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Let us therefore, having Food and Raiment be therewith content, i Tim. 6.8. · Thirdly, To make us reftlesly to seek after something that may endure, even durable Riches and Righteousness, Prov. 8. 18. Let us seek for ft the Kingdom of God, and his Righteousness, and for Worldly Riches set our Hearts at rest, having this sure Promise, that they shall be added unto us, so far forth as our Heavenly Father seeth them needful for us. Mat. 6.

3. Observe, That our blessed Saviour directing us fo to use our Riches, as that we may be received when we fail into everlasting Habitations, afsures us that such Habitations there are provided for Men to go into when they die." We know (faith the Apostle) that if our Earthly House of this Tabernacle were disolved, we have a Building of God, an House not made with Hands, eternal in the Heavens, 2 Cor. 5. 1. In my Father's House (faith Christ ) are many Mansions. Job. 14. 2. These are the Habitations we should as long as we live in this World be seeking for. Here have we no continuing City, but we seek for one to come. Heb. 13 14. This is God's admirable goodness, and this should be our great comfort and rejoycing. For

There, First, are Habitations, Home-Steads, here we have no more but a time of Sojourning. 1 Pet. 1. 17. I am a Sojourner (faith the Pfalmit as all my Fathers were. Psal. 39. 12,

THE

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тнЕ PAR ABLE

OF THE
TEN Virgins.

1

Matth. XXV. 1.
Then all the Kingdom of Heaven be likened to Ten

Virgins, which took their Lamps, and went fortb
to meet the Bridegroom.
T HESE Words begin á Parable; the

main scope and Design whereof is, as
appears v. 13. to persuade us unto a

constant watchfulness over our felves; and to be so careful to keep our felves in a right Christian Temper, that whatever may happen, or how sudden foever any evil inay befal us, or God may call us out of this world by Death, we may not be surpriz’d, or taken unprepar'd. To make us more sensible, he doth, as it were, tell us a Story, which it will be very necessary for us to apply unto our felves, as it is his meaning we should do. It is then as if he had said thus. There were cwo Persons to be married, and the Marriage was to be folemnly kept with Joy and Feafting. Therefore according to the Custom of the Place, ten Virgins were invited to be BrideCc

Maids,

were haptidegroomaludden noclein they lent

Maids, whose Office it was to be ready with the Bride, when News was brought of the Bride. groom's coroing, to go forth with Torches, or lighted Lamps to meet him, and conduct him into the Bride's Lodging, which was done in the Night. Now the Bridegroom not coming so ear. ly as he was expected, they all fell asleep, and some of the Virgins not being so provident, as to bring Oil enough to keep their Lamps burning so long, they went out whilft they slept. About Midnight, a time of Night wherein they leaf of all expected him, sudden notice was given, that the Bridegroom appeared, and all the Virgins were halily called up to meet him. They whose Lamps were burning presently went forth to do so, but the rest were at a Loss, and knew not which way to turn them. Their Lamps wanted Oil, and none could they get, and whilst they ran to buy, the Bridegroom with the Virgins which met him, entered in to Celebrate the Marriage; and the other Virgins coming too late, were shut out, and could not by any Intreaty prevail to be admitted, or so much as taken notice of by the Bridegroom as any way related to him. And thus for want of timely forecast and care, they loft for ever the Bridegroom's Favour, their Share in the Marriage Feast, and all the Honour and Joy which they hoped for. The application of this story is briefly this. Thus it will happen to us all one time or other. As many of us as take care to live in a continual Preparation, as our blessed Jesus hath in his Gospel taught us, for Death and Judgment shall by him be admitted into the everlasting Joys of Heaven; but they who through Negligence or Laziness, or any oother way, are diverted from this constant care,

and

and are not always prepared to die, are in great danger to be surprized, and caught unprepared; which if they be, they are disappointed of all their hope, disowned by their Saviour, and must be for ever miserable. Thus I have briefly laid the general and main Design of this. Parable open before you, and we are taught by it (as we desire to be eternally happy, and would not, lose the Benefit of a Saviour) to live in an hourly expectation of Death, and fo to order our whole Conversation in the World, that whenever we shall be called out of it, and how suddenly foever Death, or any other Calamity before Death may come upon us, we may never be unprovided to welcome it as a Messenger of Christ, the Bridegroom of his Church, nor be in any danger of being disowned by him, or excluded from that everlasting Blessedness which he hath in store for all his Faithful Followers.

Now let us come to the Particulars commended to our Obfervation and Learning in this Parable, taking them in order as they lie. Thus ic begins— Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened, Luc. 1. Then, i. e. when Christ shall come. The whole Chapter before this, being Christ's Answer to that Question of his Disciples. V 3. VVhat shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the World? Now the coming of Christ there spoken of by him principally and literally, was his coming to execute Vengeance on the Jews who crucified him, and to destroy their Temple, City and Nation by the Roman Armies. And all the Signs he gives them relate properly to that; but figuratively also to his coming at the end of the VVorld to Judge every Man according to his VVojks, of which Day and CC 2

Hour

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