The Fourth Sunday In Lent The Gospel John 6. v. 1 Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

MASTER Bertram St Peter (Grabow) 
Altarpiece: Creation of the Animals 
1379-83
GOSPEL (John 6:1-15) 
At that time, After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain: and there he sat with his disciples. Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" And this he said to try him: for he himself knew what he would do.Philip answered him: "Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that every one may take a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: "There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes. But what are these among so many?" Then Jesus said: "Make the men sit down." Now, there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: "Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost." They gathered up therefore and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: "This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world." Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountains, himself alone.
Monday

When God had created Adam, and placed him in paradise, & brought all the other creatures he had made unto him, to the end he should give them names, according to their several natures, God having infused into him the perfect knowledge thereof.

By this means he knowing the nature of every creature, and the wonderful wisdom, and goodness of God in creating them with such several perfections, and so useful for man, whom he made Lord and governor of them all, and that they were compacted together, with such a sweet harmony and subordination, as if they were men]mber of one body, under one head, which was man: he fell into an ecstasy, in the contemplation thereof, which the scripture calleth, a sweet sleep, but was indeed an ecstasy or excess of mind, to see the secret Wisdom, and goodness of God in his creatures, as St. Paul was, when he was rapt into the third heaven: or Saint Peter, John and James at the transfiguration of our Lord, in which ecstasy God made Eve of one of his ribs, which he took out of his body in that sleep of his, and filled the place up with flesh.

If we even with that ordinary knowledge we have, by the light of nature and faith, would use to summon and call the creatures of God before us, as Adam did, and enter in the consideration of the admirable properties and qualities of them, for our use, and the wonderful order and subordination to them; in so much as there is not the least or worst creature, in the world but serveth us to one use or other; we would be wonderfully ravished with the love of God, as Adam was: which love when we have once attained unto, and tasted of the sweetness thereof, is as the scripture saith, the fulfilling of the law, that is to say, it will make the commandments of God easy and sweet unto us, it will make his yoke easy and his burden light, it will make us, as Salomon saith of those that love God entirely, not go after a slow and dull manner, but run after the sweet odors of his ointments.

So that the consideration of the creatures and works of God especially, if it be curious indeed, is the principal means t make us observe the law of God. The creatures of God was the book of holy Saint Anthony in the wilderness that brought him to so great perfection that he deserved to be called Anthony the great.

The creatures of God, are so many tongues that declare unto us the goodness of God, The heavens, saith the Prophet David, declare the glory of God, and the firmament the works of his hands.

The Scripture sendeth us to the little emmett to learn industry & labor in this life, to provide for the next, to the dove for innocency, to the Serpent for prudence, and it might as well send unto, to the pelican for the love of Christ that redeemed us with his blood and feedeth us daily both with his body and blood, in the most blessed Sacrament of the altar.

To the Stork for piety toward our parents, when they are old, and want our help, which will feed the old one in the nest, as he feed them when they were on the nest, and not able to go out, to the flowers of the field or garden whereof the most part have only five leaves, which may put us in mind of the five wounds of that fair lilly of the valleys, or flower of the field, our sweet Savior Jesus, and of his blessed name Jesus consisting of five letter, which signify those five wounds, whereinto those five letters seemed to be converted at his death and passion which gave them a tincture of lovely red, as sweet roses have, when they grow ripe.

The like considerations may we make of all the creatures, and works of God to enflame our hearts with his love.

These books God laieth open before us always, but especially in Summer time he openeth and display unto us as it were, one leaf after another as every thing upon the face of the earth flourish and increaseth one after another in his time and season.

And this may be one cause, though there be many more, that we go about the fields in procession when every thing flourish upon the face of the earth to behold the young corn, and grass, and other creatures and works, and thereby to stir up ourselves to praise and magnify God in the same.

Of this exercise the Prophet David saith thus, An unwise man hath not the knowledge (to wit of picking the love and praise of God out of his creatures) and a foolish man understandeth it not; and that this is the sense of these words appeareth by the words immediately before.


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