The Sixth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Marc.8.v.1 Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Mark 8:1-9
In those days again, when there was great multitude and they had nothing to eat; calling his disciples together, he saith to them: "I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off." And his disciples answered him: "From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness?" And he asked them: "How many loaves have ye?" Who said: "Seven." And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, he broke and gave to his disciples for to set before them. And they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes: and he blessed them and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat and were filled: and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand. And he sent them away.Tuesday Meditation
Behold they have now sustained me three days.
To sustain, doth signify to suffer, or endure labor, pain or difficulty, with patience or rather love, as those people did in following Christ into the wilderness three days without food: which kind of suffering, deserveth love, compassion and reward as these people had here at the hands f Christ; but to suffer against our will or with impatience, defeserveth nothing, but rather increase of suffering.
This former kind of suffering in evil, the Prophet Esay compared to a Cart, or Wagon, saying unto sinners: Woe be to to you that draw sin as it were in carts, or wagons; which metaphor or example consisteth in this, that, as Horses or Oxen will draw that weight in a Cart or wagon with ease and pleasure, and run away with it, which by itself they can scarce stir, or draw without great labor & sweat: So sinners out of the love they have to fulfill inordinate appetites and desires, will endure & suffer those difficulties, afflictions and labors in the pursuit thereof, which otherwise would seem infollerable unto them; and even as it is with us in the pursuit of evil things, so is it in good, if we have the love of God, by means whereos, as by a Cart, or wagon, all our labor in the service of Gd will seem light unto us, and make us forget the difficulties thereof, as these good people did, out of their love to be with Christ, and to hear his words, not thinking it much to follow him into the wilderness three days, without food, their love being such, that if they should have wanted they were willing to want for such a cause.
What labor, toil and cost doth the time of Christmas bring with it: yet out of the love of Christ, and to honor his birthday into the world, all is light & pleasant.
And the way to arrive to this love of God which is both the wagon and wagoner of Israel (as Elias was called) whereby all difficulties are made light, and pleasant unto us, is the exact and frequent remembrance, & enumeration of the benefits of God as is aforesaid in the former Meditation.
To sustain, signifieth likewise here, to expect with full confidence & trust in Christ, as these people did, that he would provide for them, casting their care upon him, assuring themselves he would not see them want necessary food, though in a wilderness, that followed him to hear him preach.
Which confidence of theirs was like that of Job who said: If God kill me, I will still hope in him.
It is a wonder to see how friendly & faithful men will be to them that trust wholly unt them, & rely upon them.
To rely wholly upon a mans honest dealing, is not that which moveth an honest man only to deal faithfully and honestly with his friend, but is enough also oftentimes to make a dishonest man so to do.
Of honest men I will alleadge out of the Holy Scripture two examples, of dishonest one, but leave it only to the trial of them that will trust.
The first example is this: A certain good old man had entertained a Levite into his house, as a welcome guest, whom certain wicked & abominable men, r rather no men but brute beasts, would have abused by the abominable sin against nature.
The old man said unto them, Brethren, Do not, I pray, such an evil as that because the man is my guest: Cease from this folly, I have here a daughter a Virgin, I will bring her forth unto you to abuse, rather then abuse my guest, wh hath committed himself to my hospitality.
And the like (which is my second example) said Lot unto the men of Sodom, that would have abused in like sort two young men (as they thought, but were indeed Angels) whm he received as guests into his house.
If men be so faithful unto men that are strangers unto them, only because they commit themselves unto their honesty and charge, & this by way f hospitality and civil entertainment; what will Almighty God do to his servants, & children, that put their whole trust, and confidence in him, as their Master and Father?