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When Jesus had sent the multitude away and had gone into the house, his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, (and I beg you, my friends, to give me your whole attention, while I tell you in what way our blessed Saviour explained the parable): He that soweth the seed is the Son of man, or Jesus Christ himself: the field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom, that is, the true followers of Jesus ; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.

The
enemy

that sowed them is the devil: the barvest is the end of the world, the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man, that is, Jesus Christ, shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity: and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnasbing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

I shall now apply this parable to your instruction and profit: and I beg God to give you bis grace, that you may hear, and treasure it

up

in your hearts, and that it may turn to your everlasting good.

In the first place, we learn from this parable, that God Almighty, and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, are the authors only of what is good in this world. When God made the world, he saw that every thing in it was good. He made not death : he made not pain and sickness. He ordered the first man and first woman not to eat of a particular tree : they disobeyed bim, and did eat, and by doing so, brought death, and evil, and sin, and sorrow into the world. Jesus Christ, wben he came upon earth, preached things so good, that, if all men had done them, they would have been happy themselves, and made others happy. He did not take away death indeed: but he promised to raise us at the last day from our graves. He did not take

away pain and sickness and sorrow, but he pointed out to us and shewed us the way to that Heaven, where there will be no pain nor sorrow. And yet, wicked men, were found, and have been always found, who opposed his word, would not obey what he said, thought neither of him nor of Heaven, vexed and tormented his servants, and worked all manner of evil.

Secondly. We learn from this parable, that the devil is the cause of all this mischief. He was once a good angel, but left we are told, his first state, rebelled against God, and was driven from Hea

He tempted our first parents to disobey God, he persuaded them to cat of that tree, which God commanded them not to eat of, telling them that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall surely die, or

ven.

be subject to death, both here and hereafter. He has always, since our Saviour came on earth, had his children in this world-people, who hate the ways of goodness, who take pleasure in sin, who say unto the Saviour, depart from us: we will not hear thee.

Thirdly. We learn from this parable, that as long as this world lasts, there will be good and bad people in it, and that the bad will not always be punished here, lest the good should suffer with them. The tares and the wheat must grow up together. It is impossible sometimes to punish the wicked, without making the good suffer also. A wicked man may have children depending on him for all their comforts. If God should punish the wicked parent, by taking him away from this world, or by afflicting him with sickness or poverty, his children you know, would suffer with him. If God was to send an earthquake, a fire, or a storm, to destroy all the wicked in any country, the good would suffer with them. Therefore he bears with them at present: be lets them remain, lest he should pull up the wheat in pulling up the tares. Be sides, if there were no wicked people, the good would not be half so good. If there were none to do them evil, how could they shew their patience and their forgiveness? if there were none to do them spiteful actions, how should they'shew themselves to be the disciples of their Saviour, by loving their enemies? In that case, they could not have enemies. So God permits the evil to remain with the good. For lastly,

We learn from this parable, that a day is coming, when the tares shall be taken away from the wheat, when the wicked shall he separated from the good. That day is the day of judgment, when our blessed Lord, Jesus Christ himself, shall come down from Heaven with his Holy angels; when he shall take those, who follow him in this life and obey his laws into that Heaven,

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