on Matthew 24, 25
From what our Lord has here
said, we may see that God indispensably requires of every man to
bring forth good fruit; and that a fruitless tree shall be
inevitably cut down, and cast into the fire. Let it be also
remarked that God does not here impute to his own children the
good works which Jesus Christ did for them.
No! Christís feeding the
multitudes in Judea will not be imputed to them, while persons in
their own neighborhood are perishing through want, and they have
wherewithal to relieve them. He gives them a power that they may
glorify his name by it and have, in their own souls, the continued
satisfaction which arises from succouring the distressed. Let it
be farther remarked, that Christ does not say here that they have
purchased the eternal life by these good deeds.
No! for the power to work, and
the means of working, came both from God. They first had
redemption through his blood, and then his Spirit worked in them
to will and to do. They were therefore only workers together with
him, and could not be said, in any sense of the word, to purchase
Godís glory, with his own property.
But though God works in them,
and by them, he does not obey for them. The works of piety and
mercy THEY perform, under the influence and by the aid of his
grace. Thus God preserves the freedom of the human soul, and
secures his own glory at the same time. Let it be remarked,
farther, that the punishment inflicted on the foolish virgins, the
slothful servant, and the cursed who are separated from God, was
not because of their personal crimes; but because they were not
good, and were not useful in the world.
Their lives do not appear to
have been stained with crimes,-but they were not adorned with
virtues. They are sent to hell because they did no good. They were
not renewed in the image of God; and hence did not bring forth
fruit to his glory. If these harmless people are sent to
perdition, what must the end be of the wicked and profligate!
Adam Clarke, Clarkeís Commentary The New
Testament, Volume 5 Matthew through Luke, Albany, OR: AGES
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