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sable according to common opinion, then it would be a waste to cast away or burn the tares. He that said, “ Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost," will never burn tares, if he can convert them into wheat, as easily as he could feed the multitudes which he did with so small a quantity of provision
Let us look again and see if there be any analogy between the foregoing sentiments and the context which introduces this parable. As is observed in the notes, the reader may
find this parable introduced by an explanation of a preceding parable. “Behold a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and deyoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth ; and when the sun was up they were scorched; and, because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choaked them. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.” As is shown in the explanation which Christ gave the above parable, he evidently meant to represent the gospel which he preached by seed which the sower sowed, the different hearers of the word, by the different soils into which the seed fell, &c. See the explanation. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that reccived 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 dureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choak the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that receive eth seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty.
With the above explanation, Jesus introduced the parable of the tares of the field. Now as Jesus evidently means to represent the word of his kingdom, which he preached, by the seed which fell in different grounds, where is the propriety of supposing that he means men and women by the good seed which he sowed in his field ? or by tares which the enemy sowed?
If we are disposed to use the words of our blessed Redeemer in a candid manner, and learn his meaning by a careful connexion of the sacred text, it will appear very evident that the above notes on the parable of the tares of the field embrace the general ideas there communicated. Wheat is by no means an unsuitable emblem of the word, of the gospel, the true doctrine of divine life. Nor are tares of a very different character from false doctrines which make many appearances like the truth, ac tares do like wheat, when in the blade. As tares are of a hurtful nature among wheat, choaking it and rendering the harvest light, so are the false doctrines in the christian church; they have choaked the pure word of life, and while they
have flourished themselves, the truth seemed to wither away. It does not appear at all unlikely, that by harvest, or end of the world, the Saviour might mean the same which he communicated to his servant John on the isle of Patmos, relative to the close of the reign of the beast. It is then that an angel comes down from heaven with a chain, and binds the old serpent, the devil, who sowed the tares. This angel, no doubt, signifies the ministry of the two witnesses, after they are quickened with the spirit of life from God. St. Paul directs us to the same event, and gives it a similar appearance in 2 Thes. ii. 7, 8. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth, will let; until he be taken out of the way; and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." The present is the day in which these scriptures are receiving their fulfilment. The day of the Lord is already come ; and it burns like an oven. It is manifested by fire, and shall try every man's works, or doctrines, by fire. Those doctrines which are justly represented by tares, are also represented by St. Paul by hay, wood and stubble ; these are to be burnt, and the possessors of them, and those who framed them, are to suffer loss. See the text : 1 Cor. iii. 15. “ If any man's work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” It is well to notice that when the true light advances, and the darkness is fleeing away, the ministers of darkness cry out against the prevailing errors of the times, and call it a day of darkness. This is described by the prophet; See Amos v. 16-23. “ Therefore
the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus, Wailing shall be in all streets ; and they shall say in all the highways, alas ! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful in lamentation to wailing. And in all vineyards shall be wailing : for I will pass through thee, saith the Lord. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your feast-days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt-offerings, and your meat offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of your songs; for I will not hear the melody of your viols.” How remarkably clear the present day is pointed out in the above scripture. The christian clergy have been praying for a long time that the glorious day of the Lord would come, that papal darkness and idolatry might come to an end, and that the true gospel might shine so clearly as to discover and consume all error; and God, according to his promises, is now fulfilling these things; but what are those who desired the day of the Lord about ? Why groping in thick darkness, according to the words of the prophet. They are calling the husbandmen who have been laboring to raise
up the tares, and to pluck up the wheat, to mourning; and those among them, who are skilful in lamentation, are called to wailing. Who would
have believed, thirty years ago, that our clergy in America would have set up a lamentation at the downfal of popery? Would they not have rejoiced then, if they could have believed that any of them should live to see the day? But the overflowing scourge comes too near them. They thought themselves secure; they said, “ We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us : for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." But God answers them as follows; See Isaiah xxviii
. 16—20. “ Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-places. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ge shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you : for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than a man ean stretch himself on it, and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”
Tho doctrine of limited, partial salvation, and never ending punishment, in which there is no mercy, as there is none of that wisdom in it, which is full of mercy and without partiality, is the bed, on which the wisdom of this world, which cometh