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VIII.

it shall appear in that Plenty, which the Na- S ER M. ture of the Ground fhall give him Reafon to expect.

For our Lord (in the parallel Place to my Text) is pleased to tell us that this is in fome Places thirty fold, in fome it is fixty, and in fome an hundred. From whence we may infer that the Soil which yields thirty fold is allowed as good Ground, if it cannot be made capable of yielding more; but if thirty fold be only brought forth, where there is a Capacity in the Ground to yield fixty or an hundred; there the thirty will be in Danger of not anfwering the Expectation of the Husbandman. It therefore lies on you, my Brethren, to endeavour that our Doctrine and Perfuafions not only produce in you good Fruit; but also good Fruit in Plenty and Abundance. And how they may do fo by the Help of the Divine Grace affifting with you; and upon what Conditions that Grace may be attained, I have already told you. Let us then but add our own Prayers and Endeavours and the work is done. And therefore that it may please THEE to give to all thy People Increase of Grace, to hear meekly thy Word, and to receive it with pure Affections, and to bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit;

We beseech thee, to hear us, good Lord:

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SERM.
VIII.

For though Paul may plant, and Apollos water; yet it is thou alone that canft give the Encrease: From thee therefore we beg the Dew of thy heavenly Benediction and Grace, to defcend always upon what is delivered, that it may be as good Seed fown on good Ground, and bring forth Fruit in thy Servants to Salvation. Let them be Doers of the Word and not Hearers only, deceiving their own felves.

SERMON

SERMON IX.

The Wheat and the Tares.

St. MAT. xiii. 30.

Let both grow together until the Harvest.

A

very

other useful In-SER M.

many Mongft ftructions which our Lord most apparently intends by the Parable, of which my Text is a Part; a main and principal one is evidently this; viz. to represent to us the Neceffity there is, that good and bad Men should live together promifcuously here, left the Good, by an immediate Separation of the Wicked, should fuffer greater Inconveniencies, than they would from their Continuance amongst them. In Order to this, our bleffed Saviour represents an Enemy fowing Tares in a Field in which the Householder had fown Wheat before: At which the Servants of the Householder being much concerned, would have had the Orders of their Master to pluck them up. But the Master being afraid lest

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IX.

SERM. in gathering the Tares, they should also root up the Wheat with them, he orders that both be fuffered to grow together till the Harveft; when he will order the Tares to be first gathered and bound up in Bundles for the Fire, and then the Wheat will be more fecurely gathered into his Barn. Now, as our Lord himself explains this Parable, the Tares fown by the Enemy, are the Wicked, which the Devil raises up in the Church or Kingdom of Chrift, which Chrift, who is the Houfholder, won't fuffer to be feparated whilst the World continues, for Fear the Righteous, who are the Wheat, should receive Damage from the Separation But at the End of the World, which is the Time of Harvest, he will fend forth his Angels, who are his Reapers, to gather out of his Kingdom all things that offend or that work Iniquity: And these he will order to be caft into a Furnace of everlasting Fire. But the Righteous he will take with him into the Kingdom of his Father, where they shall shine forth for ever as the Sun. This is the Sum and Subftance of the Parable; of which the Ufe I fhall make, fhall be to take Occafion from that Part of it, which I have read for my Text, to lay before you the Reafons why Providence continues a Mixture of

good

IX.

good and bad Men together in the State of SER M. the Church. For this we know to be a Difpenfation of Providence that has perplexed and stagger'd many good Men, When the Innocent and Harmless are injured and oppreffed by the Troublesome and Unjuft, they find it very hard to forbear complaining with the Prophet, Lord, wherefore lookeft thou upon them that deal treacherously, and boldeft they Tongue when the wicked devoureth the Man that is more righteous than he? Hab. i. 13. Even holy David, when he found the Church tyrannized over by the Wicked, could not refrain from bursting out into that ComplaintO Lord GOD, to whom Vengeance belongeth, thou GOD, to whom Vengeance belongeth, fhew thyself. Arife thou Judge of the World; and reward the Proud after their deferving. Lord, how long shall the Ungodly, how long Shall the Ungodly triumph? How long shall all wicked Doers fpeak fo difdainfully, and make fuch proud boasting? Pf. xciv. 1-4.

But not withstanding all the Prayers and Supplications of the Righteous, GOD never yet thought fit to give them a total Deliverance: So far indeed he has granted their Requefts, as fometimes to rescue them from the Power and Dominion of the Ungodly: But

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