Read CHAPTER X. SPIRITUAL FARMING. NO. 3. CULTIVATION. of Broken Bread from an Evangelist's Wallet , free online book, by Thomas Champness, on

We have already called the attention of our readers to the subject of ploughing, but we feel we have not pressed upon them with the force it deserves, the necessity of what the Bible calls “breaking up the fallow ground.” What the plough and spade do for the land we must have done for the minds of those who sit in Methodist pews. Unsaved men and women must be compelled to look the truth in the face. Farmers know that so long as the land is hard and cloddy, the seed has no chance to get the nourishment by which it lives; besides by turning it over, the plough exposes that which has been hidden to the light of day, and it is by turning it up that it gets the benefit of the atmosphere. The nitrogen contained in the air is filled with that which the growing seed requires to find in the land, if it is to do well for the worker. Have we not thirty-fold crops where we ought to have hundredfold, for want of better ploughs? The heathen who spoke of preaching as “turning the world upside down” hit on the truth; and those of us who fail to turn up the soil are not likely to reap all we might do. The other day we heard an intelligent man tell the story of his conversion. He was awakened under the preaching of Mr. Robinson Watson. He said, “I never used to listen to sermons, I sat in the corner of the pew and thought of business, or any machine I was planning, and did not hear a word, but Mr. Robinson compelled me to think and act.”

Does not this man represent many? Are these people to be allowed to come and go, without, in some way or other, being compelled to listen? Let every one of us, from the top to the bottom of the Plan, say, God helping me, I will break up the ground. Indifference shall become difficult. Some of us can remember listening to men whom we feared when they opened the hymn book, for if they began the service with one of the hymns in “Exhorting sinners to return to God,” we knew there would be difficulty in getting to sleep, either in the pew then, or in bed, hours afterwards. Perhaps the greatest want of the church to-day is men who can, by handling the Bible like a gardener does his spade, cause it to be said “The sinners in Zion are afraid, tearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.”

Better feed A
Fat Pig
than A publican.