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and accurately developed. “Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

But this mystical style was not confined to the ancient Law. Our Saviour himself uses it on frequent occasions. His parables are a figurative mode of conveying wholesome truths under a fictitious dress, and some of his discourses bespeak a language that is, at once, awful and obscure. It suited the dignity of his subject to treat it in this ambiguous strain, and whilst it tried the faith of his sincere followers, and rendered them conspicuous amid crowds of his admiring attendants, it repelled intrusive curiosity, and forbade the impertinent demander of a sign to hope that any information would be granted to him.

Among those discourses which are peculiarly characterised by this sublime and mystical strain, one of the most remarkable is that in the sixth chapter of St. John, from whence my text is taken. Our blessed Lord had fed five thousand men with five barley loaves and two small fishes, and such was the impression made upon the multitude by this stupendous display of his almighty power, that they were about to make him a king by force, justly concluding, that “this was of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world.” On the following day, perceiving himself to be still the object of great attraction, and knowing that the motives of the people were entirely built on false notions of his regal character, and vain expectations of worldly advantage,

he proceeds to undeceive them. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled.”

He then went on to raise his discourse from carnal to spiritual things, as he was usually wont to do where the occasion suited. “ Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life;" that is, be not so entirely absorbed with sensual objects of pursuit, as to rest in them, and deem them the only objects to engage your notice; but remember that nobler end for which you were born, a spiritual communion with God, and the preparation for a better world. The Jews, as the adopted seed and children of God, were bred up in the expectation of a future state: our Saviour calls the qualification for that state, "enduring meat,” and declares himself to be its author. This led them to enquire, what they must do to work the works of God; that is, to fit themselves for this blessed privilege of feeding on celestial food, and attaining unto eternal life. Our Saviour tells them, that faith in his Son as the Messiah, was what God required, intimating thereby that faith itself was a work. “ This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Finding by these remarks that he disclaimed their views of a temporal sovereign, and set up pretensions of a spiritual kind, they changed their opinion of him, and demanded his credentials in this new capacity. “What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee ?" If thou art really sent to us by

The very

God, and we are, consequently, bound to believe in and accept thee, where is the evidence of thy divine authority ? What are the proofs of thy heavenly commission ? “ What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” supply of this supernatural food was evidence of the divine authority of Moses, and a sufficient cause for trust and confidence in him. Our Saviour replies, “ Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Now, in this sublime discourse, there are three things to be observed. First, That Christ is the bread of life, of which the manna in the wilderness was a type: Secondly, That this bread signifies his doctrine, which contains the seeds and principles of eternal life. And Thirdly, That this doctrine is to be so received into the heart by faith, as to become its spiritual food and sustenance.

I. First, That Christ is the bread of life, and that this bread was typified by the manna in the wilderness, we have the clearest testimony possible. He distinctly styles himself the bread of God, the true bread from heaven, in opposition to the manna which did not properly come down from heaven, but fell only from the clouds, and had in it no principle of immortality. “ Your fathers did eat manna, in the wilderness and are dead.” Theirs was mere animal food, created on the emergency to keep them from perishing through want. It served but a temporary purpose, was limited to the short duration of forty years, and failed when the means of obtaining food in a natural way was furnished by their entrance on the promised land. But that bread which I have to give is of a totally different kind ; not being meant for the mere sustentation of the body, and the supply of its present necessities, but for the refection of the soul, to be a principle of new life in man, and to quicken him for eternity. Nor is it confined to a single nation only, but, on the contrary, it “giveth life unto the world.” “ This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” Our blessed Lord styles himself the bread of life, because as bread is the great stay of the animal life in man, that expression aptly figures out the source of a better life in Christ, and the means by which it is supported. And the typical character of the manna consists more especially in this; that as the Children of Israel could not have survived in the desert without the daily supply of God's bounty to them, so neither could the redeemed in Christ be preserved in the wilderness of this world, without the constant succour of his Holy Spirit. As Moses, therefore, fed his people miraculously with manna, so Christ nourishes his disciples spiritually with his mystical body and blood. As the manna fell from the clouds, so Christ came down from the throne of God. As the food of the Israelites kept up a constant communication between them and their heavenly Father, and taught them his ways and their entire dependence upon his providence, so the Christian sees, in the death of his Saviour, the merciful provision which is made for his redemption, and feels that his only mode of access to the Father, and bis only hope of preservation and safety are by him.

How well, therefore, the manna shadowed out the body of Christ, and with what great propriety our Saviour declared of himself, “This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever !"

II. In the Second place we are to observe, That this bread signifies his doctrine, which contains the seeds and principles of eternal life.

Had our blessed Lord, under the figure of his body and blood, comprehended, as the Jews then thought, and as Roman Catholics, with very little difference, still think, a natural and literal participation of his human frame, the question of the Jews would have been an innocent commentary on his words, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat ?" Christ was standing alive before them, and the sacrifice of himself upon the cross was not only

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