Sexagesima Sunday The Gospel Luc. 8 v.4. Saturday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634


GOSPEL Luke 8:4-15 
At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities, unto him, he spoke by a similitude. "The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the way side. And it was trodden down: and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock. And as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns. And the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground and, being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold." Saying these things, he cried out: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. To whom he said: "To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that 'seeing they may not see and hearing may not understand.' Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way side are they that hear: then the devil cometh and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock are they who when they hear receive the word with joy: and these have no roots: for they believe for a while and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who have heard and, going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it and bring forth fruit in patience."
Consideration for Saturday

It is to be noted that this good ground, though all were good, yet some brought forth more increase, then other; and three differences of increase there were, according to another Evangelist, that recordeth this fame parable in more ample manner. 

Whereof the one was thirty fold; Another threescore fold; and the third a hundred fold. Whereby was signified three degrees of people, one of married, the other of windows, the third of virgins.

The married yield increase thirty fold, widows three score, virgins a hundred: according to the differences of their degrees, and faculty (as St. Paul termites it,) they have to serve God, without impediment. Yet, not so, but that widows, if they be fervent and religious, amy equalize and exceed virgins in perfection (and consequently inherit) if they be cold; and married may be so good, that they may exceed them both.

Let every one, as St. Paul exhorteth the Corinthians in the like case, be ambitious, of the better gifts.

Likewise it is said of the good ground, that it brought forth his fruits in patience: Either in patient expectation of the heavenly reward after this life, as the husbandman doth all the time from sowing unto harvest, leaving his seed as it were cast away and buried in the ground; or in patient suffering afflictions at the hands of others, or mortifications voluntary undertaken by ourselves to repress the rebellious sensual appetites of our flesh, and by castigations to bring it into subjection to the spirit, as St. Paul said, he did his, that we may bring forth the fruit of virtue and good life, which is not done without a great deal of sufferance and patience with ourselves; or that almighty Go in bringing forth our fruit hath a deal of patience with us, suffering our ingratitude, and reiterations of our sins again and again, being content to accept of our cold and negligent Service, for good, such as could not without a great deal of forbearance & patience pass for good; and that God doth suffer herby, we may see by that he said to his disciples, O ye incredulous and dull of heart how long shall I suffer you? In these three kind of patiences, we must bring forth our fruit; and, as the Scripture saith, possess our souls; as if he should say, without these three patiences, we shall not be able to possess them.


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