Wright - BT300 W8 1788

90 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED CH A P T E R XVI. Jesus delivers fevered Parables from a Ship, to the Multitudes that were planding on Shore : He receives a fecond Vft from his Relations: At Evening he retires to Capernaunz, and delivers more Parables to his Difetibles : Afterwards, he returns to Nazareth, his own City, and fends his A,¡afles to preach about that Country He then repairs to the Defert of Betlfaida, and provides a miraculous Repas? for the whole Multitude. THE public debate in which Jesus Was engaged with the Pharifees, and the miracle which was the occa- lion of it, brought together fuch a waft concourfe of people, that, for the greater facility of infiruEting them, our great 'Re- deemer repaired to the fea-fide. The crowd preffed fo clofe about him, that he was incommoded in his office of fpeak- ing, and, for the greater conveniency, he entered a (hip, and put of to fome fmall diftance from the (bore, while the atten- tive multitudes remained on dry land : being thus conveniently accommodated for public fpeaking, our divine Inhruc- tor proceeded to lay down feveral pre- cepts of the utmoh importance, which he thought proper to introduce in the para- bolical flyle. This was a mode of in- firuEtion very common in the Oriental nations, and it was the general method of the old prophets, John the Baptih, and our blefled Saviour, to inculcate di- vine and moral truths, in the beautiful method of allufion and fable ; and fome- times fo to contrive the difcourfe, that it had an immediate reference to thofe objets, which at that very time prefented themfelves to the view of the audience. This method of inffruction was, on fe- veral accounts, particularly adapted to the defigns of divine conduEt, and the circumllances of the Jewifh nation, at the time of the Meífiah's appearance. Similitudes of this kind, are the molt eafy and fimple methods of teaching q they are beh accommodated to the ap- prehenfions of the ignorant and unlearned, and are very eafy to be underflood, re- membered, and applied ; at the fame time, they are the fineft veil for myffe- ries, and the belt medium for conceal- ing from the proud and obllinate, thofe truths which their perverfenefs and infi- delity render them unworthy of having more clearly revealed, Thefe obfcrvations feem to be alluded to by our great Redeemer himfélf, when his difciples afked, 'why he taught the people in parables? Becaefe, Paid he, it is given unto you to know the myfleries of the kingdom of heaven; but to then it is not given : for wlzofoever hats, to hire fhall be given, and he (hall have snore abundance; but whefoever hails not from him fhail be taken away, even Mitt hé Lath. Therfore, fpeak' I unto them in parables; becau/e, in Peeing theyfee not ; and in hearing they hear- not, neither do theyunderJland, Matt. xüi. M. S..c." Thebe- loved difciples, whom our Redeemer, by his divine power,"had made of an humble, teachable difpofition, whole minds,. by heavenly influence, were become docile, apt to learn, and open to inliruE;ion, were thus addreffed by the divine Inhructor; and he gives them to underfland, that it would