The Review and Herald


October 3, 1899

The Parable of the Sower


“And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up, and choked them.” “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” RH October 3, 1899, par. 1

Here is represented the controversy between satanic agencies and the Prince of Life. Which will obtain the supremacy? Which will become possessor of the soul? If the truth impressed upon human hearts is carefully cherished, and the weeds are uprooted, there will be a precious crop of grain. But the gospel seed often drops among thorns and noxious weeds; and if there is not a moral transformation in the human heart; if old habits and practises and the former life of sin are not left behind; if the attributes of Satan are not expelled from the soul, the wheat crop will be stunted. The tares will come to be the crop, and will kill out the wheat. If the heart is not kept under the control of God, the weeds and thorns of the character will be revealed in the life. The natural traits that are evil must be overcome; for grace can thrive only in the heart that is being constantly prepared for the precious seeds of truth. The thorns of sin will grow in any soil. They need no cultivation. But grace must be carefully cultivated. The love of the world in the heart leaves no room for Christ. Those whose hearts are divided claim to believe the truth, but do it not. They wish the crown, but refuse the cross. RH October 3, 1899, par. 2

“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” RH October 3, 1899, par. 3

The mass of tradition that has been accumulating for ages, and that was taught by the priests and rulers, was regarded as truth by the disciples. But Christ said to the Pharisees, Ye teach for doctrine the commandments of men; and again, Ye make void the law of God through your tradition. In the last instruction given to his disciples, Christ said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now.” The divine Teacher desired to bring all the rays of prophetic light to bear upon the lesson that he was the truth-bearer to the world. He came to make known redemption by making men intelligent in regard to its conditions. In his human life he was to reveal the gospel, and set an example of perfect obedience to the law of God. He desired to impress all with the necessity of that excellence of character that God requires of men. RH October 3, 1899, par. 4

Through the Holy Spirit's guidance the disciples would remember the lessons Christ had given them; and in their future work, their language would express the divine thought of God. Thus the truth would come down through pure channels, commending itself to the hearts of the receivers. Christ's followers are to plant their feet, not on the word of pope or prelate, not on the word of the clergy, who mystify everything that is plain, and confuse the minds of the ignorant; they must place their feet upon the sure foundation. God has given them a platform on which to stand, even the eternal word of truth, and there their feet will stand on the Rock of Ages. RH October 3, 1899, par. 5

Christ is no longer seen in human flesh as the Great Teacher, going about doing good, healing the diseases of the body, and saying, to the sin-sick soul, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” But because he has come and suffered for sin, because he died as our sacrifice on Calvary's cross, his voice is now heard through the ambassadors whom he has sent to proclaim a crucified and risen Saviour, an Advocate who has ascended to the throne of God. This additional power and efficiency Christ's disciples have in lifting up a crucified Redeemer before a fallen race, and pointing them to heaven to declare him at the right hand of God. These are the greater things upon which the mind lays hold, the mystery hidden from eternal ages. RH October 3, 1899, par. 6

In his human wisdom, man may employ arguments that are wholly without truth; for God declares, “The world by wisdom knew not God.” “The seed is the Word.” We are to take our position in the school of Christ as humble learners. He speaks as one having authority, and he affirms that all that is written in the law and the prophets is the word of the living God. It is the inspiration of One infallible, the divine communication to holy men of old, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. RH October 3, 1899, par. 7

All the speculative opinions, which, through the devising of Satan, have been brought into religious controversy, are to be separated from the truth. This was the work of the Redeemer in coming to the world. The opinions and speculations of men had become abundant; they occupied the ground with a multitude of errors, which made truth hard to be distinguished from error. But the time has now come when we are to know the truth, and the truth is to make us free. All who receive Christ in truth will believe in him. They will see the necessity of having Christ abiding in the heart by faith. They will escape from the control of their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil,—their pride, vanity, self-esteem, worldliness, and every sin,—and will reveal Christ in their lives. If God's word is eaten as the bread of life, they will become thoroughly aroused to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Men must co-operate with God. They must reveal their respect for his word by obedience to his laws. RH October 3, 1899, par. 8

All the lessons of the natural world reveal the providences of God. He who has had this lesson-book opened before him, and becomes a student thereof, will find himself looking into a fountain that deepens and broadens beneath his gaze. In the Old Testament Scriptures he will find a storehouse of the most precious instruction, the gospel being the key. The teachings of Christ contain the most precious seed of the gospel, and the heart is to be its receptacle. But if the heart is not cleansed from sin, Christ can not dwell there. The one or the other must be the controlling element. RH October 3, 1899, par. 9

In the heart that receives the good word of life a decided change takes place. In the words of the apostle Peter we may see what may be the result to one in whose heart the good seed is sown: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.... Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” RH October 3, 1899, par. 10

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” RH October 3, 1899, par. 11

The grace of God never stirs in vain the heart of the truly contrite. He will go on from strength to strength. Each lesson received from Christ will prepare him to receive still more instruction, carrying him forward and upward. He who is imbued with the Spirit of God finds a warfare constantly before him. He is to fight the good fight of faith; for God is calling him to higher, nobler achievements, up toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. RH October 3, 1899, par. 12

All who strive to reach this standard will be marked by the sanctification of the spirit through the truth. The work of sanctification is the work of a lifetime. The true Christian must be unresting in his endeavors. He is ever climbing, never content with that to which he has attained. The more he seeks a knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ, whom he has sent, the more he desires to reflect the divine image. Every gift imparted to him by God is used to draw others in the same line, to hunger and thirst after righteousness. The longer he walks in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice, the more willing he is to hide himself in Christ, and sacrifice all for him. RH October 3, 1899, par. 13