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3. Are there many tares or wicked people in the world? Give examples, as thieves, murderers, etc. Those servants thought it would be wise to separate the tares from the wheat and gather them up; have you ever had the same feeling about the bad people in the world ? Have you wanted to do away with the evil and leave only the good? Well, now, suppose you were allowed to separate the good from the bad ; if this permission were given you, how would you go at it? (1) On which side, the good or the bad, would you place Jacob? You remember he deceived his aged father. (2) What would you do with Moses? Remember that he killed a man. How did God regard him? (3) On which side would you place Mary Magdalene? What did Christ think of her? (4) Where would you place the Prodigal Son? (5) Would you regard Judas as belonging among the wheat or the tares ? You remember he was one of the disciples, and was trusted by them, although he betrayed Christ later. (6) What would you do with the brother of the Prodigal Son? He stayed at home and worked. (7) What would you do with your friends and acquaintances? Why are you confused in these cases? Once more, Why would not the householder allow his servants to pull up the tares ? Answer, They were too near the wheat stalks and too much like them to be separated from them. Does that help you any here? How? Answer, (1) The evil is so near the good that they are both found in one person ; (2) The good and bad often appear so much alike that often we are not able to tell them apart. What conclusion, then, do you reach about our trying to separate the good from the bad? But what if we went ahead and decided to attempt it nevertheless? Wrong!! Who, then, will attend finally to this separation? Why are angels chosen for it rather than men ?
4. (1) Which verse in the parable most clearly calls for delay in separating the bad from the good ? Look them through to see. Verse 30. “Let both grow together until the harvest.” Are you convinced that this applies as much to good and bad people as to wheat and tares ?
(2) Do you call to mind another verse that brings to mind a similar thought? You have heard it often. It begins with the word judge. Matthew vii. I. Judge not. Let us learn these two verses, then, and hereafter when the parable of the tares is called for, you may state its chief thought for us by these two verses.
5. (1) At the close of this talk, Christ said, “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Why do you think he said that? What did he want them to hear ?
(2) Is it true that people have failed in times past to listen to this teaching? What examples from history show this ? St. Bartholomew's massacre, witchcraft, the Jews' treatment of Christ, etc.
(3) Have you ever been misjudged yourself? How did you feel about it?
(4) Have you ever misjudged others? How did you feel about it then, when you discovered that you had been wrong?
(5) Have you ever really attempted to stop judging others so freely? (“Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.")
(6) What comforting thought do you find in this lesson ? Answer, That we should not be too much discouraged at seeing wickedness allowed to continue. We are taught not to be too impatient over the matter.
LAWS UNDERLYING PROCESSES IN TEACHING
If the leading thoughts thus far presented are true, there are certain steps in instruction that are universal. No matter what the study be, whether Latin, mathematics, science, or some other, there is a certain order that the mind must follow in acquiring knowledge. Through the old related experiences (first step, preparation) new individual. notions are reached (second step, presentation); these are compared and their essential characteristics abstracted (third step, comparison), and the resulting general truth is worded (fourth step, generalization); this generalization finally receives application (fifth step, application). Since these steps are passed through in this order without reference to the nature of the subject-matter presented, they are rightly called the Formal Steps of Instruction. They indicate the order of the movements of the mind, or of the forms through which thought must pass in reaching full maturity.
Now, law is reached the moment that a certain order is shown to be uniform ; for a law is nothing more than a statement of a uniform sequence, and a law of teaching, the statement of a uniform sequence in the process of learning. Hence, it is clear that these natural or Formal Steps of Instruction simply embody the laws of teaching.
I. The most prominent one, often known as the law of induction and discussed particularly in Chapter V, may be stated thus : The order of steps in the acquisition of knowledge is : (a) individual notions; (6) general notions. Eminent authorities on teaching now generally agree upon this law, and it is stated by Huxley in these words:1
“The subject matter of biological science is different from that of other sciences, but the methods of all are identical.
“And these methods are :
"1. Observation of facts—including under this head that artificial observation which is called experiment.
“ 2. That process of tying up similar facts into bundles ticketed and ready for use, which is called comparison and classification, the results of the process, the ticketed bundles, being named general propositions.
"3. Deduction, which takes us from the general proposition to facts gained — teaches us, if I may so say, to anticipate from the ticket what is inside the bundle. And finally, —
“4. Verification, which is the process of ascertaining whether in point of fact our anticipation is a correct one.
1 Lay Sermons, p. 83.