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the lord of t

those ser.

The faithful servants are rewarded for improving them: 259 to his several ability: prospect there might reasonably be of his im- SECT. and straightway took proving it: and immediately he went away, and _ his journey,

set forward on his journey. 16 Then he that had And he who had received the five talents, went xxv. received the five ta- and engaged in business, and traded with them in with the same, and so diligent a inanner during the absence of his made them other five master, that he doubled the sum, and produced talents. 17 And likewise he was

five talents more. And in like manner he who 17 that had received two, he [had received the two, was so industrious in also gained other two. employing them to the best advantage, that he

18 But he that had also gained two more. But he who had received 18 received one, wentand but digged in the earth, and

nd but one talent, being displeased tbat he had hid his lord's money. been intrusted with no more, was seized with

sullen indolence and servile fear, and went away
directly, and attempted no improvement of it,
but privately digged [a hole] in the earth, and
hid his master's money in it, till he should return

home. 19 After a long time Thus the inatter passed off for a while; but 19

I after some considerable time the master of those
vants cometh,andreck. "
opeth with them. servants comes home, and makes up his accounts

with them, demanding froin each the sum with
which he had been intrusted, and inquiring what

was the interest he had gained by it. 20 And so he that And he who had received the five talents came 20 had received five ta- noor and brouchi other five talents lents came, and brought " other five talents, say. saying, Sir, thou wast pleased so far to intrust ing, Lord, thou deli- me, that thou didst deliver to me five talents,

ve when setting out on thy journey; and such is talents: behold, I have gained besides them the improvement I have made of them, that befive talents more. hold, I have doubled the sum, and gained to them

to five talents more. And his master said unto 21 him, Well done, thou J good and faithful ser- him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant", vant; thou hast been thou hast been faithful in the management of a

en few things; and, having proved thee to be so in
things, I will make thee
Tuler over many things: this lower trust, I will prefer thee to a higher,
enter thou into the joy and set thee over many more valuable things than
of thy lord.

these: in the mean time, enter thou into the joy
of thy master, and share with me in the banquet
prepared for myself and my friends on this happy

occasion of my return. 22 He also that had He also who had received the two talents came 22 received two talents, forward

S forwards, and said, Sir, thou wert so indulgent,

and said came and said, Lord,

Sin thou deliveredst unto that thou didst deliver to me at thy going hence

tui'o

veredst unto me five

me

Well done, thou good and faithful sere to express the highest applause when any vant.] The original word av has a peculiar part had been excellently performed. Braveforce and energy, far beyond what I can ly done ! comes something near it, but is exactly express in English. It was used by not equally elegant or forcible. auditors or spectators in any public exercise, YOL. VII,

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Well done

good

260

But the slothful is condemned for his negligence. | Sect. two talents, which I have endeavoured to em- me two talents: be. XV. ploy as carefully as I could; and behold, by traf-

u . ond behold hotrof hold, I have gained

two other talents beMat.

ficking with them I have gained two other talents sides them. XXV.23 to them. And his master said unto him, as he 23 His lord said unto bad done to the former, Well done, thou good and bi

and faithful servant; faithful servant, thy care and diligence is as thou hast been faithful agreeable to me as if thy trust had been greater ; over a few things, I thou hast been evidently faithful in a few things; "

faithful in a few things will make thee ruler and I will in Jike manner prefer thee to a higher ter thou into the joy of and I will in like manner prefer thee to a higher over many trust, and set thee over many more valuable things thy lord. than these: in the mean time, come to the entertainment now prepared, and enter thou with

thy companion into the joy of thy master. 2+ But he also who had received the one talento, 24 Then he which

had received the one came and said, with a sullen and gloomy coun- tak

unter and groomy couro talent came, and said, tenance, Sir, I knew thee, that thou art a severe Lord, I knew thee that man, and that it is a very difficult thing to please thou art an hard man, thee, since thou art so exact with thy servants,

reaping where thou

mw, hast not sown, and ga. as even to think of reaping where thou didst not thering where thou hast sow, and of gathering whence thou hadst not scat- not strawed i tered any thing that could be taken up; requir

ing more in many instances than it is possible for 25 them to do, be they ever so careful:. And be- 25 And I was afraid, ing terrified with this thought, I concluded that, talent in the earth: lo,

boubt Leonoluded that and went and hid thy if by any accident thy money should miscarry there thou hast that is under my management, thou wouldst shew me thine. no mercy; and therefore I went away, as soon as I had received it, and hid thy talent in the earth, in a place where it bas been very secure; so that I have now taken it up, and behold, sthere] thou hast thine own again, and wilt find it to be the

full sum I received. 26 And his master answering, said unto him with 26 His lord answer

a just indignation, Thou wicked and slothful ser- ed and said unto him, want, what a false and scandalous excuse is this, ful servant, thou knew.

Thou wicked and slothand how easily may it be retorted upon thee! For est that I reap where I if it were indeed, as thou maliciously savest, and sowed not, and gather

where I have not stray. thou knewest that I was such a tvrannical and ed : unreasonable man as thou hast described, even that I reap where I did not sow, and expect to gather something up from whence I had not scattered it, thou mightest certainly depend upon it that I should expect to reap where I had sowed,

and

c He who had received the one talent.] wealth, and genius, give them the greatest This may intiinate that we are account- opportunities of service, seem to forget able for the smallest aduantages with wbich they have either any master in heaten to we are intrusted; but it cannot imply that serve, or any future reckoning to expect; they who have received much will ordinari and many of them render theinselves much ly pass their account best ; for it is too plain more criminal than this toicked and sloihful in fact, that most of those whose dignity, servant who hid his talent in the earth.

therefore to have pa

the talent from

hi

given, and he shall

am

not shall be taken a

ke bath.

Reflections on the duty of improving our talents. 261 and to gather where I had scattered that which, SECT.

clxv. in this instance, as well as the others, might cl 27 Thou oughtest have been an increasing seed. And therefore, Mat.

put if thou hadst been afraid to employ it in trade, xxv.27 my money to the exchangers, and then at as these my faithful servants have done, thou my coming I should shouldst have put my money to the bankers upon have received mine s

mine susficient security; and thus when I came I might

oient security. own with usury.

at least have received mine own with the common 28 Take therefore interest. And then, turning to the attendants, 28

him, he said, Take ye therefore the talent which he and give it unto hin which bath ten talents. has thus abused from him, and give it to him that

has ten talents, as a farther token of my accept29 For unto every ance and favour. For I would have all my ser- 29 one that hath shall be

i vants observe that I shall constantly make this a have abundance: but maxim in my behaviour, That to every one that from him that hath hath, and diligently improves what he hath, more

in shall be giren, and he shall have abundance ; but way, even that which

from him that hath not improved it to any valu.
able purpose, even what he hath shall be taken
away: (compare Mat. xiii. 12. Mark iv. 25.
Luke viii. 18. xix. 26.) Such unfaithful crea-
tures must expect to be stripped of all, and not
imagine that I will perpetually susfer my trusts

to be abused, and my business to be neglected.
30 And cast ye the And, to deter others from such an idle and un- 30
unprofitable servantin- faithful conduct, cast ye the unprofitable servant,
to outer darkness: there"
shall be weeping and who has so wickedly abused my goodness, into
gnasbing of teeth. the dreadful darkness which is without; and there,

instead of the delight and joy to which my faith-
ful servants shall be introduced, there shall be
nothing but weeping and gnashing of the teeth.
Now this horrible darkness, to which my para-
ble refers, is no other than the dungeon of hell ;
to which every unfaithful servant must expect to
be condemned in that approaching day of ge-
neral account: fail not therefore to observe and
report what I now say, that it may give the alarm
to all who need it.

IMPROVEMENT.

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What can excite us to a becoming care and activity in the duties of life, if we are deaf to those various and important motives which this excellent parable suggests? We have each of us received our talents, whether five, or two, or one, and if we be faithful, Mat.. it matters not much under which of these classes we fall. Our acceptance and reward will be proportionable to our diligence ; nor will any be blamed because he has not received five, though many will be condemned for neglecting one. K k 2

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262 Christ gives a description of the last judgment. sect. Yet a little while, and our Lord comes to reckon with us, and

Leven now his eye is continually upon us. Let us ask our own Ver. souls, with what temper, with what courage, with what cheer

19 fulness, shall we appear before him ? Let us think of that appear24 ance with awe, but not with terror. Away with every unjust

thought and reasoning (with whatever artifice it be excused, with whatever honourable name it be dignified) that would represent him as a rigorous and severe Master, and produce a servile dread, which would cut the sinews of industry, and sink the soul into a

sullen negligent despair. 30 Whatever our particular snares in life may be, let us think of

the doom of the slothful seruant, to awaken our souls, and to deter us from every degree of unfaithfulness. And, on the other hand, let us often reflect on that unutterable transport which will overflow the breast of every real Christian, when his gracious Master shall condescend, in so honourable a manner, to comme

morate his honest, though feeble, attempts of service; and sball 21, 23 say, Il'ell done, thou good and faithful servant : thou hast been faith

ful in a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things i enter thou into the joy of thy Lord! May that joy be the great object of our hopes and pursuits! and may our daily care in the improve. ment of every talent lodged in our hands be a token to us that it will be sure and great!

