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The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

11 Sermons on Matthew 25:30-46

In "The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats," Thomas Manton presents an exposition on one of the most vivid portrayals of judgment day found in the New Testament. This work looks deep into the heart of Matthew 25:31-33, where Christ, depicted as the sovereign Judge, orchestrates the final division between the righteous and the wicked, symbolically represented as sheep and goats respectively. Manton's analysis shines a light on the profound implications of this division, rooted in the deeds done in the body and their eternal consequences.

Manton explains the criteria of judgment as not merely the commission of overt acts of wickedness but significantly highlights the sins of omission – the good that we fail to do. He powerfully argues that unprofitableness, or failing to utilize one's gifts for God's glory and the good of others, ranks as a grievous sin in God's sight, meriting severe judgment. This discourse serves as a solemn reminder that the Christian life is marked by active service and love, mirroring the compassion of Christ Himself.

The narrative further explores the nature of hell as a place of "inexpressible torment," challenging the reader to confront the reality of eternal damnation. Manton's discourse on hell is not meant to provoke despair but to prompt introspection and a sincere evaluation of one's spiritual state.

Manton masterfully draws out the essence of Christ's teaching, emphasizing the responsibility that comes with the knowledge of the truth. He warns against the dangers of neglecting such knowledge, showcasing how omissions in duty and love towards God and neighbor can lead to an eternity apart from God's presence.

This treatise, therefore, stands not only as a theological examination of a critical passage of Scripture but as a pastoral call to self-examination, urging believers towards a life of active faith and charity. Manton's work is an invaluable resource for those seeking deeper insights into the judgment to come and the criteria by which all will be judged, pushing the reader towards a more diligent and compassionate Christian walk.

"Manton's chief excellence as a writer, in my judgment, consists in the ease, perspicuousness, and clearness of his style. He sees his subject clearly, expresses himself clearly, and seldom fails in making you see clearly what he means. He has a happy faculty of simplifying the point he handles. He never worries you with acres of long, ponderous, involved sentences, like Goodwin or Owen. His books, if not striking, are generally easy and pleasant reading, and destitute of anything harsh, cramped, obscure, and requiring a second glance to be understood. For my own part, I find it easier to read fifty pages of Manton's than ten of some of his brethren's; and after reading, I feel that I carry more away.

Manton was a Calvinist in his theology. He held the very doctrine which is so admirably set forth in the seventeenth Article of the Church of England. He held the same views which were held by nine-tenths of the English Reformers, and four-fifths of all the leading divines of the Church of England down to the accession of James I. He maintained and taught personal election, the perseverance of the saints, the absolute necessity of a regeneration evidenced by its fruits, as well as salvation by free grace, justification by faith alone, and the uselessness of ceremonial observances without true and vital religion. As an expositor of Scripture, I regard Manton with unmingled admiration. Here, at any rate, he is 'facile princeps' among the divines of the Puritan school." - J. C. Ryle

Year of release
Table of contents

SERMON I. "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into utter darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," ver. 30

SERMON II. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, ver. 31–33

SERMON III. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory," ver. 31

SERMON IV. "And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: ver. 32–33

SERMON V. "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," ver. 34

SERMON VI. "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; " ver. 35, 36

SERMON VII. "Then shall the righteous answer and say, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? ver. 37–40

SERMON VIII. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ver. 41

SERMON IX. "Then shall he say to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ver. 41

SERMON X. "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire," ver. 41

SERMON XI. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal," ver. 46