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"As the waters of the lake lie deep in a basin sur- Those who have spoken of the course of the Jorrounded on all sides by lofty hills, except at the dan through the lake being distinctly visible, must entrance and outlet of the Jordan, long-continued have had strange organs of vision, and curious printempests from any quarter are unknown. But these ciples of hydrostatics to guide their judgment. The same local features, which preclude any long agita measurements of Lieut. Symonds have settled the tion of its surface, render it liable to whirlwinds and extent of the depression of the lake below the level squalls and sudden gusts..... Winds from the of the Mediterranean, finding that it amounts to south-east are those by which a boisterous sea is 328-98 feet. The climate of Tiberias and the other most usually raised in this lake.'

villages on its borders is consequently much milder • The whole country in its neighbourhood is well than that of the surrounding country, and at certain nigh depopulated by the judgments of God and the seasons of the year oppressive. We were not able to depravity and misgovernment of man. The traveller acquiesce in the conclusion of some travellers, that stands astonished at the view of the grievous change the lake at some geological era must have been the which it has witnessed. He is most deeply affected crater of a volcano. The basaltic rock along the also in the remembrance of the consecration of its sides of the lake, and which appears, too, at its narrow borders by the personal ministry of the | northern borders, is connected, however, with some Saviour himself, and in his reflection on the moral volcanic influence not yet extinct, as is intimated by influences which have gone forth from its now almost the fearful earthquakes to which this part of the forsaken shores to the very ends of the earth.'-The country is subject, and by which the great crevasse Lands of the Bible, by Jno. Wilson, D.D., F.R.S., of the Jordan and of the Wadi 'Arabah has, perhaps, Vol. II. p. III.

been formed.'-Ibid. p. 15).



ON JESUS BEGINNING TO TEACH IN PARABLES.* Probably, not much later than the third hour of This interpretation, too, was produced by a request of the day, the time which is known, in classical writers, the disciples; yet the fact of such a request does not by the å yopās no pa, Jesus leaves the house where he appear from St. Matthew: it is supplied by St. Mark was, and repairs to the lake, Mt. xiii. 1, where he and St. Luke alone. delivers a series of parables, for the first time in the course of his ministry; himself, with his disciples, on

. The question, then, which we have to consider, shipboard, and the people standing on the land.'

amounts substantially to this-Whether the request, Greswell, Vol. II. Diss. xxiii. p. 331.

which produced the exposition of the parable of the

sower, was preferred and answered on the spot; or, With regard to the time, or the manner, of this | like that which produced the interpretation of the beginning to teach in parables, as well as to the order parable of the tares, was preferred and answered of succession in which these first of the number after our Lord had returned into private. And here, were pronounced, there is little or no difficulty.... as we have frequently had occasion to observe, the Thus much, however, is distinctly implied by the testimony of the less explicit, the less circumstantial, express words of St. Matthew and St. Mark-and the less positive, among the evangelists, it is just and not called in question merely by the silence of St. reasonable, should be estimated altogether in conLuke; that our Lord began to teach in parables, for formity to the testimony of the more so. the first time, upon this occasion ; a conclusion, which the course and succession of the gospel history

Now, at the close of St. Mark's account of this day's hitherto must of itself confirm. There is no parable, teaching, we ineet with the following observation, ch. nor any vestige of a parable, like those which were iv. 33, 4, (p. 249, supra,) which does not occur in either now pronounced, and those which are seen to have of the other two: "And with many such parables spake been pronounced hereafter, to be met with in it. The he the word unto them, as they were able to hear ... word Tapa Bon, it is true, may occur ; but, wherever

But without u parable spake he not unto them :" in this is the case, it stands for a very different thing

private, however, he expounded everything to his own from what we consider to be meant by a parable.

