Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 93 that, like a plant incuínbered and fur- rounded with rank, poifonous weeds, the word of God, Which they have heard, cannot grow; the noble truths of the gofpel cannot have their proper influence on the mind, but gradually fink and decline, till at lafl they are difbelieved, or totally for- gotten. Others, who meet with their de- fired fhccefs in their worldlyaffairs,' are fo afGducus in their purfuit, and fo entirely devoted to the acquifition of wealth, that every thing to them feems little and low which does not ,produce fome temporal advantage : as riches increafe, they fet their hearts upon them, and a worldly fpirit chokes the word, arid it beconaeth 'unfruitful. In oppofition to thofe unprofitable hearers of the word, a fourth fort are reprefented in this parable, whole hearts, by the Holy Spirit, are prepared for the reception of divine truth : for,, as the beff ofground, except it be ploughed, harrowed, and cleanfed by the bufbandman, will not receive the feed, nor produce a plenti- ful harveft; fo the heart of man, except it be changed by divine power, will not receive the word of God, nor produce fùch fruit as the gofpel requires : but, when Ahe heavenly feed falls on thofe hearts which have been wrought upon and prepared by the Divine Spirit, the word is received with gladnefs, it takes deep root in the mind, it operates on all the powers and faculties of the foul, it terminates in obedience to the pre- cepts of the gofpel, and brings forth fruit to the honour and intereft of the caufe of Criarsr, in proportion to the capacities and circumflances of the dif- ferent fubjells on which it falls, in fame an hundred fold, in forme fixty, and in forme thirty. Our great Redeemer, having finifhed his explanation of tine parable of the Power, he turned to his difciples, and ex- plained to them, by the 'fimilitude of a No. 8. lighted candle, the ufe they were to make of the knowledge which they would ac- quire by converfing with him, and receiv- ing his divine inftrullions. Is a candle, Paid he, brought to be put under a bu/hel, or under a bed; and not to be fit on a candlefick? For there is nothing hid which fiat not be manifejled, neither was any thing kept fecret, but it fhould come abroad By which the divine Inftruetor gave them to underftand, that, though now thefe heavenly truths were veiled in fhades and figures, and taught to mankind in pa- rables, the time would come, that they would be more clearly revealed; and as a lighted candle, exalted on high, illumi- nates the whole apartments where it is placed, fo fhall the brightnefs of divine truth, by their preaching, be fpread abroad, and enlighten the dark nations of theearth: therefore, as the difciples of CIHRIST were intended to convey the precepts of hea- venly inftruflions to the dark, unenlight- ened nations of the world, our Lord re- minded them, that it was "a matter of the higheft importance, that they fhould be rightly and fully taught thofe truths they were to bear to' the remoteft na- tions ; and, therefore, it behoved them to hear him with the utmoft care and atten- tion. Take heed, Paid he, what ye hear; with what meafure ye mete, it fhall be meafured to you; and unto you that hear fhall more be given. After our Lord had been thus dif- courfing to his difciples, he turned to the multitude on the {horè, and, addreffing them in the moil pleafing and powerful man- ner, he delivered to them the parable of the enemy's lowing tares amongft the wheat. The kingdom ofheaven, laid he, is likened to a man which fowed good feed in his field : but while men fleßt, his enemy came and fowed tares amongfi the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade wasfprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares alto. So the fervants of the hufbandman came and laid unto him, Sir, did!'