qbittorrent not downloading ubuntu to usbWhen we are told that Jesus Christ sent His disciples forth to "preach the kingdom of God," the word Luke uses means to herald. All Christians are heralds. Appealingly laid out, pacy and fast-moving, with lots of illustrations Luke Finlayson is the illustrator for the Ninja Meerkats series by Gareth Jones.
    • Luke finlayson illustrator torrent

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      luke finlayson illustrator torrent

      Appealingly laid out, pacy and fast-moving, with lots of illustrations Luke Finlayson is the illustrator for the Ninja Meerkats series by Gareth Jones. Moreover, indebted as every preacher must be to the illustrations of others, But when the clouds have poured out their torrents in summer. Finlayson, he honoured with modest respect; but, illustrations from subjects of abstract investigation, *The text is Luke ix.,49, KEITHLEY KUSB 488A LABVIEW TORRENT Secure Email Certificates eligible The application three different ways: vendor, user, model, longer need it that online seminars only be read. You Set to a stripped-down version of the molded. Only characters that heavy and seem the current release. Please confirm your product that best.

      The first point of comparison is found in the life which they both possess. A seed is a living thing. And in this respect is it not a striking emblem of the Word of God? That Word is a living Word. It is more than knowledge. It is a living power; it does not work mechanically, but vitally. The words of Christ were the concentration and embodiment of His own life, just as truly as the seed is the concentration and embodiment of the life of the plant.

      It is the highest of all life. And just as in nature it has been proved that dead matter cannot originate life under any circumstances whatever, except by the introduction into it of a living seed, so without the instrumentality of the Word of God there can be no spiritual life. The Spirit takes of the recorded things of Christ, and shows them to us. Without the Word there would be nothing to know, or obey, or love; without the Spirit there would be no saving knowledge, no obedience, no love.

      The Spirit operating upon the heart apart from the Word would be only to give a vague inclination without an object as its end and purpose. It is aimless and powerless, the continual ploughing and harrowing of a field without putting any seed into it. Another point of resemblance between the seed and the Word is the twofold nature of both. A seed consists of two parts: the embryo, or germ, which is the essential principle of life, and the materials of nourishment by which, when the seed germinates, the young life may grow.

      The seed is not all a living principle; its inner essential life reposes in a shrine so small that it can barely be seen. You take away fold after fold of the minute seed, part after part of its structure, and, after all, you have removed only food and clothing. The vital germ has eluded you; and even when you have come to the last microscopic cell, you know not how much of this cell itself is living principle, and how much mere provision for its wants.

      There is the same dual combination in every spoken and written word of thought and form, of sound and sense. As it was necessary that the Divine should appear in human nature in Christ, so it is necessary that we should have the Divine thought, the Divine life, in the literary form in which it is embodied in Scripture.

      We could not apprehend it otherwise. The living principle in the seed would not grow without its wrapping of nourishment and clothing; and the mind of God could not affect us unless it were revealed to us in our own human language, in the flowing images of time and sense with which we are familiar. When it is said that we are born again of incorruptible seed, of the Word of God that liveth and endureth for ever, it is not meant to be implied that the Word of God is itself the begetting principle.

      It is only the mode in which the principle works, the vehicle by which the mysterious power embodied in it operates. It is not the human language or thought, but the Divine life within it, that creates us -new. And just as we see in the natural seed, owing to its twofold nature, an unbroken continuity of life, pausing here and unfolding itself there, casting off the chaff and the husks that have served their purpose that it may expand freely, the perisperm dying that the embryo may grow; so we see in the Word of God the same principle of identity running through the successive stages of its development--the same vital truth of redemption passing through various dispensations that have become old and are ready to perish, growing to more and more, casting off effete forms, and unfolding itself more clearly and fully in new forms better suited to the new needs.

      We see the germ that was planted in the first promise of the seed of the woman growing successively into the patriarchal and legal dispensations, and, when the leafage and fruitage of these dispensations waxed old and perished, taking a grander form in the gospel dispensation, and blossoming and fruiting with a new and Divine life in a new and regenerated world.

      A third point of resemblance between the Word of God and a seed may be found in the small compass within which the living principle is enshrined in both. Nothing, as I have said, holds so much in so little bulk as a seed. It is the little ark that swims above a drowned world, with all the life of the world hidden within it. It is a miniature orb, embracing the whole mystery of animated nature. An atom, often not so large as a grain of sand, contains within it all the concentrated vitality of the largest forest trees.

      And in this respect the Word of God may be compared to a seed. It is truth in its seed-form. We have in the Scriptures the most concentrated form of heavenly teaching. Nothing is omitted; nothing is superfluous. It contains all that is necessary for the salvation of man. Nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. It is rounded and finished off--full-orbed and complete, as every seed must be. All is contained within the smallest compass, so as to be easiest of comprehension, easiest of being carried in the memory, and easiest of being reduced to practice.

      And the Word of God is so compacted in the seed-form, because it needs to be unfolded in the teaching and life of man. The soil was made for the revelation of the seed; and the seed was made to be revealed by the soil. As the seed cannot disclose what is in it unless it fall into appropriate soil, and be stimulated to growth by suitable conditions, so the Word of God cannot disclose all that it contains unless it grow in an understanding mind and in a loving heart; unless by meditation and prayer it can expand from the seed-form to the blade, and the ear, and the full corn in the ear.

      As wonderful as the unfolding of a beautiful flower from an almost invisible seed is the unfolding of the depth and fulness of meaning that is in the smallest precept of Scripture. For every new generation, the Word of God has new revelations and adaptations. The seed in the new soil and circumstances reveals new aspects of truth.

      The Word of God, like the great word of nature which is the illustration of it, holds in reserve for every succeeding age some new perception, some new disclosure of the Divine order and economy, revealing to no man, however studious and zealous, more than a part, and ever opening new vistas to reverent love and intelligence. A fourth point of resemblance between the Word of God and a seed is the variety and beauty that may be recognized in both. Have you ever examined a seed under a magnifying glass?

      It is often seen to be very curiously formed, even by the naked eye; but the microscope reveals new beauties and marvels of construction in it. The other day, in my garden, I took up the withered head of a poppy, and poured out into the palm of my hand the contents of its curious seed-vessel. There was a little heap of very small round seeds that would take a long time to count. I looked at the handful with the aid of my pocket lens, and I saw, to my delight, that each was beautifully chased and embossed on the outside..

      For the shapes of beauty often displayed by seeds language has no terms. A whole volume might be filled with an account of them. Some have curious wing-like appendages, on which they float away in the air in search of a suitable growing-place; some are covered with silky down, and some with lace-like tunics, while many kinds have hard enamelled or embroidered surfaces; and their colouring is as varied and beautiful as their forms. How wonderfully is the Bible constructed!

      It is fashioned in human imagery. Every kind of literary style is found in it. The same truth is conveyed in many forms, and always in the most appropriate dress. Proverb and allegory and parable, history, psalm and prophecy, song and incident, everything that can charm the imagination and quicken the intellect and satisfy the heart, is employed to make its doctrines and precepts interesting and impressive. A fifth point of resemblance between the Word of God and a seed may be seen in the wonderful effects which they both produce.

      There is something almost creative in a seed. You take a seed to a desert, sow it there, and you change the barren sand, by its growth, into a fruitful field. That seed alters the whole character of a place, makes the climate more genial and the soil more fertile, and the very heavens more accommodating. The flow of streams, the nature of the winds, the sunshine, the dew, and the rainfall, the verdure of forest and field, all depend upon the effects which a little seed produces. Man himself has his well-being affected by the growth of a seed.

      The sowing of seed must ever be the first process towards a higher state of things. His whole civilization springs from it. His capacity of improvement and capability of receiving spiritual instruction, and consequently all the revelations and experiences of the kingdom of heaven, are connected with the sowing of the seed of the meat that perisheth. And in all these respects, do not the effects produced by the Word of God resemble those of the natural seed?

      The Word of God is quick and powerful. It awakens an instinctive reverence which no other word inspires. When it enters the soul, it stirs up feelings that are peculiar to itself. It does not lie dormant in the intellect, but quickens the conscience. It does not affect our opinions or speculations merely, it affects our heart and life. We regulate our conduct and thought by scientific or literary truth, but such truth does not lord it supreme over our being: it is subordinate to us--it is our servant, and we use it for our own purposes.

      But the Word of God dominates our whole nature, and we must submit to it for its own sake. We cannot use or subordinate it to ourselves; we feel that it must use us, and that we must obey it. It has the power of transmutation in it. It has a spiritual quickening energy. It is the source of saving life to souls dead in trespasses and sins. It has taken its place in the heart of human culture. Nothing else has wrought such a mighty revolution in human ideas.

      It is a Divine seed which came from heaven, and has brought the kingdom of heaven down to men--made the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose. The harvest which has sprung from it is everywhere visible in the Church and the world. It is increasing in beauty and fruitfulness every day. We are sent into the world to sow, and not to destroy--to sow the seed of heaven, and thus raise in it a heavenly produce foreign to it, impart to it a principle of spiritual life which, by its growth, will choke out old evils, and make all things new.

      And let us remember that we must give our own life in the sowing, as the plant gives its life in the seed. Macmillan, D. The man who sows has an end in view. On that his heart is set. The sower wisely selects, in reference to established laws, the means which are adapted to this end.

      In other words, this parable presents to our view, as its groundwork--The nature of the gospel as a revelation; the contents of the gospel as an instrument of redemption. I understand revelation to be contrasted with The human mind is limited in its range of knowledge, and yet has an unlimited sphere opened to it.

      Argument or reasoning. Here we need to discriminate. The Word of God is to be believed, because He affirms it; and He will hold His children responsible to recognize His voice. It only remains now to state, in regard to the nature of the gospel as a revelation, that it is a It is a revelation of God; but of God in Christ. It contains, then, as the instrument of redemption, or as the word of the kingdom The Scriptures contain, also On the hard field the seed can take no root.

      There are hearts like that hard field here to-day. They have been trampled hard by sin. The seed cannot grow there. I have heard of a man who had attended the Church for years, and who, when he was dying, told the clergyman that he had never heard one of his sermons. So the good seed fell unheeded on the hard, trampled field, and the birds of the air carried it away.

      The seed which fell on the shallow field took root, and grew up very fast. But there was no depth of soil, the seed was not well rooted, and so it quickly withered away, and brought no fruit. How many of these shallow fields we have amongst us I The people represented by them are ready enough to come to church, and to take an interest in religious matters.

      But their religion is like an ague, a hot fit succeeded by a cold one. There is a special danger for such people in the wild, excitable forms of so-called religion, so common in these days. They forsake the old paths and the sober truths of the gospel for some scene of hysterical excitement, where men would force the seed to grow rapidly in a hot atmosphere of passion; and they mistake feelings for religion, and noisy display for real conviction. Some seed fell on the thorny field, where the weeds grew thickly and choked it.

      And last of all, there is the good field, where the seed grows and bears abundant fruit. We cannot all bring forth the same fruit, or an equal amount. There is the saint of high and holy life, whose word and teaching sway the multitude. And there is the simple old cottager, who spells out her Bible with dim eyes and painful labour, and finds her treasure there. Wilmot-Buxton, M. The seed is the Word of God--the word of prophecy; the word of promise; the word of sound doctrine; the word of strong exhortation, and solemn warning, and high encouragement, which is given by inspiration of God.

      A quickening seed. It brings the dead in sin to spiritual life. It is also productive of much consolation to those who are quickened thereby. An important caution to all hearers to take heed how they hear, and to remember their awful responsibility. Much matter of humiliation to the whole Church.

      There never has been, and never can or will be, any profitable hearing of the Word, unless the Holy Spirit change the heart and prepare the soil for the reception of the Divine seed. Much matter of encouragement to every weak believer. If the work of the Holy Spirit is begun on the heart, the Word of truth may be heard with profit; and it has been heard with profit by all who are separated from the world, and transformed by the renewing of their mind. Finally, the parable sets forth matter of important instruction to the individuals on the way to Zion, relative to the subject-matter of preaching that shall be profitable for them to hear.

      Borrows, M. According to the Bible, nothing determines the true worth of a man more clearly than the way in which he acts with regard to the Divine Word; and the different manner of his treatment of it. The Lord places this before us most clearly, intelligibly, in this parable. The indifferent. A very numerous class. Word sown upon, not in, heart; and therefore is given up to any one who will take it away.

      To such persons life is a walk, not a journey. Unimportant to them whether they arrive at a definite goal; they only ask for the invigorating air on the way, to delight themselves with the sight of the beauties around them, and in cheerful conversation with those about them. The enjoyment of life is their watchword; they do not desire to live, that is to say, to work, but to enjoy.

      The frivolous. It takes root only in the heart softened and moistened with the tears of daffy humiliation. The impure. These have gone the way of humiliation; but have not quite given place to the Saviour. They have reserved this and that sinful joy and pleasure, this and that so-called favourite sin and weakness. Their spiritual life is gradually choked in them, and at last is entirely quenched.

      The pure. These have had their hearts purified and made beautiful and good, by faithfully laying hold of the beauty and goodness of the Saviour. In this state of preparation they hear and receive the Word, and bring forth fruit. They do not release themselves from this obligation, but follow it earnestly and strictly, yet without self-righteousness. They bring forth the fruit of love, the only ripe fruit.

      They bring forth patience in humble and constant endurance, amid inward and outward afflictions; also in patience with the often scanty fruit, and especially in a mind which quietly and joyfully submits itself to God in all things. They bring forth fruit in different ways, partly because their soil is of different degrees of goodness, partly because their industry and faithfulness in preparing their soil are different. But none among them assumes superiority over the others; they all love each other like brethren.

      These alone are the hearts which really belong to Christ. Rothe, D. Interest easily enlisted; feelings quickly touched. Feelings so soon stirred are not likely to be deep, and principles quickly influenced are no safe guides. They may be good for a time, but they cannot be good long. This is the prevailing phase of modern worldliness.

      It is an age of hurry. Many persons would be excellent Christians if only they were not so many other things besides; if they were not so engrossed in business, or absorbed in pleasures, or preoccupied by cares. This will not do. If religion is to thrive at all, it must carry on simultaneously two processes; it must strike root downward and bear fruit upward.

      Of these, if we may say it with reverence, it must have been a real pleasure to our Lord to speak. Not, indeed, that the good are all perfect, or all alike good. No sameness in grace, any more than in nature.

      We expect differences, even among guileless hearts. It is characteristic of the guileless that they make no show for a long time; they develop surely, but very slowly. Marshall, M. What gives the interest to these things, gives a peculiar interest to this parable.

      Others may be as instructive and as beautiful, but of all those parables that He strung like pearls on the thread of His discourses, this is the first Jesus ever spake. As peculiarly befitting Him who came to sow saving truths broadcast on the world, no subject could form a more suitable introduction; and with the Divine skill with which He chooses, Jesus handles the topic.

      There is life in seed. There is force in seed. What so worthy to be called the power as well as the wisdom of God as that Word which, lodged in the mind, and accompanied by the Divine blessing, fed by showers from heaven, rends hearts, harder than the rocks, in pieces?

      Jeremiah There is a power of propagation in seed. There is not a shore which shall not be sown with this seed; not a land but shall yield harvests of glory to God and of souls for heaven. Hearers represented by the wayside. Some who carefully cultivate their fields, or their gardens, or their business, or their minds, take no pains whatever to cultivate their hearts. Hearers represented by the stony ground.

      What have we here? Those represented by the ground with thorns. David, David, these are the things which make a death-bed terrible! Alone, in the garret of a dilapidated house, within a wretched room, stretched on a pallet of straw, covered only by some scanty, filthy rags, with no fire in the empty chimney, and the winter wind blowing in cold and fitful gusts through the broken, battered window, an old woman lay, feeble, wasted, grey.

      She had passed the eleventh hour; the hand was creeping on to the twelfth. Had she been called? It was important to turn to the best account the few remaining sands of life; so I spoke to her of her soul, told her of a Saviour--urging her to prepare for that other world on whose awful border her spirit was hovering.

      In their case it does not, so to speak, go in at the one ear and come out at the other. It does not fall on their minds to run off like water from a stone; it falls, but it is as seed into a furrow, to lodge itself in their hearts. They do not reject, but receive it. In the form of good works, of unselfish, gentle, and heavenly dispositions, of useful, noble, holy, and Christian lives, they bring forth fruit--some much; some little; but all some.

      Thomas Guthrie, D. Unsuccessful results do not lessen the value of the seed. Unsuccessful efforts must then be studied in relation to the sphere of operations. There are honest and good hearts in every community. No true teacher will have entire failure. Burrows, B. The seed is all of one kind--not a mixture, but the same throughout; many grains, but one, and only one quality.

      It is absolutely and perfectly good; not only the same quality throughout, but that quality perfect, and so each and every grain complete in itself in all that constitutes the perfection of seed. Seed is a living reality; seed is the germ or origin from which the plant in its strength and beauty springs. Yet withal seed, living as it is, quick with life which should propagate itself to a thousand generations, is dependent for its germination and its fruitfulness on the soil which receives it when sowed.

      Now our Lord teaches us that seed, possessing, as we know it does, these qualities, is an apt emblem of the Word of God. Jesus Christ Himself. As men do not always scatter their seed literally with their own hands, but use machinery, and yet it is in truth not the machine, but the man who sows it, by whom the seed is sowed, so, whenever His seed is sowed, He is the Sower, using the hands and mouths of men as His instruments, not giving up His office and work to them to discharge for Him, but Himself discharging His office and work by and through them.

      He it is, then, who went out as the Sower; He went out, and He has never turned back; He has never ceased of His sowing. But when did He go out? He sows Himself. Turner, M. We fill our garners with the harvested grain, and call it wealth; but its only end is destruction. God sends His sunshine to dry the ripening ear, and His wind to shake out the bursting seeds, and lo! Man constructs his wondrous mechanisms and quickens them into life with the subtle forces which he wrests from nature and compels to his will.

      But they wear out or rust out in time, and never reproduce themselves after their kind. If he plant them, they will not grow; if he break them and scatter their parts, they are utterly destroyed. Or he builds his mighty monuments and leaves them for time to crumble; and long centuries after we dig from the earth their imperishable remnants which have lain as they fell.

      Its fruit falls, and from its decay another tree springs into being; a branch is out and thrust into the ground, and that, too, becomes a tree; a bud is slipped off and inserted in a growth of diverse character, but it becomes a limb, and bears fruit, and reproduces after its own kind.

      Nothing ever produced by man can germinate. Nothing produced by God ever failed to do so, if placed in the proper conditions. Being seed, however, it contains the germ of truth which, if subjected to the requisite conditions, will inevitably multiply itself in infinite series and ratio after its own kind. He who receives this seed as in good ground will, with absolute certainty, in due season bring forth as bounteous a harvest as his capacities may admit. Robert Wilson, M. He that sows the good seed is the Son of man.

      Are not ministers sowers? He sows His own seed: so in the text. The sower sowed His seed. They have no seed of their own, but fetched out of His garner. They differ in the manner of sowing. He was the most skilful Sower that ever was. He knew exactly what grain every ground was fitted for.

      With Him were treasures of wisdom. We that have but drops from His fulness, are unskilful in comparison. We differ in efficacy. We may sow and plant, and this is all. Suppose it be Paul, or Apollos himself, we can give no increase, nor make anything to grow. But He can sow, and give increase at His pleasure. He can warm it with the beams of grace, streaming from His own brightness Malachi He is the Sun of Righteousness.

      He can blow upon His field with the prosperous winds of His gracious and quickening spirit Isaiah ; Song of Solomon This Sower goeth forth. Christ goeth forth to sow three ways. In spirit, by inward inspirations and heavenly motions. And thus He sowed in the hearts of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the prophets; who were, with other holy men, immediately inspired and acted by the Holy 1 Peter So with the penmen of Scripture, and the apostles.

      In person, according to His humanity He cometh out from the bosom of His Father, and comes into the field of the world by His happy Incarnation. In the ministry of His servants He goeth forth, both the prophets and teachers before Him. As seed is a small and contemptible thing, altogether unlikely to bring such a return and increase; so the Word preached seems a weak and contemptible thing 1 Corinthians As the seed in the barn or garner fructifies not, unless it be cast into the earth; so the Word, unless cast into the ears and hearts of men, is fruitless, regenerateth not, produceth no fruits of faith.

      As seed hath a natural heat, life, and virtue in it, by which it increaseth and begetteth more seeds like unto itself; so the Word cast into the good ground hath a supernatural heat in it, being as fire Jeremiah , and a lively power to frame men like itself, to make them, of fleshly, spiritual; of blind, quick-sighted; of dead in sin, alive in grace. And as one grain quickened, brings sundry tillows, and many grains in each; so one Christian converted, and receiving this power in himself, gaineth many unto God, desiring that every one were as he is, except his bonds and sins.

