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had all along been as far removed from Consideration, as from Integrity: But when his Unfaithfulness was detected, and he plainly saw that the Abuse of his Privileges must be punished with the Loss of them; this surprising Turn puts him upon projećting some means or other, of sheltring himself from that Storm, which was ready to fall upon him. Indeed, the Pračtices wherein he laid the Foundations of a Sanétuary for himself, were as Indireét and Unlawful, as those, whereby a Sanétuary became Necessary for him. His Injustice exposed him to Calamities, and he made that the Instrument of his Comfort too: He had defrauded his Lord, and was therefore to be abandon'd; and he combined with his Lord's Debtors in new Instances of Fraud, to prevent his own Ruin. His Injustice was inexcusable, and ought to be detested; but his Wisdom was Commendable and Exemplary: And 'tis that alone, which is Commended in the Parable. A Man's Good Qualities, do justly challenge Esteem and Imitation, notwith- H 2. standing standing that some other Qualities in him, may possibly be of a very different kind, and should affect us in a very different manner. And therefore our Blessed Saviour takes Occasion, from the Cautious and Prudent Measures, even of an Unjust Steward, to recommend that Prudence, which is exercised in making Provision for Futurity. And he brings down that General Scope of the Parable, to a single Point, in the Words of the Text; prescribing the Improvement of one particular Talent, here styled The Mammon of Umrighteousness. The Word Mammon signifies Riches; and Wealth unjustly procur'd may, in the striótest Sense, be called the Mammon of Umrighteousness. But that our Saviour did fix this harsh Appellation in that striótest Sense of it, upon Riches in General, is not to be imagined. And yet there is good Reason to conclude, that he does here speak of Riches in General; which may be called the Mammon of Unrighteousness, as in some other Respects, so particularly as that Expression may be Interpreted False, or Deceitful Riches. 3 - And

And this Interpretation is agreeable to the importance of the Greek Word, Aëzsa, which we here render Umrighteousness, and does in some other Places, signify Falsemes; or Deceitfulness. And this Acceptation of the Words may be confirmed, by comparing them with the like Expresfion at the 11th Verse, the Umrighteous Mammon; which, as it stands in opposition to 7%ue Riches, denotes that Earthly Treasures are not properly and truly to be esteem'd Riches: They do in this resemble the Possessors of them, that they are Deceitful upon the Weights, they are altogether lightertham Panity it self. Spiritual Blessings are the only 7tue Riches; which are therefore here opposed to Temporal Possessions, the Umrighteous Mammom, or False and Deceitful Riches. ' Our Blessed Lord therefore requires his Disciples to devote their Riches unto good Works, in expe&tation of a Future Reward. The Expressions in the Text, are adapted to the Circumstances in the foregoing Parable. As the Unjust Steward did, by his management, secure himself

of Friends and Future Reception; so our H 3 Saviour

Savioursuggests this Inducement to Works of Charity, that by the faithful Performance of them, we shall, in effect, make to our selves Friends, who, when we fail, when we are removed out of our Stewardship, out of this World by Death, will secure our Admission into a Future and Eternal State of Happiness. Such is the Occasion, and such the Importance of the Words, which may supply us with matter of Meditation, under the three following Enquiries:

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