« PreviousContinue »
CURE OF A CENTURION's SERVANT.
MATT. VIII. When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately, his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. And when he was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof; but speak in a word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And 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. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.
Faith in his power, was the condition required of those who implored our Saviour's aid. The time of his presence on earth is long since over, and to us, faith no more retains the miraculous efficacy which it once possessed. But its power still exists, though in another form. Still is it the softener of every bodily pain, the healer of disease. The Christian, amid the trials of his course, raises his eye to that God, by whose providence they are all directed. He knows that there is a power on high to regulate apparent evil for the production of final good ; he recals the memory of past mercies; he dwells upon the goodness which sent the Saviour upon earth; his soul seeks in prayer the throne of its Friend and Maker; and earthly trials fade away for a season, from his remembrance, as he holds converse with a holier and a happier world. And when he turns from these contemplations, to meet again the ills that surround him, it is with his strength renewed, his hopes exalted, his whole soul filled with courage, and inspired to “press on to the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus."
Strength, in duty's path to tread;
Visions of a brighter sphere,
MIRACLE AT NAIN.
LUKE VII. 11. And it came to pass, the day after, that he went into a city called Nain ; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier ; and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, arise ; and he that was dead sat up, and began to speak; and he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all; and they glorified God, saying, that a great prophet is risen up among us; and that God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about. And the disciples of John showed him of all these things. And John, calling unto him two of his disciples, sent them
"unto Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come, or look we for another ? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come, or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities, and plagues, and of evil spirits, and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering, said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard ; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
The miracles of Jesus were designed to prove that God had sent him, but it was ever his aim to make them also directly conducive to the happiness of mankind. Of this benevolence in the exertion of his wonderful power,
present is an affecting instance. Desolate indeed was the situation of her whom he relieved,—the widowed mother, a sufferer already under the dispensation which had deprived her of her husband, and now called to part from her only son, the last prop of her bereaved age. But the Saviour speaks, and while the tears are yet flowing over the bier of her lost one, she sees him restored to life, and presented to her again, with gentle words from her heavenly benefactor. How must she have blest the messenger of God, who thus employed the power given him from above! What tears of grateful joy must she have shed, with her recovered son! We too, like her, have mourned over friends; we too have felt what it is to be desolate on earth : shall not we, at length, like her, find the lost ones restored to us by divine beneficence? How blest will then be the reunion of long divided affections; how rapturous the offering of praise to the Universal Father!
Wake not, O mother, sounds of lamentation :
Weep not, O widow, weep not hopelessly! Strong is his arm, the bringer of salvation,
Strong is the Word of God to succour thee.
Bear forth the cold corse, slowly, slowly, bear him!
Hide his pale features with the sable pall; Chide not the sad one, wildly weeping near him;
Widow'd and childless, she hath lost her all.
Why pause the mourners ? Who forbids our weeping?
Who the dark pomp of sorrow has delayed? “Set down the bier. He is not dead, but sleeping;
Young man, arise;" He spake, and was obeyed.
Change, then, O sad onė, grief for exultation;
Worship and fall before Messiah's knee ! Strong was his arm, the bringer of Salvation,
Strong was the Word of God to succour thee.
MARK IV. 30. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard-seed, which when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth : but when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the