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and fins, and the world in which we live is LECT. dead unto God.
Now as Jesus Christ came to restore us from this state of disease and death into which we are fallen, all his mighty works present him to us as a deliverer from these evils ; and therefore while his miracles were evidences of his own divine mission, they were figns of our salvation. They all spake the same sense; and our Saviour himself hath given us a key to the right interpretation of them all: who, when he was about to give fight to a man born blind, did not proceed to the cure, till he had instructed his disciples in the sense of it, in such terms, as could not be applied to it as'a bodily cure. “ As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world,” as if he had said, “ I give light to this man born in darkness, as a sign that I give light. to mankind, who are all born in the like state. This man is but an individual; and all the persons to whom I shall restore their bodily fight are but few: but a spiritual discernment in the eyes of the mind is
LECT. necessary to all mankind; therefore I who
give it am a light to the whole world, and I give sight to this man as a sign of it.”
That the miracle might be more instructive, a very peculiar form was given to it. He moulded the dust of the ground into clay, and having spread it upon the eyes of the man, he commanded him to go and wash off this dirt in the pool of Siloam. Here the reason of the thing speaks for itself. What is this mire and clay upon the eyes, but the power this world has over us in shutting out the truth? Who are the people unto whom the glorious light of the gospel of Christ cannot shine, but they whose minds the God of this world hath blinded? So long as this world retains its influence, the gospel is hidden from the eyes of men ; they are in a lost condition ; and nothing can clear them of this defilement, but the water of the divine Spirit Sent from above to wash it away. This seems to be the moral sense of the miracle: and a miracle thus understood becomes a sermon, than which none in the world can
be more edifying. Our Saviour himself LĘCT. preached in the same way to his disciples, was to instruct them in the nature of his misfion, and of their own salvation. In short the gospel is sealed up, and a man may as well read a modern system of morality, unless he sees that Jesus Christ is the physician of human nature, and that a miserable and sickly world is in daily want of his healing power.
The same spiritual turn is given to the miraculous distribution of bread in the wilderness. Christ informed the people, that if they followed him only to eat of this bread, for the feeding of their bodies, they mistook the nature of the miracle. re seek me because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. Labour not for the meat that perisbeth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man Mall give unto you. The meat he then gave was only a figure of that which he gives in a higher sense to all that believe on him, and which is meat indeed; no other in comparison of this being worthy of the S2
LECT. name. By bread our Saviour sometimes * means the doctrine of the gospel, which
nourishes the mind; and sometimes his own body spiritually taken in the eucharist: but whether we here understand the bread of the Lord's supper, or the preaching of the word; both are distributed to the hungry multitude of mankind in the midst of this desert : and a sort of food this is, which, like the manna laid up in the tabernacle (called the hidden manna *) never perifleth, but nourisheth the soul to life eternal.
From the curing of the blind and the feeding of the hungry, let us proceed to the raising of the dead. It appears to us as a most wonderful thing, that a dead man should hear the voice of Jesus Christ and return to life: but it is more wonderful that the grace of God and the calling of his gospel should revive a man dead in fin; because, to speak after the manner of men, it seems harder to revive a dead soul than to raise a dead body. And now observe the order of things. The first tranfgref
* Revelation ii. 17.
fion brought with it a present death to the LECT.
spirit of man, and a future death to his • body. The power of the gospel brings a
present life to the spirit, and a future life to the body; and as the renovation of the spirit is the greater in effect, and most necessary to be understood, the restoration of a dead body, which is more striking to the senses, is exhibited as a visible sign of it. The scripture therefore in many places speaks of the conversion of the soul to a life of righteousness as a rising from the dead; as in Eph. v. 14, where the apostle paraphrases these words of the prophet Isaiah, arise, soine, for thy light is come, and gives their full meaning to them; awake thou that seepest, and arise from the dead, and Chrift shall give thee light * Here the dead
* This is delivered as the sense of the prophet, because it is ushered in as a quotation, wherefore he faith or it (that is, the scripture) faith. The language of the prophet is an allufion to the rising of mankind from sleep when the sun rises upon them in the morning; but as the prophet doth not speak according to the letter, the light is the true light of the world, and the sleep is the sleep of death, either natural or fpiritual: and so the apostle hath only translated the words of the prophet from the letter into the fpirit, and given them their true meaning.