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fum of this paffage lies in thefe few words, that Chrift, as man, out of a compaffionate regard for the people of the Jews, to whom he was fent, would have gathered them together under his miniftry, and have inftrueted them in the knowledge of himself, as the Meffiah; which, if they had only notionally received, would have fecured them as chickens under the hen, from impending judgments, which afterwards fell upon them; but their governors, and not they, would not; that is, would not fuffer them to be collected together in fuch a manner, and hinder'd, all they could, their giving any credit to him as the Meffiah; though had it been faid, and they would not, ie would only have been a moft fad inftance of the perverseness of the will of man, which often opposes his temporal as well as his fpiritual good.

NUMB XXVL Matt. xxv. 14 to 30.

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Tis not mik, far fufficient grace is given all men. by which they may be faved if they will: For,

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These are not all Chrift's fervants, nor fo called; much less with an emphasis, his own fervants. No more can be included under this character here, than belong to the kingdom of heaven, the vifible gofpel church state, the subject 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, represented 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, defcribed 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 several 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 ministers of the word in fucceeding ages.

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from the aqua. d.pwu given to some mOTE, 210 11 which perity agre v Now there may be vient if they are to be sales grace. given; yet they are not give and much leis ums Laivaust, fn un ung have hele and be car. L...

22, 23. 1 Cor. xii. 1, 2 hus theive,

II. It is not to be fablet iron isso, that man has a power is nuptove the for


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 talents; nor is it either implanted or improved by man; nor does the parable fuggeft, that men, by their im provement of the talents committed to them, do, or can procure eternal happiness: Good and faithful fervants are indeed commended by Christ, and he gracioufly promifes great things to them; which are not pro portioned to their deferts; 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 them. felves. ! bas

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, 30, 175.


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