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And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding-garment:
And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding-garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For many are called, but few are chosen."
1. Who were meant by the King and his Son? God the Father, and Jesus Christ.
2. Who were meant by those who had been bidden to the feast?
The Jews, who made light of Christ's invitations, and persecuted his disciples.*
3. Who were meant by the servants?
The preachers of the gospel, who were sent forth to deliver the invitations of Christ.
4. How are the characters of those who reject Christ here described?
They are the negligent, who make light of his invitation; the worldly, who care for nothing but gain; and the openly wicked, who persecute his servants.
5. To what does the punishment of these persecutors refer?
To the destruction of Jerusalem, after the Jews had rejected Christ, and persecuted his disciples.
* In the East, to refuse an invitation to a marriagefeast, is deemed a great affront; and by some, a breach of the law of God.
6. Did the king provide suitable garments for the use of his guests?
Yes: this was the custom in the East; and he who did not appear in the suitable dress prepared for the occasion, openly insulted the master of the feast.
7. What does the wedding-garment mean?
The righteousness of the saints, of which, clean and white fine linen was the emblem.-(See Rev. xix. 8.)
8. When the guest, who had no wedding-garment, was asked the cause of this neglect, could he excuse himself?
No: he was speechless; and thus will every impenitent sinner appear at last, "without excuse."
9. From the punishment of this ungrateful guest, what observation does Christ make?
Many are called, but few chosen.
10. What lesson should we learn from this declaration of Christ?
That to be called a friend, or guest, of Christ, is not sufficient; for, without holiness, no man shall see the Lord and that we should examine ourselves whether we are in the faith.
THE TEN VIRGINS.
Mat. xxv. 1 to 13.
"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.
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."
1. What eastern customs explain the scenery of this parable of the ten virgins?`
In the East marriage-feasts are celebrated by night---the bridegroom is accompanied by a procession of his friends with lighted lamps-and splendid entertainments are given on the occasion.
2. Who are meant by the persons in this parable?
The bridegroom is Christ, and the virgins are the professors of religion.
3. How did the five foolish virgins act?
They took their lamps, but did not take a supply of oil to replenish them.
4. How did the wise virgins act?
They considered that they might have to wait, and prudently took enough oil in their vessels to supply their lamps; yet even they appear to have been unwatchful.
5. While all the virgins slumbered and slept, what happened?
There was a cry made, Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
6. How did the wise virgins then act?
They arose and trimmed their lamps, and joined the procession, and went in to the marriage-feast.
7. How were the foolish virgins situated?
Their lamps were gone out, they were left in darkness, and their companions could not assist them; and, while they went to buy oil, the bridegroom came, received them that were ready, and then fastened the door.
8. When the five foolish virgins at length arrived at the door, what did they say?
They piteously entreated to be admitted. Lord, Lord, open to us.
9. What did the Bridegroom reply to these virgins? Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.
10. What lesson does Christ teach by the parable of the ten virgins?
Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day, nor the hour, wherein the Son of man cometh.
11. What evils are censured by the parable of the ten virgins?
Carelessness, folly, delay, and the neglect of our eternal interests, while all things here are so uncertain.
12. What duties are taught by the parable of the ten virgins?
Wisdom, watchfulness, and constant preparation for the changes of life, and the approach of death and judgment.
The parable of the Ten Pounds and the Ten Servants is very similar to this, and will illustrate its principal points.
Mat. xxv. 14 to 30.
"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.