Mark 4:1-34.

1867 320 God, sooner or later, will have all manifested, all things and all persons. Again and again, this is declared. This thought, I may say, pervades scripture.

So will He have His own grace in the operations of His Spirit manifested.

In the parable of the sower different soils had been disclosed. The one seed, the same in each soil, was the occasion of this.

The good soil had been made good by the husbandry of God, or the hidden visitation of the Spirit. It would not have been good otherwise. But having been thus visited by God, it must be fruitful, because of this principle that God will have His operations manifested. He never lights a candle to put it under a bushel.

This is further taught in the parable that follows, "the seed which grows secretly." For there, the earth is declared to bear fruit fit for the sower "of itself." That is the point in the parable. God has tilled that soil, and it must therefore be fruitful.

And on the authority of this great truth, that all is to be manifested, the Lord warns us to take heed to the heart, for all in our history depends on that. (Ver. 24, 25.) And the parable of "the mustard seed" appears to enforce that warning. The evil soil of the heart is betrayed and convicted. That which yields luxuriant entertainment for the unclean grows naturally there.*

[*The "seed of the sower" and "the mustard seed" are essentially different, I judge, from this scripture itself. The sower's seed is good, because the devil is at enmity with it, and nature (whether highway, stony, or thorny) cannot nourish it. It needs soil made good by the husbandry of God. But the mustard seed neither provokes the enemy nor needs good soil. It grows where it is cast, in nature's soil, yielding entertainment for the unclean. It is therefore evil.]

Thus, there is a great manifestation through the preaching of the gospel. Christendom becomes a field of wide and varied observation. Within it, there is ground visited and tilled by the Spirit, and fruit is yielded to the divine sower; and within it also there is the native ground of the human heart, and fruit in luxuriant abundance is yielded to the unclean.

By and by, however, complete manifestation will be made, and all this constitutes truth of a solemn character.

The secrets of the heart shall be all declared. God will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained. All shall be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ. There is one holy serious truth connected with this, and which may well persuade us even now to be upright and truthful in all our ways.

And there is another. If our ways are by and by to be all manifested, and the very counsels of the heart declared; if there be nothing in us now that is not then to come abroad, so God's operations declare themselves. If He convert a soul or visit a heart, making good the soil in any of us, we may be sure that such operation is ordained to show itself. His tilled ground shall bear fruit "of itself." If no fruit appear, the fact of the Spirit's hidden husbandry may be denied. On the ground of this great truth that all is to be manifested, the Lord exposes the folly of hypocrisy. (Luke xii. 1, 2.) The apostle, in his ministry, behaved himself in the faith of it. (2 Cor. iv. 5.) The great white throne with the opened books will at last vindicate it and illustrate it. (Rev. xx.)