Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR,:. JESUS CHRIST. by, the Affyrian or Perfian kings ; and doubtlefs there was more heart-felt joy, and folid fatisfaclion at this feafl, than ever was found at the noble banquet of the gorgeous Ahafuherus, or the fplen- did entertainment of the imperious Bel- fhazzar. Have we not teafon to wonder at the obflinacy and perverfenefs of the heads of the Jewifh nation, that fuch a manifeft difplay of divine power would not con- vince them. The account of this miracle, as recorded by the feveral evangelifis, is very plain and circumflantial ; and, it may be obferved, that the particular circum- fiances of time and place, tended to make it more wonderful, more confpicuous, and lefs liable to objeaions and cavils." The place was a defert, where no bread could be procured, and therefore, it is manifefi, beyond contradiflión, that it . mutt be produced by a miracle. Had this repaft been given to the furrounding multitude at one of the towns or villages, it might have been objefied, that bread had been fecretly fupplied : but -neither the. Phari- fees of thofe days, nor the infidels of ours, can tell us, how it was poffible for any de- ception bf that kind to be praaifed in the defert.. And it may be further obferved, that this mighty work was performed in the evening, when the people had been fatting all day, and, with the fatigueof travelling, were, doubtlefs, weary and very hungry. Had this repaft been given in the morn- ing, the miracle might have been depre- ciated, by fuppofing, that the people did not Rand in need of refreshment, and this treat might have been reprefented as un- neceffary : but the particular circumftances attending this wonderful work, cut off every fhadow of an objeaion, and abun- dantly proved, that God canfurniflz a table in the wildernefs. The confederation of the wonderful power of the Son of God, thus mani- felted in procuring bread in the wilder- 99 nefs for fo many thoufands of people, ought to relieve the cares, and quiet the minds of his people concerning their daily bread. With what joy and fatisfac- tion of foul ought we to confider, that we are under the immediate care of our hea- venly Father, whofe paternal goodnefs provides fubfifience for all his creatures ; and, who openeth his hand, and fiatisfieth the defire of every living thing. It is the beloved Son of the Eternal Father, that fhowers down fuch a wide profufion of bleffings on a thanklefs world; and, according to the beautiful language of the Pfalmifi, 'vfteth the earth and blefeth it, who maketh it very plenteous, who watereth her furrows, andfentleth rain into the little pallier thereof; who maketh it felt with fhowers, and blee feth the increafe there- o who crowneth the year with his goodnf, while his clouds drop fatnefs, making the vallies hand fó thick with corn, that they laugh andling. With what thankfulnefs and praife ought we to behold the confiant effeas of that heavenly goodnefs, which fupplies the whole creation with food : and how entirely,ought we to rely on the paternal care of the great Parent of na- ture, who manifefts his goodnefs, and dif- plays his bounty to an undeferving world, by giving them rain and fruitful feafons, and filling their hearts with food and gladnefs. iv "or fhould we be unmindful of the ma- nifeft exertion of divine power, in the confiant fupplies which are provided for a world of creatures, and in the abundant provifion which is made for the daily fup- port of all mankind. Is it any lefs a mi- racle that the fupreme Lord of univerfal nature, fhould, every day, fupport and feed the whole race of mankind, and all the brute creation, than that he fhould feed ten thoufand perfons in the 'wilder- nefs, with five loaves and two fmall fifties ? What proportion does ten thoufand per- fons bear to all the myriads of men on the faceof the earth, who are daily fed by it's