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raise not, confirm not, prepossessions against it. Be fearless ; yet give no needless offence : be strenuous, yet be mild : be stedfast, yet be meek : be earnest, yet be prudent. Finally, let your zcal direct itself to suitable objects; and proportion its exertion to their relative importance. While it overlooks not any fcriptural truth ; let it mainly labour for the establishment, and the practical energy, of the grand peculiarities of the Gospel. Be your zeal Christian zeal: zeal for the honour of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; for the great mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the flesh; for the falvation of fallen man exclusively through the atoning blood of an incarnate Redeemer ; for justification exclusively through faith in that blood ; for habitual holiness and universal obedience as the indispensable evidences of faith, and as services well-pleasing to God in those who possess it; for the renewal of the heart unto faith and holiness and obedience exclusively by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit. Discriminate between that which is circumstantial and that which is essential. Be careful for the one; be anxious and ardent for the other. Be thus zealous for God: be thus zealous for man. Remember

that without zeal you cannot truly love, you cannot truly please God. But remember also, that no zeal is acceptable to God, except that which by habitual fruits of love to God and man proves itself to be genuine Zeal for the Lord.

SERMON IX.

On the Parable of the Tares.

MATTH. xiii. 36.

His disciples came unto him saying ; Declare

unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

CLOUDS and darkness are round cbout

the Almighty : yet righteousness and judgement are the habitation of his throne (a). Of the counsels of Infinite Wisdom some remain infcrutable to man. Hence faith is awakened, exercised, strengthened. From others of the divine dispensations the veil is partially withdrawn. Henceariseaugmented admiration, livelier gratitude, warmer love. If the ancient prophets fully understood not the import of their own predictions ; if there were mysteries in the plan of re.

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demption into which the angels earnestly desired to obtain a more penetrating infight (b): shall man complain, if, for his own especial benefit, knowledge is in some instances withheld ? If, in others, existing obscurities are dissipated ; shall he not eagerly welcome the illuminating beam, and gratefully govern his steps by its light?

It was not seldom through the medium of parabolic representation that our Lord communicated the most important truths. Whether doctrines were to be developed, or moral precepts to be enforced; the parable, sententious in its construction and interesting by its narrative, seized the memory, the judgement, and the heart. The parable before us has for its object to unfold some mysterious parts of the proceedings of God with respect to men, especially under the dispensation of the Gospel. The instruction which it conveys is in every point momentous, and worthy of the doctrine of the Son of God.

The kingdom of heaven, said our Saviour, is likened unto a man, which fowed good feed in his field. But while men sept, bis enemy

(6) 1 Pet. i. 10-12.

VOL. II.

'N

came

come and lowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

But when the blade was Sprung up and brought forth fruit ; then appeared the tares alfo. So the servants of the householder came, and said unto him; Sir, didst thou not fow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy bath done this. The servants said, Wilt thou then that we and gather them up? But he said, Nay: left, while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together unto the barvest : and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gatber ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them : but gather the wheat into

go

my barn.

If, in considering the meaning of this parable, you pay due attention to the guidance of Scripture, it will be impossible to fall into error. For our Lord himself, in compliance with the request of his difciples, has delivered a distinct and complete interpretation.

Jesus answered : He that soweth the good feed is the Son of man. The field is the world. The good

feed are the children of the kingdom. The tares are the children of the wicked one. The

enemy that sowed them is

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