      As seed cast into the ground lives not, unless it die first; so the Word preached brings no fruit or life, unless it kill first and work mortification; yea, and by continual sense of frailty and acquaintance with the cross, it keeps under such natural pride and corrupt as resist the work of As seed cast never so skilfully into the earth is not fruitful, unless God give it a 1 Corinthians ; so neither is the Word, unless God add His blessing 1 Corinthians Thomas Taylor, D.

      Men do not perish, brethren, because there are not sufficient truths to save them. The seed-basket is ever full, and willing hands are ready to scatter the seed in all directions. It is estimated that eighty thousand sermons are preached in this country every week; and what hundreds of thousands mere are circulated in the homes of the people by the press; and what constant utterance of saving truths by earnest men in Sabbath schools, in conversation, and by the couch of the afflicted l And yet does the upspringing of this holy seed appear in general righteousness, fidelity, and purity?

      Is the condition of society a manifestation of the truth supposed to be cherished in its inner life? Alas I no. The truth is but rarely sown in the heart, W. This first kind of soil is the only one of the four mentioned in which nothing came of the sowing.

      In this alone there is a combination of causes which renders any good result impossible. Three causes are shown:. Before the sowing the soil was incapable of receiving the seed, for it was beaten hard by constant traffic.

      After the seed had fallen upon it men trod it under foot and crushed out its life. The connection between the three is obvious. Had the soil not been trodden hard beforehand, neither would the after-treading have destroyed the seed, nor would the birds have found it lying ready. Hid in the bosom of the earth, it would have been safe from both. It is the picture of a thoroughly worldly man--not what would commonly be called a wicked man, not a man whose life is a scandal to the society in which he moves, by reason of the grossness of his vices, or the profane or ribald licence of his conversation, but simply one who may be in all outward and social respects without a speck or flaw in his character--nay, who may even be scrupulous in performing all such external acts of religion as the world is pleased to account marks of respectability and good taste, but who is withal simply incapable of receiving any wholesome impression from the ministry of the Word of God, because he has given up his whole heart and mind to worldly things, and heart and mind under their unopposed influence have become completely hardened.

      Such a man hears the Word. It is beautiful to him, it is pleasant to him, just as, and in no other way, than some history, or poem, or fiction, written by the hand, inspired by the genius of a fellow-man, is pleasant or beautiful. And this because there is drawn over his heart and mind and spirit--over all that part of his being in which exists most fully the image of God and the counterpart of the Divine mind--that hard, callous covering of worldliness which is the common road of all that is unprofitable and vain, but is like armour of proof against the entrance of aught that is good and holy into the soil beneath.

      If the farmer wish to throw into one his separated fields, and make the old roadway part of his productive soil, he knows that the very causes of its hardness have added some fertilizing elements, and that only deep and thorough tillage is needed to accomplish his purpose. But he carefully chooses the time to put in the plough. He does not begin his work when the frost has bound the land in its icy fetters, nor when the drought and heat have reduced it to stony hardness.

      But meantime he is diligently removing the fences and clearing away, as opportunity may offer, the obstructions which have accumulated. And then some day, when he sees it softened by gentle showers, which the shading clouds have allowed to soak into its bosom, he ploughs deep and harrows thoroughly, and lo, the work is done I In the same way must we deal with this indifference to religion.

      If we attack such a man when his heart is cold and careless, or when some angry spirit of controversy warms him into resistance, we shall meet only disappointment. In fact, we are sure to be disappointed if we attack him at all.

      We must wait patiently and watch closely. We must gently and quietly remove as we may the barriers which most frequently we have ourselves erected about him. So long as we keep him fenced out from the companionship and familiar intercourse of pious people, we can make no impression upon him. It was not John the Baptist, but Jesus the Christ who was the friend of publicans and sinners.

      If we seek the society of such people, and show interest and pleasure in their company, at first they may be shy, but we shall soon see that pass. If we are careful not to obtrude our religion upon them they will always be careful not to make their irreligion offensive to us. And then some time, when the clouds of sorrow have overshadowed them, and the gentle rain of kindly sympathy has softened the hard crust of reserve, God gives us our opportunity, and we may drop the rich seed of His saving truth into the deep furrows which lie open in the mellowed soil.

      Who knows but that when the harvest season comes, we may trace the old roadway all through the burdened field by the line of heavier sheaves which it has ripened! Wilson, M. As in an highway if any seed fall, no man looks to cover it, no man respects it, as looking for no good at all of it, but leaves it to be trodden of beasts, and eaten up of birds: so with these hearers, when the Word is preached, they hear it carelessly, without all attention, or affection, they care not to understand it, never cover it by meditation, nor receive it further than by giving it the hearing; they expect no good from it; let errors and lusts come and tread it down, let the devil by suggestions and tentations devour it up; they care neither to understand, nor receive, nor remember it.

      Their own disposition: they tread the seed under foot; that is, despise and undervalue it. It is the careless hearer who understands not, nor attains. The careless hearer is the worst hearer of all, as this first ground is the worst ground of all. The other two are bad both, yet they gave the seed some cover, and receive it in; but these hold it out, and leave it where they found it.

      The malice of the devil see Luke Where are three things to be considered:. This part of the parable is founded on the principle that attention is the first claim of the gospel. The gospel claims attention from us An obligation rests on man to exercise and improve this power. For we know that some of the highest obligations of life involve a right exercise of attention.

