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Christ, who at all times appeared anxious to gain the populace, on purpose to aid him afterwards in subduing the great. This project might have succeeded, if Judea, as in times past, had been still governed by kings of its own nation, who, as the Bible establishes, depended continually on the caprice of priests, of prophets, or of the first ,,comer, who, by predictions, declamațions, and wonders, could, at will, stir up the Hebrew nation, and dispose of the crown : whereas in the time of Jesus, the Roman government had nothing to fear from the efforts of super, stition.

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THE expression of St. John*, who tells us, that Jesus, knowing the guests he had entertained would come and take him by force on purpose to make him their king, demonstrates that these guests had withdrawn at the end of the entertainment. This observation ena. bles us to fix pretty correctly the route of Jesus, and affords a reason for his conduct.

It was already late when the disciples said to their master, that it was time to send away the people. The preparations for the repast must have consumed time : the distribution of the victuals required also some hours; so that daylight could not have been far off when the meal was finished, and when Jesus dismissed his guests, It was about the evening he learned the des sign they had of carrying him off to make him king ; and it was not until after having received this intelli. gence, that he took the resolution of concealing himself in a mountain, after having dispatched his disciples to Capernaum. The latter to reach the place were obliged to make several tacks ; when Jesus, observing this, changed his resolution, and set out for Gennesaret, on

* Chap. vi, ver. 15


the north side of the lake. Seeing him approach at the moment they thought him far off in the recesses of the mountain, his disciples were terrified; they took him for a spirit, for spirits were very common in Judea. They were confirmed in their opinion when

they perceived his shadow near their vessel. Simon - Peter observing him advance, did not doubt but he had seen him walking on the waters. In attemping to go and meet his master, he felt himself sinking ; but Jesus took him by the hand, and saved him from the danger in which he believed himself to be ; and, after reprimanding him for his cowardice, went with him on board the ship. The apostles, who had not been much struck with the miracle of the five loaves, were very much astonished at this. They had been in great fear, and fear disposes to believe; in their distress they confess. ed unanimously, that he was truly the Son of God.

Jesus reached Gennesaret at noon. There several of his guests recognized him, and did not neglect to announce his arrival to others. They presented him the diseased, and he performed a great number of cures. We cannot too much admire the faith of the Galileans, who exposed at all seasons their sick in the streets, and the complaisance of Jesus, who indefatigably cured them!

The guests at the miraculous supper two days before, whom their affairs called home, had returned but the greatest number, that is, all the labouring people, having seen Jesus' ship take the direction of Ca. pernaum, had set out by land for that city. Some ves. sels from Tiberias arrived there at the same time, but none carried Jesus, and nobody had seen him ; for he had made his passage during night. The crowd howa

ever tarried still, in hopes of being again entertained gratis, when they learned at Capernaum that Christ was on the opposite shore. Immediately all our idle folks set out, either by land or by water, on purpose to visit bim

But these parasites, instead of finding a repast served out on the griss, were entertained with a sermon. Jesus, who had not always wherewith to defray, the expences of so numerous a court, held forth to them this language :-“ Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.-Labour,” added he, “ for life everlasting." His hearers, whose ideas extended not beyond the present life, did not comprehend what Jesus meant; they therefore asked him what it was requisite they should do ; on which he gave them to understand, that it was necessary they should become his disciples, as he was the Messiah. Here we are quite surprised to find them ask. ing of Jesus, “ What sign shewest thou then that we may believe? What extraordinary thing do you perforın for that purpose ? -You will perhaps instance the supper you gave us, but did not our fathers eat manna in the desart for forty years ? and after all, what is your supper in comparison with that wonder ?”

From this we may perceive, that Jesus strove in vain to draw over these Galileans to his party. The continuation of the miraculous repast was alone capable of moving them. Jesus to no purpose maintained, that the bread, with which Moses had fed their fathers, was not the bread of heaven, which alone could pro

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* St. John, vi. 22-~31.


perly nourish : An empty belly has no ears ; so they suffered him to preach on. After he had spoke a great deal.” “Well,” said they in their turn, “ give us then this bread, which alone nourishes, for it signifies little to us what kind of bread we eat; but some we must have. Promise to furnish us with it at all times, and at this price we shall be at your devotion."

It appears, that if Jesus at this moment had posssessed the same resources as formerly, he would have been able, at little expence, to form a small army, which the pleasure and assurance of having food without toil would have soon increased; but all failed. These people offered themselves to him, providing he would always furnish them with bread. The proposition was urgent, and Jesus got off with so bad a grace, that his disciples themselves were shocked at it. He said to them, that he himself was bread, that his flesh was meat, and his blood wine ; and that to get to heaven, it was necessary to eat this bread and meat and drink this wine sent down from heaven : that those only who eat it would he raise up, and conduct to everlasting banquets*: Our dull folks comprehends

* The doctrine of the Eucharist is founded upon this and similar passages of the New Testament. Those, says Boulanger, who wander farthest from reason, and have entered most deeply into the spirit of the Christian religion, not contented with the dark mysteries common to other sects, have invented one still darker and more astonishing, which they denominate transubstantiation, At the all-powerful command of a priest, the God of the Uniyerse is forced to descend from the habitation of his glory, and transform himself into a piece of bread. This bread is afterwards worshipped by a people who boast their detestation of idolatry ! Absurd as this doctrine is, it is not peculiar to Christians;

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