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cursed soil, and spring up more vile and numerous than ever, and very soon will it become as barren and hard as before, if not a great deal harder.
As the farmer may plough some of his ground, and yet, for reasons known to himself, leave it unsown; so the great Husbandman may, and we cannot doubt but often doth, cause a law-work to take place in many hearts, which for wise reasons he never soweth with the good seed. How careful then ought I to be in examining myself, whether this law-work have taken place in my heart ! and if my fallow ground have thus been ploughed and broken up! if the Husbandman have ended his work with me there, or have cultivated my heart as a field for his own use, by sowing in it the good seed.
The husbandman fallows some of his ground, lets it rest a while; then fallows it over again, and lets it remain a while longer undisturbed, then ploughs it over and over again, till it become fit for being sown. So the great Husbandman falloweth the heart of some sinners with the law, then abateth the wosk for some time, then reneweth it again, and so again and again, till it become fit for being sown with the good seed. .
The husbandman, too, ploughs some of his ground early in the spring, other some of it when it is pretty far advanced, and some of it nigh the latter end of the year. So the great Husbandman breaketh up the fallow ground of some in youth, of others in more advanced years, and of other some at the eleventh hour, when the season of life is well nigh ended, according as he in his infinite wisdom seeth best, “ and none can stay his hand, or say “ unto him, What doest thou ?" Dan. iv. 35,
56 While through the neighb’ring fields the sower stalks 5 With measur'd steps, and lib'ral throws the grain *.”
Thus sung our Scottish bard, and this I verified behold : While o'er yon furrowed land the husbandman, with careful steps and slow, in handfuls from his sheet, by damsel fair supplied from yonder sack, sows wide in hope the wholesome grain, and distributes to every ridge its just proportion:
The crows fly round, and view with eager eyes the tempting corn white covering all the field, descend by stealth, and peck, till once the harrows come and disappoint them all.
As this man is joyful in sowing his grain in the earth, so the great Husbandman, with infinitely more joy, soweth the seed of grace in the heart of a sinner; for he rejoiceth over his elect to do them good, Jer. xxxii. 41.
This husbandman, I observe, uses his servants in carrying the seed to the ground, but he sows it there himself. So the great Husbandman useth his servants, the ministers of the gospel, for carrying the seed of the word to the ears of sinners, but he soweth it in the ground of their hearts himself by the Holy Spirit.
This man, I observe, is careful in sowing, that he miss none of the ground with