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hear the murmuring of the proud people who sat at meat with Jesus; she could only listen to the sweet words which He spoke when He said, "Thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace."
Dear children, do you love Jesus? I hope you do, for I am sure you have many sins to be forgiven. If you do not love Him, it is only because you do not yet feel this. Pray to God that He will show you how much Jesus has done for you, and that He will make who has so loved you.
JESUS TEACHING BY PARABLES.
You remember in the last chapter I told you that Jesus explained what he meant by a kind of story. Now this was a way of teaching which Jesus often used. He taught in Parables. I am going to tell you some of these parables, and as we go on I think you will be able to find out what they mean by yourselves. I shall begin with the one called the Parable of the Sower. Jesus was teaching by the sea-side, and so many people gathered round him that He entered into a ship and taught them. When they were all ready to listen, Jesus said to them, "Hearken!-a sower went out tosow." Now the seed was all alike, but it did not all fall on the same kind of ground. Some fell on
a pathway. This was soon picked up by the birds. Some fell on stony ground, and this sprang up; but there was not depth enough of earth, so it soon withered away. Some seed fell among thorns; this was soon choked. Last of all, some fell on ground which had been manured, and ploughed, and harrowed, and watered, and made quite ready for the seed. This sprang up, and bore fruit, not all alike, but some more and some less. The disciples could not understand this parable. Jesus graciously explained what it meant. The seed, He told them, is the Word of God. Every one who hears God's Word read or preached has the seed sown in his heart. So then, dear children, the ground is the heart,-your heart when you hear God's Word, either at home or at church. As you get older, you will understand by degrees what is meant by the wayside ground, the stony ground, and the thorny ground. But you are old enough now to understand that the reason why so
many people get no good by reading and hearing God's Word is, that their hearts are not made ready to receive it.
How must they be made ready? We must pray God to break up these hard and stony hearts, to send the dew of his grace upon them to rain down his Holy Spirit upon them. Then they will be soft and tender. Then his Word will take root in them. Then we shall bring forth fruit, that is the fruit of holiness, to the praise and glory of God.
Another parable is called the Parable of the Tares. Jesus meant to teach, that good and bad people would always be mixed together in this world. A man sowed good seed in his field. Of course he expected a good crop of corn. While men slept his enemy came, and sowed bad seed, or tares, among the wheat. No doubt, this wicked man thought he should spoil the whole crop. The servants who worked in the field soon noticed the tares springing up.
They went to their master, and asked if they should not weed them all out? "No," said the master, "I fear lest, while you are pulling up the tares, you should root up some wheat with them; let both grow together until the harvest. When that time
comes, 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."
Ah, dear children, I am sure you understand this. Many who live among God's people now, go to church with them, and appear very like them, are not really God's people. Their hearts have not been changed by his grace, and they are not striving to live to his glory. We cannot always tell people, but do you not think God can? Oh, yes! We read, not deceived; God is not mocked." (Gal. vi. 7.) At the great day He will tell his angels to separate the righteous from the
which are his true