Matthew 13:24
Jesus presented another parable to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
Sermons
Mingled in Growth, Separated in MaturityAlexander MaclarenMatthew 13:24
Seeding the Earthly Fields to Get Seed for the Heavenly FieldsR. Tuck Matthew 13:24
TolerationCharles KingsleyMatthew 13:24
Parable of the TaresMarcus Dods Matthew 13:24-30
The TaresW.F. Adeney Matthew 13:24-30
The Tares in the FieldJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 13:24-30
A Rash Zeal for Amendment InjuriousW. M. Taylor. D. D.Matthew 13:24-41
Believers are a Choice People -- Choice GrainMatthew 13:24-41
Blending of Wicked with GodlyA. Fuller.Matthew 13:24-41
Difficulty of Right Judgment in SocietyMarcus Dods.Matthew 13:24-41
Fifth Sunday After EpiphanyJ. A. Seiss, D.D.Matthew 13:24-41
I Shall Show You How Fitly the End of the World May be Compared to HarvestB. Keach.Matthew 13:24-41
I Shall Show You How the TaresMatthew 13:24-41
I Will Show You How the WheatMatthew 13:24-41
Likeness of Wheat and TaresHugh Macmillan.Matthew 13:24-41
Mixture of Tare and WheatBishop Thomas.Matthew 13:24-41
Points in the ParableAnon.Matthew 13:24-41
Separate Bundles of TaresMatthew Henry.Matthew 13:24-41
Separating Tares from WheatVan Lennep.Matthew 13:24-41
Sowing Tares in MaliceMatthew 13:24-41
Tares and WheatThe PulpitMatthew 13:24-41
The Conditions and Limitations of Moral GrowthE. D. Green.Matthew 13:24-41
The End of the WorldMarcus, Dods.Matthew 13:24-41
The Mixed State SocietyDr. M. DodsMatthew 13:24-41
The Parable of the TaresJ. C. JonesMatthew 13:24-41
The Parable of the Wheat and the TaresMatthew 13:24-41
The TaresW. M. Taylor. D. D.Matthew 13:24-41
The Tares and the WheatC. Bradley, M. A.Matthew 13:24-41
The Tares and the WheatB. W. Noel.Matthew 13:24-41
The Tares and WheatExpository OutlinesMatthew 13:24-41
The Two SowersH. Bonar, D. D.Matthew 13:24-41
The Wheat and the TaresE. Gray, M. A.Matthew 13:24-41
What Should a Believer Do to Ripen for the HarvestMatthew 13:24-41
While Men Slept the Devil Sowed His Evil SeedMatthew 13:24-41
Why are the Saints Compared to WheatMatthew 13:24-41
Why God Delays to Punish the Sins of Men in This WorldT. Sherlock, D. D.Matthew 13:24-41
The Great Administrator's ForesightP.C. Barker Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
The parable of the soils showed the various results of sowing the same good seed according to the various conditions of soil on which the seed tell; now this parable of the tares disregards differences of soil, but treats of different kinds of seed sown by different hands. Thus it introduces us to something worse than the failure of good work, to the existence of evil influences in the world.

I. CHRISTIAN PEOPLE ARE THE GROWTH OF SEED SOWN BY CHRIST IN THE WORLD. In his explanation of the parable our Lord tells us three things about this branch of his teaching.

1. Christ is the Sower. All good spiritual life springs from him.

2. The field is the world. Christ is no narrow ecclesiastic confining his interests to the Church. Nor has he the parochial mind. His gospel is for the whole world. Christians are to be "the salt of the earth."

3. The good seed represents the "sons of the kingdom," i.e. Christian people. Christ is not satisfied with teaching ideas; he aims at growing souls. His harvest is not of thoughts and doctrines, but of men and women.

II. BAD MEN ARE LIKE TARES SOWN BY SATAN.

1. Evil influences are at work is the world. There is worse than the negative failure of good seed. Weeds spring up; nettles and poison plants take their place in the garden of nature. The world as we know it has been sown with the seed of sin. Here is positive evil, alive and propagating further evil.

2. These evil influences are due to the great enemy of souls. A malignant power, the enemy of Christ and of mankind, is busy sowing evil.

3. The fruit of these evil influences is seen in the lives of bad people, it is not in false doctrine but in wicked living that the greatest mischief is manifested. The aim of Satan is to grow a crop of noxious characters.

