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Christ, by his own temptations, has learned to succour usy— He has assured us also that we shall not be tempted beyond
our s r ngth—
In his grace let us be strong and courageous-—
And, having fought like him, we shall shortly triumph with
> Heb. ii. 18. 1 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.
CCLXXV1II. THE WATER TURNED INTO WINE.
John ii. 11. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory: and his disciples believsd on him.
SMALL occurrences often appear important when we love the persons concerned in them—
In this view the most trifling actions of our Lord demand our regard—
But his miracles are worthy of our deepest attention—
He wrought them in confirmation of the doctrines he taught—
And appealed to them as satisfactory evidences of his divine mission
That referred to in the text will afford much instruction, if we consider I. The circumstances
Our Lord was invited to the marriage-feast of a relation or friend—
To honour the institution of marriage he .accepted the invitation*—
There an occasion offered for working a stupendous
[Probably the bridegroom was not very opulent— And Jesus' presence might bring many unexpected guests— Before the conclusion of the feast the store of wine was
* By this we may see how vain and impious are those restraints which popery imposes upon the ministers in her communion, under the idea that the sanctity of their office forbids them from en> taring into the marriage state.
| \ (
The virgin-mother intimated this to her son in hopes that he would work a miracle on their behalf—
And he, mildly checking her interference, complied with her requestb—
The manner in which he performed it is worthy of notice
[The Jews used much water for ceremonial washings— Our Lord ordered all the water-pots to be filled with water'—
And without any visible interposition changed the water to wine— Thus he avoided all appearance of ostentation or collusionHe made the servants vouchers for the truth of the miracle—
And not only supplied the wants of the company, but rewarded the generosity of the bridegroomd—]
It soon attracted general attention [The governor of the feast immediately distinguished its superior excellence—
And complimented the bridegroom on its delicious flavour6—
This brought to light the miracle that had been wrought—
Nor could a doubt of its reality be left on the minds of any—]
Without seeking an improvement of this miracle in any fanciful exposition of its particular circumstances, we shall rather notice, in its general effect
i> Tv'iw, Woman, was as respectful a term as any he could use: persons of the highest distinction were so addressed. But his address was certainly a reproof to his mother for interfering with him in the discharge of his office. Nevertheless he intimated his intention of complying presently with her request: and it is evident from her charge to the servants that she understood him so. But how absurd to pray to the virgin to command her son now, when she was rebuked for counselling him in the days of his flesh!
• This order was punctually executed; "they filled them up to the brim;" so that there was no room for deception by mixing wine with the water.
d The quantity must be very large, but the exact measure cannot be ascertained: if, as is probable, the feast lasted seven days, the wine thus miraculously supplied, might be intended for their use on the remaining days.
e His expression " well drunk" does not apply to the guests then present: but if it did, it by no means implies excess: the word putveit being often used where the most perfect sobriety was observed. See Gen. xliii. 34. in the LXX.
II. The importance of it
1. It displayed the Saviour's glory
[Jesus as the Messiah was to confirm his word by miracles—
In the work he now performed he shewed his almighty power—
Nothing could be impossible to him who could "make the water wine"—
He shewed by this that he could supply our every want— And that he would prove himself an all-sufficient SaviourHe manifested also his transcendent goodness— The wine, though proper for the occasion, was not absolutely necessary—
Yet Jesus exerted his almighty power to provide them with it—
Thus he shewed that nothing was too great for him to bestow—
And that his followers might rely on him for whatever could conduce to their present and eternal comfort—J
2. It confirmed the faith of his disciples
[The disciples believed in Jesus the first moment he called them—
But their faith was as yet but weak and wavering— Now, however, their eyes were more fully opened— They could not doubt the divine authority of him who wrought such works—
Nor could they regret that they had forsaken all to follow him—
It is thus that our faith also is strengthened and confirmed— Nothing but experience will fully teach us— But every fresh discovery of Christ's power and grace unites us to him—
And encourages us to trust in him with more implicit confidence—]
1. It is our duty to enjoy the company of Jesus in our social meetings
[Religion is far from encouraging a morose seclusion from society—
Or from prohibiting occasional festivities, provided they be regulated by prudence and sobriety—
But they should be made the occasions of spiritual improvement—
'St. John again notices it in a subsequent part of his gospel, iv. 46.
Jesus himself, if duly invited, would be present at thems— Let us then endeavour to obtain his presence with us— Thus will our social intercourses be kept from levity or excess—
And be rendered subservient to the welfare of our souls—]
2. Wherever Jesus comes he will contribute much to our happiness
[No doubt his conversation was edifying and instructive—
And the want, occasioned by his presence, was richly supplied—
What a season of holy joy must that company have experienced!—
Thus, he never fails to instruct and comfort those who seek him—
He turns our most common blessings into the richest dainties—
The very bread we eat, or air we breathe, are made doubly sweet—
The more we know of him, the more delight shall we find in him—
The comforts which the world gives, though sweet at first, are at last embittered—
But Jesus always gives us the best wine last—
How true shall we find this when we sit down at His marriage supper.">—
Let us then seek communion with him as our chief joy—]
3. -If we leave our concerns to Jesus, he will surely glorify himself at last
[We are too apt to dictate to him as to the time and mode of our relief—'
But such presumption will ever meet with a rebuke— He both knows all our wants, and the fittest time to supply them—
He will regulate his dispensations towards us with consummate wisdom—
And order every event for his own glory, and our greatest good— 'i .
Let us then commit our every concern to him— And our very straits shall redound to his honour and our eternal happiness—]
e Matt, xviii. 20. b Rev. xix. 9.
CCLXXIX. THE DRIVING OF THE BUYERS ANU SELLERS OUT Of THE TiMI'LE.
John ii. 17. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
WE are apt to think that we receive no benefit from what we read or hear, unless it produce an immediate effect upon us—
But. the word, like the seed, often springs up long after it has been sown—
God often brings it to our minds by some great and singular occurrence—
And then we see a beauty and importance in it which We never saw before—
The apostles themselves forgat many things which were spoken to them by our Lord, till the Holy Spirit brought them to their remembrance—
. They had often heard the Psalms read in their synagogues—
But probably never reflected on the passage before us, till our Lord's conduct suggested it to their minds, and reflected the true light upon it—
We shall consider
I. The circumstances which brought these words to tbeir remembrance
Our Lord, for the first time after his entrance on li» public character, went up to Jerusalem at the passover—
There he found that the temple of God was scandalously |>rofaned—■
And he immediately set himself to rectify the abuses that were there tolerated
[The outer court of the temple was appropriated to the use of the Gentiles—
But many of the Jews had rendered it a place of merchandize—
There they exposed for sale the cattle that were proper to be offered in sacrifice—
And stationed themselves with tables of money for the