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nothing, and attend to nothing else; and in almost impatient urgency reiterated his application,—“ Sir, come down ere my child die." Now Jesus was not one to trifle with the feelings of a wounded heart; and, therefore, instead of saying yet more in the tone of rebuke, his answer was, "Go thy way; thy son liveth."
are unwilling to expect the blessing, which we ask for at his hands, in any other way than that which we esteem right. Let us bear in mind, then, that God himself is the only judge of the best method of dealing with his creatures, and of bestowing upon them the blessing of which they stand in need; and as He is most wise to determine on the fittest way of dealing with us, so also, he is most powerful to execute whatever he thinks right. We are sometimes too apt to do, what this nobleman did, form our idea of what GOD can do, or not do, according to our own weak apprehension; and often we are al-him to go down to Capernaum and
most ready to say in our hearts, that
We find that our Lord's rebuke was little heeded by the individual to whom it was addressed. His was the anxiety of an over burthened spirit on account of his child's dangerous condition, he could think of
But here, there is one thing we must particularly notice, it is this, that while Jesus no longer rebuked him, yet he required him to manifest that very faith for the want of which he had been rebuked. He assured him his child was healed; but required
expect to find him healed. It is as if Christ had said; "Go thy way, behold I have power to heal thy son without going down to him; and if you have faith to believe it, you shall find him well." Here, then, is the fourth particular to be observed-the manner in which Jesus shows mercy to such as call upon him. He shows mercy indeed; but then he does it in such a way as calls forth the exercise of their faith in his own power, and on his own word. Of the nature of that faith, the conduct of the nobleman will lead us presently to speak; but the point to which I would now fix your attention is this that Jesus united, on this occasion, pity for the nobleman's distress, and yet firmness, in demanding from him that proof of confidence which it became him to show. Jesus did not say, "Since you have not faith enough to believe I can heal your child without going to him, I shall do nothing for you;" Jesus was too kind to say this. On the other hand, he did not say, "Well then, since you are so weak in faith, as not to trust my power, I will comply with your wish and go to Capernaum;" Jesus was too firm to say that. But he so treated the man, as to show the greatest compassion for
the same time, a determination to have his own power known and confessed.
his sorrow and distress; and yet at | take my word for it, the child is restored, go home and expect to find him as I have said." Now that which Christ required of the man was faith; the same principle it is that he requires of us. Let us, then, now proceed to examine a little further of what this faith consists in the conduct of the nobleman; and to this the fifth point in our narrative will greatly assist us. "The man believed," it is said, "the word which Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way." A few moments before the impression on his mind evidently was, unless Christ went to Capernaum and saw the child he could not heal him. Now we find him giving full credence to the Saviour's declaration that the child was healed, although Jesus neither went nor promised to go. There is little doubt that when Jesus spoke the words, "thy son liveth," he did it in such a way as, at once, to carry conviction to the nobleman's mind that it was so, and that belief working in his breast, enabled him to receive the conviction; and forthwith he went away, as Jesus directed him, confidently believing that he should find his son healed. Here then, you see his faith, he had nothing on which to depend but Christ's own word-he had no token, no sign, that the fact was as Jesus had said; but he believed, that what Christ declared was true; and so he went his way, thoroughly assured, although he knew not how, that the power of Christ had reached his child, and he was healed.
Let us bear in mind, brethren, that it is so Jesus will deal with you. He is ever ready to listen to your prayers: and when you come to ask of him those spiritual blessings, of which, as guilty helpless sinners, you stand in need, oh, be assured, he is far more ready to hear, than you are to ask, and to give more than you either desire or deserve! I pray GoD then, in all our approaches to the Saviour, we may cherish this conviction of his readiness to bless us; for too often do we come to him, in so heavy and cheerless a fra.ne of mind, as though we regarded him as a being reluctant to pity us, as one from whom we | should find it difficult to obtain a blessing. Let us be ashamed of the low feelings, of the feeble desires, and the backwardness of spirit with which we too often pray. Let us recollect that what Jesus was, that he is still, and ever will be, to the end. Let us come to him cheerfully. Let us have in remembrance the goodness and mercy which he has already manifested; and when we call upon him, let it be with the feeling of those who know that they are imploring his mercy, who said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."
But while we contemplate that mercy which he is so ready to bestow upon us, we must also remember, what is the disposition and frame of mind which he requires us to show towards him. It is precisely that, which we have recorded of this nobleman, namely, simple and implicit reliance on his word and belief of his power. "Go thy way," said Christ, thy son liveth, I have healed him,
Now, brethren, Christ has given you in his gospel, many a declaration and many a promise on which he bids you to rest your faith. What he requires of you is, that you should rest on his word with the simplicity and confidence which this nobleman did, by acting under the influence of it even as he did.
(To be continued.)
And now, in order to explain, and you see he implored the blessingapply, this part of our subject, let me Christ told him the blessing was call to mind the reflection to which granted-he believed what Christ said we were led in the opening of this and left the presence of Jesus confidiscourse. We said, my brethren, dent that he had obtained what he there is a disease in our souls, which desired. He did not see the cure it is of the deepest importance to us wrought, but he was satisfied that it to have removed. Sin is that disease; was accomplished. Now you have a and unless it be removed, death, eter- blessing also to implore. There is a nal death will assuredly be the result. | spiritual cure which you must ask of Now there is but one cure, and that Jesus. Your souls, as I have said, are is, the grace of the Holy Spirit poured in danger and you must come to Christ into our hearts, removing the love of and be healed, or your souls must sin, checking and subduing all un- die. I hope, brethren, that many of holy desires, and, in their stead, you have already come to Jesus, I teaching us to look up to GOD with hope that the supplication of your affectionate reverence and submission, hearts already has been :-" Lord and seeking to please Him in obedi- give me thy Holy Spirit that I perish ence to his holy will. Now how is not-set my soul free from sin-dethis cure to be bestowed? Jesus is liver me from its power, or I am lost." the physician. He alone it is who can administer the antidote to the deadly poison of sin. He it is who, alone, can restore our souls to health and spiritual vigour. The Holy Spirit is his gift, and he has promised to bestow it on all who do truly, and earnestly, and with faith implore it.
But observe, you must seek it with faith. You seek in vain if you do not seek as those who really desire the blessing-as those who believe that Christ will, according to his word, bestow this blessing on them. You must act just as this nobleman did;
But, my brethren, when you thus ask help of Jesus, do you honour him by believing his word of promise which tells you, you shall have the blessing for which you pray. When have been offering your supplications, do you rise from your knees with something like an assurance that the mercy you ask shall be granted? Do you go away from the presence of Christ just as this nobleman did, believing that what Christ has promised, you shall receive? Alas, brethren, is not this too often the very point in which you
fail, you ask and yet you have not; | ened-would you have the blessing
you find that although you ask you do not receive? Oh, how many of us are there, whose hearts, at this moment, must acknowledge, that though they pray-pray daily-yet seem to be no better for their prayers? And yet Jesus has positively said; "seek and it shall be given." Oh, let me put the question, why you find so little benefit from prayer? Is not the case this, that you do not seek with an earnest desire to receive the blessing; neither with a believing expectation that the blessing shall be given? Rely on it, as St. James tells us, we musk ask in faith or we ask in vain; it is useless to think, as he solemnly assures us, that without faith we shall receive anything of the Lord. Prayer offered in believing dependance on God's promises ever has been answered; but prayer offered without that belief, ever has been, and must be in vain.
The close of the narrative sets before us the reward which faith shall receive. As the nobleman was returning, his servants met him and their first and happy assurance was this Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth:' and himself believed, and his whole house." So, indeed, they might, with such a wonderful proof of divine power before them.
Now, my brethren, would you enjoy the like blessing, yea a far more valuable blessing than he received would you have your faith strength
which Christ promised, of faith, confered on you? oh, then, ask of GoD grace, that you, marking the promises of his holy word, may believe those promises. And when in prayer you supplicate of him the mercy you feel you need-mercy which he has pledged himself to grant — oh, seek grace that you may exhibit also that simple faith. Again, I admonish you that pray as often as you will, if you pray without earnest desire for the blessing-if you pray without honouring GOD by believing that the blessing he has promised shall be bestowed, you have yet prayed, and will still pray in vain. But if, on the other hand, you simply take God's word with the promises which that word contains, pleading these promises in earnest supplication, and then looking to him to accomplish what he has engaged to grant, surely, such a spirit of faith shall never pass unnoticed and unrewarded by a faithful God. Oh, my brethren, let me entreat of you, then, to go to that Saviour who is waiting to heal your souls of that deadly disease of which we have spoken-let me entreat you to go to that Almighty physician who is ready to receive those who come to him and seek his aid. He has promised to heal all such-he has promised to deliver their souls from everlasting perdition. Do you not desire that deliverance? Oh, then, believe his word; simply act upon the assurance which he has written for you in his word; be at ease and expect its fulfilment in yourselves, and you shall have reason to acknowledge that according to your faith so is it with you.-Amen.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. H. BLUNT,
AT TRINITY CHURCH, CHELSEA, JUNE 9, 1833.
Luke, iv. 21.-" And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."
In the last discourse we considered the three striking incidents of the conversion of Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, and the healing of the nobleman's son, as remarkable developements of our Lord's character preparatory to the opening of his public ministry.
We are this morning to consider the first sermon preached by our Lord. To do this, we must return to St. Luke's Gospel; in the fouth chapter of which, at the sixteenth verse we read, "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day." As his custom was-it was no rare accidental circumstance which led the Lord Jesus Christ to the house of prayer; it was his fixed and habitual custom, during the thirty years that he had resided as a private individual in the town of Nazareth.
How valuable an example is this with regard to our children, that we should early habituate them to the house and service of GOD! How satisfactory an answer to those who imagine there is as much devotion, as much piety, as much of what is well pleasing to GOD, in performing their devotions within their own dwelling house, as in frequenting the temple of the Lord! Surely, if ever man might have pleaded an exemption from these important duties, the man Jesus Christ might have done so!
He knew that the established forms of worship, which he then frequented, were about to pass away, and that the princes and teachers of the synagogue were to be blind, leaders of the blind. Taught as he was, by the pouring forth of the Spirit without measure on him, he little needed human instruction; and yet rather than omit a duty which the word of GOD, and the example of God's people in all ages had inculcated, his custom was to attend at the house of prayer every Sabbath-day.
On the present occasion, however, our Lord did not attend the synagogue as a mere hearer; but, for the first time, in his public capacity as a prophet sent from GOD. Let us then dwell awhile on this important point of our Lord's wonderful commission.
Behold the synagogue. The ground floor occupied by the aged, and learned, and all the men of Nazareth, who were of an age to attend the divine ordinances; and, therefore, many among them of those who had gone up year by year, with our Lord to the passover in Jerusalem, his equals in age and superiors in rank. Many who had constantly worshipped with him in the house of prayer, therefore, were very little prepared to be instructed by one whom they had probably thought in every respect inferior to themselves. The gallery, with its latticed front, concealing from