Matthew 13:31-32. Another parable put he forth The two former parables relate chiefly to unfruitful hearers: the two that follow, to those who bear good fruit. The kingdom of heaven Both the gospel dispensation in the world, and the kingdom of grace in the souls of true believers, especially the former; is like to a grain of mustard-seed Small and contemptible in its beginning. Which is indeed the least of all seeds “That is, of all those seeds with which the people of Judea were then acquainted. Our Lord’s words are to be interpreted by popular use. And we learn from this gospel, Matthew 17:20, that like a grain of mustard-seed was become proverbial for expressing a small quantity.” But when it is grown, it becometh a tree The term tree is applied by botanists to plants of the larger kind, which grow to the magnitude of shrubs, and for that reason are termed plantæ arborescentes: and “that there was a species of the sinapi, [mustard seed,] or, at least, what the Orientals comprehended under that name, which rose to the size of a tree, appears from some quotations brought by Lightfoot and Buxtorf from the writings of the rabbles, men who will not be suspected of partiality when their testimony happens to favour the writers of the New Testament.” “The Talmud mentions a mustard-tree so large that a man might with ease sit in it; and another, one of whose branches covered a tent. And it is certain we shall be much mistaken if we judge of vegetables or animals, in the eastern and southern countries, merely by what those of the same species are among us.” Doddridge. Thus, from small beginnings, will the Christian doctrine spread in the world, and the life of Christ, or true religion, in the soul.
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