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directed principally to the poor, although the chapter, from which our text is taken, affords an exception. A nobleman, it appears, having heard of the fame of Jesus, “went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.” Here then all the observations which we have just made are fully illustrated. Our Saviour made answer to him, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye
will not believe.” If we turn back to the forty-sixth verse of the chapter from which our text is taken, we shall perceive, in all probability, the occasion of the words. The reference will plainly appear to have been to Christ's first miracle in Cana, when he changed the water into wine; whence we may not inaptly conclude, that the multitude, or the attendants of the nobleman, (not himself, for he believed) required or expected on the present occasion the exertion of a miracle similar to the one before performed there. From this circumstance
See ver. 50. The evidence of this is, that the plural is here used, ίδητε-πιστεύσητε, but the singular in the
our Saviour's words seem naturally to have proceeded. The nobleman, in the utmost state of anxiety for the life of his child, showed sufficient faith in the power of Jesus to rescue from the grave that object, upon which he had fixed his affections and love. In the heat of his anxiety he besought Jesus to lose no time in performing this miracle ; “ Come down ere my child die," says he ; Jesus saith unto him, “Go thy way: thy son liveth.” At this moment, the miracle was performed; the child, who the instant before was at the point of death, now revived; health bloomed afresh; the principles of vitality were restored, and nature, whose course had the moment before well nigh ceased, resumed her offices, and the child became the living proof of God's mercy and God's power. The nobleman returned to his house in the firm faith of the words of Jesus; for “he believed the word, that Jesus had spoken unto him.” And as he proceeded towards his house,
more particular conversation with the nobleman, topetov
“his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.” Upon the father inquiring of them the time, when he began to amend, he found, that it was at the exact moment when Jesus said unto him, * Thy son liveth.”
Imagine for a moment the joy, which infused itself into the heart of this nobleman', when he found that his son was restored to his fond embrace in perfect health.
Few earthly joys can exceed that which one feels, when our hopes, apparently blasted by the storm, revive out of the disappointment, into which they had fallen, and surpass our expectations and our wishes in their utmost desire. The father receiving from the grave his son,—the widow her lost husband, the man bent to the earth by earthly maladies his former strength,—the blind their sight,—the deaf their hearing,—the dead their life; these must all have spread around that joy, which the Saviour, while on earth, pro
This Baordinòç was probably one belonging to the court.
duced in the hearts of those, who needed it the most. Yes, it was amongst those, who required assistance the most, that Jesus of Nazareth performed his miracles : every one, which he performed, was for the benefit of the creature; there was no ostentation of power; on the contrary, often did he enjoin those, who had been made whole by his hand, to tell no man of it.
In the miracle before us, there is a surprising manifestation of power; the object, the disconsolate father besought Jesus to save, was not even brought into the presence of the Son of God. Jesus uttered no prayer to his Father to assist him in
performing this miracle; on the contrary, the sick child remained at home. Here, then, we see the extent, the unlimited extent of power which he had, while upon earth. “Go thy way,” said he, “thy son liveth.” He was moved with compassion; he saw the faith of the nobleman; he was perfectly satisfied, that the outward anxiety of the father corresponded with the inward emotions of his heart. Jesus has in like manner very often on the instant rewarded the faith of those, who required his assistance.
Thy faith hath made thee whole,” was a favourite reward of his. And had not this nobleman had faith in the power of Jesus, he must have returned to his house sorrowful. The life of this child was hanging upon the father's faith; any thing short of faith must have been unavailing. In the case before us, we see, that the necessity of possessing faith in Jesus is not confined to ourselves; but extended to those, with whom we are connected. And we are also told, that the sins of the father shall be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
But we beg to draw your attention to the application, which this miracle of our Lord affords, and to the nobleman's conduct in behalf of his child at the point of death. It will be no strange assertion, if we affirm, that each of us is in a similar situation to this nobleman; it is true, we may not be in that melancholy state of anxiety, we may not be expecting at each watch to have to mourn for our only child, but each of us has that in possession far dearer than