

6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house

7 of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious (c) ointment, and poured it on his head, as he.sat at

8 meat (d). But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste 1

9 For this ointment might have been fold for much, 10 and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it,

he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman?

(a) After two days, in the Jewish phrase, means the same as the second day, that is, the day following. In like manner, after three days signifies the third day. Chap. xii. 40.

(b) On Judas's offer, they changed their design, and Jesus being apprehended in the night in the absence of the multitude, no tumult ensued; divine providence so directing the time os his death, as to shew the more plainly, that he was the very paschal lamb that

. was slain for the fins of the world.

(c) This ointment was probably a perfumed oil, much used in hot countries. See Mark xiv. 3.

(d) This sact is likewise related, Mark xiv. 3. John xii. 3. The anointing related by St. Luke differs from this in several essential circumstances, viz. of place and person; and was followed by quite different reflections upon it. See Luke vii. 37. Note. Simon, who had been a leper, is here called by that addition, probably because he was cured by Christ, and to distinguish him from the other Simon in St. Luke. See Note on Luke vi. 16.

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