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And to be ready at whatever hour he shall come. 531
Master in heaven ; and, that you may approve secto your diligence and fidelity to bim, let your loins
cxiv, be still girded up, in a posture for active service, Luke
and your lamps be continually burning in a rea- XII. 35. 36 And ye your. diness to receive him ;) And be you, on the 36 selves like unto men that wait for their whole, like men in a waiting posture, who, as Lord, when he will good servants left with a proper charge, attendreturn from the wed- ing to the work appointed them, wait for their ding, that when he Lord's return from a marriage feast, or any cometh and knocketh, they may open unto other late entertainment; that whenever he comes him immediately, and knocks at the door, they may immediately
open it to him, and not be surprised in any dis37 Blessed are those order. Happy are those servants, whom, when 37 servants whom the their Lord comes, he shall find thus watching for Lord when he cometh shail find watching :
bim: and happy also will you be, if this shall verily, I say unto vou, be your case . for verily, I say unto you, So conthat he shall gird him- descending is your Lord and Master, that, if self, and make thein to
you sit down to meat, and answer this character, he will reward you as will come forth and graciously as if some great man, absent on such serve them.
an occasion as I have supposed, finding bis ser-
and cause them to sit down to supper, and should
are those faithful servants. 39 And this know, But do not think it is enough, if you would 39 that if the good man then be happy, to make some sudden preparation known upon notice of his coming ; for the day of the
b Let your loins be girded up, and your Our Lord might probably instance in this, lamps burning,] As the Easterns wore long because marriage feasts were generally the garments, it was necessary that, when they most splendid, and so prolonged to the lat. had any thing to do which required them est hours. to exert their strength or agility, they d And should come forth himself, and should tuck them up and gird them close; wail upon them.) It is true (as Grotius a practice to which there are frequent re. and many others o'surve) that the Roman ferences, both in the Old Testament and masters did sometim s, during the Saturthe New. (See I Kings xviii. 16. 2 Kings nalia, practise some condescensions like iv, 29. Job xxxviii. 3. Jer. i, 17. Eph. these to their slavis; but that was, pervi. 14. and 1 Pet. i. 13.)--TV at the lamps haps, chiefly for their own diversion ; and should be found extinguished, might be an it is dithcuitto judge, how far Christ's heara inconvenient circumstance to the master, ers might be acquainted with it ; at least and would be a demonstration of the ser- the words would be very intelligible withpant's idleness.—The expressions, taken out supposing any such reference. together, may intiinate the care we should In the second or third watch of the take to inform ourselves in our duty, and night.] This included all the time froin the resolution, with whi h we should apply nine in the evening to three in the morning: to the performance of it.
and was, as if he had said, whether he c From a marriage feast.) There is no come early or late. particular mystery in this circumstance. Yok Y..
Son of man
The faithful servant shall be greatly rewarded. SECT. Lord so comes as a thief in the night ; and you known what hour the cxiv. know this, that there is none so negligent and thief would come, ho
, Luke stupid, where a house is plundered, but if the and not have suffered XII. 39. house-keeper, who is entrusted with the care of it, bis house to be broken
had been aware at that hour the thief would have through,
not when the thief will come, he may not find
for at such a season as you think not of, and may rcady also: for the least of all expect it, the Son of man cometh f;
at an hour when yo and as the day of final judgment will be a sur- think not. prise to the world in general, so the dav, when particular persons are called out of this life, is often a sudden thing, and too frequently a fatal surprise to the persons most intimately concerned in it. (Compare Mat. xxiv. 43, 44. sect.
clxiii.). 41 Peter then said unto him, Lord, dost thou speak 41 Then Peter said
unto him, Lord, speakthis awakening purable s to us thine apostles in
est thou this parable particular? or is it also unto all in general, that unto us, or what thou hast been saying is directed ? And the Lord said in reply, Though none are
said, who then is that entirely unconcerned, yet you my ministers are faithful and wise stewmore peculiarly to apply it to yourselves, and to ard, whom his Lord consider me as asking each of you, Who is that shall make ruler over faithful and prudent steward", [whom] his Lord his household, to give
them their portion of shall set over all the servants of his family', to meat in due season ?
even to all ?
