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judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no
Secondly. Be persuaded, that with regard to the removal of this blindness, you are in as hopeful a condition as this poor man. In all these miracles, our blessed Lord holds himself forth as the all-sufficient helper of sinners. By the cures which he wrought on the body, he shows how able he is to save the soul: and they were performed and recorded, on purpose to lead us to him for spiritual, and everlasting deliverance. Hence, says the evangelist, speaking of the signs which Jesus did truly in the presence of his disciples"These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, ye might have life through his name." Rejoice, therefore, that he who raised the dead, can quicken those who are dead in trespasses and sins-that he who healed the leper, can cleanse the soul from all unrighteousness, and that he who opened the eyes of the blind, can lead inquirers into all truth.
Did he refuse this man? Did he ever refuse any who applied to him in distress? What a mer. cy is this! For had he rejected but one suppliant, it would have been the means of discouraging some to the end of the world: they would have feared that there was something similar in their own case. But what can we say now? We see that his actions spoke the same language with his gracious lips: "Him that cometh unto me, I will, in no wise, cast out. Come unto me, ALL ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This is to characterize him in every age: he is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He is, therefore, equally willing.
"But I am so poor and mean. Many of my fellow creatures, who are only raised a little above me in circumstances, despise me. And will the King of glory concern himself in my affairs?" Yes: he condescends to men of low estate. He preached the gospel, himself, principally to the poor; and, to show you that your mean condition is no disadvantage in applying to him, behold him pausing and listening to a beggar in the road:
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his trouble."
But you say, "He is no longer here! O, were he now on earth, dwelling among us, how happy should we be, to betake ourselves to him in all our difficulties and distresses! But the heavens have received him until the restitution of all things. But, though no longer visible, he is still accessible; though not to be seen, he is to be found; to be found in his word, and upon his throne, and in his house. We read of "the goings of our God and King in the sanctuary;" he is now passing by, full of pity, joined with power: address him-Bartimeus only heard that he was passing by: he did not see him when he addressed him. Address him, too, in the same circumstances, and you will soon find that he is "nigh unto them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth."
Take, therefore, a third admonition. Be persuaded to imitate the importunity of this blind beggar in crying for mercy. For this purpose, reflect upon the sadness of your present condition: think what a degraded, uncomfortable, unsafe state you are in, and how certainly, unless you are delivered from it, you will soon pass from the darkness of sin into the darkness of hell. And then consider the happiness of those, who have
been delivered from the kingdom of darkness. "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance: in thy name shall they rejoice all the day, and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted; for thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted." Pray, therefore, that you may be made a "partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light."
And, especially, let your importunity, like this poor man's, appear with regard to two things. First, like him, seize the present moment: let not the opportunity afforded you, be lost by delay: you know not whether you will have another. Your indifference may provoke him to withdraw in anger, resolving to return no more. Your heart may be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin; you may be deprived of reason; this very night thy soul may be required of thee. How many are falling around you in the bloom of life! How many are called away without warning! And are you secure? "Seek ye the Lord while may be found; call ye upon him while he is near. Secondly, like him, be not silenced by discouragement and opposition. Many may try
to check you. Infidels may tell you to hold your
peace and say, "It is all delusion." Philosophers may tell you to hold your peace, and say, It is all enthusiasm." Physicians may tell you to hold your peace, and say, "It is a nervous depression; away to company, and the theatre." Even divines may warn you to be sober-minded, and to avoid being righteous over-much. Formalists may tell you, "It is needless to be so warm." Companions, friends, relations, may surround you with objections, entreaties, insults,
threatenings. And you-what will you do under all this? Do!-why say, "This is a case, in which another is not to judge for me: it is a personal concern; and it is an affair infinitely, everlastingly important. I must succeed, or perish. Lord, help me.'
Fourthly. If he has healed you; if you can say, "One thing I know, that whereas was blind, now I see "like Bartimeus, be careful to follow the Saviour.
This is the best way to evidence your cure.None follow him blindfold: but those whose eyes he has opened, see so much to admire, and so much to desire in him; they feel such a dependence upon him, and such an attachment to him, that they are willing to forsake all, in order to follow him whithersoever he goeth. And every proof of your conversion, separate from this adherence to the Saviour, is fallacious and ruin
This is also the best way to improve your deliverance. Thus you will show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."-Follow him, then, as an imitator of his example. Follow him as a servant to obey his orders, and to bear his reproach.Follow him to spread his fame, and to be a witness of his power and his goodness.
What an affecting sight must it have been, in the days of his flesh, to have seen him moving about, followed by a number of persons, whose complaints he had removed, and who acknowledged, that to him they owed all the happiness they enjoyed-to hear one saying-he restored my son-another, he unstopped my deaf earsand a third, he opened my blind eyes! He is not
alone now in our world. There are some who are following him in the regeneration: they are the trophies of his free and almighty grace; they were once sinners, but are now renewed in the spirit of their mind: they were once darkness, but they are now light in the Lord, and are all looking to him and saying, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake!"
But 0, what will it be, when he will be seen in company with all his people on the heavenly plains! What a day when the Redeemer will be seen with all his captives; the Physician of souls with all his patients: and all of them acknowledging, that, by his grace, they are what they are! What a multitude! How full of joy, and how full of praise! And on his head will be many crowns! He will inhabit all the praises of Israel! Then he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.
Thou hast made-winter.-Ps. Ixxiv. 17.
AND he makes nothing in vain. therefore, is as worthy of our attention, as either of the former seasons which have passed under our review.