Wright - BT300 W8 1788

1 66 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED from the garden to the roof of the houfe, by which the perlons who carried the' fick muff be fuppofed tohave afcended. When they came to the roof, they found the door {hut: but being refolved, if poffible, to compafs their defign, they uncovered the roof, and by ropes let downthe fick of the pally lying on his bed, into the midi of the company before Jesus. Our Re, deemer feeing the faith of the friends of the aflliéled perlon, had compaffion on him, and fpake aloud, Son, be of good cheer, thy fins areforgiven thee. Thefe words gave great offence to the Scribes and Pharifees, who Paid in their hearts, This manfpeakethblefihemy ; for he takes to himfelf that which belongs only to his Maker. Who can forgivefins but God only? They were ignorant of the high dignity of the perlon who pronounced the words, and they murmured againíl him in their hearts. But Jesus, who knew what paffed in the inmoflreceffes' of theirminds, was willing to let them underffand that he was enduedwith the Spirit of God ; and to convince them that he knew their thoughts, he Paid unto them, Why think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is it ea/Mr to fay to theFick of the puffy, Thy fins be forgiven thee, or to fay, Arife, take up thy bed and walk? By thefe words our Lord might have convinced them that he had really _a right to forgive fins ; for certainly it muff be eafier to -forgive fins, than. to remove the punifhment which is infliáed on men for fin. As therefore it was apparent our Lord had power to perform the latter, why fhould it be queflioned whether he had a right to pronounce the former ; but thefe haughty teachers of Ifrael cherifhed a gloomy rancour in their hearts, and, frowning, held their peace.. Our 'Lord then turned to the difeafed,perfon, and laid, Arife, take up thy bed, and go unto thine houfe. No fooner had our great Redeemer fpoken thefe words, than thedifeafed per- fon was perfefly reflored to his former health and flrength; and, to the aflonifh- ment of the furrounding multitude, arofe, took up his bed, and departed to his own houle, praifing and glorifying God ; while the affeeled beholders, with the higheft acclamations, joined the praire, and glo_ rifled the God of Ifrael, who had givenfuch power unto man ; but the Scribes and Pharifees, however confounded they were at the miracle, ítí11 perfifled in their un, belief: an inflance which fhould fill us with the molt ferious thoughts, as it demonftrates that a pride of heart (which produces an haughtyfelf-fufPiciency, degenerates into an obílinate and determined-hatred and oppo.. fition to the truth, and, by fufpending and ffupifying all the noble powers of the foul, operates like the pally of the mind) is a much more dreadful and deplorable difeafe than the pally of the body. Our adorable Redeemer having per- formed this miracle, he departed to the lea-fide ; and a multitude of people gather- ing about him, he made ufe of the favourable opportunity to enlighten their dark minds with the rays ofheavenly truth. What were the particular points he infifted on, or what mode of inffruEfion he chofe, the evangelifis have not informed us ; but wemay fafelyconclude that there difcourfes, like the reft delivered by this divine perlon, were worthy of God and 'advantageous to man. Our bleffed Saviour having finned his difcourfe, he returned to the city of Caper naum, and goingby the keys where the goods -which were brought by fea from various nations were landed, he law Matthew, a rich publican, fitting in his office to receive the cuftoms : Mathew is fometimes in the gofpels called Levi, and was the fon of Alpheus. CHRIST no fooner law him than he called him. Follow me, was his mild and gracious language ; which the heavenly Teacher had no fooner fpoken, than the wealthy publican felt a divine 3 power