42 And the Lord
f At such a season as you think not, the nify particularly the similitude of the Lord Son of man cometh.] The coming of the Son and his servants, or may extend to the of man often signifies his providential inter- whole of the discourse. position for the destruction of Jer, salem ; h Who is that faithful and prudent stex(see Mat. x. 23, nole %, p. 396.) ard?] This interrogation had a lively force But here I think it cannot be taken in such to turn their thoughts inward, that each a sense, because our Lord speaks of an im- might ask himself, Whether he was the mediate reward to be bestowed on all faith- man? The Prussian version therefore (and ful servants, and an immediate punishment that English one which follows it so close) to be executed on all that were unfaithful; loses much of the spirit of the passage in and expressly declares this to be a matter rendering it, If where be any faithful stezof universal concern ; all which particulars ard, &c.have very little sense or propriety when i The servants of his family.) So I renapplied to the destruction of Jerusalem. It der Fepanud, which (as Elsner shews at must therefore be understood of his coming large, Observ. Vol. I. p. 235.) exactly anto remove them from the capacities of ser- swers to the Latin famulitium, all the service here, to give up their account. And, vants of a family, ; for which we have no if we suppose it to relate to death as well as one English word, any more than for judgment (which, by a consequence at least cilopi1zrov, which strictly signifies a deterit undoubtedly does,) it strongly intimates minute measure of wheat, but here is put his having such a dominion over the invisi- for all the daily food ; see Erasmus here.) ble world, that every soul removed into it By such a version the distinction between might be said to be fetched away by him. this and the 44th verse is set in a clearer Compare Rev. i. 18.
light than critics have generally given it. & This awakening parable.] It may sig. To be raised from the care of giving out
all that he hath.
The Son of man comes at an hour we think not of.
533 deal out to each of his domestics the stated allow- SECT.
cxiv. ance of food in its proper season? As the guilt of such an officer will be greater than that of common servant, if he prove negligent ; so the XII. 42.
reward of his fidelity will be proportionably 43 Blessed is that great. Peculiarly happy is that servant in so 43 servant,whom his Lord; eminent a station, whom his Lord at his arrival when he cometh, shall shall find thus employed in a faithful discharge of find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say the trust committed to him. Truly I say to 44
you, that he
station of honour and importance; as if a per-
(Compare Gen. xxxix. 4, 5, 45 But and if that
But, on the contrary, if that servant I spoke 45 servant say in his heart,
of before, as set over the family k, should My lord delayeth his
say coming; and shall be. his heart, My Lord delays his coming, so that I gin to beat the men- have nothing to apprehend from it; and, on that servants and maidens fuolish presumption, shall grow so indotent and
, and to be drunken: wanton, as to begin to beat and abuse the men
and maid-servants, and to eat and drink in a riot
ous and extravagant manner, so as to debauch 46 The lord of that [himself] with it : I assure you, that the lord 46 day when he looketh of that servant will come upon him in a day when not for bim, and at an he does not expect him, and in an hour which he hour when he is not a- is not aware of, and will scourge him with such ware, and will cut him severity, that he will even cut him asunder'; and, in sunder, and will appoint him his portion notwithstanding the profession he has made, God with the unbelievers. will appoint him his portion with the infidels m
food to the servants, to have the charge signification which is here given it by of the whole estate, was a noble prefer- our version, and generally answers to the ment.
Hebrew nini. Sce Exod. xxix. 17. Lev. k If that servant I spoke of before, &c.] i. 8. Ezek. xxiv. 4, Septuag. It is necessary thus to go back to ver. 42
m And appoint him his portion with infor the explication of this ; for it is most fidels.] It has been suggested to me by a evident, from the whole tenor of scripture, person of great worth and eminence, that that the sercant who at his Lord's coming a swy significs unfaithful; and that had has passed his account in an honourable infidelity, or the disbelief of the gospel, been manner will never afterwards be in danger referred to here, the word would have of incurring his displeasure.
been a715volwy. But I must beg leave to 1 Scourge him with such severity, that observe, that amicos does in several places he will even cut him asunder.] Dr. Whitby evidently- signify unbelieving : compare has so clearly proved this to be the sense of John xx. 27. 1 Cor. vii. 12–15. x. 27. orxolop.noli, that I am surprised that any xiv. 22-24. (where there is an express should since have coldiy rendered it, shall opposition in ver. 22 between atiçous and separate him from the rest. But this is one muszvou t); 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. 1 Tim. v.8. instance of many, in which the version of And I cannot but think that the spirit of 1727 has followed the Prussian Testament this tert is much better expressed by such in some of those parts of it which are the a rendering ; especially when the next verse least judicious.-I know not on what au- is compared with it, which shows that, thority it has been asserted that the word though this wicked servant shall have his may only signify confiscuting his estate. portion and abode with such (who, by the Wherever it, or any of its derivatives, way, had they not been unfaithful, would occur in the Septuagint, it has always the not have been unbelievers), yet his punish4 B 2
Where much is given, much will be required.
ments have been so much greater. XII. 47. And that servant, who, like him I have been 47 And that serrant speaking of, knew his Lord's will by a particular which ku ew bis lord's
and prepared not declaration of it 1, and, lisregarding the instruc- himself, neither did actions given him, did not keep himself readyo, nor cord ng to his will, set himself to do according to his will, shall have shali be beaten with
many siripes. the sorest punishment in Hicted on him, and be
beaten with many [stripes) p. (Compare Deut. 48 xxv. 2,3.) But he who, like the heathen, did 43 But he that knew not know the particulars of his duty by a clear not, and did commit
things worthy oi stripes revelation, and vet, sinning against that degree shall be beaten with of light be had, committed things which deserved few stripes For unto stripes, shall be beaten indeed, but with fewer given, of bim shall be
whomisvever much is and lighter [strokes) 9 than the other. For it much required : and to is a received maxim among men, and God will whom men have com.
a make it the rule of his final judgment, that much mitted much, of him
they wili ask the more. improvement shall be required from every one to whom much is given ; and where much is deposited, the more will be demanded in proportion to it. (Compare Numb. xv. 29, 30.)
ment shall be more grievous ; as there may be express message from his master, which he a great difference in the condition of criminals contradicts; and another who, though he confined in the same prison).
receive no such express message, yet falls n Knew his Lord's will by a particular into such instances of misbe'aviour as he declaration of it.] There is a force and cannot but hnor to be inconsistent with his propriety in these words beyond what is duty and oflice in general ; by which he usually observed. A servant without er. exposes bims It justly to some punisiment, press instruction, might know, that to beat though, other things being equal, he is iess his fello -v-servants, and plunge himself into criminal than the former. debauchery, would be offensive to his mas. p Shall be beaten with many stripes.) ter ; and he would therefore deserve some Scourging was a usual punishment for nogcorrection : but such a conduct in a servant, ligent servants; but I cannot find that hat to whom his master had committed some is properly called giving the baslinudo was particular charge, with suatuble instructions in use among the Jews, though s me supe for performing it, was most monstrous, and pose it to be referred to here - Breonius consequenily deserved severer punishment.
thinks that these words have a peculiar re• Did not keep himself ready.) So Mons. ference to the case of ministers, who have L'Enfant renders tbe word slop.coas, I such singular advantages for knoring Christ's suppose, to distinguish it from the following will; so that they will certainly be in the clause; and I follow him, though not with number of the most happy or the most mis out some hesitation. Perhaps both may be serable of mankind. May they seriously joined thus, Did not prepare or set hiinseif consider it, and rejoice with irembling in to do according to his will.-But since I those distinctions of their office; which will wrote this, I perceive a great emphasis in draw after them such solemn and weighty these words, which I did not before observe. Consequences ! The sense rises on that of the foregoing 4 Shall be beaten indeed, but with fever verse; as if our Lord bad said, “ Think strokes.] This strongly intimates that not, that I merely intend to forbid such ignorance will not entirely excuse any, who gross immoralities as drunkenness, riot, have neglected God's service, since they oppression, &c. but be assured, that sins might in general have known at least of omission, where there have been fair the main branches of their duty; as every opportunities of learning your duty, will servant may know in the main what kind expose you to the Divine correction.”- of conduct his master will approve, though The opposition here and in the nert verse some may be much more fully instructed is between a servant who receives an than others as to his particular pleasure.
Reflections on the faithful and unfaithful servant.
May our souls be awakened by these awful truths! and may sect. we be engaged to gird up the loins of our mind, to be sober, and cxiv. watch to the end ! (1 Peter i. 13.)
Ver. Great are our encouragements to diligence, on the one hand ; 35, 36 and, on the other, dreadful will be the punishment of our neglect. The time of our Lord's appearance is uncertain ; let us therefore 40
; always be ready; solicitous that, when he comes, he may find us so doing, as he has required ; living not to ourselves, but to him, and employing ourselves about that particular thing, whatsoever 43 it may be, which, all circumstances considered, we are verily persuaded, may most promote the great ends of life, and the important purposes of his glory.
How glorious are the rewards promised to such! How justly 42, 44 may they awaken our emulation ! He will prefer thein to stations of more honourable and important service. He will set them down 37 at his table, and minister (as it were) himself to their delight, bringing forth the choicest dainties of heaven, and spreading before them an eternal banquet. Lord, may we, through thy grace,
, be found worthy to taste of that supper! May the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne
feed us, and guide us to fountains of living water! (Rev, vii. 17.)
On the other hand, let us seriously consider the punishments to 45 be inflicted on the unfaithful servant. Let ministers, if such there are, who abandon themselves to a life of idleness and luxury; who stain their sacred character by intemperance; who proudly censure their brethren, and either call, or wish, for the secular arm to smite their fellow-servants, perhaps more faithful than themselves; let such hear and tremble. Their Lord may come in a very un- 46 expected hour ; (as indeed, when do such expect him ?) and what are the stripes they have given others, when compared with those which they shall themselves receive? stripes which shall cut them asunder, and pierce deep into their very souls! How much more tolerable will it be, even for the worst of Gentile sinners, than for such !
Let all who are in any measure distinguished by the gifts of the Divine bounty to them, or by their stations, whether in civil or sacred offices, attentively dwell on this great truth, so solemnly repeated again and again ; let them consider it with a view to their own account: To whomsoever much is given, of him will much be required. May Divine Grace so impress it on their 48 hearts, that they may be distinguished by present fidelity, and future rewards, in proportion to the difference, which Providence has already made in their favour! And may they never have reason to reflect with confusion and anguish on what is now their honour and their joy!