Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

LECT. and every action of his life tended either S to effect this, or to give us a right under

standing of it: therefore, when we see him working miraculous cures upon men's bodies, we are still to consider him as the Saviour of men's souls; and that he cured their bodies, as a pledge to assure us thereof.

As this is a matter of infinite importance toward the advancement of a Christian in the true knowledge and spirit of the gospel, and not so obvious to common understandings, I have reserved it to my last expository lecture, that you may take advantage of all that has gone before: and when you see into the figurative intention of the miracles of Christ, you will want no more of my instructions concerning the language of the scripture.

The wonders which Jesus Christ wrought upon earth in the course of his ministry were all of a particular fort, because more ends than one were to be answered by them. The world was not only

to

X.

to believe the fact of his heavenly mission, LECT. but to understand the design and object of it. Any supernatuaal act would have shewn, that he was invested with supernatural power ; but as the object of his como mission was to save mankind from their fins, all his miracles were signs of salvation towards the bodies of men; all explanatory of his great work in redeeming their souls from the fatal effects of sin. He went about doing good; and according to the present state of things under the fall, to do good, is to remove evil; to save mankind is to undo and destroy the works of the devil. The worst of these take place upon the soul; but we cannot apprehend them without some because the soul is invisible. When we speak of the faculties of the soul, we are obliged to borrow our words from the faculties of the body; so the evils and distempers of the soul must be signified to us by the evils and distempers of the body: and both of these proceed from the same cause; for had there been no sin in the foul, there would have been no death in the

body.

[ocr errors]

X.

LECT. body. The bodies of men fell into infir

mities along with their souls: and it was of God's mercy that it so happened, for we, who take all our notions of the soul and its operations from those of the body, could not otherwise have understood the distempers of the mind: whence it too frequently happens, that they who never were fick, are apt to be ignorant of the weakness of the inward man, and so hecome confident and self-sufficient—thou sayest, I am rich, and bave need of nothing, and knowejt not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, *

When man was first placed in paradise, his body was in health, and his soul had all its faculties in perfection: and if we would know what a perfect soul is, we must consider what a perfect body is. When the body of man is in a state of perfection, its senses are all perfect. Its fight is quick and strong; its hearing is uninterrupted ; its limbs are vigorous and * Revelations iïi, 19.

active;

active; it distinguishes all tastes and all L'ECT. odours without error, and in its feelings it is fensible of all the impressions of the ele. ments. So when the foul is in equal health, it fees and understands things fpiritual ; it fees God and his truth as plainly as the eye fees the light of the day; it hears and attends to all important and useful information: it walks with God in the way of his commandments, and even runs with pleasure to do his will, as the angels fly through the heaven for the same purpose: it distinguishes good and evil without error; and, apprehending their different effects and consequences, it relishes the one and abhors the other : its speech is employed in the praises of God, and will be telling of his wonders from day to day, for it knows no end thereof; it therefore preserves its relation to God, as his child, his scholar, his subject, in affection, attention, and obedience. O blessed state! who can survey this condition of humanity without bewailing its loss, and aspiring to its restoration? For lost it was; and under that loss we are now suffering; and as

such

LECT. such sufferers we were visited by Jesus

Christ. When sin entered, man fell from
this perfect state of mind, into igno-
rance and blindness of heart; inattention
to divine knowledge and instruction ; aver-
fion to spiritual things; error of judg-
ment; insensibility of the consequences
of good and evil; and inability, as well as
indisposition, to do the will of God. His
soul is as a body maimed and distempered :
for sin is not only a defect, but a positive
disease, including the nature of all the dif-
cases incident to man. The eyes of his
mind are blind; its ears are deaf; its tongue
is dumb; its feet are lame; its constitution
infected with foul distempers; it is agitated
with vain cares, cheated with vain pleasures,
and distressed with emptiness and want.
When the apostle had this subject before
him, well might he exclaim, o wretched
man that I am, who Mall deliver me from
the body of this death? For the life we.
have upon these terms as natural men, is
rather death than life; and so the gospel
hath considered it: we are dead in trespasses

and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »