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o'clock in the morning, they had only got half way across the lake, when suddenly they saw their Lord walking on that wild stormy sea. They did not know Him in their fear, and cried out, till He said, Be not afraid.'
• Fierce was the wild billow,
Dark was the night,
Foam glittered white.
Peril was nigh;
" Peace! It is I!"
Then St. Peter, ever the first to speak, desired to come to his Master upon the waters. Love made him long to be at once with Him, and faith made him bold. It seems also that there was in St. Peter too much confidence in self, and eagerness to outdo and outdare his brethren. However, the Lord gave him leave, and he went out of the ship. So long as he looked to his Master, he too was able to tread upon the waves of the sea; but when he let himself notice the wind and the storm, he began to sink. this moment of danger he prayed, and Christ stretched forth His hand to save him. It was with St. Peter as with David, “When I said my foot slippeth, Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. The Master and the servant went into the ship together; and there was a fresh wonder, the ship was directly at their landing-place.
This miracle shews us that though our Saviour Christ may not at once help us in time of trouble, it is not for want of love and pity. His eye was upon His disciples through that toilsome stormy
Psalm xciv. 18.
night. He would have come to them sooner, if it had been good for them. He came at the right time.
: And in St. Peter's history we see how a Christian, strong in faith, may tread under foot this world, dangerous and unquiet as it is. We see, too, how if his faith fails him, and he looks at the dangers and not at his Lord, they will be too much for him. Nay, they would swallow him up, but for the strong right hand of the Lord, which is ever stretched out to help those who call on Him in time of need.
XVIII.-THE OPENING OF THE EYES OF
ONE BORN BLIND.
OUR LORD had been all day in the Temple, teaching the people, and answering the cavils of the Pharisees. They only reviled Him, and at last took
stones to stone Him. He hid Himself and went out of the Temple, for His hour was not come, nor was stoning the death that He was to die. But on the way He stopped to give sight to a blind man, as related in St. John, ix. 1-7.
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind ? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents : but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent. Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As
long as I am in the world I am the Light of the world. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Sickness, like death to which it tends, came into the world through sin, and sometimes God sends it as a direct punishment on sin. He has also declared that He visits the sins of fathers upon the children. We need not wonder, then, that when the disciples saw a blind man, they asked whether his sin, or his parents' sin, brought that affliction on him. But our Lord Jesus will not have us look into other men's lives, to find out why sickness or misfortune have been sent them. Remember what He said to those who thought that the Galileans killed by Pilate were greater sinners than others: 'I tell you nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.' And now He told His disciples that the blindness of this man was not the punishment of any particular sin, committed by him or his parents. It was sent in mercy, that God might be glorified through its cure.
Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.' Our Lord's earthly life was His day, in which He worked the works of the Father Who sent Him into the world. Christ was the Light of the world. How fit then it was that He should open the eyes of the blind!
Leviticus, xxvi. 15, 16; 1 Cor. xi. 30. 2 St. Luke, xiii, 1-3.
3 Psalm civ, 23.
When Naaman was told to wash in the Jordan, he turned and went away in a rage.
When the blind man who had been anointed by Christ's hands, was sent to wash in the Pool of Siloam, he washed and came seeing.
The neighbours scarcely knew the man again, his countenance was so changed by the opening of his eyes. They questioned him, and when he had told them what had passed, they brought him before the council called the lesser Sanhedrim, which was for the most
of Pharisees. This council examined the man and his parents. They spoke evil of our Lord, put questions to the man, and reviled him for his answers. He all the time grew bolder and bolder in defending Jesus of Nazareth, till at last they cast him out, or put him out of the synagogue. Now were our Lord's words fulfilled in himBlessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake.? Our merciful Saviour went at once in search of him, and found him, and asked him whether he believed in the Son of God. The man had already confessed our Lord to be a Propbet. As soon as He was revealed to him as the Son of God, he said, 'Lord, I believe,' and worshipped Him.
Thus were the words of Isaiah fulfilled, In that day the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.' 3 This man had indeed been born blind, that the works of God should be made manifest in him. The power and goodness of the Saviour had been shewn in opening his eyes, and by means of that cure the 1 2 Kings, v. 12.
2 St. Luke, vi. 22. Isaiah, xxix. 18.
light of the glorious Gospel of Christ had reached his heart; the Sun of Righteousness had arisen on him, with healing in His wings.'
Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Borders on the shades of death,
Dissipate the clouds beneath.
Life and joy Thy beams impart,
Every poor benighted heart.'
XIX.-THE WITHERED HAND HEALED
ON THE SABBATH.
The Jews had only one temple in which sacrifices were offered to God, and He was pleased to abide. But they had in every town a synagogue for prayer, and for reading and explaining the Scriptures. It was our Lord's custom on the Sabbath day to go to the synagogue and teach the people, and when He saw anyone there who was sick or suffering, He would heal him. Thus He restored the withered hand of a poor man, as St. Matthew relates in chapter xii. 9–13. The history is also given in St. Mark, iii. 1-5, and St. Luke, vi. 6-11.
And when He was departed thence, He went into their synagogue; and behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked Him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the
St. Luke, iv. 16.