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name, to whom he said, in the day of his coming to destroy the Jews, "I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. vii. 21-23. These, we think, were represented by the guest without the wedding garment.' He accepted the invitation to the feast, and mixed with the approved guests; and was detected, exposed and punished because he was not array ed in the dress he should have worn at the feast. The order was given to the servants, to "bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." This was the fate which awaited all the Jews who rejected Jesus Christ. Matt. viii. 12. Luke xiii. 28. It was the fate of those represented by the tares, in the parable of the "tares of the field," Matt. xiii. 42; of the wicked, represented by the bad fish, which were took in the net, xiii. 50; of the unfaithful servant, Matt. xxiv. 51; and of the unprofitable servant, Matt. xxv. 30. In the opinion we have here expressed, that the man without the wedding garment' represented those Jews who had professed to embrace Christ, but were not worthy and faithful disciples, we coincide with Dr. Whitby, to whose observations, which here follow, we invite the attention of the reader. "That this man must represent the Jews is evident, 1st, Because he is cast into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth, which Christ applies to the Jews, the sons of the kingdom, Matt. viii. 12, Luke xiii. 28, whilst the Gentiles are said to come to this supper. 2d, Because the reason assigned for this punishment is that many are called, but few are chosen, ver. 14, which language belongs peculiarly to the Jews. 3d, Christ said in the former chapter, that the kingdom of God should be taken
from them; and here proceeding to discourse of the same thing, as appears from the connective partiele, ver. 1 of this chapter, he shews how worthy the Jews would be of this punishment, as being either wholly refractory to God, calling them by his Son to the participation of these blessings, or coming without due preparation, as the false apostles and deceitful workers did, or else by casting off that wedding garment they had once put on, as did those Jews whose charity waxed cold, Matt. xxiv. 10—12., and who being scandalized fell off from the Christian faith: it remains then that these backsliders, or these false apostles, must be the persons represented by the man not having on his wedding garment."
Previously to bringing the notes on this parable to a close, we wish to offer a few observations in illustration of the phrases "outer darkness," and "weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth." of teeth." These expressions are found in the following passages, Matt. viii. 12, xiii. 42, 50, xxii. 13, xxiv. 51, xxv. 30. Luke xiii. 28, The expression "outer darkness," is derived from the circumstances of Jewish weddings. The nuptial ceremonies took place at night. "Hence at those suppers the house of reception was filled with lights, called dades, lampades, lukneia, phanoi, torches, lamps, candles and lanthorns, by Athenæus and Plutarch: so they who were admitted to the banquet, had the benefit of the light; but they who were shut out were in darkness, i. e. the darkness on the outside of the house, in which the guests were; which must have appeared more abundantly gloomy, when compared with the profusion of light within the guest chamber." The phrase outer darkness was derived
Com. note on Matt. xxii. 11.
2 Adam Clarke's Commentary, on Matt. viii. 12.
from these circumstances; and as those who were thrust out, were not only exposed to shame, but also to hunger and cold, it is said they wept and gnashed their teeth. These expressions have long been applied to the imagined misery of the damned in hell, in the future world. We have endeavored to give their primitive sense. They are a part of the parable, and are to be understood as representing the extreme misery of the Jews, excluded from the kingdom of the gospel, shut out from the light of truth, enveloped in the darkness of error, and suffering the tremendous misery brought upon them at the destruction of their city and nation. This is not only their primitive, but their only application. If this was the sense Jesus affixed to them, what right have the Doctors of the church to give them any other sense? The parable now under consideration was completely fulfilled within fifty years after the Saviour's death; and there is no reason that any part of it should be supposed to refer to the events of the future existence. The words of the great Teacher should be interpreted with the greatest caution; their original meaning should be sought; and when this is ascertained, it should not be put aside, or caused to share credence, with any secondary sense what"Whoso readeth let him understand."
Parable of the Ten Virgins.
MATTHEW XXV. 1-13.-LUKE XII. 35-37.
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them : But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterwards came also other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, 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.” Matt. xxv. 1-13.
THIS parable refers to the same time and events which occupy the preceding chapter. The remark of Kenrick is very just: "The word then with which this parable begins, shows that our Lord is still speaking upon the same subject about which he had been discoursing in the last chapter, viz. the period of the destruction of Jerusalem." Το the same purport is the comment of Bishop Pearce. "Then shall the kingdom of heaven,' i. e. at that time, and under those circumstances. This shews,
1 Exposition, on Matt. xxv. 1.
that Jesus, in this chapter, is speaking on the same subject as in the foregoing one, viz. what was to happen at the destruction of the Jewish state." And again, on ver. 13, the Bishop says, "this plainly shews, that what was said before in this chapter, relates to the destruction of the Jewish state, expressed by the Son of man's coming, as in chap. xvi. 27, 28."1 On the connexion of the twenty-fifth with the twenty-fourth chapter we remark no further here, as it must be brought up again in the Notes on the parable of the Sheep and Goats.
The parable before us, is evidently drawn from the nuptial ceremonies of the eastern nations. It was a custom with them, for the bridegroom to repair, on the night of the marriage, with great pomp, to the house of the bride, accompanied by his attendants, for the purpose of receiving the nuptial benediction, and conducting the bride to his own mansion. "Four persons walked before him, carrying a canopy, supported by four poles, that if the bride intended to walk home to the bridegroom's house after the ceremony, she might walk under it in company with her husband."2 On arriving at the residence of the bride, it was usual for her neighbors and friends, particularly young women, to welcome his approach, by going out to meet him with torches, or lamps in their hands. Lightfoot remarks that they carried before them ten wooden staves, having each of them at top a vessel like a dish, in which was a piece of cloth or wick, dipped in oil, to give light to the company. "For this act of civility they were rewarded, if they came in time, with the honor of being admit
1 Commentary on Matt. xxv. 1 and 13.
Brown's Antiq. of Jews, Part xi. sec. 2