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former chapter, of the signs of his coming in that event: his language there was, ver. 42, watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. The intention of the parable is to enforce the necessity of watchfulness, by showing the distinction which will be made in that day, between those by whom it was practised, and those by whom it was neglected. The wise virgins, who were prepared for the bridegroom when he came, and were admitted with him to the marriage feast, are sincere Christians, who by the .constant practice of the duties of piety and virtue, would secure his favor, and being always prepared for his coming, would escape the judgments that were coming upon the Jewish nation. The foolish virgins, are those who prosess themselves Christians, but want those substantial virtues which are necessary to recommend them to the favor of Christ, and, when he caine, would be disowned and rejected by hiin, and suffered to perished with others.?'
This is all it is necessary to say on this parable, in this place; since it will be brought forward again, in the course of the examination of Matt. XXV. 31-46.
1 Exposition on Matt. xxv. 13.
Parable of the Unfaithful Servant.
MATT. XXV, 14-30.
-LUKE XIX. 11–27.
“For the kingdoin of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, another tivo, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five tulents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other t100. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that hail received five talents came, and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents; behold, I have y ained besides them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came, and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents besides them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and 'faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few'things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent' came, and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man; reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed: And I was afraill, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. Hiš lord answered and said, unto him, Thou 'wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest tha! I reap where I sowed not, and gathered where I have not strewed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, anil then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury, Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance but from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”—Matt. xxv. 14–30. .
DR. Campbell remarks, "something (it is not said what) is here coinpared to a man who went abroad. This defect is supplied in the common version by these words the kingdom of heaven is.' In my opinion it was origivally, the SON OF MAN is,' 'This we regard as a very probable conjecture : or, at any rate, we are confident Jesus intended to represent himself by the man travelling into a far country.'
The different kinds of Christians, to whom ditferent opportunities of doing good had been given, were represented by the several servants, on whom diflerent degrees of treasure had been confered.
The return of the master to reckon with his servants, represents the coming of Christ, at the destruction of Jerusalem, to reward the faithful and punish the slothful meinbers of his church,
The improvenient made by the faithful servants of the meanis placed in their hands, and the sloth | fulness of him who hid his talent in the earth, repsent the ditlerent kinds of conduct pursued by the professing Christiaus, couse of then making a wise use of the advantages they enjoyed, and others indulging in sloth and disobedience.
The righteous retribution with which Jesus visited both faithful and unfaithful professors, is displayed in the manner the servants were dealt with on the reliru of their master.
A few remarks on the particular design of Christ i Note on Matt. xxv. 14.
in uttering this parable, and such observations as will tend to present the different features of it in the most striking manner, is all that is necessary to be said in this place; since it will be brought forward again, in the consideration of the succeeding parable.
To enforce the duty of faithfulness was the par. ticular object which Jesus had in view, as he had enjoined that of watchfulness in the parable of the virgins. Christians were not allowed to plead that they had enjoyed but few advantages, and that it was, therefore, excusable in them if they were not prepared for the coming of their Lord. Nothing more would be required of them than what they actually had the power to do. He who had gained but two talents was equally praised and rewarded with him who had gained fie, because he had done equally as well, considering the means which had been put into his hands. But he to whom one talent was given, had not gained any thing; he was slothful and faithless; he had hid his talent in the earth; and to add to his wickedness, he sought to excuse vimself by accusing his master. “To him that hath,' i. e, hat much, shall be given,' saith the Saviour, and from him that hath not,’i. e. hath but I tlle, “shall be taken even that which he hath.' Thé evident meaning bere is, the disciple who has many advantages, and improves them well, will receive still more; but he that has few advantages, and neglects to improve them, shall lose the little which he possesses.
The master of the servants is described as returning after a long time. It is certain that the Christians grew impatient in expecting the coming of Christ. The evil servant, Matt. xxiv. 48, is represented as saying, “my lord delayeth his coming."
The ten virgins all slumbered and slept while the bridegroom tarried. Paul, 2 Thess. iii. 5, recommends "the patient waiting for Christ." James saith, chap. v. 7, 8, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draueth nigh." Under the grievous persecutions which they suffered from the Jews, and which they had been promised should expire at the coming of Christ, it is not strange that they should become impatient; and while James bids them wait patiently for the event, he assures them it is drawing nigh; and the whole strain of his language implies that they would live to see the event.