Rootless Grace

“Some fell upon stony places.” Matthew 13:5

There is a thin covering of soil on the rock. The seed sinks in a little way, and the heat radiating from the rock causes it to shoot up at once. This represents a class whose religion is emotional. At first they give great promise. They are easily moved by any appeal. The feelings work immediately to the surface. Such persons always seem most affected by sorrow. They weep inconsolably; but their grief is soonest over. In like manner they appear to be most deeply affected by religious appeals. They begin a Christian life with an earnestness that puts older Christians to shame. They attend all meetings; they weep as they sing and pray; they talk of Christ to their friends; their zeal is wonderful. “Immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth.”

But such quick growths lack root, and cannot endure the heat of summer. The sun soon scorches them, and they wither. In spiritual life, also, the analogy holds. Emotional religion is not apt to be permanent. It bursts up into great luxuriance to-day, but we are not sure that it will be found to-morrow in healthy life. Too often the enthusiasm is but transient. In the heat of trials, temptations, toil, or sorrow, the rootless graces wilt down and die.

Usually the religious life that is most permanent is that which springs up naturally, and grows slowly to strength and luxuriance. It has good soil, and the roots go down deep into the earth, and are unaffected by the frequent changes in temperature, by heat or cold, by rain or drought.

If any one finds that his spiritual graces are rootless, and that there is a hard rock in his heart underneath the surface, he should seek at once to have the rock broken by penitence and prayer, that the plants of righteousness in him may have opportunity to grow.