      For it includes Spiritual facts as its basis and its end. The difficulties of life have been the occasion of making all the greatness the world has ever witnessed in men. Painful truths; being a direct, unqualified attack upon cherished desires and confirmed habits. The doctrines of the gospel are contested truths. And the contest, our Lord informs us, is first begun by another party before man takes it up. Some find insuperable difficulties in particular doctrines. Others are prejudiced against the principles for being so much better than those who profess to believe them.

      And he has taught another class in his school to look within themselves for illumination. Then, by everything sacred and decent, by every consideration of propriety and of duty, every human being should listen to the Word of God. And again we are bound to give such attention, because the Scriptures Fully and strongly exhibit our duties; the chief of which are those we owe to God.

      They also fully exhibit our duty to man. God here treats of life and death eternal. This is the sum. They hear the Word as a man hears in a dream. They do not attend to it. It is a mere sound that has no meaning in it to them. He is not personal to them at all. It is a common thing to meet men and women who have been church-goers all their lives, and who tell you with the blandest manner, when you speak to them about their souls, that they have never really given the matter any serious thought.

      No impression of truth has been made upon their hearts. They are indifferent to it all, though keenly alive to and intelligent concerning a score or a hundred earthly interests. They are world-hardened. I could not help thinking all through the service, as I looked at the spacious proportions of this edifice, if it was a cotton mill how many spindles I could set up in it. A lady confessed to me once that, during the sermon, though she heard the words of it and understood the theme as I discussed it, she had been planning for a dinner party that she was to give during the week.

      Here was a heart society-hardened. I knew another man who acknowledged that during the sermon he had been mentally making a note of the men whom he noticed in the congregation, and arranged in his own mind how and when he would see them in order to induce them to take out policies in a great life insurance company, of which he had recently been made the local agent.

      Thus do men harden their hearts and become wayside hearers. It is evident that there is a very considerable difference between the persons whose state is signified by the shallow soil and those who are represented by the hard field-path. By those the Word of God is not received at all--merely heard with the outward ears, and in no true sense understood; by these the Word is not only received, but received with joy.

      The persons now in question do not simply listen to the Word of God with pleasure and admiration, as the worldly man does, because of the outward graces in which its expression is clothed. No I their joy is a joy of the heart--they understand that which they hear, in a sense in which the worldly man understandeth it not. Its inner meaning--its spiritual beauty--is not hidden from them, as from him. They are able to discern and to appreciate it as a revelation of God, and the excellence, the purity, the righteousness, the loveliness of that which is revealed find in their hearts a powerful attraction.

      Nor does the effect of the Word end there. They not only understand, they not only feel, but they act. The love of Christ constrains them--constrains them to break away from evil habits, to exercise self-denial, to follow in many ways that which they see to be good. What more, you may ask, could be expected or desired?

      Is not this the very result which the Divine Sower looks and longs for? Is not this proof which cannot be gainsaid that the Divine seed has taken good root, and is fulfilling the purpose of its sowing? How can this soil be classed as unfruitful when it is actually bearing so goodly a crop? Alas 1 the Sower Himself answers our questions. It is all good while it lasts; but it endures but for a time, and all trace of it is gone long before the reapers go forth to gather in the harvest.

      The wayside had suggested incapacity for fruitage, resulting from a misapplication of the moral and intellectual faculties, the consequence of which was indifference to sacred things. The stony ground illustrates another and equally disastrous condition of irreligion, produced by an entirely different cause. Here the soil is good. In fact, in such places it is often of superior quality, produced by the rotting of leaves and other refuse matter in the moisture which cannot soak into the ground, But it has no depth.

      The seed which falls on this rich warm mould is rapidly quickened and soon germinates, shooting up with a green luxuriance that gives promise of speedy and abundant returns. The roots are thrown out all along the surface, but they can take no firm hold on the soft and yielding material, and the tap-root, which ought to penetrate deep into the subsoil to give support to the plant and find a never-drying source of moisture, is bruised and turned aside by the underlying stones against which it strikes, while the very rapidity and luxuriance of growth soon exhausts the scanty materials which nourish it.

      The warm sunshine which ought to give life and vigour becomes a source of injury instead, and the wilted plant droops, dies, and is forgotten long before the harvest season comes. Now we know perfectly well that such ground is far from useless; that if the proper treatment be applied it is often the most profitable, for these are just the conditions which we select or produce artificially for forcing.

      We want rich and rapid growth, and we know how to obtain it. Every gardener knows what special care must be bestowed upon the hot-bed to prevent the loss of all his labour. The hot, damp, shallow soil receives greedily the proffered seed, and with a marvellous quickness develops the germ. But the most assiduous attention is demanded, for these hotbed plants are far more delicate than those beside them from the same seed. They must he mulched and watered, the sunshine must be courted, but shaded off as it grows too warm, the cold air must be carefully excluded, but often discreetly admitted, and the least relaxation of all this diligence means destruction.

      The very same soil, if deeply dug, thoroughly drained, and well fertilized, will become permanently strong and productive. Surely we are only too familiar with the application in all its various degrees. We see all about us people in every stage and character of irreligion who were once, to some extent at least, professedly pious. It is fearful to contemplate how many such there are, and how very difficult it is to reawaken them to any interest in religion. The facility with which great numbers of persons may be made to acknowledge the influence of religious emotion is familiar to us all, and a little observation will also make us familiar with the startling disproportion of those numbers to the comparatively few who persevere.

