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Fogs the presence of his Saviour, thinks that he can “endure all things; and concludes, that “his mountain stands strong, and he shall never be moved :" but, when affiction and trouble arise, he has very different views of things, when great dangers are before him, and the boisterous waves of disappointment, vexation, and distress, roar around him, he is very prone to be disheartened, and to think, that he shall certainly be swallowed op, that God hath forsaken him, and will be favorable no more. Such are too often bis sentiments, and, if the divine hand of his Saviour did not hold him out, he would, like Peter, sink in the mighty water.

This miracle of our exalted Redeemer's walking on the sea, seems to have astonished the disciples, more than any which had been before it ; fór though they had so lately seen the miracle of feeding the multitude with five loaves, it did not appear !o have such an effect on their minds, as this Tast manifestation of his divine power; for now, with the utmost veneration, gratitude, and joy, they came and worshipped him, saying, or a truth, Thou art the Son of God.”

Nor was walking on the sea, the only miracle which oor Redeemer wrought at this time; for we are informed by the evangelists, that as soon às their almighty master, and his relieved disciple, were received into the ship, the vessel was instantaneously transported to its intended' port. 6. Then they willingly received him into the ship; and immediately the ship was at the land wither they went."

It was in the country adjacent to Capernaum, that our great Redeemer landed; and, as he had not been in that neighborhood since his visiting Nazareth, the country people flocked about him in great numbers, bringing their sick and diseased, which the divine physician immediately healed : and, as it had been a considerable time since he had been in that country, they crowded around him in such numbers, that he could not pay a partitular attention to erery object of distress; but they had so great an opinion of the healing virtue, which he so eminently possessed, that they beseeched him, " that they might only touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.”

It haih been before related, that after Christ had fed the multitude in the desért, he dismissed them ; but, though they dispersed at his command, they did not return to their habitations : for, perceiving that the disciples were sent to the other side of the lake, and that Jesus stayed behind, they probably concluded, that they were sent to provide necessaries for their master'š assuming the kingdom; though he had modestly declined that high dignity in the evening, they were encouraged to hope, that he would accept of it the ensuing day. This expectation, it may be supposed, induced them to lodge in the solitary wilderness, and shelter themselves in caverns of the rocks and mountains, though they were very much incommoded by the raging of the storm.

When morning arrived, the multitude left the places of their retreat, and searched for our Redeemer in every part of the desert mountain : they saw him

ascend to the summit, the foregoing evening, and were very much surprised that he could not be found; but having wearied themselves in an unsuccessful search, they probably concluded that he had departed in some boat which belonged lo the sea of Tiberius, that had been forced by the storm to take shelter in some creek, at the foot of the mountain. With Chis expectation, they departed to Capernaum, where they found him in the Synagogue, teaching the people; and, with a mixture of joy and surprise, asked him, " Rabbi, when curest thou hither ? To this question, our great Redeemer answered, that they did not follow him because they were convinced by his miracles of the truth of his divinity, but because they had been miraculously fed : “ Verily, verily I say unto you," said he,“ seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because ye did eat o the loayes, and were filled.” Hereby our great Redeemer intimated, thet

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toñtinged our great Redeemer, as I have often said, your nation obstinafely and resolutely resists the light, and continues in unbelief, notwithstanding the manifest and glaring evidences of divine power, which you have seen, and the glorious fruits which would follow on your believing; but think not, that your unbelief will prevent the rising glories of my spiritual kingdom; for many there are which my father bath given me, these shall be induced by the power of his spirit to come unto me, “and him that cometh, 1 will in no wise cast out: for I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent, that, of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, bat should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

As the greatest part of the Jews were desirous only of temporal privi. leges and advantages from the Messiah's kingdom, it is no wonder they should be offended at this doctrine ; they could not bear the thought, that a man who declined all earthly honours, should be supposed to be the Messiah; por could they tell what he meant hy calling himnself the bread of life, and asserting, that he came down from heaven. With murmaring and discontent, therefore, they hastily exclaimed. “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven por

To these degrading expressions, our Lord thought fit to reply, that no objections arising from the meanoess of his birth and education, could invalidate the testimony of the miracles which he had wrought, or excuse their obstinacy and unbelief. But it was not strange, that they should oppose and resist the truth, for it required the agency of divine power to teach them to anderstand what he meant by declaring himself the bread of life: and also it must be the mighty power of God, which enabled them to receive him, and live upon him

as such. A believing in the Son of God, as the only Saviour of sinners and resting upon him for life and salvation, and thereby partaking of the divine nature, and receiving spiritual nourishment from him, as the body does from corporeal bread, was not within the reach of the natural abilities of the unbelieving Jews, nor any of the human race, without divine assistance; and, therefore, our Lord told them, “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him.” And he further proceeded to inform them, that it was related in their prophets, concerning the kingdom of the Messiah, that all the sobjects of that kingdom should

be taught of God, “ Every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” But, continued our great Redeemer, you are not to suppose, that men will be so favoured, as to see God with their corporeal eyes ;

s for him none hath seen, or can see:" but the happiness and glory of that kingdom will consist in believing on me, in such a manner as to receive me as the true bread of life: by this the believer will obtain a vital union with me, and draw spiritual nourishment from me; and by that means, grow up to everlasting life.

Our Lord, having thus declared himself to be the bread of life which came down from heaven, and shewn the which it is to be ohtained, proceeded to examine the comparison between himself, considered as the bread from heaven, and the manna, which, in the time of Moses, the Israelites eat in the wilderness. “Your fathers," said he, "did eat manna io the wilderness & are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living 'bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread ihat I will give, is my flesh, which { will give for the life of the world."

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Though the Jews were no strangers to a figurative way of speaking, yet such was their blindness and perverseness, that they understood those words, and the rest of Christ's declaration in a literal sense, and inquir ed, with the utmost astonishment, “How can this man give us his fesh to eat P” But our Lord, knowing what manner of persons he was conversing with, did not think proper to explain his meaning in any other way of speaking ; but continuing in the same figurative way of expression, he jepeated, and affirmed what he had before asserted, “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” said he, “ except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye hare no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinkell my blood, bath eternal life; and will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed;" meaning, that no person can obtain that eternal life, which the gospel of Christ makes known, but by a vital faith, which receives the Son of God, and, partaking of his divine nature, draws spiritual nourishment and life from him. “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the liying Father hath sent me, and I live by the father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."

Our Lord proceeded to inform them, that this is the bread which he had before told them came down from heaven, infinitely superior, in its nature and consequences, to that bread which their fathers eat in the wil derness; “ for they eat the manna and are dead; but whoso eateth this , bread shall live for ever."

Such was the conference which our Saviour had with the Jews, in the Synagogue at Capernaum, which took its rise from the miraculous repast which he had so lately provided for the multitude in the desert, and thence naturally turned on bread. Though the Jews were no strangers to a fig. urative way of speaking, and might have found the same mode of expres. sion in their own prophets, yet they had no clear idea of his meaning, eating his flesh, and drinking his blood, they still understood literally; and, as it was a thing prohibited in the law of Moses, and abhorred by the inost barbarous nations, they looked upon it with the utmost astonishment and aversion; and many of his disciples, with a mixture of dissatisfaction and surprise, said, “ This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" Our Lord, perceiving their discontent, said, Are ye offended because 1 told you my Hesh was meat, and my blood was drink; what would you think if ye saw “the Son of man ascend up where he was before it is the Spirit that quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” Thus, our Lord further explained the meaning of what he had before advanced; as much as if he had said, When you sec me ascend with this body into heaven, you will be convinced: that I really descended from thence; and you will also perceive that you cannot eat my flesh, or drink my blood in a corporeal manner; I never intended you

should think my words had any such meaning: my flesh in such case, could not be of any advantage to the sons of men; but the great blessings 1 have been relating, arise from receiving the doctrines I preach; to reveal these, 1 laid aside the glory which I had with my Father ; I took upon me the veil of flesh, and assumed the nature of man: it is, therefore, entering into the spirit of these doctrines, which will bring you to eternal life; but I know your hearts are so wicked, and your prejudicies so strong, that you will not receive them ; nor am I disappointed in you; for, I have told you before, that “no man can come unto me, except it be given him of the Father.”

