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9 gone out.

THEN

HEN shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto

ten virgins, which 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 wife took oil in their vessels with their Ś lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all 6 slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was

a cry mad, 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

But the wise answered, saying, Not fo; left 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 bridegroom with lamps to give them light

(b) Quite contrary to this is the Romish doctrine of supereroga. tion, or transferring the merits of one person to supply the defects 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 unpro.. fitable servants, Luke xvii. 10. and instead of supposing that we have enoughi of merit to lend to others, we ought to take care that we fall 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 soul, and not on the suppored goodness and worth of any other person whatever, wheiher living or departed. Be not persuaded then 10 lean on such a bro. ken reed; but consider the necessity of preparing yourselves for your

Lord's coming, by the fincerity and perseverance of your own humble endeavours; trusting only for a supply of your deficiency in his infinite merits, who will graciously open the door, and receive you into the joy of your

Lord.

in the way.

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom

came, and they that were ready went in with him II to the marriage, and the door was shut (c). After

wards 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. 14

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far 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 aridt

faithful fervant; thou hast been faithful over a few

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 the 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 our power to know.

(d) Whatever talents any man possesseth, 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 faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few 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 (e), reaping where thou haft

not fown, and gathering where thou hast not straw25 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 flothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I

fowed 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 ufury (f). 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 fhall have (g) abun

dance: 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. 31

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he fit 32 upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall

be gathered all nations, 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 to be in improving the talent he has committed to our truft.

(f) With interest.

(g) Every one that makes a right use of divine grace shall be fill farther affifted. On the contrary, he that neglects the grace that is given him to profit withal, not only loseth all the benefit he might have made of it in this world, but shall fuffer molt grievous punishment 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 blefled of my Father, inherit the kingdom pre

pared 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 stran36 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 faw we thee an

hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee 38 drink? When faw we thee a stranger, and took 39 thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?' Or when

faw we thee fick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King Thall 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 : fick, and in prison, and ye 44 visited me not. Then shall they also answer him,

faying, Lord, when faw we thee an hungred, or

athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or fick, or in pri45 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, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

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46

CHAP

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ND it came to pass, when Jesus had finished

all these fayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two (a) days is the feast of the paffo.

ver, 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 pa

lace of the high-priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtil5 ty, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast

day (6), left there he 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 fat at 8 meat (d). But when his disciples faw it, they had

indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold 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 fecond day, that is, the day following: In like manner, after three days signifies the third day. Chap. xii. 40.

(6) 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 fo directing the time of his death, as to shew the more plainly, that he was the very paschal lamb that was flain for the sins of the world.

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

(d) This fact is likewise related, Mark xiv. 3. John xii. 3. The anointing related by St. Luke differs from this in several effential cira cumstances, 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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