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good grain; sooner will the great husbandman suffer for a season in his reputation (for a field full of weeds is a disgrace to a farmer) than allow the true plant to be plucked up. "He said unto them "an enemy hath done this. The servants said "unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and ga"ther them up? But he said, nay; lest, while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat "with them."*

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He allows the enemy a temporary triumph rather than injure the worthy in punishing the worthless. He permits even the righteous to sustain some partial injury in tenderness to the weak and feeble; an entire flock is delayed in its progress to a rich and verdant pasture, by the care of the shepherd, who gathers the lambs, and gently leads such as are wearied and heavy laden.

Finally, every subject which tends to the discrimination of character, teaches believers their infinite obligation; are you wheat and not tares? Are you planted by the friend of sinners in the church, and not sown by the malignant enemy of the saviour?-To whom are you indebted? Were

* Matthew, xiii. 28, 29.

you originally better than they?-What have you that you have not received? All-all-allis of grace; by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.

Not unto us-not unto us, but unto thy name, O Lord, be all the glory,

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Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty.

GODLINESS hath the promise of this life, as well as of that which is to come. How many have been beggared by vice, how few comparatively by religion! As a general maxim it cannot be disputed, that true piety is profitable for all things; when occasional failures have been met with, would it not be more safe, and far wiser to enquire into the piety of the professor, than to deny the truth of the promise?

But how frequently are other barns than those of the righteous filled with plenty ! and is there not


much mercy in that allotment? the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just; and while such as trust in uncertain riches, are saying when their ground brings forth plentifully, "I will pull down


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my barns, and build greater; and there will "I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I "will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods "laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, "drink and be merry. God has signally frowned on such presumptuous impiety, and in providence as well as in the parable, has repeated the question: "Thou fool, this night thy soul "shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?"+


Truly, God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. It must be admitted that we now live under a different dispensation from that in which our text was written; but will it not throw much light on such passages of scripture to consider the fair and legitimate consequences of conduct, under every possible change of economy? Then, if God was honored merely as the giver of temporal good by the presentation of the first-fruits of their increase, their barns were filled with plenty; and now where God, as the providential governor, is honored by liberal, benevolent, and

*Luke, xii. 18, 19.

† Luke, xii. 20.

generous conduct towards our fellow-creatures, and his cause on earth is cheerfully supported, do we not commonly discover the same results? the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things he shall stand; there is that scattereth and yet increaseth; indeed, the fair application of this principle is, I am convinced, the true secret of success in trade, commerce or husbandry; in each of these branches and sources of gain, parsimony tendeth to poverty. Yet when these dispositions are evinced from the better motive of faith towards God, when he is respected as the author and giver of every good gift, the barn is not fuller of plenty, than the breast of peace; the blessing of God then maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it.

We have now reached that season of the year when a gracious and munificent God has fulfilled this merciful promise, and our barns are again replenished with his bounty. Cheerful gratitude becomes all; but especially those who are able to regard these providential favors, as proofs of divine love-as pledges of eternal good-as the fulfilment of this promise; "Honor the Lord with "thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thy "increase so shall thy barns be filled with plenty." So, when in this manner our barns are filled with plenty when these we consider as


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