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the seed, and gives to every ridge its just proportion. With infinitely more care doth the great Husbandman sow the good seed in the heart; no place of it is missed; every faculty of the soul receiveth a proper measure of it: the understanding is not enlightered and the will left unrenewed; nor the conscience made tender, and void of offences, while the memory is unsanctified, and the affections cold : No, all are sown with the good seed, which will grow up in due time to perfection.
I observe the harrows following the husbandman, and covering up the seed ; if this were not done, very soon would it be snatched from the earth by the fowls of the, air, In like manner, the good seed of the word must be as it were covered up, and hid deep in the heart, lest the foul fiend Satan come and catch it out: thus did the Royal Psalmist : “ Thy word have I hid in mine heart," saith he, “ that I might not sin against thee,” Psalm cxix. 11.
From this ground, which is now harrow ed over, I behold large quantities of weeds gathered together, with a number of stones, which would have intercepted the growth of the seed; yet some of the weeds, and many of their poisonous roots, still remain there, but will be more and more taken out as the seed springs up. In like manner, from the soul which the great Husbandman hath cultured and sown in the day of conversion, the hard and stony heart, that would have intercepted the growth of the heavenly seed, is taken out, together with a great deal of the weeds of sin and corruption ; though, alas ! many of them with a bitter root still remain, which will be taken more and more away as the believer groweth in grace, and the good seed springeth up in him to eternal life.
Next comes the ponderous roller, which saddens the ground, keeps it from heaving and spewing out the grain. So a proper sense of sin, and man's state by nature, like a weighty roller saddeneth the heart, keepeth it humble from proud risings, and throwing out the good seed.
• To a partial observer this ground appears to be sown; and so does much that is only harrowed over, but has no good seed
sown in it, which the husbandman has reserved for other purposes than growing of corn: but, by a more careful scrutiny, such as entering into the field, and turning over some of the mould, it may be certainly known whether the seed be there. In like manner, owing to some external reformation and civility of life, many are deceived, and too often, it is much to be doubted, the person himself that hath these outward appearances, thinking his heart is sown with the good seed, but by a more strict examination of it, made by the man himself, he may know whether the good seed be in him. How careful then ought I to be, not to stand at a distance, as it were, from myself, but to enter into the field of my own heart, which appeareth to be thus cultured and sown, and turn up the secret recesses thereof, to try if it be so in reality. Have I ever experienced any saving work there? are the faculties of my soul renewed ? is the hard and stony heart taken away, with many of the foul weeds of sin and corruption ? and are the remainder a burden under which I groan, and of which I long to be rid? chiefly because they are pffensive to God, and cost my Lord and Sa
viour so dear : if so, I may conclude I am certainly sown with the good seed, which will never perish, but spring up to eternal life, John iy. 14.
ON A FIELD OF SPRINGING CORN.
What a delightful prospect is here! the joy of the husbandman and hope of the poor ; even a field of springing corn.
Truly grateful to the eye is the blade newly come from the teeming earth, the sight of which inspires with gratitude, and creates throughout all the soul a pleasant sensation.
· Best of vegetables, and staff of life ! my contemplations be on thee.---As it is delightful to behold this corn in the blade, growing úp to perfection under the influence of the natural heavens : It is certainly still more so to feel and see the seeds of grace springing