disciples. This statement must be understood to

affirm that, for that day, and while he was still in It is agreed also that when our Lord began thus public, Jesus spoke in nothing but parables; taking to teach in parables, it was upon the shore of the lake care only that what he himself was pronouncing of Capernaum, to which he had repaired on pur- aloud from the ship and the sea might be heard by pose; and sitting on board a small vessel, at some the people on the shore: but that, when the day's distance indeed from the land, but not so far as to be teaching was over, and the people had been disout of the hearing of the people. This, as we have missed, he explained to his disciples what he had often seen, was his familiar practice when in the been teaching. vicinity of the lake ; or when he would avoid the pressure of the multitude..... Probably the very • There is nothing, it is true, said about the disship which had been appointed, Mark iii. 9, § 26, p. ciples requesting this explanation; but neither is any201, to attend upon him, and to be ready for such thing said to the contrary: and, with regard to the services as those, when he was last in the neighbour-fact of any explanation, the mention of this further hood of the lake.

circumstance was clearly unimportant. There was

one parable, also, the last on record, which he did The difficulty to which I allude concerns the certainly interpret of his own accord; and, upon the time and manner of delivering those interpretations authority of this assurance of St. Mark, whether of two of the present parables the seed, and the the interpretations of more were requested or not, tares--which Jesus is perceived to have vouchsafed we should be bound to believe that they were given. at the request of his disciples. It must be evident The great point of distinction, which the evangelist from Mt. xiii. 36, $ 33, p. 253, that the interpretation would impress upon us, is the marked difference of of the latter could neither have been asked, nor have our Saviour's conduct in respect to the same thing, been conceded, before the dismissal of the multitude the understanding of his parables, towards the peoand the return of our Lord to Capernaum. This ple in general, and his disciples in particular. He interpretation, therefore, as well as the request which explained to the one what he had disguised from the produced it, must have been posterior to the day's other. Now the parables had been pronounced, at first, teaching in public; that is, strictly a part of what in the hearing of the disciples, as well as of the mulafterwards took place in private. But the inter titude ; and they had been as unintelligible, at first, pretation of the former parable St. Matthew himself to the former as to the latter. . . . According to St. interposes before he recounts the second; and the Mark, no interpretation of any of the parables could other two evangelists, whether they record any more have been delivered, except in private; and out of parables than the first, or not, yet subjoin the expla-three such explanations, which are on record, two, it nation of the first, before they proceed to the next. | is obvious, were delivered in private.

* Greswell, Vol. II. Diss. xxvii. pp. 43547.

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ADDENDA-(continued.) Again : before he subjoins the interpretation of the second is peculiar to his; St. Luke's one, as well the parable of "The Sower," St. Mark, eh. iv. 10, $ 33, as its interpretation, is recorded by them all : it is, in p. 253, premises the following words, in allusion to fact, "the parable of the sower." the circumstances under which it was granted : Ote

of these omissions, St. Matthew's may, perhaps, δε εγένετο καταμόνας, ηρώτησαν αυτόν οι περί αυτόν, συν τοίς δώδεκα, την παραβολήν. The received translation

be accounted for by supposing that many more such renders the first part of this sentence, “And when he

parables, as this one which is wanting to complete was alone;"its full meaning, however, is, But when he

the eight, might have been now delivered; and, conwas become alone-when he was got by himself. Now,

sequently, that omissions of more or of fewer, among what could be understood by these words, except his

the whole number, might be expected in all the acreturning into private ? Before, he was in the com

counts. It might be shewn that these minor parapany of the multitude; and, therefore, not by him

bles are related rather as specimens of the class to self; or, if it should be objected that he was in the

which they belong, and as instances of the many ship, and the people on the shore, I would ask, if that

figurative modes of describing some historical ciris wbat is meant by his being alone, how would it be

cumstance or other in the future Christian dispenpossible to become more alone?.... If we consider

sation, upon which this day's teaching, continued as for what purpose our Lord had taken up his position

it was through no little time, was probably occupied. on the ship: viz., not to interfere with the business of than as a complete enumeration of all which were his teaching, but to avoid the proximity of the crowd ;

actually spoken. it is not likely that he would admit thither more St. Mark's omissions are obviously in unison with than his constant attendants, which were merely the his characteristic conciseness in the account of our Twelve.....

Lord's discourses..... . The harmony, then, of the several accounts, will

. With regard to St. Luke, two out of the seven, stand as follows:

which he omits, came over again in another part of • I. Matthew xiii. 10—70 is regular; containing the

the gospel history, and are recorded by him there, angwer actually returned to the question actually

xiii. 18-21, $ 65,'-Vol. I. Diss. ii. p. 154. put, at the close of the first parable, Why art thou ... Had not the one parable, which St. Luke does speaking in parables ?

record, been the first of its kind, and expressly inter11. Mark iv. 10-25, and Luke viii. 9-186 assign

preted by our Lord himself-80 as to constitute an the similar reply to the similar inquiry, What might

epoch in his ministry; a remarkable change in bis this parable be? but after the day's teaching in pub

manner of teaching; and, above all, so as to be a spelie was over. In both, parts of what had already been

cimen both of the method of instruction by parables, related by St. Matthew, and in answer to the former

and the mode of understanding and interpreting question, concerning the singular privilege conceded

them; I consider it not improbable that he would to the disciples in being favoured by the disclosure

have passed over even this. of truths purposely concealed from the rest, are found

As to the verbal agreement between the several to be repeated; but so naturally, and so pertinently

accounts, it is greater between St. Matthew's and St. to the occasion, that their recurrence can be con

Mark's, than between either and St. Luke's: a dissidered no objection.

tinction which holds good also in other instances ; III. Matthew xiii. 18--23° is, consequently, a pro- and, for the reasons alluded to before, was, a priori, per anticipation, being given without any such inti. to be expected. In the account, however, of the mation ; yet it is an anticipation, which may be parables, verbal coincidences are perhaps not to be vindicated on the same principle the principle of expected, on the same grounds as in the relation of subjoining the explanation directly to the parable ex- our Lord's other discourses. For every such parable plained. The intermediate question might be truly consists of a history, the basis of which is an action : put and answered, as it is represented to be ; and if

I and hence, though it may be related as something so, it would furnish an opportunity for continuing originally conceived and pronounced by our Saviour, the discourse of our Lord-once begun upon this sub. it would no more require to be related in the same ject--to another, not much unlike it. He might have form of words throughout, than the common facts this further inducement also to do this, that the of his personal history; which are all given, under substance of the answer to the first question was again different forms of narration, as the same history of premised, though very briefly to the interpretation what he did, or suffered.'-Greswell, Vol. II. Diss. accorded to the second.

xxvii. pp. 435—47. IV. Our Lord's teaching being afterwards re-thew places the result in the descending series, St.

"At the close of the parable of the sower, St. Matsumed in the parable of the 'tares,' might be uninter- Mark in the ascending: where, while the sense is still ruptedly continued through the rest of the parables

the same, the arrangement has a happier effect. on record, and perhaps more, until he returned to his private abode in Capernaum; where consequently, as Having made an end of these parables, but proit is shewn by St. Matthew himself, the inquiry bably explained none of them as yet, not even to his about the parable of the tares, which led to its exown disciples; he returns to the house which he had planation, must first have been put. To conclude,

lately quitted, and secludes himself there, with his then

disciples, for the rest of that day, Mt. xiii. 36-52, § 33,

pp. 253.9; Mk. iv. 34, $ 32, p. 249. The time of the The number of parables, related as now delivered, return was probably the time of the usual noonday's whether in public or in private, is eight: seven of meal, or not much after it ; and while our Lord and which are found in St. Matthew, three in St. Mark, his disciples were still alone within, he explains, at and one in St. Luke. Of St. Matthew's seven, four their request, all or most of the preceding parables, and are peculiar to his Gospel; and of St. Mark's three, I adds a few more in private.'-Ibid. Diss. xxiii. p. 334.

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INTRODUCTION AND ANALYSIS. Mt. xiii. 36. Jesus dismisses the multitude, and Mt.

Mk. iv. 24, .5. Lu. viii. 18. The retires into the house.

preparation necessary for making increase in the - Mk. iv, 10-.3. Lu. viii. 9, 10. Being knowledge of the truth: attention, discrimination, asked by his disciples the meaning of the parable,

conformity to the grace revealed, and a faithful reJesus encourages them in their inquiries, by saying

ception and retention thereof. that to them belongs the knowledge of the mystery

xiii. 36-43. Jesus, at the request of his disof the kingdom'-the substance of those typical repre- ciples, explains the parable of the tares of the field,' sentations which wholly engage the attention of ver. 24–30. p. 246: He tells them that the field is the the Jewish worshippers, to the neglect of the truths world, and that therein, for the sake of the righteous, they were intended to teach in parables.-Comp. Mt. the wicked will be allowed to remain, until the conxiii. 10—7, § 32, p. 244.

clusion of the present dispensation; when the Son of xlii. 19. iv. 14, .5. viii. 11, 2. Jesus man will send forth his messengers, and gather out begins to expound the parable of the Sower'-shews of his kingdom' all that only mar its beauty, or obscure what he meant by the seed,' the way-side,' and the its brightness; and then shall the righteous shine fowls of the air.' - See on Mt. xiii. 10—7.

forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.' --xiii. 20,.). — iv. 16, 7. — viü. 13. Explains xii. 44. The parable of treasure hid in a 'the stony ground,' as representing those of shallow field.' mind, whose feelings are easily excited, but are

- xiii. 45, .6. The parable of a merchant man wanting in depth of thought and strength of principle. This is illustrated in the case of the second

seeking goodly pearls.' great field of apostolic preaching, Asia Minor.--See

xiii. 47-50. Parable of a net that was cast Notes,' and 'Scrip. Illus.' p. 255.

into the sea, and gathered of every kind-intimating - xiii. 22.

iv. 18, .9. viii. 14. Describes a separation like that of the tares from the wheatwho are like the thorny ground, where the seed is

only, that in the oase of the net, the good seem to be prevented from bringing forth fruit unto perfection.'

taken from among the bad, not the bad from among -Comp. the case of Greece.-See Notes,'&c., p. 256.

the good, as in the case of the tares and wheat-comp. - xiii. 23. iv. 20. - viii. 15. The

with ver. 41-.3. good ground' represents those who 'in an honest and

--xiii. 51, .2. As understanding these things, good heart,'having beard and understood the word,

every scribe, who is himself well instructed unto the receive and keep it, and bring forth fruit with pa

kingdom of heaven,' will be like an householder, hav. tience.'

ing an abundant and various supply of good things,

which he readily brings forth as occasion requires. - - iv. 21--.3. viii. 16, -7. Jesus, by an allusion to the mystery of the candlestick, and

- Lu. viii. 19-21. Jesus the place within the veil, shews that those to whom intimates, that those who are most near and dear to the light is given must dispense it to others.

I him, are those who hear the word of God, and do it.'


(G. 18,) No.33. Jesus interprets to hus disciples in private, at their entreaty, the first

and second of his parables : he adds three more; the last with an interpretation.--
Matt. xiii. 36, 18-23,

MARK iv. 10-25.

LUKE viii. 9—18. 36-52.

(Ver. 9, 8 xxxii. p. 244.] (Ver. 8, 8 xxxii. p. 244.] 36 « Then Jesus sent-- the multitude -away, and went

into the house :
[Ver. 37, p. 259.] 10 And when he-was

alone καταμoνας, they
that were about him
with the twelve

asked-of him

asked him, saying,

What might-- this the parabie.

parable -be? d 11 d And he said unto-them,

And he said, 10 Unto-you it-is-given to-know Onto-you it-is-given to-know


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MATT. xiii. 18,.9.
MARK IV. 12- 5.