III. THE SERVANTS OF CHRIST ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE FORCIBLE MEANS FOR THE EXTINCTION OF EVIL LIVES. This parable has often been abused by being applied to Church discipline, a subject with which it has nothing to do, seeing that "the field is the world" - not the Church. What it excludes is the violent uprooting of bad men from the world. If it is to be pressed to a literal application, it may be thought to forbid capital punishment. But as it deals with religious relations it is rather aimed at persecution; e.g. it is absolutely opposed to such action as that of the Spanish Inquisition. The violation of its precepts has vindicated our Lord's warning. The wheat has been rooted up with the tares. Too often persecution selected the very sons of the kingdom for its victims. This may be done honestly, by a horrible blunder; we cannot well distinguish between the blades of wheat and those of the plant that simulates it. At present it is premature to judge men finally, for characters are not yet developed.

IV. THERE WILL BE A FINAL JUDGMENT AND DOOM OF THE WICKED.

1. This will happen at the end of all, when characters have fully ripened, when the harvest is come. Even now the harvest is anticipated by the reaper Death, and after death there is the great judgment. The liberty of the present is no guarantee against the great doom of the future. Evil cannot flourish forever.

2. This will be in the hands of God. It is not for man to use violent measures against his fellow man; but God and his angels will search into all characters, and the issue must be fearful for those who have permitted themselves to become as the rank growth of Satan. - W.F.A.







But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares.
This parable relates chiefly to the condition of the Church.

I. The MIXED CONDITION of His Church in our world.

II. THE CAUSE of this mixed condition of the Church. The existence of His people Christ traces to Himself. The tares traced to a spiritual author — stealthily. Satan does not show himself while doing his work.

III. THE CONDUCT OF THE CHRISTIAN SERVANTS with respect to this mixture in the Church.

1. They notice it.

2. They wish to alter this state of things — to put an end to this mixture.

IV. THE END WHICH SHALL AT LAST BE PUT TO THIS MIXTURE IN THE CHURCH.

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

I. WHO ARE THE TARES?

1. Those who outwardly profess religion, but inwardly reject it.

2. It is likeness to wheat which makes tares specially mischievous.

II. WHY ARE THERE TARES?

1. The servants of Christ, loving their Master, make His interests their own. They look anxiously to the crop.

2. The same question still disturbs us — "Why does God permit His crop to be marred?"(1) It has always been so. David complains of this (Psalm 55:12). The apostles grieved by it (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4).(2) The reason is brief — "An enemy hath done this." It is Satan's chief triumph to hinder Christ's work by false brethren (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).(3) Beyond this we must not inquire; sufficient that God permits this present trial of faith and patience.

III. WHAT TO DO WITH TARES.

1. Zealous servants who grieve at spoilt crops would fain pull up.

2. Their zeal natural and creditable. Natural:

(1)Because these cause enemies to blaspheme;

(2)Because foes within more dangerous than foes without;

(3)Because trust is shaken and love quenched. Creditable: because love for Christ is the source of the wish.

3. Yet mistaken.

4. The reason given.

5. It is sad to retain in Church impostors, more sad to cast out faithful. Better trust men too much than too little.

(E. Gray, M. A.)

I. THE TWO PLANTERS — "He that soweth good seed is the Son of Man." "The enemy that sowed them is the devil."

1. The One is good and beneficent. He cultivates His own rightful possession. He acts as a gracious Benefactor. The other is only malignant, the common foe of all good.

2. The Planter of good is first; the planter of evil comes after. As Satan followed the planting in Eden, so he follows every holy planting.

3. The Planter of all good does His work openly, in the eyes of all. It is the nature of good and truth to be open; falsehood and sin are cowardly.

II. THE TWO GROWTHS.

1. They are intermingled in the same field.

2. They are hard to distinguish.

3. They both grow.

III. THE TWO POLICIES.

1. That of the servants in natural, and seemingly founded on just zeal for what is good, but is unwise and hurtful. We are not able to judge rightly.

2. The policy of the Master, though more perplexing, is far better. It leaves things less satisfactory for the time, but accomplishes the greatest good in the end.

