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recognise the Supreme Being more as the God of Providence, acknowledging in the air we breathe, the Sun which gives us light, in our daily food, our social blessings, the goodness and wisdom of the Author of Nature, who established, in the beginning, the unchanging order of the uni
Oh King of earth, and air and sea
To thee the lions roaring call,
Thy bounteous hand with food can bless
And Oh, when through the wilds we roam,
Do thou thy gracious comfort give,
JESUS WALKS ON THE SEA.
MATT. XIV. 22.
AND straightway he constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 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. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night, he went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him, and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me ! And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, Oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.—And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And
when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about; and brought unto him all that were diseased, and besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
The apostle was earnest in his request for permission to meet his Lord on the waves; but when the boon was granted, his confidence failed hm. The incident shows the character of the man; ardent, full of confidence, but too susceptible to the impressions of the moment, and therefore liable to fail at the time of trial. It exhibits the character which at one moment prompted him to be foremost in professions of unvarying fidelity, and a short time afterwards left him to deny his master in the hall of the high priest. It is not the part of wisdom to rush into trials beyond our strength to bear. We must not, in vain self confidence, place ourselves in the midst of temptation; and then forsaken by our faith, sink in the sea around. It is related of William of Orange, the deliverer of Holland, that he would tremble and turn pale at the distant anticipation of danger, but become cool and fearless as it approached. Thus should the christian view the dangers of his moral condition. Let him avoid temptation, even with fear and trembling, while it can properly be avoided; but when it comes, let him meet it with every power in readiness for exertion. Let him then listen no more to fear or desire, but hear alone the voice that calls on him to tread the waves; not casting his terrified glance on the dangers around, but having the eye of faith fixed steadily on his Saviour.
Lord, in whose might the Saviour trod
When darkly round our footsteps rise
Strong in our trust, on thee reposed,
JESUS AND THE WOMAN OF CANAAN.
MATT. XV. 21.
THEN Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coast, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away, for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me! But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's
bread, and cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, Oh woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee, even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, haying with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others; and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and he healed them; insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because it is now three days that they continue with me, and they have nothing to eat; and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little
fishes. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled; and they took up of the broken meat that was left, seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.