LUKE viï. 11, .2.
the mystery of the kingdom the mysteries of the kingdom
of God: but unto-

of God: but to-
them that are without,

all-these-things are-doue
in parables :

in parables ;
that seeing they-

that seeing theymay-see Bierwot, and not perceive owor; might-note-see Ben WC 1, and hearing they-may-hear, and hearing they-might

and not understand ; not:-understand ouvewow.
lest-at-any-time they should-
be-converted eplotPE Vwot,
and their sins should-be-

forgiven them,
13 And he said unto-them,
Know-ye not this parable ?

and how-then will-ye-know [Ver, 17, xxxii. p. 246.]

all parables 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sowers

Now the parable is this:11

The seed is the word of God.5 146 The sower soweth the word.' 15 And these are they by the

Those by the 12 way-side,

way-side i i where the word is-sown; 19 When-'any-one:-heareth

* are they that-hear;! Ithe word of the kingdom,

" but when they-have-heard,"

SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATIONS. the mystery-5, 'And the angel which I saw stand open, in connection with which the finishing of the upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand mystery of God, or opening of all parables, is intito heaven. 6, and sware by him that liveth for ever mated, X. 1-7, see above; and on Lu.viii. 16, 7, p. 258 and ever, who created heaven, and the things that. Who raised up the righteous man from the east?' Is. therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein | xli. 1, 2, p. (41) He shall bring forth judgment to are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, I the Gentiles... The isles shall wait for his law. xlii. that there should be time no longer; 7, but in the 1-4, p. (16)- After the glory hath he sent me unto days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall the nations which spoiled you... And ye shall know begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finish- ( that the LORD of hosts hath sent me,' Zech. ii. 8, 9, ed, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets,' p. (46), Arst col. last par. Rev. x. 5–7.

14. the souer soweth the word . With thee is the 12. seeing they may see, and not perceive, $c.-Mt. fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light,' Ps. xiii. 13-5, $ 32, p. 245. But their minds were blinded: | xxxvi. 9- The Lord gave the word: great ... the for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken company of those that published it,' lxviii. 11-Light away in the reading of the Old Testament; which is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright vail is done away in Christ,' 2 Co. iii. 14.

in heart,' xcvii. 11-Thy word is a lamp unto my 13. and how then will ye know all parables I-In the

feet, and a light unto my path,'cxix. 105-Being born Apocalypse, which is the opening of all parables,

again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, Christ is presented as He by whom light is sown by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for The Son of man, in preparing to sow the word, is

ever... And this is the word which by the gospel is presented first as having in his right hand seven preached unto you,' I Pe. 1. 23, .5. stars,' Rev. i. 16–.8and afterwards a little book 15. way-side-see Mt. xiii. 15, $ 32, p. 246

NOTES. Mk. iv. 11. The mystery of the, &c.-See Sect. 33,1 Mk. iv. 14. The souer soweth, d'e. dontipur-empat. ADDENDA, p. 263.

A brief and popular form of expression, of which the

sense is, 'The sower (mentioned in the parable) is to Mt. xiii. 18. Hear ye therefore the parable of the be considered as one sowing the word of God],' sower-i. e., hear the explanation, or spiritual mean- Mt. xiii. 19. The word of the kingdom. The word ing of the narrative given before. Mark adds, ch. iv. of the kingdom was first and frequently proclaimed 13," Know ye not this parable and how then will ye to the Jews, but they received it not. Of the nature, know all parables (or all the parables)?' By which it character, and extent of the long-expected kingdom would appear that it is the duty of the disciple to l they remained grossly ignorant; they set themselves seek to know all the mysteries of the kingdom;' and in the most determined hostility to both the King the understanding of the parable of the sower intro and his subjects: it is not to the Jews that we can duces to a knowledge of the parables generally. | look for a knowledge of the kingdom.

PRACTICAL REFLECTIONS. Mk. iv. 11. The knowledge of the mystery of the 13 ver. The disciples of Christ should not rest conkingdom of God is a gift to those who, being dis-tented in ignorance of any matter which God has ciples of Jesus, sincerely seek to obtain that know been pleased to reveal to them; but should know, and ledge. Neither learning, nor any other outward ad- avail themselves of their privilege of knowing, all vantage, can be expected to procure it for those that parables. seek not unto the Great Teacher.

