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ut a new kingdom. In that, God I all ac mem

Parable of the


Marriage of the King's Son,

destroyed those murderers-and in what vast numbers Ver. 1.14. PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE OF THE did they do it! and burned up their city. Ah ! JernKrxe's Son. This is a different parable from that of salem, once “the city of the Great King" (Psalm the Great Supper,'in Luke, 14. 15, &c., and is recorded | 48. 2), and even up almost to this time (ch. 6. 35); but by Matthew alone. 2. The kingdom of heaven is like now it is "their city"- just as our Lord, a day or two zato a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. after this, said of the temple, where God had so long

Is this arable.' as TRENCI admirably remarks, dwelt. “Behold your house is left unto you deso've see how the Lord is revealing Himself in everlate" (ch. 23. 38)! Cf. Luke, 19. 43. 44. 8. The wedding elegrer light as the central Person of the kingdom, is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthyAving here tar plainer hint than in the last parable for how should those be deemed worthy to sit down of the nobility of His descent. There He was indeed at His table who had affronted Him by their traat the Son, the only and beloved one (Mark, 12. 6), of ment of His gracious invitation? 9. Go va therefore the Householder: but here His race is royal, and He | into the highways-the great outlets and thorough

fares, whether of town or country, where human appears as Himsell at once the King and the King's

beings are to be found, and as many as ye shall find bid 808. (Psalm 72. 1.) The last was a parable of the


a nd Christ is rather the last to the marriage-1.e., just as they are. 10. So those serand createst of the line of its prophets and teachers vants went out into the highways, and gathera

| all as many as they found, both bad and good-i.e., withthan the Founder of a new kingdom. In that, God appears demanding something from men; in this, a out making any distinction between onen parable of grace, God appears more as giving some- and the morally correct. The Go thing to them. Thus, as often, the two complete each in Jews, Samaritans, and outlving other: this taking up the matter where the other | Thus far the parable answer to the

Supper,' Luke, 14. 16, &c. But the distinguishing left it.' The marriage" of Jehovah to His people lerael was fauniliar to Jewish ears, and in Psalm 45. feature of our parable is what follows

son of the king came in to see the guests. Solemn expression

sa this marriage is seen consummated in the Person of the king came in to see the onesta Mesainh THE KIng.' Himself addressed as 'God' | this, of that omniscient inspection of

disciple of the Lord Jesus from age to age, in virtue of and yet as anointed by His GOD' with the oil of

apparent contra- which his true character will hereafter be judicially riadness above His fellows. These apparent contradictories (see on Luke, 20. 41-44) are resolved in this proclaimed! he saw there a man parable- and Jesus, in claiming to be this King's Son, is the judgment of individuale * Himsel Heir to all that the prophets and sweet this latter part of the parable: the first nart te B TS of Israel held forth as to Jehovah's ineffably sents rather national judgment which has

Judgment. Which had not ons Begr and endearing union to His people. But observe / wedding garment. The lanma

ne ngase bere is drawn from ome into view the following remarkable passage in Zephaniah

the following remarkable nae carefully. that THE BRIDE does not come into view

h certain 7. 8:-"Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord in this parable: its design being to teach certain

God for the day of the Lord is at hand; for the Lord truths under the figure of guests at a wedding feast,

hath prepared & sacrifice, He hath bid His guests

hath prepared & sacrifice. HA und the want of a wedding garment, which would

it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's pot have harmonised with the introduction of the And it shall come to pass in the da

ing all sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the Eride. 3. And sent forth his servants-representing all

king's children, and all such as are clothed with preachers of the Gospel, to call them that were bidden

strange, apparel."


