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Jefus preaches in feveral Places, ver. 1. The Parable of the Sower, ver. 4. Why Jefus fpake in Parables, ver. 10. The Duty of Ministers, ver. 16. Obedience the only Qualification efteemed by God, ver. 20. Jefus ftilleth a Storm, ver. 22. and cafteth Devils out of a Man, and fufers them to go into the Swine, ver. 27. Healeth a Bloody-flux, ver. 43. and raises a young Woman from the Dead, ver.
2 And a certain woman which had been healed of evil fpirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, out of whom
went feven devils.
3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herods fteward, and Sufanna, and many others, which miniftred unto him of their fubftance.
Fter this, Jefus paffed through many Cities and Villages, preaching the Doctrine of Chriftianity; the Neceffity of Reformation, and the Acceptableness of the Repentance even of the greatest Sinners in the Sight of God. And his Twelve Apoftles and other Difciples went with him, promoting this great Work.
23. Several Women alfo of good Subftance, who had been healed by him of divers Difeafes and Infirmities, followed and attended him conftantly, to fupply him with Neceffaries in his Travels; particularly Mary Magdalene, whom he had miraculously delivered from many evil Spirits, that had possesfed her; Joanna alfo, the Wife of Chuza, Herod's Steward; and Sufanna and feveral others.
And in all Places where he 4 And when came, he taught People according to much people were gathered together, their different Capacities and Difpoficome to tions; fometimes with great Freedom out of every and Plainnefs of Speech; at other
and were him
times more refervedly and obfcurely, in Figures and Parables; as they were able, or worthy to hear his Doctrine. More efpecially once, as he was preaching by the Lake of Tiberias, and a vaft number of People was gathered together about him out of the neighbouring Cities, he defcribed to them the State of the Gofpel-Difpenfation, and the Nature and different Effects of the Doctrine of Chriftianity, by feveral Comparifons, or Similitudes; and among others, by this which follows.
5. A Husbandman, faid he, went out to fow Corn in his Field; and as he was fowing, fome grains fell upon the hard beaten road, where they never entered, but were partly trodden under feet, and deftroyed by thofe that passed by, and partly picked up by the Birds: Thus while Chrift, or any Preacher of the Gofpel under him, publishes the Doctrine of true Religion to all forts of People; fome of those that hear, have Hearts fo hardened with Impiety and worldly Lufts, that the Doctrines and Precepts of the Gofpel, never make any Impreffion upon them at all; but they immediately forget what they hear, and return to their Wickednefs.
6. Again, other grains fell upon ftones covered with thin earth where the Corn sprang up indeed, and grew at first; but in a little while, for vant of moisture and depth of root, it withered away: Thus fome others heat the Doctrine of Chriftianity, who at first indeed are moved by it with fome warmth of Devotion, and embrace it chearfully; But when Perfecution, or any other great Temp
tation comes upon them; for want of wife and fettled Refolutions, and a true Love of God, they fall away.
7. Again, fome other of the feed fell among weeds and thorns; Which alfo fprung up indeed; but the weeds coming up with it, and growing fafter and thicker than the Corn, they overspread it and choaked it, fo that it never came to any perfection: Thus others, who hear the Word of God, and are more. over convinced by it, and even make fome kind of Refolutions to obey it; yet having their Minds and Attention wholly taken up with the Cares, Covetoufnefs, and Pleafures of the World; they neglect the Means of Improvement, and bring forth no fruit of Righteousness, Holinefs, and Charity.
8. Lastly, fome other of the feed fell into good and fruitful ground, where it grew up and profpered and came to maturity, and proved a very great Crop of Corn: Thus others, to whom the Gofpel is preached, believe the Word of God heartily, embrace it wifely, adhere to it ftedfaftly, and obey it fincerely, and how forth the Effects of it in the conftant practice and perfevering courfe of a good Life. Whofoever is capable and defirous of Inftruction, let him hear and confider what I fay.
9 This and other Parables Jefus fpake to the People, reprefenting things in the bare Similitude only, without adding the Explication. But when he was alone, his Difciples defired him to expound to them plainly, the full Senfe and Meaning of the Parable.
10. Jefus replied: Ye indeed, who are difpofed and prepared for this Knowledge, may have all the Truths that concern the Kingdom of the Meffiah and the State of the Gofpel, clearly and fully explained to you; but the mixt Multitude are not capable nor worthy of this Priviledge. For fuch is their Ignorance and Prejudices, that in them is exactly fulfilIfa.vi.9. led that Prophecy of Isaiah; That, Seeing, even the plaineft things, yet they fee not; and hearing the most reasonable Doctrines, yet they underftand not. To them therefore I fpeak only obfcurely and in Parables, infilling things by degrees, as they are able to bear them, but to you I reveal all the Myfteries of God, plainly and fully.
*SeeMar. iv. 20.
11. Then he told them, how by the
10 And he faid, Unto you it is given to know the myfteries of the kingdom others in parables; that seeing they might not fee, and hearing they might not understand.
12. That by the hard beaten Road, into which the Seed never entered, was meant fuch Perfons as have their Hearts fo hardned with Impiety and worldly Lufts, that the Doctrines of Religion make no Impreffion at all upon them, but are neglected and forgotten as foon as beard.
13 They on the rock, are they which when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
no root, which for a
And that which among thorns,
13. That by the ftony ground, where the Corn fprang up indeed, but, for want of Root, foon withered; were to be understood fuch Perfons, as receive indeed the Word of God with a feeming Chearfulness; but for want of Refolution and a true Love of God, fall away in time of Perfecution.
14. That by that Ground, where
with Weeds, were meant fuch, as em
15. Laftly, That by * the good ground *See Note which brought forth fruit in abundance, on Mark were meant fuch Perfons, as receive the iv. 20. Doctrine of the Gospel with Simplicity and Sincerity, and by pious Meditation cause it to make a deep and lasting impreffion upon their Minds, and obey all the Precepts of it in their whole Life and Converfation with Conftancy and Perfeverance.
16. And now, continued Jefus, feeing I have explained to you all thefe things fully; it remains that ye be careful to inftruct others hereafter, both by your Doctrine and Example, in proportion to your Knowledge and the Advantages ye have received. For as a Candle ufeth not to be hid under a Veffel, but to be fet in a Candlestick, that it may give Light to the whole Room wherein it is: So ought ye to make fuch ufe of the Inftruction I have given you, as by your Doctrine and Example to direct and incourage Others, in the knowledge of the Truth, and in the practice of Virtue.
17. For there is nothing which I now teach you fecretly, but muft in due time be published openly to all the World; and nothing which I now fpeak obfcurely and in Parables, but muft in time be declared plainly and with all freedom to all Men.