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thrilling through our whole being, the God-given energy, which He promises who says, " Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” It may seem to us that reason, faith and love-those human powers by which we appreciate our duty and our claims- are our own faculties; but we shall find within them, the Divine power, and wisdom, and love. It may seem that we are called upon to think, to feel, to do impossibilities, but Infinite help is at hand, and if we set about doing them, it is no longer we, but Christ who dwelleth in us. Verily while we “work out salvation with fear and trembling,” God is working “within us both to will and do of His good pleasure.”

(3) Here is the great rule by which at all times, through the help of God's grace, we may overcome our listlessness and uselessness in His service. It is by our own vigorous effort to overcome the withering up of our faculties that we shall test the worth of Divine promises. We must resolutely determine that we will no longer go about in the kingdom of God like men with withered hands, destitute of the power to serve God or glorify Christ. The effort that we make to conquer the depressing circumstances under which we are labouring will set us free from many of them. Let us stretch forth our hands, let us try to serve our Master; and let us work while it is day, for the night cometh. There is work to be done in our own hearts, work in our homes, and among our families, which we may begin this day. There is work in the neighbourhood where we dwell; there is sickness to soothe, and misery to relieve, and sin to rebuke, and there are “ragged homes” to mend, and there is work to do in this great wicked world. “The field is the world,” and alas ! “ the labourers are few." Let us stretch forth these hands,-withered by pride or prejudice, by inconsistency or fear, by evil tempers or secret sins,—and let us at God's bidding exert the strength that He gives us, seek out the work that He would have us to do, and taking the Divine help for granted, let us attempt the otherwise impossible task, beat up the stream which threatens to carry us away, expect the supernatural aid, and anticipate the Divine result. Let us make the effort, let us grasp the sword, or the plough, or the pen, or the hand of our brother, and whatsoever God has given us to do, let us do it with our might. Doubts may harass us, fears may hamper and paralyze our service, the great mystery of life and death may seem too terrible to bear. But we shall best conquer the doubt, and the fear, and the mystery, by the active obedience which obeys the command of the Divine Saviour. If our hands are set to holy work, then as they labour they will not only be healed, but they will be also filled with blessings. Thus will they best learn to strike the golden harps and clasp the hands of angels !

SERMON XII.

THE OPENED EYE.

MATT. IX. 28.

And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him :

and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this ? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord.,

The power, the glory, the virtues, and the rewards of faith, form the theme of this chapter. Faith is represented as the hand wherewith man takes hold of God, and as the measure of spiritual blessing; and it is also set forth as the reason and medium of Divine love to others. Indeed, faith is the keynote of the melodies of this chapter; and from these harmonious variations of illustrative fact we learn much concerning its nature, and much that we may immediately apply to the solace and healing of our own souls. We may gather as much instruction on the nature of faith and salvation from the miracles of our Blessed Lord as from the more dogmatic utterances of the New Testament, or of the Church. In this chapter we see how an imperfect and trembling faith, which would cherish itself in secret, and shrink away in the crowd, which can only dare to touch the

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hem of the Redeemer's garment, is yet rewarded by merciful healing, and ultimately by Divine love and friendship. Beautifully the lesson is here given of the power of the hem of His garment, whensoever either in the form of type or ceremonial, of dogma, or tradition, or “unconscious prophecy,” poor sinplagued humanity has approached the Lord and Giver of Life. The shrinking from an open avowal of love and gratitude, through shame and ignorance, may have dwindled the dimensions of the gift of the Divine Saviour, but millions have surely been made whole of their plague, without their conscious recognition of the loving Hand that has done this great thing for them. We see in this chapter how the bold yet simple faith of two blind men in the power and grace of the Son of David, is the occasion of one of those great symbolic acts of power by which our Lord was accustomed to flash on human minds the truth that He was “the Light of the world.”

Again, we learn in this context that the faith of friends in Christ's power to forgive sins, and restore to health the palsied frame of one who was unable to utter his own prayer or express his own faith, was the occasion of the display of Christ's great love to that poor paralytic; and even at the risk of His own honour, popularity, and life, He healed him.

The faith of Jairus was still more startling. He said to Jesus, “My daughter is even now dead; but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live.” When the people said to him, “Trouble not the

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Master; thy daughter is dead,” thus shewing that they had no idea of Christ's higher powers, and thought that they had found a limit to His grace, He replied—“Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole ;" then, when to encourage the faith even of the minstrels and hired mourners, He said, “The maid is not dead, but sleepeth,” and “they laughed Him to scorn,” He waived them all aside, and taking only those who did understand something of His love and power, He snatched the little one from the grasp of death. How wondrous a thing was this miracle ! It was one of those solemn oaths of defiance cast in the face of death, whereby our Master vowed that He would be the destroyer of death, and the conqueror of the grave.

These miracles, however, though they set forth the great value and mighty importance of faith, also exclude the idea that our personal faith must always precede the Divine love. The Gospel narrative shews us that the faith of a mother in her Saviour's

power to quicken a dead son from the corruption of the grave, may be rewarded by a display of His supernatural grace. We are not wrong in concluding that the faith of ministers and friends which avails to break through many obstacles, and by determined persevering labour contrives to bring some sin-palsied soul into the presence of Christ, is often rewarded by the healing of that soul. Again, we learn the blessed lesson that those who can see, may bring the blind to “the Light of the world," and exercise a faith,

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