Seed-time and Harvest

One of the most interesting features of modern agriculture is the development of varieties of grains, fruit, vegetables, etc. Within the memory of men still in their prime, the farmer dipped from his own grain bin what seed he needed and sowed it, usually, just as it came, —good, bad, and indifferent . This lack of care resulted in a motley crop of grain and weeds, and where similar primitive disregard of agricultural means and methods has prevailed, as it usually does in line with this slipshod style of seed selection, the land has gradually but surely overrun with weeds and the quality and quantity of the crops as steadily decreased.

The thinking farmer, however, who concluded that a good seed would produce good seed, proved the truth of his conclusion by trying the experiment. The results have been that by the selection of individual seeds the varieties of many plants are now numbered by the hundreds. Not only has each of these been developed in approximation to the ideal of certain growers, but a still greater refinement or narrowing of qualities has produced what are called strains of certain varieties. In these a particular character has been striven for and emphasized, so that a still higher ideal has been approached. The farmer has therefore only to decide upon his needs and he can secure from the seed specialist a variety or strain which meets it. As the more wide-awake farmers saw the advantages of this method, they forsook the crude ways of their forefathers and practised the new. Some advantages of this course are improved yield and reduction of weed troubles. The farmers have thus, perhaps better than any other class of people, learned the law that "like begets like," or as Paul puts it, that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

This concrete example of the operation of the law of cause and effect is typical of the mental seed-time and harvest as explained by Christian Science. The novice, accustomed to primitive crudities of thought, often fails to recognize that perhaps for years prior to his commencement of the study of Science, he was sowing wrong thoughts continuously and filling his mental farm with weeds. He must therefore continue his harvests, whatever their characteristics may be, unless he learns how to eliminate the weeds and inferior plants. After he gains a slight understanding of Christian Science he may often fail to see why he seems not to be able to harvest what he thought he sowed. He believes he sows like others, but the harvest is not like what he supposed he planted. He sows a variety that looks well but which seems to yield little or no harvest. In such cases he may blame some one else, or even doubt the unvarying certainty of the law as explained by Christian Science: but the trouble is not there. It is in the previous sowing, for "they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." It is the abundance of undesirables from previous sowings that the mental husbandman is startled to find. These are not the progeny of his new seed; nor has the new failed to grow. Every viable seed will grow and bring forth fruit "after his kind." The only thing to do is continue sowing "the good seed" and destroying the weeds and inferior plants, for "he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Therefore, "Sow to your selves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground : for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."

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An Aspect of Evil
April 7, 1906

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