John 6:12
And when everyone was full, He said to His disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over, so that nothing will be wasted."
Fragments' or 'Broken Pieces'Alexander MaclarenJohn 6:12
Gathering the FragmentsH. J. Wilmot-BuxtonJohn 6:12
A Constant MiracleArchbishop Trench.John 6:1-21
A Great Multitude Followed HimCalvin.John 6:1-21
Believers Must Help ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:1-21
Christ Feeding the Five ThousandJ. N. Norton.John 6:1-21
Christ Feeding the Five ThousandJ. A. Seiss, D. D.John 6:1-21
Christ Feeding the Five ThousandFamily ChurchmanJohn 6:1-21
Christ the Best ProviderC. Gerok, D. D.John 6:1-21
Christ the Bread for the WorldA. Maclaren, D. D.John 6:1-21
Christ the Lord of NatureBp. Hacker.John 6:1-21
Christ the Refresher of MankindBp. Alexander.John 6:1-21
Christ's Acceptance of the Meanest GiftsArchdeacon Farrar.John 6:1-21
Christ's ArithmeticW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 6:1-21
Christ's CompassionJ. N. Norton.John 6:1-21
Christ's EconomyCalvin.John 6:1-21
Christ's ThoughtfulnessJ. Trapp.John 6:1-21
Christ's Use of MeansJ. Vaughan, M. A.John 6:1-21
Distrust of Self, and Trust in GodP. Young, M. A.John 6:1-21
Feeding the MultitudeH. J. W. Buxton, M. A.John 6:1-21
Five Barley Loaves and Two FishesS. S. TimesJohn 6:1-21
Giving and ReceivingJ. Trapp.John 6:1-21
Jesus KnowsC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:1-21
Lessons for Ordinary Persons and About Little ThingsArchdeacon Farrar.John 6:1-21
Lncidental TestsDean Boyd.John 6:1-21
Philip and Andrew; Or, Disciples May Help One AnotherC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:1-21
Philip and His MasterC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:1-21
Plenty Out of Christ's PovertyArchdeacon Farrar.John 6:1-21
Sums ProvedJ. R. Howatt.John 6:1-21
Thankfulness and DistributionS. Robins, M. A.John 6:1-21
The Arithmetic of Philip and the Arithmetic of Our LordLange.John 6:1-21
The Barley LoavesW. Denton, M. A.John 6:1-21
The Church and the WorldF. W. Macdonald.John 6:1-21
The Compassion of ChristJ. Trapp.John 6:1-21
The Compassion of JesusMonday ClubJohn 6:1-21
The Destination of Our LordF. Godet, D. D., F. Godet, D. D.John 6:1-21
The Feeding of the Five ThousandA. Maclaren, D. D.John 6:1-21
The Great Multitude Waiting to be FedW. T. Bullock, M. A.John 6:1-21
The Lad and the Hungry MultitudeM. G. Dana, D. D.John 6:1-21
The Maintenance of Natural and Spiritual LifeBp. S. Wilberforce.John 6:1-21
The Reason for This JourneyW. Denton, M. A.John 6:1-21
The Resource of ChristJ. Trapp.John 6:1-21
The Scene on the MountS. S. Times.John 6:1-21
The Testing Power of CircumstancesDean Boyd.John 6:1-21
The Young Should be Used as Well as AmusedT. Green, M. A.John 6:1-21
Two Hundred Pennyworth of BreadC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 6:1-21
Unbelief Discovered by TrialJ. Trapp.John 6:1-21
Whence Shall We Buy Bread, that These May EatCanon T. F. Crosse, D. C. L.John 6:1-21
Divine Avoidance of WasteHomiletic MagazineJohn 6:12-13
FragmentsH. W. Beecher.John 6:12-13
Fragments not to be WastedJ. Vaughan, M. A.John 6:12-13
Fragments of InstructionJ. M. Nisbet.John 6:12-13
Fragments Or, Broken PiecesA. Maclaren, D. D.John 6:12-13
Gather Up the FragmentsJ. M. Nisbet.John 6:12-13
Gathering the FragmentsD. Young John 6:12, 13
Love Enriches ItselfArchbishop Trench.John 6:12-13
No Waste in Nature or ArtH. Macmillan, LL. D.John 6:12-13
Nothing LostW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 6:12-13
Sermon for the New YearW. Hoyt, D. D.John 6:12-13
The Economics of NatureGeorge Dawson, M. A.John 6:12-13
The Fragments that RemainDean Stanley.John 6:12-13
The Fragments that RemainW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 6:12-13
Twelve BasketsS. S. TimesJohn 6:12-13
Utilization OfwasteHomiletic MagazineJohn 6:12-13
WastefulnessJ. Hewlett, D. D.John 6:12-13

I. THE PROOF OF THE ABUNDANCE. There are distributions where the quantity is so limited that each has far short of what he could manage. The point of the miracle lies in this, that each had not merely something, but enough. And the proof that each had enough lies in this, that fragments were all strewn about.

II. THE EVIDENCE THAT THIS MODE OF SUPPLY MUST BE ONLY VERY OCCASIONAL. What comes easily is lightly valued. Though the people had got a meal in this marvellous way, they were not very thoughtful about the marvel. They ate on till they had enough, and then flung the residue away. Not every one would be so thoughtless, but a great many must have been, else whence the twelve baskets full? Habitual beggars are wasteful and reckless livers. There is great wisdom in the ordinance whereby man has to work so hard for his bread. He learns that he has to make the very best of things he can. It is a pitiful confession to make; but most men are compelled into forethought through sheer necessity.

III. THE RESPECT WHICH OUGHT TO BE PAID TO BREAD. Lane, in his "Modern Egyptians," says of them that they show a great respect for bread as the staff of life, and on no account suffer the smallest portion of it to be wasted if they can avoid it. "I have often observed an Egyptian take up a small piece of bread which had by accident fallen into the street or road, and after putting it before his lips and forehead three times, place it on one side, in order that a dog might eat it rather than let it remain to be trodden underfoot." Consider the marvellous transmutation by which bread becomes flesh and blood. Make the very best of it, then. Remember how Jesus has taken it as the symbol of that spiritual sustaining force which is to be found in him. One would have expected these people each one to take his own remaining fragment as an interesting memento of the wonderful deed. Even if it had become hard as a stone it would still have been there to recall the mercy and power of Jesus on an occasion of great need.

IV. WE ARE REMINDED THAT THERE IS NO ULTIMATE WASTE IN THE UNIVERSE. Jesus will have us waste nothing. We may be sure, then, that he wastes nothing himself. A great deal of rain falls where it cannot freshen anything, but sooner or later it finds its work and does its mission. We must not measure utility by our power to see it. What are called waste products in many manufactures turn out even more valuable than the direct products. Things reckoned useless are experimented on, and so in due time their value is discovered. - Y.

Gather up the fragments.
The natural thought would be — let the fragments lie; a divine munificence can again be equal to a similar emergency; henceforth we will be in sublime disdain of fragments — a stingy economy. But Christ prevents any such bad generalization from the abundance of His great gifts, by the command, "gather up the fragments."

I. Here then emerges the great law that GOD IS ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE PARTICULAR ABOUT FRAGMENTS. This law God Himself obeys. God is particular about fragments in —

1. Keeping them. You cannot destroy matter.

2. In using them. The little things at the basis of nature.

3. In adorning them. You shall find even a Divine lavishing of adornment in things so minute that only a microscope can reveal them.

II. We are confronted by a new year. How may we make it a happy one? By becoming ourselves OBEDIENT TO THE GREAT LAW WHICH GOD OBEYS.

1. Seize fragments of time for self-culture and in the consciousness of growth find the new year a happy one. Emerson says, "One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the last day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is doomsday."

2. Seize fragments of chance for doing good, and in that consciousness find the year a happy one. This was said by a member of one of the Protestant churches in Paris: "For you must know it is a rule in our church that when one brother has been converted he must go and fetch another brother; and when a sister has been converted, she must go and fetch another sister. That is the way 120 of us have been brought from atheism and Popery to simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." If you would but feel that "must go and fetch another" — you would find for yourself a radiant year.

3. Seize fragments of happiness as they lie about you day by day. Happiness does not come so much in nuggets as in the minuter golden particles. Do not despise them. Look for the securing of the little happiness.

4. If you have not done it yet, seize the fragment of time left you to make your peace with God through Jesus Christ.

(W. Hoyt, D. D.)

There are certain matters in society that may be called fragments, certain customs that stand isolated and yet are very closely connected with religion.

