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sonal; and the want of the spirit of our text, is that which occasions so many to sow vanity and reap the whirlwind. Unless we in the morning of life sow the seed, and long persevere in casting in the good grain, we cannot be refreshed with the springing of the corn, or be repaid by a liberal harvest. Parents! be not deceived—such as ye sow ye shall reap :--if a love of self, attachment to the pleasures of sense, indulgence of wayward tempers,
and such kind of seeds are sown by your precept or practice, what can ye expect to gather but such as ye have sown? But more certainly, though in different proportions, and at seasons often mournfully remote, if early, persevering, and dependant exertions are used with your families, God will pour out his spirit on your seed, and his blessing on your offspring; " and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the waterOne shall
I am the Lord's; and “ another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; 6 and another shall subscribe with his hand unto “ the Lord, and surname himself by the name of « Israel."*
Multiplied duties of benevolence you owe to others, besides your immediate household : you are to do good to all so far as you are able; and
* Isaiah; xliv. 3, 4, 5,
whether the obligation be to impart money or moral instruction, we have scriptural authority to apply the terms of our text. Alms-giving and attempts to edify, are compared to sowing our fields; but both should be engaged in promptly, perseveringly, and in total reliance on God. At some future period, these like the benevolent deeds of Cornelius, shall come up in memorial before God. And on a day of the most stupendous importance, the ready visit to a sick chamber, the seeking out diligently an imprisoned disciple of Jesus, and communicating good to the evil and unthankful, will rise up as corn on the tops of mountains, and the Great Husbandman will gather all into his garner--will not suffer a grain to be lost.
66 For “ God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and “ labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his
name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, « and do minister. And we desire that every one “ of you do shew the same diligence, to the full “ 'assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not " slothful, but followers of them who through faith “ and patience inherit the promises."* The Lord grant that we may find mercy of the Lord in that great day!
* Hebrews, vi. 10, 11, 12,
others to sow beside all waters the seed of religious knowlege, shall yield an abundant harvest. Some whom I address, have thus acted to the poor and needy, and have by their conduct wiped off the reproach cast on former ages by perishing multitudes" No one careth for our souls!"
Your sabbath labors begin early; wintry cold and summer heat are endured while you cast in the precious seed,-much you think is lost; the carelessness and crimes of the parents of the destitute children, like the grand adversary, sow tares with the wheat; but proceed—be not weary in well-doing-in due time
faint not. “ In the morning sow thy seed, and in “ the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou * knowest not whether shall prosper, either this “ or that, or whether they both shall be alike “ good.”*
By our Lord's parable of the sower, we are fully justified in applying the similitude and advice in our text, to all public and professional endeavors to improve and instruct others. Ministers can but sow: they pray for grace to sow unsparingly; and God will give the increase. But it would lead us far beyond our purposed limits, to notice the beautiful variety of profitable lessons, taught us by a reference to the labors of husbandry now under consideration; and future discourses will better illustrate some of those peculiar perils which are attendant on the seed sown, whether by the on stony, or good ground.
* The Author, here cannot forbear alluding to a fact, common perhaps in other Congregations, but not the less commendable on that account, that a large number of poor children are gratuitously taught by the young people of that Religious Society over which he has the pleasure to preside. May God abundantly bless their efforts!
In concluding, it may be proper to notice
1. The encouragement our text presents, to all who thus sow with unsparing liberality, in hope of the promised harvest. The case of failure is not even supposed. Different degrees of prosperity may result; but “ as the rain cometh down, and the
snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but “ watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth “ and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and “ bread to the eater; so shall my word be that
goeth forth out of my mouth : it shall not return “ unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which “ I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where“ to I sent it.”* Although present appearances may contradict this representation, the day will declare it : “ though Israel be not gathered, your “ work shall be rewarded, and you shall be glori“ ous in the eyes of the Lord :" the return may be slow, but is sure: wheat, the most valuable grain, lies longest in the earth: ships return most richly laden, from long voyages. Persevere, notwithstanding every discouragement. Recollect you have the immutable promise of Jehovah, and his past invariable conduct for your support.
* Isaiah, lv. 10, 11.
« Though seed lie buried long in dust,
is It shan't deceive your hope:
“ For grace ensures the crop
2. Let others consider this subject as speaking far differently to them—such I mean, as are indeed indefatigable in sowing: but to what? the flesh. You may suppose your crimes are concealed; but the solemn declaration of God is designed to undeceive you.* The present doom of lost and impenitent sinners, in whose paths of folly you are treading, confirms this awful denunciation. They who sow in wickedness shall
the same. It is not for us to judge your hearts. A field said to be sown may deceive the eye, but the approaching spring will dissipate the delusion, and be sure your sin will find you out: what desperate confusion
* Galations, vi. 7, 8.