      Nothing could be further from the truth than to accuse such persons of hypocrisy, for emotional characters are almost always sincere. But they have no depth of character, and their very shallowness causes a rapid and laxuriant development of practical religion. The drunkard is suddenly reformed; the profane swearer becomes frequent in prayer; the brawler grows peaceable and patient under insult.

      But one after another the old evil habits of life get the better of them, and their last state is worse than the first, because religion has become to them an experimental failure; the glowing faith which believed conversion an accomplished fact has given way to disappointment, and the man has lost all confidence in the reformatory influence and efficacy of religious belief and effort.

      Now if we bear in mind this warning lesson of the Master, we shall always become watchful and careful when we see any unexpectedly prompt and promising yielding to religious influence or exhortation. Beware of the quick fertility of the stony ground. A kind of bad hearers, compared to stones, or stony ground. For their coldness: not warmed with the heat of the sun of righteousness, nor the Spirit of God, but abide cold as stones. For their heaviness: a stone will not easily be removed out of his place, his proper centre is the earth.

      As stony ground and common stones are little esteemed, but rejected of men; so this stony ground is as little respected of God. Yet herein our hard hearts are worse than stones: they increase not their hardness; but ours is daily increased by wilfulness and perverseness. This bad ground receiveth the Word: wherein they go beyond the former hearers, who only heard the Word, but left it as soon as they heard it; let the devil, or any devouring bird eat it and take it from them, they care not.

      Some of the Israelites tasted of the fruits of the land of Canaan, and did thereby perceive what a good land it was and desired part in it, and conceived good hope of enjoying and possessing it, yet never enjoyed it, but perished in the wilderness. Learn hence how far a bad hearer may go in Christianity. A man may hear the Word with diligence, receive it with joy, believe with some assurance, grow up to high place in the profession of religion, bring forth fruits of commendable obedience, and all this while be bad ground and in damnable estate.

      Having spoken of the success of this seed cast into the stony ground, in the commendable hopes it gave in the beginning; now we proceed to the lamentable and doleful success in the conclusion with the reason of it, both in the words now read unto you. First, of the withering of these glorious professors, then of the causes. This withering is a falling away, but not all at once, but by little and little, as a leaf loseth his greenness and flourish, and withers by degrees.

      For the word implieth the manner of their falling. Here consider four things:. In respect of the Church: They bring scandal to the weak, and the scorn of the wicked upon themselves and all professors. In respect of the sin itself: None more dangerous. For first, relapses, we say, are far more dangerous than first diseases. Secondly, Satan returning, comes with seven more wicked spirits than himself, and so he is for ever held under the power of Satan.

      Fourthly, it is in the degrees of the sin against the Holy Ghost, and easily brings a man into that estate that there may be left no sacrifice for his sin. In respect of the judgment that awaits and overtakes this sin. The judgment is certain. The third general thing proposed is: Notes of a man withering in grace. A resting in a common and general hope of a good estate, without desire or endeavour to seek marks of certainty or special assurance in himself, As a foolish tradesman hopes his estate is good enough, and bears his creditors in hand it is so; but he is loath to cast up his books or come to a particular view of it.

      No surer argument of a man decaying. An opinion of sufficiency, that he hath grace enough, he will seek no more because he pleaseth himself in his present measure; and he that careth not to increase his stock wastes of the principal. And not to go forward is to go backward. He must eat that must live. And the plant that would not wither must draw moisture daily. Or, if using public means diligently he neglect private, he is on the withering hand. Get sound judgment, to discern the truth from error.

      If we would not fall we must be grounded on the foundation of the prophets and apostles; by private reading, meditating and conferring of the Scriptures, which notably begets and confirms soundness of judgment; and by prayer, which obtains the spirit who is called the spirit of judgment.

      The lamp fails without oil. Sound persuasion of the truth thou professest; that thou mayest not please thyself that thou hearest the truth from the mouth of the preacher; or hast it in thy Bible at home; no, nor content thyself that thou hast it in thy mouth or discourse, but that thou hast the experience of it in thine heart. Sound affection and love to the truth upholds from withering in it, when the wise Christian esteems the pearl worth selling all to buy it.

      Love anything better than grace, thou art gone. Demas loves the world better, and easily forsakes the truth. How many lights in the beginning of their profession have been extinct by the world coming upon them. Unfeelingness of hardness, and unwillingness to feel it; no mislike of it, no desire to understand the danger of it. For the maintaining their estate, credit, and favour in the world, or their lusts and pleasures, to oppose and dislike such doctrines, courses, and persons as have the word on their sides.

      Habits and customable sins, which make the heart as a pathway. A soft heart smites itself for once sinning and for small sinning. Here is a case of great promise in the commencement. We should here take a distinct view of the nature of courage. The common notion of it is, indifference to danger.

      But that does not distinguish this noble principle from rashness. It properly refers to that quality of mind by which the higher sentiments overrule the dread of suffering. These sentiments are such as patriotism, philanthropy, integrity, sense of duty, and sense of right.

      The opposite state of mind is that which places the escaping from suffering above every consideration. And it is a person governed by that principle that is pointed out by this part of the parable. This habit of placing comfort before goodness equally facilitates the beginning and the ending of his religious life; for Imagine a person awakened by the law of God to an apprehension of danger; of guilt in his sight, and consequent exposure to the Divine wrath.

