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doctrines, and are either acts of the utmost mercy and goodness, or are the means of conveying some useful instruction. The multiplicity of his miracles is to be ascribed chiefly to his readiness to relieve every case of distress which was presented to him. Wherever he went; something of this kind occurred. When he went into the house of Simon and Andrew, his disciples, there, as is related in this chapter, he found“ Simon's wife's “ mother lying sick of a fever, and anon
they tell him of her : And he came and “ took her by the hand, and lift her up, “ and immediately the fever left her, and “ she ministered unto them, And at
even when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were dis“ eased, and them that were possessed “ with devils, and he healed many.”—In the incident which occurs in the beginning of the second chapter, of the cure
of a man sick of the palsy, he takes occasion to instruct the spectators in the great object of his mission upon earth.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said “ unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy “ sins be forgiven thee. But there were “ certain of the scribes sitting there, and
reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this
man thus speak blasphemies ? Who can “ forgive sins but God only? And im
mediately when Jesus perceived in his “ spirit that they so reasoned within " themselves, he said unto them, Why " reason ye these things in your hearts ? “ Whether is it easier to say to the sick “ of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee, 66
or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and “ walk? But that ye may know that the “ Son of Man hath power on earth to
forgive sins (he saith to the siek of the “ palsy), I say unto thee, arise and take s up thy bed, and go thy way into thy
“ house. And immediately he arose, “ took up the bed, and went forth before “ them all; insomuch that they were all 6 amazed, and glorified God, saying, We * never saw it on this fashion !"
These, my brethren, are the observations which have suggested themselves to me on the subject of our Lord's miracles and, even at the hazard of being somewhat tedious, I have been induced to bring them forward in one view, that we may proceed with less interruption in our future inquiries. The miracles of our Lord, in as far as they are instances of divine
power, are evidently beyond our imitation ; but the spirit of unwearied benevolence which breathed in them, can still actuate our hearts, and can produce the effect of miracles upon the happiness of our fellow-creatures. That spirit is to be found where our Lord sought it, in earnest communion with God. 66 In the morning, rising up a great while before day, “ he went out and departed into a solita
ry place, and there prayed.” May these words sink into all our souls, and in our hours of meditation and secret thought, may we become acquainted with that “pure and undefiled religion,” which, while it is kindled in prayer to God, seeks to become a fellow-worker with him, by
going about and doing good !”
THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THE POOR.
MATTHEW, xi. 5.
“ The poor have the Gospel preached
6 unto them.'
THESE words, my brethren, point out what
was, in our Lord's opinion, one of the most striking evidences of the truth of his mission. He subjoins them to the enumeration of his miraculous
powers, to which we more commonly appeal when we state the proofs of Christianity.
* Preached December 26, 1813, when a collection was made in all the churches in Edinburgh, for the institution of public schools, upon the principles of the British Society for Education.