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These are not all Chrift's fervants, nor fo called; much lefs with an emphafis, his own fervants. No more can be included under this character here, than belong to the kingdom of heaven, the visible gofpel church ftate, the fabject of this parable; which does not confift of all mankind: Yea, even all the elect of God are not intended; for though they are the fervants of Chrift, and his own fervants, whom the father has given him, and he has purchased by his blood, and fubjects to himself by his grace; yet all that come under this character here, were not fuch; for one of them is reprefented as a wicked and flothful fervant, and to be justly caft into outer darkness; but the fervants of the man travelling into a far country, meaning Chrift, are the minifters of the gospel, who are, in a peculiar fenfe, the fervants of Chrift; and who, whether faithful or flothful, are, in a lively manner, described in this parable, which is a distinct parable from that which is deliver'd in the preceding part of this chapter; for as that gives an account of the feveral and different members of the vifible church, To this of the feveral and different minifters in it; and being fpoken to the difciples, was an inftruction, direction, and caution to them, and not only to them, but is fo to all the minifters of word in fucceeding ages, mem
accoumade IOS 18:25
the time of the
Chrift went 101: A 2: COUETT when he afcence: 23 gifts for men, and gave ce from the unequa, cipravciSONS TEXT given to some more, 20 IS ON which perfectly agree wimpe Now there may be where grace 25 if they are to be called grace, CRUES given; yet they are no: given to alt and much less unto falvation; for have these and be damn'd. See Matt 22, 23. 1 Cor. xiii. 1, 2. And therefore,
II. It is not to be established from henc that man has a power prove the ftrc
of fufficient grace given him, and by his improvement, procure eternal happiness to himself; fince fuch a ftack of grace is not defigned by the ralents; nor is it either implanted or improved by man; nor does the parable fuggeft, that men, by their improvement of the talents committed to them, do, or can procure eternal happiness: Good and faithful fervants are indeed commended by Christ, and he graciously promifes great things to them; which are not proportioned to their deserts; for whereas they have been faithful over a few things, he pro mises to make them rulers over many things, and bids them enter into the joy of their Lord, into the joy which he of his grace and goodnefs had provided for them, and not which they had merited and procured for themfelves.
III. It is not to be inferred from hence, that true grace once given or implanted, may be taken away or loft; for the parable fpeaks not of what is wrought and implanted in men, but of goods and talents, meaning gifts bestowed on them, committed to their truft, and received by them; which may be loft, or taken away, or be wrapped up in a napkin, and lie ufelefs by them; when true grace is the incorruptible feed which
Vid. Whitby, p, 3, 175.
never dies, but always remains that good part which will never be taken away nor loft, but is infeparably connected with eternal glory.
NU MB. XXVII. Luke xix. 41, 42. And when he was come near, be bebeld the city, and wept over it, faying, If thou badft known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace; but now they are bid from thine eyes.
HESE words are often made use of to difprove any decree of reprobation in God, Chrift's dying intentionally, for some only, the difability of man, and in favour of a day of grace. But,
I. It should be obferved, that they are not spoken of all mankind, only of Jerufalem and its inhabitants; and regard not choir spiritual and eternal falvation, but timir temporal peace and profperity; and toorefore ought not to have a place in our so troverfies about thele things Time words relate only to Jerusalem aut fit the habitants thereof, wii u se dúpust, mid that they defigt their synd purissey, which Cirit was users to aid mi almoft at a sud, appen from t
lowing verfesi; For the days fhall come upon thee, that thine enemies fhall caft a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every fide, and fhall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they fhall not leave in thee one ftone upon another because thou knewest not the time of thy vifitation. Add to this, this one obfervation more; that Chrift here speaks as a man, expreffing his human affection for the prefent temporal good of this city, as is evident from his weeping over it on his near approach to it. Hence,
II. There is no foundation in this text for fuch an argument as this; " "Christ here taketh it for granted, that the people of Jerufalem, in the day of their vifitation by the Meffiab, might savingly have known the things belonging to their peace. Now either this affertion; that they might savingly have known these things, was according to truth; or his with, that they had thus known the things belonging to their peace, was contrary to his father's will and decree; which is palpably abfurd. And feeing the will of Chrift was always the fame with that of his Father, it follows alfo, that God the Father had the fame charitable affection to them; and fo had laid no bar against their happi
n. Whitby, p. 13, 14, 236, 237.