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should do badly for bread, should we not, Mary? And so in the heavenly farm, we must try and work all weathers, and do what we can while we can, when it is not always possible to do what we would where we would. Did you find nothing about sowing in tears ?
Mary. Oh, yes, in Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Arthur. And if the sky be dark and cloudy, they still have the promise, " Light is sown for the righteous.” (Ps. xcvii. 11.) Mamma. And did you find any encourage
. ment to diligence in sowing?
Lily. I saw one just now when we were looking out that text in Ecclesiastes; here it is (xi. 6): “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand : for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”
Arthur. And that text you explained to me the other day, Papa, "Blessed are ye that
“ sow beside all waters.” (Isa. xxxii. 20.)
Mary. And St. Paul says, “He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Cor. ix. 6.) But, Papa, we could
not understand how the harvest seemed sometimes spoken of as being reaped in this world, and sometimes as being kept back till we get to heaven,
Papa. No doubt, my dear child, there are times of special blessings and fruitfulness, even in this world, which are called harvest-time in the Bible, as when Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few : pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matt. ix. 38.) But all these are only pledges and earnests of the glorious harvest of eternity. Still we are to long and labour that the seed sown may even now bring forth fruit an hundred fold. Who remembers any example of this in earthly husbandry ?
Arthur. I do, Isaac; for I longed when I read it, that my seed-plot might be like his. (Gen. xxvi. 12.) “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundred-fold : and the Lord blessed him."
Mamma. May my boy never be slothful and self-indulgent in such a season of blessing. Solomon says, “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son : but he that sleepeth in harvest causeth shame." (Prov. x. 5.) Sometimes
. the best harvest days are very sultry and oppressive; will my son labour faithfully on?
Arthur. You mean, Mamma, I must cheerfully bear “the burden and heat of the day."
Mamma. And look up to Him who, while “he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest” (Jer. v. 24.) is also to his faithful labourer “ like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest,” (Isa. xviii. 4.) refreshing his weary strength; for, think, Arthur, how mournful it would be if, through our neglect, others were to be lost, and cry, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. viii. 20.)
Papa. There is another aspect in which we may view this figure; I mean, when the Christian comes to bis grave like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.” (Job v. 26 ;) this committing of his body to the ground is compared in Scripture to seed-sowing. The Lord applies it to bimself: “Verily, verily, I say
: unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John xii. 24.) Who that did not know the springing of corn could believe, if you placed in his hand a beautiful root of wheat, with its waving leaves and stalks weighed down with their golden grain, that all sprang from one little seed corn, which, moreover, decayed away as it shot out its fibrous roots. Yet St. Paul compares this to the grave: “That which thes
sowest is not quickened, except it die : and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain : but God giveth it a body as it bath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." (1 Cor. xv. 36–38.)
Mary. Yes, dear Papa, and afterwards my favourite verses come --I have never forgotten them since—you know when I mean : “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in
2 glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." (Verses 42–44.)
Papa. Do not weep, my child, for we will go on now to the general harvest-day, when all the precious grains shall be gathered into one garner. Tears now water that sowing one by one, but there will be no tears in that day “when they joy before the Lord according to the joy of harvest." (Isa. ix. 3.) Did you find out how solemnly that great day is ushered in ?
Arthur. Yes, Papa : “I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, cry. ing with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth ; and the earth was reaped.” (Rev. xiv. 14--16.)
Mamma. That, my beloved children, is the great day of decision; there will be two classes here—the tares and the wheat; the Lord will ay, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them ; but
gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matt. xiii. 30.) There will be only two classes—the chaff and the wheat, and the “fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matt. iii. 12.) Observe it is spoken of as His wheat, but the chaff-not one grain shall perish-all shall be gathered together for ever and ever.
Papa. Only may we first see that we are the Lord's, and then live and labour for him, for Jesus says, (John iv. 36) “He that reapeth
) receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal : that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” We must now shut up our Bibles, but I will give you one more figure to search out before our closing subject on heaven -" Believers as stones in the temple of God."