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and the bottles perish. Wait the proper time, and the gradual preparation of the heart,-put new wine into new bottles,-and both are preserved.
Here we must admire, not only the wisdom, but the tenderness of him, who “taught as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." He “gathers the lambs in his bosom, and gently leads them that are with young
He “ has many things to say unto his disciples : but they cannot bear them now.” At the same time, he would not leave them in ignorance of any thing which it were essential for them to know, or suffer them to practise any thing which it were unlawful for them to do. The "babes" must have their wholesome, proper nourishment, however simple: the “lambs” must not be left to rush upon danger or destruction. If fasting, and such like mortification, had been absolutely needful to his disciples, he would have prepared them for it, and not pleaded their weakness and their want of experience. But it is not so.
It is a preventive of sin, or an humiliation on account of sin; and therefore may be left for its proper season and suitable occasion.
18. While he spake these things unto them, behold there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead; but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
19. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
20. And behold, a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve yeurs, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.
* Is. xl. 11.
5 John xvi. 12.
21. For she said within herself, if I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
22. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her he said, Daughter, be of good comfort ; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
23. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels, and the people making a noise,
24. He said unto them, Give place : for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
25. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
26. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
We will charitably hope, that many who heard the fame hereof, were not so lost in indifference, or in stupid amazement, as to seek no benefit to themselves. He who raised up this young person from the bed of death, would have been no less ready to raise all around her from “the death of sin.” He who took her by the hand, and she arose, would not abandon her, “ if she continued in his word :" but would lead her onward, and raise her affections too, and set them on things above.
He will do no less for us also, who “not having seen” these things, “have yet believed.” All who are “his disciples indeed,” he takes by the hand, and they follow him : he guides them here by his counsel, and afterwards receives them to his glory.
TWO BLIND MEN RESTORED TO SIGHT.
PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL LABOURERS.
Matt. ix. .27–38.
27. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
28. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came unto him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe
that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29. Then touched he their eyes, suying, According to your faith be it unto you.
30. And their eyes were opened: and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
31. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.
The miracle here related contains, in short compass, a striking description of the nature and the effect of Christian faith.
These blind men knew Jesus, who he was, and for what purpose he was come ; for they address him by his prophetic title, the Son of David. Therefore they followed Jesus, with an earnest supplication, Thou son of David, have mercy on
We too, in the first place, must know that Jesus is “he that should come,” the predicted Saviour, " the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” We too must apply to him by the movement of our hearts, desiring the benefit of his atonement, and inwardly saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
He sees whether we believe that he is able to do this : whether we believe that he is the appointed way by which we have access to God, and his blood the only atonement by which our sins can be blotted out, and our souls purified.' Believe ye that I am able to do this? Believe ye that “God has delivered all things into the hands” of the Son? That “as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive ?” That “all that believe in him shall not perish, but have eternal life?”
According as in our hearts we believe this, so will it be unto us. This is the faith, by which “ being justified, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.”
He who performed this miracle, could also tell whether it were best, in this particular case, to spread the fame of it abroad, or to let no man know it. They, however, who had been restored to sight, were too full of gratitude and joy to keep the secret to themselves. They made it known unto all that country.
We are at liberty to do this : if we find the blessing of an earnest faith in Christ, we may disclose the peace which we enjoy to others, and violate no command. We need not “hide his righteousness within our heart." We should rather ex
hort all, over whom we have influence, to seek the same benefit and realize the same comfort ; that knowing in whom they have believed, they may “commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
32. As they went out, behold, they brought unto him a dumb man, possessed with a devil.
33. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake ; and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.
The Pharisees, seeing these miracles, and hearing the fame of them, felt themselves obliged to explain them in some way: and prejudice is never at a loss. It can always find some cloke for itself. So in this case, they allowed what they could not deny, he casteth out devils ; but they persuaded the ignorant multitude, perhaps they were themselves persuaded, that he was in league with Satan; he casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. Blind and perverse as they were, they did not consider that it was a good work to cast out devils ; and that good works do not proceed from Satan. But the mind which is overspread with prejudice never perceives its own contradictions.
35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with
11 Pet. iv. 19.