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Is this too great a burthen to be imposed upon us for a few days; is it too great a sacrifice of our time, our thoughts, and our amusements, to an invisible world, and a reversionary inheritance of inestimable value? It certainly is, if the Gospel be all a fabricated tale. But if it contain the words of soberness and truth; if its divine authority is established by such an accumulation of evidence of various kinds as never before concurred to prove any other facts or events in the history of the world, by evidences springing from different sources, yet all centering in the same point, and converging to the same conclusion; if even the few incidental proofs that have been offered to your consideration in the course of these Lectures have produced that conviction in your minds which they seem to have done; what then is the consequence? Is it not that truths of such infinite importance well deserve all that consideration for which I am now contending; and that we ought to embrace with eagerness every appointed appointed means and every favourable opportunity that is thrown in our way, of demonstrating our attachment and our gratitude to a crucified Saviour, who died for our sins, and rose again for our justification, and will come once more in glory to judge the world in righteousness, and to distribute his rewards and punishments to all the nations of the earth assembled before him? At that awful tribunal may we all appear with a humble confidence in the merits of our Redeemer, and a trembling hope of that mercy which he has promised to every sincere believer, every truly contrite and penitent offender

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TV HE Lectures of the last year concluded with an explanation of the parable of the sower; and immediately after this follows in the Gospel the parable of the tares, which will be the subject of our present consideration*. . . . . The parable is as follows: “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

* Matt, xiii. 24.

didst thou not sow good seed in thy field; from whence then hath it tares P. He said unto them, An 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 unto the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them up in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into

my barn.” After our Lord had delivered this parable, and one or two more very short ones, we are told that he 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 sowed the good seed is the Son of man. The field is 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 B B 3 is 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 weeping 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.” This parable well deserves our most serious consideration, as it gives an answer to two questions of great curiosity and great importance, which have exercised the ingenuity and agitated the minds of thinking men from the earliest times to the present, and perhaps were never, at any period of the world, more interesting than at this very hour. The first of these questions is, How

came moral evil into the world 2 The

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