Wright - BT300 W8 1788

94 The NEW and .COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED didit not thou fow good feed in thy field? from whence then kath it tares? He faid un'o them, an enemy hath done this. The fervants Paid unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he Paid, Nay; l, while yegather up the tares, ye root up alfö the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harve1; and in the time ofharoell, I will fay unto the reapers, Gather ye the tares, and bind them in bundles to born them; but gather the wheat into my barn. This parable, as our Lord afterwards explained it to his difciples, relates to the different. Hates of men at the end of the world. The hufbandman is our great Redeemer himfelf; the field is the Chriflian church, planted in various parts of the world ; thofe Chriltians who are enabled by the Holy Spirit to love the Lord JEsus CHRIST, and bring fruit worthy their high profeffion, are the wheat; and thofe who make an empty profeffion, without know- ing the power of true religion, are the tares. There are feduced into the paths of wick- ednefs by the enemy of God and man ; and the parable elegantly reprefents, the mixed (late of the profeffing church on earth, and the deplorable end of the hypo- crite and thofe who know not God. Such tharafters as thefe may mix with the real Chriflians, and may deceive for a time, by affuming the appearance of fuperior fanfi.ity and ftrianefs of life ; yet they will not fail boner or later, to betray themfelves, and make it manifefi that they are but tares amongfl the wheat. Yet we are taught by this parable, how fincerely foever we may with to free the church from all corruption, both in doffrine and praiìice, it is not law- ful for us to affume the prerogative of the great Judge of heaven and earth, by per- fecuting, or following with any corporal punifhment, any who we apprehend to be hypocrites and corrupters of true religion. The tares and the wheat are to grow together till harvefi, they are not to be feparated, left by miftaking the charaaer 2 of the perfons, we bellow thofe cenfures on the true Chriffian which belong to the hypocrite : but the harvefh will come when they will be feparated by our great Redeemerhimfelf, and his attendingangels ; then the tares will be bound up in bundles and burnt, but thewheat carefully gathered into the barn. For at theend of the world, our great Redeemer will diflinguifh between the pretended and the real Chriflian ; the wicked will be condemned to eternal tor- ment, but the righteous will be received to life eternal ; when theyfliallfhineforth, as thefun, in the kingdom of their Father. The next parable which our exalted Redeemer thought fit to propofe to the Tif- tening multitudes, was that of the feed which fprang up and grew imperceptibly. So is the kingdom of God, Paid he, as if a man fhould call feed into the ground, andflaould fleep, and rife night and day, and the feed Jhould firing and grow up he knoweth not how. For the earth bringethforth fruit of itfelf; farft the blade, and then the ear. But when thefruit is broughtforth, immediate& he /utteth in the fickle, becaufe the harvefl is come. This beautiful piélure reprefents the gradual and filent progrefs of the golpe! in the heart of man ; as the hulbandman does not by any power of his own, caufe the feed to grow when he has fown it ; but the blade and fruit are produced by the power of the great Creator, and by thofe laws ofnature which he kath eltablifhed in the vegetable creation : fo the feed of divine truth does not thrive in the heart of man by the power of the preacher, but by the filent and efficacious energy of the Spirit of God. Thus JEsus and his apofiles, having preached the gofpel in the world, and taught the doélrines of true religion, they gave no commiffion to any to ufe the terrors of fire and fword to propagate them, but left it to the filent and fecret influence of the Holy Spirit.. And it is very probable that the bleffed JEsus fpoke this parable to convince the Jews of theirmiflake, in fuppefing that their Mefliah woultf