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4. For John said unto him, It | for the oath's sake, and them that sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. 10. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. 11. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. 12. And his disciples came and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 13. When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

is not lawful for thee to have her. 5. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6. But when Herod's birth-day was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 9. And the king was sorry; nevertheless,

Here we learn the blessedness of thy faithful servants in life and death. The baptist was of a more excellent spirit than to be overawed by kings from doing his duty: he boldly told Herod, it was not lawful to have his brother's wife. What though he incurred the hatred of that incestuous woman, all she was permitted to do was to get him beheaded in prison; by which his sufferings were shortened, and his heaven increased and hastened by a glorious crown of martyrdom. Here also we see a shocking picture of the wicked, who are under the tyranny of their lusts, and who entangle themselves in rash promises and oaths. Herod sinned in making this oath, and sinned in keeping it. Herodias, to gratify her revenge and lust, murdered a saint of God, and made her own child a partner in these crimes. Lord, how happy are thy people, and how miserable are the wicked, though in the highest stations! Thy disciples came and told thee. Give us, after their example, to tell thee all things. When we meet with what shocks or perplexes us, or excites grief or fear, may we go and tell thee. Blessed Hearer of prayer, thou hast not only allowed, but commanded us, in every thing to make our supplications to thee; to pour out all our hearts before thee. Such complaints, sincerely made to thee, are never in vain.


Jesus feeds five Thousand People.

14. And Jesus went forth, | toward them, and healed their and saw a great multitude, and sick.

was moved with compassion

How comfortable is it, and how lovely a sight, to behold thy compassions flowing out at the appearance of a multitude of poor, sinful, diseased creatures! Thy bowels were moved for them; this pity of thine is our refuge in all our distresses. Thou healedst their sick. Lord, heal our souls, which thou seest are objects of thy compassion; the more unworthy, the more needful.

15. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. 16. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. 17. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18. He said, Bring them hither to


19. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass; and took the five loaves and the two fishes, and,

looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake; and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20. And they did all eat, and were filled

and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. 22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

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Thy compassion extended further than healing them; thou exercisedst thy divine power to provide food for them, in that desart place. They need not depart. O good and merciful Saviour, feed our souls with the bread of life. Though these people had died for want of food, it was but the death of the body; but our souls must perish, unless they be fed with the spiritual bread of thy flesh and blood. Lord, give it to us, who are ready to perish with hunger.


Christ walks on the Sea, and calls Peter to him.

not afraid. 28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29. And he said, Come. And when

Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and begin

23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray and when the evening was come, he was there alone. I 24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves for the wind was contrary. 25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.ning to sink, he cried, saying, 26. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be

Lord, save me!

31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

When thou hadst sent the people away, thou retiredst a while from human converse to speak with thy Father. It was on a mountain, and the night came on, whilst thou wast exposed to the inclemency of the air, on a lonely mountain. Thou enjoyedst such rest and refreshment in thy soul, that thou didst not need a house, or a bedchamber: the cold ground was thy floor, and the heavens thy roof. Lord, we adore thy humiliation. Keep us from luxury and effeminacy; may we thankfully accept mean fare and lodging when we remember thee. About three in the morning thou appearedst to thy distressed disciples, walking on the sea: they were alarmed and frightened; but thou mildly spakest to them, bidding them, "Be of good courage; it is I; be not afraid." Lord, we would remember these words when we come to die. Though our pain may be great, and our thoughts confused by the weakness of our bodies; yet thou our Master callest to us, and sayest to us, "Be of good cheer; it is I." We may therefore, with Peter, venture out of the ship, and walk on the water to go to thee. It is probable, that when we look

into the ocean of eternity, we shall be afraid; but when we begin to sink, we will cry to thee, "Lord, save us.' And, we trust, thou wilt stretch out thy merciful hand, and take hold of us. Thou blamedst Peter for want of faith Lord, give us faith, and more faith, that we may glorify thee in life and death.

32. And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 34. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 35. And when

the men of that place had know-
ledge of him, they sent out into
all that country round about,
and brought unto him all that
were diseased; 36. And be-
sought him that they might only
touch the hem of his garment:
and as many as touched were
made perfectly whole.

As soon as thou camest into the ship, the wind ceased! What or whom need we fear, if we are embarked with thee? Lord, we worship thee. Of a truth thou art the Son of God. And, with the people of Gennesaret, we beseech thee that we and ours may only touch the hem of thy garment. Speak but the word, and our souls shall be healed.


Of God's Commandments, and the Folly of human Traditions. Sin only defileth a



ther or his mother, It is a gift,
by whatsoever thou mightest be
profited by me; 6. And ho-
nour not his father or his mo-
ther, he shall be free. Thus
have ye made the command-
ment of God of none effect by
your tradition. 7. Ye hypo-
crites! well did Esaias pro-

'HEN came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2. Why do thy disciples trangress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the command-phesy of you, saying, 8. This ment of God by your tradition? people draweth nigh unto me 4. For God commanded, say- with their mouth, and honouring, Honour thy father and eth me with their lips; but mother and, He that curseth their heart is far from me. 9. father or mother, let him die | But in vain they do worship the death. 5. But ye say, me, teaching for doctrines Whosoever shall say to his fa- the commandments of men.

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unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17. D., not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a

10. And he called the mul-
titude, and said unto them, |
Hear, and understand: 11. Not
that which goeth into the
mouth defileth a man; but that
which cometh out of the
mouth, this defileth a man.
12. Then came his disciples,
and said unto him, Knowest
thou that the Pharisees were
offended, after they heard this
saying. 13. But he answered |
and said, Every plant which
my heavenly Father hath not
planted, shall be rooted up. 14.
Let them alone: they be blind
leaders of the blind. And if
the blind lead the blind, both
shall fall into the ditch. 15. man.
Then answered Peter and said

Lord, be pleased to shew us the truths and rules of conduct contained in this passage. Are we not here taught, that it is a wicked thing to make any of the commmandments of God of none effect by human traditions; that they who teach the commandments of men, instead of those of God, worship him in vain; that every plant, which thy heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up; that a man is not properly defiled by what entereth into his mouth, but by what proceedeth out of his heart; that the human heart is full of filthiness, till it be made clean by thy holy Spirit; that our first care should be about our hearts, to have thein purified by thy grace from every thing that defiles; that not only adulteries, fornications, lasciviousness, and all thoughts and inclinations towards them, are of this sort, but also all revengeful or malicious thoughts, all thoughts of injustice, deceit, pride, foolishness, envy? Lord, give us to remember these useful lessons, and to profit by them; and mercifully deliver from every thing that defiles in thy sight, Oh create clean hearts in us.

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