PAGES FROM THE PAST
June 1, 1987 Issue
M. Lynwood Smith
This month's article is from the pen of the beloved and sainted Alfred Elmore. This article appeared in The Apostolic Way, November 1924. The brother makes some general observations.
A MIRACLE FEAST
"And when even was come, the disciples came to him saying: The place is desert and the time is already past; send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food. But Jesus said unto them, they have no need to go away; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, we have here but five loaves and two fishes. And he said, Bring them hither to me, and he commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fishes and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes. And they all ate and were filled: and they took up of that which remained over of the broken pieces twelve baskets full. And they that did eat were about five thousand men, besides women and children. And after he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray. And when even was come he was there alone." Matt 14:15,(etc.)
Now, pious reader what is the impression made upon your heart by the lesson? If I knew it was all a home-made story I could weep with sorrow of heart for more of his sacred work might be false. But believing as I do, I can weep for joy. Could the partakers themselves have been deceived? No, they knew before partaking they were hungry, and they knew after partaking they were filled, and that their hunger had been appeased. Sinners had seen the small amount of provisions offered, not one fourth enough to satisfy the guests. But the number who had been fed five thousand men, who might have increased the guests to ten thousand, then they took up more provisions after feeding the multitudes than had been put down.
After the feast people presented their sick, and Jesus healed them. Another thing occurred after he sent the multitudes away, which was manna to the saints, who hungers after righteousness was, that Jesus went up into the mountain to pray! But why should the spotless Son of God pray at all? But we see in this act a crumb of heavenly bread, in that man may bow down and pray, and with all assurance that if we pray in the proper spirit, and for things promised, blessings may be expected.
But there are many feasts being held now, not like this one. Let us kindly draw a contrast, and make some points of difference. while the history is fresh in your mind, we need say nothing more of it now. The feast I wish to bring up in contrast with this one is called by a mass of people who wear the same name and make in part the same profession, but in observing their feasts many do not bow down. They use patent music, made by the aid of musical instruments, they clip their hair and their dresses instead of weeping tears of joy. They are gay and frivolous instead of solemnity, they are worldly and do not bear the semblance of a broken heart.
Unto such feasts our Saviour would not go, except for the opportunity of teaching the true spirit of the gospel. if teaching were all, this he could have done direct from heaven, but then, as many do now they need the character of the peerless, spotless, immaculate, perfect Saviour placed before them, and ground into their hearts in such a manner that they can never obliterate it, hence he taught that men might hear, and he practiced that men might see. And how discouraging that men will not hear, accept and obey. But we are assured that all who will accept will be saved.
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