Matthew 25:24-25. He which received the one talent came “This may intimate that we are accountable for the smallest advantages with which we are intrusted; but it cannot imply that they who have received much will ordinarily pass their account best; for it is too plain a fact, that most of those whose dignity, wealth, and genius give them the greatest opportunities of service, seem to forget they have either any Master in heaven to serve, or any future reckoning to expect; and many of them render themselves much more criminal than this wicked and slothful servant, who hid his talent in the earth.” Doddridge. I knew that thou art a hard man Here we have another, and no less certain mark of a slothful and wicked servant, his entertaining hard thoughts of his master. I knew, &c. No: thou knewest him not. He never knew Christ who thinks him a hard master. Reaping where thou hast not sown Requiring more of us than thou givest us power to perform. So does every obstinate sinner, in one kind or other, lay the blame of his own sins on God. And I was afraid To risk thy money in trade, lest by some accident or other it should be lost, or miscarry under my management, and thou shouldst show me no mercy. Or rather, Lest, if I had improved my talent, I should have had more to answer for. So, from this fear, one will not learn to read, another will not hear sermons. Lo, there thou hast that is thine If I have not made it more, as others have done, yet, this I can say, I have not made it less: and this, he thinks, may serve to bring him off, if not with praise, yet with safety. Observe, reader, many go very securely to judgment, presuming upon the validity of a plea that will be overruled as vain and frivolous. This servant thought that his account would pass well enough, because he had not wasted his lord’s money. As if he had said, “I was no spendthrift of my estate, not prodigal of my time, not a profaner of thy sabbaths, nor an opposer of good ministers and good preaching. Lord, I never despised my Bible, nor set my wits on work to ridicule religion, nor abused my power to persecute any good man; I never drowned my parts nor wasted God’s good creatures in drunkenness and gluttony; nor ever, to my knowledge, did I do an injury to any one.” Many that are called Christians build great hopes for heaven upon their being able to make such a plea; and yet all this amounts to no more than, There thou hast that is thine, as if no more were required, or would be expected.
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