Fourth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc.5.v.1 Thursday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

WITZ, Konrad 
The Miraculous Draught of Fishes 
1443-44
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.
Thursday Meditation 

To hear, is taken oftentimes in the Scripture practically, that is to say, to hear and obey, without which is soul matters, or matters pertaining to salvation, it is no purpose to hear, but rather to our greater punishment, according to these words of Christ: he that knoweth his Masters will and doth it not, shall be beaten with many strips, and therefore Christ sayth not, Blessed are they that hear the word of God (though that be a good beginning & introduction thereunto) but Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and obey it.

Although disobedience, the daughter of pride, be hereditary unto from our first parents Adam and Eve, who by the inveiglement and seduction of the devil desire to be like God, that is to say, subject to no obedience, no not so much as to forbare the eating of one kind of fruit, though they might have eaten of all other fruits in Paradise; in so much, that we have naturally a desire, and impulsion to do what we are forbidden , according to the saying of a heathen Poet, but a learned man, Gens humana ruit in vetitum nefas, A man doth run upon forbidden sins, so much the rather, for that they are forbidden, as if it were natural unto him, and St Paul confirmeth the same: although, I say. Disobedience seem to be natural unto us, and to doth so reign in our bodies, yet is it not natural indeed, but a corruption of nature which he have by original sin.

The proper and natural way, and course of a mans life according to the light of reason, and much more if we join the light of faith thereunto, is to be obedient unto God, his creator and conserver, and unto Jesus Christ, for our Redemption, & to the holy Ghost for our salvation, & to the whole Blessed, and undivided Trinity for our eternal glorification, in so much that whereas the Latin text sayeth unto David, in the person of God, If they children keep my ways & c. it is in the Syriac, Chaldean, and Greek text, (If thy children keep their ways,) because the ways of God are properly our ways; all other ways are no ways but deviations out of the way and end, for which we were created, leading to precipitation and casting ourselves headlong down into hell.

Wherefore because obedience to Gods commandments is so repugnant unto us, desiring out of our corrupt nature , to be free like so many Gods ourselves, & obedience or subject to none; and because we cannot be obedient to God, but we must be obedient to men for God, and in matters concerning our soul unto the Prelates and Governors of the Church, which we have more repugnance unto, then unto God: Therefore it behoveth the Governors of our souls to make the yoke & burden of obedience so easy, and light as they can, and to induce men thereunto by sweet and gentle means, rather then by severity and rigour, and to accommodate themselves as much as they can to them, and their necessities and occasions, especially if they be frail and weak ones, or young beginners, and to pray and entreat them rather then to command and compel them, as Christ here giveth them example, who being absolute Lord and commander of all his creatures, did not yet command St. Peter, but requested him to put forth the shore, when he was gotten into his ship, and to mollify even his requesting him the more, he added this word (a little) requesting him to put forth a little from the shore: & St. Paul though he told the Corinthians, he was an Ambassador sent from God to reconcile them unto him, and consequently might have proceeded with them, by the way of authority and command: yet he did not, but said, We beseech you in the name of God, to be reconciled unto him.

If Prelates and other Governors of the Church proceed not his way, but by imperiousness and rigor, man being a generous creature, proud, & disobedient by corruption of nature, and they being fishers of men, and therefore should us all the art they can to catch them (which commonly is by fair means, rather then foul) they may fish long enough in the night, or darkness of over much imperiousness and rigor, and catch nothing, as St. Peter died, which when they do perceive, they must do as St Peter and his fellow fishers did, make clean, and amend their nets, for another time, that is to say endeavor to amend, and alter their government, in what they find by their former experience to be amiss, and then to cast forth their net, not in their own word, that is to say not to satisfy their own humors, or for their own ends, but for God, and in that manner as is most apt to catch them to the obedience of God, & then no doubt, but God will so bless their labors, that they shall catch abundance of men as St. Peter did fishes in his net.


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