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The Parable of the Sower

¶ And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

A 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 some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.     Luke 8:4-15

  See also Matt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20;

Commentary:

There are many very needful and excellent rules and cautions for hearing the word, in the parable of the sower, and the application of it.  Happy are we, and for ever indebted to free grace, if the same thing that is a parable to others, with which they are only amused, is a plain truth to us, by which we are taught and governed.  We ought to take heed of the things that will hinder our profiting by the word we hear; to take heed lest we hear carelessly and slightly, lest we entertain prejudices against the word we hear; and to take heed to our spirits after we have heard the word, lest we lose what we have gained. The gifts we have, will be continued to us or not, as we use them for the glory of God, and the good of our brethren. Nor is it enough not to hold the truth in unrighteousness; we should desire to hold forth the word of life, and to shine, giving light to all around.  Great encouragement is given to those who prove themselves faithful hearers of the word, by being doers of the work.  Christ owns them as his relations.

 Luke 8: 4-21, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible.

 BE STILL, MY SOUL

 

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Words: Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel, in Neue Samm­lung Geist­lich­er Lied­er, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Je­sus hilft sie­gen); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Jane L. Borth­wick in Hymns from the Land of Lu­ther, 1855.

To Hear an electronic version click on Midi, score below>

Music: Fin­land­ia, Jean Si­bel­i­us, 1899 (MI­DI, score). Al­ter­nate tune:

bulletUnde et Memores, Will­iam H. Monk, 1875 (MI­DI, score)

This hymn was re­port­ed­ly the fav­or­ite of Er­ic Lid­dell, the ath­lete who be­came fa­mous in the 1924 Olym­pics for re­fus­ing to run on the Sab­bath (see the mo­vie Char­i­ots of Fire). Lid­dell lat­er be­came a mis­sion­ary in Chi­na, and was im­pris­oned dur­ing World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to others in the pri­son camp (where he event­u­al­ly died of a brain tu­mor).

 

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

  Psalm 84:4