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the divine power residing in him: they therefore very justly ascribed the praise of them to God.

32. Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, . and have nothing to eat; I will not send them away, fasting, lest they should faint in the way,

Thę mulțitụde spent the night in the open air, which might be safely done in that warm climate, and was no unusual practice. Their provisions were all expended, so that they had nothing left, at the time when Jesus spoke.

33. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness as to fill so great a multitude ?

It seems extraordinary that the disciples should say what they are here represented as saying, after having şeen five thousand fed with five loaves and two fishes; and when they had on this occasion seven loaves and a few little fishes, while the multitude was but four thousand; so that they had more provisions and fewer to feed: how came they, therefore, to think that the same power which made a less numbes of loaves suffice, could not also make a larger to be sufficient? This shows that the character which Christ gives of them is just, when he says to them in one place, “() ye of little faith;" and in another,

“O faithless and perverse generation;" and intimates that their faith was less than a grain of mustard-seed, which is the least of ați seeds.

34. And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes,

35. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground;

36. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, (to God) and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

37. And they did all eat and were filled; and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets-full.

Christ commanded this to be done, in order that it might appear that there had been a miraculous increase of provisions; the quantity that was left being greater than what he had at the beginning: he might also intend to teach them that oeconomy was to be practised, in the midst of plenty; and that none of the gifts of divine bounty were to be wasted.

38. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and child

ren,

39. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.

This town was the native place of one of the Maries who is mentioned in the New Testament, and who is therefore called Mary Magdalene,

REFLECTIONS.

1. In the conduct of the woman of Canaan we have a striking example of the strength of parental affection. Had she been asking for her own life, she could not have pleaded with more earnestness and importunity than she does here for the recovery of her daughter from a grievous disorder. Although her first request is treated with neglect, she renews it again and again, following our Lord with her cries, and at last throwing herself down at his feet, and addressing him in the humblest language of supplication, “ Lord, have mercy upon me; Lord, help me. Let parents, when their children are afilicted with illness, learn where to apply for their recovery; even to the power of God, which gave life at first, and is able to restore it. Let them not be discouraged, if their prayers are not immediately answered; this may be necessary to exercise their faith and patience for a time; but God may be merciful unto them at last: let them therefore pray and not faint. Not that they are to expect God to depart from the usual course of nature, and to work miracles to restore health, as he did in the present case; but it is right that they should pray for those things which they earnestly desire, in order to impress their minds with a sense of their dependence upon God for all good things; to make them grateful to him if they are bestowed, and resigned to his will if they are withholden.

2. Let us be thankful to God that we are no longer in the wretched state of the Gentiles; aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise; possessing indeed the bounties of Divine Providence in great abundance, but so neglected or despised by God, as scarcely to be allowed the smallest favour from him, in the way of miracle or divine revelation; not even the crumbs which fall from a plentiful table. Now, blessed be God, ouir condition is entirely changed; we are placed at his table ourselves; we have a seat among his children; eat without restraint of the provisions prepared for them, and enjoy all the privileges of God's houshold. Let us never cease to bless and praise the Divine Being for this happy change.

3. How surprising and various are the miracles of Christ! The diseased and afflicted assemble round him from every quarter of the country, and form a wretched meeting of the most disgusting and miserable objects which the imagination can conceive; some, deprived of the use of a limb, and incapable of moving at all, or without great pain; others, from some of those accidents to which human life is ever exposed, with limbs cut off, presenting their mangled bodies, without a finger, an arm, or a leg; some, like tlie brutes, incapable of speaking, and only able to express their thoughts by mute signals; others, blind from their birth, who had never yet seen the glorious light of the sun, or the cheerful face of nature, more helpless and incapable of directing themselves than a child; others, whose wild looks, incoherent discourse and extravagant actions too plainly discovered that reason no longer presided in the soul, and that all was confusion and disorder within: such were the wretched objects with which Jesus was surrounded; men labouring under the greatest of human calamities, and their spirits, where they were capable of reflection, oppressed with disappointment and despair of relief by any natural means; sufficient to move the compassion of the most obdurate heart. But the scene suddenly changes: the bodies of the diseased are restored at once to a sound state, and every thing that is painful or offensive disappears at the presence of the Saviour. With what rapture must he who had lost a limb, or to whom it was rendered useless, perceive it restored in a sound state! How would he exercise his newly acquired member! With what pleasure would he lift his new hand, and leap upon his new leg; scarcely

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believing what he felt and saw, for joy! How eagerly would the dumb 'exercise bis tongue in the newly acquired faculty of speech! How would the blind behold at once all the beauties of creation! No one can conceive the wonder and joy which must pervade every heart on such an occasion, any more than the grateful acknowledgments which they would make to their kind deliverer, or the pleasure which he must feel ori beholding the happy effects of his power.

Well might the surrounding multitude glorify God for producing so wonderful a change, and permitting them to behold it; and justly may we join our thanksgiving to theirs, when we learn such things, in a less perfect manner, from history.

Matthew xvi. 1----19.

1. The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees, came, and

and tempting, rather, trying," him, desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

We know that these two sects, the Pharisees and Sadducees, were totally opposite in their religious principles, and cordially hated each other: yet we find them united together in an attempt to ensnare him whom they esteemed their common enemy. What they asked from him was a sign from heaven; something perhaps like what Moses exhibited, when he brought hail and lightning upon the Egyptians; or Elijah, when he called down fire from heaven, first, to destroy a party of men who came to seize him, and afterwards, to collsume a sacrifice. Some miracle of this kind these Jews required Christ to exhibit; they had seen him perform many other wonders, such as healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and multiplying a few loaves into provision for many thousands; but with these they were not satisfied, because they pretended that there

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