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rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall 29 This blasphemy against the Holy blaspheme : 29 but he that Ghost consisted in denying that our shall blaspheme against the Saviour's miracles were wrought by Holy Ghost hath never for the power of God, and attributing giveness, but is in danger of them to the power of the devil. eternal damnation : because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the mul. titude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren with 33 O gracious condescension in the out seek for thee. * And he eternal Son of God! Thus to adopt answered them, saying, Who our sympathies--thus to bring them is my mother, or my breth- in aid of our spiritual advancement !
Art thou a mourner ? Cleare to ren? And he looked round
thy God and Saviour : then, as thou about on them which sat mournest the loved ones taken from about him, and said, Behold thee, Jesus will be at hand-with all my mother and my brethren! a brother's faithfulness, all a sister's For whosoever shall do the
ce the love, all a mother's care. will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
And he began again to teach by the sea side : and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his 3 Even our daily worldly occupadoctrine, 'Hearken; Behold, tions instruct a teachable spirit in its there went out a sower to spiritual and heavenly course. sow; and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: but when the sun was up, it was scorched ; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased ; and brought forth some thirty, and some
sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God *: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables : 12 that seeing they may see,
12 These are proverbial expressions. and not perceive ; and hear
St. Matthew says, “ Their eyes have ing they may hear, and not they closed" - their blindness thus understand ; lest at any time shown to have been wilful. When men they should be converted, and resolutely harden their heart, they their sins should be forgiven must expect that God will at length
withhold his grace. them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable ? and how then will ye know all parables! "The sower 14 The preacher of the word is as soweth the word. + And the sower of the seed corn. Each these are they by the way labours as diligently and anxiously side, where the word is sown; as if the harvest depended upon his but when they have heard,
labours : but each trusts for a suc
cessful issue solely to the free goodSatan cometh immediately,
ness of God — to his sun and his and taketh away the word showers ; his strengthening and rethat was sown in their hearts. freshing grace. 16 And these are they like
15 If you are a careless hearer of
the word, evil thoughts will come wise which are sown on stony into your heart, and cause you to ground ; who, when they forget what you hear. have heard the word, imme 10° If your heart be not softened by
love to God, you may hear the prodiately receive it with glad
mises of the word gladly ; but when ness; and have no root in
crosses and afflictions come, you will themselves, and so endure take offence at religion, and fall from but for a time : afterward, your stedfastness. love your God when affliction or persecution
—then you will bear patiently what
ever He sees fit to lay upon you. ariseth for the word's sake, We think no toil hard for those we immediately they are offen- love. ded. 19 And these are they 18 Worldly thoughts, like weeds,
+ Jesus first instructed his disciples, and commissioned them to instruct the people. This was done to prevent future difficulties. Had He taken upon himself the whole explanation of his doctrines, the people might have less readily heeded his apostles, and his ministers their successors. But when the apostles explained, according to his teaching of them : future trust both in their authority and knowledge was ensured. For the same reason, in feeding the thousands miraculously, though the virtue was his own only, He chose that the food should be distributed by the hands of his disciples—showing that, for ever, his gracious spiritual benefits should henceforth flow to mankind through the ministry of his Church.
which are sown among thorns; spring up and grow rapidly: oversuch as hear the word, and topping holy and heavenly thoughts. the cares of this world, and At once, therefore, pluck them up;
f riches as you do weeds, lest they choke
the corn, and it wither and die. and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which 20 Blessed art thou, if thou receivest are sown on good ground; the word gladly, and with a desire such as hear the word, and to profit by it. God will recompense receive it and bring forth thee according to thy porcers, and the
diligent exercise of them. The lowly fruit, some thirtyfold, some , and humble may well rejoice in this sixty, and some an hundred. truth. They also shall be thus ac21 And he said unto them, Is cepted. a candle brought to be put 21 The word is the candle of the
Lord. Its light must be spread—its under a bushel, or under a meaning explained. Jesus taught by bed ? and not to be set on a parables, that the light might strike candlestick? For there is more forcibly, as coming out of a nothing hid, which shall not dark place. be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he saith unto them, Take heed what ye hear : with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more 25 This is universally true. Idlebe given. 25 For he that ness decreaseth our store ; diligence hath, to him shall be given : addeth to it. and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. 26 And he said, So 26 The grace of God, like his prois the kingdom of God, as if vidence, never slumbereth or sleepa man should cast seed into eth". the ground ; 27 and should 27 The spiritual harvest springs up sleep, and rise night and day, gradually. and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it ? 31 It is like 31 This indicates the vast increase a grain of mustard seed, of the Gospel — God's kingdom of which, when it is sown in grace.
* We, in our infirmity, may sleep often, so to speak-may not always be awake to our spiritual duties. But if grace be in the heart, we may trust that it will give to the word planted there, vitality and growth, till at last it spring up, and yield its fruits of increase.
the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth : but when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches ; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them : and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the mnltitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a 37 We must not expect always to great storm of wind, and the enjoy calm, even in a religious course waves beat into the ship, so of life. that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful ? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him.
Launched upon the waves of this troublesome world, we must look to have our share of its storms and tempests. Happy, if Jesus be with us. He will hear us and answer us, and save us in our distresses ; and bring us at last to the haven of safety and of rest.
FEB. 5, JUNE 4, Oct. 2. And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes *. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains : because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the letters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
And always, night and day, These tombs were caverns in the he was in the mountains, mountains' side. and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
, * The country lay between Gadara and Gergesa ; therefore St. Matthew calls it the country of the Gergesenes.
6 But when he saw Jesus afar Shall unclean spirits be eager to off, he ran and worshipped worship Christ, and we pay unrilling him, and cried with a loud service! God forbid ! voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said & This was a proof of his divine unto bim, Come out of the power, as Lord of the spiritual man, thou unclean spirit. world.
And he asked him, What is Legion is a term used for any very thy name? And he answered, great number. saying, My name is Legion : for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran riolently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand ;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done, And they came to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. ” And 17 Sad picture this of a worldly they began to pray him to mind, which had rather be a stranger depart out of their coasts. to Christ, than suffer loss through 18 And when he was come into
Him. the ship, he that had been
18 Nothing could be more natural
than the wish to continue under the possessed with the devil
protection of so powerful and graprayed him that he might be cious a friend. with him. Howbeit Jesus 19 His duty was, to lead his life in a suffered him not, but saith manner worthy of the mercy Fouchunto him, Go home to thy safed to him-a grateful witness to friends, and tell them how the power and love of Christ. great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name ; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, and besought him greatly, saying,