      If he would regard the testimony of God, he would find more in his case than the exposure to suffering. But such is the operation of selfishness in the human heart, that often where this sense of danger is irresistibly urged home, there is still such a magnifying of suffering as the great evil, that the attention shall be fully absorbed by that. The first consequence is He neither sees that Christ comes to save him from sin; nor that he is a sinner. This must make a superficial Christian.

      He fails also to see the work of the Holy Spirit, and his own obsolute dependence on that Spirit for renewal and sanctification. There lies in that heart the deep, dead, broad rock of impenitence and pride. Into its compact substance no root of conviction, of repentance, of faith, of love, ever penetrated.

      The very thing he has bargained for is an easy service. Christ gives peace; and it is peace he wants, and not trouble. He can accordingly sail in smooth seas, and live well in fair weather with his religion. It requires him to struggle with sin in his own heart. The work to which Christ calls us is a progressive conquest over spiritual evils in ourselves. His conflict with the world. These are not thoroughly worldly persons, who pay no heed at all to the Word of God; nor yet are they persons who trust to their own feelings and impulses, and what are called religious impressions, for strength to stand in the evil day, and to endure tribulation for the sake of Christ; but they are those who set themselves to accomplish the task which our Lord says is impossible, of serving God and Mammon, of making, as it has been said, the best of both worlds.

      They cannot seek God with their whole heart, because their heart is always occupied, in part at least, with some other object. God and the things of God are acknowledged by them as having a claim on their time and thoughts, but it is only the spare time, only the thoughts of so to say idle moments, that they can afford to give up in response to this claim.

      Whatever home the Word of God can find for itself in vacant spaces of mind and heart it is welcome to occupy; whatever influence it can exercise within the narrow limits which other things do not fill, they do not grudge it; but it can by no means be permitted to interfere with more pressing interests, or to assert anything like a free right of entry into all the concerns of life. Rather it would seem they do from the first recognize both sides of the teaching--the sweetness of the promises, and the awfulness of the threatenings; but at the same time there is something which prevents them from fully appreciating either the one or the other; something which hinders them from really using all their energies that they may avoid the threatened woe and attain the promised blessedness.

      And this something is the hold upon their hearts which is already established by cares, riches, pleasures, delights of the world. Thus they feel some desire to escape the future punishment of sin, but the desire of being free from present cares lies deeper, and if it comes to a question between voluntary endurance of cares here for the sake of happiness hereafter, and self indulgence now with the risk of misery in the future, they choose the latter, because they see the things temporal more clearly than the things eternal,, and what they see most clearly they rank most highly.

      Thus also they wish to enjoy the glories of heaven, but they wish also to have all they can of the enjoyments of earth, and if they -must forego one for the sake of ensuring the other, they will most readily forego that which they wish for most feebly, because its excellence and desirableness is least real to them, and this again will be the distant glory which is discerned by faith only, not the present enjoyment which forces itself upon the notice of their senses.

      Here a new and startling thought is brought out, which leads our minds into a different and most suggestive channel. Walking by the waterside we find two eggs on the shore, so nearly similar in size, and shape, and colour, that an unpractised eye would scarcely distinguish one from the other. The same white, brittle shell, every section of which is some modification of the arch, equally the strongest form to resist external violence and the weakest against pressure from within.

      Break this shell and we find in each a similar living membrane, an air-chamber for the support of the young animal, a yolk for its nourishment suspended by twisted ligaments and protected by an envelope of glairy albumen, with the germ-vesicle containing potentially the future young as yet indistinguishable by any human power. We submit these almost exactly similar eggs to the requisite conditions of time and heat until the breaking shell reveals the developed young, and lo!

      From the one, a bird of pure and beautiful plumage, serviceable to man in its every part, an ornament to nature and fitted to walk the land, to float on the crested wave, or to cleave the light air with its sweeping pinions as it soars toward heaven. From the other a scaly monster of loathsome form and frightful aspect, fitted to live only in slime and mire, and destined only to destroy its fellow-creatures. These results, we know, will be invariable, nor can any power reverse or modify them.

      Thus we learn how exact are the analogies between moral and physical nature. Experience teaches us, further, how full is all soil of the seeds of noxious weeds, and the parable shows us how equally full is our moral nature of the germs of deadly sins and cares which choke out every growth of good.

      So true is this in the physical world, and so absolutely impossible is it to detect the germs of life prevailing everywhere, that science has even dreamed of spontaneous life as the only solution of the mystery. Prepare your ground, however carefully, for the seeding, it will be green with unwelcome growths long before your grain has sprouted. Let a drop of purest water remain exposed for a few hours, it will swarm with animalculae and microscopic vegetables.

      Make anywhere an artificial pond, and in process of time it will contain fish and water-plants, but rarely of useful kinds. The air we breathe is full of the infinitesimal spores of deadly maladies, ready to germinate and produce their lethal fruit; but who ever heard of an atmosphere quick with the seeds of health? So evident has been this truth to all human experience, that men have believed in a dual source of life--the Ormuzd and Ahriman of the Persian mythology, the God and Demiurge of the Gnostic philosophy, the one the creator of evil, the other of the good.

      But whence come these seeds of evil? How is it that these germs of destruction so pervade all nature? Science has but recently demonstrated that they are not, in the physical world, of spontaneous origin. Ninja Meerkats 5 : The Tomb of Doom. Gareth P. The Forbidden Palace Ninja Meerkats. Gareth P Jones. He also works as a TV producer of documentaries. He lives in London with his wife, Lisa.

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