3. The policy of the Blaster will prevail, despite all efforts to the contrary, even to the end of the age.

IV. THE ULTIMATE CONSUMMATION.

1. Note the reapers — not the " servants." Mightier strength and higher wisdom than theirs is needed.

2. Note the commands which they execute" Gather ye together," etc.

3. Note the final result.

(J. A. Seiss, D.D.)

I. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO CLASSES.

1. The first have solid spiritual excellence.

2. They are useful. The false disciples have neither — they are useless and noxious.

II. HOW THEY COME TO BE THUS ASSOCIATED. The good seed Divinely planted. Satan has a hand in the life of the wicked in this world. The tares are known.

III. HIS INTENTION THAT BELIEVERS AND FALSE PROFESSORS SHOULD ABIDE TOGETHER UNTIL THE HARVEST.

1. There is nothing so likely to convert false professors as seeing real Christians amongst them.

2. That the faith and patience of believers may be tested and manifested to the world.

IV. THIS ASSOCIATION CANNOT LAST FOR EVER.

1. The return to judgment — "Gather ye the tares."

2. "The bundles." Let the companions in sin be grouped in doom.

3. "To be burned" — punishment and pain.

4. We are also animated by hope" Gather the wheat into My barn."

(B. W. Noel.)

The Pulpit.
We are to understand mixture of good and bad in the Church. There are persons whose blind, intemperate zeal would bid fair to be injurious to the Church. Our Lord reserves the judgment to the end of the world. From this mixture of good and bad advantages result to both.

1. The persecutions which the righteous experience from the wicked are inconvenient, but become proper trials of virtue.

2. They give the good an opportunity of testifying their sincerity.

3. The good in their intercourse with the bad may reclaim them.

4. The good by dwelling amongst the wicked see the pernicious consequences of vice.

5. The good are a restraint upon the wickedness of the evil doers.

6. For the good of both God mercifully permits this mixture of the pious and the wicked.

(The Pulpit.)

Why did this enemy thus go his way?

I. HE DID NOT WISH TO BE SEEN. He did not care for the fame of doing the thing; all he cared for was that it should be done. How different from us i Satan does his work unknown, etc.

II. HE HAD DONE HIS WORK. He needed but one sowing time.

III. HE HAD CONFIDENCE IN THE SEED. It would not fail. It was the true seed of hell. What confidence does this exhibit in the vigour and vitality of error. Have we like confidence in the life and power of truth?

IV. HE HAD CONFIDENCE IN THE SOIL. The soil was evil — would not fail him — it would do its work.

V. HE HAD CONFIDENCE IN THE ATMOSPHERE. It is on the air as much as on the soil that the harvest depends. He trusts to the evil air and the evil seed suiting each other.

VI. HE HAD OTHER WORK TO DO. He does not abide in one place, he goes about to do work elsewhere. He is an incessant worker. What an enemy have we to fight with. "Resist," etc.

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

The good and the worthless.

I. THESE ARE EXTERNALLY ALIKE, BUT VITALLY DIFFERENT.

II. AS THEY GROW THEIR VITAL DIFFERENCES BECOME MORE MANIFEST.

III. THE WORLD-FIELD IN WHICH THEY GROW IS THE PROPERTY OF CHRIST. It is one of the mysteries of the Divine government that God should allow an enemy in the field at all.

IV. THOUGH THEY ARE PERMITTED TO GROW TOGETHER FOR A TIME THERE IS A DESTINED PERIOD OF SEPARATION. Many a sinner might have been worse than he is, but for restraining contact with Christians. We must not think that forbearance is equal to complacency of evil. A strong government can afford to tolerate its foes.

(E. D. Green.)

I. As THEY REGARD THE PARTICULAR CASE IN VIEW, AND ACCOUNT FOR THE JUSTICE OF GOD IN SUSPENDING HIS JUDGMENTS.

1. The sinners in the text are spared on account of the righteous that they may not be involved in the punishment due to the sins of others. But some sinners are spared out of mercy to themselves, in hope of their amendment. The interests of good and bad men are so united in this world that no signal calamity can befall the wicked but the righteous share it; hence, out of mercy to the righteous God spares the incorrigible sinners. This was Abraham's plea for Sodom. But are there not many ways of punishing men without including others in the calamity? Could not these single out desperate sinners?

1. How do you know but that the wicked are often thus punished? God does exercise judgment on the wicked in silent manner.

