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to the astonishment of the surrounding multitude, arose, took up his bed, and departed to his own house, praising and glorifying God; while the affected beholders, with the highest acclamations, joined the praise, and glorified the God of Israel, “who had given such power unto man;” but the Scribes and Pharisees, however confounded they were at the miracle, still persisted in their unbelief; an instance which should fill us with the most serious thoughts, as it demonstrates that a pride of heart, which produees a haughty self-sufficiency, and generates an obstinate and determined hatred and opposition to the truth, and by suspending and stupifying all the noble powers of the soul, operates like the palsy of the mind, is a much more dreadful and deplorable disease than the palsy of the body. Our adorable Redeemer having performed this miracle, he departed to the sea side; and a multitude of people gathered about him, he made use of the favonrable opportunity to enlighten their dark minds with the rays of heavenly truth. "What were the particular points he chose the evangelists have not informed us; but we may safely conclude that these discourses, like the rest delivered by this divine person, were worthy of God and advantageous to man. Our blessed Saviour having finished his discourse, he returned to the eity of Capernaum, and going by the keys where the goods which were brought by sea from various nations were landed, he saw Matthew, a rich publican, sitting in his office to receive the customs ; Matthew is some times in the gospel called Levi, and was the son of Alpheus. Christ no sooner saw him than he called him. “ Follow me,” was his mild aud graeious language; which the heavenly teacher had no sooner spoken, than the wealthy publican felt a divine power warm his heart, which overpowering every worldly consideration, he seems to have left his accounts all unfinished, and immediately obeyed. He soon, by our great Redeemer, was ied into a more honorable and important imployment, and afterwards become an evangelist, as well as an apostle. A few days after this, the new called publican made a great entertainment, to which he, with CHR 1st and his disciples, invited several of his profession ; no doubt hoping that his heavenly conversation might strike their hard hearts with remorse for their wickedness and extortion, and lead them in paths worthy of partaking the benefits arising from the glorious Redeemer of mankind. In the course of the entertainment Chris T reminded them that in the gospel dispensation, God “will have mercy, and not sacrifice;” and as those who confessed themselves sinners were the only proper objects of that mercy, our Lord declared, that he was “not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance;” and to blame him for conversing with publicans and sinners was as great a piece of absurdity as to blame a physician for visiting the sick. This declaration from the great Friend and Redeemer of lost sinners, dissatisfied greatly the haughty self conceited Scribes and Pharisees : and as they made great ostentation of their fasting and abstinence, they took this opportunity to give themselves consequence on that account; and joining with John's disciples, presumed to blame our great Redeemer because his disciples were not so frequent in this practice as themselves. To this our Lord replied, that the present was not a time for fasting,for his disciples need not fast normourn in the presence of their Master, any more than the friends of the bridegroom .# fast and afflict themselves while they enjoyed his company. “But,” said he, “ the day will come, when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they shall fast.” Intimating by this that the calam: ities, troubles, and afflictions which they would suffer after the death of their Master, would oblige them to fast and mourn ; but the corrupt na; ture of man, which was the cause of his coming into the world, required łifferent treatment; the rent would not be patched up with mortification, *ing or any external performances; such treatment as this would be like sowing a piece of new cloth on an old rotten garment, which would to: make the rent worse; or putting new wine into old leather bottles, whi would burst as soon as the liquor fermented.
Christ healeth a Woman of an inveterate Issue of Blood: Raises Jarius's Daughter from the Dead: Gives Sight to two blind Men: Delivered a possessed Person fram the evil Spirit: And, returning to Galilee, chooses his twelve Apostles out of his Disciples: Then, repairing to Capernaum, cures the Centurion's Servant.
WHILE the blessed Jesus was disputing with the Scribes and Pharisees in the house of Matthew, whom he had lately called into the number of his disciples, an afflicted father, in all the agonies of distress, hastely pressed into his presence. This was Jarius, the ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Capernaum, and the cause of his present affliction was the dangerous illness of his daughter, who lay at the point of death. Having earnestly implored the assistance of our great Redeemer in this distressing case, the Lord of life graciously condescended to comply with his request, and accordingly accompanied the distressed father to his house; and great multitudes of people, who were desirous of beholding the mira. cles of Christ, crowded around and pressed to behold what the divine Instructor would do on this great occasion. But as they passed through the streets of the city, the attention of the surrounding multitudes were turned to a woman, who came behind the Son of God, and touched the hem of his garment. This woman had been afflicted twelve years with a terrible disorder, which had baffled the force of medicine. She had spent her whole substance on physicians, but hearing of the miracles preformed by the blessed Jesus, she was so fully convinced of his divine power, that she concluded if she could but touch his clothes she should be made whole. Nor was she deceived, for she no sooner touched the garment of our great Redeemer than her issue of blood dried up ; and she felt such a flow of vital o and uncommon gladness warm her heart, that she was fully convinced that she had received a cure. The blessed Jesus, who knew the heart of all men was not ignorant of the minutest circumstances attending this affair; he knew the woman’s thought, and was pleased with her faith; and with design to begin a conversation in which he might testify his approbation, he turned about and asked who touched him P. His disciples, as they were not apprised of the transaction, wondered at their Master's question, “Thou seest,” said they “the multitude thronging and pressing thee, and sayest thou, who touched me?” Jesus, however persisted in the inquiry, and the woman, perceiving she could not be concealed, came to him trembling, and told him what she had done. She approached him with hesitation and diffidence, fearing he would be offended at the liberty she had taken ; but the diving Physician received her with condescending goodness spake to her in the kindest manner, and commended her faith; “Daughter,” said he, “be ef good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole.” ... In the midst of the surprise occasioned by this miracle a messenger approached from Jarius's house, and informed him that his daughter was dead, so that he need not give our Lord the trouble to come any further; for they supposed it far beyond the power of this extraordinary person to
overeome the mighty conqueror, Death, or recall the fleeting spirit from the eternal world. This message was received by the affectionate parent with the strongest emotions of sorrow, and bitterest agonies of distress. Our Lord took eompassion on him, and desired him to be comforted with hopes that his daughter should be restored. When our great Redeemer came to the ruler's house, he found it full of mourners, who made great lamentation, and were preparing for the funeral. Our Lord commanded them to cease their preparations; “for,” said he, “the maid is not dead but sleepeth; and they laughed him to scorn.” These words of CHRIST were used with peculiar propriety,to denote that it was determined the Virgin should not continue in the cold embraces of death, but should instantly be restored to her friends as one awakened out of sleep ; and having thus spoken, our Lord approached the apartment of the dead, taking with him none but Peter, James, and John, except the father and mother of the maiden ; then laying hold of the cold hand of the dead virgin, he said with a gentle voice, “Maid, arise " The heavenly voice was immediately obeyed, and the damsel arose, fresh as from a sound sleep, all healthful and vigorous; and Jesus commanded to give her something to eat. - Thus the great Son of God gave a full and clear manifestation of his heavenly power: and not only proved that he was the true Messiah, but ave a clear demonstration of the possibility of the resurrection of the É.i. and those who have imbibed the absurd opinion of the soul's sleeping with the body till the resurrection, would do well to consider the expression of the evangelists, “Her spirit came again,” Luke viii. 55: by which it appears that the soul, exists in a state of separation, when the body lies all cold and breathless in the dark chambers of the grave. Having performed this great & benevolent miracle, our blessed Saviour left the ruler's house; and going through the streets of the city, he was followed by two blind men: they had doubtless, heard of the great miracle which he had just performed and supplicated his assistance in their present deplorable circumstances, well knowing that be was able to restore them to sight. The benevolent Saviour of sinners condescended to favour their request; and having entered an house to escape the crowding of the multitude, he touched their eyes, and said, “According to your faith be it unto you,” when immediately the great and desirable blessing of sight was restored unto them ; the sacred beams of all-chearing day revisited their eyes aud filled their hearts with gladness, and their tongues with praise; and such a flood of gratitude