Wright - BT300 W8 1788

62 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED well knew that at the appointed time they would perform, whatever had been deter mined concerning him in the counfels of heaven. In the mean time, he was to work the works of him that fent him, and pro- claim his gofpel amongft mankind. This Ae knew could not be fo conveniently performed if the fame of his miracles had routed the rage ofhis enemies, and excited their malice and envy to exert their ut- moft power againft him. He likewife was fenfiblè of the unruly humour of the multitude ; they were convinced that he was the Meffiah ; they had no further views than a temporal reign ; and he might be apprehenfive that theywould come by force and make him king, if the fame of his miracles were blazed abroad before he had informed them of the fpiritual nature of his kingdom. If fuch were his views, there was the greatefl neceffity to keep his miracles concealed as much as poffible. The fame of his cleanfing the laic leper had brought fuch numbers of people to Capernaum, that he was forced to retire into a folitary retreat in the neighbouring defart : nor could he even in this retire- ment long enjoy the repofe he fought ; for the people foon found out the place of his retreat, and flocked to him in great numbers from every part of the country. Our Lord finding his endeavours to con- ceal himfelf in the wildernefs would be in vain,, he ordered his difciples to accompany him to the other fide of the lake. A certain Scribe,' who happened to be amongft the company, declared that he would follow him whitherfoever he went; Jesus, who well knew that his only defire was to gain the profits and honour of that temporal kingdom which he fuppofed the Metfiah would eflablith, toldhim, that if he wanted nothing more than to advance and improve his worldly fortune, he would be greatly deceived ; for the bleffed JESUS informed this teacher of Ifrael, That the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nfs, but the Sonof man hathnot where to layhis head. The Son of man is a name by which the Meffiah is called in the prophecy ofDaniel, where his wide and extenfive dominion is defcribed; and therefore when this title is applied to our Lord, it hath reference to his human nature, and at the fame time conveys an idea of that glorious kingdom to which his manhood will be exalted. But as it was alfo a name by which the old prophets were called by way of contempt, it is ufed in feveral places to exprefs the deep humiliationof the Son of God. The difciples having provided a fhip, took their Mailer on board, and croffed the lake, being followed by feveral boats full ofpeople, who were defirous ofhearing his heavenly difcourfe, and feeing the won- derful workswhich he conflantlyperformed. Our Lord, being fatigued with the labour of the day, fell afleep in the fhip while the fmoothly glided along the level feas. , But foon theweather, which till now had been calm and ferene, changed, black clouds covered the fides, and the big form burfl from the dark concave of heaven, the winds roared aloud, and the white foam appeared on the face of the waves; the fhip could fcarce bear the dafhing tides, which beat inceffantly againft her; the darknefs of the night increafed the horrors of the tempefl ; the waves began to break over the fhip, and the was in the utmofl danger of finking. All hopes of being faved were loft, and in the agoniesofdefpair the difciples ran toJEsus, crying, Matter, Mailer, we persfh! This piteous exclama- tion awaited him from his fleep, and railing that hand, fo often employed in ails of benevolence and mercy, he, with an awful all-commanding voice, rebuked the boifler- ous ocean. The elements knew his voice; the roaring winds forfook the feas ; and the foaming waves fubfided. All was quiet, all was í1i11, and the fhip fmoothly cút the fmiling deep, foon arriving at her defined port. The