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The reproof which he gives to his Relations for their attempt to prevent the accomplishment of his great designs, is conceived in a very different spirit, and, at the same time, brings forward the Saviour of the world in one of the most interesting aspects in which he can appear. "There came then," says the Evangelist, "his brethren and his mother, and stand"ing without, sent unto him, calling ❝ him. And the multitude sat about “ him, and they said unto him, Behold,


thy mother and thy brethren without "seek for thee. And he answered them,


saying, Who is my mother or my bre"thren? And he looked round about "on them which sat about him, and "said, Behold my mother and my bre"thren. For whosoever shall do the "will of God, the same is my brother, "and my sister, and mother."

These words, which any illustration

would only enfeeble, are addressed to the whole of the human race. What encouragement do they afford to our exertions, while they tell the most obscure individual among mankind, that if he will "do the will of God," he will be regarded by his Heavenly Master in the closest and most endearing light;—and how beautiful an example do they bring of that divine instruction and consolation, which, from the little daily occurrences of his life, our Lord was enabled to provide for the future generations of men !— May God grant that we may all profit from these lessons of wisdom, and of truth;and to Him, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be ever ascribed, as is most due, all glory and praise!



MARK, iv. 2, 3.

"And he taught them many things by pa"rables, and said unto them in his doc"trine, Hearken, behold there went out "a sower to sow."

An opportunity is now afforded me, my brethren, of illustrating some of those important doctrines which our Lord conveyed under the disguise of parables. In the very beautiful one which begins with

* Preached on Sexagesima Sunday.

the words of the text, and which you will find in another form, in the Gospel for this day, the great Sower of the seed of life has pointed out the kind of obstacles to which his religion is exposed in the world, and the nature of those qualifications which can alone render it effectual for the moral discipline of the heart. The whole passage is highly worthy of our most serious attention, for never, I believe, were truths more weighty and profound, represented by images so obvious and familiar.

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"Behold there went out a sower to sow." From this very simple introduction, a reflection of some moment is suggested. It exhibits to us, in a striking manner, the natural and unambitious character of the Christian institution. When we first hear of a revelation from heaven, our imaginations are apt to take alarm: we immediately conjure up into our minds all those images of supernatural power which

seem characteristic of the approaching Deity, and, according to our predominant disposition, we either sink into superstitious fear, or close our eyes in blind incredulity. Now, the interesting and important circumstance in Christianity is, that while it is supernatural in its origin, it is yet, in a wonderful manner, accommodated to the established system of nature, so that we are enabled, without any kind of force upon our thoughts, to pass from the notions of common life to the higher views of Religion. Nothing can be more obvious to an attentive reader of the Gospels, than the constant aim of our Saviour to bring down himself and his doctrine to the level of that Nature which he undertook to reform, and while, as we have seen, he did such works as were beyond the reach of human' power, and opened discoveries into the ways of God, which it had never entered into the heart of man to conceive, he yet seemed to

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