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seems to say,
• He is able to do it, if he come down; if he come before the child die.” If his faith had been stronger, he would have said, “ He can do it, without coming down;" But, still, being in earnest, and being certain that Christ was the only helper, he says, “ Come and help me: thou canst help me.”
It is a blessed sign, when a great man can bear reproof; when he is willing to be instructed. Our Lord said to him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. As if he had said, “ I bring sufficient credentials, without working miracles. Look into the prophecies.” The Nobleman, receives the reproof, but says, Sir, come down. There is something very natural in this. When our hearts are set on anything, people may counsel us: they may tell us our duty: but the heart is set on the point. Though our Lord is speaking to him of signs and wonders, he dwells on the same thing : “ Sir! My child is dying! come down. You may instruct me, if you please : you may reprove me if you please : but sir! come down." It shews the man is tractable, a child of instruction, when he can bear reproof: especially if he is a great man; and does not plead his quality, but is content to be treated as a poor man.
This is the reproof: Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. As if he had said, “ The truths which I preach, are proper objects for your dependance.” Our Lord would teach us not to prescribe for our physician, and that the greatest must bow before him. Let us learn by. this history. Let enthusiasts go to dreams: let the Papist go to wonders and lying miracles: but let us trust the word of an eternal and unchangeable God.
Jesus said, Go thy way, thy son liveth,
III, We may remark, the ALL-SUFFI, CIENCY OF JESUS, OUR GOD, TO SAVE: -Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, thy son livelh..
The Divinity of Christ is the foundation of his Priestly Office. The Godhead gave such a value to his sacrifice, that it became “a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world."
It is the foundation also of his Regal Office. How could he relieve us in every possible case, if he were not the Almighty, All-sufficient God? How could he be in the midst of every two or three met together in his name, if he were not the Omnipresent God? A distressed father here comes to him :-he spake, and it was done. Go thy way: thy son liveth. He does not say, “ Thy son shall live:" he does not say, “ He shall recover:” but “ Go home: you will find him well." And which is more-- he not only removed sickpess from the child, but doubt from the father : for he is not only the author but the finisher of faith. The father hears, believes, and departs
satisfied'; depending on the truth of the speaker; 'comforting his heart; and feeling that there were here two miracles performed in one.
Oh, that you and I could learn from this history, that the Eternal God, who is the life of the creature, is here pointing out to dying creatures, like ourselves, that there is no rest, no hope for us in the world, but in God manifest in the flesh! So that, when he says to us, Come unto me, he adds, and I will give you rest :-rest for your bodies ; rest for your souls ; rest under your troubles; rest in temptation ; rest in death; and reșt in judgment. Come unto me, and I will give you rest.
Oịce more. When it pleases the Spirit of God to set his seal to the word of Christ, then it is that we begin to enter into that rest which remains for the people of God. Then we proceed, leaning on him, trusting and depending on his word. We do not see the Eternal Life, but it is enough for us to know that Christ has given us the promise. And thus, though, like Hannah, we go to the house of God in deep trouble, yet if we are able to embrace the word, we go away, as she did, no more sad.
IV. Remark the PROGRESS OF CHRIST'S TEACHING.
The nobleman went his way: and, as he was now going down, the fever left his son. He not only began to 'amend, but the fever left him. When the father knew from his servants that the cure took place at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth, doubtless he would feel “ This is another miracle! He has not only said, Thy son liveth, and enabled me to believe his word; but, at the very moment he spake the word, the work was done! Who is this? Nothing like this can be thought of any man or angel. This is he, who was promised to our forefathers! This is God in human nature! At the moment he spake, the work was done!” And himself believed, and his whole house..
Remark here the progress of Christ's teaching: A man in distress comes to Christ, and obtains help and faith to believe it: he returns home, and finds it done; and, in such a way, as shews the omniscient power of the doer: he relates this to his family, and asks, Is not this the Messiah? Is not this he, who should come? Can the Messiah more fully authenticate his mission ?". The servants mark the fact: they believe: the house is awakened, and becomes a house of believers. Here is the progress of Christ's teaching: for truth gains by fair examination. There are wonders and signs which impostors use, that will not bear examination : but, such is the truth and consistency of the religion of Jesus, that we invite men ta examine for themselves. We lament that they will not do so. We lament that they will listen,
for instance, to such a trifling fool as Voltaire, or to such an incendiary as Hume; that they will go to any jesting scorner. Why will they do this? Because they fear to come to an enquiry,
But affliction makes us serious; and most of us, if we have ever been taught of God, have reason to thank him for the afflictions whereby he rendered us serious and thoughtful. He taught us by them the first step to wisdom. He leads us by them to himself, who is our only helper. A serious mind is a blessing. A serious, thinking, attentive, honest heart is an inestimable blessing. Such a man will soon perceive that there is more in Christianity, more in the worship and service and favour of God, than the jester ever thought of.
It is a serious thing to die: it is a serious thing to stand before God in judgment: it is a serious thing to have something then to rest on; and, when the awakened man comes to compare one part of the divine dealings with another, he sees that the same God who wrote the Book of Nature also wrote the Book of Revelation,
Thus it is that God advances his kingdom by truth. Satan has a thousand arts and falsities wherewith to advance his kingdom; but Christ carries on his by truth.
- I call the men who are prosperous in this world, to examine and compare their temporal advantages with their spiritual, and to enquire whether they keep pace with each other. When you con