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vice, or teaching us the true and perfect will of God.
And could he who has uttered them be less than “ the Son of God ?" Could human wisdom devise the variety, or human knowledge compass the extent of comprehension necessary for the invention of them ? Surely when we peruse them, from their number, their profusion, and the multifarious subjects which they embrace, we may well join in the exclamation of our Lord's enemies upon another occasion, “ Never man spake like this man."
And if this is so, he whom we receive as our teacher was the Son of the Most High God, who not only came down to instruct us, but also to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. And, certain as we are of our acceptation, through such a Mediator, if we embrace the salvation offered to us in the way which he has pointed out to us, let us “ search the Scriptures ?,” that we there may learn his will. And may we therein so read, mark, and learn, that, by his grace on our studies, we may produce the fruit of good living, and finally obtain for ourselves the inheritance of eternal life, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all glory, praise, and thanksgiving, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 John v. 39.
THE MIRACLES OF OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR.
St. Matt. xi. 4, 5, 6.
Go and shew John again those things which ye do
hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.
The general tenor of the Gospels leaves on us the impression, that our blessed Saviour declined to say publicly to the people that he was the promised Messiah. We have only a few instances in which, except to the apostles themselves, he explicitly declared his character. One was to the woman of Samaria'; and this is the more observable, inasmuch as the revelation was vouchsafed to a person who was herself of a doubtful character, and of a nation of a dubious origin. Another was to the man who was born blind', to whom he had given sight, and who had suffered persecution from the Jews, in that they thrust him out of their synagogue, because he would not but believe in the divinity of his benefactor.
1 John iv. 26.
But, generally, when it was demanded of him who he was, he either replied by some figure, or turned off the question by some appeal to his miracles, wishing to lead his followers to a knowledge of him by what he did, rather than what he said of himself; thus to build their faith upon a sure and unassailable foundation.
In order that we may understand his motives for this, we may consider for a moment the cause for which our Saviour entered into the world, what the people were to whom he appeared, and what had been their previous expectations of him.
We must remember, then, that he came into the world with the object of offering himself up as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind,—that this was to be effected by his being put to death by the hands of wicked men; previous to which he was desirous of living long enough among men for him to teach them his religion, and to work miracles sufficient to prove it true.
it true. We must observe, also, that he was born among a people divided into two ranks the Pharisees and Sadducees, and their adherents, who were educated, and the common people, who were perfectly unlearned ; and that both these classes had expected in the Messiah an earthly king, and a worldly conqueror.
Now his openly asserting to either of these, that he was the Christ, might very probably have had the effect of preventing his object of living for a certain time in the world as a teacher, and then of being put to death. If in the beginning of his mission he had commenced by saying, that he was the Christ “who was to come,” the Pharisees, who