« ПретходнаНастави »
God; for though there may not desiring that he would accept be wanting some plausible ex- mc as his child, adopt me into cuses on this head, drawn from his covenant, and so teach me, the influence of a complaint so by his Spirit, that I may in fucompletely nervous, yet I am ture see all things in God, and too sensible of pride at the bot. God in every thing: that I
may tom :-a sin, I believe, from my love him more, serve him more own experience, the most diffi- faithfully, and be enabled, by cult of all to root out of the faith, to look forward, with un. heart! Lord, assist me by thy shaken confidence, to the moSpirit,-subdue the evil propen.
ment that finishes my earthly ca. sities of my nature,—form and reer, as the period when
bliss increase within me those graces is consummated and secured for which evidence and adorn the eternity ! Surely, if such be the ehristian profession,-and may issue of my troubles, I need not my present trial be eminently repine at the continuance of the blessed to the promotion of so stroke. God in himself is bliss desirable an end !
enough, take what he will away;' 'I have once more, this eve. for these light afflictions, which ning, solemnly examined myself are but for a moment, shall work on those points which can never out for you a far more exceeding be too fully or satisfactorily and eternal weight of glory! made out. In the presence of
• If sin be pardon'd I'm secure, Almighty God, I have seriously
Death hath no sting beside ; med is asked, Is it my supreme desire The law gave sin its damning pow'r, to be the Lord's ? Can I submit
But Christ, my ransom,
died ! in myself to him in all things ?--
I could wish to enlarge on so content to suffer the loss of earth. ly comforts and prospects if he pleasing, so animating a topic ;
but, for the present, I must for. please,-yea, in every event to
bear. My spirits, too great for acquiesce in his will without murinuring or repining? My der the infirmities of the body.
my strength, begin to sink un. faith feebly answers, "I trust I can.'
O that I may be enabled to cul. Thanks be to God for tivate with care the christian this hope! It assures me, that I
growth, 'till full perfection am prepared for whatever may
crown my hopes in everlasting All is yours, wheth.
bliss ! er life or death, things present
Such was his close and serious or things to come ; all is yours,
inquiry in the view of eternity ; and ye are Christ's, and Christ
and who can doubt of the sincer. is God's,' I have, in the best
ity of his design, or the happy mander my feeble frame would
result of his examination ! enable me, and I humbly hope, confiding in superior aid, devot. (To be concluded in our next.ge ed myself afresh to the Lord ;
THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS.
In the 24th chapter of Mat. emn representation of the tre. thew, we have
a remarkable mendous scene. prophecy, delivered by the great The immediate subject of preProphet from heaven, on the sent contemplation is the para. mount of Olives, just before the ble of the TEN VIRGINS ; a sub. scene of his final sufferings. In ject not unsuitable to engage the that prophecy, though it had serious attention of all, especially throughout a direct and primary at the season of passing the mon. reference to the destruction of itory bourn from an olů to a neza Jirusalem and the end of the year. Jewish age; and was strikingly This parable, as already inti. accomplished in that signal catas. mated, is principally designed to trophe; yet there was an allusion enforce the warning to all, and and ultimate reference to the end particularly to the professors of of the world, and the judgment religion, to be in preparation to of the great day; when some of meet their Lord, in the final judg. the particulars of the prophecy ment. It deserves, however, to will have a more literal and stu. be particularly considered that, pendous accomplishment. As though the parable seems to refer the amazing scenes of the final directly to the judgment day; consummation were thus solemnly yet it was evidently designed to presented in prospect, the Divine be applicable, in all its monitoMonitor, by a very easy and ob
