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The Tares and the Wheat.

The Tares and the Wheat.

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Published by glennpease
BY THE REV. DANIEL MOORE, M.A.



" Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kiugdom of beaverr is likened aoto a man which sowed grood seed in his field : but while men slept, his eueiiiy tame and Bowed tares among the wheat." — Matthew xiii. 24, 25.
BY THE REV. DANIEL MOORE, M.A.



" Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kiugdom of beaverr is likened aoto a man which sowed grood seed in his field : but while men slept, his eueiiiy tame and Bowed tares among the wheat." — Matthew xiii. 24, 25.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 12, 2014
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THE TARES AD THE WHEAT. BY THE REV. DAIEL MOORE, M.A. " Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kiugdom of beaverr is likened aoto a man which sowed grood seed in his field : but while men slept, his eueiiiy tame and Bowed tares among the wheat." — Matthew xiii. 24, 25. This parable forms one of the series which supplied us with matter for medi- tation last Tuesday,* and, as then intimated, was given by our Lord to set forth the true principles of the Divine government — to show us how God has dealt, is dealing and will deal with our world unto the end. It seemed a dark saying to his disciples, as they heard it delivered in public, and so as soon as they were alone, they said to our Lord, " Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field." He complied, and by the time he had finished his first sentence all was clear. A rich mass of light was projected upon the whole picture. " He that soweth 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 tiiem is the devil ; the harvest is the end of the world ; and the reapers are the angels." In these few words we have the complete scheme of moral providence — the permitted frustrations of a Divine purpose, the struggles going on between good and evil, the errin"  judgment and mistaken zeal of good men, and the final separations of character which shall mark the proceedings of the great day. Let us look again at the circumstances of liie parable. "The kingdom of heaven," or the dispensation of things under the gospel, "is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field." In the interval between its spring- ing up, "and while men slept," an enemy comes and casts into the ground a closely resembling but far inferior seed. This act of malice remains undis- covered, until the blade springs up, when the servants of the sower, pained and astonished at the appearance of so much bad wheat intermixed with the * Soo Gol.lpn Lectures, Sft-ond ii-rii-s. o. 19, Tenny Pu!i,it, o. 3,701. o. 2,761, 4 s THE TARES AKD THE WHEAT. good, repair to the Master for an explanation. *' Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field ? from whence then hath it tares ?" The Master resolves the difficulty at once. He knows of one who much envies him the prosperity of his fields, who would mar the success he cannot rival, and injure what he is
 
unable to destroy. ** An enemy hath done this." Hereupon the servants, in the true spirit of the world's revenges, ask permission to root out utterly this spurious and corrupting grain, saying unto the Master, " Wilt thou then that we gather them up V * ay,' saith the Master, ' the intermixture is too close, the difference between good wheat and bad too nice and delicate for your rude discriminations ; so that whilst intending to gather up tares, it is to be feared you would gather up wheat also.' " 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." The true rendering of this parable being given by its Divine Author, relieves us, in so far as its main purport is concerned, from the necessity of any con-  jectural solutions. It plainly tells us, that with all the care we can use there must be in every society a mixture of good men and bad ; that any attempt to mend this state of things by a retributive economy would only add to the existing evil, and that it must be left to the righteous siftings of the future world to separate the precious from the vile, and to vindicate the ways of God to man. To the parable, therefore, as illustrative of these points, we may now proceed to address ourselves. And first, let us consider that part of the discourse which tells us, that we live in a world of good and evil, that even religious society has its unavoidable admixtures, that men who by outward profession have one Lord to serve, one faith to subscribe, one baptism to acknowledge, may yet be growing up toge- ther like wheat and tares in a corn field, only at the time of harvest to be separated eternally. Let us see how the parable sets forth this fact. Thus it imports, that all God's original provisions for this our world were beneficent and wise, and tending to moral happiness. The sower " sowed good seed in his field." "God made man upright." Eden was the abode of moral purity ; there were no tares in that field ; and if man had been obedient to the one command given unto him, a holy posterity might have grown toge- ther until the harvest. And now that man has fallen, all the provisions of the gospel tend to the same point — the establishment of a restored spiritual reign. "The good seed are the children of the kingdom ;" and these children are the " lights of the world, the salt of the earth," the purifying leaven of a corrupt mass. " I planted thee a noble vine," said the Lord unto Israel, " wholly a right seed ;" and the ground is blessed, and enriched, and sanctified wherever this good seed falls. Consider what an ennobling thing Christianity is, when its influence can be brought to bear upon the nations. How does it tend to elevate character, to refine manners, to enlarge the boundaries of thought, to subdue natural jealousies, and to bind man to man ! How, if, good seed met with no hindrance, no discouragement, no tares, would it turn " swords into plough- shares, and spears into pruning-hooks," and barracks into hospitals, and prisons into schools, till the nations had ceased to learn war any more, and conquerors
 
THE TARES AD THE WHEAT. vrere hunted out of the world ! Yea, so precious is this good seed, that a single grain of it may be made a blessing to mankind. Our Adelaides in the court, our Hales on the judgment-seat, our Clarksons and Wilberforces in the senate, our Gardiners in the camp, our Boyles in the walk of philosophy, and our Cowpers in the department of sweet song — who can tell how great the world's debt to such good examples ? And many a grain of good seed that grew not up so high as these may yet be equally a blessing to those around by the silent influences for good. "The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house," we are told, ** for Joseph's sake;" and many among us may be similarly indebted. Masters, mistresses, employers of all kinds, indifferent as they may be about being served by such qualities, little know how much they are blessed, and prospered, and kept from evil, through having about them faithful and pious dependents. How little thought the proud aamau that he was being remem- bered in the little captive's prayers ! "The good seed," then, "are the children of the kingdom" — those who have been made alive by the word of God, those righteous in a nation that save it from ruin, those godly in a legislature who would deliver us from statute infidelity, those Christians in commercial life who regulate all their dealings by the Bible, those spiritually minded men in a neighbourhood who keep its religious light from going out, those parents, masters, children, servants in a family, who feel that they live not to themselves, that good seed must not be unfruitful, but that each blade must labour to bring forth its fruit unto hoU» ness, and even to try improve the tares that are growing up at its side- But having taught us that the seed which God sowed was good seed, the parable next sets forth how it came to pass that the field yielded any other. " While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares anjong the wheat, and went his way." " His enemy came." Mark the expression, brethren ; for it takes us up to the great source of all our moral perplexities and problems j and if it do not tell us how evil came into the world, at least tells us this, that it did not come in with the consenting purpose aud will of God. In what sense anything can be said to exist without that consenting will would involve a discussion I have not time to pursue now; but the truth can never be brought out too plainly or too often, that the will of God is essentially antagonistic to all evil — that come when it may, or come how it may, all the attributes of th« Divine nature must have been opposed to it, and that in whatever form it now shows itself upon the earth, there is but one solution to be offered for its existence — "An enemy hath done this;" God's enemy, truth's enemy, the enemy of all purity, and love, and light, and righteousness. From this posi- tion no speculative difficulties should ever move us. The awful mystery of evil will never be entirely cleared up, take what view we may : and therefore let us at least take that which shall leave without reproach or stain the equities of the Divine character. It may be, as some have affirmed, that the infinite

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