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Fit to be Burned

01 August 2011 by David Regier

Q. 30. Does God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

A. God does not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the covenant of works; but of his mere love and mercy delivers his elect out of it, and brings them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace.

Over the course of our last couple of years in this house, we've had the joyful opportunity to reclaim some significant portions of our yard away from their state of nature. Roses and birds of paradise, petunias and cosmos, and pumpkins and tomatoes and zucchini have all taken root where once there was just Bermuda grass, catchweed and thistle. We are a long, long way from finished, but from certain windows, the garden looks great.

Weeds are libertines, going wherever and doing whatever they please. They may even have their own particular beauty, but they spoil a garden by their recklessness. Their seeds waft indiscriminately, their tendrils tangle the grass, their roots strangle the flowers.

Every kind of plant in the garden was once wild, somewhere. In other words, a weed. Someone cultivated each one to be what it is, in a way that it once was not. But that which will not be cultivated is only fit to be burned.

On any given morning, there is a temptation to let it go, to let the weeds have their way; one plant is as good as another. But when the evening comes and the children scamper through soft grass with flowers in their hair, I am glad to have a garden.

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