ry force, not to those only who vious transition, immediately in should live in the last age of the connexion with his prophecy, world, but to those also who addressed to his disciples, and should live in each preceding age. through them to others wherever The disciples of Christ and otbhis gospel should be known, a ers of that age, were warned to most serious warning, on the im. be in expectation of their Lord's portance of being in readiness to coming, and to hold themselves meet their . Judge. In the 25th in readiness for the judgment, chapter, we have the continua. Those also who lived in the next tion and conclusion of the same age after them, and in each suc. admonitory discourse. In this ceeding age since, have been chapter the warning to be in read. warned to the same effect by this iness to meet our Judge is most same parable. We of the present impressively enforced, by the age are in like manner warned; memorable parables of the ten and the warning is intended to virgins, and the ten servants en. apply to every following genertrusted with different talents; alion, till the judge shall actually and the discourse concludes with
appear, But how could it have a direct view of the final judg- been proper for the Divine Mon, ment, in a very explicit and sol. itor to warn his disciples and
others, who lived eighteen han. tion will close, and his momendred years ago, to be in readi. tous account be sealed up for ness for the judgment; represent. public and final audit. ing to them, at the same time, On this principle obviously, that they knew not how soon their the parable before us is predicatLord would come ;
when he ed ; and on this principle it is so knew thai the day of judginent constructed as to be equally apwas then many age's distant ? plicable to enforce the warning
This apparent difficulty is ea. to be ready, in every age. After sily obviated. The solemn truh thus much said, therefore, to is, mankind, from age to age, explain the principle and to are passing on, in rapid succes- justify the propriety of the sion, to the judginent. They have parable, we may now proceed their probationary periods sev. more directly to contemplate the erally allotted to them, which pe. parable itself. riods terminate ai death; and Then shall the kingdom of then their respective accounts heaven be likened unto ten virare closed and sealed up for the gins, who took their lamps and pub.ic audit of the great and de- went forth to meet the bride. As their characters
groom. And five of them were a re at death, so will they appear wise and fire were foolish. at the judgment, and according They that were foolish took their to the deeds done here in body, lamps, and took no vil with them : will be the final retribution, eith- But the wise took oil in their ves. er of happiness or of misery, then, sels, with their lamps. While in the presence of the universe, the bridegroom tarried, they all to be awarded to them.
slumbered and slept. And at To all men, therefore, of every midnight there was a cry made, age, death, in a very proper and Behold, the bridegroom cometh; important sense, is a
go ye out to meet him.
Then to the judgment; and in the same all those virgins arose and trimproper and important sense, themed their lamps. And the fool. day or hour of death is to them, ish said unto the wise, Give us in the language of the parable of your oil; for our lamps are " the day or the hour of the gone out. But the wise answercoming of the Son of man." The ed, saying, Not su; lest there disciples then and others of that be not enough for us and you : age miglit be warned, and we of but go ye rather to them that the present age may be warned, sell, and buy for yourselves. to be in readiness for the judge And while they went to buy, the ment, and in constant expecta. : bridegroom came :
and they tion of our Lord's coming, with that were ready went in with the same propriety, as if the so. him to the marriage; and the lemnities of the great day had door
was shut. Afterward been then, or were now, actual. came also the other virgins, ayly dear at hand.
ing, Lord, Lord, open to us. knows how soon he may receive But he answered and said, Verthe summons; how soon, with ily I say unto you, I know you respect to him, the Son of man not. will come; how soon his proba- The parable is founded on the
ceremonies of a marriage solem. all_in, “the door was shut.” nity; and in order to be clearly This simple account explains understood, some knowledge of at once the leading particulars the manner in which nuptial so. of the parable. lempities were anciently con- The bridegroom, then, is the ducted, is necessary.
