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PREFACE.

liberty of repeating a Hymn, or Psalm, at the conclusion. By steadily pursuing this plan, I have found a spirit of enquiry awakened among the indolent, and encouragement afforded to the timid ; whilst at the same time, I was enabled to preserve a balance between the different abilities of my scholars, by furnishing those who were deficient, with the necessary information. When I thought it desirable, I enlivened and illustrated the subject by an anecdote, or by explaining some ancient custom among the Jews. My great desire has been to connect the points of instruction with the constant services of the Church of England. I shall feel more than repaid for my

labours, if any of my readers, adopting the same method, should experience the pleasure I have occasionally felt whilst unfolding to my dear charge things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

66 the

PRESTON, November, 1841.

PARABLES.

THE PARABLE OF THE TARES.

Matt. xiii. 24-30.

THERE is one verse in the Bible which expresses the whole employment of our blessed Saviour's life, “ He went about doing good.”—Acts x. 38. At His command sickness, wretchedness, and ignorance vanished away. We cannot therefore be surprised that the people should follow Him,

wondering at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.”—Luke iv. 22. How did He teach the multitudes ?

In parables.
What is meant by a parable ?

An instructive story, representing spiritual things to the mind's eye by comparing them with earthly or visible objects.

What do you here understand by the term Kingdom of Heaven ? "

B

The Gospel dispensation or the Church of Christ on earth.

To what is it compared ?
To the sowing of seed in a field.

What was the quality of the seed which the sower scattered on the ground?

Good seed.

As the seed was good, in what kind of soil would the master sow it ?

In a fertile soil, well prepared, and in a good situation.

As the seed and the ground in which it was sown, were of the best quality, the sower would, naturally, expect to reap a good and plentiful crop: Was this the case ?

No. When the blade was sprung up, and the fruit appeared, it was found mixed with tares.

You may wonder that the tares were not discovered before the fruit appeared, but I will explain to you the reason. The grain here mentioned is not what is usually called tares, but is generally supposed to be darnel, which grows among wheat and much resembles it. How did this misfortune happen?

While the servants slept, an enemy came and sowed his bad seed in the field. What became of this

enemy

? Did he remain to watch and take care of his seed ?

No. He went his way and left it.

If the servants were asleep, how was it known by whom the mischief was done ?

The householder told them. He must therefore have been watching over his field.

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