Imagens das páginas

writer devoutly wishes it had long since been undertaken by men of greater leisure and abilities than himself. He can well afford to sustain the charge of imprudence, should such a charge ever be preferred. Deeply conscious that somebody should publicly suggest a medium between the unbounded extravagance of some preachers, and the deadening accuracy and coolness of others. In the fear of Almighty God he humbly makes the suggestion himself.

In the “ supplementary particulars ” and notes which were written after the preaching of the lecture, the reader will observe “great plainness of speech.” He will perceive an honest declaration of opinion, and particular familiarity of expression. But as his freedoms in all his other publications have been as kindly entertained by a discerning public, as they have been kindly intended, he trusts that no offence will be taken.

“Liberty to thinksaid Andrew Fuller to Earl Grey “is no liberty at all! The greatest despot cannot deprive the meanest slave of liberty to think ; what we want is liberty to every man to disseminate his thoughts.” This commendable saying is inserted with approbation in the Wesleyan magazine for October, 1846. We approve of it, and act accordingly. And we have endeavoured not to abuse this liberty by printing, without first ascertaining the opinion of superior men.

The manuscript of the lecture was read on behalf of one of the first public institutions for religious literature in the kingdom; and the writer received a very courteous and official communication, declaring “the subject to be important in itself, and that it was discussed with good ability.”

With a sincere wish that all things immediately connected with the christian ministry may be discreetly managed, and that, in reference to the qualifications of preachers, and the results of their labours, the community at large may be assisted to "judge righteous judgment," the writer commends his little book to the discrimination and candour of the christian public.

Madeley- Wood, Shropshire,

Feb. 1846.



MATT. IX. 31.

But they when they were departed spread abroad his fame in all that country.

THE word “they” refers to two blind men to whom our Saviour had mercifully given sight. These men had earnestly implored his attention and sympathy. He had said to them," believe ye that I am able to do this ?” And they assured him that they did believe. He then immediately touched their eyes, and said,"according to your faith be it unto you.” And their eyes were opened. Our Lord then particularly charged them not to let any man know of the circumstance. But in direct opposition to this injunction they made it known. So very powerful, so overflowing, was their gratitude, that they found it impossible to keep the fact secret. It was (to use a homely phrase), obliged to “come out.” Wherever they went they gratefully spoke of the happy removal of their disease, and of their good and divine physician. “When they were departed,” says Saint Mathew," they spread abroad his fame in all that country." The fame of his raising the Ruler's daughter from death to life had already gone abroad into all that land ; and now the fame of his giving sight to the blind was spreading in all directions. Our Saviour was decidedly famous. His popularity as a worker of miracles, and a preacher of the gospel, appears to have been remarkably extensive. “He went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people, and his fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those that were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy, and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." And it is worthy of notice, that notwithstanding the contempt with which he was occasionally treated, and the derision he encountered, his fame was not only undiminished but continually increased. The cavillings, and evil-speaking, and

« AnteriorContinuar »