SECT. CLXVI.

Christ concludes this important discourse with a plain and affecting

description of the last judgment, and of the different sentences then to be passed and executed on the righteous and the wicked. Mat. XXV. 31, to the end.

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Mat. XXV. 31.

MAI. XXV. 31. OUR Lord, having bitherto described his last WHEN the Son of coming in a parabolical manner, thought it in

man shall come

!" in his glory, and all Mat. proper to conclude his discourse with a plainer XXV.31 account of it, which might serve as a key to ma.

ny preceding passages; and he added, When that
great and illustrious Person, whom you have so
often heard of, and so well known, by the title
of the Son of man, shall come in all his final glory,

in

a When the Son of man shall come in his the destruction of Jerusalem as a kind of glory.) If we observe the correspondence emblem of his final appearance to judgment; betwcen these words and those in chap. and consequently it will authorise us to xxiv. 30, 31 (p. 246), it may seem pro- use some of the texts in the former chapbable that Christ intended to teach his ter when discoursing of that great and imdisciples to conceive of his first coming to portant day.- hope every reader will observe with what majesty and grandeur these words might have been understood our Lord speaks of himself in this section, as a direct intended opposition to it. which is one of the noblest instances of the Nor shall the haughtiest sinner, &c.] true sublime that I have any where read; I can imagine no more magnificent image and indeed few passages, even in the than this ; the assembled world distinsacred writings themselves, seem to equal guished with such unerring penetration, it. Methinks we can hardly read it with- and distributed into two grand classes, out imagioing ourselves before the awful with as much ease as sheep and goats are tribunal it describes.

xvi.

When he shall separate the righteous from the wicked. 263 the holy angels with in the most public honours of his mediatorial sect. him, then shall he sit kingdom, to which all thing3 shall then be comupon the throne of his glory.

pletely subjected, (1 Cor. xv. 25, 28 :) and all Mat.
the holy angels, who have long been subjected to xxv.31
him as his ministering servants, shall come with
him ; then shall he sit upon his glorious and ma-

jestic throne, conspicuous in the eyes of the
32 And before him whole world, as the universal Judge. And all 32
shall be gathered all

all the nations of men, who have lived on earth
separate them one froin from the remotest ages of time, shall be assem-
another, as a shepherd bled before him b : and he shall separate them
divideth his sheep from
the goats :

from each other, according to their different
characters, which he most perfectly knows,
with as much ease as a shepherd separates the
sheep which belong to his flock from the goats

which may be mingled with them, and places
33 And he shall them in distinct companies. And he shall set 33
set the shecp on his the sheep, that is, the righteous, whom he
right-hand, but the will

will own as such, and whose characters reseingoats on the left.

ble the innocence, meekness, and usefulness of
that animal, on his right-hand, in token of bis
favour to them, and of the farther bonours he
will bestow upon them : but the goats, that is,
the wicked, who are so offensive to him, that
they may justly be represented by goats, he
shall place on This) left, to intimate his displea.
sure against them, and their final removal from
amongst his people; nor shall the haughtiest
and mightiest sinner be able to resist that ap-
pointment by which he is placed in this situa-
tion to avoid his sentence (Compare Ezek.

xxxiv, 17, 18.) 34 Then shall the Then, when by the ministry of the angelic 34 King say unto them attendants they are thus separated from on his right-hand, a

each Come, ye blessed of other, the great King of glory and of grace, who my Father, inherit the presides over this grand solemnity, shall, with kingdom the most condescending endearment, say to them

on

ranged by a shepherd in different compab All the nations shall be assembled before nies. The propriety with which our Lord him.] Had the notion which prevailed speaks of himself in the following words, among some later Jews, that the Gentiles by the title of a King, is very observable ; should have no part in the resurrection, been and it adds unutterable beauty to the conas old as our Lord's time, it is easy to see descending words he is represented as

speaking on this great occasion.

d I was

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