2. But allow the objection that a great number of wicked men ripe for destruction are spared and allowed to flourish in the world, this is for the sake of the good. The wicked man has friends whose welfare depends upon his prosperity. All men are related to others. Are all these relatives as great sinners as the man himself, would you not turn innocent children into the streets! We cannot arraign the wisdom and goodness of God. The day is coming which will dissolve all these present relations between men, when every one shall stand singly.

I. BUT WHY DOES GOD PERMIT SIN? "The enemy sowed his tares." Such is the condition of human nature that no care can prevent the growth of vice. Those who demand that God should prevent evil by irresistible power demand nothing less than that He should destroy all law and religion, and divest men of reason and understanding, their chief characteristic. Since offences must needs come, why are not men as certainly distinguished by rewards and punishments as by virtue or vice?

1. Reason fails for a due administration of rewards and punishments, as it does not know men's hearts in this world.

2. This is inconsistent with the present condition of men, and the goodness of God. They are in a state of trial, and should have time to show themselves; and as to the goodness of God, it would ill become Him to destroy men as long as there were hopes of amendment.

3. Who has reason to complain?

II. AS FURNISHING US WITH A PRINCIPLE OF REASON AND EQUITY APPLICABLE TO MANY CASES. Because God spares the wicked who deserve punishment for the sake of the righteous, is it reasonable that men and magistrates should act in like manner? Temporal judgments are executed immediately, the law does not consider those related to the offender. Magistrates are not at liberty to suspend the execution of justice. The reason of the two cases is very different. The punishments of this world are not final, but the means to secure virtue; but this end can never be secured by allowing criminals to go unpunished. In a word, offences in this world must be discouraged by present punishment or else the world will be a scene of misery to the best men. Offences against God, though of a deeper dye, have not in them the same call for immediate vengeance. The ends of justice are best served by delay.

(T. Sherlock, D. D.)

I. THE SOWING.

II. THE GROWING.

III. THE REAPING.

(J. C. Jones,)

I. INABILITY TO FORM PERFECT JUDGMENT OF INDIVIDUALS NOW. Men are to be known by their fruits, but the fruits of a man's life cannot be fairly judged until they are ripened and complete.

II. THE DUTY OF ACCEPTING PROFESSION NOW AND LEAVING FINAL JUDGMENT FOR GOD'S FUTURE.

III. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL IS VITAL, and there can be no real confusion between them.

IV. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN GOOD AND BAD PERSONS WILL ONE DAY RE CLEARLY SHOWN.

V. THE TEMPTATION TO USE OUTWARD AND PHYSICAL FORCES TO ACCOMPLISH THE AIMS OF CHRIST'S CHURCH MUST BE RESISTED.

(Anon.)

Expository Outlines.
We have —

I. A BENEFICENT OPERATION — "Sowed good seed."

1. The man that sowed was Jesus. This was His special work during His public life on earth.

2. The good seed are the righteous. In the former parable the good seed is the Word of God.

3. The field is the world. Whether this is to be understood in its general and most comprehensive sense, or whether it signifies the Church in the world, it is not easy to determine.

II. A MALICIOUS DEED "While men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." Notice:

1. The agent.

2. The season — "while men slept." It is said of the ungodly that "they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." There is nothing they hate so much as the light, for there is nothing so contrary to their nature and so unfavourable to their designs. As John Bunyan says: "My Lord Understanding's house was too light for the Prince of Darkness, and therefore he built a high wall to darken all the windows."

3. The result.

III. A NATURAL REQUEST. From attempting such a work we are debarred on account of —

1. Its difficulty. It seems that the apostles and early Christians were endowed with a peculiar gift called the "discerning of spirits," so that for them to separate the precious from the vile might have been an easy matter. We do not know what degree of imitation is compatible with a total absence of true piety.

2. Its danger "Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them."

IV. AN IMPORTANT DECISION — "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." But concerning this separation, notice —

1. The period when it will take place. It will be at "the time of harvest;" which harvest, we are told, is the end of the world.

2. The instruments to whom the work will be committed — "The reapers are the angels:" who are free from the manifold infirmities by which we are now encompassed — ignorance, selfishness, prejudice, impatience, partiality, animosity.

3. The manner in which it will be accomplished.

4. The final results which will follow — "to burn them:" "My barn."

(Expository Outlines.)

This parable shows that persecution upon the account of religion is utterly unlawful, though men may hold grand errors:

1. Because the best men on earth are not infallible. They do not know but that what they call heresy may be a truth of Christ.

