Rosacece or rose family. With the raspberry (R. idæus) it is met with in most parts of Britain. It is common in Palestine also.

“And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that, without a foundation, built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” (ver. 46-49). “ The image with which, both in St. Matthew and St. Luke, the discourse concludes, is one familiar to all eastern and southern climates

-a torrent, suddenly formed by the mountain rains, and sweeping away all before it in its descent through what a few minutes before had been a dry channel. Yet it may be observed that it is an image far more natural in Galilee than Jordan; whether we take the perennial streams which run through the plains of Gennesareth, or the torrent streams of the Kishon and the Belus, which on the west run through the plain of Esdraelon to the Mediterranean. As applied to them, this likeness has far more aptitude than if derived from the scanty and rare flooding of the Kedron and the wâdys of the south. The sudden inundation of the Kishon is a phenomenon already historical from the Old Testament; and if we are to press the allusion to the "sand,” on which was built “the house that fell,” then there is no other locality in Palestine to which we can look, except the long sandy strip of land which bounds the easteru plain of Acre, and through which the Kishon flows into the sea.”—(Stanley.)

. “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 hundred-fold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (viii. 4–8). The imagery of the parables was borrowed from the scenes amidst which they were spoken. The details of this one must have often come under the notice of his hearers. So vivid are they, that the reader feels at once they must have been before the speaker. The

scope of the parable is the dependence of the efficacy of the word on the spiritual condition of the hearers. It is the same word which meets the different classes of hearers. On some of these it has no effect. Sown on the highway, the seed was trampled down by the hoofs of beasts, and the tread of human feet, while the birds devoured every vestige of it. Men sunk in sin, hardened in careless sensualism, listen unmoved to the most earnest appeals through the word of God. On others the word seems at once to fall with power. Seed dropped in a thin layer of soil spread over an underlying rock quickly germinates in early spring. Occasional showers still fall on it, dews by night are formed on the new-sprung blades, and the rapid radiation communicates a strong impulse. But the rain ceases, and the scorching summer sun beams down on it. The underlying rock itself gets heated. The roots become sapless, the blades fall prostrate. The whole is withered up. Thus the influence of the word on impassioned, emotional, and sentimental dispositions. Love-appeals soften, pictures of a sorrow-stricken Saviour stir emotion to its very heart, and soon the life for a season assumes all the evidences of a thorough change. But the hard heart of worldliness has not been broken, self has not been crucified, and as impressions lose their freshness these hearers return again to the service of the devil, the world, and the flesh. Some of the seed fell among thorns, which sprang up with it and choked it. The effect was similar to what might be seen any spring-time. Cast wheat seed on ground where our common furze is deeply rooted, and where its young shoots are in full vigorous growth, and it would be choked. Respect for the word on the part of those who are still devoted to the world—its cares, its pleasures, its riches-saves them not from eternal shame at last. They cannot serve two masters. The fruits of the Spirit and the fruits of sin cannot grow equally together in any heart. The latter, when cherished, always overmaster the former. That which fell on good ground sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred-fold. This our Lord explains of those who “ “have honest and good hearts” (ver. 15). It was no part of his design to explain at the time the source of the goodness and honesty. We are less teachable than his hearers on this occasion, if we raise here the question of man's natural ability, or of his inability, to make his own the spiritual gifts offered to him. The question is wholly foreign to the parable.

Jesus had just taught them what to pray for, and how to pray. He



then goes on to assure them that they will be heard. “And I

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth ; and to him that knocketh, it shall be

1 opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion ? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?” (xi. 10–13.) To demand a great similarity between the things set in such strong contrast here, is to miss the main point in our Lord's teaching. There is no likeness between bread and a stone. If he ask bread, will you present to him something that he cannot eat? If he ask a fish, will you present to him a creature from which he will turn away with fear? If he ask an egg, will


instead offer to put into his hand the deadly scorpion ? All theorizing about white scorpions, and about the oval form of the scorpion's body, is vain. There is not the most distant resemblance between an egg and the black scorpions of Palestine. Had the Saviour wished to associate with this idea regarding the father's willingness to give what is good, the thought of an attempt to deceive on the part of the earthly parent, he could have named the egg of any of the oviparous reptiles, and not the scorpion. The stone, he says, is useless, the serpent dangerous, the scorpion deadly. Earthly parents know this, and knowing the wants of their children whom they love, they will not mock them when they ask for something to nourish their bodies. So with our Father in heaven. He knows that his children have need of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray to him, for we are assured that he “will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.”

Scorpion,” Heb. akrāv, Gr. scorpios--see under Deut. viii. 15. The place which the tithing of herbs (ver. 42) holds in the context has been fully indicated above--see Matt. xxiii. 23. Two herbs are mentioned by Luke, one of which is not named by Matthew, namely, "rue.”

"Mint,hēdúosmon, the generic term for several of the natural order of plants Labiatæ, may, as used here, include both the spear-mint (Mentha viridis) and the pepper-mint (M. piperita). Both species are very wide-spread, being found in most parts of the world. Their uses are known to all. The scrupulousness and hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees are specially shown by their making a show of paying

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tithe in this herb. The wheat and the barley when offered to the Lord implied self-denial on the part of the offerers. But by tithing their mint they laid claim to having performed the religious obligation, when they were serving the Lord with that which cost them nothing.

“Rue,” pēgănon, gives its name to the natural order Rutaceæ or rue family. The species referred to by Luke is the common rue (Ruta graveolens), once much more frequently cultivated on account of its medicinal properties in cottage gardens than it is now. It is to be met with growing wild in most of the countries on both sides of the Mediterranean. It has been found in considerable abundance in Palestine, especially about Carmel and Tabor. Growing readily and without much care, it would form an easy substitute for the weightier matters

, of the law, which the Pharisees neglected. Rue is an herbaceous plant. Its stems, however, attain to a considerable length, and are often of a half-woody appearance. If we may credit Josephus, it sometimes attains to the rank of a true tree. In his notes on " the city called Machærus," he says, “Now within this place there grew a sort of rue, that claims our admiration on account of its largeness, for it was in no way inferior to any fig-tree whatsoever, either in height or in thickness; and the report is, that it had lasted ever since the time of Herod, and would probably have lasted much longer, had it not been cut down by those Jews who took possession of the place afterwards."

("Wars,” vii. 6, § 3.)

“Lilies” (xii. 27), Heb. shoshānnim, Gr. krina, have been noticed under Song ii. 1—which see. The lily (Lilium) belongs to a family of plants (Liliacece) which contains above one hundred and thirty genera, many of them differing very widely from each other, in size, colour, &c. Several species are abundant in the localities in which our Saviour wandered. Dr. Bonar, referring to the heights above Beersheba, says:-"On these heights the lilies abounded, with grass

“ and low shrubs between. I noticed that the camels did not touch the lilies at all; but cropped what lay between. It reminded me of the words—'He feedeth among the lilies' (Cant. ii. 16). We did pot here see any flocks feeding, or any 'young harts' leaping; but in other places we had frequent occasion to notice the sheep and lambs browsing on the like pastures-among but not on the lilies; for while the lily furnishes no acceptable food for flocks and herds, it seems by the shade of its high broad leaves, to retain the moisture, and so to nourish herbage wherever it grows. The place of lilies would thus be the place of the richest pasture, as Solomon evidently indicates when,


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