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1. What is the object of the parable of the tares in the field?
To show that among the professors of the gospel there are persons of various characters, both hypocrites and real Christians, but that there will be a final separation between them hereafter.
2. What is the meaning of "the kingdom of heaven," in this parable?
The gospel dispensation.
3. Who is meant by the Sower?
Jesus Christ, who preached the gospel, and whose word is extensively scattered abroad.
4. What is the field?
The field is the world through which the gospel is to be preached.
5. Who are meant by the wheat or good seed?
The children of the kingdom, those who believe in Christ, and obey his commands.
6. What should we learn from the men sleeping?
That Christians are not sufficiently cautious and vigilant.
7. Who is meant by the enemy of Christ?
8. What are the tares mentioned in this parable? They are hurtful weeds.
9. Who are meant by the tares?
The children of the wicked one, hypocrites, and other sinners.
10. How did the field appear?
When the wheat sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the tares arose: thus among true Christiang many of an opposite character appear.
11. To whom did Christ ascribe this mixture of the evil with the good?
An enemy hath done this: it is the work of Satan.
12. When the servants enquired whether the tares should be separated from the wheat, what objection was made?
Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them: let both grow together until the harvest (29th and 30th verses.)
13. What is meant by the harvest?
The end of the world.
14. Who are the reapers?
15. What direction did Christ say that he would give to the angels at the end of the world?
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 (30th verse.)
16. How will the angels obey this command?
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, (41st and 42d v.)
17. How will true Christians be blessed by Christ at the end of the world?
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of his Father.-(43d v.)
18. Does the parable of the tares particularly deserve our serious attention?
Yes: Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.-(43d v.)
19. How is it that there is any good seed, any real Christian, in this world?
Christ sows the good seed, and by his grace and spirit he makes men holy, and prepares them for heaven.
20. Are the evil mixt with the good in this life?
Yes: in the world there are many sinners, and in the church many hypocrites, whose characters are distinctly known by God, though we may be ignorant of
21. What is the duty of Christians in these circumstances?
To be sober and vigilant on account of the malice and activity of Satan; and to mourn over hypocrites and all sinners; yet not to use any rash and violent efforts against them.
22. Will every individual be finally judged?
Yes and not one real Christian shall be lost, not one sinner shall escape.
23. What should be our prayer?
"Gather not my soul with sinners."-(26 Pea. 9.)
THE SEED SOWN.
Mark iv. 26 to 29.
"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
But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."
1. What is the object of the parable of the seed sown? To show the gradual, yet certain way, in which the gospel of Christ spreads.
2. Do we know how and why the seed grows?
No: but we are sure that it does grow, because we see it spring up and increase: thus, though we cannot trace the way in which the gospel operates, yet we can witness its effects, and rejoice in its fruits.
3. Does the seed spring up very gradually?
Yes: first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear (verse 28 :) thus gradually does divine grace operate on the human heart, and thus gradually does the gospel of Christ spread and increase.
4. How does the Husbandman act when the fruit is ripe? When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come (verse 29:) thus, from the gospel of Christ, will a harvest of glory to God and of good to man arise.
5. What should we learn from the representations of the seed sown?
To trust in God for the sure though gradual extension of his kingdom in the world; to rejoice in the earliest appearances, and the growing progress, of religion; and seriously to contemplate the great harvest which is to come, and the account which we must hereafter render to the Lord of the harvest.
THE TWO DEBTORS
Luke vii. 36 to 50.
"And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have