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In the language)
[of the prophets. her light, and the stars shall fall from shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, heaven, and the powers of the hea- and they shall see the Son of man veps shall be shaken :
coming in the clouds of heaven with 30 And then shall appear the sign power and great glory. of the Son of man in heaven: and then 31 And he shall send his angels
EXPOSITION. ture of the universe remained. As soon, opened of its own accord; and at another therefore, as Christ told them that the time a voice was heard at midnight from temple would be destroyed, their thoughts the inner temple saying, “ Let us go instantly ran to the consummation of all hence;' and above all, most unaecountthings. Thus they connect with the de- able was the conduct of one Jesus, supstruction of the temple, as things insepa- posed to be an ideot, or insane, who, for rable, the coming of Christ, and the end of several years before the capture of the the world. A fond hope, wbich they had city, went about exclaiming, Woe to the couceived without any authority, that the city, woe to the people, and woe to the final perfection of the reign of Christ was temple ;" and could by no means be si. very near, and actually present, led them fenced ; at length, the last time of repeatto indulge the extravagant expectation of ing these words, he added, “ Woe to myspringing all at once to happiness." ~ self," and was immediately killed, as it (Messiah, vol. ¡i, 205–207.)
were by accident. Our Lord's answer, however, so far from 5. Persecution for Christ's sake is an. confirming this prejudice, goes in some other sign here mentioned, and which the measure to rectify this mistake, by inform- Apostles experienced, both from Jews and ing his disciples of a great variety of cala- Gentiles, more or less, in all countries to mitous events which must intervene; of which they carried the gospel, which inwhich we sball now take a brief review, deed, before the destruction of Jerusalem, interpreting them by the history of Jose- extended to the boundaries of the Roman phus, who, it should be remembered, was empire, and of the then known world. no Christian, though he seems to have 6. Our Lord then admonishes his folbeen half convinced.
lowers to leave Jerusalem, and flee for The first sign announced to precede their lives, immediately as they “ see the these events, was that of false Christs, or abomination of desolation, spoken of by pretenders to the character of Messiah; Daniel the prophet," erected in the Josephus mentions many, of which the holy place." This seems evidently to refer following are expressly noticed in the Acts to the eagles on the Roman standards, of the Apostles; Theudas, Judas of Galilee, which were planted on the walls of the Simon Magus, and the Egyptian impostor, city, and eventually, as Josephus informs (See Acts v.36, 37; viii. 9, 10; xxi. 38.) us, withiu the temple itself. And not only
2. Josephus History is full of “ wars were these standards worshipped and sworn and rumours of wars" (as predicted ver.6), by, but idolatrous images were also often particularly during the reigns of Caligula, introduced. The appearance of these was Claudius, and Nero, whereby great num the appointed signal for flight to those withbers were destroyed.
in the walls; and that Aight was to be so 3." Famines,” particularly one men sudden, as not to allow them to return tioned by St. Luke (Acts xi. 28), also by bome if they were absent, or even to reJosephus and Suetonius. Earthquakes in turn within their houses to take aught divers places, as in Crete, Smyrna, Mile from thence; only to flee over their terraced tus, and various other places, as men rooss till they reached the walls, and tioned by the Jewish and Roman histo escaped without. This many did, and par, rians.
ticularly the Christians, who escaped, some 4. “ Fearful sights and great signs :". to mount Libanus, and the others to Pella, Josephus meations, among other sights, a small town beyond Jordan, in the terria comet in the form of a sword, hanging tory of Agrippa ; insomuch that it is not for a long time over Jerusalem; armies known that any Christians perished in the fighting in the air: one night the massy. final destruction of the city. To the Jews, brazen gate at the east side of the temple however, this was the most calamitous
NOTES. Ver. 30. Tribes of the earth.-Doddr. “ of the Campbell (with many others) use the term "mes. land," meaning the land of Israel.
sengers" but we confess the change to us appears Ver.31. His angels. There are angels celestial unnecessary, since we are accustomed to read of and terrestrial : the latter are generally styled mes the angels of the churches (Rev. i. 20, &c.), as well Sengers; but the Greek and Hebrew terins are the as of heaven; and we think the equivocal term betsame for both. In this place both Doddridge and ter preseryes the harmony of the double prophecy.
