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This intercession of Christ is thus spoken of by the Apostle to the Hebrews, "Christ is entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." And again, he says, "wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them, for such an high Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." (Hebrews vii. 25, 26.)
Observe another difference. Elijah's prayers only prevailed while on earth, and before he went up, but Jesus can pray now, and "ever liveth to make intercession for us." Not Elijah, nor any other saint, can receive our prayers now. But Christ the Son of God both hears and answers prayer.
Hence the last lesson. As Elisha's faith was put to the proof in the expecting and receiving his Master's blessings, so is ours.
Our gracious Master says to us, "Ask what you will and it shall be done unto you." We must ask, and ask in faith. Like Elisha we must believe that if we ask we shall receive. Like him we must ask boldly for that which we want.
Only let our desires, like Elisha's, be spiritual. Let us ask much for the Spirit
of Christ. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." But God knows how to "give his Holy Spirit to them. that ask." And "because we are sons, he will send forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father." The Spirit of prayer, teaching us to pray, will be ours. The Spirit of truth, teaching us the truth, will be ours. The Spirit of holiness, making us holy in word thought and deed will be ours. The Spirit of love, making us love God, and love the brethren, and love souls for Christ's sake will be ours. we want. All this let us ask for.
and much more will be given us. prayers go up frequently and fervently to our risen and ascended Lord.
O BLESSED Jesus! who art gone up into heaven, having died first for sinners! I beseech Thee, to send down Thy blessing Be Thou my Friend: my righteousness to cover all my sins; my strength that I may prevail over all enemies. Give me Thy Spirit to dwell in me and sanctify me, to shew me the deep things of God, and to shed abroad Thy love in my heart. Lord hear me. Lord have mercy on me. AMEN.
MIRACLES OF ELISHA.
"So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake. "And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald-head; go up, thou bald head.
"And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord: and there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." 2 KINGS II. 22-24.
miracles. More than any one else of whom we read in the Old Testament, unless we except those done by Moses before Pharaoh in the land of Egypt.
Now all these miracles done by Elisha, were the consequence of two things,-the one of his having asked for a double portion of the Spirit that was upon Elijah: and the other, his being a man with great faith. If he had not had great faith he would not have been able to do all these wonders. This is plain from the nature of the miracles, and the way they were done. And it reminds us how great things might be done
by the people of God, if only they had more faith. We are not straitened in God, but in ourselves.
Not indeed that we want to do such great wonders as these miracles of Elisha: but that there are great things quite beyond our own natural strength, which we do want done, and which more faith and more prayer would get for us. And it is concerning these our Lord speaks when He says, "Have faith in God, for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." (Mark xi. 22—24.)
We shall find Elisha very careful to give God the glory of these wonders. Thus the first wonderful thing he did after dividing the waters of Jordan, was to heal the bad waters at Jericho. (chap. ii. 19-22.) The men of the city applied to him, "Behold the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth; but the water is naught and the ground barren." Elisha sent for a new cruse
with salt in it, and he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more dearth or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake."
See here, he does not say, "I have healed them," but "thus saith the Lord, I have healed them." Observe too his confidence: he says not "I hope," but "I have healed." As to the means used, "salt," this only increased the marvel, and showed more completely that the Lord's hand healed and nothing else. For the natural tendency of the salt would not have been to make the waters better, but worse.
Mark another thing,-how he applied the remedy to the head of the evil. It was the waters in the city that were bad, but Elisha "went forth unto the spring of the waters and cast the salt in there." It reminds us of St. James' question, "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" (James iii. 11.) And also of our Lord's figure, "Make the tree good, and the fruit will be good also." So to sin in ourselves, which is as a "fountain sending