And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:…
1. On the hard field the seed can take no root. There are hearts like that hard field here to-day. They have been trampled hard by sin. The seed cannot grow there. I have heard of a man who had attended the Church for years, and who, when he was dying, told the clergyman that he had never heard one of his sermons. As soon as the sermon began, this man was accustomed to begin thinking of the result of his last week's trade, and planning for the week to come. So the good seed fell unheeded on the hard, trampled field, and the birds of the air carried it away.
2. The seed which fell on the shallow field took root, and grew up very fast. But there was no depth of soil, the seed was not well rooted, and so it quickly withered away, and brought no fruit. How many of these shallow fields we have amongst us I The people represented by them are ready enough to come to church, and to take an interest in religious matters. But their religion is like an ague, a hot fit succeeded by a cold one. There is a special danger for such people in the wild, excitable forms of so-called religion, so common in these days. They forsake the old paths and the sober truths of the gospel for some scene of hysterical excitement, where men would force the seed to grow rapidly in a hot atmosphere of passion; and they mistake feelings for religion, and noisy display for real conviction.
3. Some seed fell on the thorny field, where the weeds grew thickly and choked it. Ah! my brothers and sisters, how many Epistles and Gospels, how many lessons and sermons have been lost to you because your life is choked with weeds!
4. And last of all, there is the good field, where the seed grows and bears abundant fruit. We cannot all bring forth the same fruit, or an equal amount. As one star differeth from another star in glory, so it is with God's people. There is the saint of high and holy life, whose word and teaching sway the multitude. And there is the simple old cottager, who spells out her Bible with dim eyes and painful labour, and finds her treasure there. But both alike are God's good fields, where the seed brings forth fruits.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: