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And that we should never be actuated by the love of man's applauseb
Hence he so strictly “ charged the people not to divulge” this miracle
He also “looked up to heaven” in acknowledgment of his Father's concurrence
Not but that he had in himself all power to do whatsoever he willede
But, as mediator, he bore his commission from his heavenly Father
And therefore directed the eyes of men to HIM as the fountain of all good
Thus did he teach us to look up to heaven for aid, even in those things for which we might suppose ourselves to be most sufficient
And to consult in every thing, not our own glory, but the glory of God-] Compassionate
[Touched with pity toward the object before him, “ he sighed”
He could not view even the present miseries introduced by sin, without deep commiseration
Thus he shewed how fit he was to be our great high priesto . And how we ought to feel for others, and to bear their burthense .
We should never behold the bodily infirmities of others without longing to relieve them
Nor, without gratitude to God for the continued use of our own faculties--] Sovereign
[Though he loked up to heaven, he wrought the miracle by his own power
He had only to issue the command, Be opened
He who once said, Let there be light, and there was light, needed only to express his will in order to be obeyed
Instantly the man received the perfect use of his faculties
And, though enjoined silence, became an active instrument of spreading his Benefactor's praise Mysterious
. [Our Lord was pleased to put his finger into the man's ears, and to touch his tongue with his finger, which he had previously moistened with his own spittle
What was the precise intentions of these means we cannot determine
Certain it is that they had no necessary connexion with the restoration of the man's faculties
But they are not without their use as they respect us
They shew that there are no means, how weak soever in themselves, and inadequate to the end proposed, which he may not make use of for his own glory
And that it becomes us to submit to any means whereby he may be pleased to convey his benefits-]
But, besides more minute considerations, there are others which arise from a more general view of the miracle II. The improvement we should make of it
All the miracles were intended to confirm the doctrine delivered by our Lord
We may very properly therefore consider this as
[It had long been foretold that the Messiah should work miracles
The restoring of men to the use of their faculties was among the number of the works which were to be performed by him
Here then the prophecy received a literal accomplishment
Nor could prejudice itself find any just reason for questioning any longer our Lord's Messiahship
We indeed enjoy such abundant light and evidence that we need not the support of any single miracle
But, as all the miracles collectively, so should each individually, assure us beyond a doubt, that Jesus is the Christ ) 2. A specimen of his work
[Jesus had a much greater work than that of healing bodily disorders
He is the great physician whose office it is to heal men's souls
The miracles which he wrought in the days of his flesh were only as shadows of those which he had undertaken to perform
He unstops the ears of men so that they may “hear his voice and live"
He loosens their tongues so that they may shew forth his praise
This he does by the invisible buteffectual energy of his spirit
Let those, who have never yet heard his voice, implore his aid
Let those, who are yet unoccupied with his praises, intreat his favour
ne but assure ushof his wa
Soon shall all natural or acquired infirmities yield to his worde
And “Ephphatha” be the commencement of a new and heavenly life-] 3. An encouragement for all to call upon him
[The object of his compassion had nothing to recommend him
His desire of relief was sufficient to call forth the pity of our Lord
Who then should stay from our Lord on account of his unworthiness!
Should we make our infirmities a reason for continuing far from him?”.
Should we not rather take occasion from them to plead with him more earnestly?
And would not he rejoice in manifesting his power and love towards us?
Let every one then apply to him in humility and faith
No disorders however complicated shall be able to withstand his will
The believing suppliant shall soon experience the efficacy of his grace
And shall have occasion to add his testimony to theirs of oldh—]
& Isai. xxxii. 3, 4.
CCCII. GREAT MULTITUDES HEALED.
Matt. xv. 30, 31. And great multitudes came unto him, hav
ing with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
EVERY miracle which our Lord performed suggests to us some peculiar subjects of profitable meditation But we shall not now dwell upon any one act, however great or benevolent; our attention at this time will be fixed upon a more than ordinary exertion of omnipotence, the working of miracles in a mass, if we may so. speak-We behold Jesus healing great multitudes of
persons who laboured under a variety of disorders; which circumstance may very properly lead us to enquire 1. What sensations must this exercise of divine power
have excited? A more interesting spectacle cannot be conceived than that which was exbibited on this occasion-Consider the impression that must have been made 1. on the persons healed
[It could not fail but that the persons, who had been healed instantly, and without any painful operation, must be deeply affected with the mercy bestowed on them—With what fixedness of attention must the blind, whose eyes had been opened, survey their benefactor!—They would feel no disposition to gratify their curiosity by gazing on the wonders of creation: neither the meridian sun, nor the face of nature enlightened by it, would for one moment attract their notice-The restorer of their visual powers would engross their whole minds; nor would they turn their eyes from him for a moment, unless to wipe away the tears of gratitude and joy that would stream as from an overflowing fountain With what exquisite delight would the deaf listen to the voice of him, who had unstopped their ears! with what insatiable avidity would they drink in the sound, while, with the teachableness of little children, they received his gracious instructions! As for the dumb, whose tongues were loosened, they would, by an involuntary and irresistible impulse, fill the air with acclamations and hosannahs, unless that the dread of interrupting the discourses of their Lord should awe them into silence-The lame and maimed (many of whom perhaps had not only their strength renewed, but their limbs, that had suffered amputation, pero fectly restored) how would they exult and leap for joy, clapping their hands in ecstacy, and glorifying the author of their mercies-We may be assured of this from what is recorded of the cripple whom Peter healed.-Methinks the assembly would be like a choir of ten thousand instruments, whose notes were exceeding various, but all in perfect harmony-] 2. On the surrounding multitude
[The spectators, many of whom were friends and relatives of those that had been healed, doubtless participated in the general joy-Their feelings however were probably less ecstatic, because their own personal interest was not so nearly concerned.But their astonishment at the wonders performed, their satisfaction in the success of their own labours,
a This may be implied in the word xur/8... See Mark ix. 43.
and their sympathy with those, whose maladies had been removed, could not fail of exciting in their minds the most pleasing sensations-When the wife or husband, the parent or child, saw the object of his warmest affections restored to health, and exercising with activity and vigour the faculties that had been renewed, surely he would lift up his eyes to heaven with devoutest gratitude, or prostrate himself upon the ground in profoundest adoration- When, in addition to the mercy his relatives had received, he beheld others in like circumstances with himself, and every moment fresh monuments of mercy rising before his eyes, we may conceive him overwhelmed with the sight, and lost in amazementm] 3, On Jesus himself
[Could Jesus be an unconcerned spectator of the bliss he was diffusing? Could he, who wept at the grave of Lazarus, refuse to sympathize with this adoring multitude? ---It was one of his most common sayings, that it is more blessed to give than to receive;c and doubtless he experienced the truth of it on this occasion--Let us then consider the joy excited in the breast of every individual that had been relieved; let us consolidate and compress it, as it were, into one mass; and then we may have some faint conception of what Jesus felt, while he was communicating such abundant happiness-He would not fail to adore, with inexpressible, though perhaps hidden, ardour, his heavenly Father, for making him the channel of so many blessings But Jesus' happiness would be widely different from that of those whom he relieved His would be tempted with pity for their spiritual maladies, of which, alas! they had but little sense; and his praises would be mixed with prayers, that they might flock around him to obtain those richer benefits, of which their present cures were but imperfect emblemso]
Not to indulge mere useless speculations on this exercise of divine power, let us enquire II. What reflections should it suggest to our minds?
If every separate miracle be replete with instruction to us, much more may this accumulation of miracles afford us matter of useful improvement
1. Have not we need of healing from the hands of Jesus?
[It may be that our bodies are preserved in the unimpaired use of all their facultiesBut are not our souls dis, eased? -Have we no intellectual blindness from which we need deliverance?-Do not our tongues need to be loosened,