and joy overflowed their hearts, that they could not conceal their miraculous restoration to sight, though the Lord required them to keep silence, but published our Redeemer's fame and their own ha§§y condition, through every part of the country. The men who had thus miraculously received their sight being departed, the multitude brought to the benevolent Saviour of sinners a dumb man, possessed with a devil. So affecting a case attracted the compassionate regard of our blessed Jesus, who immediately cast out the foul spirit. The dumb man instanily recovered the use of speech, and spake in so sensible and satisfactory a manner,that the whole multitude was amazed, and, with united voice, declared that such wonderous works were never wrought by the greatest and most eminent of the ancient prophets. “It was,” said they, “never so seen in Israel.” The Pharisees whose hearts are full of infernal rancour, and whose pride and prejudice prevenied their receiving instruction from the discourses, or conviction from the miracles of our great Redeemer, beheld the miracle now performed with a scornful sneer, and put the most invidious construction upon it, that could possibly enter into the heart of man : “He neteth out devils,” said they, “through the prince of devils.” The bles'*sus, seems, at this time, to .ave taken no notice of this calumny
but leaving the haughty, self-conceited doctors, under the dominion of
over the most minute circumstance which concerned them, they were enjoined to make no provision for their journey, nor take any care about temporal things; “Provide,” said their divine Master, “neither gold nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, neither yet staves; for the workman is worthy of his meat.” Probably the Apostles, knowing that the whole Jewish nation was elated with the apprehension of the appearance of the Messiah, and the high expectations they had formed of his setting up a temporal kingdom, might expect to be received with honour and esteen by their countrymen, as they were going to publish the speedy approach of that kingdom which they so ardently desired, and to work such miracles, as might convince them that their declaration was true: but their master informed them, that the event, in this case, would not be answerable to their expectations; for instead of being caressed and honoured by their countrymen, he assured them, they should meet with derision and contempt; he informed them that they should be despised and persecuted, delivered to the rulers, and punished as wicked men. But, at the same time, he promised them the constant protection and assistance of his heavenly Father, and gave them minute and particular instructions for their behaviour on every occasion; and let them know, that whoever rejected them and their message, should be rejected, and treated with indignation and scorn, by the great judge of the world, but those who received them with kindness, attended to their preaching and received it with honesty and openness of mind, kindly contributing to their support, though they gave but a cup of cold water to the least of his disciples, should not fail of receiving a large reward. The apostles having received this commission, visited all parts of the country, preaching the doctrine of repentance and proclaiming the kingdom of the Messiah at hand. They confirmed the truth of their declarations, by working of miracles, healing the sick, and performing every great work which was worthy their master's cause, and necessary to prepare the minds of mankind to receive him; while out great Redeemer continued the course of his ministry in Galilee, and, by the divine eloquence of his preaching, and the wonders he wrought proved himself the Son of God. In the eye of worldly wisdom, it must seem a very foolish and unpopular attempt to send a pareel of illiterate, despised Galileans to reform the world: how is it possible that such persons as these, should confound the wisdom of the wise, and baffle the power of the mighty P How was it possible, that they should overturn the many false religions which then flourished in the world, which were supported by civil government, and had established themselves by long-continuance, were deep-rooted in the human heart, and maintained by the passions and prejudices, and interest of mankind. Had human prudence directed to the choice of persons to be employed on this great occasion, they doubtless would have been men of great learning, superior eloquence, and possessed of every art of persuasion and address. But the wisdom of God stoops not to be directed by the wisdom of man; his ways are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts. When his glorious gospel was sent to enlighten and enrich the world, this divine treasure was committed to earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power might appear to be of God: accordingly, it appeared that the religion which these illiterate fisherman, these despised Galileans published through the world, was far superior, was more worthy of God, and beneficial ta man, than the acutest reasonings, or the sublimest strains of the Greek and Roman philosophers and poets, though they were furnished with all the stores of human literature, and spent their whole time in study and eontemplation. Hence it is manifest, that the glorious gospel of God, by it's noble simplicity, by it's own intrinsic dignity and worth, as well as by the miraculous power which attended it, and the heavenly glory which shone around it, proved itself to be wholly original and divine.