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Great Prophet whom they expected takes this opportunity of paying them a visit; they acknowledge him, and believe on his name. Having continued with them two days, sowing the precious seed, expounding from Moses and all the prophéts, inall the Scriptures, the things concerning himself, and thus extending the boundaries of the kingdom of God, he pursued his journey to Galilee, and returned to Cana, where he made the water wine." Beside his general and leading, abjeet, to preach the gospel of the kingdom, he might intend, by revisiting that city, to express the affection of a kind relation to the new-married pair who resided there, to strengthen their union by his benediction, by his countel, by participating in their domestic cares and comforts, and to confirm them and the other inhabitants of the place in the faith which they had profeffed.

It was so ordered of Providence that at the time of his return a diftinguished familý in the neighbouring town of Capernaum · was visited with a fore affliction. “ There was a ceriain no. bleman, whole son was fick at Capernaum." The word trans: lated nobleman signifies courtier, one employed near the perfon, or in the service of a king. Herod was but a delegated and limited sovereign : “ Tetrarch of Galilee," that is governa or, under the Roman emperor, of the fourth part of a province. But he was permitted to assume the title and ftate of king, becaufe it swelled the pride of the imperial delpot to' lord it over many subordinate and dependant thrones. Capernaum being within the limits of Herod's government, he no doubt occasionally resided in that city, and there probably at this time held his court ; and the nobleman in question might ei. ther officiallý or from affection be in attendance upon his masa ter. But the vicinity of a court, and the rank of nobility, are no security against the inroads of disease and death, for they too are tainted with fin. The danger of losing a child excites a thousand anxieties in the bofom of a parent, whatever be the Aation or condition. There are innumerable circumstances which level all diftinctions. The honourable feelings of humanity are of this defcription, parental and filial affection, with the kindred charities of the human heart, lympathy with the distreffed, and a desire to affist and relieve them : these constitúte a dignity, a nobility which God alone can bestow, and which the air of a court tends rather to blight than to cherisa. This good man however has not sunk the father in the courtief. Anxiety about the life of his child lüspends the pride of rank, the duties of office, the etiquette of nobility." When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee he went

unto

n chat he wit death The te came

*unto him, and belought him that he would come down and heal his son : for he was at the point of death."

“ A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” The tame of Jefus was now spread over the whole land. When he came back from Jerulalem to Galilee," the Galileans received him, having feen all the things that he did at Jerufalem at the feast; for they also went unto the feaft.” The report which they made at home, ut his mighty works, as well as of his conde. fcension and benevolence, had reached the ears of the great, and excited attention. We fondly listen to what promises ease ; we grasp the very shadows of probability, and frequentJy make experiments with little hope ofsuccels. All that medical skill could effect had, in this case, undoubtedly been attempted, but attempted in vain. It is one, and not the least of the evils attendant on poverty, to know of a remedy without the means of procuring it. The rich have at least this consolation in extremity, that every thing was done which influence could command or money purchase. But the nobleman of Caper-, naum is not to be taxed with credulity for believing the report concerning Christ, or for building upon it the hope of a cure which medicine had been unable to effect. Instead of sending for him, as in the case of ordinary physicians,“ he went to him.” The distance between Capernaum and Cana was about a day's journey, as we may gather from verse 52. He was met on his way homeward, rejoicing in the belief of the power and grace of Christ, the day after he had received the assurance :

Yesterday," said the servants, "at the seventh hour the fever left him.". Here then we have nobility descending from its itateliness, waving ceremony, assuming the form of a supplicant. Was it thereby degraded? No, to follow the honeft impulse of nature, to submit to the obligations of propriety and decorum, to employ fair means to obtain a desirable end, is no de gradation, even to a prince. Vice alone degrades, and ex. poles a man to shame, and lowers his dignity in the eyes of God, and of his fellow creatures:

Calamity brings down the loftiness of the human spirit. We have a noted initance of this in the history of Ben-hadad the king of Syria. In the pride of his heart, in girding on his hárriels, in the confidence of superiority, he sends this insulting mesfage to the king of Israel ;. " Thus faith Ben-hadad, thy silver and thy gold is mine, thy wives also and thy chil. dren, even the-goodliest are mine." Unimollified by submis. fon, he affumes a still haughtier tone, and proceeds to take by. violence what had been quietly yielded to him. But brought to kimafelf by 'a total defeat of his formidable army, he lowers

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his tone and humbles himself to the man whom he had insulta ed': servants with lackcloth girded on their loins, and ropes upon their beads, " came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy Servant Ben-hadad faith, I pray thee, let me live," a confirmă. tion of the truth of the wile man's observation : " Pride goethi Before destruction : and an haughty spirit before a fall." We would not be thought to in Gnuaie that pride is an inseparable concomitant of greatness, or infolence, of a prosperous condi. tion. But the flastery of inferiors, and the constant means of fell-gratification, acting habitually on a principle radically cor. rupt, have, without doubt, a very dangerous tendency to mil. lead the underfanding, and to corrupt the heart : Adver. fity dispels the illusion, and tells a man feelingly what he is. But for the indisposition of his son, the father might have re. mained a llave to the world, and died a martyr to the pride of life, and a stranger to the Saviour of mankind. Blessed is that dispensation, be it ever so severe, which loosens a man from the things of time, which empties him of self, which leads. him to God.

