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Let us never question the power or willingness of Christ to

save

Let us make our way to him through all difficulties and obstructions

Let us stretch out our hands with humble boldness and confidence

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Nor doubt but that virtue shall proceed from him to heal our souls-]

CCXCV. JAIRUS' DAUGHTER HEALED.

Luke viii. 50. When Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

AFFLICTIONS may well be deprecated by us as painful to flesh and blood

But they are often the means of humbling us before God

Multitudes came as suppliants to our Lord who would never have regarded him if they had not felt the pressure

of disease or trouble

The rich in general were the most back ward to acknowledge him

But they found that in the hour of affliction none other could do them good

Hence occasionally we see the opulent presenting their supplications before him—

Nor did he reject the suit of any, whether they were rich or poor

The answer he gave to a ruler of the synagogue is recorded in the text

And it will naturally lead us to notice the ruler's faith I. How it was tried

Jairus (such was his name) had much to try his faith

[He had an only child (twelve years of age) in dying circumstances

Having heard much of our Lord's miracles, he applied to him on behalf of his daughter

And earnestly requested him to come and restore her health

But while he was returning with Jesus to his house, his servants brought tidings that the child was dead

This was a dreadful shock to the parent's feelings-
And might have utterly destroyed all his hopes-]
Thus it is that the faith of God's people is often tried
[They are enabled to make application to their God and

Saviour

But the storm in the meantime gathers thick around themTheir difficulties so increase, that their hopes seem almost blasted

They have cried for pardon, and find only an increasing sense of guilt

They have prayed for deliverance from corruption or temptation, and experienced the assaults of Satan more violent than ever

Thus they are almost ready to think that God has cast out their prayer, and shut up his tender mercies from them

It was in this manner that holy Job was tried

Yea, the experience of most, however diversified, is generally found to agree in this-]

But this accumulated trouble was permitted for the further exercise of the ruler's faith

II. How it operated

He was enabled humbly and confidently to depend on Jesus

[It was his faith that first led him to Jesus for help⚫ Nor, when his case seemed desperate, did he give up his hope

It is probable that our Lord might perceive some rising apprehensions in his mind

But he sustained him instantly with that encouraging word, Fear not"

Jairus expected now that his child should be raised as from a sleep

The idea of sleep, however, only called forth the derision of the mourners

Such was the fruit of their ignorance and unbelief

But the ruler himself resembled the father of the faithfulb-]

It is in this way that true faith will ever shew itself [It will surely lead us to Jesus for relief

It will make us humble and importunate in our supplica-, tions to him--

We shall not presently turn from him because our difficulties increase

a Ps. cvii. 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28.

b Rom. iv. 18, 20, 21.

We shall rather adopt the expressions of holy JobUnbelief may prompt us to deride what we do not under

stand

But faith will make us acquiesce in God's declarations, though we cannot fully comprehend them

And expect the accomplishment of his promises, however his providence may appear to contradict them-]

Jesus did not fail to respect the faith that honoured him III. How it was rewarded

Jesus answered the ruler to the full extent of all his wishes

[Our Lord reproved the excessive lamentations of the people

And encouraged them to expect the restoration of the child

But he would not suffer those who had derided him to be spectators of the miracle

He took with him, however, persons sufficient to attest it He favoured the believing parents with admission to behold it

S

And restored their daughter, as it had been from sleep, in their very presence

The child arose instantly, and walked as in perfect healthFor their further conviction he ordered food to be given to the child

By this also he intimated, that though she was restored by a miracle, she was to be kept alive by natural means

What a rich reward was this to the believing suppliant!-] Nor shall any one who asks in faith, be disappointed [Our Lord has commanded us to ask in faith

And has assured us that petitions, so offered, shall be answered by hime

Things the most impossible to man, shall, if they will conduce to our good and to God's honour, be effected by the prayer of faithf

Crimes the most atrocious that ever were committed, shall be pardoned

Lusts the most inveterate that ever enslaved a soul, shall be subduedh.

The dead in trespasses and sins shall be raised, like Christ himself, to a new and heavenly life

Nor shall they fail of attaining eternal happiness in heavenk-]

c Job xiii. 15.

f Mark ix. 23.

d Mark xi. 24.

g Acts xiii. 39.

i Eph. i. 19, 20. with ii. 5, 6.

e Matt. xxi. 22.

b Isai. lix. 19. 1 Cor. vi. 11.

k John iii. 15. Isai. xlv. 17.

APPLICATION

[Every man must expect trouble in this vale of tearsThe dearest friends must look forward to a day of separation

But let every trouble drive us to the compassionate JesusAnd every want be spread before him in prayerWe are not now indeed to expect miraculous interpositions

Nor ought we to ask for temporal blessings in an unqualified

manner

We should commit the concerns of this life to his all-wise disposal

But for spiritual blessings we cannot be too importunateNor can our faith in his word be too strong

What he said to Martha he still says to us

The advice of Jehosaphat is the best direction we can follow"

Let us not then limit his tender mercies

If we resemble the Samaritan lord, we shall fare like him°Let us not in renewed troubles be like the unbelieving JewsP

But let us bear in mind that encouraging declaration-
And determine henceforth to live like the apostle-]

Phil. iv. 6.

• 2 Kings vii. 2, 17. Gal. ii. 20.

m John xi. 40.

P Ps. lxxviii. 20.

n 2 Chron. xx. 20.

9 Eph. iii. 20.

CCXCVI. TWO BLIND MEN HEALED.

Matt. ix. 28-30. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus said unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith, be it unto you. And their eyes were opened.

WE are so much accustomed to read and hear the miracles of our Lord, that the recital of them produces little or no effect-But had we seen the multitudes of diseased people continually thronging to him, crying after him, and breaking in upon his retreats when he was in the houses of his friends, we should have been greatly astonished-In the passage before us we have a speci

men of their importunity-Two bind men, having in vain supplicated our Lord's assistance in the street, followed him into an house, and there obtained that relief, which, from prudential considerations perhaps, he had not chosen to impart in the presence of the people

Waving many observations which will arise, when another miracle, exactly similar to this, shall be considered, we shall fix our attention upon two things, which are very strongly marked in the words before us;

I. The object of faith

The whole sacred volume is to be recieved by us; but God has revealed in it the proper object of our faithHis perfections are the foundation on which we build; and though every perfection is equally an object of our love, yet there seems a propriety in regarding his power as the more immediate object of our faith; because it will be to no purpose to believe him well-disposed towards us, if we do not also believe him able to effect his gracious intentions

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[In confirmation of this we may observe, that in the most eminent instances of faith, the power of God has been chiefly regarded

And in the most remarkable instances of unbelief, his power has been principally doubted---Moreover God in a peculiar manner points out this attribute to our notice,d expostulates with us for not attending to it sufficiently, and exhorts us to take it for our strength_-_]

The address of our Lord to the two suppliants leads us further to remark

a Matt. xx. 30-34.

↳ Abraham, whose faith is so highly commended, had respect to the power of God to give him a son in his old age, Rom. iv. 19---21. and to raise him up from the dead, Heb. xi. 19. In dependence on this, Jonathan attacked a Philistine garrison, 1 Sam. xiv. 6. Jehosaphat went forth against three confederate armies, 2 Chron. xx. 6, 12. and the Hebrew youths withstood the command of the Babylonish monarch, Dan. iii. 17, 18.

Sarah questioned the power of God to give her a child, Gen. xviii. 12-14. As did also the Israelites to give them bread and flesh, Ps. lxxviii. 20. Moses himself on one occasion staggered at God's promise, from an apprehension that it could not be performed, Numb. xi. 21, 22. And Martha deemed the putrid state of her brother's corpse an insurmountable bar to his restoration to life, John xi. 39, 40.

d Ps. Ixii. 11.

e Isai. xl. 28, 29.

f Isai. xxvi. 4.

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