Page images

“ 12. When they were filled, he said “ unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be loft.

13. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves,

which remained over and above unto “ them that had eaten."

[ocr errors]

In the foregoing verses, we are not only furnished with a new and striking proof of the greatness of the miracle that, after the hunger of five thousand persons had been satisfied, the fragments which remained exceeded the original quantity of bread produced, but likewise with a fine lesson to every one in their different stations, not to fuffer waste : the heads of families, who, either through indolence or the want of proper attention to the conduct of their servants, permit such species of extravagance, are highly blamable: it is in a manner robbing the poor; as it prevents their receiving those comforts which a prudent management would have enabled Hh


the unthinking possessor of the goods of fortune to have communicated to them, without expence to himself; or even which, if expensive, he would joyfully bestow on them, were he not prevented by finding his fortune, thro' mismanagement, barely adequate to his own expences.

14. Then those men, when they had “ seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, “ This is of a truth that prophet that “ should come into the world.

15. When Jesus, therefore, perceived “ that they would come and take him by “ force to make him a king, he departed

again into a mountain himself alone.”

The Jews were always ready for sedition and rebellion, laying in wait for an opportunity to throw off the Roman yoke; and their mistake respecting the character of the Messiah, that he was to appear as a temporal prince, made even the best-meaning amongst them fuppose


any extraordinary character to be their promised deliverer. No wonder, then, that fuch a miracle should unite them in the wish, to choose Jesus for their king.

The example of frequent retirement, set us by our blessed Saviour, should be carefully followed : reflection is the food of the soul. In solitude we recal our wandering thoughts from the follies of the world, to employ them in meditating upon the goodness of God, and on the happiness that is reserved for us, if we do not forfeit it through our own negligence or guilt ; and such reflections will be our best support against the temptations, as well as under the troubles, of the world.

“ 16. And when even was now come, “ his disciples went down unto the sea,

17. And entered into a ship, and “ went over the sea towards Capernaum: “ and it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. “ 18. And the sea arose, by reason of a great wind that blew.

Hh 2

“ 19. So 19. So when they had rowed about “ five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they

see Jesus walking on the sea, and draw

ing nigh unto the ship: and they were 66 afraid.

“ 20. But he faith unto them, It is I; “ be not afraid.

“ 21. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

His disciples, who were the constant witnesses of the miracles which he performed, should, in all dangers and difficulties, have depended implicitly upon him ; and he therefore reproves them, , upon this occasion, for their want of confidence in him. It is one of our greatest comforts, that the fins, weaknesses, and infirmities of the first characters in Scripture are recorded : had they been omitted, and nothing but their good actions related, what would have become of us poor,

infignificant, and frail creatures ! we must have been lost in despair ; but from their


example, and the pardon they received, we are encouraged to struggle with the more vigor after every relapse from virtue, in the hope of finally conquering the grand enemy of our souls.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

22. The day following, when the people which stood on the other side " of the sea saw that there was none other “ boat there, fave that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away

23 (Howbeit there came other boats " from Tiberias, nigh unto the place " where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks ;)"


I cannot pass over this last verse, without pointing out to your notice, the repetition of the circumstance of our Lord's having given thanks ; which appears, evidently, intended to impress the duty more strongly on our minds.

24. When

« PreviousContinue »