The Jews were so puzzled, confounded and offended at this discourse, that many who had professed themselves the disciples of Christ, departed out of the Synagogue and followed him no more. They did not understand his views, nor like his method of preaching ; nor could they perceive how a temporal kingdom, that idol of Jewish vanity, was likely at this


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rate to be established : and, therefore, they could no longer acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah, whose appearance and reign they expected so vastly different.

When the Jews were departed, our Lord turned himself to his disciples, with benignity of countenance, and with an air of condescending goodness, bid them remark how degrading and shameful it was for the sons of men ; to consider, and reflect, on the perverseness and obstinacy of the unbelieving Jews; who thought themselves offended, and made it a crime, for asserting and speaking such divine immutable, truths, and knowledge to which “they deafened their ears," and which affected so materially their future welfare and tranquility. Divine truths ! demonstrated to them in supernatural miracles, heavenly goodness, and by the fulfilments of the predictions of the ancient prophets, out of all probability of doubt, if they would only reflect and consider on the sacred writings, and how inconsistent it ought to appear to all, who were not blinded, nor led astray by evil-minded men, nor over fond of following implicitly, without considering the manifest contradictions, and absurdities contained in the dogmas of their Elders; whom they themselves despised by performing the least, and neglecting the most material rites which they contained.

Our blessed Redeemer, added, that by such an ungrateful conduct to. wards his heavenly Father, they rendered themselves unworthy to partake the blessings arising from his divine and spiritual kingdom, to which they . turned their hearts, in defiance to the precepts and examples of the Son of Man; delighting in iniquity and walking in darkness; preferring the works of feeble men, to the paths of his heavenly kingdom, turning their hearts against his ministry, by entertaining such notions of the Messiah's temporal kingdom, so inconsistant with the divine will of his heavenly Father ; but that the time will come, when convinced of their iniquitous proceedings, they should atone for their transgressions, and the power of the Son of man will be fully known. Adding also, that because he permitted his disciples to eat with unwashen hands, which was contrary to the tradition of the elders. This practice was not forbidden in the law, but was an article of great consequence in the tradition of the elders, by which the Pharisees explained the law of Moses. Sereral instances of legal uncleanness were particularly stated, and forbidden by the Jewish legislature; but these and other ceremonial performances, were multiplied in the most extravagant and ridiculous manner in those traditions, which were held in such high veneration by the Pharisees. These people, who valued themselves on an exact and scrupulous performance of every tittle of the law, considered it as a notorious offence to eat bread with unwashen hands, though at the same time, they were scandalously carless in things of the highest importance.

To shew the stupidity and foHy of this conduct, our Lord answered the question of the Pharisees, by retorting on them the wickedness of their conduct in a scrupulous exactness and punctuality, in the observance of "human traditions, and at the same time, neglecting the positive commands of God. Why do you also," said he, “ transgress the commandments of God by your tradition ? For God commanded, saying, Honour lay father and mother : and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, it is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me:" that is, whatever I might have spared for the relief of my parents, I have dedicated to God, and thus suffer his

parents to want,“ not honouring his father and mother, he shall be free." Thus have you, continued our great Redeemer, set aside the im. mutable duties of natural religion, and dared to oppose and contradict the positive commandments of God, by your ridiculous and contemptible tra. ditions : “ye hypocrites,” said he, “well did Isaiah prophecy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honouretha

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