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CHRIST FEEDING FIVE THOUSAND.
ABOUT the time that our Saviour was informed of John the Baptist's death, the Apostles returned from their several journeys, and gave him an account of all their transactions. Fearing the tyranny of Herod, who had caused the Baptist to be executed, Jesus ordered his disciples to prepare a vessel in which he might cross the lake of Gennesaret with them, and retire from the multitude who pressed upon him, to a desert near Bethsaida. He could not, however, conceal himself. The people seeing where he took shipping, followed him on foot by the side of the lake, and having reached the desert after making a long and toilsome circuit, Christ was so affected by their zeal and earnestness, that although he had repaired to this place for the sake of privacy, he could no longer withhold his presence from them, but ascending a mountain, and taking his apostles with him, he there first instructed them in several things concerning the kingdom of God, and having afterwards cured those among them who were sick or diseased, “ Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten *."