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demnation from the Lord, to Receive it it* Vain. And as the Last will be First in the Rewards, who well Acquit themselves in. the Last hour: So the Last will be first in the Tunifhment, who during this Hour, stand Idle, as if they had Nothing, for God and their Souls, to do.

CHA P. IV. Of the Talents, WJoy of our Lord.

THE Fourth Parable is that, Mat. if. if* Wherein our Lord thus

speaks concerning the blessed Reward, Well done good and faithful Servant j Thou hast been Faithful in a few things; I '»>& make thee Ruler over many things. Enter thou into the Joy of thy Lcrd. ver. 21. Two things here are Promised j The widest Command, and the highest Joy. I will make thee Ruler over many things: And those Many things , he calls Al l his Goods, Chap, 24. 47. And to be Ruler of all his Goods, What is that but to be Invested with a Power over all Inferior things? And to be made a Partner even in that Emire, which God himself has over all the World. And O what King then, or


Emperor upon Earth can hereVye with any the least Saint in Heaven.

But 'because it might be fear'd, That so ample a Power cannot be Lodg'd in any man , without a great deal of Solicitude and Trouble, to attend it j Therefore, 'tis added, Enter thou into the Joy of ihy Lord. q. d. As I make thee Partner in the utmost Power, so in the most perfect Reft, and consummate Pleasure; Such as no disquieting Care can ever hinder or Impair. And how abundant is this Joy promis'd to the Just in Heaven, O, who can tell? Never shall we know it, Till Experience teach it. But in the mean while, here are Three words, by which we may make some Conjecture of it.

The firs is [Enter ;'] Foftis not said, The Joy of the Lord shall enter into thee; 'Bui thou {halt Enter into it. Which speaks it to be a bigger Joy, than we are able to Contain. That we shall be Overwhelmed with it, as in a mighty Sea of Eternal deiight. A Joy that will Fill us within, and -Overflow without, and Abound all over on every fide. What place then for any manner of Trouble can there be, in such a fulness and Affluence of Joy?

The next Word is [TheJoy,] Where is not promised only this or that particular Satisfaction , in such or such a particular Good > But in the general, and absolutely,

Joy Joy it self, Sweetness it self, Pleasure il self. And how can the whole Soul theii chuse but Acquiesce, and highly Rejoice] when every way so Provided with the matter of all manner of Delight?

But the Third, word is that, which dotfa Aggrand it into an Immense and boundless thing j That it is the Joy of sj th). Lord; ] Not such a Joy only , wherein Men or Angels do Rejoice: But wherewith God himself, in whom all things are Infinite, does Rejoice. And who can think what is the Joy of God? Who perfectly knows his own Infinite Goodness, and Enjoys it, and Joys in it,after an Infinite manner. Yet O Christian! What thou canst not now Think, Thou may'st Desire it, thou may'ft Taste itj Yea and shalt for ever Enjty itj If thou wilt but be the GoodandFaithful Servant.

And let us fee now, What is that, and to Whom such a Glorious Promise does belong? 'Tis to them that faithfullylmprove the Talents committed to their Trust. For the Figure here is taken from a Rich man, committing his Goods to his Servants j To one Five Talents,* to another Two; to another but One: Commanding 'em all wifely and carefully to manage their Trust, to the best advantage.

! Whstf

'What these Talents are, Expositors have 1 variety of Senses. Some understand by em, Divine Graces j some, the Holy Scriptures j- Some, Natural Goods ; As Judgment, and Ingenuity j Some, the Spiritual; such as Faith, Hope, and Charity; Some, by the Five Talents, that Knowledge of Exterior things, which comes in . at the Five Senses: By the Two Talents, the InteSectual and Executive Power j and by the One , barely the former. c Some

* of these Senses may pass for Trifles j 'and some, little to the purpose.

- The Author here runs out into some

* Length j but with all his Penetration, 'seems to be upon an Excursion beside the 'Matter: While he makes the Talents to 'be only Souls themselves: Souls, entrustc ed in greater numbers , to the Bishop; '' in lesser numbers, to Parochial Ministers:

* And in the singular number, to each pri'vate Person. Much he has here to fay

* of the Charge of Ecclesiasticks j not quite 'excluding Princes, Magistrates, and c Masters of Families. But with small e pertinence (I think) to the present purc pose j and much to argue his Forgetful'ness of many brave Men in the World, 'who, though out of -Office, yet may en

* joy more and bigger Talents, than some • [ that sit in the Public Places.


'But whatever Gifts and Endowments 'any Men have, whether of Body or c Mind j Whatever we enjoy of Power, 'Interest, or Friendship in the .World: 'Whatever Wit orParts,Health orStrength, 'Wealth or Credit, Gifts or Graces , 'Whatever Advantages or Opportunities . c of Glorifying God, and doing our selves 'or others the true Good, To promote 'our own, or our Neighbour's Happiness 'and Salvation j These I take to be our 'Talents; whether we have 'em in the * greater Measure, or lesser.

As the Parable then shews, Eternal FeJicity to be the thing, which above all, we mould desire, Because it comprizes the greatest Power, joyn'd with the most Exquisite Pleasure; So it discovers the way to that Felicity, even a daily Diligence, laid out carefully, according to every one's ca* pacity and Ability. But they that still refuse to be at the Pains, not only deprive themselves of the Bliss, but expose themselves to that Curse j ver. 30. Cast the Unprofitable servant into outer Darkness, where {hall be Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth. Where he shall lose all manner of Liberty, that he cannot go where he would, nor do what he would j But shall be compell'd to Abide, where he would not, and to suffer, what he can neither Out-run, nor Undergo.


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