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Verses 26-27

Matthew 25:26-27. Thou wicked and slothful servant Wicked, because slothful. Observe well, reader, slothful servants are wicked servants, and will be reckoned with as such by their Master: for he that is slothful in his work, and neglects to do the good that God has commanded, is brother to him that is a great waster, by doing the evil that God has for bidden, Proverbs 18:9. He that is careless in God’s work, is near akin to him that is busy in the devil’s work: Satis est mali nihil fecisse boni. It is evil enough to have done no good. Omissions of duty are commissions of sin, and must come into judgment as such. Slothfulness makes way for wickedness, and when the house is empty, the unclean spirit takes possession of it. Thou knewest I reap where I sowed not? That I require impossibilities! This is not an allowing, but a strong denial of the charge. Thou oughtest therefore, &c. On that very account, on thy own supposition, to have improved my talent, as far as was possible. To have put my money to the exchangers, &c. He mentions this instance of good management, because it was the lowest that could be, and was attended with the least trouble; to intimate that, though the servant had not pursued that particular sort of trade in which he ought to have employed the talent, yet if he had been at any pains at all to improve it, though it had been little, his lord would have accepted it. And then I should have received mine own with usury Συν τοκω , with interest, or produce. “Anciently, the import of the word usury was no other than profit, whether great or small, allowed to the lender for the use of borrowed money. As this practice often gave rise to great extortion, the very name at length became odious. When Christian commonwealths judged it necessary to regulate this matter by law, they gave to such profit as does not exceed the legal, the softer name of interest; since which time, usury has come to signify solely extravagant profit disallowed by law; and which, therefore, it is criminal in the borrower to give, and in the lender to take. As it is not this kind of profit that is here meant, the word usury is now become improper.” Campbell. Observe, reader, though the parable represents but one in three unfaithful; yet, in a history that answers the parable, we find the disproportion quite the other way; when ten lepers were cleansed, nine of the ten hid the talent, and only one returned to give thanks, Luke 17:18-19. The unfaithful servant was he that had only one talent, but doubtless there are many that have five talents, and bury them all; great abilities, great advantages, and yet do no good with them: but Christ would intimate to us, 1st, that if he that had but one talent was reckoned with thus for burying that one, much more will they be accounted offenders that have more, that have many, and bury them. If he that was but of small capacity was cast into outer darkness, because he did not improve what he had as he might have done, shall those be spared that trample under foot the greatest advantages? 2d, That often those who have least to do for God, do least of what they have to do. 3d, That the hard thoughts which sinners have of God will be so far from justifying their slothfulness, that they will rather aggravate and add to their guilt; so that in the day of final accounts, they will be left quite without excuse; all frivolous pleas will be overruled, and every mouth will be stopped.

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