Matthew 25:14-15. For, &c. To show us more clearly the nature and duty of Christian watchfulness, to which he exhorts us in the preceding verse, our Saviour immediately subjoins another parable, wherein he represents to us the different characters of a faithful and slothful servant, and the difference of their future acceptation. Like the former, the present parable is intended to stir us up to a zealous preparation for the coming of our Lord, by diligence in the discharge of our duty, and by a proper employment and a careful improvement of our talents: as well as to unmask still more fully the vain pretences of hypocrites, and to demonstrate that fair speeches and outward forms, without the power of godliness, will stand us in no stead at the last day. The kingdom of heaven is as a man, &c. The words kingdom of heaven are improperly supplied here. The sentence should rather run thus: For he (namely, the Son of man, mentioned in the preceding verse) is as a man travelling into a far country Alluding to Christ’s withdrawing his bodily presence from his church when he ascended into heaven, or to that long-suffering by which he waits for the fruit of our works: who called his own servants Τους ιδιους , his own, because created by his power, preserved by his providence, and purchased by his blood; and delivered unto them his goods The goods of which he was the sole proprietor. Unto one he gave five talents As being able to traffic with them; to another two As not being sufficient to manage more; and to another one, as being still more infirm. So Origen. A talent being in value about 187 l. 10 s., he who was intrusted with five, received 937 l. 10 s.; and he who had two, 375 l. sterling. And who knows whether, all circumstances considered, there be a greater disproportion than this in the talents of those who receive the most and those who receive the fewest? By the talents here we are to understand gifts or endowments conferred for a spiritual end, powers of body and mind, abilities natural and acquired, health, strength, long life, understanding, judgment, memory, learning, knowledge, eloquence, influence, and authority over others, wealth, privileges, or offices, civil or religious, and indeed every power and advantage of which a good or bad use may be made. To every man according to his several ability Εκαστω κατα την ιδιαν δυναμιν , to each according to his individual or respective capacity, namely, to manage the sum, and according to the prospect there might reasonably be of his improving it. Or, according to the prudence, ability, and activity which he knew each to be possessed of.
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