Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORO and. SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST: 97 put to death ; and the news of this mourn- ful event having reached the difciples of .CHRIST, whilft they were preaching in Galilee, thofe of them who had formerly been the difciples of John, went and payed their,laft refpeEi.s to the remains oftheir matter, whom having decently interred, they carried the tidings to Jesus. When our great Redeemer had heard of the death of his relation and fore -runner, he found himfelf difpofed for retirement, and fought the filent fhades of the defert of Bethfaida he departed as private as poffible, that he might not be incommoded by the multi- tude, and for the greater fecrecy he went by fea. But every precaution was infuffi- cient to fcreen him from the penetrating eyes of the multitude who followed him, and his departure was not long concealed; for great numbers repaired to the defert, and found out the place of his retreat. The miracles which he performed, the benefit which the helplefs and miferable always found from his goodnefs, and the krain of divine eloquence which flowed from his lips, had fuch an effect on the honeft, open- hearted part of the nation, that the mul- titudes who had feen the wonders he performed, and heard his heavenly voice, thought no difficulties too great to fur- mount, no hardfhips too great to endure, nor no place too retired for them to pene- trate, inorder to attend on his miniflry. The kind and compaffionate Saviour of finners, feeing the multitude had found out his place of retreat, and beholding them crowding about him, he viewed them with tendernefs and love, becaufe they were as fheep having no Sepherd ; for, having none to inkruft them in thofe things which concerned their ever- taking peace, they wandered about with- out a guide, without a defender. Their fituation, indeed, was like that of a large flock of fheep wandering upon the moun- tains, without a fbepherd to feed and de- fend them from the ravenous jaws of the various beaks of prey which waited to No. 9. devour them. The bleffed Jesus, theré- fore, that good Shepherd, who castle to lay dowse his lifefor the'heep, beheld them with compaffion : that fame pity which brought him down from the throne of glory in heaven, for the fake of his loft and wandering fheep, now brought him to this multitude of people : his heavenly goodnefs healed all the rick amongk them, and from his lips they heard the words of eternal life. The divine Inftrufor continued his heavenly difcourfes, and attended to the great work of healing the difeafed, not difmifling the people, though the day wore away, and the ¡hades of the evening were approaching. His difciples, thinking this circumiance had efcaped his notice, thought proper to remind him, that the day was far advanced, and the place a folitary defert, where neither food nor lodging could be procured ; it would, therefore, be convenient to difmifs the people, that they might repair to the towns or villages on the borders of the wildernefs, and provide themfelves food and other accommodations, for they had nothing to eat. But our Lord informed them, that he did not intend to difmifs the furrounding multitudes fo haffily, for, as they were weary and faint in the wil deniers, it was his intention to give them a repaft ; at the fame time, to try what opinion his difciples entertained of his power, he turned to Philip, who was well acquainted with the country, and inquired, Whence 'hall we buy bread, that theft may eat? Philip, aftonifhed at the propofal, confidering the vaftnefs of the multitude, and the enormous quantity of provifions which would be neceffary to fupply them, he apprehended it impoflible to procure them in the defert ; and not confidering his Maker's power to fupply them by ex- traordinary means, he replied, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not fujiicient for them, that every one of them may take a little. Our bleffed Lord might jufily A a on