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88 The Parable of the Sower. titude stood on the shore. And he spake unto them, and taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken; behold, there went out a sower to sow his seed ; and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth : but as soon as it was sprung up, when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root and lacked moisture, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. But other fell on good ground, and sprang up and increased; and brought forth fruit, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred fold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables ? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Therefore speak I to them in parables : because they seeing see not ; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in

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Christ explains the Parable of the Sower. 89 prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive : for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them'.

Christ explains to his Disciples the Paratle of

the Sower. AND when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The sower soweth the word. And those by the way side, where the word is sown, are they that * Matt. xiii. 1—17. Mark iv. 1-9. Luke viii. 4-8.

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90 Christ explains the Parable of the Sower. hear the word of the kingdom, and understand it not; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. And these are they likewise which have received the seed into stony places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy; and these have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: which for a while believe, and in time of temptation, when tribulation, affliction, or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended, and fall away.

And these are hey which are sown among thorns; which, when they have heard the word, go forth, and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and pleasures of this life, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it bringethi no fruit to perfection. And these are they that received seed into the good ground; such as hear the word, and understand, and receive it in an honest and good heart; and having heard the word keep it; which also bear fruit with patience, and bring forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

And he said unto them, No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bushel, or under Parable of the Wheat and Tares. 91 a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is hid, which shall not be manifested, neither was any thing kept secret, that sball not be known and come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed therefore how and what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you : and unto you that hear shall more be given; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have !

The Parables of the Wheat and the Tares :

the Grain of Mustard Seed: and the hidden Leaven.

ANOTHER parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed 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 not thou sow good seed in thy field ? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An 92 The Parable of the Mustard Seed. enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 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.

* Matt. xiii. 18-23. Mark iv. 10–25. Luke viji.

And he said, So is the kingdom of God as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? And another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which, when it is sown in the earth, is indeed the least of all seeds that be in the earth: but when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and becom

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