[of the fig-tree. with a great sound of a trumpet, and drinking, marrying and giving in mar, they shall gather together his electriage, until the day that Noe entered from the four winds, from one end of into the ark, heaven to the other.
39 And knew not until the flood 32 Now learn a parable of the fig came, and took them all away; so tree; When his branch is yet tender, shall also the coming of the Son of and putteth forth leaves, ye know that
man be. summer is nigh:
40 Then shall two be in the field; 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall the one shall be taken, and the other see all these things, know that it is left. near, even at the doors.
41 Two women shall be grinding 34 Verily I say unto you, This ge-, at the mill; the one shall be taken, neration shall not pass, till all these and the other left. things be fulfilled.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know 35 Heaven and earth shall pass not what hour your Lord doth come. away, but my words shall not pass 43 But know this, that if the good away.
man of the house had known in what 36 But of that day and hour know. watch the thief would come, he would eth no man; no, not the angels of have watched, and would not have sufheaven, but my Father only.
fered his house to be broken up. 37 But as the days of Noe were, 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for 80 shall also the coming of the Son of in such an hour as ye think not the man be.
Son of man cometh. 38 For as in the days that were be- 45 Who then is a faithful and wise fore the flood they were eating and servant, whom his lord hath made
EXPOSITION-Chap. XXIV. Continued. event that ever they experienced ; indeed, the Jews, they would appear much inferior the history of Josephus perfectly agrees upon comparison." with the prediction of our Lord, who says, After some farther cautions against false “ Then shall be great tribulation, such as Christs and pretended prophets, our Lord was not since the beginning of the world predicts the destruction of the Jewish to this time; no, nor ever shall be.” Jose goveroment and city, in terms highly figu. phus reckons that 1,100,000 Jews perished rative and poetical." The Jewish polity be in Jerusalem; and above 250,000 in other compares to a corrupted carcase — " the parts of Judea, besides 97,000 captives, carcase of dead piety," as Dr. Watts exand innumerable others, who perished by presses it. And as the eagle scents from starvation, and other means. And he afar his prey, and pounces upon it with the sums up all by saying, in remarkable con. force and rapidity of lightning, so did the formity to our Saviour's words, “ If the Romans attack and devour this devoted misfortunes of all, from the beginning of nation. the world, were compared with those of
NOTES-Chap. XXIV. Con. Ver. 31. With a great sound of a trumpel.- they should never be extirpated, is a very forced Margin, “ With a trumpet and a great voice." and annatural interpretation, and therefore not to be
This is an evident allusion to the Jews' manner of justified. proclaiming their pablic festivals; and intends, first Ver. 35. Heaven and earth shall pass away.--We the trumpet of the gospel, by which both Jews and consider this as a strong asseveration that ali things Gentiles are summoned to attend the standard of shall pass away sooner than the word of God shall Messiah ; and secondly, "the voice of the arch- fail. angel and the tramp of God," which shall summons Ver. 36. Knoweth no man (or one), .... but ry all men to the bar of judgment. 1 Thess. iv. 16. father only.-See Mark xiii. 32.
Ibid. They shall gather his elect from the four Ver. 37. As the days of Noe-that is, Noah. winds-that is, from all parts of the earth, as was in Ver. 38. Eating and drinking-that is, feasting, or part fulblled at the day of pentecost, Acts ii. 7-11, carousing. - Marrying, &c.- that is, they were continues still to be fulfilled in the propagation of forming new connexions in life. So that all the the gospel, and shall be tinally and completely ac- awful predictions of Noah neither disturbed the fes. complished in the last days.
tivities of the gay, nor interrupted the social plans o Ver. 34. This generation shall not pass, &.c.-We the more sober. cannot but think with Doddridge, that the attempt of Ver. 40. Then shall two - Doddr. and Campbell some critics (though of great name) to interpret this “ Two men be (working) together in the field, &c. of the Jewish nation altogether, instead of the gene. Ver. 41. Two women shall be grinding.--This wa ration then living, as if the words only meant that the usual work of women, Sec Oriept, Cust. No. 114
The parable of]
(the ten virgins. ruler over his household, to give them appoint him his portion with the hypomeat in due season?
crites : there shall be weeping and 46 Blessed is that servant, whom gnashing of teeth. (E) his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
CHAP. XXV. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his THEN shall the kingdom of heaven goods.
be likened unto ten virgins, which 48 But and if that evil servant shall took their lamps, and went forth to say in his heart, My lord delayeth his meet the bridegroom. coming;
2 And five of them were wise, and 49 And shall begin to smite his fel- five were foolish. low servants, and to eat and drink 3 They that were foolish took their with the drunken;
lainps, and took no oil with thein: 50 The lord of that servant shall 4 But the wise took oil in their come in a day when he looketh not for vessels with their lamps. him, and in an hour that he is not 5 While the bridegroom tarried, aware of;
they all slumbered and slept. 51 And shall cut him asunder, and 6 And at midnight there was a cry
EXPOSITION. (E) Ver. 29–51. Farther predictions of in heaven?" The Old Testament frethe destruction of Jerusalem.-Another set quently speaks of the Almighty as coming of images are next adopted from Isaiah in the clouds of heaven, to administer his and Joel, and are certainly the most su- judgments. See Ps. xviii. 7-12. And the blime and beautiful that nature furnishes. same imagery is used by the prophet Daniel, The Jewish government is compared to the in reference to Messiah's receiving his heavenly bodies, which are all represented kingdom at bis ascension : “ I saw in the as extinguished, and the whole political night visions, and, behold, one like the Son bemisphere as clothed in darkuess and of man came with the clouds of heaven, and mourning. We have already, in a former came to the Ancient of days,..., and there volume, quoted, in illustration of this was given him dominion and glory, and a imagery, the sentiments of Sir Is. Newton kingdom,” &c. (Dan. vii. 13, 14.) And and Bp. Lowth, the prince of philosophers, this we conceive to be the very sign here and the prince of critics, on this subject. referred to; namely, the description given (See our Notes on Isa. xxiv. 21; xxxiv. 4.) by Daniel of Messiab's “coining in the
It has been customary to apply these clouils of heaven with power and great passages to the end of the world, and to glory," to receive bis kingdom from the the day of judgment, and cerlainly the lan- Pather. guage is worthy of such an august event; The following verse, which speaks of but, as we are told must expressly and most Messiah's sending his angels with the solemnly, that the then present generation sound of a great trumpet, will apply equally should not pass away till all these things to the sending forth his messengers (or should be fulfilled, we feel ourselves com- apostles) with the gospel trumpet, to conpelled (with Dr. Doddridge) to apply this vert the world; and to sending forth the voice language, in the first place, to the destruc- of the archangel, and the trump of God, to tion of Jerusalem, though we feel no awaken the dead, and summons them to objection to its more distant reference to judgment. But that the words refer, in the final judgment, which double applica- their immediate aud primary sense, to the tion is quite in harınony with the typical former, as already mentioned, there can prophecies of the Old Testament. But be no reasonable doubt, from the following what then, it may be asked, can be in- words, “ This generation shall not pass tended by “the sign of the Son of man till all these things shall be fulfilled.”
