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still continue to assault, and not unfrequently conquer us--if the sorrow of the world weigh down our spirits with despondency and gloom-let us meditate more carefully upon the scheme of the Gospel, and endeavour to appreciate more fully the advantages it has placed within our reach.
Let us remember, that though we once were the slaves of sin, being fast bound in misery and iron, yet, that now the prison doors have been unlocked, the fetters struck from our limbs, and a path of peace opened to us, in which it is our own fault, if we do not walk securely.
Let us think of him, who has trod the path before us, and has sent the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, to lead us on the way. Depend upon it, my brethren, there is much meaning in that promise.“ I will not leave you comfortless—I will come to you !." The world, indeed, may neither know it, nor see it—and therefore, receive none of the consolation it
conveys.-Yet, though the world see Christ no more, we may see him if we will love him and keep his commandments. We shall find that he will manifest himself to us—we shall perceive daily more and more fully, the magnitude of the plan which has been conceived and executed for our redemption. In fact, we shall comprehend what the word redemption means we shall feel that Christ hath spoken such things, that in him we must have peace—that however and to whatever extent the world may bring tribulation, yet shall we be always of good cheer, because we shall know that Christ hath overcome the world.
Mark x. 51.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt
thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
With regard to the miracle to which these words refer, there is an apparent inconsistency in the narratives of the three Evangelists who record it. St. Mark tells us that Jesus healed blind Bartimæus, “ as he went out of Jericho.” St. Luke says that as he drew nigh to that city, a blind man sat by the way-side begging,” whom he restored to sight. St. Matthew again differs from both, but at the same time, affords the clue by which the three accounts may
be reconciled. He writes that two blind men sat by the way-side.—Taking the three narratives together, therefore, it would seem that one blind man was restored to sight as Christ was entering Jerichomanother, as he was leaving it and as these two events followed each other closely in point of time, (for Jesus made no halt in Jericho), and were very similar in point of circumstances, St. Matthew, with his usual brevity when recording miracles, makes one description serve for both'. It will be our employment this morning to examine the account given by St. Mark, and see whether we cannot derive from it some lessons which may be useful and instructive.
Jesus, in his progress from the banks of the Jordan towards Jerusalem, passes through Jericho. As he goes out of that city, he comes nigh the station usually occupied by a blind beggar, named Bartimæus. The tread of many feet, the
See Greswell's Dissertations.
loud hum of voices, make the sightless wretch aware that a great multitude is approaching, in attendance most probably upon some person of importance. In reply to his enquiry, who this might be, he is told that it is Jesus of Nazareth. The name it seems is not new to him-he has heard of all his marvellous acts, nor has he failed to draw the right inference from them. Mark his address—“ Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” As if he had said, “Lord, I have heard of the many wonderful works that thou hast done, I have heard that thou hast been eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, life to the dead, and I believe thee to be the promised Messiah, sent of God to redeem his people. - Thou Son of David have mercy on me.”
The people rebuke him, that he should hold his peace, that he should forbear to interrupt Jesus in his progress; but he is not to be so silenced. The boon he asks is too precious, the chance of obtaining it too great to be easily foregone.
He cries the more a great deal,