Wright - BT300 W8 1788

142 The NEW and COMPLETE 'LIFE ready obedience to the direllions of the Son of God, though the means dirtied Teemed to have no tendency to promote the cure, that he knew who it was that gave him thole dire&ions : and we find, that he was amply rewarded for the readi- nefs of his obedience, by receiving the gift of fight. So wonderful an event, could not fail of engaging the attention, andexciting the furprife of all that beheld it; and thofe who had often feen the blind man in his dark and deplorable condition, it may be expelled, would be very particular in their inquiries into the means of fo fingular and furprifing an event: it was, doubtlefs, the fubjell of general converfation, and one would have thought, it might have been the caule of general converfion : but the obflinacy and perverfenefs of the Jewifh station was not to be overcome, their un- belief and hardnefs of heart would not give way to the cleareft evidence. Great was the furprife of the neighbours and friends of the reflored perfon : They which before hadfeen him, that he was blind, Paid, Is not this he that fat and begged ? Some fetid, this is he; othersPaid, it is like him: but hefetid, I am he. The poor man's heart was full of grati- tude and joy, and therefore, perceiving his neighbours to doubt the identity ofhis per- fon, he proclaimed himfelf to be the very fame whom' they had lately feen begging in total darknefs ; I am he, thus wonder- fully blefféd with fight by the mighty power of God, laid he ; I am the man who was blind from my birth, whom ye have all feen, and many of you have relieved in my deplorable diftrefs ; I am he who was ever} from my mother's womb, involved in pitchy darknefs, but now with joy and wonder, which I cannot exprefs, behold the beauteous beams of day. On hearing fo frank and full a declara- tion, they were anxious to know how this great event was produced; and they haflily inquired, How were thine eyes opened? To which the man replied; Aman, that is called o our BLESSED jefus, made clay, and anointed mine eyes, andftid unto me, Go to thepool of Siloam, and wa/h: and I went and wafted, and I receivedfight. They then afked him where the perfon was who had performed fo wonderful, merciful, and beneficial a work? To which the man replied, I know not: for JEsus had retired while the man went to waft in the pool of Siloam ; perhaps our Lord chofe to retire, to avoid the ap- plaufe of the people, which would natu- rally follow fo ftupenduous a work, and which, we frequently find in the gofpels, he was particularly careful to flenn. The perlons who were witneffes of this wonderful event, either out ofenvy againft Jesus, or being defrous to fearch the af- fair to the bottom, brought the man who was the fubjell of this miracle, before the council, as proper judges of the matter: accordingly, as loon as he was placed be- fore the aflèmbly, the Pharifees began, in a brow-beating way, to queflion him how he recovered his fight? I-Iowever awful and terrible furls an aflèmbly might be to a poor beggar, the man boldly mentioned the name of Jesus, and pofitively declared, He put clay upon mine eyes, and Iwafted, and do fee. The Pharifees, having heard this account of the miracle, malicioufly de- clared, that the perfon who had performed it, was a deceiver; for, if he was a pro- phet, he would be an obferver of the law, which he had openly violated, by working this stork on the Sabbath-day. But fome in the council, with a fpirit of greater can- dour and moderation, gave it as their opi- nion, that no deceiver could work fo great and beneficial a work ; for no wicked man would have either inclination or power to perform it. The. court, being thus t]ivided in their opinion with regard to the charaller of Jesus, they sliced the man what he thought of the perfon who had reflored him to fight? To which he boldly and plainly re- plied, He is aprophet. But the Jews, Hill hoped to invalidate the miracle, and there- fore intînuated, that it-was not true, that this