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deaf e?aY to trie poaching of'the Prophet Isaiah, as the Iioty.'spirit forewarned him they would do. God Is said, in both cases, to have made their ears dull, and to have cltsed their eyes; for, knowing that they certainly would see and not perceive, and hear and not understand, "through their own obstinacy and prejudice, God did not .vouchsafe them the same light as he afforded to those who received his word with humility. Considering the disposition of the Pharisees, it would not have been prudent for our Lord to have Spoken more plainly before a mixed 'multitude.

From '* the parable of the sower we may comprehend the method of God's proceedings, in respect to bestowing or Withdrawing his Grace ; it likewise shews that, In ordfer to obtain salvation, our o-iun will must cO-operafe "with divine goodness. God illumines our''understandings by a secret influence, suggests, and "excites us' tb what is ¥ight ; in consequence of this ability and assisf"ance, aw'determine and act. lie instructs us, and in', vifes"'6uf '6bed;.ence by the natural light of pur own 'rhihds','by the express revelation of his will, and by trie 'secret whimpers and suggestions of the Holy Spirit; but the success of all these methods will' turn upon our iim,plying ".wii'h or rejecting them. We may attend or \oi td'trie"admdnitions of our o.wri minds; we may ot, Jirve or Aeglcct his revealed instructions; we rriay yield To'orepfos'e the impulses of his Holt Spirit. If w'e repay God's favour with ingratitude, and continue u'ripfontaMe Under the means of grace, he may be provoked to resume his slighted gifts, and withhold the grace which we reeeive in vairu in which case,' the sinner is exposed defenceless to the assaults of temptation, and cut off from all communication with God. On the

• S*e Scimoaj by the late Rev. George Carr. Vo). If.

other other hand, if we bend our minds to a compliance with the will of our heavenly Father, and are obedient to his directions and guidance, his powerful, though unseen grace, will conduct us from virtue to virtue, and will n:ver be wanting to us, if we are not wanting to ear. selves. Let us then open our hearts to the secret influence of his Holy Spirit, as a thirsty land drinks ia the rain as it silently descends, and then we shall be neither barren nor unfruitful. Temporal good things Gop promiscuously bestows on the just and on the unjust, often on the evil and unthankful, who neither solicit nor acknowledge his favours; but his Grace he accounts a pearl of higher price than to be thrown to the negligent and undeserving: He freely gives it to them that ask it; to them that piously implore and justly prize the hea. venly gift.—Let us avail ourselves. of the light which has been afforded us by Divine revelation, that through Cod's grace we may know all things necessary for our salvation,. lest we provoke divine justice to leave us to. wander in the dark labyrinth of doubt and perplexity, which is our Lord's meaning in his declaration, that from him that hath not shall be taken away turn that which he hath.

As our Lord's Apostles bad not, at the time he delivered this discourse, received the Holy Ghost, they could not understand the parables without explanation; but he instructed them in the mysteries, or the spiritual sense of this parable, because they were disposed to understand them, and were to instruct others: but to the multitude he made use of similitudes, for the reasons above given.

SECTION SECTION XLV. ' .

THE PARABLE OF THE TARES, &C.

From Matthew, Chap. xiii.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go ai.d gather them up i

But he said, Nay ; lest, while ye gather up the tares, ye root op also the wheat with them.

Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;

Which indeed is the least of all seeds j but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and become* a tree: so that the birds of the air come and lodgein the branches thereof.

Another parable spake he unto them, The kingdom «f heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

All

. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables, and without a parable spake he not unto them.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

He answered and said. unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man.

The field is the world: the good seed are the children of thelcingdom: but the tares are the children of the wicked one:' i -0 .. '.,. ,

The enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world: and the reapers are. the angels.

As therefore the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world..

The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity:

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire : there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field: the which, when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls;

Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all (hat he had, aud bought it, .i _

Again,

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net thatwas cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind;

Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and s?t down, and gathered the good into vessels; but cast the bad away. .' ,

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angfls shali come forth, and sever the wicked from among the. just. J ^ . .

And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heiaven, is like unto a man that is ah householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. i

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished, these parables, he departed thence. .

ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.

The fields, which lay near the sea-shore, seem to have furnished our Lord with allusions in the parables of the tares, the treasure hid in the field, and the grain of mus^ tard.seed; the sea itself naturally suggested those of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls, and of the net .vahich gathertth of every kind. There was something pecu-i liarly pleasing in this method of instruction, which was adapted to all capacities, and more likely to be retained than deep reasoning and learned discourse.

By Our Saviour's explanation of the parable of the tare%'twe are taught, that the Gospel, represented by {he good seed, is calculated to produce righteousness in all minds ; but its efficacy is frequently obstructed by the suggestions of the devil, who takes advantage of men's

idleness

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