Fourth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc.5.v.1 Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Luke 5. 1-11
At that time, when the multitude pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Genesareth. And He saw two ships standing by the lake; but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one of the ships that was Simon’s, He desired him to draw back a little from the land: and sitting He taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when He had ceased to speak, He said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon, answering, said to Him: Master, we have laboured all the night, and have taken nothing, but at Thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes; and their net broke: and they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them; and they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken and so were also James and John the Sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things they followed him.
If certain subjects of a King should so deeply offend him as to deserve death,and instead of executioners to put them to death, the king should send unto them messengers, not only to pardon them, and admit them to his friendship again,if they came to him,and sought it, but to entreat and be them so to do, as if they should do the king a great pleasure therein, or as if the king had rather offended them, then they him; would we not think, they would be glad to hear such a message,and that the messenger should be most welcome unto them, and that the message, though it were indeed long, could never seem over long unto them, through the great delight and comfort they take therein: Such a message is the Gospel of Christ preached unto us, the word (Gospel) signifying glad or joyful tidings of salvation, and such messengers are the Preachers thereof, of whom, and of himself St. Paul being one and a principal one, sayth thus: We exercise an embassies for Christ, be reconciled to God.
This is the Sum of all the preachers of the Gospel preach and persuade unto us, this is the scope of all, to reconcile ourselves to the favor & grace of God,which Christ hath purchased for us by his death and passion at the hands of his heavenly Father, who for our sins original and actual,instead of preachers to reconcile us might justly have sent devils as his Ministers, to have committed us to eternal damnation.
Who therefore would not be glad to have this joyful message attentively,from the mouth of the preacher, for one hour, as commonly he doth not exceed? St.Luke in his noble history of the Acts of the Apostles,and primitive Church, relateth of St. Paul, that one time he continued his Sermon until midnight,and then went up into an upper room, & eat a little,and preached to the people all the night, such was the devotion of the people to hear the joyful tidings of the Gospel, that they were never weary to hear it; and such was the zeal of the preachers that they were never weary to preach, both the one and the other saying in their hearts, with the Prophet David, by way of express it by other words: How sweet, O Lord, are they words unto my palate, sweeter then honey to my mouth!