Matthew 24:45-51. Who then is the faithful and wise servant Which of you aspires after this character? Wise Every moment retaining the clearest conviction that all he now has is only intrusted to him as a steward: Faithful Thinking, speaking, and acting continually in a manner suitable to that conviction. Whom his lord hath made ruler over his household This evidently chiefly concerns the ministers of the gospel. See notes on Luke 12:42, &c. Blessed is that servant, &c. “You, the ministers of religion, ought to be peculiarly faithful in the discharge of your duty; for it is not an ordinary trust that is committed to your charge. You are stewards, whose business it is to take care of the whole family, and who, because of the influence which your example may have upon others, ought to be remarkably diligent. Your duty is to be well acquainted with the stores of evangelical truths, and to understand how they may be best applied. You should know likewise the various characters of the persons under your charge, that you may be able to give every one of them his portion of meat in due season. Verily, he shall make him ruler over all his goods If when I come I find you thus employed, I will highly reward you with the glories and joys of my kingdom, even as an earthly master bestows particular marks of respect on such servants as have been remarkably faithful in any important trust.” But if that evil servant Now become evil, having put away faith and a good conscience, shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth, &c. “On the other hand, if you behave like wicked stewards, who, because their lord delays his coming, beat their fellow-servants and get drunk with sots and epicures; if you tyrannise over the consciences of your brethren, neglect the duties of your function, and give yourselves up to sensual pleasures, I will come when you little think of it, and will make you dreadful examples of my indignation, by the severe punishments which I will inflict upon you.” And shall cut him asunder Tearing and cutting persons into several pieces, was one of the severest kinds of punishment anciently used, and is here put for the extreme misery that awaits the persons here described in the other world. And appoint him his portion with the hypocrites The worst of sinners. If ministers are the persons here primarily intended, there is a peculiar propriety in the expression. For no hypocrisy can be baser than to call ourselves ministers of Christ while we are the slaves of avarice, ambition, or sensuality. Wherever such are found, may God reform them by his grace, or disarm them of that power and influence which they continually abuse to his dishonour, and to their own aggravated damnation!
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