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healed them all. When the poor father's lunatic son was cured, multitudes witnessed the fact. Jesus was surrounded by crowds when he gave sight to the two blind men. The Chief Priest and Scribes saw the wonderful things he did in the temple-driving out the merchants, and healing the lame and blind. In the synagogue he cast out an unclean spirit. When the widow of Nain's son was raised from the dead, much people of the city were with her. The lawyers and Pharisees watched Jesus when he cured the man of the dropsy. Many Jews were present when he called Lazarus from the grave. Jesus was surrounded by his persecutors when he healed the ear of Malchus. The enemies of Jesus witnessed his miracles; they possessed every opportunity that incredulity itself could desire, of examining the several objects on whom he had displayed his omnipotent power: this circumstance, together with the diversity of time and place, precluded all possibility of deception. Peter boldly declared to the "men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem," that "Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God among them, by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by him, in the midst of them, as they themselves also knew." The intrepid disciple feared no contradiction, it was a fact too
clearly established for any of that age to deny; and what madness is it for any in a later period to cavil against a truth they possess not a single fact to disprove. The more minutely the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ is examined, the clearer do its marks of divine authenticity appear. The exalted character of the Man of Nazareth requires only to be known to ensure admiration. Who, that attentively considers the sketch given of that model of all perfection, can imagine the history of the Evangelist to be only a cunningly devised fable? The schools of philo. sophy, with all their boasted learning and virtue, could not conceive any thing half so refined, or so far exalted above the most elevated of the human race. From whence, then, did the beloved physician, the tax-gatherer, and the two fishermen, obtain that beautiful model of holiness, presented to us in their writings? They must have copied from life-they must have witnessed the living character-those unlearned Jews could not have invented so correct a likeness of incarnate Deity. Even if they had taken the united virtues of the most eminent saints in the Old Testament for their pattern, it would not bear a comparison with the artless grandeur and majestic simplicity discoverable in this history of the life of
Jesus of Nazareth; which, it should be remembered, was written at a time when the religion of the Jews was little more than superstition; for the law of God was made void by the absurd tradition of the fathers.* Yet no trait of false Judaism is discoverable in the character of Christ. In short, the history of the four evangelists is the very reverse of what might reasonably be expected from ignorant men, who had strongly imbibed their nation's bigotry and superstition. The gospels carry their own evidence, and prove the men who wrote them not only had the example of Jesus for their guide, but that they were divinely inspired.+ They have mixed up none of their own corrupt notions or false ideas, but presented us with a book which is not unfitting the God of Truth to acknowledge as his own:
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.-Isaiah xxxv. 6.
BLESSED Jesus, we behold thee surrounded by the diseased and wretched.
We see thee attend that
* Mark vii. 9. 13.
+ 2 Tim. iii. 16.
seat of misery, the pool of Bethesda, whose cloisters oft resounded the plaintive voice of sorrow; for within its porches were assembled many of the sons and daughters of affliction. Amidst the group was one, who, for thirty-eight long years, had sighed over his poor enfeebled limbs, and who oft had heard the joyful sound of Bethesda's agitated waters. But, alas! this Angel of Mercy brought no healing balm for his diseased limbs. Oft had he seen a companion in misery hastily rush into the troubled pool; and beheld their diseased bodies healed by one plunge into those sacred waters. Yet his slow, though anxious steps, never reached its brink, until some happier object had possessed its healing properties. His case attracted the kind attention of Jesus, to whom, when questioned, he tells his tale of wo. But hark! a voice is heard, "Arise, take up thy bed, and walk." The astonished cripple no longer needs the friendly crutch,. but treads with ease and joy his gladsome path. Yes, beneath the porches of Bethesda's pool, the Godhead of Jesus darts forth its clear and splendid rays. Well might the fame of this wondrous Physician spread, and multitudes of the afflicted press to share his favours. Behold, amidst the numbers who throng his door, a poor paralytic cripple, borne by four. Every
effort to force a passage through the dense crowd is fruitless. Faith does not easily relinquish its subject, and the roof is even bared to admit this subject of misery into the immediate presence of the Healer of diseases. Nor were their efforts unsuccessful. One word from him does more than the united skill of all earth's physicians; and he, who, a few moments before, required a couch to support his palsied frame, is now seen forcing his passage through the astonished multitude, triumphantly carrying his own bed. Surely "it was never so seen before," even " in Israel," that land so famed for miracles. Jesus not only wrought miracles himself, but when he sent forth his disciples to preach the everlasting Gospel, he gave them authority to work miracles, in order to prove their commission to be from Heaven. We behold these fishermen of Galilee, in the name* of their divine Lord and Master, Jesus of Nazareth, healing all manner of sicknesses, diseases, and infirmities; testifying both to the friends and enemies of the crucified Jesus, that' God was with them, indeed and of a truth, so mightily did the word of the Lord prosper. The blessings of the Messiah's reign are frequently exhi
*Acts iii. 6.