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“ savour the things of men :” and so do ye. This worldly, carnal spirit, is a barrier between you and truth. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which cometh from God only? How can ye believe? how can ye attend to the proofs of my divinity, whilst there is in you a prevailing bias on the other side, whilst your minds are so swayed by earthly motives that the judgment is not free?

It is as true now as it was then, that before the mind can be brought to any practical faith in Christ, it must escape from the trammels of this world. Men must cease to care for receiving honour one of another. They must not be kept back and restrained by considering what others think or others practise, but must enjoy a liberty within themselves of forming a right judgment, and acting on what the judgment approves. Demetrius of Ephesus, for example, was not likely to attain a true estimate of the authority of the apostles, (Acts xix. 24,) when he began by saying that if Paul was listened to, “ the craft by which he and the workmen of like occupation had their wealth was in danger of being set at nought.” His mind was pre-engaged to his wealth, and could exercise no freedom of opinion. So with the Jewish people. The elders had decreed, that whosoever adhered to Jesus, “ should be put out of the synagogue.” Before, therefore, a man could reasonably or justly decide whether he were the Messiah or no, he must be independent of the opinion of the elders ; ready, if needful, to forfeit it. If he sought the honour which cometh from man, he would be incapable of judging concerning Christ's title to honour, which was proscribed and rejected of man.

What was needful then, that a man might confess Jesus to be the Christ, is equally needful now, that men may live as true and consistent Christians. They must view the precepts of the gospel, unbiassed by the opinions and practices of those around them. It a just saying, “ If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” If any man is not able to defy the reproaches which may be cast on him, or the interests which he may endanger, or the inclinations which he must combat, for the sake of living as a faithful disciple of Christ Jesus, he may in words acknowledge him, but he will “ in works deny him.” And this, alas! is very possible—such is the deceitfulness of the heart—while he may think himself secure. He may be as little aware of his own inconsistency, as the unbelieving Jews : and as much without excuse. They professed to follow Moses, and the words of Moses would condemn them. He professes to believe in Jesus, and the words of Jesus will convict him.

Our Lord proceeds to show this of the Jews.

45. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

47. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Thus the very foundation on which they were resting, and thought they stood secure, would fail and sink from under them. They “ made their boast of God, and rested in the law,” the law given by Moses. That very boast and confidence would supply the ground of their condemnation. For Moses wrote of Christ : taught the people to expect him : that Moses who said unto the children of Israel, (Acts vii. 37,) “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.” Besides which, the whole law which Moses appointed was but as a preparation, designed to lead men towards Him that should come. This the Jews perceived not, because their minds were blinded.” And “ even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.”3

We wonder at this perverseness. Let us look at it as a fearful warning. " Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” “ But there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” * i Rom. ii. 17.

! See Gal. iii. 19_24. s See 2 Cor. iii. 14, 15. + Prov. xiv. 12

M

LECTURE XXX.

THE DISCIPLES ARE COMMANDED TO GATHER UP THE REMAINING FRAGMENTS, AFTER FIVE THOUSAND PERSONS HAD BEEN MIRACULOUSLY SUPPLIED WITH FOOD.

John vi. 1–13.

1. After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee; which is the sea of Tiberias.

2. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

3. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

4. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

5. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

6. And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

7. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

8. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,

9. There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes : but what are they among so many ?

10. And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now

there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

11. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

12. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

13. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

This was one of the occasions when our Lord saw fit to exercise his power, in order to supply the wants of those who followed him, and heard his words. He refused to do this in his own behalf in the wilderness : but these sheep must not be allowed to go empty away.

He seems here to give an intimation that nothing is lost by earnestness in religion; that they who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, shall find other things added to them, according to their need. Without changing the order of nature, it proves so in the order of Providence. “ Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

The concluding remark is pointed and peculiar. Gather up the fragments which remain, that nothing be lost. So forcibly is this commanded as to require particular attention. Notwithstanding the plentifulness of the provision, and the ease with which it had been supplied ; yet the fragments are to be gathered up, that nothing be lost or wasted.

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