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vain—Is then his strength impaired now that he is in heaven? —Is not all power in heaven and in earth committed to him on purpose that he may exert it on behalf of his church?*— And has he not the same zeal for his Father's glory and our good which' originally brought him down from heaven and induced him to submit to death for us?—Surely then we have no reason to doubt his ability or willingness to help us in the time of need—]

Nor shall any make their application to him in vain [His ready compliance with the requests of all the multitudes who came unto him,'may justly warrant us to expect relief at his hands—Yea, there are many living witnesses of his power and grace from whose success we may derive encouragement—However blind we have been, he will open the eyes of our understanding—However impotent we have been with respect to the right use of our tongue, he will loose our tongue that we may speak plainly—He will fulfil to us his promises beyond our most sanguine expectations; "Our eyes that were blind shall be opened, and our tongues that were dumb shall sing?'"—]

No sooner shall we obtain deliverance than we shall find

III. That an experience of his mercy will excite our admiration, and confirm our faith

Nothing astonishes the soul so much as a discovery of Christ's power and grace

[The people who beheld the miracle, were amazed—And doubtless the person also who received the benefit was filled with admiration—Thus is the converted soul made a wonder unto many—Many will u glorify God in him"—Nor will he wonder less, whose faculties are renewed by grace—How plainly does he now see his former bondage to Satan!—How does he marvel at the rich mercy vouchsafed unto him!— Above all, how does he adore the sovereignty of God who has thus distinguished him from others!—Often does he exclaim, Why me, Lord? why hast thou taken me, while so many others are yet left in a state of nature?—]

Nor does any thing so much confirm our faith in Christ [The people justly concluded from the miracle that Jesus, must be the promised Messiah—And can anyone see the effects of his grace, and not admire him in them?—Can any one receive his spiritual benefits, and not acknowledge his sufficiency to save the soul?—When once we can say, He, has opfnfd

• Eph. i. 22. b Isai. xxxv. 5, 6.

my eyes, we can have no doubt of his ability to do for us whatever we need—We shall exultingly appeal to others, Is not this the Christ?—Yea, we shall recommend him to others as a sure refuge, and an almighty friend—]

Application

1. To those who are yet under the power of Satan [If we should credit men's account of themselves, none

of this description could be found—But are there none whose lives evince this melancholy truth; none whose powers of speech have been employed only for secular and carnal purposes, and who have been utterly blind to the beauty and excellency of true religion?—Know then, that however great an object of commiseration a man is, who is incapable of seeing to supply his own wants, and of speaking to make them known to others, he is in a far happier state than you—His wants may be supplied, yours cannot; his will end at death, but yours will follow you into the eternal world—Look then to Jesus, and pray with David, "Open thou mine eyes," "Open thou my lips"—Thus shall you become monuments of his mercy, and adore him for his goodness to all eternity—]

2. To those who .-.ive been delivered from Satan

- [No person restored to the use of speech and sight has so much reason to rejoice as you—Employ then for Jesus the faculties which he has given you—And guard against the devices of Satan-*—He can again (alas! how often does he!) both blind your eyes, and seal your lips—In Jesus is your strength—Your application to him must be renewed yet daily —In this way you will grow in knowledge and in grace—And you will be progressively fitted to behold his glory and to sing his praises for evermore—]

CCXCII. CHBIST STILLETH THE TEMPEST.

Matt. viii. 27. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?

THE more we see of Christ, the more we are constrained to admire him—

Every fresh miracle discovers to us more of his unbounded power and grace—

The disciples had often been struck with wonder at the miracles wrought by him—

They now beheld a miracle in which they themselves were deeply interested—

And were stimulated by it to more exalted thoughts of his august character—

It will be profitable to enquire
I. What it was at which they so marvelled

The disciples in crossing the lake were overtaken by a storm—

And were in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by the waves—

In this strait they called upon their Lord for help [They had put to sea in compliance with their Lord's command1

Yet were they not exempt from the dangers incident to navigation—

Christ himself submitted to be thus tossed by winds and waves—

And in so doing has taught us what his church must expect in this tempestuous worldb

His disciples, having exerted themselves in vain, applied to him—

In this they afford us a good example under our distresses—

Perplexed by fear, and agitated by impatience, they addressed him rather in a querulous expostulation— Alas! how feeble is our nature under the pressure of heavy trials!—

How apt are we to mix our supplications with complaints against God!d— •.

They shewed however, with all their weakness, in whom their trust was—

And that they had no hope but in his almighty aid—]

He immediately interposed ibr their deliverance

[He could, if he had seen fit, have prevented the storm— But then the disciples would not have discovered their own weakness—

Nor have seen this marvellous display of their Master's power—

It is for the same gracious ends that he permits our troubles—

And, when they have brought us to him in fervent supplication, he will deliver us from them—

He arose from his pillow, and with authority rebuked the storm—

* Ver. 18. b Acts xiv. 22.

■ Job. iii. 23. & vi. 4. & vii. 20. >» 1 Pet. i. 6, 7.

Instantly the boisterous winds were hushed, and the roaring

billows silenced—

Though at other times the waters after a storm remained in

a perturbed state, at his command they subsided to a perfect

calm— Such is the effect his word produces on " the tempest-tossed

sour— Terrors that appalled the conscience, are dissipated as a

cloud*—

Temptations, that agitated the frame, are disarmed of their

power5

And afflictions, that overwhelmed the soul, are made to yield

"the peaceable fruits of righteousness"—

Well might they marvel on an occasion like this—
Nothing seems so much beyond the control of man as the

winds and waves—

But even these heard the voice and obeyed the will of the

Lord Jesus—

Well therefore might the disciples exclaim, " What manner

of man is this!"—]

So stupendous a miracle should lead us to consider II. What views of Christ will naturally arise from this display of his power

The disciples, through their ignorance and perplexity, scarcely knew what to think—

But to us his conduct naturally suggests the following truths

1. Christ is the true and living God [His sleeping, through fatigue, shewed him to be a man

like ourselves—

But his exercise of such power proved him to be God also— Moses had opened the sea by his wonder-working rod— And Elijah had made a path through Jordan by his mantle— But both confessedly wrought their miracles in dependence

on GodJesus, on the contrary, performed this miracle by his own

power—

And who, but God, is sufficient for such things?—

It is spoken of as the peculiar prerogative of God to rule

the sea&—

Let us then bear this in mind in all our addresses unto

Jesus—

Let us indeed make this the ground of our application to

himk—]

e Acts xvi. 29—34. f 2 Cor. xii. 9.

e Prov. xxx. 4. Ps. lxv. 7. k Isai: xlv. 22.

Vol. III. O o

2. He is never unmindful of his people's troubles however he may appear to be so

[The apostles rather reflected on him as though he " cared not" for them—

But his providential care was not the less exerted because he was asleep—

We also are ready on some occasions to think him unmindful of us—

We too often adopt the impatient language of the church of oldi

But the answer he gave to them, is equally applicable to usk

We never need to be afraid if we be embarked with him—

His ark may be tossed about aud driven by tempestuous winds—

But though every thing else should perish, that will outride the storm—]

3. He will not withhold his aid on account of the weakness of our faith

[The excessive fears of his disciples shewed their want of

faith—

He therefore reproved them for having so little confidence

in him—

But he would not on 'that account refuse their request—
In us also he too often sees the workings of unbelief—
But he will " not be extreme to mark what is done amiss"—
He frequently when on earth relieved those who doubted

his power or his willingness to help themi

And it is well for us that he still exercises the same pity and

forbearance—

Doubtless, however, the stronger our faith, the more speedy

and effectual, for the most part, will our deliverances be—]

4. He is as able to save us out of the greatest difficulties as from the least

[We are ever prone to limit him in the exercise of his goodness—

Nor are even the most signal manifestations of his power sufficient to correct this propensitym

But he who created and upholds all things can overrule them as he pleases—

And his promises to his people are fully commensurate with their wants—

Let us then go to him under our most pressing difficulties—'

> Isai. xlix. 14. k lb. ver. 15, 16.

i Matt. viii. 2. Mark ix. 22. >» Ps. lxxviii. 19, 20.

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