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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody


Matthew xiii.; Mark iv.27.

The parable of the sower, which begins with its solemn warnings against the hard life, the thin life, and the crowded life, ends with a note of wholesome hope. Who are they who bring forth fruit in abundance? They are, the parable says, not great and exceptional people. The conditions are such as any life can fulfil. It is an honest and good heart which hears the word and keeps it and is fruitful. Nothing but sincerity and receptivity is demanded. A plain soil is productive enough. God only needs a fair chance. He only asks that life shall not be too hard, or too thin, or too crowded.

This is a saying of great comfort to plain people. And yet, even for these, one last demand is added, -- the demand for patience. If fruit is to be brought forth it must be |with patience.| The autumn comes, but not all at once. Jesus is always recalling to us the gradualness of nature; first the blade, {123} then the ear, then the full corn. Nothing in nature is in a hurry. It is not a movement of catastrophes, it is a movement of evolution. And so the last word of the parable is to the impetuous. What a hurry we are in for our results. We look about us among the social agitations of the day and demand a panacea; but God is not in a hurry. Delay, uncertainty, doubt, are a part of Christian experience. It brings forth its fruit with patience. It is like these lingering days of spring, when one can discern no intimation of the quickening life; and yet one knows that through the brown branches the sap is running, and slowly with hesitating advance the world is moving to the miracle of the spring.

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