Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

after, in His presence, where there is fulness of joy, and at His right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore.53 May this blessedness be our portion. The text notices,

54

Thirdly, The subordinate effect which proceeds from the love of God; and that is, an attention to the duties of the second table of the moral law. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. This commandment is recorded in the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. When love to God fills the heart, rules the soul, and occupies the mind, love to man, as our fellow-creature and the creature of God, will follow in its train. The true Christian will endeavour to do unto others, as he would that they should do unto him in similar circumstances. He will inquire, What is my duty towards my neighbour; and will seek grace from God to enable him to perform it. He will avoid all those sins which are forbidden in the second table of the moral law; viewing them as they are explained in our Saviour's sermon on the mount; or as the Psalmist expresses it, Thy commandment is exceeding broad,55 not merely to be limited to the letter, as the laws of man are interpreted. He will pray for the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit to rest upon Him, that

53 Psalm xvi. 11. 54 Leviticus xix. 18. 55 Psalm cxix. 96.

He may effectually mortify the deeds of the body; and that he may be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.56 Unless this be our desire, an outward profession of

our aim, and prayer, religion is of no avail.

Let us then ask ourselves, Do we love the Lord our God? Do we desire to love Him, and to live in entire and unreserved obedience to His holy will and commandment? If we really desire to love Him, we do love Him in some measure, and we shall be enabled to love Him more. Love is the fulfilling of the law, and where it truly exists, will be manifested by obedience to what God has commanded, and by seeking grace from Him that we may walk so as to please Him continually. Let fervent secret prayer and a public profession of religion go hand in hand, and all will be well. The praying Christian will be enabled to adorn his profession. While he who does not pray earnestly in secret, will be in continual danger of making shipwreck of his faith. Let us pray for more and clearer discoveries of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, by the teaching of His Holy Spirit; and then we shall be constrained to love Him more, and to serve Him better.

56 Philippians i. 14.

57 Romans xiii. 10.

SERMON LIV.

FOR

THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER

TRINITY.

THE PARALYTIC HEALED.

Matthew ix. 2.

AND BEHOLD THEY BROUGHT TO HIM A MAN SICK OF THE PALSY, LYING ON A BED: AND JESUS, SEEING THEIR FAITH, SAID UNTO THE SICK OF THE PALSY, SON, BE OF GOOD CHEER; THY SINS BE FORGIVEN THEE.

THE kindness and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ towards the needy and distressed, appeared in every action of His life. He went about doing good. But notwithstanding this was His continual object and practice, He was surrounded by enemies who wished to find fault with, and to misrepresent every thing that He did.

a a

The Gospel for this day furnishes evidence on both of these points. The transaction here recorded is said to have taken place in His own city, or in Capernaum, where He had taken up His residence, in consequence of the ill-treatment He had received at Nazareth, when He opened His commission as a Teacher come from God to the people among whom He had been brought up. At the commencement of His discourse it is said, that all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. But at the close of it, all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He, passing through the midst of them, went His way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath-days.59 Our blessed Lord seems to have taken up His abode at this place, on account of the facility which was afforded Him, by means of its situation on the border of the sea or lake of Galilee, to visit the numerous towns or villages that surrounded the lake. And, perhaps also, as Peter and others of His disciples were fishermen, to enable them to obtain their livelihood, by pursuing their

58 John iii. 2.

59 Luke iv. 16, 22, 28-31.

[ocr errors]

occupation as occasion might serve, while they attended on His ministry.

It appears from the preceding narrative of our Evangelist, that Jesus had crossed over to the other side of the lake; where a proof of the dreadful power of the invisible enemies of mankind had been recently manifested, to the terror of all who witnessed it. He had dispossessed of a multitude of evil spirits two poor men who had been tormented by them, and were the terror of the whole country. He had permitted these evil spirits to enter into a herd of about two thousand swine, which immediately ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters ; an event which so terrified the people that they besought Him to depart out of their coasts; as if He had done them an injury, instead of having conferred a benefit upon them which should have excited their utmost gratitude.

The Gospel for this day commences with rclating that Jesus entered into a ship, and passed over the lake, and came into His own city, Capernaum, the place where He had taken up His abode at that time as His home. On this occasion the event took place which is related in the text. Behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed. St. Mark records that many were gathered together, insomuch that there was

60 Matthew viii. 32, 34.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »