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The Excuse of Sinners, Their Condemnation.

The Excuse of Sinners, Their Condemnation.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.


MATTHEW, XXV. 24.

T'/jen he that had received the one talent came^ and said, Lord, I
knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping, where thou hast not
sown, and gathering where thou hast uot strewed.
BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.


MATTHEW, XXV. 24.

T'/jen he that had received the one talent came^ and said, Lord, I
knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping, where thou hast not
sown, and gathering where thou hast uot strewed.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 29, 2013
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05/17/2014

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THE EXCUSE OF SIERS, THEIR CODEMATIO.BY ATHAAEL EMMOS, D. D.MATTHEW, XXV. 24.T'/jen he that had received the one talent came^ and said, Lord, Iknew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping, where thou hast notsown, and gathering where thou hast uot strewed.It is easy to understand the general design of theparable, which contains these words. By the ownerof the servants, Christ means to represent the Creatorand owner of the world. By the servants, he meansto represent mankind in general. By the different tal-ents, he means to represent the different powers andfaculties, and the different privileges and advantages,with which God distinguishes one person from anoth-er. By the two servants that faithfully improved theirtalents, he means to represent good men, who serveGod with fidelity. And by the slothful and unfaithfulservant, he means to represent the sinner, who entire-ly neglects the service of God, and blames him, ratherthan himself, for his negligence. " Lord, I knew thee,that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast notsow^n, and gathering where thou hast not strewed."This language of the slothful servant, expresses thefeelings of every impenitent sinner. From this we mayconclude, that all sinners are disposed to complain of God for requiring that of them, which he has not giventhem. I shall,I. Show wliat God does not require of them, whichhe has not given them ;II. What he does require of them, w^hich he has notgiven them; And.
 
240 SERMO XV.III. That they have no reason to complain of hi^requiring that of them, which he has not given them.1. I am to show what God does not require of sin-ners, which he has not given them.Here it may be safely said, that he never requiresany talents of them, which he has not given them.Christ uses the term talents in the parable in its moststrict and proper sense, to signify a piece of money.The Jews reckoned a talent of silver at four hundredand fifty pounds sterling, and a talent of gold at seventhousand two hundred pounds sterling. But as theparable itself, is to be understood figuratively, so theterm talents is to be understood figuratively, to signifyall intellectual powers and faculties, and all externalprivileges and opportunities of getting and of doinggood. These natural talents God bestows upon sin-ners in larger or smaller measures as he sees best.He gives greater talents to some, than to others, andmore talents to some, than to others. To one he givesten talents, to another two, and to another one. Tosome he gives great powers of mind, and great oppor-tunities of cultivating, enlarging, and strengtheningtheir mental powers. And to some he gives great cor-poreal strength and activity, and peculiar opportuni-ties of exerting these faculties to valuable and impor-tant purposes. But he never requires men to havemore or better natural talents than he has given them.He never requires the man to whom he has given butone talent, to have two ; nor the man to whom he hasgiven but two talents, to have ten. He never requiresa blind man to see; nor a deaf man to hear; nor aman that has no feet to walk ; nor a sick man to bewell ; nor a weak man to be strong ; nor a short manto be tall. He never requires any man to have a bet-ter understanding, or a better memory, or any better
 
intellectual faculties than he has given him. And henever requires any man to do any action, which he hasnot given him knowledge, strength, time, and opportu-nity of doing. In a word, he never requires eithersaints or sinners to have any natural talents, which heSERMO XV, 241has not given them ; nor to exercise any natural tal-ents, which they do not possess. I now proceed toshow,fl. What God does require of sinners, which he doesnot give them. The slothful servant tells his lord,that he reaps where he has not sown, and gathers wherehe has not strewed ; by which he means to say, that herequired that of him, which he had not given him. Andsinners at this day generally say the same with respectto God. They say, that he requires that of them, whichhe has not given them. Though sinners, like the sloth-ful servant, have a bad meaning in saying this, yet theirassertion must be allowed to be true ; for God does mostexpressly require that of them which he has not giventhem. Though he does not require them to have faculties^which he has not given them, yet he does require themto have a heart to improve the talents he has given themin his service, which he has not given them a heart to do.He requires every sinner " to love him with all his heart,with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all hisstrength, and to love his neighbour as himself," thoughhe has not given him such a heart. When he gave thelaw at Mount Sinai to all the congregation of Israel, herequired them to love him supremely, though he knewand implicitly said, that he had not generally giventhem a heart to love him. He now commands all sin-ners every where under the gospel to repent. He nowcommands all sinners every where- under the gospelcordially to believe and embrace it. And he now

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