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interpose in his favour, because that was the time in which He was especially employed in working miracles, -and in which it was well known that he was so employed. But though you cannot expect such a signal display of his Divine power, you may expect those spiritual blessings which are suited to your necessities as guilty sinners ; and that alleviation of your various afflictions which may be expedient for you, and conducive to your real welfare. Above all things remember that sin is a malady more grievous in its consequences than any distress which you can endure in this world. Seek then deliverance from it through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Implore His grace and salvation ; and that not for yourselves only, but for others also. Interceding, as did the centurion, you too shall obtain mercy. Jesus is both able and willing to grant your request, nor will he send empty away the sincere and fervent supplicant.
4. Finally. A solemn warning shall be affectionately addressed to those who neglect the opportunities and advantages with which they are indulged. Be assured that, if you persist in your present conduct, your privileges, despised and unimproved, will awfully increase your guilt, and aggravate the punishment which will inevitably overtake you. Oh contemplate as applicable to yourselves, and calculated to rouse you to reflection and repentance, those admonitory words of our Saviour, to which your attention has already been directed in this discourse: “I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall
sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Oh beware lest your everlasting doom should closely correspond with this fearful description! Then would the recollection of your past folly only serve to increase the sharpness of your agony in the dismal abodes of interminable despair. May the God of all grace and mercy dispose and enable you, ere it be for ever too late, to confess and forsake your sins,-to turn unto Him in true penitence and deep contrition of soul through Jesus Christ our Lord,—and cordially to believe and trust in Him as your Saviour ; that so being made partakers of his great salvation, you may at length attain to all the blessedness of eternal life and glory!
THE PARALYTIC HEALED.
MATTHEW IX. 8.
But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelleil, and
glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
Though our blessed Lord was altogether free from ostentation, yet as his mercy and power were constantly and unitedly manifested whithersoever he went,-it was impossible that so distinguished a character should not be very extensively known. Dispensing blessings to all who resorted to him as humble supplicants for relief in their varied afflictions, and communicating instruction to every sincere inquirer after truth, he drew multitudes around him in every place where he sojourned, or through which he passed in the course of his successive travels. Many applied to him on their own account, and many also in behalf of others for whose welfare they felt a deep concern. We come now to consider an instance of our
and mercy, which is recorded to have
occurred in his own city, that is, in Capernaum. This he had made the place of his customary residence, after leaving the neighbourhood of Nazareth, where he had been educated, and had spent the time of his private life, as well as some portion of that in which he was employed in the public work of the ministry. The following is the brief account given us by St. Matthew of the event which we are about to consider.
“ He entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 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. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think
evil in your hearts?
hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk ? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.'
Let us now proceed to contemplate more particularly
I. THE NATURE
JI. His GRACIOUS AND DIGNIFIED CONDUCT ON THE OCCASION :
AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE
I. Let us then in the first place attend to THE NATURE AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE PRESENTED TO OUR LORD.
It appears from the accounts of St. Mark and St. Luke that our Saviour was engaged in communicating instruction to a crowded audience who had resorted to the house where he abode. Many,” says St.
were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no not so much as about the door : and he preached the word unto them.” The faithful and true Witness declared to them the counsel and purposes of Divine grace,
which were intimated in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and which were to receive their accomplishment in Himself, and in the great work which he came into the world to perform. He ever appeared in the character of a “Teacher come from God ;” and his instructions were always connected with the most interesting and important topics.
While our Lord was thus employed, a memorable opportunity was afforded him of shewing forth his Divine power. “Behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed :” or, as St. Mark has recorded it, “ they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.” On the nature of the malady with which this sufferer was afflicted, it is neither necessary nor expedient that I should attempt to enlarge. Its general concomitants