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a Eph. v. 29, 30. Rev. xix. 7; & xxi. 2.9.- ch. xiii. 47; & xxii. 10.-01 Thes. 5,6.-d ch. xxiv. 31. Thes. iv. 16.-e Loke xii. 35-1 Or going out.- Luke xiii. 25. -gch. vii. 21, 22, 23.-h Ps. v. 5. Hab. i. 13. John ix. 31. ich. xxiv. 42, 44. Mark xiii. 33, 35. Loke xxi. 56.
Oh! keep me in thy heavenly way,
10 And while they went to And bid the tempter flee ;
buy, the bridegroom came; And let me never never stray From happiness and Thee!
and they that were ready went STEELE, in with him to the marriage :
and the door was shut. À LXXIX.
11 Afterward came also the CHAP. XXV. l-13.
other virgins, saying, Lord,
Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered, and
AI Then shall the kingdom of said, Verily I say unto you, heaven be likened unto ten vir
know gins, which took their lamps,
13 Watch therefore, for ye and went forth to meet the know neither the day nor the
hour wherein the Son of man bridegroom. 2 And five of them were
cometh. wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil i Cor. xvi. 13.' i Thes. v. 6. 1 Pet. v. 3. Rev. xvi. 15. with them :
Reader. In the structure of this 4 But the wise took oil in parable we find an allusion to certheir vessels with their lamps. tain marriage ceremonies, common
5 While the bridegroom tar- and well known in Eastern counried, “they all slumbered and tries. It was usual for the brideslept.
groom to conduct the bride to his 6 And at midnight there own house, with great pomp and was a cry made, Behold, the state, in the evening or at night.
A party of friends attended the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out bridegroom and bride on their jourto meet him.
ney; and another party was in 7 Then all those virgins arose, readiness to receive them on their and trimmed their lamps.
arrival. Torches or flambeaux were 8 And the foolish said unto used on these occasions, partly for the wise, Give us of your oil ;
necessity, and partly for ornament
and splendour. for our lamps are "gone out. 9 But the wise answered, is, for the most part, obvious. The
The interpretation of the parable saying, Not so; lest there be
ten virgins denote professors of renot enough for us and you : but ligion. The wise are they who are go ye rather to them that sell, faithful, watchful, and diligent; the and buy for yourselves.
foolish are the careless and worldly
minded, who are not prepared to God's pardon, and his grace to obmeet their God.
The lamps or
serve it better for the time to come; torches denote the profession of re- watches over his inclinations ; avoidligion ; oil in the vessels, corres- ing every temptation that may lead ponding grace and duty. While him into sin ; never consulting the the bridegroom tarried, i.e. before the world, its authority, its customs, or day of judgment, they all slumbered its favours, for what he ought to do and slept, i.e. all these professors or what to avoid. And, by doing died. The sudden midnight cry is this, he secures the favour of God, the summons to meet the Lord in his grace here, and eternal happijudgment. Then the faithful and ness hereafter.-On the other hand, vigilant are admitted into the joy those Christans who live, as too of the Lord; but the negligent and many do, in a general forgetfulness unholy are shut out from his pre- of God; taking no care of their sence, without any means of obtain- souls; contenting themselves with ing admission, or of restoring them- some outward formalities, and bare selves to his favour. And hence it shadows of religion, without feeling appears that it is at once our duty its power; who make the world and our privilege to be always their pattern, notwithstanding the ready.
caution Jesus Christ has given us, not to follow its ways and maxims; such people, under the name of
Christians, are very heathens, will READER.-Five of these were be rejected of God, and are reserved wise and five were foolish.—To be a for a punishment dreadful to be Christian, and a true Christian, are named. two very different things.--A true Christians must not, to excuse Christian sets his pattern before his themselves, say that they cannot be eyes; and because his salvation de- what the Gospel requires them to pends on it, he resolves to make it be. It is no less than blasphemy the rule of his life. He studies, to say so. For God's grace is suffitherefore, the truths and the duties cient; his grace may be had for of the Gospel ; prefers the light he asking; and he requires no more meets with there to all other. He of us than what (upon our sincere resolves that what the gospel de- prayers and endeavours) he will clares he will believe, let what will enable us to perform.-WILSON. be said against it; that what it. They that were foolish took their recommends, he will follow that, lamps, and took no oil with them ; but and avoid what it forbids. If, upon the wise took oil in their vessels with examining his conscience, he finds their lamps.—This we ought to be that he does anything contrary to constantly intent upon, as the busiwhat the Gospel prescribes, he is ness of our lives, our daily work, to ashamed and sorry for it; begs get our spirits so attempered and
fitted to heaven, that if we be asked, ment, condition, common discretion What design we drive? What are will put him upon thinking how to we doing? we may be able to consort with the place, business, make this true answer, We are pre- converse, and way of living he is paring ourselves for eternity !-Let next to betake himself to. And us consider; are we conscious of no his thoughts will be the more inunfitness for that blessed state, to tense, by how much more momendwell in the presence of the holy tous the change. But what so great God ? to be associated with the change as this can the nature of heavenly assembly of pure intel- man admit, that a soul, long shut lectual spirits ? to consort and join up in flesh, is to go forth from its with them in their celebrations and earthly mansion and to return no triumphant songs ? Can we espy more; expecting to be received into no such thing in ourselves as an the glorious presence of the eternal earthly mind, aversion to God, as King, and go act its part among pride, disdain, wrath, or envy, ad- the perfected spirits that attend his miration of ourselves, aptness to throne? How solicitous endeavour seek our own things with the neg- of a very thorough preparation doth lect of others, or the like? And do this case call for !-Howe. not our hearts then misgive, and While the bridegroom tarried, they tell us we are unready, not yet pre- all slumbered and slept.-Let us live, pared to approach the divine pre- expecting a period to be ere long sence, or to enter into the habitation put to our life on earth. For reof his holiness and glory? And member, there are keys put into what then have we to do, but to set a great hand for this very purpose, ourselves to our preparatory work; that holds them not in vain. It is to set our watches, make our obser- appointed for all men once to die; vations, take strict notice of all the —when that once shall be, it belongs defections and obliquities of our to him to determine. And from spirits, settle our methods, hasten the course we may observe him to a redress? Do we not know this hold, as it is uncertain to all, it can is the time and state of preparation ? be very remote to none.—How wise And since we know it, how would and prudent a thing to accommothe folly torture us, by reflection, of date ourselves prudently to his having betrayed ourselves into a pleasure, in whose power we are ; surprisal! None are ever wont to and to live as men continually enter upon any new state without expecting to die !-Howe. some foregoing preparation. Every At midnight there was a cry made, more remarkable turn or change Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye in our lives is commonly (if at all out to meet him. Then all those foreknown) introduced with many virgins arose, 8c.--How long soever a serious forethought. If a man the end of the world and the day of be to change his dwelling, employ- / judgment may be delayed, yet we
have great reason immediately to now think. The greatness of the prepare for it. This life is the only object will enlarge the affection. time we have to prepare for it. The vastness of the good will force Death puts an end to our account the will to desire and love more than for eternity; for we shall be judged else it would.