2. Because Jesus Christ is only the King and Sovereign of the conscience. None ought to impose upon the consciences of men in matters of religion.

3. Because it is directly contrary to that golden rule, or true moral precept, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye the same unto them."

4. Because such severities have no tendency to convince the conscience.

They appear to be a choice and precious people, and are so —

1. Because of the seed from whence they sprang; they are the seed of God, the seed of Christ (Isaiah 53:11).

2. In respect of that holy image which is stamped on them.

3. In respect to their union with Christ.

4. If we consider what an excellent spirit they are of, and how they walk with God every day, and have communion with the:Father and the Son, it shows they are a precious people in God's esteem.

1. Wheat is the product of a rare and choice seed; they are the product of the Holy Ghost.

2. The seed of wheat must first be sown in the earth before it can produce increase, so must the seed of grace be first sown in men's hearts before they can bear God's image or bring forth fruits of holiness.

3. Wheat is a profitable sort of grain. So the saints and people of God are a profitable people to the world (Proverbs 10:21; 2 Corinthians 6:19).

4. Wheat will abide and live in the sharpest winter, when some other grain will not. So true believers do abide, endeavour, and live in the times of sharpest trials, persecutions, tribulations, and temptations.

5. Wheat seems sometimes as if it were quite dead, you can in winter hardly see one green blade, so the saints seem sometimes to themselves as if they were almost dead (Psalm 88:15).

6. Wheat is sometimes, by reason of unseasonable weather in the spring, very sickly, the colour being changed. So in like manner, by reason of Satan's temptations, and the corruptions of their hearts, and evils of the times, poor believers are very sickly and weak.

7. Yet when the sun shines sweetly upon wheat and God sends dry and seasonable weather, it wonderfully on a sudden revives (Hosea 14:7).

8. Wheat needs weeding, and if it be not it will soon be grown over with weeds (Matthew 13:22).

9. Full ears of wheat hang down their heads, being full of corn. So sincere believers are humble and lowly-minded.

10. Wheat is not ripe presently, but must have time to grow to maturity, and receive the former and latter rain before it is fit for the sickle.

11. Tares oft-times are found to grow amongst wheat, which tends greatly to mar its beauty.

12. Wheat, when it is fully ripe, is gathered into the barn. So when Christ sees a believer is ripe for heaven, He gathers it as a shock of corn fully ripe.

13. Sometimes a harvest seems much in bulk, but there is bug little corn. So the spiritual harvest may seem much in bulk — a mighty appearance of a great harvest, but there may be but few sincere believers amongst them.

14. Wheat dies first, before it rises. "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die."

This may caution all ministers of Christ to take heed and watch, lest evil seed be sown amongst them, the seed of error and heresy.

1. Many may, under fair pretence of exalting Christ, sow pernicious and poisonous seed.

2. By way of council, beware of such men who are lifted up with pride, who to magnify themselves seem to despise others, perhaps more worthy than themselves.

3. Beware of such that effect novelty and strive to promote new notions in matters of religion.

4. Likewise have a watchful eye of such that cry up this and that man, and cry down others.

5. Moreover, watch such who are subject to wander from their own fold and pasturage, and such also that are ready on every small occasion to take offence.

1. As the wheat after it is sown hath the ripening time, so have the saints and people of God.

2. Wheat ripens gradually, that it is hardly discerned; so the godly ripen gradually also, it is hardly discerned by themselves or others.

3. Wheat must have showers to ripen it. So must the saints have the showers of Divine and heavenly doctrine, or spiritual dew to ripen them (1 Corinthians 3:6).

4. Moreover, believers grow and ripen for the harvest by means of the shining and sweet fructifying influences of the "Sun of Righteousness."

5. Some Christians are like wheat smitten or blasted in respect; of their hope, peace, and joy, and so seem to languish (Amos 4:9).

?

1. Improve all opportunities, all seasons of grace.

2. Observe well and cherish all those convictions of your consciences, and of the Holy Spirit, either in respect of sin or duty, lest ye sin them away.

3. Improve all the dispensations and providences of God, or those various trials, afflictions, and temptations you meet with.

4. Live much in the sense and thoughts of death and of the judgment day (Deuteronomy 32:29).

5. See that you gather day by day, get more strength against sin.

6. Labour to add to your faith virtue. (2 Peter 1:5, 6, 7).

7. The way to ripen for heaven is to strive against all those things that hinder or obstruct your growth, as thorns and briars (Matthew 13:22).

1. Mercies not improved, but slighted and neglected, ripen the wicked apace for harvest.

2. When conscience is disregarded, men turning a deaf ear to those checks and. sharp rebukes they find in their own breasts, this tends to ripen them for ruin.

3. When the judgments of God, instead of softening, harden the sinner.

4. When the motions of the Spirit in His common operations (Genesis 6:3) are quenched. (Romans 9:22).

5. The tares, or wicked men, ripen for the harvest by letting lusts conceive in them.

6. Another gradation or progressive motion to ripening sinners is when lusts conceived break forth into acts, or the abominable commission thereof (James 1:15).

7. A third step is when sins, yea, great sins, are extenuated and rendered small.

8. When sin is delighted m; some men take pleasure in wickedness.

9. When they are told of their sins and hellish polution, and they plead excuses as if the fault was not theirs.

10. Such men are certainly ripe for harvest who are found glorying in their sin and shame (Philippians 3:19). Lastly, a hardened heart, a seared conscience, final unbelief and impenitence follows, and so they come to be fully ripe for the harvest.

1. The harvest is the time that the husbandman longs for, and hath much patience until it cometh. So this spiritual harvest is the day which all the godly long for, and are exercised with patience under all their trials until it comes.

2. When the harvest is fully ripe then both the wheat and tares are severed one from another by the servants of the husbandman. So all sincere Christians and hypocrites shall, by the angels, be separated one from another.

3. When the harvest is fully ended there is no more wheat or tares growing, or to be found in the field. So when this world is ended there will be no people, either godly or wicked, to be found to live as they do together now in this world, any more.

4. Harvest is a time of great joy to an industrious husbandman, but the sluggard meets then with great disappointment, and is perplexed with grief and sorrow (Galatians 6:8).HOW SHALL THE TARES BE KNOWN FROM THE WHEAT, OR HYPOCRITES BE DISCERNED FROM SINCERE BELIEVERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD?

1. The tares shall be known by their contemptible bodies — their bodies shall not be glorious as the bodies of the saints, (Philippians 3:21).

2. The ungodly will be known by their company — the saints shall be attended by all the glorious angels,

3. The wicked will be blown by their cries and lamentations (Isaiah 65:14.)

4. The ungodly will that day be known by that signal act of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:22).

5. Moreover, it will be known by the different placing of the one and the other — "and life shall, set the sheep on His right hand, the goats on His left."

(B. Keach.)

This parable does not forbid Church discipline:

1. Because Church discipline is enjoined by many plain passages of the New Testament, and that no interpretation of any parable may be put against that.

2. Discipline rightly understood is for the saving of a man to the Church, and not for the casting of him out of it.

3. What the parable here recommends is not so much the following of a certain course as the cultivation of a certain spirit.

I. Do AS WE WILL, WE SHALL NEVER GET EVIL ENTIRELY OUT OF THE CHURCH — the ideal Church is in heaven (Revelation 21:2). This truth has a two-fold lesson.

1. It is well fitted to comfort those who are labouring in the ministry of the gospel, and to all who are tenderly solicitous for the honour of the Church.

2. It is calculated to correct the error of those who decline to enter into the membership of the Church because it is not absolutely pure.

II. The great lesson taught us is that THE RASH ATTEMPT TO SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE BAD IN THE CHURCH MAY RESULT IN A STATE OF THINGS THAT IS WORSE THAN THAT WHICH IS SOUGHT TO BE AMENDED.

III. AT THE LAST JUDGMENT THERE WILL BE AN ABSOLUTE SEPARATION BETWEEN THE GOOD AND THE BAD.

(W. M. Taylor. D. D.)

The best all round is often lost by attempting to have the absolute best in any one department. In the organ, if every note be separately tuned up to the scale, discord will be the effect when one attempts to play upon it; for it is an imperfect instrument, and most of the fifths must be left somewhat fiat, and the few others made somewhat sharp, the octaves alone being put in perfect unison. So, if we attempt to bring up the music to the point of perfection, we shall most likely put the whole church out of tune. We must make the best of things as a whole, and be content sometimes with a little less in some departments, and a little more in others, in order that we may have harmony in all. Peace in a church is essential to progress.

(W. M. Taylor. D. D.)

1. It is apt to make the darnel think itself as good as the wheat.

2. The Urgency of the call to Christ is deadened by the fact that we are not treated differently at present.

3. The wheat is apt to think itself no better than the darnel.

(Dr. M. Dods,)

If by tares is meant the bearded darnel of our English fields, then the tares and the wheat bear a strong resemblance to each other. They both belong to the tribe of grasses, and to the special group Trititicinoe, or wheat-like grasses. Their structure, mode, and conditions of growth are almost the same; when in the blade they present an appearance so very similar, that the Jewish farmer, who is careful in weeding his field, cannot distinguish between them, and it is only when the fruit is formed that the impostor is detected by its smaller and darker ear.

(Hugh Macmillan.)

Adam's family was the one, and the only one visible Church)'or a time. Therein there was a Cain, as well as an Abel; both sacrificed, though both were not sanctified. In Abraham's family (a visible Church) there was an Ishmael, as well as an Isaac: in Isaac's house an Esau as well as a Jacob. Among the patriarchs, Simeon and Levi, with Joseph and Benjamin. In Noah's ark (a type of the Church). there was a Ham; among the apostles, a Judas; among the deacons, a Nicholas.

(Bishop Thomas.)

The end is not a mere running down of the machinery that keeps the world going, it is not a mere exhaustion of the life time keeps us all alive, it is not a hap-hazard cutting of the thread; it is a conclusion coming as truly in its own fit day and order, as much in the fulness of time and because things are ripe for it, as the birth of Christ came. It is the time of the gathering up of all things to completion, when the few last finishing strokes are, given to the works that suddenly show the connection of things which seem widely separate, and reveal at once the purpose and meaning of the whole. Men will then understand, what now scarcely one can constantly believe, that it is God's purpose that is silently being accomplished, and that it is usefulness to Him that is the final standard of value.

(Marcus, Dods.)

Six reasons why in the kingdom of grace wicked men should be inseparably mingled with godly.

1. Because hypocrites can never be severed but .by Him that can search the heart.

2. Because if men should make the separation weak Christians would be counted no Christians, and those who have a grain of grace under a load of imperfections would be accounted reprobates.

3. Because God's vessels of honour for all eternity, not as yet appearing, but wallowing in sin, would be made castaways.

4. Because God, by the mixture of the wicked with the godly, will try the watchfulness and patience of His servants.

5. Because thereby He will bestow many favours on the wicked, to clear His justice and render them the more inexcusable.

6. Because the mixture of the wicked, grieving the godly, will make them the more heartily pray for the day of judgment.

(A. Fuller.)

Sinners of the same sort will be bundled together in the great day: a bundle of atheists, a bundle of epicures, a bundle of persecutors, and a great bundle of hypocrites. Those who have been associated in sin will be so in shame and sorrow, and it will be an aggravation of their misery, as the society of glorified saints will add to their bliss.

(Matthew Henry.)

As we grow up in society together, one man is in the main very like another. Of two of your friends, it may be the one who makes least profession of religion that you would go to in a difficulty in which much generous help and toil are needed. Take a regiment of soldiers, or a ship's crew, and you may find the ungodly as brave and self-sacrificing in action, as observant of discipline as the others. There may be little to show that there is a radical difference in character.

(Marcus Dods.)

The most troublesome of the foreign seeds in wheat are the tares (the weed commonly called darnel, and in botany Lolium temertulum). Its kernels are somewhat smaller than those of wheat, and the usual way to separate them is that adopted by the women, who sit at home with the children around a pile of wheat and patiently pick out the tares one by one.

(Van Lennep.)

Illustrating from Hindoo life, Roberts says, "This is still literally done in the East. See that lurking villain, watching for the time when his neighbour shall plough his field; he carefully marks the period when the work has been finished, and casts in what the natives call pandinellu, that is pig-paddy; this, being of rapid growth, springs up before the good seed, and scatters itself before the other can be reaped, so that the poor owner of the field will be years before he can get rid of this troublesome weed. But there is another noisome plant, called perum-pirandi, which is more destructive of vegetation than any other plant. Has a man purchased a field out of the hands of another? The offended says, 'I will plant perum-pirandi in his grounds.'"

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