I. HUMANITY TO ANIMALS. All animals must live, and are entitled to consideration. They have rights of their own.

1. The insect world. Why should we destroy a spider for killing a fly when we organize shambles for the sake of slaughtering the animals on which we live? There are many insects that we are not obliged to preserve, but which we need not go out of our way to destroy wholesale. They have just one day of existence, and it is a pity to abridge it.

2. Those animals that stand nearest man have been comparatively left to his passions or selfishness. It is not right that they should be transported and slaughtered without the least care for their suffering.

3. The wholesale destruction of birds for the personal adornment of ladies is not only inhuman but is wasteful. The development of insects is so enormous that if 'they were not reduced by birds it would be fatal to our wheatfields and gardens.

II. THE LAW OF HUMANITY TOWARDS SUBORDINATES IN INDUSTRY. is more than a fragment, it is half a loaf.

1. The law of sympathy should regulate the law of wages as well as the law of profit. Men have no right to pay their employees at starvation rates, nor in the cheapest currency.

2. Times of payment ought to be considered and wages paid not on Saturday, when there is every temptation to spend them in the public house, but on Monday.

3. Ought not a portion of every man's wages to be secured to his wife, as his partner and the family provider, by the state?

4. According to the spirit of the gospel whoever employs men becomes responsible, as God's overseer, for their morals and instruction and happiness. We are our brothers' keepers, particularly where for our profit they are led into circumstances of such severe temptation as exist in large houses of business.

5. When young women are compelled to stand all the day it is time the law, in the interest of future generations, stepped in.

(H. W. Beecher.)

(see R.V.): — The general notion, I suppose, is that the "fragments" are the crumbs that fell from each man's hands as he ate, and the picture before the imagination of the ordinary reader is that of the apostles carefully collecting the debris of the meal from the grass where it had dropped. But the true notion is that the "broken pieces which remain over" are the unused portions into which our Lord's miracle-working hand had broken the bread, and the true picture is that of the apostles carefully putting away in store for future use the abundant provision which their Lord had made, beyond the needs of the hungry thousands. And that conception of the command teaches far more beautiful and deeper lessons than the other.

I. We have that thought to which I have already referred as more strikingly brought out by the slight alteration of translation, which, by the use of "broken pieces," suggests the connection with Christ's breaking the loaves and fishes. We are taught to think of THE LARGE SURPLUS IN CHRIST'S GIFTS OVER AND ABOVE OUR NEED. Whom He feeds He feasts. His gifts answer our need, and over-answer it, for He is able to do exceeding abundantly above that which we ask or think, and neither our conceptions, nor our petitions, nor our present powers of receiving, are the real limits of the illimitable grace that is laid up for us in Christ, and which, potentially, we have each of us in our hands whenever we lay our hands on Him.

II. Then there is another very simple lesson, which I draw. This command suggests for us CHRIST'S THRIFT (if I may use the word) IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF HIS MIRACULOUS POWER. Christ multiplies the bread, and yet each of the apostles has to take a basket, probably some kind of woven wicker-work article which they would carry for holding their little necessaries in their peregrinations; each apostle has to take his basket, and, perhaps emptying it of some of their humble apparel, to fill it with these bits of bread; for Christ was not going to work miracles where men's thrift and prudence could be employed. Nor does He do so now. We live by faith, and our dependence on Him can never be too absolute. Only laziness sometimes dresses itself in the garb and speaks with the tongue of faith, and pretends to be trustful when it is only slothfuh "Why criest thou unto Me?" said God to Moses, "speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward." True faith sets us to work. It is not to be perverted into idle and false depending upon Him to work for us, when, by the use of our own ten fingers and our own brains, guided and strengthened by His working in us, we can do the work that is set before us.

III. Still further, there is another lesson here. Not only does the injunction show us Christ's thrift in the employment of the supernatural, but it teaches us our duty of THRIFT AND CARE IN THE USE OF THE SPIRITUAL GRACE BESTOWED UPON US. Christian men I be watchful stewards of that great gift of a living Christ, the food of your souls, that has been by miracle bestowed Upon you. Such gathering together for future need of the unused residue of grace may be accomplished by three ways.

1. There must be a diligent use of the grace given. See that you use to the very full, in the measure of your present power of absorbing and your present need, the gift bestowed upon you. Be sure that you take in as much of Christ as you can contain before you begin to think of what to do with the overplus. If we are not careful to take what we can and to use what we need of Christ, there is little chance of our being faithful stewards of the surplus. The water in a mill-stream runs over the trough in great abundance when the wheel is not working, and one reason why so many Christians seem to have so much more given to them in Christ than they need is because they are doing no work to use up the gift.

2. A second essential to such stewardship is the careful guarding of the grace given from whatever would injure it. Let not worldliness, business, care of the world, the sorrows of life, its joys, duties, anxieties, or pleasures — let not these so come into your hearts that they will elbow Christ out of your hearts, and dull your appetite for the True Bread that came down from heaven.

3. And, lastly, not only by use and by careful guarding, but also by earnest desire for larger gifts of the Christ who is large beyond all measure, shall we receive more and more of His sweetness and His preciousness into our hearts, and of His beauty and glory into our transfigured characters. The basket that we carry, this recipient heart of ours, is elastic. It can stretch to hold any amount that you like to put into it. The desire for more of Christ's grace will stretch its capacity, and as its capacity increases the inflowing gift greatens, and a larger Christ fills the larger room of my poor heart.

IV. Finally, A SOLEMN WARNING IS IMPLIED IN THIS COMMAND, AND ITS REASON "THAT NOTHING BE LOST." Then there is a possibility of losing the gift that is freely given to us. We may waste the bread, and so, sometime or other when we are hungry, awake to the consciousness that it has dropped out of our slack hands. The abundance of Christ's grace may, so far as you are profited or enriched by it, be like the .unclaimed millions of money which nobody asks for and that is of use to no living soul. You may be paupers while all God's riches in glory are at your disposal, and starving while baskets full of bread broken for us by Christ lie unused at our sides.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I. FRAGMENTS OF TRUTH. Precious fragments! with which we need not. quarrel because fragmentary, for we are taught by degrees, we are fed as able to bear it. No one could reasonably complain of crumbs that they were not bread, because not each of them a whole loaf. The smallest portions of God's word are, notwithstanding their smallness, His word, and to be valued as such — not one to be lost. Precious fragments! concerning which we need not murmur, because we have the fatigue of gathering. "If any will not work neither shall he eat,"

II. FRAGMENTS OF TIME. Now there are two reasons which should more especially incite us to endeavour to redeem time.

1. We have need to treasure up its very minutes, for they are the fragments of a gift which God bestows.

2. For every hour of it He will call upon us to render an account, that He may "receive His own with usury."

3. And there is another reason which ought to influence us, but which is often overlooked, and that is, that in course of time we become the result of the time we live. Time leaves its mark upon us; not merely those outward marks of change and scars of decay, but those still more indelible features and lineaments of character which are constantly stamping us for eternity, and which give force to the assertion that "time has a quality, as it has a quantity." Time improved moulds and shapes the mind after the fashion of these improvements.

III. Again (as connected with the thought of time, its fragments, its waste, and its use), there is also the consideration that there are certain MEANS OF GRACE, which we may regard in the light of fragments, and which have to be carefully gathered. "Gather up the fragments that remain," value and employ the holy seasons which may yet be granted you, and for which you will have to render an account. It is the same with regard to private prayer. What use have we made of the means of grace? I remember to have read a book entitled "A Dying Man's Regrets," and he was a very good and holy man, singularly devoted to the service of his God, and yet what did he say? These are his words, "Ah! if I were to return to life, I would, with the help of God, and in distrust of myself, give much more time to prayer than I have hitherto done. I would reckon much more upon the effect of that than on my own labour, which, however much it is our duty never to neglect, yet has no strength except so far as it is animated by prayer. I would especially strive to obtain in my prayers that fervour of the Holy Spirit which is not learnt in a day, but is the fruit of a long, and often a painful apprenticeship. Oh my friends" (he added, raising himself with energy on his sick bed) "lay hold of the opportunity and redeem it, cultivate new habits of prayer. Bring into prayer, with a spirit of fervour, a spirit also of order and of method that will increase its power, as it increases the power of all human things, and co-operated with the Divine agency itself."

IV. Lastly, there are the ACTS OF DUTY that. we are to perform, and these also often present themselves to us in very small fragments. The lives of most of us are made up of such fragments. It is not a great thing that is required of us. It is "the trivial round, the common task," that is,.for the most part, "the calling in which we are to abide," and "therein to abide with God." We are often apt to despise common things because they are so common, forgetting that we might lift them to a much higher dignity, if we but infused into them a nobler principle, doing them as in God's sight, by God's help, and to God's glory.

(J. M. Nisbet.)

(Sermon to the Young): — There are ninny fragments of truth, any one of which, perhaps, is not large enough for a whole discourse, but which ought not to be wholly lost. There are a hundred small things any one of which does not seem to be of much importance compared with the great Gospel themes, but which, taken together, amount to a great deal, e.g. —

I. EVERY ONE SHOULD BE WILLING TO CREEP BEFORE HE WALKS. There is hardly a young man that goes out from his father's house that who does not want money before he earns it. Who does not want a reputation for being smart before he is smart? But yea need not be ashamed because you do not know more than those of your age are expected to know; above all you need not be ashamed of frugality. Do not let your pride be hurt by living within your means. Make two things a matter of pride. 1, That you will not live one farthing in debt.

2. That you will be the richer if only by one shilling at the end of the year than you were at the beginning.

II. EVERY ONE SHOULD EDUCATE HIMSELF. The school, books, teachers, give a man a chance, but after all he is his own schoolmaster.

1. A handworker ought not to be content with handwork, but should teach his band to think as well.

2. Every man ought to have some general knowledge(1) of his own body and mind;(2) of the structure of the earth;(3) of the history, geography, and policy of his own country and of others;(4) of the sciences.

3. But all education does not come from reading.(1) God gave men eyes that they might see; and yet very few people see anything.(2) What was your tongue put into your head for but to inquire with? Learn the art of asking questions.

III. BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE COMPANY YOU KEEP. Pick your company from those who are superior to you and can teach you something. Life will go ill with you if you look down for your company.

IV. AIM AT REFINEMENT. This belongs to no place or class. You ought to be refined, not because of your trade, but because of yourself. A mechanic may be a gentleman if he likes.

V. CULTIVATE CHIVALRY. Always take the side of the weak.

VI. DO NOT DESPISE ETIQUETTE. Life is made a great deal pleasanter and intercourse a great deal smoother when men observe the little forms of propriety in life.

VII. RESPECT womanhood. No matter how a woman looks, she is of the same sex as your mother and sister or wife and daughter.


(J. M. Nisbet.)

Every dispensation of Providence is a kind of miracle. We must make the most of it.

I. EVERY POSITION IN LIFE may be made great or little, as we desire to make the most or the least of it. To do the necessary duties of each station is easy enough, but to gather up all its outlying opportunities; to be ready to lend a helping hand here or give a kind word of counsel there; to fill our place in life instead of leaving it half empty; to be in our work entirely make all the difference between a useful and a useless man.

II. We may have A SIGNAL VISITATION OF JOY OR SORROW. It is possible to drive it out of our thoughts and cut off all its consequences; but it is better to gather up the fragments and see what it has taught us of our strength or weakness, God and our soul.

III. We may have known A NOBLE CHARACTER AND EXAMPLE. It has gone from us. Shall we blot it out of our remembrance or gather up the fragments, the sayings, doings, memories that may cheer, sustain, guide and warn.

IV. Consider our feelings of RELIGION ITSELF. Few and far between may be our prayers and thoughts of serious things; but do not despise what you have. One verse from the Bible may be enough to sustain us in sore temptations; one prayer may stick closer to us than a brother; one fixed determination to do right may be a rallying point round which our whole better nature may form itself. True "we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs of our heavenly Father's table; but His "property" is always to have mercy, and will bless and own our humbled efforts.

(Dean Stanley.)

I. Fragments of TIME. Myriads waste hours, days, years, and find themselves beggars at death.

II. Fragments of INFLUENCE. "No man liveth unto himself." It may be unconsciously exercised; like magnetism it never slumbers, like gravitation it knows no Sabbath. It is ever drawing to the Cross or to ruin.

III. Fragments of CONSCIENCE. Our sins weaken and scatter the power Divine. Some benumb its energy, others flatter it by deceit.

IV. Fragments of FAITH. Christ its faintest beams, they lead to heaven.

V. Fragments of LOVE. Gather up every fragment of retiring lingering affection.

VI. Fragments of CONSECRATION. As the needle always turns to the pole, so our life should centre in God.

(W. H. Van Doren, D. D.)

This which remained over must have immensely exceeded in bulk and quantity the original stock; and we thus have a visible symbol of that love which exhausts not itself by loving, but after the most prodigal outgoings upon others abides itself far richer than it would else have done; of the multiplying which there always is in a true dispensing, of the increasing which may go along with a scattering.