NOTES. Ver. 51. Cut him asunder-this punishment has is, sorrow without true repentance; for gnashing of been confounded with being sawn asunder (Heb. teeth seems to imply the presence of evil passions. II. 27.) but means only, we apprehend, a severe scourging, such as shall * cut asunder" the flesh, as 18 some of the floggings of the West India Negroes CHAP. XXV. Ver, 6. Behold, the bridegroom to this day. heran
ou day, because the slaye thus punished is not cometh.-It appears to have been a custom among supposed to be killed, but to be assigned to a prison, the Greeks to conduct their new married couples Where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth; that home at night with torches and lamps :
[of the talents. made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; 13 Watch therefore, for ye know go ye out to meet him.
neither the day nor the hour wherein 7 Then all those virgins arose, and the Son of man cometh. (F) trimmed their lamps.
14 For the kingdom of heaven is 8 And the foolish said unto the as a man travelling into a far country, wise, Give us of your oil; for our who called his own servants, and delamps are gone out.
livered unto them his goods. 9 But the wise answered, saying, 15 And unto one he gave five taNot so; lest there be not enough for lents, to another two, and to another us and you : but go ye rather to them one; to every man according to his that sell, and buy for yourselves. several ability; and straightway took
10 And while they went to buy, the his journey. bridegroom came; and they that were 16 Then he that had received the five ready went in with him to the mar- talents went and traded with the same, riage : and the door was shut.
and made them other five talents. 11 Afterward came also the other 17 And likewise he that had virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. received two, he also gained other
12 But he answered and said, two. Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 18 But he that had received one,
and there being then no time to pre (F) Ver. 1-13. The parable of the ten pare, the wise virgins only were in circum: virgins. — “ Thus our Lord, in different stances to join the procession. parables, compares the dispensation of they that were ready went in with him to redemption to a marriage feast. Of all the the marriage; and," as is the custom 01 attendants upon the marriage procession, these occasions, in order to keep out the he selects ten, five of whom deserved the crowd, “ the door was shut.” I'he othe name of wise, and the other five are deno- virgins came afterwards, but were deniet minated foolish. The marriage takes entrance, as persons unknown to the mas place in the night, at the house of the ter of the feast. bride's father, where the bridegroom is “ The application of this to the case o expected about midnight. These persons, those who wear a Christian profession, an here called virgins, having provided their pass for the friends of the Redeemer, is na lamps, wait together at some proper rest- difficult; and the pointed and most whole ing place, expecting the arrival of the bride- some caution which it contains, to be read groom and his friends, who may be sup- for the coming of Christ, at death an posed to be coming from an adjacent town, judgment, has been felt by thousands. D While the bridegroom delayed, all the ten any ask, How may we know what is re virgins lay down to rest. But about mid- quisite in our preparation to meet the grea night, the bridegroom is seen at a distance Judge ? we may say, these things ar with his friends, and it is announced, “Be- essential — Repentance towards God, an hold, the bridegroom cometh! go ye out faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which, when to meet him." Then all those virgins arose ever it is genuine, produces, thirdly, tha and trimmed their lamps ; but the foolish holiness without which no mau shall se (then too late) discovered their mistake, the Lord.'." (Acts xx. 21; Heb. xii. 14. that they had forgotten to bring oil with ("Pard's Reflections, p. 71, 72.)
NOTES-Chap. XXV. Con. “ Along the streets the new-made brides are led, Ver. 10. And the door was shut.-The late Mission With torches flaming, to the nuptial bed."
ary Ward mentions being once present on such a
Iliad, xviii, 569. occasion, when many of the circumstances agred So also the Roman ladies; and a like custom pre. with those in the parable, particularly the la: vails in Persia and the East Indies to the present After the bridegroom * went into the house, the do time. See Orient. Cust. No. 418. The wicks of the was immediately shut, and guarded by Sepoys. lamps used on these occasions in the Indies, are only (says Mr. W.) and others expostulated with th rags, very tightly pressed into a copper mould, and doorkeepers, but in vain." Orient. Lit. No, 1231. these are carried in one hand, and a similar vessel Ver. 13. Wherein the son, &c.-This last clau with oil in the other hand, with which they fre. of the verse is wanting in many MSS. and version quently wet the rags. Ibid, No. 1214. Also Orient. but the sense is certainly implied. Lit. 1230.