Lord Jesus Christ, who repeat. common we may then observe, edly in the Scriptures is designat. for the bridegroom, on those oc- ed as the bridegroom of the casions, first to repair, with church. The ten virgins, or the some of his immcdiate connex. company of female friends, who ions, to the house, or father's were to go forth to meet the house of the bride; where the bridegroom, are the professed friends on that side were conven. friends of Christ; not indeed, ed, and where an entertainment all, it would appear, who profess was furnished, which often con. to be his friends, but such as are tinued for several days, varying, credible professors : for the fool. however, from a longer to a ish are represented as not having shorter time, according to the been distinguished from the wise
, quality or circumstances of the until the trying hour came. The parties. About the close of the lamp is here intended to symbol. entertainment at the house of the ize the profession of christiani. bride, the marriage was solemn. ty, or the external shew of relig. ized in due form ; and then the ion; and by the oil in the ves. new-married pair were conduct. sels, we are doubtless to under. ed to the bridegroom's house. stand true grace in the heart, or This part of the soleinnity, when those holy affections, which con. the parties were of respectable stitute the essence of the true quality, was made a very splen. christian character. The wise did ceremony, and was usually virgins are true Christians; the exhibited late in the cvening, or foolish virgins are those, who have in the night. From the bride's, nothing more of religion, than a to the bridegroom's house, they credible profession, or a fair ex. moved in regular processions, ternal shew. Their taking their lighted with flambeaux, or lamps, lamps and going forth, or preand accompanied with music; paring to go forth to meet the and while on their way, but usu. bridegroom, denotes their comally near to the bridegroom's ing forward in a public profess. house, they were met by a com. ion, or open declaration of pany of young females, the rela. friendship to Christ; and the de. tives and friends of the bride. lay of the bridegroom, the in. groom, who went forth with termediate time between their their lights to welcome the bride; profession, or their real or supand who on meeting, took their posed conversion, and their place in lead of the procession, death, or their summons to meet and moved on with the rest to the their Judge. By the slumbering house, where a supper was pro- and sleeping both of the wise, vided. Those only, who were and the foolish virgins, we are present to go in with the proces. to understand the unwatchfulness sion, were admitted to the enter. and inactivity in religion, which tainment; and when they were is but too commonly witnessed,
not in false professors only, but Though true Christians slumber even in true Christians. The for a while with others; yet as cry at midnight of the bride- they have grace in their hearts, groom's coming, denotes the sol. when waked by the summons of enn call by approaching death, their Judge, on trimming their often indeed very unexpected, to lamps, they will be found premeett he Judge; and the virgins' pared to enter with him in. rising and trimming their lamps, to his joy. But the door strikingly represents the solemn was shut: and afterwards, when wakefulness, and the earnest in. the foolish virgins came and begquiries respecting the state of ged for admittance, the bridetheir souls, to which both true groom answered, “ I know you and false professors are very not.” The meaning is, as obvi. commonly roused, by the strong ous as it is terrible.
When once apprehension of immediate death this probationary scene is closed, and the consequent judgment. the door of mercy is shut, for The application of the foolish ever shut, against those who die virgins to the wise for some of without unfeigned repentance, their oil, no less strikingly rep- without true grace in their hearts; resents the case of unsound pro. and utterly unavailing afterfessors, when, alarmed by the wards will be their most earnest approach of the trying hour, and entreaties, their loudest cries, convinced of their utter destitu. their bitterest lamentations. tion of grace, they earnestly and The leading sentiments of this anxiously call for help, from solemn and deeply interesting those, whom they suppose to be parable may now be drawn into real christians. The direction, several distinct and serious re. given in return by the wise vir. flections.gins, to go rather to the venders In the first place then, how of oil, and buy for themselves, affecting is the representation denotes the direction, very prop- here given of the state of the crly given by Christians to those, christian church.
Of the ten who, under alarm, call for their virgins of this parable, intended help, not to trust in any human by our blessed Savior to repre. aid, but to apply directly to the sent those, who make a credible Fountain of all grace. The profession of friendship to him, coming of the bridegroom, in the five were wise, and five were mean time, while the distressed foolish.
We would fain hope, foolishvirgins were seekingfor oil, indeed, that this was not meant is designed solemnly to impress to indicate, that even of those, the consideration, that death is who pass in his church for cred. not to be put off by the greatest ible professors, the one half are alarm, or the most distrusting unsound, and no better than hypanxiety; but the Judge will ocrites. Can we, however, come at his own appointed time, avoid the serious apprehension, whether men
are prepared to that the proportion of these is meet him or not.-On the com. not inconsiderable ? But how ing of the bridegroom, the wise affecting the apprehension ! virgins, being in readiness, went When we cast our eyes round, in with him to the marriage. in an extensive survey, we can. Vol. II. New Series.