(Archbishop Trench.)

Having by the miracle taught a lesson of beneficence, Christ now inculcates economy.


1. It breaks the law which bids us "use the things of this world as not abusing them."

2. It is shameful ingratitude to our Father in heaven to waste that daily bread given to us in answer to prayer.

3. Every shilling needlessly squandered is a diminution of our power to do good.

II. THE NATURE OF WASTEFULNESS. It is not confined to the destruction of the necessaries of life, but may fairly be extended to unprofitable consumption,

1. Fashion and vanity are great wasters.

2. Intemperance is waste —

(1)Of bodily health.

(2)Of the means of saving others from starvation.

3. Luxury is waste because

(1)Frequently unnecessary.

(2)Encouraging extravagance in children.


1. Not by stinginess to the neglect of the duties of Christian hospitality, but in general by the rational enjoyment as against the perversion of the blessings of providence.

2. By everyone "ruling well his own house," impressing servants with the sin, folly, and dishonesty of wastefulness.

3. By preventing what is perishable from being spoiled through carelessness.

4. By preventing a consumption of the fruits of the earth by overfeeding such animals as are kept chiefly for pleasure.


1. The cultivation of good habits; temperance, charity, etc.

2. Addition to the sum of human happiness.

(J. Hewlett, D. D.)

1. This is the command of the last gospel of the last Sunday of the Church's year.

2. This command in its connection shows us the union of the vastness of God's liberality with the minuteness of the accuracy of His economy. He "provides you all things richly to enjoy," but He looks to see what you do with the cup of cold water. His are "the cattle on a thousand hills,but a sparrow cannot fall without His notice."

3. The text may be applied to the use of —






(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Homiletic Magazine.
Many things that appear useless have some hidden value. In jeweller's shops every particle of filing is preserved for the assayer. Paper trimmings of large establishments become of value to the extent of thousands of pounds. In Copenhagen a hospital is supported by the money raised from cigar tips. The pieces of bread swept into the dust heap from the tables of England would, if saved and given to missions, double the means at present at their disposal.


1. In nature there seems to be waste in great stretches of uncultivated ground, rocky ridges, unseen flowers, unfathomed depths; and in stellar regions there seems to be infinite waste of light and force. Why all this? Because there must be no appearance of stinginess on the part of omnipotence. Yet no part of this lavishment is really waste. No atom is lost. All is used over and over again, as vapours, heat, sand, soil, etc.

2. In the world of thought there is no waste. From Copernicus, Tycho, Brake, Kepler, Newton, etc., men now gather power to gain further knowledge. Watts, and Stephenson, and Moore are only founders of inventions on which others build.

3. In the spiritual sphere, devotion, faithfulness, endurance, suffering, is not waste. John in prison, Stephen stoned, Christ crucified, are all incentives to fealty and love.


1. It is a benefit to man that he is required to "gather." Christ could have created more bread, but it had not been good for the disciples to live on miracles. Eden could have been kept right, but it was better for man to keep it. Birds and animals are provided with clothing and food; man has to provide for himself because a higher being. Difficulties enable us to value things more.

2. Christ here warned men of the great losses that may attend trifling neglects: Ships sink by little leaks. Constant trifling wastes may ruin the best business.

3. He showed more power in the gathered fragments than in feeding the five thousand.

4. He taught the disciples His care for those whom others would despise.

(Homiletic Magazine.)

Nature is a rigid economist. In her household there is no waste. Everything is utilized to the utmost. The decay of rocks forms the soil of plants; and the decay of plants forms the mould in which future plants will grow. The sunlight and carbonic acid gas of past ages which seemed to be wasted upon a desert world, have been stored up in the form of coal for the benefit of man. The water that seems to be dissipated in the air descends in the dew and rain to refresh and quicken the earth. The matter that has served its purpose to one object goes by death and decomposition to form another object with a different purpose to serve. The materials which the animal kingdom receives from the mineral and vegetable kingdoms must be restored in order that they may be carefully circulated without diminution or waste over the whole earth. The gases that disappear in one form reappear in another. Forces are changed into their equivalents. Heat becomes motion, and motion heat. Nowhere is there any waste. In the ashes of every fire, in the decay of every plant, in the death and decomposition of every animal there is change, but not loss, death, but not waste. Everything is made the most of. The fragments of every product of nature are gathered up carefully and made to serve a useful purpose in a new form at nature's feast. Amid all her lavishness nature is very saving. The brilliant hues of flowers which the poet and artist love are not mere idle adornments, but have a practical purpose to fulfil. The beauty and fragrance which we so much admire appear only when the fertilization of the plant by insect agency is necessary; and when this task is accomplished, she withdraws them, as we put out the lights and remove the garlands when the banquet is over. In the most economical manner Nature gets her new effects not by producing new objects, but by effecting a few modifications upon the old ones; and when she makes a blossom upon an apple-tree she simply shortens and alters what would otherwise have been a common leafy branch; all the parts of the inflorescence of the commonest wayside weed, the bract, the calyx, petal, stamen, pistil, and seed, in spite of all their differences of form and colour, are but successive transformations of the leaf. Thus our Lord teaches us by the common processes of Nature the lesson of economy. In the sphere of human art we find that there is a growing tendency to economize materials. The distinguishing characteristic of our arts and manufactures is economy. Substances which our forefathers threw away are now converted into useful and valuable products. We extract beautiful colours from the dung-heap, and delicious perfumes and essences from the offal of the streets. Every day we are finding out more and more that nothing is useless; that even the waste and refuse of our manufactures may be turned to profitable account, and made to minister to the necessities or the comfort of man. By the work of our own hands, therefore, our Lord is teaching us the lesson of economy.

(H. Macmillan, LL. D.)

Though the wealth of God is uncountable, He takes care even of His pence. There is no waste in his workshop. All things go towards the up-building of some newer life. Whatsoever you behold is but part of the great wheel of life everywhere returning. The cloud becomes the rain, the rain the river, the river the sea, the sea the cloud again. One of the glories of science is to abolish the word "waste." Even the rag-picker has his function to perform, a higher one perhaps than yours. It is better to gather rags than to wear overmuch finery, because those rags go to the mill and become paper, on which the lovely and heroic deeds of men are inscribed. When death comes he will make mock of your fine clothes, and you will go your way to the rag heap. He who rescues rags is often more useful than he who wears them, and he might have written across him "Gather up the fragments," etc. He gathers rags, bones, etc. He sorts them. Then they are sold and made into new materials, which in their turn come round again to rags. I take up a sheet of paper upon which to write, and I say of it, "Rags of my youth come back again — come to clothe my soul this time."

(George Dawson, M. A.)

Homiletic Magazine.
An apprentice made a gorgeous cathedral window from the fragments of glass his master threw away. When David Cox used to sketch many things on paper and then cast them aside as not being up to his ideal, they were cast into the waste-paper basket or scattered on the floor. His old housekeeper, however, from reverence to her master, collected these torn and crumpled pieces. When the gifted artist died, and his effects were sold, the old housekeeper had her relics framed and realized some thousands of pounds, on which she was able to pass the rest of her days in comfort. There was unexpected value in fragments and scraps! Were we as careful to try and save time, or to seize opportunities of winning souls, what glory might not be brought to Christi

(Homiletic Magazine.)

S. S. Times.
The word for "basket" in all the places where this miracle is mentioned (Matthew 14; Mark 6:1.; Luke 9.; John 6), kophinos; in the two places where the later miracle of feeding is described, the word for basket is spuris. These two words indicate two different kinds of baskets. It was in a spuris basket that Paul was let down from the walls of Damascus; so that we can hardly err in recognizing in the spuris the large, deep, and round woven basket which is used for so many purposes in Palestine, and into which a man could, on occasion, be packed. The kophinos, on the other hand, which in the classics sometimes indicates a fish-basket, seems to be the light, flat woven tray-basket, which is in use among fisher-folk and others who had light burdens to carry.

(S. S. Times.)

I. In all the PROCESSES OF NATURE. In the ravages of oceans, the flow of rivers, the crumbling of mountains, "nothing is lost; the drop of dew that trembles on leaf or flower, is but exhaled to fall anew, in summer thunder shower."

II. OF ALL THE COUNTLESS FORMS OF LIFE that have flourished and died since the beginning —

"The little drift of common dust,

By the March winds disturbed and tossed,

Though scattered by the fitful gust,

Is changed but never lost."

III. OF ANY WORK DONE FOR GOD, however humble. Sermons, prayers, contributions, etc. (Isaiah 55:11; Acts 10:4; Matthew 10:42). What an encouragement to parents, teachers, ministers, reformers.

(W. H. Van Doren, D. D.)

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