“They withered because they had no root.” Matthew 13:6
A preacher of the gospel cast the seed into the hearts of the hearers. The greatest philosophers cannot explain how the earth produces food from the seed sown. Neither can a preacher of the gospel explain how the soul of the person brings forth first weak graces, then stronger, then full holiness. It is a curious kind of mechanism in which the spring of motion is within itself. Yet observe the amazing exactness of the comparison. The earth brings fourth no food nor does the soul bring forth holiness without both the care and toil of men and women in the gracious influence of heaven. One hears the word and considers it not. This is the first in the most general cause of unfruitfulness. The wicked ones come, either inwardly, filling the mind with thoughts of other things – or by those who talk other subjects when people should be considering what they have heard.