The custom in

The custom in the East of pre-bere meaning the Jews, who were "bidden,” from

ing festival garments (see Genesis, 45, 22; 2 Kings, the boat choice of them onwards through every sum- senting festival garments (see Cane

old lá. 22), even though not clearly proved, is certainly mons addressed to them by the prophets to hold

presupposed here. It undoubtedly means something themselves in readiness for the appearing of their

which they bring not of their own-for how could King to the wedding-or the marriage festivities,

and they they have any such dress who were gathered in from ben the preparations were all concluded. and they

the highways indiscriminately 2-but which they resuld not come-as the issue of the whole ministry of

cire as their appropriate dress. And what can that the Paptist. our Lord Himself, and His apostles ceive as their appropriata dra

I be but what is meant by putting on the Lord Jesus," tbereafter, too sadly showed. 4. my oxen and my fat-be but what is meant by

as "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS?" (See Psalm Lags are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the

fter 46. 13, 14.) Nor could such language be strange to

45. 13. 14.) Norcon marriage. This points to those Gospel calls after

I those in whose ears had so long resounded those Christ's death, resurrection, ascension, and effusion

words of prophetic joy: "I will greatly rejoice in of the Spirit, to which the parable could not directly | words of prophetic

strict the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He alinde, but when only it could be said, with strict

Cf. 1 Co


hath clothed me

hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He protriety. " that all things were ready.”

crificed hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as & rigthians. 5. 7. 8. * Christ our passover is sacrificed I hath covered m

bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as tous: therefore, let us keep the feast:" also John, I bridegroom deale

from la bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isaiah,

a bride adornath "I am the living bread which came down from

u live 61. 10). 12. Friend, how camest thou in hither not having herren: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live 61. 10). 12 Prie

is my flesh. I a wedding garment? And he was speechless-being selftoy ever and the bread which I will give is my flesh, I a wedding

a world.” hich I will give for the life of the world." 5. But condemned 13th

5. But condemned. 13. Then said the king to the servants-the

at their ways. one to his farm, angene ministers of divine Tengeance las in ch 13. 41). ths made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, angelic mi

took his Bind him band and foot-putting it out of his power

Bind him hand bother to his merchandise : 6. And the remnant took his

them.' resist, and take him my, and cast him into outer a Senate, and entreated them spitefully-'insulted them,' resist. and

ness. So ch. & 1: ud a them. These are two different classes of

The expression is empo

- The dark unbelievers: the one simply indifferent : the other

Boutside.' To be outside a absolutely hostile-the one, contemptuous scorners: 1 all-or in the

the aguage of Revelation. 22. 16, to

without the besedly city, excluded from its the other, bitter persecutors. 7. But when the king-the Great God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Duptial

nuptial and ademe festivities-is sad enou Christ, heard thereof, he was wroth-at the affront put itself with

bing else. But to find th both on His Son, and on Himself who had deigned to pot invite them, and be seuy, invite them, and he sent forth his armies. The Rojo mind just as the Assy-inte

om.. 11 its p ay are here styled God's armies, just as the Assy-inta

OM" Isaiah, 10. 5), as this He is styled "the rod of His anger" (Isaiah, 10. 5), as this

the retribution here Ling the executors of His judicial vengeance. and

terity at the toate 57


said, with strict the Lord prophetic joy: "I will readed those



werent classes of ness. So ch

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deimed to not only the from the brightness

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Denunciation of the

Scribes and Pharisees. that region and condition, shall be weeping and gnash-8. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Mastering of teeth. See on ch. 13. 42. 14. For many are called, your Guide, your Teacher.' 9. And call no man your but few are chosen. So ch. 19. 30. See on ch. 20. 16. father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which io

16-40. ENTANGLING QUESTIONS ABOUT TRIBUTE, in heaven, &c. To construe these injunctions into & THE RESURRECTION, AND THE GREAT COMMAND condemnation of every title by which church rulers MENT, WITH THE REPLIES, Mark, 12. 13-34; Luke, may be distinguished from the flock which they rule, 20. 20-40.) For the exposition, see on Mark, 12. 13-34. is virtually to condemn that rule itself; and accord

41-46. CHRIST BAFFLES THE PHARISEES BY A ingly the same persons do both-but against the whole QUESTION ABOUT DAVID AND MESSIAH. (=Mark, strain of the New Testament and sound Christian 12. 35-37; Luke, 20. 41-44.) For the exposition, see on | judgment. But when we have guarded ourselves Mark, 12. 36-37.

against these extremes, let us see to it that we retain CHAPTER XXIII.

the full spirit of this warning against that itch for Ver. 1-39. DENUNCIATION OF THE SCRIBES AND ecclesiastical superiority which has been the bane and PHARISEES-LAMENTATION OVER JERUSALEM, AND | the scandal of Christ's ministers in every age. (On FAREWELL TO THE TEMPLE. (=Mark, 12. 38-40 : the use of the word "Christ" here, see on ch. 1. 1.) Luke, 20. 45-47.) For this long and terrible discourse 11. But he that is greatest among you shall be your serwe are indebted, with the exception of a few verses vant. This plainly means, 'shall show that he is so in Mark and Luke, to Matthew alone. But as it is by becoming your servant; as in ch. 20. 27, compared only an extended repetition of denunciations uttered with Mark, 10. 44. 12. And whosoever shall exalt himnot long before at the table of & Pharisee, and re- self shall be abased. See on Luke, 18. 14. What folcorded by Luke (11. 37-64), we may take both together lows was addressed more immediately to the scribes in the exposition.

and Pharisees. 13. But woe unto you, scribes and Phari. Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees (v. 1-36). sees, hypocrites ! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven The first twelve verses were addressed more imme- against men. Here they are charged with shuttino diately to the disciples, the rest to the scribes and heaven against men: in Luke, 11. 62, they are charged Pharisees. 1. Then spake Jesus to the multitude-'to with what was worse, taking away the key-"the key the multitudes,' and to his disciples, 2. Saying. The of knowledge"-which means, not the key to open scribes and the Pharisees sit. The Jewish teachers knowledge, but knowledge as the only key to open stood to read, but sat to expound the Scriptures, as heaven. A right knowledge of God's revealed word will be seen by comparing Luke, 4. 16 with u. 20. in is eternal life, as our Lord says (John, 17. 3, and 6 39): Moses' seat-i.e., as interpreters of the law given by but this they took away from the people, substituting Moses. 3. All therefore-1.e., all which, as sitting in for it their wretched traditions. 14. Woe unto you. that seat and teaching out of that laro, they bid you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye devour widows' observe, that observe and do. The word "therefore is houses, &c. Taking advantage of the helpless condi. thus, it will be seen, of great importance, as limiting | tion and confiding character of "widows," they conthose injunctions which He would have them obey to trived to obtain possession of their property, while what they fetched from the law itself. In requiring by their "long prayers" they made them believe they implicit obedience to such injunctions, He would were raised far above "filthy lucre." So much have them to recognise the authority with which greater damnation" awaits them. What a life-like they taught over and above the obligation of the law description of the Romish clergy, the true successors itself-an important principle truly ; but He who of those scribes! 15. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharidenounced the traditions of such teachers (ch. 16. 3) sees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one cannot have meant here to throw His shield over proselyte-from heathenism. We have evidence of these. It is remarked by WEBSTER & WILKINSON this in JOSEPHUS. and when he is made, ye make him that the warning to beroare of the scribes is given by two-fold more the child of hell than yourselves-conMark and Luke without any qualification; the charge

demned, for the hypocrisy he would learn to practice, to respect and obey them being reported by Matthew both by the religion he left and that he embraced. alone, indicating for whom this Gospel was especially 16. Woe unto you, ye blind guides. Striking expression written, and the writer's desire to conciliate the Jews. this of the ruinous effects of erroneous teaching 4. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, Our Lord, here and in some following verses, conand lay them on men's shoulders : but they themselves demns the subtle distinctions they made as to the will not move them-"touch them not" (Luke, 11, 46), sanctity of oaths, distinctions invented only to prowith one of their fingers--referring not so much to the mote their own avaricious purposes. which say, Who irksomeness of the legal rites, though they were irk soever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing-he has some enough (Acts, 16. 10), as to the heartless rigour incurred no debt, but whosoever shall swear by the gold with which they were enforced, and by men of shame of the temple-meaning not the gold that adorned the less inconsistency. 5. But all their works they do for temple itself, but the Corban, set apart for sacred to be seen of men. Whatever good they do, or zeal uses (see on ch. 16. 5), he is a debtor!-ie., it is no they show, has but one motive-human applause. longer his own, even though the necessities of a parent they make broad their phylacteries--strips of parch might require it. We know who the successors of ment with Scripture-texts on them, worn on the fore these men are. but whosoever sweareth by the gift that head, arm, and side, in time of prayer and enlarge

is upon it, he is guilty. It should have been rendered. the borders of their garments - fringes of their upper “he is a debtor," as in . 16. 19. Ye fools, and blind! garments (Numbers, 16. 37-40). 6. And love the upper for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sancti. most rooms. The word "room" is now obsolete in the fileth the gifti (See Exodus, 29. 37.) 20-22. Whoso theresense here intended. It should be the uppermost fore shall swear by the altar, &c. See on eh. 6. 33-37. place,' ie, the place of highest honour. at feasts, and 23. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for the chief seats in the synagogues. See on Luke, 14. 7. 8. ye pay tithe of mint and anise-rather, 'dill,' as in mar7. And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, gin, and cummin. In Luke (11. 42) it is "and rue, and Rabbi, Rabbi. It is the spirit rather than the letter of all manner of herbs.” They grounded this practice this that must be pressed: though the violation of the on Leviticus, 27. 30, which they interpreted rigidly. letter, springing from spiritual pride, has done in Our Lord purposely names the most trifling products calculable evil in the Church of Christ. The reitera- of the earth, as examples of what they punctiliously tion of the word "Rabbi” shows how it tickled the exacted the tenth of, and have onnitted the weightier ear and fed the spiritual pride of those ecclesiastics. matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. In Luke

Denunciation of the

Scribes and Pharisees. 11. 42) it is "judgment, mercy, and the love of God" | children of them that killed the prophets, convicting - the expression being probably varied by our Lord themselves daily of as exact & resemblance in spirit Himself on the two different occasions. In both His and character to the very classes over whose deeds reference is to Micah, 6. 6-8, where the prophet makes they pretended to mourn, as child to parent. In all acceptable religion to consist of three elements- Luke, 11. 44, our Lord gives another turn to this figure ** doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly of a grave: “Ye are as graves which appear not, and with our God :" which third element pre-supposes the men that walk over them are not aware of them." and comprehends both the "faith" of Matthew and As one might unconsciously walk over a grave conthe "love" of Luke. See on Mark, 12. 29, 32, 33. The cealed from view, and thus contract ceremonial desame tendency to merge greater duties in less besets filement, so the plausible exterior of the Pharisees even the children of God: but it is the characteristic | kept people from perceiving the pollution they conof hypocrites. these ought ye to have done, and not tr tracted from coming in contact with such corrupt leave the other undone. There is no need for one set characters. 33. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how ef duties to jostle out another; but it is to be care- can ye escape the damnation of hell? In thus, at the fully noted that of the greater duties our Lord says. end of His ministry, recalling the words of the Bap- Ye ought to have done" them, while of the lesser Hetist at the outset of his, our Lord would seem to merely says, “Ye ought not to leave them undone." | intimate that the only difference b 34. Ye blind guides, which strain at a goat. The proper demnation now and then was, that now they were rendering-as in the older English translations, and ripe for their doom, which they were not then. 34. perbaps our own as it came from the translators Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, bande-evidently is, 'strain out' It was the custom, and scribes. The I here is emphatic: 'I am sending.'

Y TRENCH, of the stricter Jews to strain their | i.e., 'am about to send.' In Luke, 11. 49, the variawine, vinegar, and other potables through linen or |tion is remarkable: "Therefore also said the wisdom baze lest unawares they should drink down some | of God. I will send them," &c. What precisely is little unclean insect therein, and thus transgress | meant by "the wisdom of God" here, is somewhat (Leviticus, 11. 20, 23, 41, 42) - just as the Budhists do difficult to determine. To us it appears to be simply bow in Ceylon and Hindostan--and to this custom of an announcement of a purpose of the Divine Wisdom. theirs our Lord here refers. and swallow a camel- | in the high style of ancient prophecy, to send a last the largest animal the Jews knew, as the "gnat" was set of messengers whom the people would reject, the smallest: both were by the law unclean. 25. with and rejecting, would fill up the cup of their iniquity. in they are full of extortion. In Luke (11, 39) the same But, whereas in Luke it is 'I, the Wisdom of God, sord is rendered "ravening." i.e., rapacity.' 26. will send them,' in Matthew it is 1, Jesus, am sendThon blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within ing them; language only befitting the one Sender of the ep and platter, that the outside of them may be clean all the prophets, the Lord God of Israel now in the als In Luke (11 40) it is, "Ye fools, did not he that flesh. They are evidently Evangelical messengers, Grade that which is without make that which is but called by the familiar Jewish names of "prowithin also "- He to whom belongs the outer life, I pbets, wise men, and scribes," whose counterparts

od of right demands its subjection to Himself, is the | were the inspired and gifted servants of the Lord ioner man less His?' A remarkable example this of Jesus; for in Luke (11.49) it is prophets and apostles.” our Lord's power of drawing the most striking illustra- ( unto the blood of Zac tions of great truths from the most familiar objects slew between the temple and the altar. As there is no and incidents in life. To these words, recorded by record of any fresh murder answering to this descripLake. He adds the following, involving a principle of I tion, probably the allusion is not to any recent in mense value: "But rather give alms of such things murder, but to 2 Chronicles, 24. 20-22, as the last reas ye have, and behold, all things are clean unto you" | corded and most suitable case for illustration. And Lake, IL 41). As the greed of these hypocrites was as Zacharias' last words were, "The Lord require it." one of the most prominent features of their character so they are here warned that of that generation it Luke, 18. 14), our Lord bids them exemplify the oppo | should be required. 36. Verily I say unto you, All gite character, and then their outside, ruled by this, these things shall come upon this generation. As it was Jual be beantiful in the eye of God, and their meals only in the last generation of them that the iniquity would be eaten with clean bands, though never so l of the Amorites was full” (Genesis, 16. 16), and then foaled with the business of this worky world. (See the abominations of ages were at once completely Eclesiastes. 9. 7.) 27. Woe unto you, scribes and Phari. I and awfully avenged, so the iniquity of Israel was

A hypocrites ! for ye are like whited (or 'white- allowed to accumulate from age to age till in that wahed") sepulchres (cf. Acts, 23. 3). The process of generation it came to the full, and the whole colwhite-washing the sepulchres, as LIGHTFOOT says, lected vengeance of Heaven broke at once over its Fas performed on a certain day every year, not for devoted head. In the first French Revolution the

erronial cleansing, but, as the following words same awful principle was exemplified, and ChristenBees rather to imply, to beautify them. which indeed dom has not done with it yet. apar beatiful outward, but are within full of dead men's Lamentation over Jerusalem, and Farnoell to the bou, ed of all mcleanness. What & powerful way | Temple (v. 37-39). 37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that of conveying the charge, that with all their fair show killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto their hearts were full of corruption! (Cf. Psalm 5. 9; 1 thee, &c. How ineffably grand and melting is this Romaks. 3. 13.) But our Lord, stripping off the figure, apostrophe ! It is the very heart of God pouring it Dert bolds up their iniquity in naked colours. Where self forth through human flesh and speech. It is this fare re be witnesses into yourselves, that ye are the chil- | incarnation of the innermost life and love of Deity. dren of them which killed the prophets-i.e., 'ye be wit- pleading with men, bleeding for them, and ascending Desses that ye have inherited, and voluntarily served only to open His arms to them and win them back by yoarselves heirs to, the truth-hating, prophet-killing, the power of this Story of matchless love, that has spirit of your fathers,' Out of pretended respect and conquered the world, that will yet "draw all men bonow, they repaired and beautified the sepulchres unto Him," and beautify and ennoble Humanity of the prophets, and with whining hypocrisy said, itself! "Jerusalem" here does not mean the mere ** If we had been in their days, how differently should city or its inhabitants; nor is it to be viewed merely se bave treated these prophets?' while all the time as the metropolis of the nation, but as the centre of they were witnesses to theraselves that they were the their religious life," the city of their solemnities,

Lamentation over Jerusalem.

and Fare vell to the Temple. whither the tribes went up, to give thanks unto the blood of typical expiation was sprinkled on it and in name of the Lord," and at this moment it was full of front of it-called by the Jews the Shechinak, or the them. It is the whole family of God, then, which is Droelling, as being the visible pavilion of Jehovahbere apostrophized, by a name dear to every Jew, that glory, which Isaiah (ch. 6.) saw in vision, the recalling to him all that was distinctive and precious beloved disciple says was the glory of Christ (John, in his religion. The intense feeling that sought vent 12. 41). Though it was never visible in the second in this utterance comes out first in the redoubling temple, Haggai foretold that "the glory of that latter of the opening word_" Jerusalem, Jerusalem !” but, house should be greater than of the former (ch. 2. 9). next, in the picture of it which He draws-"that because "the Lord whom they sought was suddenly killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent to come to His temple" (Malachi, 3. 1). not in a mere unto thee!”-not content with spurning God's mes bright cloud, but enshrined in living Humanity ! sages of mercy, that canst not suffer even the mes. Yet brief as well as "sudden" was the manifestation sengers to live! When He adds, "How often would to be; for the words He was now uttering were to be I have gathered thee!” He refers surely to some-HIS VERY LAST within its precints. till ye shall say, thing beyond the six or seven times that He visited Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: ie.. and taught in Jerusalem while on earth. No doubt till those "Hosannas to the Son of David" with it points to the prophets," whom they killed ” to which the multitude had welcomed Him into the "them that were sent unto her," whom they "stoned." city-instead of "sore displeasing the chief prieste But whom would He have gathered so often? "Thee." and scribes" (ch. 21. 15)-should break forth from the truth-hating, mercy-spurning. prophet-killing Jeru. whole nation, as their glad acclaim to their onca salem-how often would I have gathered Thee! Com- pierced but now acknowledged Messiah. That such pare with this that affecting clause in the great a time will come is clear from Zechariah, 12. 10; ministerial commission, that repentance and re- | Romans, 11. 26; 2 Corinthians, 3. 15, 16, &c. In what mission of sins should be preached in His name sense they shall then "see Him, may be gathered among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem!" (Luke, from Zechariah, 2. 10-13; Ezekiel, 37. 23-28; 39. » 24. 47). What encouragement to the heart-broken at | 29, &c. their own long-continued and obstinate rebellion !

CHAPTER XXIV. But we have not yet got at the whole heart of this Ver. 1-51. CHRIST'S PROPHECY OF THE DESTRUCoutburst. I would have gathered thee, He says, TION OF JERUSALEM, AND WARNINGS SUGGESTED "even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her BY IT TO PREPARE FOR HIS SECOND COMING. = wings." Was ever imagery so homely invested with Mark, 13. 1-37; Luke, 21. 6-86.) For the exposition, such grace and such sublimity as this, at our Lord's see on Mark, 13. 1-37. touch? And yet how exquisite the figure itself-of

CHAPTER XXV. protection, rest, warmth, and all manner of conscious Ver. 1-13. PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINE. This well-being in those poor, defenceless, dependent little and the following parable are in Matthew alone. 1. creatures, as they creep under and feel themselves Then-at the time referred to at the close of the overshadowed by the capacious and kindly wing of preceding chapter, the time of the Lord's Second the mother-bird! If, wandering beyond hearing of Coming to reward His faithful servants and take her peculiar call, they are overtaken by a storm or vengeance on the faithless. Then shall the kingdom of attacked by an enemy, what can they do but in the heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their one case droop and die, and in the other submit to be lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. This suptorn in pieces? But if they can reach in time their plies a key to the parable, whose object is, in the place of safety, under the mother's wing, in vain will main, the same as that of the last parable-to illusany enemy try to drag them thence. For rising into trate the vigilant and expectant attitude of faith, in strength, kindling into fury, and forgetting herself respect of which believers are described as "they entirely in her young, she will let the last drop of that look for Him" (Hebrews, 9. 28), and "love Blis her blood be shed out and perish in defence of her appearing" (2 Timothy, 4.8). In the last parable it precious charge, rather than yield them to an enemy's was that of servants waiting for their absent Lord; talons. How significant all this of what Jesus is and in this it is that of virgin-attendants on & Bride, does for men! Under His great Mediatorial wing whose duty it was to go forth at night with lamps, would He have "gathered" Israel. For the figure, and be ready on the appearance of the Bridegroom see Deuteronomy, 32. 10-12; Ruth, 2. 12; Psalm 17. 8: to conduct the Bride to his house, and go in with 36. 7: 61. 4: 63. 7; 91. 4; Isaiah, 31. 6; Malachi, 4. 2. The | him to the marriage. This entire and beautiful ancient rabbins had a beautiful expression for pro change of figure brings out the lesson of the former selytes from the heathen-that they had 'come under parable in quite a new light. But let it be observed the wings of the Shechinah.' For this last word, see that, just as in the parable of the Marriage Supper. on v. 38. But what was the result of all this tender so in this-the Bride does not come into view at all and mighty love! The answer is, “And ye would in this parable; the Virgins and the Bridegroom holdDot,” O mysterious word! mysterious the resistance ing forth all the intended instruction: nor could of such patient Love-mysterious the liberty of self- believers be represented both as Bride and Bridal undoing! The awful dignity of the wil, as here ex- Attendants without incongruity. 2. And five of them pressed, might make the ears to tingle. 38. Behold, were wise, and five were foolish. They are not disyour house-the Temple, beyond all doubt: but their tinguished into good and bad, as TRENCH observes. bouse now, not the Lord's. See on ch. 22. 7. is left but into "wise" and "foolish"-just as in ch. 7. 25-97. anto you desolate-deserted;' i.e., of its Divine Inha-those who reared their house for eternity are disbitant. But who is that? Hear the next words: 39. tinguished into "wise" and "foolish builders;" beFor I say unto you-and these were His last words to cause in both cases a certain degree of good-will the impenitent nation: see opening remarks on Mark, towards the truth is assumed. To make any thing 13.-Ye shall not see me henceforth.What? Does of the equal number of both classes would, we think, Jesus mean that He was Himself the Lord of the be precarious, save to warn us how large a portion of temple, and that it became "deserted” when HE those who, up to the last, so nearly resemble those finally left it? It is even so. Now is thy fate sealed, that love Christ's appearing will be disowned by Him 0 Jerusalem, for the glory is departed from thee! when He comes. 3. They that were foolish took their That glory, once visible in the holy of holies, over lamps, and took no oil with them: 4. But the wise took the mercy-seat, when on the day of atonement the oil in their vessels with their lamps. What are these

Marabk of the


Te Virgins,

"lamps" and this " oil?" Many answers have been (Luke, 18. 8.1 6. And at midnight-.e., the time when kiven. But since the foolish as well as the wise took | the Bridegroom will be least expected; for "the day their lamps and went forth with them to meet the of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" bridesroom, these lighted lamps, and this advance & (1 Thessalonians, 6. 2), there was & cry made, Behold, catain way in company with the wise, must denote the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him-ie., Be that Christian profession which is common to all ready to welcome Him.' 7. Then all those virgins who bear the Christian name: while the insufficiency arose, and trimmed their lamps-the foolish virgins as of this without something else, of which they never well as the wise. How very long do both parties possessed themselves, shows that "the foolish” mean seem the same-almost to the moment of decision ! those who, with all that is common to them with real Looking at the mere form of the parable, it is evi. Christians, lack the essential preparation for meeting | dent that the folly of "the foolish" consisted not in Christ. Then, since the wisdom of "the wise" con- having no oil at all; for they must have had oil enough sisted in their taking with their lamps a supply of oil in their lamps to keep them burning up to this in their vessels, keeping their lamps burning till the moment: their folly consisted in not making provision Bridegroom came, and so fitting them to go in with against its exhaustion, by taking with their lamp an Him to the marriage-this supply of oil must mean oil-vessel wherewith to replenish their lamp from that inaand reality of grace which alone will stand | time to time, and so have it burning until the bridewhen He appeareth whose eyes are as a flame of fire. groom should come. Are we, then-with some even But this is too general; for it cannot be for nothing superior expositors--to conclude that the foolish vir. that this inward grace is here set forth by the fami gins must represent true Christians as well as the liar symbol of oil, by which the Spirit of all grace is so wise, since only true Christians have the Spirit; and constantly represented in Scripture. Beyond all that the difference between the two classes consists doubt, this was what was symbolised by that precious only in the one having the necessary watchfulness anointing oil with which Aaron and his sons were which the other wants ! Certainly not. Since the consecrated to the priestly office (Exodus, 30. 23-25, 30): parable was designed to hold forth the prepared and by the oil of gladness above His fellows" with which the unprepared to meet Christ at His coming, and Messiah was to be anointed (Psalm 46. 7; Hebrews, | how the unprepared might, up to the very last, be 18. even as it is expressly said, that "God giveth not confounded with the prepared-the structure of the the Spirit by measure unto Rim" (John, 3. 34); and paraole behoved to accommodate itself to this, by by the bowl full of golden oil, in Zechariah's vision, making the lamps of the foolish to burn, as well as which, receiving its supplies from the two olive-trees those of the wise, up to a certain point of time, and ou either side of it. poured it through seven golden only then to discover their inability to burn on for pipes into the golden lamp-stand to keep it con- want of a fresh supply of oil. But this is evidently tinually burning bright (Zechariah, 4.)-for the pro- just a structural derice; and the real difference bepbet is expressly told that it was to proclaim the tween the two classes who profess to love the Lord's treat truth, “Not by might. nor by power, but by appearing is a radical one-the possession by the one NT SPIRIT, saith the Lord of hosts (sball this temple class of an enduring principle of spiritual life, and be builth Who art thou, O great mountain (of op I the want of it by the other. 8. And the foolish said position to this issue)? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone become , plain (or, be swept out of the way), and out-rather, as in the margin, are going ont;' for oil ke shall bring forth the head-stone (of the temple will not light an extinguished lamp, though it will with shoutings (crying). GRACE, GRACE unto it." keep & burning one from going out. Ah! now at This supply of oil, then, representing that inward length they have discovered not only their own folly. trace which distinguishes the wise, must denote, but the wisdom of the other class, and they do homage more particularly, that "supply of the Spirit of Jesus to it. They did not perhaps despise them before, Christ," which, as it is the source of the new spiritual but they thought them righteous overmuch; now He at the first, is the secret of its enduring character. they are forced, with bitter mortification, to wish Everything short of this may be possessed by "the they were like them. 9. But the wise answered, Not foolah," while it is the possession of this that makes so); lest there be not enough for us and you. The words

the wise" to be "ready" when the Bridegroom ap- "Not so," it will be seen, are not in the original, pears, and it to "go in with Him to the marriage." where the reply is very elliptical-'In case there be Just so in the parable of the Sower, the stony ground not enough for us and you.' A truly wise answer hearers, “having no deepness of earth" and "no root this. And what, then, if we shall share it with you? in themselves," though they spring up and get even Why, both will be undone.' but go ye rather to them into ear, never ripen, while they in the good ground that sell, and buy for yourselves. Here again it would bear the precious grain. 5. While the bridegroom be straining the parable beyond its legitimate design larried. So in ch. 24. 48, "My Lord delayeth His | to make it teach that men may get salvation even coming." and so Peter says sublimely of the ascended | after they are supposed and required to have it Saviour, "Whom the heaven must receive until the already gotten. It is merely a friendly way of retimes of restitution of all things" (Acts, 3. 21, and minding them of the proper way of obtaining the

. unke, 19. 11, 12). Christ "tarries," among other needed and precious article, with a certain reflection reasons, to try the faith and patience of His people. on them for having it now to seek. Also, when the they all sumbered and slept-the wise as well as the parable speaks of "selling" and "buying" that valu. loolish. The word "slumbered" signifies, simply. able article, it means simply, 'Go. get it in the only

boddol,' or 'became drowsy: while the word "slept" legitimate way.' And yet the word "buy" is signifiis the usual word for 'lying down to sleep:' denoting cant: for we are elsewhere bidden "buy wine and two stages of spiritual declension-first, that half.milk without money and without price," and "buy Involuntary lethargy or drowsiness which is apt to of Christ gold tried steal over one who falls into inactivity; and then a Revelation, 3. 18). Now, since what we pay the dewanacions, deliberate yielding to it, after a little vain manded price for becomes thereby our own property,

asistance. Such was the state alike of the wise and the salvation which we thus take gratuitously at Ibe foolish virgins, even till the cry of the Bride | God's hands, being bought in His own sense of that groom's approach awoke them. So likewise in the | word, becomes ours thereby in inalienable possession. Tarable of the Importunate Widow: "When the Son (Cf. for the language, Proverbs, 23. 23; ch. 13. 44.) 10. of Dan cometh shall le fipd faith on the earth" | And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and

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