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11. What should we learn from this eager haste of Satan?
That we should watch and pray, after we have heard the word of God; and that we should hide it in our hearts, lest we sin against him. "We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."-(Heb. ii. 1.)
THE STONY-GROUND HEARERS.
12. Where did a second part of the seed fall? On stony-ground, upon a rock.
13. What became of the seed that fell on stony-ground? It soon sprang up; but, because it had no depth of earth, it as quickly withered away.
14. Who are the stony-ground hearers?
Those who hear the word with joyful feelings and excited passions, but who have no deep convictions of their own sinfulness, and no solid principles of love to Christ.
15. How do stony-ground hearers act in the day of trial?
They endure for awhile; but, afterward, in the time of temptation, when affliction or persecution ariseth, for the word's sake, immediately, they are offended and fall away.
16. What should this account of the stony-ground hearers teach us?
That mere feelings, notions, and professions, are insufficient; and that we should cleave unto the Lord with full purpose of heart, and be rooted and grounded in the faith of the gospel.
17. Must we expect to have our principles tried ?
Yes: we shall be sure to meet with temptations and trials, and they will overcome us, unless we, trusting in Christ, continue steadfast in the faith.
THE THORNY-GROUND HEARERS.
18. Where did a third part of the seed fall? Among thorns.
19. What became of the seed cast among the thorns? The thorns sprang up with it, and choked it, and it elded no fruit.
20. Who are the thorny-ground hearers?
Those who, when they have heard, go forth and hasten away from its instructions to the cares of this world-the deceitfulness of riches-the pleasures of life-and the lusts of other things.
21. How do these worldly cares and pleasures operate?
They choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful : such hearers are so choked by their own anxieties and lusts, that they bring no fruit to perfection.
22. After we have heard the word of God, how should we
We should guard against plunging into the cares or pleasures of the world, so as to lose the instructions we have received.
23. Is there great danger of abusing lawful things?
Yes: worldly "cares" and "riches" often prove injurious to the soul; they are full of "deceitfulness," and their temptations are the more dangerous because they are too little suspected; yet they lead to "pleasures" and "lusts," which drown men's souls in perdition.
THE GOOD-GROUND HEARERS.
24. Where did the rest of the seed fall? On good ground.
25. What did it produce?
It yielded fruit, and sprang up, and increased, and brought forth some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred fold.
26. Who are these good-ground hearers?
Such as hear the word, and understand, and receive, and keep it, in an honest and good heart.
27. What fruit do these good hearers produce?
They bring forth fruit with patience, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
28. What is the first mark of good hearers?
They "hear the word" with seriousness, attention, and prayer.
29. What is the second mark of good hearers?
They "understand" the word, and give their minds up to it.
30. What is the third mark of good hearers? They "receive" the truth in the love of it. 31. What is the fourth mark of good hearers? They "keep" the truth "in an honest and good heart."
32. What is the fifth mark of good hearers?
46 They bring forth fruit" to the glory of God, and the good of man.
33. What is the sixth mark of good hearers?
They bring forth fruit "with patience;" continuing in the good instructions they have received, whatever obstacles may arise.
34. Do all good hearers gain an equal portion of profit? No: some bring forth thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold.
35. What should be our earnest desire?
That we may bring forth the greatest measure of good fruit, to the honor and glory of God; and that we may have "our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."-(Rom. vi. 22.)
36. While so few hearers bring forth fruit unto perfection, what should we do?
We should examine ourselves, and repent of our past misimprovement of the means of grace; while we continue earnest in prayer to the Lord of the harvest, that the seed sown may be abundantly fruitful in our own hearts, and wherever it is scattered, and that he would send forth more labourers into his vineyard.
THE TARES IN THE FIELD.
Matt. xiii. 24 to 30, and 36 to 43.
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, 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 householder 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 harvest: 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.
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 seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man 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 gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."