Read CHAPTER III. SPIRITUAL FARMING. NO. 2. PLOUGHING. of Broken Bread from an Evangelist's Wallet , free online book, by Thomas Champness, on

There have been during the last few years great improvements in the construction of the plough, but no one dreams of any substitute for it. Ploughing is as necessary as sowing; that is to say, the land must be stirred and prepared for the seed. In heavenly husbandry there are some well-meaning folk who would dispense with the plough, and preach faith without repentance, but only to find that the birds of the air get most of the seed! If there is to be an abiding work there must be conviction of sin, and knowledge of guilt, and for this end there is nothing better than a plough, made of Sinai steel and wood grown on Calvary.

There are some directions given in the Old Book which it will pay our ploughmen to study. One is as to the choice of the team. Don’t yoke an ass with an ox (see Deut. xxii, 10). In your motive power see to it there is no mixture of vanity with duty. You will not succeed in concealing the fact. A donkey is one of the worst of animals to hide. It will talk!

Let there be no stopping at home because the wind is in the east. “The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold.” If the ploughman means to succeed he must count on suffering; and if the devil cannot find anyone on his side to oppose, he will raise up some imbecile Christian to do so, who by some sneer or cold criticism, will try to keep the plough idle. Instead of looking which way the wind blows, get to work.

There must be no looking back. Mark the Master’s words in Luke ix, 62. Keep your eye on the mark, just as the ploughman looks at the staff he has fixed as his guide. Keep looking unto Jesus. Many a preacher, who could make hell tremble for its own, has, by looking back, become respectably commonplace. So the fine promise of his youth dies ignobly, and is laid in the grave of Demas! Whether it be a bag of gold, or a fair face, or a pillow of down, thou art called to look back upon, do as the Master did set thy “face toward Jerusalem.”

Keep a good heart on it. “He that ploweth should plow in hope.” What is called success does not mean reaping only. The plough is as honourable as the sickle, though they may not make a feast, or dress thy team with flowers! Whistle at the plough, and in time thou shalt be bidden to the harvest supper. John Baptist was a ploughman, and that was all; yet there are some reapers who would gladly exchange places with him, badly paid as he was. In these days too often the honour is paid to the successful evangelist, and those who ploughed and sowed are forgotten; but the time is coming when the promise shall be fulfilled

The ploughman shall overtake the reaper.”