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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Lesser Epistles

Chapter 7 - Galatians 6:8; Hosea 8:7 - Reproductive Good and Evil Light & Truth: The Lesser Epistles by Bonar, Horatius




Reproductive Good And Evil.


     "He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."-Galatians 6:8.


     "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up."-Hosea 8:7.



     Everything said or done by man is a seed,-good or bad,-the product of something past, and the parent of something future; the end of one series, and the beginning of another.

     It is not merely that judgment and recompense are in store for us; but, apart from the judicial aspect of the thing said or done, there is the inherent nature flowing out of something, and flowing into something else corresponding to itself; like produced by and producing like. This is the law of the universe; the seed produced by and producing a tree, or a flower, according to its nature. (Genesis 1:2) In the case of the murderer, there are the inward remorse and wretchedness, as well as the sentence of condemnation.

     But our two texts teach us more than this. There is a higher law. Not merely does the good produce the good, but it produces something better than itself-the seed, the tree with all its fruit. The bad not merely produces the bad, but something worse than itself,-the bad seed, the worse fruit. This is the awful truth taught in the two passages above: 'He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap (not merely what is fleshly, but) corruption,'-flesh in its worst and most loathsome state. Again, 'They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.' Thus nothing comes up exactly as it is sown, but either better or worse. We sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain; and that bare grain bears something corresponding in nature, but very much greater in all respects than itself. It reproduces itself on a larger and completer scale.

     Men seldom count on this. They may admit that their sin will find them out, though not always; or that bad may lead to bad; but they refuse to recognize this as a universal rule and law. They don't see why, though they have sown the wind, they might not reap the calm; why, though they have sown war, they might not reap peace; why, though they have sown disease, they might not reap health; why, though they have sown darkness, they might not reap light. But God's law will stand; the progress of evil is downward, not upward; the conflagration is the effect of the spark. God, we know, does step in to arrest this; He interferes in grace to stay the development of the evil, and to bring good out of it. But this only confirms the law, just as pardon confirms the law: 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.'

     Let us look at some Scripture instances of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind. We shall find that the way of transgressors is hard.

     There is Adam. One sin; but what consequences! Expulsion from Paradise, and a whole tempest of evil let loose upon our world. There is Cain. He begins with envy at Abel his brother, and he rushes on to crime and misery. There is Saul, king of Israel. He disobeys, and straightway all disaster comes. Rehoboam begins with pride, and ends with the loss of half a kingdom. Judas begins with covetousness, and ends with the crime of crimes, and the woe of woes. Such are some of the ways in which men have sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind.

     All great crises or calamities in a nation have come out of a course of previous evils, some of them apparently small. Error spreads, lesser evils are allowed to go on, good is discouraged, religion kept in the background, the Sabbath despised, the Bible disowned. All these work their way into the heart and soul of a nation, till it becomes thoroughly corrupted. Then the volcano bursts forth; the crisis comes; the kingdom is overwhelmed with woe. They sowed the wind, and they reap the whirlwind. Church decorations, are they not the seed of superstition? Yon cross hanging on a female neck, is it not the seed of Popery? That book of wild speculation, is it not the seed of infidelity? That speaking evil of dignities, is it not the seed of revolution and lawlessness? And are not all the events and errors of the present day preparing for the 'strong delusion' with which the world is to be led captive in the last days?

     Such is God's law,-simple, righteous, terrible, inexorable. Modern progress cannot arrest or alter it. The science of the last days cannot separate between the sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind. All man's efforts are vain to alter the character of evil, or to stay its productiveness. It is the true Pandora's box; the single drop of poison that impregnates the whole surrounding air; the small spark that kindles the vast conflagration; the little breeze that gathers into the howling storm.

     I.  Beware of sin.-Any kind of sin. Do not touch it, or tamper with it. It goes on from bad to worse. Hold back from it in all shapes. Do not call it a light thing. See how dreadful it is! What consequences!

     II. Beware of error.-God's truth is steadfast. It is clear and definite. Let us not trifle with it, or treat it irreverently. Let us not put light for darkness, or darkness for light. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

     III. Beware of undervaluing past lessons.-Scripture is full of these. The world's history teems with them. Do not say they are obsolete; not suited to an enlightened age like ours. God is one and the same forever; evil is one and the same forever. Learn the awful consequences of sin, present and eternal.

     IV. Follow righteousness and truth.-'Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.' Keep the eye on these; they are seed as well as fruit. Sow, sow, sow! And if you want to know where the good seed is whose fruit is everlasting life, go to the great Sower. Get seed from Him. Be a fellow sower along with Him, and reap everlasting life for yourself and for others. Remember, 'He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly.' Sow not to the flesh, but to the Spirit, and reap the glorious harvest. The sowing may be in tears; the harvest will be with gladness.-(Psalm 126:5.)