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aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes;
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
When we read an account of the destruction of the Jewish nation, we shall find, that notwithstanding all the signs which our LORD foretold actually preceded, it was still to the Jews sudden and unexpected; and so will be our LORD's second coming; it is, therefore, in vain for any person to pretend to form conjectures how long the present state of the world will last. The precise day and hour appointed for the destruction of Jerusalem, or the day of judgment (which he alluded to), was, according to his own declaration, unknown even to our LORD himself, whilst in his human state. From whence we may infer, that his soul being inferior to his Divine nature, could not, by its human faculties, obtain knowledge of spiritual things, but stood in need of communications from the GODHEAD, in respect to subjects above their reach, as our bodies do of the intelligence of our minds to direct them to rational actions; and, if this was the case, our LORD might, as man, be unacquainted with particulars, which were perfectly known to him as GOD. But it is of little use to indulge our curiosity in speculations on such difficult passages
as this: when in a future state the powers of our minds shall be enlarged, what now appears dark and obscure, will be clear and intelligible to us. In the mean time, as the hour of our LORD's coming is, without doubt, unknown to us, we should live in a course of constant preparation for it, since the day of our death will de termine our future state of happiness or misery: and it will make no difference to us, whether it happens in our generation or many ages hence, or whether our SaVIOUR knows the precise day and hour, or not
Let us, then, give our attention to the duties appointed us, and pray with fervency for Divine grace, that we be not surprised in the midst of vicious courses; for in proportion to our crimes will be our punishment; and according to our obedience and faith shall we meet with rewards*,
THE PARABLE OF THE VIRGINS OF THE TALENTSAND AN ACCOUNT OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.
From Matthew, Chap. xxv..
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
* I have added to what properly belongs to this Section part of a discourse which our LORD evidently delivered on a former occa sion, as both contain general instructions of the same nature.
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.
Afterward came also the 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.
For the kingdom 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, to another two, and to another one, to every man according to his several ability, and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents, went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 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 received five talents, came, and brought other five talents, saying, lord, thou deli
veredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His dord 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 beside 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 an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed;
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that 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. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.
And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in ? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the king shall answer, and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, pre pared for the devil and his angels.
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink :
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, LORD, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto