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of glory, to a conflict with Satanic possession. We change the blessed company of Moses and Elias, for the rude intercourse of unbelieving Scribes. We leave the foretaste of millennial glory, and the solemn voice of God the Father testifying to God the Son, and return once more to a scene of pain, weakness, and misery,—a boy in agony of body, a father in deep distress, and a little band of feeble disciples baffled by Satan's power, and unable to give relief. The contrast, we must all feel, is very great. Yet it is but a faint emblem of the change of scene that Jesus voluntarily undertook to witness, when He first laid aside His glory and came into the world. And it is after all a vivid picture of the life of all true Christians. With them, as with their Master, work, conflict, and scenes of weakness and sorrow will always be the rule. With them too, visions of glory, foretastes of heaven, seasons on the mount, will always be the exception.

Let us learn from these verses, how dependent Christ's disciples are on the company and help of their Master.

me unanswerable. Any other view seems to do violence to the plain meaning of the words of Malachi iv. 5, 6; Matt. xvii. 11; John i. 21. There seems no reason why there should not be a double "coming of Elias," the first, "in spirit and power," when John the Baptist preached, the second, "literal and in person," when He shall come at the end of the world,-immediately before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

The whole question is undoubtedly surrounded with difficulties, whatever view we adopt. I can only say that after patient and calm investigation, I see much fewer difficulties in the way of the interpretation to which I lean, than in the way of the other. I hold with Augustine, Jerome, Chrysostom, Hilary, Jansenius, Brenius, Greswell, Alford, and Stier, that Malachi iv. 5, 6, is not yet completely fulfilled, and that Elijah the prophet will yet come Those who can read Greek will find an interesting note on this subject, in Cramer's Catena on St. Mark.

We see this truth brought out in a striking manner in the scene which meets our Lord's eyes, when He came down from the mount. Like Moses, when he came down from Mount Sinai, he finds his little flock in confusion. He sees His nine apostles beset by a party of malicious Scribes, and baffled in an attempt to heal one who had been brought to them possessed with a devil. The very same disciples who a short time before had done many miracles and "cast out many devils," had now met with a case too hard for them. They were learning by humbling experience the great lesson, "without me ye can do nothing." (John xv. 5.)-It was a useful lesson, no doubt, and over-ruled to their spiritual good. It would probably be remembered all the days of their lives. The things that we learn by smarting experience, abide in our memories, while truths heard with the ear are often forgotten. But we may be sure it was a bitter lesson at the time. We do not love to learn that we can do nothing without Christ.

We need not look far to see many illustrations of this truth in the history of Christ's people in every age. The very men who at one time have done great exploits in the cause of the Gospel, at another time have failed entirely, and proved weak and unstable as water. The temporary recantations of Cranmer and Jewell are striking examples. The holiest and best of Christians has nothing to glory of. His strength is not his own. He has nothing but what he has received. He has only to provoke the Lord to leave him for a season, and he will soon discover that his power is gone. Like Samson, when his hair was shorn, he is weak as any

other man.

Let us learn a lesson of humility from the failure of the disciples. Let us strive to realize every day our need of the grace and presence of Christ. With Him we may do all things. Without Him we can do nothing at all. With Him we may overcome the greatest temptations. Without Him the least may overcome us. Let our cry be every morning, "leave us not to ourselves,— we know not what a day may bring forth,-if thy presence go not with us we cannot go up."

Let us learn, in the second place, from these verses, how early in life we are liable to be injured by Satan. We read a fearful description of the miseries inflicted by Satan on the young man, whose case is here recorded. And we are told that he had been under this awful visitation from his very infancy. It came to him, "of a child."

There is a lesson of deep importance here which we must not overlook. We must labour to do good to our children, even from their earliest years. If Satan begins so early to do them harm, we must not be behind him in diligence to lead them to God. How soon in life a child becomes responsible and accountable, is a difficult question to solve. Perhaps far sooner than many of us suppose. One thing, at all events, is very clear: it is never too soon to strive and pray for the salvation of the souls of children,-never too soon to speak to them as moral beings, and tell them of God, and Christ, and right, and wrong. The devil, we may be quite sure, loses no time in endeavouring to influence the minds of young people. He begins with them even "of a child." Let us work hard to counteract him. If young hearts can be filled by Satan, they can also be filled with the Spirit of God.

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Let us learn, in the third place, from these verses, how faith and unbelief can be mixed together in the same heart. The words of the child's father set this truth before us in a touching way. "Lord," he cried, "I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

We see in those words a vivid picture of the heart of many a true Christian. Few indeed are to be found among believers, in whom trust and doubt, hope and fear, do not exist side by side. Nothing is perfect in a child of God, so long as he is in the body. His knowledge, and love, and humility, are all fective, and mingled with corruption. his other graces, so it is with his faith.

more or less deAnd as it is with He believes, and

yet has about him a remainder of unbelief.

What shall we do with our faith? We must use it. Weak, trembling, doubting, feeble as it may be, we must use it. We must not wait till it is great, perfect, and mighty, but like the man before us, turn it to account, and hope that one day it will be more strong. "Lord," he said, "I believe."

What shall we do with our unbelief? We must resist it, and pray against it. We must not allow it to keep us back from Christ. We must take it to Christ, as we take all other sins and infirmities, and cry to Him for deliverance. Like the man before us, we must cry, "Lord, help mine unbelief."

These are experimental truths. Happy are they who know something of them.

them. Faith and unbelief, foolishness to the natural man.

The world is ignorant of

doubts and fears, are all

But let the true Chris

tian study these things well, and thoroughly understand

them. It is of the utmost importance to our comfort to know, that a true believer may be known by his inward, warfare, as well as by his inward peace.

Let us mark, in the last place, the complete dominion which our Lord exercises over Satan and all his agents. The spirit who was too strong for the disciples, is at once cast out by the Master. He speaks with mighty authority, and Satan at once is obliged to obey, "I charge. thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him."


We may leave the passage with comfortable feelings. Greater is He that is for us than all they that are against Satan is strong, busy, active, malicious. But Jesus is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, from the devil, as well as from sin,-from the devil, as well as from the world. Let us possess our souls in patience. Jesus still lives, and will not let Satan pluck us out of His hand. Jesus still lives, and will soon come again to deliver us entirely from the fiery darts of the wicked one. The great chain is prepared. (Rev. xx. 1.) Satan shall one day be bound. The God of peace shall bruise Satan under our feet shortly.* (Rom. xvi. 20.)

MARK IX. 30-37.

30 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.

31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and

they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them,

* The expression, “greatly amazed,” in the fifteenth verse of the passage now expounded, deserves some notice. The Greek word

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