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Verses 17-20

Matthew 7:17-20. Even so As grapes are not reaped from thorns, or figs from thistles, but the fruit will always be agreeable in its nature and kind to the tree that produces it; so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit Scriptural doctrine, declared by holy men called of God to the work of the ministry, will certainly be more or less instrumental in turning men from the evil of their ways; and every minister of Christ, or even private Christian, who is renewed in the spirit of his mind, and made a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, will bring forth the fruits of righteousness, to the praise and glory of God. For, in this respect, the fruits that men produce will certainly be answerable to the actual state and disposition of their hearts. Nor can it indeed be otherwise in the nature of things. For a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit To do so would be to act contrary to its nature. Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit To bring which forth there is no aptitude or tendency in its vicious nature. Every tree that After a fair and competent time of trial; bringeth not forth good fruit But either produces none, or none but what is pernicious or useless; is hewn down How fair and flourishing soever it may seem to be; and cast into the fire To its utter destruction. Such will be the end of hypocritical professors, and all ungodly men, especially ungodly ministers: they shall assuredly be overtaken by the righteous judgment of God.

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