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have this further to say, That it is a right solemn manner of making an appeal to the very sense which heard, and taking it to witness that it would be yet raised up to witness against the spirit which heard not. Whence we should learn, men and brethren, that those eyes of ours, which read the word of God; and those ears, which hear the preacher's voice; and those hands, which handle the sacramental symbols of the broken body and shed blood of the Lord; yea, and the carnal mind, which somewhat apprehendeth the sublimity and tasteth the beauty of God's most precious word; and the natural conscience, which beareth witness to the Law, that it is holy, just, and good : these faculties of the natural man, to which God in his grace and wisdom hath sweetly accommodated his word and Spirit, shall all be raised up at the resurrection, to bear testimony against the spirit which gave not heed to their extorted testimony in the days of its flesh, but chose darkness rather than light, and evil rather than good. So that, in the end, those senses, to which the spirit is sacrificing its glorious life; yea, and this world, to whose beauty and beneficence, God-derived, it is not insensible, shall bear witness against the spirit of man in the day of judgment: and Satan shall at once have us to his prey, and in making us his prey bear the witness against us; yea, and in bearing the witness, mock us by the perjury of all his plighted faith, and by the testimony against us of that body for which we sacrificed ourselves. Therefore, he among you that hath an ear to hear, whose hearing God hath not taken away by an act inflictive of judicial deafness, let him hear this night what dance;

enemies are ready to pluck away this word which we preach, and hinder it from rooting in his soul,

His disciples asked him, “ What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” Why given to the disciples, is explained by Matthew in these words : « For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abun

but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” A great principle of the Divine administrations both of providence and grace,--that according to our occupation of present gifts shall be our increase of gifts : whether that gift be Divine knowledge, as in the present case; or natural talents, as in the parable of the Talents ; or the mammon of unrighteousness, as in the parable of the Unjust Steward. Whence you will not draw that error of errors, that God's gifts are purchased by our deservings; for his gifts are all free gifts, without money and without price; whether they be gifts of nature, into which we grow from swaddled nakedness; or gifts of his grace, into which we grow also from the sincere milk of a new birth : but, though free, and unpurchased, and undeserved of the creature (yea, contrariwise; wrath and indignation, misery and poverty of all things, being our proper deservings), yet not the less is there a Divine economy in giving, for the end of teaching us to value the gift, and making the gift profitable for the utmost possible good unto ourselves and others. Now, though these Galilean fishermen had, with the rest of their nation, much misused the gift of God revealed by the Law and the Prophets, and were full of carnal interpretations and selfish expectations, yet were they the readiest to receive the testimony of the Father and of the Baptist to the Messiah, and they were of the simplest and sincerest mind to take up his instructions. Not learned, like the doctors in the Law, nor, like the Pharisees, careful of the nicest demands thereof; neither prudent nor wise in the things which pertained to their nation, and of no rank nor station in the Sanhedrim; yet were they of simple and honest minds, of an humble and true heart, and believing without guile what they did know con cerning God and his blessed word. Wherefore the Lord said, with respect to these babes in knowledge, who of all the wise and prudent men of Galilee to whom he had preached, were the only ones who could receive the doctrine : “ He answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast bid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes : even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Whence ye may learn, that an humble mind and simple heart and single eye are of more help to the receiving of the blessed Gospel in its life and power, than all the learning of the schools, and wisdom of the world, and outward promotion in the visible church. And you may likewise learn this other lesson, that, if you have abused your natural talents to search out and glorify other objects besides God, as he is manifested in creation, and providence, and grace; then, in proportion to the number and greatness of those talents which you have abused, will be the blindness and darkness and enmity which you will be visited withal towards the simple and spiritual truth; forasmuch as it pertaineth to God's present government, as well to rule the reprobate world and the apostate church with a rod of iron, as to rule his own elect church with a sceptre of mercy and goodness. So that you need not henceforth marvel that our wise men after the flesh, and our learned men, and our scientific men--the lights, as they are called, of the world, but better named in Scripture the “ rulers of its darkness," forasmuch as they are like the mole, digging ever in its dark earthiness-should oppose themselves the most to the truth as it is in Jesus, when you know that God, for their abuse of their creation gift and providential advantages, hath visited them with judicial blindness;

blinding their eyes that they should not see, and closing their ears that they should not hear: lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand, and convert, and be healed, saith the Lord.”

Now, the parable is this: The seed is the word of God," out of which all the fruits of the Spirit do spring; the element of the new creation; the quickener of spiritual life in every soul, and regenerator of the world. Wherefore it is said by our Lord in another place, “My words, they are spirit and they are life:” and by John, “ In the Word was life, and the life is the light of men : and again by the Lord, “ Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God;" and again, by the Apostle Paul, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of

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God, which liveth and abideth for ever;" and, indeed, every where in the Apostolic writings, which take up their language from Christ, as Christ perfected the sacred language of the Prophets. Whence we gather this important point of doctrine, that it is by the word the Spirit worketh our regeneration; and that the plant may as well be expected to grow without the seed, or the harvest to be reaped before the sowing, as that the Spirit will bring forth fruit without the knowledge and belief of the word. Whence again flows the importance of disseminating the word of God over the earth, and sending forth sowers of seed, which are the ministers of the churches, in order that the Spirit may have the Divine means with which to work the salvation of the world : according to the word of the holy Apostle; “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent ? As it is written, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.” But though this be most true and certain, that the word is the only seed which the Spirit quickeneth into life, and without which no life shall be quickened; yet is it not quickened of the Holy Spirit without respect to him in whose ear, and understanding, and heart, it is sown. For, as the prosperity of the seed dependeth upon the properties of the soil, and is likewise liable to many accidents

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