But when the blade was sprung up…
That is, the blade
of the wheat; which designs the taking up, a profession of religion
on principles of grace, called a profession of faith; and when
right, it springs up from, and proceeds upon a work begun in the
heart: and such a profession ought to be made by all that are
partakers of the grace of God; and ought to be made both verbally,
by a confession of the mouth, and a declaration of the work of God
upon the heart, and by deeds, by submitting to the ordinances of the
Gospel; and should be sincere, and from the heart, and be visible to
men, and be held fast unto the end without wavering.
And brought forth fruit;
which intends not the conversion of
sinners, nor the performance of duties, nor the perfection of grace,
but the first appearances of grace under a profession, such as
sorrow for sin, after a godly sort, fear and reverence of God, great
humility, much self-denial, ardent love to Christ, pantings and
breathings after him, and communion with him, strong affection for
the people of God, some exercise of faith on Christ, zeal for his
cause and interest, and a concern to honour and glorify God.
Then appeared the tares also.
They were not discernible for some
time when they were first sown; they looked like good seed when they
first appeared among the people of God; they seemed to have the
truth of grace, as others had; their blade of profession, when it
sprung up, looked like that of true wheat; but were now discernible
both by their unfruitfulness in their lives and conversations, and
by their bad principles, which they now endeavoured to spread, to
the hurt of the churches where they were: they always appeared to be
what they were to God the searcher of hearts; but now, through the
zeal of true converts, to which these opposed themselves, and the
fruitfulness of their lives, from which they were so very different,
they became manifest to ministers and churches.