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We shall rather adopt the expressionsof holy Job«

Unbelief may prompt us to deride whit we do not understand—

But faith will make is acquiesce in God's declarations, though we cannot fully conprehend them

And expect the accompishment of his promises, however his providence may appearto contradict thsm ]

Jesus did not fail to repect the faith that honoured him III. How it was rcwardec

Jesus answered the rule to the full extent of all his wishes

[Our Lord reproved th excessive lamentations of the people-*—

And encouraged them tojxpect the restoration of the child—

But he would not suffer tho- who had derided him to be spectators of the miracle—

He took with him, however^rsons sufficient to attest it

He favoured the believing frents with admission to behold it—

And restored their daughter,' it had been from sleep, in their very presence—

The child arose instantly, andalked as in perfect health—

For their further conviction bordered food to be civen to the child—

By this also he intimated, thatiough she was restored by a miracle, she was to be kept alivty natural means

What a rich reward was this toe believing suppliant!—}

Nor shall any one who asks faith, be disappointed
[Our Lord has commanded ito ask in faithd

And has assured us that petitio, so offered, shall be answered by hime

Things the most impossible to m, shall, if they will conduce to our good and to God's hone, be effected by the prayer of faithf

Crimes the most atrocious that tr were committed, shall be pardoned*—

Lusts the most inveterate that et enslaved a soul, shall be subdued'S—

The dead in trespasses and sins all be raised, like Christ himself, to a new and heavenly life'.

Nor shall they fail of attainingternal happiness in heaven*—]

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Application

{Every man mist expect trouble ii this vale of tears— The dearest frienis must look forward to a day of separation—

But let every trouble drive us to ne compassionate Jesus— And every want be spread beforehim in prayeri— We are not now indeed to exect miraculous interpositions—

Nor ought we to ask for temporl blessings in an unqualified manner—

We should commit the concer* of this life to his all-wise disposal—

But for spiritual blessings weannot be too importunate— Nor can our faith in his worde too strong— What he said to Martha he s|l says to usm— The advice of Jehosaphat 5 the best direction we can follow"—

Let us not then limit his teitfr mercies—
If we resemble the Samaritaiord, we shall fare like him0-—
Let us not in renewed trtbles be like the unbelieving
Jewsp—

But let us bear in mind thafncouraging declaration^—
And determine henceforth! live like the apostler—]

i Phil. iv. 6. m Johl*. 40. "2 Chron. xx. 20.

• 2 Kings vii. 2, 17. P Ps. ljviii. 20. i Eph. iii. 20.

r Gal. ii. 20.

CCXCVI. TWOJLIND MEN HEALEd.

Matt. ix. 28—30. And wHhe was come into the house, the blind men came to him: a Jesus said unto them, Believe ye that lam able to do thisThey said unto him, Tea, Lord. Then touched he their e-L saying, According to your faith, be it unto you. And the: yes -were opened.

WE are so much aistomed to read and hear the miracles of our Lord, t; the recital of them produces little or no effect—Butpd we seen the multitudes of diseased people continue thronging to him, crying after him, and breaking in ©n his retreats when he was in the houses of his frieni we should have been greatly astonished—In the pas 2je before us we have a speci

men of meir importunity—Two blind men, having in vain supplicated our Lord's assistance in the street, followed him into an house, and there obtained that relief, which, from prudential considerations perhaps, he had not chosen to impart in the presence of the people—>

Waving many observations vhich will arise, when another miracle, exactly similar tothis,3 shall be considered, we shall fix our attention upcn two things, which are very strongly marked in the words before us;

I. The object of faith

The whole sacred volume is to be recieved by us; but God has revealed in it the proper object of our faith— His perfections are the foundation on which we build; and though every perfection is equally an object of our lave, yet there seems a propriety in regarding his power as the more immediate object of our faith; because it will be "to no purpose to believe him well-disposed towards us, if we do not also believe him able to effect his gracious intentions

[In confirmation of this we may observe, that in the most eminent instances of faith, the power of God has been chiefly regardedb———

And in the most remarkable instances of unbelief, his power has been principally doubted0— ——Moreover God in a peculiar manner points out this attribute to our notice,d expostulates with us for not attending to it sufficiently,e and exhorts us to take it for our strength? ]

The address of our Lord to the two suppliants leads us further to remark

» Matt. xx. 30—34.

b Abraham, whose faith is so highly commended, had respect to the power of God to give him a son in his old age, Rom. iv. 19— 21. and to raise him up from the dead, Heb. xi. 19. In dependence on this, Jonathan attacked a Philistine garrison, 1 Sam. xiv. 6. Jehosafihat went forth against three confederate armies, 2 Chron. xx. 6, 12. and the Hebrew youths withstood the command of the Babylonish monarch, Dan. iii. 17, 18.

e Sarah questioned the power of God to give her a child, Gen. xviij. 12—14. As did also the Israelites to give them bread and flesh, Ps. lxxviii. 20. Moses himself on one occasion staggered at God's promise, from an apprehension that it could not be performed, Numb. xi. 21,22. And Martha deemed the putrid state of her brother's corpse an insurmountable bar to his restoration to life. Johnxi. 39, 40.

d Ps. lxii. 11- ,e Isai. xl. 28,29. f Isai. xxvi. 4.

II. The importance of fiith

[Our Lord makes mere enquiry after this than after any

other grace* He overkoked many faults, where this was

exercised;b and disregard*! every thing that was apparently

good, if this were wanting He invariably bestowed

the highest encomiums upn it;k and made it, not only a condition, but the very meaiure of his favoursi J

APPLICATION

1. To unbelievers

[If men may manifest a wry considerable earnestness about salvation, and yet leave room to doubt whether they really believe in the all-sufficiency of Christ, how evidently must they be unbelievers, who have no solicitude about their eternal welfare!—Think then, what will you answer to the Lord when he shall enquire respecting your faith?—And what will you do if he should say, Be it unto you according to your faith i! <—Alas! you need no greater curse than this—If you have no more pardon, peace, or glory than in proportion to your present exercise of faith, you will be miserable indeed—O remember the fate of the unbelieving Israelites; and flee to Christ lest ye perish after their example of unbelief"—]

2. To those who are weak in faith

[Can you see the multitude of our Saviour's miracles, and entertain any doubt of his sufficiency? or the examples of so many that were strong in faith, and not be ashamed that, with your superior advantages, yow should ever indulge unbelief?—O fix it in your minds, that Jesus is able to save to the uttermost, and to keep that which you have committed to him"—Believe in the Lord, so shall you be established, believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper"—But if ye will not believe, neither shall ye establishedi'—]

3. To believers in general

[You will find that peace of mind, purity of heart, vio

s He enquired to this effect of Martha., John xi. 26.; of the blind man, John ix. 35. See also the text.

b He might have justly reproved the nobleman's impatience, John iv. 49.

'The zeal and love of Peter were no longer approved when his faith failed him, Matt. xiv. 31. Nor did Jesus regard the ready obedience of hir disciples in ferrying him over the lake, when they discovered such timidity and want of faith, Mark iv. 40.

k Matt. viii. 10. and xxi. 21, 22. See particularly 2 Citron, xvi. 8. where it was not only commended, but rewarded.

i Mark ix. 23. Matt. viii. 13. and xv. 28. See also the text.

m Heb.iii. 18, 19. andiv. 11. n2Tim. i. 12.

• 2 Chron. xx. 20. • p Isai. vii* 9.

tory over the world, and indeed all that you hold dear, vary according to the weakness or stability of your faith—Beware, then of ever '.' limiting the Holy One of Israel"—Beg that "what is yet lacking in your faith may be perfected"'i—And seek to become "strong in faith, giving glory to God"—]

i 1 Thess. iii. 10.

CCXCVII. THE FIVE THOUSAND FEd.

Luke ix. 12, 13. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: fir we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat.

WITH our active services for God we should blend devotion and retirement—"

And be " careful of. our own vineyard, while, we are cultivating that of others"—

But there are calls, which may- supersede our private duties—

When the occasion is urgent, "God will have mercy rather than sacrifice"—

Our Lord had retired to a desert for the purposes of solitude and prayer—

"But, the people still following him, he denied himself these necessary enjoyments—

And renewed his labours with his wonted earnestness—

We shall call your attention to

I. The zeal of the multitude

They followed Jesus when he had withdrawn himself from them i .

[They had pressed upon him so that he had not had leisure to eat bread3

To relieve himself for a season from their importunities, he' took ship—

The people, seeing whither he directed his course, ran before himb—

» Mark vL 31. b lb. ver. 33.

Vol. III. Qq

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