Ver. 14. For the kingdom, &c.-Some words mu Ver. 8. Gone out-Marg. “Going out."
bere be necessarily supplied; instead of those i Ver. 9. Go....to them that sell and buy.-See serted by our translators in Italic, Drs. Doddr.al Isa. lv.), &c.
Camp. supply " the Son of man!"
of the talents. vent and digged in the earth, and hid one talent came and said, Lord, I his lord's money.
knew thee, that thou art an hard man, 19 After a long time the lord of reaping where thou hast not sown, and those servants cometh, and reckoneth gathering where thou hast not strawed: with them.
25 And I was afraid, and went and 20 And so he that had received five hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there talents came and brought other five thou hast that is thine. talents, saving, Lord, thou deliveredst 26 His lord answered and said unto unto me five talents : bebold, I have him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, gained beside them five talents more. thou knewest that I reap where I
21 His lord said unto him, Well sowed not, and gather where I have done, thou good and faithful servant: not strawed : thou bast been faithful over a few 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have things, I will make thee ruler over put my money to the exchangers, and many thiags : enter thou into the joy then at my coming I should have re. of thy lord.
ceived mine own with usury. 22 He also that had received two 28 Take therefore the talent from talents came and said, Lord, thou de- him, and give it unto him which hath liveredst unto me two talents : bebold, ten talents. I have gained two other talents beside 29 For unto every one that hath them.
shall be given, and he shall have 23 His lord said unto him, Well abundance : but from him that hath done, good and faithful servant; thou not, shall be taken away even that hast been faithful over a few things, I which he hath. will make thee ruler over many things : 30 And cast ye the unprofitable enter thou into the joy of thy lord. servant into outer darkness. : there shall
24 Then he which had received the be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(G)
EXPOSITION. (G) Ver. 14 — 30. The parable of the will not be so much in proportion to talents. This parable, without strainiugit the talents bestowed as according to to support any peculiar system, clearly the improvement which we are enabled teaches the following important points. to make of them. Every talent improved, 1. That all the talents we possess, howe though it were but one, will be graciously ever natural we may consider them, are rewarded by him, in whom are united the derived froin God, the author of our characters of our Redeemer and our Judge. being; and to deny this, is nothing short Lastly, that all pretensions to merit, like of Atheism. 2. That these talents are those of the unprofitable servant, will not bestowed in great variety upon mankind, only be rejected, but be resented as arro, some possessing ten (i. e. many) times gant and unfounded. This man not only the abilities and advantages of others, both neglected to improve his talent, but made natural and acquired. 3. That these a merit of the care which he had taken to talents, and the improvement of them, must preserve without improving it; and at the be accounted for to him, from whom they same time reflected upon his Lord as a were received. 4. That no excuse will be hard master, because he expected such im. admitted for the non-employment even of provement. And thus it is with all the a single talent: much less such an ex- pretenders to human merit. Vain and precuse as reflects upon the character of sumptuous creatures ! they think to lay the our great Benefactor. 5. That the re- Almighty under obligation by the mere Wards which the great Judge bestows, performance of their duties; and not only
NOTES. Ver. 21. Well done.-Dr. Doddr, says" the original judgment. See Rom. ix. 14, &c. word has a peculiar force and energy, far beyond Ver. 26. Thou wicked and slothful servant. — what I can express in English. It was used by The word used throughout this chapter for servant, anditors, or spectators, to express the highest ap means primarily a slave, and such were often adplause." It answers to Euge! in Latin, and Bravo! vanced to the office of stewards.
Ver. 27. To the exchangers-Doddr. « Bankers." Ver. 24. Gathering where thor hast not straned - With usury - Doddr. “ Interest." When that that is, strewed, or scattered." The charge implies, interest became oppressive, it became a crime, that God is upreasonable in his demands, unjust in