by Ebenezer Erskine
THESE words that I have read are a part of the famous parable of the ten virgins; for clearing of which, you would carefully advert to these two or three things.
1st, The Bridegroom here spoken of is none other than Christ Jesus the Lord, the eternal Son of God, who, from all eternity, rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, and whose delights were so much with the sons of men, that he first married our nature into a personal union with himself, that so there might be some sort of equality in the bargain; and having made himself of our tribe, comes to betrothe us to himself for ever in a marriage-relation.
2dly, The virgins here spoken of are the professors of religion, members of the church visible. The church is called the bride the Lamb's wife, Rev. 19:7–9. particularly professors, saints, and believers, at least in profession, are so called virgins, because of the beauty of holiness that should adorn them.
3dly, The office of these virgins is to meet the bridegroom. This alludes unto a common custom among the Jews, who consummated their marriages at night; when the bridegroom was on his way to the place of marriage, the bride with so many virgins that attended her, went forth with lamps to meet him, in order to conduct him to the bride's chamber. Now, with allusion to this custom, professors of religion are said to go and meet the Bridegroom.
4thly, Notice the different characters of these virgins, five were wise, and five foolish. The foolish represent the case of nominal or hypocritical professors, who have the lamp of a profession, and content themselves with a name to live, while destitute of the life and power of religion; and, by wise virgins, we are to understand real saints, or believers indeed, who not only profess Christ and Christianity, but are Christians indeed, having the oil of his grace and spirit within them.
5thly, We have the common fault of both these sorts of virgins, while the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept; together with the surprising summons they all get to attend the Bridegroom, ver. 6, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. It is the last clause of this verse that I intend to insist upon, viz. Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.
Table of Contents
Sermon I: Matthew 25:6
Sermon II: Matthew 25:6
Sermon III: Matthew 25:6
Sermon IV: Matthew 25:6
Sermon V: Matthew 25:6
Sermon VI: Matthew 25:6