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"shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear "fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou "shalt cut it down." •
49. Parables. The reason why Jesus used them. An explanation of one of them.
The same day went Jesus out of P,acethe house, and sat by the sea-side. GaHIee And he began again to teach by the sea-side; and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea ; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine," Hearken: Behold, there went "out a sower to sow: and it came to pass, as "he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it "was trodden down, and the fowls of the air "came and devoured it up. And some fell on "stony ground, where it had not much earth; "and immediately it sprang up, because it had ** no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, "it was scorched; and because it had no root, ** it withered away. And some fell among "thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked "it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on "good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang "up and increased; and brought forth, some "thirty, and some sixty, arid some an hun"dred." And when he had said these things, he cried, " He that hath ears to hear, let him « hear."
And when he was alone, * they that were about him, with the twelve, asked of him the parable, saying, What might this parable be? and why speakest thou unto them in parables? And he said unto them, " Unto you it is given '* to know the mystery of the kingdom of Cod: "but unto them that are without" all these "things are done in parables. For whosoever "hath, to him shall be given, and he shall "have more abundance: but whosoever hath f* not, from him shall be taken away even that "he hath.c Therefore speak I to them in pa"rabies, that seeing they may see, and not "perceive; and hearing they may hear, and "not understand; lest at any time they should "be converted, and their sins should be forgiven "them. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy *** of Esaias, which saith,d By hearing ye shall "hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ** ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this "people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears *' are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have "closed; lest at any time they should see with *> their eyes, and hear with their ears, and "should understand with their heart,and should "be converted, and I should heal them. But "blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your
'When the multitude was gone ayvay, and lie was left with his constant followers.
b Not admitted to the familiarity which you are.
c To him who by the grace of God improves his know^ ledge, more shall be given: he who neglects it, shall be deprived of the knowledge he already hath.
4 Though they hear, yet they will not understands Isaiah, "ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto "you, That many prophets and righteous men "have desired to see those things which ye seer "and have not seen them; and to hear those "things which ye hear, and have not heard « them."
"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. The sower soweth the word. When any one "heareth the word of the kingdom, and m> ** dertandeth it not, then cometh the wicked "one, and catcheth away that which was f* sown in his heart. This is he which received "seed by the way side. But he that received "the seed into stony places, the same is he that '* heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth "it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dur"eth for a while; for when tribulation or peiv "secution ariseth because of the word, by and *' by he is offended.1 He also that received ** seed among the thorns is he that heareth the u word; and the cares of this world, and the "deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other ** things entering in, choke the word, and it ** becometh unfruitful. But he that received "seed into the good ground is he that heareth ** the word, and understandeth it ; which also "beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an "hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
"No man, when he hath lighted a candle, "covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under -** a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that "they which enter in may see the light.b fox
- * He is discouraged. •
b As every thing in common }ife is to be put to its proper use, so is my doctrine intended to improve the heart ajid h'e. §
"nothing is secret, that shall not be made ma*' nifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not ** be known and come abroad. Take heed *' therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath,
to him shall be given; and whosoever hath "not, from him shall be taken even that which "he seemeth to have." . .
Another parable pnt he forth unto them, say-' ing, "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 housholder "came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou "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 and gather them up? *' But he said, Nay ; lest while ye gather up "the tares, ye root up also the wheat with "them- Let both grow together until the har* ** vest: and in the time of 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." And he said, "So is the kingdom of God, as if *' a man should cast seed into the ground; and f* should sleep, and rise night and day, and the "seed should spring and grow up, he know** eth not how. For the earth bringeth forth f* fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, ** after that the full corn in the ear. But when ** the fruit is brought forth, immediately he put'* teth in the sickle, because the harvest is "come." *';
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 sow"ed in his field: which indeed is the least of all "seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest "among herbs,1 and becometh a tree, so that ** the birds of the air come and lodge in the "branches thereof." *
Another parable spake he unto them; "The "kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which "a woman took, and hid in three measuresc of "of meal, till the whole was leavened." All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; as they were able to hear it. And without a parable spake not he unto them ; (and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples;) that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,J 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
'Many plants, of which mustard is one, in Judea and other warm climates, grow to a size far beyond what we experience in this country.
b So shall the gospel spread its influence. . > .
c The word measure in tiie Greek signifies near a peck nnd a half.
'Psal. Ixxviii. 2." 1 * *