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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. 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
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 judg. knew 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 the grace 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. I 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 1-We can die but once, and if always in expectation of death, and
always prepared for it.—SHERLOCK. | into a far country, who called HYMN.
his own servants, and delivered Ye waiting souls, arise,
unto them his goods. With all the dead, awake;
15 And unto one he gave Unto salvation rise,
five "talents, to another two, Oil in your vessels take: Up starting at the midnight cry
and to another one ; ” to every Behold the heavenly bridegroom nigh!
man according to his several He comes, he comes, to call
ability; and straightway took The nations to his bar, And raise to glory all
his journey. Who fit for glory are;
16 Then he that had received Make ready for your full reward, Go forth with joy to meet your Lord.
the five talents went and traded
with the same, and made them Go meet him in the sky, Your everlasting Friend;
other five talents. Your Head to glorify
17 And likewise he that had With all his saints ascend; Ye pure in heart, obtain the grace, received two, he also gained To see, without a veil, his face.
other two. Ye that have here received
18 But he that received one The unction from above, And in his Spirit lived
went and digged in the earth, Obedient to his love ;
and hid his lord's money. Jesus shall claim you for his bride. Rejoice with all the sanctified !
19 After a long time the lord Rejoice in glorious hope
of those servants cometh, and Of that great day unknown,
reckoneth with them. When you shall be caught up
20 And so he that had reTo stand before his throne; Called to partake the marriage feast,
ceived five talents came and And lean on our Immanuel's breast. brought other five talents, sayThen let us wait to hear
ing, Lord, thou deliveredst The trumpet's welcome sound;
unto me five talents : behold I To see our Lord appear, May we be watching found;
have gained beside them five Enrobed in righteousness divine
talents more. In which the bride shall ever shine!
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faith
ful servant: thou hast been § LXXX.
faithful over a few things," I CHAP. XXV. 14–30. will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy The Parable of the Talents.
of thy lord. 14 | For the kingdom of 22 He also that had received heaven is 'as a man travelling two talents came, and said,
Lord, thou deliveredst unto me shall have abundance: but from two talents : behold I have him that hath not shall be taken gained two other talents beside away even that which he hath. them.
30 And cast ye the unprofi23 His lord said unto him, table servant "into outer dark? Well done, good and faithful ness: there shall be weeping servant; thou hast been faith- and gnashing of teeth ful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had re
READER.—The kingdom of heaven is
as a man travelling into a far country, ceived the one talent came, and
who called his own servants, and desaid, Lord, I knew thee that
livered unto them his goods. And thou art an hard man, reaping unto one he gave five talents, to another where thou hast not sown, and ten, and to another one ; to every man gathering where thou hast not according to his several ability. As strawed :
we are to serve God with all we are 25 And I was afraid, and
(1 Cor. vi. 20), so also with all we
have, (Prov. ii. 9). Whatsoever went and hid thy talent in the
we have we receive from his bounty, earth : lo, there thou hast that
and therefore whatsoever we have is thine.
we should employ for his glory: our 26 His lord answered and
parts, our gifts, our estates, our said unto him, Thou wicked and power, our time. Whatsoever we slothful servant, thon knewest call ours is his in our hands, and that I reap where I sowed not,
therefore to be improved, not for and gather where I have not
ourselves, but for him. As our
Saviour shows in this parable of the strawed :
Talents, which the master of the 27 Thou oughtest therefore house distributed among his serto have put my money to the vants; to some he gave one, to exchangers, and then at my some two, to others five, that every coming, I should have received one might employ his proportion mine own with usury.
to his master's use, neither squan28 Take therefore the talent
dering it away, nor yet laying it up
in a napkin. It is God that is the from him, and give it unto him
grand master and possessor of the which hath ten talents.
world, who parcels it out amongst 29 ' For unto every one that his creatures, as himself sees good; hath shall be given, and he but wheresoever he entrusteth any
thing, he expects the improvement forms us better,—that we must give of it for himself. And so, I sup- an account of our improvements; pose, doth every one of us from such for he who received but one talent servants as we keep; we expect that went and digged in the earth, and what we put into their hands be hid his lord's money; and when laid out, not for themselves, but for his lord came to reckon with him us; and that they spend their time he said, “Thou wicked servant, thou in our service, not their own; and knewest that I reap where I sowed if they do otherwise, there is none not, and gather where I have not of us but will say they do not serve strawed ; thou oughtest therefore us, but themselves. How then can to have put my money to the exwe expect that God will look upon changers, and then at my coming I us as serving him, when we do not should have received mine own with so much for him as we expect from usury. Take therefore the talent our own servants, though our fel- from him. And cast ye the unprolow-creatures? Or how can we fitable servant into outer darkness; think that we serve him as we ought, there shall be weeping and gnashing unless we serve him as much as we of teeth.” Here we plainly see that can? Or that God should look this servant was not punished for upon us as his servants, unless we spending his master's money, for he employ and improve whatsoever we returned to him the talent which he have, not for our own pleasure, gave him,—“Lo, there thou hast profit, or applause, but for his that is thine,”—but for not improhonour and glory, from whom we ving it, as the other servants had did receive it? Let us remember done. He was an unprofitable serour Saviour's words, “Let your vant, who had brought no advantage light so shine before men, that they to his master. And thus, it is may see your good works, and glorify plain, men judge of servants. He your Father which is in heaven.”— is a very wicked steward indeed, BEVERIDGE.
who embezzles his master's goods; He that received one, went and dig- but he is an unprofitable servant ged in the earth, and hid his lord's who makes no improvements : and money. We shall be judged for not thus God will judge of us, as we improving the talents we are in- think it reasonable to judge of our trusted with ;-that is, for not doing servants. And when we consider good in the world. This many men how many talents we are entrusted are apt to forget. To squander away with, it should make us humble to and waste their master's goods, to think what little improvements we do that which is evil,—this they make of them. Every thing that think they must give account of; is improvable to the service and but if they do no hurt, they are not glory of God is a talent; and if we much concerned what good they do. do not improve it to God's glory, But our Saviour in this parable in, and to do good in the world, it is a