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swept them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Watch, therefore, for ye know not at what hour your Lord will come. Ye are sure that if the master of the house knew at what time of the night the thief would come, he would watch, and not suffer his house to be broken into. Be ye therefore ready also, for the Son of Man cometh at such an hour as ye think not."
All that our Lord here foretells came to pass. The Roman armies laid siege to Jerusalem, and destroyed it so completely, that no part of the walls was left. Most of its wicked inhabitants perished with it; but many of those who believed in Christ, took timely warning by what he had said, and made their escape. Who is there that could have foreseen all this by his own wisdom? He who did foresee it must have been instructed by God himself, who knows all things.
THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH VIRGINS.
(Matt. xxv. 1-13.) Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.* And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with them; but the wise took oil in their vessels, besides what was in their lamps.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to meet him.” Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, “ Give us of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the
* It was the custom in the East for the bride groom to fetch his bride from her father's house in the evening, when they would require the light of lamps.
wise answered, saying, “ Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you; rather go ye to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us." But he answered and said unto them, “ Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man cometh.
PARABLE OF THE TALENTS.
(Matt. xxv. 14–30.) The Son of Man is as a man setting out into a foreign country, who called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, (to every man according to his several abi. lity,) and straightway set out. Then he that had received five talents, went and traded with the same and gained other five talents. Likewise he that had received two, gained other two. But he that had one, went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. Then he that had received five talents, came and brought other five talents, saying, “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents; behold, I have gained besides them five talents more." His lord said unto him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant ! thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
He also that had received two talents, came and said, “Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents besides them."
His lord said unto him, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant ! thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Then he also that had received the one talent, came and said, “Lord, I knew thee, that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not scattered ; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth ; lo, there thou hast that which is thine," His lord answered and said unto him, “Thou wicked and slothful servant! thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not scattered! Thou oughtest, therefore, to have given my money to the bankers, so that at my return I might have received it with interest. Take, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him who hath ten talents; for unto every one that hath much shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath