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that he should go up or come down, that he should be on the same įpat with the object of his beneficence, for the purpose of effecting a cure. The divine attribute of omnipresence was acı cordingly displayed. The measurements of time are equally well.known and understood ; and there was a peculiarly pow. erful motive on both sides to mark the precise moment. Here an opportunity was afforded ot inftiruting a second compari. fon, and lo, what a coincidence between the time of the father's observation and that of the servants, that is, when Jesus fpake the word to the one, and when the others perceived a sensible change to the better, in their young master's health ! It ever the relation of cause and effect existed, it was in this case. And here was a display of another divine attribute, time as well as space subdued to the will of him who filleth all space; whose existence was before time began to flow, and runneih through the whole extent of its duration ; with whom a thou. sand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years ; who nieafureth the lapse of moments and of ages by a stand: ard unalterable as the ordinances of heaven, and by a standard still more intelligible, sensible, interesting and endearing, uninterrupted, unwearied acis of loving kindness and tender mercy.
It would be ungenerous and unjust to ascribe the nobleman's minuteness of inquiry to doubt, or downess of belief, for the history expressly faith, “the man believed the word that Jesus bad spoken unto him, and went his way,” confiding entirely in the truth and faithfulness of that word, long before the eyi. dence of it met liim on the road. But that Jesus in whom he trusted graciously gave him this confirmation of his faith, that he might feel the solidity of the rock on which all his hope rested. Faith is faith though but as a grain of mustard seed; for that grain contains an immortal germ, pregnant with all the beauty and richness of a future harvest. The apostles themi selves were sometimes weak, át other times strong in the faith; sensible of this they prayed unto the Lord that he would " in creale" it. The principle is found, it is vital : it may lie dor. mant, it may Iuffer depression, but it cannot expire. “So the father knew that it was at the fame hour in the which Jesus said unto him, thy son livech; and himself believed, and his whole house."
The miracles of Christ always look farther than to their immediate object. Application is made for the removal of a boda ily infirmity ; the diseases of the mind are at the same time reached by the healing power of the Redeemer,and the spectators are made lealble of a divine energy, The blind inan comes in
it proved. and one of a loud
hope of having his fight restored, he goes away seeing, and with the unspeakably greater blessing, the eyes of his understanding are opened. Behold that helpless paralytic, "borne of four,” stretched motionless on his couch. At the word of Christ he recovers ftrength, arises, takes up his bed, goes forth before them all, and departs to his house, not only with a body every whit whole, but with a soul relieved from the dreadful pressure of the guilt of Sin :” Jesus taid unio the fick of the palsy, Son, thy Gons be forgiven thee." Mark these ten lepers, outcasts from society, loathsome to themselves, an abomination to others, labouring under a malady which medicine could not reach ; they stand afar off, they lift up their voices, they cry for mercy. As they went, at the command of Chrift, to thew themselves to the priests, they were cleansed. To nine of the ten it proved a mere temporary relief, a corporal purgation ; the fatal leproly of fin remained to defile the conscience. To the tenth, a stranger, a Samaritan, it proved at once the cure of bodily disease and of mental pollution: 6. and one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face' at his feet, giv. Ing him thanks : and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answer. Ing, faid, were there not ten cleansed ? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." - Illustrious to the fanie purpose is the history of the miracle under review. The nearer and more immediate object is a fick child at Capernaum, restored instantaneously from threatening indisposition to pertect foundness. But consider how many momentous circumstances are involved in that one ob. ject. The father was a person of the very first distinction, connected with the higher powers of this world, at the head of a numerous and well-ordered household, a man of urbanity, un. derstanding and address. Converted himself to the faith of the gospel, behold him disposed to employ the whole weight of his influence, of his authority, of his example, in promoting the cause which he himself had from conviction embraced. In. calculable is the effect which one man of character, talents and virtue may produce in a court, a city, a kingdom, a world. No one can be solitarily either good or wicked. The contagion whether of virtue or vice is quickly caught and communicated, with this difference, that in the one case there is a repulsive faculty that guards the system against the admission of the gracious principle, and which therefore needs to be corrected, whereas in the other there is a predisposition to absorb the poi.
fon, which it requires no common skill and attention to press, vent. Whatever might be the more remote, or more extensive influence of this good man's faith and piety, the Evangelift ina. forms us that it embraced at least the whole of his own family : " and himself believed and his whole houle.” Here was anom, ther province, by a strong hand rent from the empire of Satan: and added to the kingdom of the Mefliah ; " for he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet." . .
We conclude with a few practical reflections suggested by this portion of our blessed Lord's history.
1. Events, to our apprehension, casual, órdinary, merely, things of course, are, in the purpose of the Eternal Mind, order, connection, mutual dependence. Our eyes are too feeble to discern how delicately fine the hinges are on which the mighty machinery of heaven moves. The enterprises of man exhibit the noise and bustle of preparation, and violence of exertion, and lo, they come to nothing; they commence in a blaze, and prelently issue in smoke. The designs of the Most High have, from imperceptible beginnings made a Glent, unnoticed progress, and have acquired strengih irresistable before atten. tion was excited ; they issue from a dark cloud, and advance: with growing' luftre unto the perfe&t day. What more common than fickaess in a numerous family ? Uniform health, not occasional disease, is the wonder. The malady of a beloved child preads a table veil over an honourable house; it threatens to embiter the future days of survivors ; the hand of death is lifted up to strike the decisive blow. It is a critical moment. The Lord gives the word. The child lives, the parent believes, the whole house is converted' unto the Lord, an impresfion favourable to christianity is made on the public mind, the dominion of grace is extended, and the kingdom of glory opens to view. From such a hidden source, inaccessible as that of the Nile, issues the majestic river, destined to adorn and fertilize distant regions and the nations which inhabit them. This day salvation came to the house of that nobleman. It wore ai lowering aspect, but it brightened as it went.
2. Mark the impartial regards of the great Lord of all to his creatures of every order and.condition. With some men there is a strong prejudice in favour of nobility and affluence, as if they implied greatness. generofily, capacity. Others are ac. tuated by a prejudice equally violent and unreasonable against them. Wisdom says, look'to the man, and not to his cirgumstances. Goodness is the object of commendation and efteem, whether in the high, or the low, the rich or the poor ;.. : and vice is odious whatever be the condition of life. A right
eous judge considereth the cause, not the rank and character
of the parties. And left there frould be an improper bias to the side of poverty, as there fometimes is to the fide of wealth, the law very wisely, throws in this caution : “ Neither shalesi tạou countenance à poor man in his cause." . Our Lord sets the example of this impartiality. Nobility could be no recome mendation to his favour, neither was it any: bar in the way: The distress, the importunity, the parental affection of the man moved his compassion, the current of which could not be ima peded by the confideration of his being a courtier. It is a mel. ancholy reflection, “ that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called ';" but it is pleafing to reflect that the rule is not absolute and universal. The hil tory of the Christian church and the state of the world at his day, exhibit many glorious instances of the triumph of divine grace over the fascination of high rank, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pride of life. As such persons had more to combat and to overcome than others, the combat and the conquest redound the more to the glory of God, in whose strengta they overcome.
3. We have before us an example of high moral virtue, éxo ifting without a principle of saving faith. This nobleman a. dorned his exalted station by qualities estimable in whatever rạnk. He ruled well his own houle. He was an affectionate parent, and a kind master. And when we behold a man ful. filling the duties of one relation reputably to himself and use. fully to others, we are bound in charity to believe, that he ads: worthily in the other relations of life. When an instance of this kind presents iiself, it excitęs regret that such a one, though "' not far from the kingdom of God," should nevertheless come Thort. It is religion that confers dignity on high birth, and that gives energy to virtue. It then this man were respectable and exemplary by his virtuous conduct, how much more so. is he, when faith is added to virtue, now that a divine principle fanctifies, animates, ennobles every action, and renders ordinae ry employments not only a reasonable but a religious service. Morality, then, may exist without religion, but there can be no religion without morality. “ Faith, if it hath not works is. dead, being alone;" : " for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead allo." If in his merė civil and moral capacity the nobleman of Capernaum administered his affairs so wisely and lo well, what must have been the ardor of natural affection, his discretion in the management of his household, the propriety of his perlonal deportment, now that his understanding is illuminated, and his heart warmed, and the path of his feet guided, by the sacred flame of religion now
that the grace of God, that bringeth salvation had appeared to him, teaching" him, as it does 'all'its fubjects, " that denysing ungodlinels and worldly lufts, we should live soberly, right. eously and godly, in this present world ; looking for that blefe fed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purity unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." 14. Do we feel parental folicitude about the bodily health,
and the mental improvement, and the worldly prosperity of our :children? Whgt then ought to be the fervor of our spirits at a
throne of grace, to obtain for them an interest in the favour of God the knowledge that maketh wise unto salvation, the spiris of (an&tification, a right to an inheritance incorrustible, and undefiled, and that fa leth not away ?" From their relatian to us they derive pollution, guilt, condemnation and death ; and shall we not be stimulated to repair clie injury we have done them ; and, by nurtore, by example, by prayer and supplica:ion, become the inkruments of making them “partakers of the divine nature,'' and of railing them to the rank of 'heir's of God, and joini-heirs with Christ.” Wo unto them, and unto us, unleis they are adopted into a nobler family, and exalted "to higher privileges, than those to which the birth of nature entitles them ; and unless they " receive the Spirit of adoption, whereby they may cry, Abba, Father." What will it be to prelent ourselves, at length, and our offspring, whether after che flesh, or after the spirit, or both in one, with joy unspeaka. ble and full of glory, saying, “Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me !" Let this prospect direct our wisho es, dictate our prayers, animate our exertions, till, with Israel, we have power with God and with men, and prevail.
5. Finally, In the presence of that God with whoin we have to do, and of Jesus, " who is God over all, and bleffed forever," all space shrinks into a span, all duration into a mo'ment. “Am I a God at hand, faith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Do not I fill heaven and earth, faith the Lord? Realize that awful omniprefence as a guard upon the heari, upon The tongue, upon the life; as a ground of hope and a source of joy in every dark and trying hour. "God is a very present help in trouble." "Though I walk through the valley of the Thadow of death I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy Itaff they comfort me.” He is faithful who hath promised, to his Israel whom he hath created, whom he hath formed, whom he hath redeemed, whom he haih called by name, ". When thou passeft through the waters, I will be with