12 ver. God is not to be mocked: although torgive- Lu, viii. 11. Unless seed be sown, fruit cannot be ness is free, and immediately connected with the expected; so neither can we expect true good to arise knowledge of salvation in Christ, yet none can attain among men, except from the free distribution of to this knowledge, and so to free forgiveness, except the seed, which is the word of God.

the humble and sincere. 254]



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SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATIONS. Mt. xiii. 20. anon with joy receiveth it-see Paul's afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour preaching in Asia Minor, Ac. xiii., .iv.-'Where is then in vain,' iv. 4-114 Christ is become of no effect anto the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked fallen frorn grace,' v. 4,- Nevertheless I have someout your own eyes, and have given them to me,' Ga. what against thee, because thou hast left thy first iv. 15.

love. 5, Remember therefore from whence thou art 21. but dureth for a while-13, Hold fast the form

fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I

fallen, and repent, and a of sound words. wbich thou hast heard of me. in will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14, That

candlestick out of his place, except thou repent,' Rev. good thing which was committed unto thee keep by

ii. 4, 5. the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 15, This thou tribulation. In the world ye shall have tribulation, knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned Jno. xvi. 33, § 87- We must through much tribuaway from me,' 2 Ti. i. 13-5- I marvel that ye lation enter into the kingdom,' &c., Ac. xiv. 22—' For are 80 soon removed ... unto another gospel ... verily, when we were with you, we told you before tbough we, or an angel from heaven, preach any that we shoulá suffer tribulation; even as it came to other gospel unto you than that which we have pass, and ye know.'Th. iii. 4-Beloved, think it preached unto you, let him be accursed,' Ga. i. 6, &c. not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you, as though some strange thing happened unto ye should not obey the truth,' &c., iii. 1- How turn you,' I Pe. iv. 12- Ye shall have tribulation ten days,' ye again to the weak and beggarly elements. . . I am Rev. ii. 10.


NOTES. (Understandeth it not. un SUVLETTOS, mindeth it naked and destitute, more reckless and insensate, yet not,' doth not admit it.' Their very callousness infinitely more hopeless and dangerous than before.' rendering it as impossible that the word should take -Jhid. p. 43. root in their hearts, as the hardness of a beaten sur-! The wicked one had just before made use of the face, that seed should penetrate there into the ground. Pharisees, for the purpose of removing from the They are, without a miracle, too stubborn and obdu- minds of the Jewish hearers the evidence of the rate to be softened, ever by the grace of God, and Messiahship of Jesus, which was being forced upon the mollifying influences of his Spirit, which, under their attention-see Mt. xii. 23, 4, $ 31, p. 231. ordinary circumstances, accompany, enforce, and in 20. He that received ... into stony places. The seed vigorate the preaching of his word, to the personal con

falling on stony or rocky ground, represents superviction, the immediate impression, and the permanent ficial and undecided hearers--those whose passions assurance and satisfaction of its hearers; just as the

are easily excited, whose zeal is easily awakened, but way-side of fields is impenetrable to the dews and

whose knowledge is small, and their principles unrains, which, in other instances, soften and prepare

settled. the ground for the reception of the seed before it

Such appears to have been the character of many is sown, and foster and nourish it when grown.'

in the second great field of apostolic labour. See Greswell on the Parables, Vol. II. p. 36.)

for example, the case of the Galatians, as described Then cometh the wicked one_Is ever at hand and by Paul; and the seven churches of Asia, Where are ever on the watch to snatch away the word from such they? They soon stumbled and fell; and long since hearts' (the way-side hearers before it has time to they have altogether withered away. No fruit of the touch or influence them; which being done, it is early sowing is now to be seen upon that field. Yet clearly implied, and it must be self-evident, that the there it was that the Sower, the Son of man, appeared condition of these hearers, abandoned by grace, and to John in the ministration of the word, Rev. i. deprived of the means of conversion, which they have Their case is full of warning to the church in all sucscorned and rejected, while in their power, is more ceeding ages, and especially to us.-See ii., iii.]

PRACTICAL REFLECTIONS. Lu. viii. 12. Let us not be like the way-side hearers' Mk. iv. 16. Let us not be like the stony ground,' -hearing the word without understanding it and receiving the word of the kingdom without truly unSo, without ever receiving it in truth, or being able derstanding and believing it. Let it enter deeply into to defend it against the assaults of the enemy. Jour thoughts; let our affections take fast hold of it.

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