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"vallies are covered over with the tender sprouting
corn, they shout for joy, they also sing."
The position in our text may be considered primarily, as An intelligent recognition of Divine interference. "Thou blessest the springing
As in land which has been cultivated with the greatest care, so in that moral soil which is favored with correspondent advantages, all depends on the gracious influences of heaven. It is obvious to common sense, that no human effort, however skilful; or industry, however indefatigable; could ever produce the smallest blade of grass; much less occasion the earth spacious and vast as it is, to yield her ample and universal increase: and surely it is equally plain, that " Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but God only can give the in"crease."
Let this fact, which is so readily admitted, produce the proper practical effects on your heart and conduct. Diligence will then result, under the powerful conviction that it is not the earth uncultured which God blesses, but that which has been furrowed by the plough and sown with the valua ble grain; this he smiles upon, and there he causes the bud of the tender herb to spring
"forth."* Without this persuasion, our adop tion of the text would be vain and presumptuous; dishonoring God, and injuring the community at large which is fed by the fruits of the field. Nor are those parents or ministers less culpable, who neglect the diligent discharge of their several duties, and yet expect the favorable intervention of Deity. Enquire what he blesses? The springthereof, the corn which he had provided and given to the sower for seed.;
The Divine Being, both in nature and grace, works in an appointed order; nor does he require, nay; he indignantly rejects that faith even in his own existence and perfections, which has not the warrant of his free and full promise.
Intelligently to admit the fact affirmed in the text, will occasion the exercise of faithful dependance-after we have done all we are unprofitable servants; our service can yield no advantage but as the result of God's favor: and this, though in connection with human toil, totally irrespective of human merit. The very term implies sovereignty and mercy: thou blessest-not rewardest, but blessest the springing thereof. "The less is blessed
of the better."
* Job, xxxviii 27.
In the use of the means, we may expect this benediction. Nor will such believing confidence in God be disregarded;" all things are possible to "him, that believeth." But while there But while there may be
traced some observable proportion between the quantity of seed sown and that which springs up, the merciful disparity in things spiritual shall be truly conspicuous. How beautifully is this illustrated in one of our Lords parables. "The king"dom of heaven is likened to a grain of mustard“ seed which a man took and sowed in his field,” which he says " is indeed the least of all seeds, but "when grown is the greatest among herbs, and "becometh a tree." Here not only is the evident connection between sowing in the prepared field and the springing of the grain noted, but in the selecting this species of seed as an illustration, the merciful resolution of God is declared;-to smile most propitiously, and to give a large and liberal increase to dependant exertions for the souls of men. Moreover, the increase of the earth is only the shadow of which this better produce is the substance, and astonishing is that truth here exemplified" the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life."
But again. In using the words of the text, we may consider the term "blessest" as implying approbation. And certainly, while God commends
such as are diligent in business, he will more liberally applaud such as labor in faith for eternal treasures. Should he withhold present success, he will certainly hereafter commend previous toil and dependant exertion," Well done good and faithful servant;" and this shall indeed be the language of present success, if granted. Success, in this case, shall be the criterion of Divine favor. The spring ing of our seed shall be a blessing, and not sent in anger, as to that devoted people, to whom God said, "I will send a curse upon you, I will curse 66 you in blessings." Their table became a snare a trap to them, they were fattened as cattle for the slaughter.
Secondly. Consider the text as a claim on your gratitude. To whom are you indebted for the refreshing verdure of your fields, for the tender herb which appeareth? That which we hope to gather, God giveth." I beseech you therefore brethren,
by the mercies of God, that ye present your bo"dies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto "God, which is your reasonable service."*
And has God blessed those other fields which you have cultured with a solicitous and parental
*Romans, xii. 1.
care? Forget not these incalculable benefits: withhold not the tribute of praise so justly due. When you are permitted to see your sons growing up as plants in their youth, to witness the domestic regularity of your children, to believe that they are the subjects of effectual grace, and that they grow up before God in secret as tender plants; and at the same time observe some neighboring households, like the field of the slothful, grown over with the thorns and thistles, the nettles and briers of unholy tempers and conduct;-I say, when you notice these things and consider the inadequacy of talents and toils to effect these pleasing prospects, can you refrain from praising God even with a loud voice, in that he has been mindful of his promise-a promise you have often pleaded, that “he "would pour out his spirit from on high, so that "the wilderness should become a fruitful field.” They spring up as the corn. And already have you heard one say, "I am the Lord's; and another "shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and "another shall subscribe with his hand unto the "Lord, and surname himself by the name of Is"rael."*
'He has not dealt so with every family. Happy
* Isaiah, xliv. 5.