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CHAPTER XXV.

What does the twenty-fifth Chapter of this Gospel

contain?

1. THE PARable of the VIRGINS.

2. THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS.

3. A DESCRIPTION OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.

1. What are we to understand by "then"? The time of the Lord's coming, when he will call his servants to account. What is "the kingdom of heaven"? The Gospel dispensation. Is the phrase here used to express the Gospel dispensation itself, or the subjects of that dispensation? The subjects of that dispensation. To what is the kingdom of heaven likened ? "Unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom." Whither was the bridegroom coming? He was bringing home his bride on the night of their marriage. Who were the virgins who went out to meet him? His young female relatives and friends. Why did they go forth to meet the bridegroom? That they might welcome the bride to her new home, and gladden the occasion with their rejoicings. Why did they carry lamps with them? To enlighten the darkness, and give brilliancy to the scene.

Was

2. What were the characters of the ten virgins? "Five of them were wise, and five foolish." this difference discernible in their outward appearance? No; each one carried her lamp; and they all seemed to be friends of the bridegroom. How then did the difference appear? In their opposite conduct.

3. How did the foolish virgins act?

them." any oil? day-light.

"They that were foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with Of what use were their lamps without Of no use but to make a fair show in the When would their empty pretensions be exposed? When the shades of darkness surrounded them, and the bridegroom was at hand. 4. How did the wise virgins act? "The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Is wisdom profitable? Yes; the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.* Is it much to be desired? Yes; all the things that may be desired, are not to be compared unto it.+ Wherein did the wise virgins In providing themselves with

show their wisdom?

oil for their lamps.

5. In the mean time what did the bridegroom do? He "tarried." Where did he tarry? At the

house of the bride's father. Did he tarry longer than he should have done? the virgins expected. what did the virgins do?

Prov. iii. 14.

No; but longer than While he thus delayed, "They all slumbered and

+ Prov. viii. 11.

slept."

Was that right of them?

No; they

should have watched for the coming of the bride

groom.

6. What occurred to rouse the virgins? "At midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." What effect had this sudden cry? It caused surprise and confusion, on the part of the virgins. Why so? Because it found some of them drowsy, and others asleep.

7. What did they all do? "Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps." What is meant by trimming their lamps? Snuffing the wicks, and putting in a supply of oil.

7. Did they all succeed in making their lamps burn? No; the foolish virgins would have poured in oil, but their vessels were empty. What did they, then, do? "The foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” How could their lamps be gone out, when they had never been properly lighted? Because when they set fire to the wick, the light expired immediately, for want of oil.

9. How was the request of the foolish virgins entertained by their companions? "The wise answered saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you." What advice did they add to this refusa!? "But go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves." Ought they not to have done that before? Yes; it was too late to prepare for the coming of the bridegroom when he was at hand.

10. While they went to buy, what took place? "The bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." What is meant by the marriage? The nuptial feast. Who were they that were ready, and that went in to the feast? The wise virgins, whose lamps were lighted. And why was the door shut upon the company? To prevent the intrusion of strangers. 11. What happened after this? "Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to What other virgins were these? The foolish virgins, who were not ready when the bridegroom

us."

came.

66 I

12. How was their application received? "But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." What did he mean by saying know you not"? You are not my friends; neither will I acknowledge you as such. 13. What is our Lord's application of the foregoing parable? “Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh." Do these words furnish a key to the parable? Yes. Who, then, is meant by the bridegroom? The Lord Jesus Christ.

Who are

meant by the wise virgins? The true disciples of Christ. And who are meant by the foolish virgins? Those who appear to be Christians, but are not really such. What are we to understand by the lamps, which they all had? The profession of religion. What is it that makes such a profession bright and shining? The grace of God in the heart.

Have all professors of religion the grace of God in their hearts? No; some are like the foolish virgins, who took their lamps and took no oil with them." How will it be with such persons at death? Their lamps of profession will go out, and the Saviour will disown them. What should we now do, to avoid being disowned by the Lord at his coming? We should prepare to meet our God, and watch for his coming. If he find us ready, what will be our blessedness? We shall enter in, with him, to the

marriage-supper of the Lamb.*

14. What begins at this verse? The parable of the Talents. Does this parable teach the same lesson as the former? Not exactly. What is the difference between them? The parable of the virgins teaches what we ought to do for our own souls; the parable of the talents shows what we ought to do for the glory of God and the good of others. What are the words here printed in Italics? "The kingdom of heaven." Why are these words so printed? Because they are not in the original. Why then are they inserted at all? Because the sense requires that some words should be supplied. the sense be better supplied than by of heaven"? By reading, The Son man travelling, &c. Why so? parison relates to the Son of man. Who is the Son of man? See xii. 32. To whom is the Son of man here compared? He is "as a man travel

Rev. xix. 9.

A A

How would "the kingdom

of man is as a Because the com

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