And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;…
Ministers require to be very cautious in judging as to the influence of the truth among their hearers. Amidst much that is externally unfavourable, and even hostile, that truth may be operating, producing conviction, checking long-cherished sins, and subduing the pride of the corrupt heart. It is a very agreeable and self-flattering thing for a man to say that because religion does not manifest itself in other men in the same way it does in him, therefore these people have no religion. This is very common, and is in reality but a branch of that master sin of intolerance, which has so often been crushing all the charities of our nature; and even amidst the solemnity of devotional exercises, despising and invading the conventional decencies of life. Often, when we do not see it, religion is at work; often, when we never suspected it, it has made considerable progress. Its influence is sweet, makes no noise, and has no ostentatious signs. We must not forget the mistake of Elijah, a mistake into which ministers and others have not unfrequently fallen. When he supposed himself to stand alone the defender of the truth, there were seven thousand in Israel doing daily homage to it. If he had been told seventy, it would have been remarkable — if seven hundred, more so; but seven thousand was altogether astonishing. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." In obscure places, in noiseless retirements, and without one arresting sign, the truth takes effect. The minister is not thinking of it. The very members of the family are not thinking of it. Daily companions and friends are not thinking of it. There is no profession, no controversy, no street shouts, no exclusiveness, no badges of partizanship; but nevertheless, on the unseen arena of thought, the truth is establishing its power, achieving its triumphs, subduing desire after desire, purpose after purpose, and will at last yield peace and joy unspeakable.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
WEB: He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth,