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« And he said unto them, Why are ye so
fearful? How is it that ye have no “faith ?”
In my two last discourses from the Gospel of St Mark, † I endeavoured to illustrate the manner in which our Lord was in use to deliver his instructions. I am now led to observe, that instruction is occasionally conveyed in several of the in
* Preached on Easter Sunday,
cidents which befell him, to a much greater extent than appears at first from the simple narrative ; and that
of his observations, which seem only to refer to the particular circumstances in which He or his disciples happened to be placed, may be applied to various other situations in human life.
This remark cannot be better illustrated than by the striking incident to which we are now come in the course of our inquiries, and which is related by the Evangelist in the following words : " The “ same day, when the even was come, he “ saith unto them, Let us pass over untó “ the other side. And there arose a great “ storm of wind, and the waves beat into “ the ship, so that it was now full. And “ he was in the hinder part of the ship,
asleep on a pillow; and they awake “ him, and say unto him, Master, carest 6 thou not that we perish ? And he arose, “ and rebuked the wind, and said unto “ the sea, Peace, be still; and the wind “ ceased, and there was a great calm. 66 And he said unto them, Why are ye so “ fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? “ And they feared exceedingly, and said “ one to another, What manner of man is “ this, that even the wind and the sea “ obey him ?”
I know not, my brethren, that I can better employ your time at present than in drawing from this interesting occurrence those religious reflections to which it so naturally gives rise, and which will be found, in some respects, applicable to those great solemnities in which we have just been engaged.
There cannot be a doubt, then, that much of the unhappiness of mankind is to be ascribed to their want of faith in the protection of Heaven ; and that, in their voyage through the stormy waves of the world, they would enjoy infinitely greater tranquillity, if they kept their eyes steadily fixed upon that Almighty Protector, who may seem, perhaps, to sleep in the midst of their perplexities and dangers, but whose watchful care is ever at hand, and who, with one word, can rebuke the winds and the sea, and restore the calm. Wherever we look around us, we see men miserable from the cares and af flictions of life; and it is impossible, certainly, to pass through this scene of mutability and of trial, without feeling, and often feeling deeply, the distresses to which our nature is exposed. When the affluent are reduced to poverty,—when some dear tie of social or domestic life is broken,—when, looking beyond private afflictions, we contemplate the wide-spread calamities of nations, in all these circumstances, we, no doubt, see enough to call forth tears and sorrow; and it would be unnatural to meet them with