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ties, which are apt likewise to make deep Impressions upon them. So when great Multitudes that followed our Saviour in the Wilderness, were in great want, and almost famish'd with Hunger, he multiply'd five Loaves and two little Fishes to the feeding of five thoufand Men, beside Women and Children-, and when they were all filled, there was more left than was at first set before them. 'Which Miracle so astoniih'd them, that they all cry'd out, Of a truth this is that Prophet, that was to come into the World. This is the first Remark on this Miracle. The ,
(zd) Is, from St. Peter's and the other Disciples complaining of their bad Success, we may observe the Proneness of Mankind to murmur and distrust God upon very flight Occasions: we find here that when Jesus bid Simon to launch out into the Deep., and to cast out their Net into the Sea, he reply'd that he had done that already, but in vain, and had been fishing all the Night to no purpose, and if they could not succeed then in the Night, the most proper time for that Employment, there can be but little Hope of speeding better now, it being probably high Noon: as if Christ would put them upon Labour in vain^ and could not give Success to the Work which he sets them about. Many are apt to distrust and complain without a Cause, the Israelites were still murmuring and complaining, though they were daily fed with Manna and Quails in the Wilderness: and too many still, upon every little Appearance of bad Weather, are apt to despond and murmur, as if they were to be starv'd and undone ; which is a great Distrust of. God Almighty's Providence, and highly provoking to him.
(3.) We may observe hence, that tho good Men may be liable to these Despondencies, yet by a little Consideration they soon deliver themselves from them. We find here that St. Peter was almost discourag'd by the bad Success of one whole Night's Labour, yet nevertheless at Christ's word, he let down the Net'- , and his Obedience was well rewarded, for the Net immediately enclos'd so/great a Multitude of Fishes, that it began to breaks insomuch that they were forc'd to call to their Partner*, that were in a Ship hard by, to come in to their Assistance-, and both the Ships were so deeply laden, that they could hardly keep them from sinking: An Example great enough to keep us from sinking under any Disappointments in the Vol. IV. Part 2. N way way of our ordirtary Callings, and to' encourage us to go on in them according to God's Word ., and by waiting God's time, we shall find a Blessing ample enough to reward all our Industry. ,
But to go on to the iEffitctiof this Miracle: How did Peter behave himself upon the sight of this miraculous Draught of Fishes? Why, the next words tell us, that '.when Simon Peter saw~it, be sell down at Jesus Feet, faying, Depart from Me, for I am .'asinful Man, O Lord I He was so'tarpriz,d-at rthei Sight, that, reflecting on his former Distrust and Backwardness, he thought himself unworthy of his Presence ., and so, with a profound Humility and Dread, desir'd him to depart' from him: for he was astonished (fay the following words) and all that were with him, at the -Draught of the Fifljes that they had taken: meaning, that what he laid before of his departing from him, proceeded hot from a Desire of being rid of his Company, but from a Sense of his own Sinfulness, that made'him unworthy '©f1 It, and a certain Dread and Amazement, which the Sight of the Miracle and his Presence had wrought in him. The Glory of his Person, and the Greatness of his Power had so dazled and confounded him, that he was not able to bear it, and therefore threw himself down at his Feet, and 'pray'd him to go from him.
In the fame degree of Astonishment were also James and ohn, the Sons of Zebedee, who were Partners with Simon eing all struck with the fame Admiration and Amazement at the Lustre of his Person and Actions.
But to remove St. Peter's Fears, and to deliver him from his Astonishment, Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch Men: Be not frighted or dismaid, .for I'have higher and'better Work for thee, more happy and honourable Employment to set thee' about;1 for ' tnou shalt no longer busy thy self in catching silly' Fish, but thou shalt catch Men, and bring great Shoals of Converts and Proselytesirtto thy Net: and these too shall be caught, not as the'Fish are, to their Destruction, but they shall be taken and kept alive, and nourish'd to eternal Salvation. From henceforth he dealt no more with those mute and silly Animals,' but convers'd with Men, bringing them in to the Obedience of the Gospel, and catching their Souls' to eternal Life. Arid this miraculous Draught of Fishes, which he faw done before him, was but anr Emblem or Prefage of a richer and more plentiful Prey, that he should have in
ta-. :aking of Men.^ which accordingly came to pass soon after: for at one Sermon he caught no less than three thousand Sauls, who all gladly received his Word, and were baptised', as we read y^Ær 2.41. Neither were these words spoken, to Peter only, but to the other Disciples, to whom our Saviour, likewise promis'd to make them Fishers of Men i Mat. 4. 18. And these also drew in many Converts, and daily added to the Church such as should be saved. And being thus encourag'd by our Saviour's Call and Command, when they had brought their Ships to Land, they forsook all, and followed him. The common Form of Speech, us'd in our Saviour's calling his Disciples, was Follow me, as may be seen in sundry Places of the Gospel , and their Compliance with it is usually express'd by their leaving all, and following him. So it was here, Christ had no sooner spoke the Word, but :they readily obey'd, by forfaking all, and following him i .for as soon as they came to Land, they dispos'd of their Concerns and Goods into the hands of Friends (as all pro~ dent Men are wont to do) and immediately.forsook a/I: that is, they left their Trade, with all the Business of it, and all farther Expectations of Benefit by it, and cast themselves upon Christ's Care and Dispofal of them, t And well enough they might: for he who with a word's speaking could draw up such vast Quantities of Fish at one Draught, could provide better for them than they could for themselves ., and he that could feed five thoufand Persons with a few Loaves, and two little Fishes, was able to take care of them, and would not suffer them to want. But however that were, they cast off all worldly Cares, and devoted themselves to his Service by following him.
But what is here meant by their following of Christ? Why, three Things are manifestly intended by it.
1st, The following of his Person, by attending upon him.
zdly, The following of his Doctrine, by learning of him. And,
idly, The folsowing of his Example, by imitating of him. For the
jft, The MDisciples were the constant Followers and Attendants upon his Person; for they went up and down with him wherever he went, they were the Eye-witnesses of his Miracles, and the Ear-witnesses of his Discourses '. and tho he sometimes withdrew from them into Places of Solitude and Retirement upon some extraordinary Occa. ftons, yet> for the most part, they were daily Companions -v' N'2 with fetch in all '| he filled: sh| that none but all are all may com« willing that saved, and cn But becaul need a spurj viour here ac in. What this Com pall Cafes, may" which end w. the one by Pe\ may be useful For the fid Methods of and do man) oftimes overs vincible Infli Faith. Word and gain that or CompuKior not resist the V ters Hearers at the heart, ai fense, tocompi ments to draw _ suasion to cons
But where and Obstinate by Laws and by the Rod, ai and quicken'd be compel'd and to keep ti aje undone by and Vice by Ct hath been ever a fafe, proper, Offenders by r (faith our Sav| loves to fee a