Fourth Sunday After The Epiphany GOSPEL Mt.8.23 The Wednesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634

GOSPEL (Matt. 8:23-27) 
At that time, Jesus entered into the boat, and his disciples followed him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: "Lord, save us, we perish." And Jesus saith to them: "Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?" Then rising up, he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: "What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him?"


The disciples of Christ followed him to Sea, and that of their own accord, not commanded of Christ for the Text saieth not, that Christ went into the ship, and commanded his disciples to go with him, or that he took them with him; but that he went into the ship, and they followed him: but the people tarried behind on the land: not being able for their infirmities, and diseases to follow him. So in the last Sunday’s gospel, when Christ ascended up the top of a steep mountain, his disciples only followed him, the people being sick, and lame, and feeble tarried below at the foot of the hill, (till Christ came down again,) not able to go up. The disciples going to Sea with Christ, saw the miracle of calming the Tempest, and were no doubt much confirmed in their faith thereby, & had wherewithal to confirm others: they learn likewise to be confident of Christ his help in their afflictions, and distresses at other times; upon the top of the mountain they heard Christ preach, to their great comfort, and edification; the common people, that went not to Sea, nor to the top of the mountain with Christ, had none of this.

If we will be disciples of Christ, and not common, vulgar, infirm, and diseased people: we must not content ourselves to follow Christ in plain easy, and safe ways, as they did: but go to the troublesome, and dangerous sea, and top of mountains, as the disciples did, that is to say, we must not content ourselves like weaklings, and lovers of ourselves, to follow Christ in prosperity, liberty, plenty, ease, and the like, otherwise to leave him, and tarry behind: but in adversity, afflictions, persecutions, imprisonment, disgrace, and the like, and therein to follow him willingly, and of our own accord, as the disciples followed Christ to Sea.

He that will be my disciple, saieth Christ, must deny himself, that is to say, renounce his own will, and pleasure in many things that are lawful, and take up (as Saint Mathew saieth) and that daily (as Saint Luke saieth) his cross, and follow me, that is to say if he have no cross of adversity


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