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the rest delivered by this divine person, were worthy of God and advantageous to man.
Our blessed Saviour having finished his discourse, he returned to the city of Capernaum, and going by the quays where the goods which were brought by sea from various nations were landed, he saw Matthew, a rich publican, sitting in his office to receive the customs. Matthew is sometimes in the gospels called Levi, and was the son of Alpheus. Christ no sooner saw him than he called him. Follow me, was his mild and gracious language; which the heavenly teacher had no sooner spoken, than the wealthy publican felt a divine power warm his heart, which overpowering every worldly consideration, he seems to have left his accounts all unfinished, and immediately obeyed. He soon, by our great Redeemer, was led into a more honourable and important employment, and afterwards became an evangelist, as well as an apostle.
A few days after this, the new called publican made a great entertainment, to which he, with Christ and his disciples, invited several of his own profession; no doubt hoping that his heavenly conversation might strike their hard hearts with remorse for their wickedness and extortion, and lead them in paths worthy of partaking the benefits arising from the glorious Redeemer of mankind. In the course of the entertainment Christ reminded them that in the gospel dispensation, God will have inercy, and not sacrifice; and as those who confessed themselves sinners were the only proper objects of that mercy, our Lord declared that he was not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance; and to blame him for conversing with publicans and sinners was as great a piece of absurdity as to blame a physician for visiting the sick. This declaration from the great friend and Redeemer of lost sinners, dissatisfied greatly the haughty, self-conceited Scribes and Pharisees: and as they made great ostentation of their fasting and abstinence, they took
this opportunity to give themselves consequence on that account; and joining with John's disciples, presumed to blame our great Redeemer because his disciples were not so frequent in this practice as themselves. To this our Lord replied, that the present was not a time for fasting, for his disciples need not fast and mourn in the presence of their master, any more than the friends of the bridegroom need fast and afflict themselves while they enjoyed his company. But, said he, the day will come, when the bridegroom will be taken arvay from them, and then they shall fast. Intimating by this, that the calamities, troubles and afflictions which they would suffer after the death of their master, would oblige them to fast and mourn; but the corrupt nature of man, which was the cause of his coming into the world, required different treatment; the rent would not be patched up with mortification, fasting or any external performances; such treatment as this would be like sewing a piece of new cloth on an old rotten garment, which would only make the rent worse; or putting rew wine into old leather bottles, which would burst as soon as the liquor fermented:
Christ healeth a Woman of an inveterate issue of
Blood : Raises Jairus's Daughter from the Dead : Gives Sight to two blind Men: Delivered a possessed Person from the evil Spirit: And, returning to Galilee, chooses his twelve Apostles out of his Disciples : Then, repairing to Capernaum, cures the Centuri
on's Servant. WHILE the blessed Jesus was disputing with the Scribes and Pharisees in the house of Matthew, whom he had lately called into the number of his disciples, an afflicted father, in all the agonies of distress, hastily pressed into his presence. This was Jairus, the ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Capernaum, and the cause of his present affliction was the dangerous illness of his daughter, who lay at the point of death.
Having earnestly implored the assistance of our great Redeemer in this distressing case, the Lord of life graciously condescended to comply with his request, and accordingly accompanied the distressed father to his house; and great multitudes of people, who were desirous of beholding the miracles of Christ, crowded around and pressed to behold what the divine Instructor would do on this great oocasion.
But as they passed through the streets of the city, the attention of the surrounding multitudes were turned to a woman, who came behind the Son of God, and touched the hem of his garment. This woman had been afficted twelve years with a terrible disorder, which had baffled the force of medicine. She had spent her whole substance on physicians, but could obtain no relief; but hearing of the miracles performed by the blessed Jesus, she was so fully convinced of his divine power, that she concluded if she could but touch his clothes she should be made whole. Nor was
she deceived, for she no sooner touched the border of the garment of our great Redeemer, than the issue of blood dried up; and she felt such a flow of vital spirits, and uncommon gladness warm her heart, that she was fully convinced that she had received a cure.
The blessed Jesus, who knew the hearts of all men, was not ignorant of the minutest circumstances attending this affair; he knew the woman's thoughts, and was pleased with her faith: and with design to begin a conversation in which he might testify his approbation, he turned about and asked who touched him? His disciples, as they were not apprized of the transaction, wondered at their Master's question. Thor secst, said they, the maltitude thronging and pressing thce, and sayest thou who touched me Jesus, however, persisted in the inquiry, and the woman, perceiving she could not be concealed, came to him trembling, and told him what she had done. She approached him with hesitation and diffidence, fearing he would be offended at the liberty she had taken; tut the divine Physician received her with condescending goodness, spake to her in the kindest manner, and commended her faith; Daughter, said he, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole.
In the midst of the surprise occasioned by this miracle, a messenger approached from Jairus's house, and informed him that his daughter was dead, so that he need not give our Lord the trouble to come any further; for they supposed it far beyond the power of this extraordinary person to overcome the mighty conqueror Death, or recall the fleeting spirit from the eternal world. This message was received by the affectionate parent with the strongest emotions of sorrow, and bitterest agonies of distress. Our Lord took compassion on him, and desired him to be comforted with hopes, that his daughter should be restored.
When our great Redeemer came to the ruler's house
he found it full of mourners, who made great lamentation, and were preparing for the funeral. Our Lord commanded them to cease their preparations; for, said he, the maid is not dead, but sleepeth : and they laughed him to scorn.
These words of Christ were used with peculiar propriety, to denote that it was determined the virgin should not continue in the cold embraces of death, but should instantly be restored to her friends as one awakened out of sleep; and having thus spoken, our Lord approached the apartment of the dead, taking with him none but Peter, James, and John, except the father and mother of the maiden: then laying hold of the cold hand of the dead virgin, he said with a gentle voice, Maid, arise! The heavenly voice was immediately obeyed, and the damsel arose fresh as from a sound sleep, all healthful and vigorous; and Jesus commanded to give her something to eat.
Thus the great Son of God gave a full and clear manifestation of his heavenly power: and not only proved that he was the true Messiah, but gave a clear demonstration of the possibility of the resurrection of the dead : and those who have imbibed the absurd opinion of the soul's sleeping with the body till the resurrection, would do well to consider the expression of the evangelist, Her spirit came again. Luke viii. 55: by which it appears that the soul exists in a state of separation, when the body lies all cold and breathless in the dark chambers of the grave.
Having performed this great and benevolent miracle, our blessed Saviour left the ruler's house; and going through the streets of the city, he was followed by two blind men; they had, doubtless, heard of the great miracle which he had just performed, and supplicated his assistance in their present deplorable circumstances, well knowing that he was able to restore them to sight. The benevolent Saviour of sinners condescended to favour their request; and having entered an house to escape the crowding of the multitude, he