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tials into narrower limits; but as it is reduced, the other is enlarged, and the old division kept up. The book called The Creed contains all the essentials; and as they are correctly arranged and soundly digested, this book is more the subject of controversy than the Testament, which has the essentials and the non-essentials all jumbled together.
Suppose, then, that a number of churches should agree to throw aside the bed stead, and take the book in one chapter, and call it their Creed and book of Discipline. What then? Oh! says Puritanus, Metho dists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, &c. &c. do this. Stop, my friend, not one of them dare trust themselves upon this bottom: they all have their creeds and disci plines to keep them from sinking. What then if an experiment should be made, and a fair trial of the adequacy of the Divine Book should be given; and whenever it fails of the promised end, let any other device be tried. But among all the experiments of this age and country, it has not been recorded that such a trial has been made and failed. I am aware of all that can be said on the other side, and still I assert that no such an experiment and result are on record. And, moreover, I do not think it is likely that it will ever be proved by actual experiment that the New Testament, without a creed, is insufficient to preserve the unity, peace, and purity of any one congregation, or of those of any given district.-But above all, let us have no more iron bedsteads, with or without wheels of knives."-Ch. Baptist.
From the Evangelical Repertory.
THE TARES AND THE WHEAT.
Matthew xiii. 24--30.-Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who sawed 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 thou not sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy bath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest when ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the barvest: 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.
That the reader may have a better understanding of the subject, we will subjoin the explanation which Jesus gave of the parable.
Matthew xiii. 36-43--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. s 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.
Various interpretations have been given to this portion of scripture. The believers in endlesss misery allege this parable in support of their sentiment; while
the believers in no future punishment apply the passage to this state of being. Those who apply the passage to this world, contend that the wheat and the tares, instead of meaning good and bad men, meas true and false doctrines. In support of this they maintain, that in the parable of the Sower, which immediately precedes this parable, our Lord explains the seed sown to signify the word of the kingdom, that is, the gospel; and, as the parable of the wheat and tares follows immediately upon that explanation, it appears, that the good seed mentioned in this parable, must mean the same as the word of the kingdom in the other. They further assert, that if good and bad men be meant by wheat and tares, then we must admit, that the devil is the creator of wicked men. Now this reasoning to my mind is convincing. I feel well satisfied that the wheat and tares are used to represent true and false doctrines, and not virtuous and vicious men.
I will now notice the other interpretation. The believers in endless suffering maintain, that Jesus declares in his explanation, that he will gather out of his kingdom those which do iniquity; and cast them into a furnace of fire, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. They assert, that this language cannot apply to doctrines; that it would be absurd to say, that false doctrines wept and gnashed their teeth. The clause, "then shall the righteous shine in the kingdom of their Father," they think, confirms the sense that men are here spoken of, and not doctrines. This reasoning to me is satisfactory.
Altho I have seen various expositions of this portion of scripture, I confess I never saw one which was satisfactory to my mind. I was pressed with the arguments of the above expositions, until I gave the subject a close examination, which resulted in a rejection of both
exopsitions, or rather a part of both. The principal points mentioned in the parable, which deserve notice, are the two kinds of seed, the beings who sowed them, the harvest and the fate of the wheat and tares. Christ, in his explanation, notices these particulars. The Son of man, he says, sowed the good seed; the seed sown are the -children of the kingdom; or, as he expresses it in the immediate connexion, the "word of the kingdom;" 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. Our Savior, in his explanation, does not explain the fate of the wheat and the tares, and for this good reason, he had already declared that, in the parable, which he ends by saying, "In the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, Gather first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." Here, then, he describes the fate of the wheat and tares, which taken in connexion with the explanation, affords a view of the whole parable. From what is offered above I think it will appear, that Jesus the passage represents doctrines, not teaches the rise, progress, and fate of truth and error. He then makes use of this parable as a simile, to represent the fate of men. Christ's explanation does not continue to the 44th verse, as is generally believed, but ends with the 39th. See the passage and connexion. Having ended his explanation with the 39th verse, the divine Teacher makes use of it as a figure to represent the state of mankind at the judgment; consequently he introduces the next verse by saying, "As, therefore, the tares are burned in the fire; (as I have declared in the parable,) so shall it be (with men) in the end of the world." Here it will be seen that the explanation is used as a simile. It is introduced with the comparative conjunction as, which shows us, that it is used as a figVol. VII.
ure. Jesus says in sentiment, I have told you the fate of true and false doctrines, and like unto this will be the fate of good and bad men. "At the end of the 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." This language, applied to men, is perfectly consistent, but applied to doctrine, would be grossly absurd. Besides, those who apply the whole passage to doctrines, contend, and justly, that the figure of a furnace is employed to represent a purification, or disciplinary punishment, agreeable to the declaration of the prophet, he shall sit as a refiner of silver, and purify the sons of Levi. Now I would ask, are false doctrines to be cast into a furnace to be purified? Can falsehood be converted into truth? Can the errors of men weep and gnash their teeth? The absurdity of the supposition is manifest.
The harvest spoken of in the parable, I conceive to be future, and in a future state. Christ says, it shall be at the end of the world. If it be objected that the word alwvos, here rendered world, properly signifies an age, I answer, it is readily admitted that the term alwvos frequently signifies an age, but the word age is of indefinite signification. The word may properly mean, the age of this world, or the present state of existence. In this sense it is used by our Savior himself. In allusion to the woman who had seven husbands, he says, "the children of this (alwvos) world marry, and are given in marriage, but those who are so happy as to obtain that world, neither marry, nor are given in marriage." Here Christ uses (alovos) world, to signify the present state of being, and this appears to be the meaning of the term in the parable. It is in another state of