else it would. We shall enjoy acaccording to what we have done in cording to the wideness of our capathe body, whether it be good or bad; city; and all our capacities will be and the final sentence will pass on so enlarged, that they will exceed us according to that state which the extent of our present thoughts, death finds us in.- Whatever the as much as our present thoughts intermediate state be, how long exceed our present enjoyments. It soever it be between Death and is a life wherein we shall do nothing Judgment, yet our account is the but what we desire ; and wherein same; and to be surprised by Death all things shall be just as we will before we are provided for it, is the ourselves ; and wherein we shall same thing as to be surprised by will nothing but that which is most Judgment.--SHERLOCK.
to be chosen ;-a life, every act of They that were ready went in with which must needs be sweet, and full him to the marriage.—The heavenly of joy, beyond all the measures of all bridegroom intends to entertain all our present wishes.
When we pious men with an everlasting sup- think, we shall rejoice; when we per; to make them a never ceasing love, we shall rejoice; when we jubilee; and treat them with such adore or praise, we shall rejoice. sumptuous magnificence that there whatsoever we do, it will have infiwill not be tongues enough among nite delight and pleasure in it; and them all to publish his praises, and when we have done it ever so often, their own thankfulness. Only you it will be eternally to be done again; must remember that the entertain- and we shall likewise have more ment he will give them is himself, power to do it; and every repetition and they will feast eternally upon of such act will be a fresh addition his blessed presence. Their happiness of contentment in the doing of them. will be to see God, to behold the There is no satiety nor loathing in glory which is given to our Lord; the enjoyment of that good; no that is, to know him, and to be filled fainting nor growing weary ; but with his wisdom, love, and likeness. we shall always think we have Their life and felicity consists in a enough, and yet still be enjoying clear and distinct perception of him; more; we shall be in a perpetual in a close union and conjunction of youth and vigour, and yet daily heart and will with him; in a feel-growing more strong and able to ing of the pleasures that are in him. converse with God. For that great Thither if we can but get, we shall good cannot be known at once, nor love as much as we are able, and be can all the sweetness of that life be able to love far more than we can instantly tasted, nor the uses of those
of the grace
pleasures be drunk up at one we miscarry that once, we are undraught: but fresh delights will done for ever.—Who would try how continually entertain us; new plea- long death will delay its coming ? sures will be springing forth unto how long he may sin on safely, withus; and a flood of joy that we never out thinking of death or judgknew before will overflow us, out of ment, whether death will give that full fountain which now issues him timely notice to repent, or forth in so many streams, and dif- whether God will give him grace to fuses himself in such great varieties repent if it does ? Who would venin this world ; that our minds may ture the infinite hazards of death-bed be every moment employed in some repentance ?-If men sin on, till rarity of nature, which, till then, they harden themselves in sin, and did never affect their eyes. A hap- are forsaken
of py life that will be, when we shall God; if death comes long before have before us such an inexhausted they expected, and cut them off by ocean of good to fill us, and such surprise and without warning; if great appetites to be filled, and such their dying and despairing agonies repeated satisfaction in the filling and horrors should not prove a true of them, and such an increase of godly sorrow, nor that repentance strength by their satisfaction; and to salvation never to be repented wider capacities also created by the of, they are lost to eternity! And continual flowing in of that good what wise man would expose his upon us, which will enlarge our soul to such a hazard as this?souls by its enjoyment, to make us SHERLOCK. more able to enjoy it.—PATRICK. Watch therefore, for ye know neither
And the door was shut. Though the day nor the hour wherein the Son of the happiness or misery of the next man cometh.-Were we always in a world may increase, yet the state preparation to die, with our lamps can never alter. If we die in a state trimmed and burning, like virgins of grace aad favour with God, we
who expect the bridegroom, to die shall always continue so: if we die then without notice, without fear in a state of sin, under the wrath and apprehension, without the meand displeasure of God, there is no lancholy solemnities of dying, were altering our state in the other world; most desirable. But the danger of we must abide under his wrath for a sudden death is that men are surever.-It ought to be the work and prised in their sins, and hurried away business of our whole lives to pre- to judgment, before their accounts pare for death, which comes but are ready that they are snatched once, but that once is for eternity. out of this world before they have What an unpardonable folly for any made any provision for the next. man to be surprised by death,—to And the only way to prevent this, fall into the grave without thinking is to be always upon our watch, of it !—We can die but once, and if always in expectation of death, and