Sexagesima Sunday The Gospel Luc. 8 v.4. Wednesday 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 Wednesday

Christ in this parable declareth three impediments why his seed, (though himself be the principal seed man, and his seed principally good) bringeth not forth fruit. The impediment be in the ground. For either the seed may be sown in highways,and the then the fowls of the air come presently,and eat it up,and men that pass by tread upon it, that it cannot come up.

Or it may be sown upon stony and rocky ground, where though it grow up for a while,and promise fruit; it withereth away,because it could take no deep root, nor receive th Or it may be sown upon stony and rocky ground, where though it grow up for a while,and promise fruit; it withereth away,because it could take no deep root, nor receive the moisture and heat of the ground.

Or it may be sown amongst briers and thorns, and be so choaked up, that it cannot grow. These be the impediments specified in the parable, which Christ himself expounded, to his disciples, as aforesaid, for their instruction, as a great favor, saying unto them: To you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but to the rest of the multitude in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing, not understand.

It were presumption (saith St. Gregory) since Christ was pleased to expound it himself, for any other man to expound it: only we may dilate upon this exposition of his, without any preindice there unto, but with much profit. And first we may be sorry that the seed being so sovereign as is the sacred word of God, should be sown in so naughty a soil; as that three parts of four, should be cast away, and bring forth no fruit.

Likewise we may observe, that as the seed man in the parable sowed his seed some by the high way, some upon stony ground, some amongst thorns, and briers, as well as in God ground, where he probably knew would come no fruit: So doth almighty Go sow the seed of his grace, which might be sufficient to salvation, in every mans soul, through he foreknoweth many will not bring forth fruit of salvation thereby, as they might; because as a husbandman is loth to lose any ground unsown in hope of fruit; so is our good, loth to have any man perish, but would have all men come to the true knowledge of the Catholic faith, and be saved.

And though he knoweth from all eternity who be his, and who not: yet with all he knoweth and hath so ordained, that all may be saved, if they will; for we are not like a natural ground, that can only receive the seed and give it nourishment, but not fence it self, weed it self, and preserve it from such things as may annoy it; but a voluntary ground, which may by the sufficient grace of God (which is never wanting) do all these things; and therefore if we bring not forth fruit, the fault is ours.

Neither let any man scandalize himself and say: (as some reprobates will, to excuse their obstinacy in sin, and lay all upon God, as if he were the author of sin) if I be not predestinated of God, I shall not be saved, do what I can; for that is no more then to say, Suppose I will not be saved: but St. John saith, God hath given every man power to be saved that believe in Christ if he will.

Neither is our predestination past with God (as we apprehend it,) with whom nothing is past, but still present, and doing, all the days of our life, according as we cooperate with the grace of God which is never wanting. And therefore if we be not predestinated, let us live so that we may be; let us do as St. Peter exhorted us, make our election certain (by good works) as St. Jerome doth translate, and the Text mus needs mean, if (by good works) were left out


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