Page images

dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also

unto this wicked generation.* 46 While he yet talked to the people, behold,

his mother, and his brethren stood without, 47 desiring to speak with him. Then one said

unto him, Behold'thy mother, and thy breth

ren stand without desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told

him, Who is my mother ? and who are my 49 brethren? And he stretched forth his hand

towards his disciples, and said, Behold my 50 mother and my brethren.

For whosoever shall do the will of my father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.


1 THE same day Jesus went out of the house, 2 and sat by the sea-side. And great multitudes

were gathered together unto him, so that he .

* It does not appear from Seriptore, we think, that men are blinded arbitrarily and without regard to their moral character-but that ihose, who disregard the instructions and neglect the privileges given them, who oppose the moral light afforded them, become prejudiced against religious truths iu consequence of their sins, and are judicially blinded, or given up of God to error and evil, to their final


went into a ship,* and sat ; and the whole 3 multitude stood on the shore. And he spake

many things unto them in parables,t saying, 4 Behold, a sower went forth to sow ; and

when he șowed, some seeds fell by the way

side, and the fowls came and devoured them. 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had

not much earth : and forthwith they sprung

up, because they had no deepness of earth : 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorch

ed ; and because they had not root, they 7 withered away. And some fell among thorns ;

and the thorns sprung up, and choked them. 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought • forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty 9 fold, some thirty fold. Who hath ears to 10 hear, let him hear. And the disciples 'came

and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto 11 them in parables? He answered and said

unto them, Because it is given unto you to

know the mysteries of the kingdom of 12 heaven,! but to them it is not given. For

whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall more abound : but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away

By ship here, we must understand some boat or small vessel. For this was on the lake of Tiberias or Gennesereth. This our Lord did to avoid the crowd which was pressing about him. He thus had a better opportunity to address the people assembled.

† It was common in the East, to communicate instruction in parables. The sentiments conveyed were frequently less likely to excite prejudices, and more powerful in their effect.

That is, the gospel.

13 even that he hath.* Therefore speak I to

them in parables :t because they seeing, see

pot; and hearing, they hear not, neither do 14 they, understand. And in them is fulfilled

the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand ;

and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and

their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed ; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and

should be converted, and I should heal them.|| 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see : and

* Those who faithfully improve their privileges shall have more light and knowledge.

+ Instructing by parables was common in eastern and ancient writers and speakers: and it is pertinent and convincing. Though somewhat difficult to be understood, they may be by careful attention and inquiry. It was evidently proper to address the Jews in this manner, as their moral character was. For, if they chose not to inquire and understand, as evidently they did not; then they were justly left in ignorance. And had they been attentive and well disposed, they would have been induced to learn the meaning of the parables.

Because they overlook what they see, they are inattentive to what they hear, and they are not careful to understand.

They shall certainly hear, but shall not understand ; they shall see, but will not perceive.

| This verse supplies us with the reason why Christ spake to the people in parables--And verse 12th, above, declares the rule of proceeding with men, which we must allow to be just, that according as they improve or misimprove privileges, so others will be granted, or means taken to blind them--the punishment for their former wickedness.

19 sower.

17 your ears for they hear. For verily I say unto

you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye sce, and have not seen them ; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard

them.* 18 Understand ye therefore the parable of the

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, † and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away

that which was sown in his heart. This is 20 he who received seed by the way-side. But

he that received the seed into stony places, the

same is he that heareth the word, and at once 21 receives it with joy ; yet hath he not root in

himself, but endureth for a while : for when

tribulation, or persecution ariseth because of 22 the word, by and by he is offended. He also

that received seed among the thorns, is he that sheareth the word ; and the cares of this world,

and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the 23 word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he

that received seed into the good ground, is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; who also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundred-fold, some sixty, some

thirty. • There was a general expeetation in the world of the coming of some great prophet to reveal the will of God to inan, and holy men ainong the Jews partieularly had long been desirous of the appearance of the Messiah.

+ Of the gospel, or the doctrines concerning the kingdom of heaven. When through inattention and carelessness, any one does not understand it, then the wicked one takes it away: that is, leads them to forget it.

24 Another parable put he forth unto them,

saying, The kingdom of heaven may be liken.

ed unto a man who sowed good seed in his 25 field. But while men slept, his enemy came

and sowed tares among the wheat, and went 26 his way. But when the blade was sprung up,

and brought forth fruit, then appeared the 27 tares also. So the servants of the house

holder came, and said unto him, Sir, didst not

thou sow good seed in thy field ? from whence 28 then hath it tares? He said unto them, An

enemy hath done this. * The servants said

unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and 29 gather them up ? But he said, Nay ; lest,

while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also 30 the wheat with them. 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. 31 Another parable he put forth unto them,

saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a

grain of mustard seed, which a man took and 32 sowed in his field : Which indeed is the

least of all seeds : but, when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree,

• Thus it is plainly asserted, contrary to the opinions of some, that moral evil comes not from God, but from the great adversary of souls. We are also instructed by this passage, not to be very rigid iridiscipline; lest we separate those from the church of Christ, who are really the children of God.

« PreviousContinue »