The faith of this nobleman, as in every cale, was blended with much infirmity. He reposed confidence in the goadness of Christ, in the power of Christ to heal the sick; but he weakly imagined that this power could operate only on the spot. Under this impression he travels from Capernaum to Cana in hope of being able to persuade Jesus to accompany: him to the former city, and stand over the patient, and rebuke the fever, and restore him to health : "he besought him that he would come down, and heal his son, for he was at the point of death." He urges the importance of dispatch, lest death should intérpose and extinguish hope for ever ; for his faith carried him no tarther :han to the brink of the grave, and there gave up all for lot. It was meet that one who thought, who felt, who acted so well, should be taught to think; to feel, to act better. It was meet he should be taught not to di&tate to divine sovereignty, but to adore, and submit to it ; taught to enlarge his ideas of the power and grace of the Redeemer, as extending to universal space, and to every. poslible state of things. This seems to be the only rational interpretation which can be given of the apparent coldness of the reception given him by our Lord. Instead of his usual promptitude to fly to the reliet of distress, the importunate and solicitous farther meets, from the lips of Christ; with a seemingly ungracious reflection which had nearly chilled his heart. “Then said Jesus unto him, ex cept ye see sign's and wonders ye will not believe.” In his progress through Samaria Chrilt had' found greater faith than

in Judea. · The Samaritans exacted no sign, exprefled no suf-
picion, insisted on no condition. “Many more believed be-
cause of his own word, and said unto the woman, now we ber ,
lieve, not because of thy saying ; for we have heard hini our-
felves, and know that this is indeed the Chrift, the Saviour of
the world." But his countrymen of Galilee, though they had
been witnesses of his miracles, were “low of heart to believe."
They demand farther evidence, and in the true spirit of Thom-
as, one of the twelve, who, after all the ligas and wonders of
which he had been a spectator, resisted the clearest testimony ;
Except I shall see in his hạnds the print of the nails, and put
my finger into ihe print of the nails, and thrust my hand into
hís side, I will not believe." The nobleman of Capernaum
had pr bably expressed himself in similar terms, and thereby
incurred this reproof of his incredulity, which seemed to con.
vey a denial of his fuit,

Parental affection perseveres in following up his re-
quest. He tacitly admits the justice of Christ's censure, but
waves discuslion, and in the anguilh of his soul renews :
his fupplication to him, to whom misery never applied in
vain : “Sir, come down ere my child die.” Where the heart.
is deeply interested the “ words are few," but O how forcible!
The feelings of a parent are seen with approbation by the friend
of mankind, who knows what is in man, and to whom nothing
that affects humanity can be a matter of indifference. ". Jesus
{aith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth.” That word,
that one little word, 'has in a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye, reached Capernaum, has expelled a mortal distemper, has
relieved a wretched father from a pressure under which he
was sinking, and has inspired him with a confidence never.
more to be shaken. He receives his son as one alive from the.
dead ; he learns to correct his false ideas of the power of
Christ, and to submit implicitly to his decisions. ." And ihe
man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he
went his way."

· The sequel unfolds an amiable, interesting and instructive view. of domestic lile. When the inafter left his home to go: in quest of relief to his child, the servants of the family, fome, of them actually flaves, entering into their lord's feelings, tend: the sick bed of the young man with all the attention and folic

itude of humble friends, not with the eye-service of mercenary: i or compelled drudges. They observe every symptom of the

disorder, they watch over every motion of the patient, they outrun his wants and wishes, they tremble for the issue, they mark with transport the moment of convalescence, and, to

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fpare the tender parent every unnecessary pang of painful apprehension, instead of waiting for his return, they send off a deputation of their number, the instant that the fever came to a crisis, to announce the welcome tidings to their beloved malter. What honour does this reflect on all the parties ! Hu. man life consists of a reciprocation of kind affections, expresa fions and actions, or their contraries. In vain does the un." feeling, insolent, tyrannical despot expect dutıful, cheerful, cordial attachment and submission from domestics and dependa ants. By failure in his own duty, he has let them the exam. ple of harshness, want of sympathy, and disrespect. The infegior almost always takes the tone from his superior. If you fee obsequious, faithful, diligent servants, or attentivë, dutiful, affectionate children, relt assured that the mafter and mistress of the family, that the parents of the children are wise, gentle and good. Most families in the metropolis, especially those of high rank, are uncomfortable, because mutual attachment subfifts not between the rulers and the ruled. It is a mere intercourse of accommodation and interest, in which neither the heart nor conscience hath any part. The paltry confideration of a month's wages seules the account on either fide. In the remoter parts of the kingdom, the relation of master and fervant is a tacit compact of unlimited duration. The servant is adopted into the family, and looks up to the heads of it with filial respect, gratitude and confidence. No separate interest, no divided or contradictory views and pursuits difturb domestic tranquillity. The family of this nobleman was not far from the kingdom of God; for the spirit of love was iis governing principle, and God is love." And as he was now going down. his servants met him, and told him, saying, thy fon liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they faid unto hin, yesterday at the seventh hour the tea ver left him."

One of our highest mental pleasures confifts in comparing object with object in order to discover coincidence, similitude, difference or contrast. This pleasure mult have been enjoyed in fingular purity on this joyfùl occasion. The distance of the two cities was well known It employed a whole day, and the exertions of a man of rank and fortune, furnilhed with all the means of expeditious travelling, and under the stimulus of pa. ternal affection, to go from Capernaum to Cana. How pleaf. ant was it to compare that distance, and the ulual rate of jour.' neying, with the inconceivably rapid transition of the word of Chrift! what a contrast! Here then was a demonstration of the controling power of Chrift over space ;, it was not needful,

that

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