Billeder på siden

to it, since the greatest part of it appears to them extremely irrational and absurd, so that a sensible man has reason to be ashamed of it. They rely upon their own understanding and their own strength, and do not comprehend upon what a person can otherwise depend. But let them go; for they are blind!

When the Lord, however, begins to wrestle with a soul-by which we mean, when he begins his work of grace in a man-he struggles with him in such a manner, that to a certainty, either earlier or later, the hip will be dislocated, and so put out of joint, that no other choice will be left him than that which was left Jacob that of embracing with the arms of faith the Son of God; there will be no alternative but to let himself be borne and carried by him. By degrees he is entirely brought off from his previous method of existing and acting, and conducted into a path, of which he must himself confess that flesh and blood have not revealed it to him; that he has not learned it from books, from sermons, from other men, or from his own wisdom; but that wondrous grace first reduced him to the state of a little child, and then began to reveal to him the

mystery of the kingdom of God. He now learns to believe from the heart those passages of Scripture, where it is said, "Not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy;" and others of a similar nature, which had secretly given him offence before, but which now become wisdom

itself to him. He now experiences how much reason Peter had to call the light, to which the chosen generation is called out of darkness, a marvellous light."


We could still say much in pointing out how the Lord, in repentance, commences the destruction of the false ground of self-confidence, and then carries it on and completes it by a variety of trials, and in a very strange manner, until the sinner, stripped of every thing, casts himself into the arms of his blessed Lord and Saviour. But we break off, and leave the subject to a future opportunity.

We only ask, in conclusion, What becomes of our wisdom according to the wisdom of the Christian religion, which, as the way to wisdom, directs that we should become fools according to the maxims of the world, and affirms, that he who thinks he knows any

thing, knows yet nothing as he ought? What becomes of our strength, when Christ is only mighty in the weak, and we without him can do nothing? What becomes of our righteousness, since we are all declared to be unrighteous, and that there is no difference amongst us, except what is made by the grace of God? What becomes of our labour and efforts, since we are saved by grace? Lord, open our eyes, that we may behold wondrous things out of thy law !



It is evident, especially from Matt. xiv. 36, what a salutary and healing power Jesus must have possessed. He came into the land of Gennesaret. Scarcely had he left the vessel and stepped on shore, than he was immediately recognized. The people of that place sent out into all the country round about, in order to make it every where known. A number of sick persons from far and near, who laboured under a variety of diseases, were brought to him, and they besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched it were made whole, whatever might have been their complaint.

[ocr errors]

How much it is to be regretted,' might some one think, 'that Jesus is no longer upon earth!' But wherefore? If he could heal the

sick, even at a distance from them, he must still be able to do so now that he is ascended up on high. And it would be highly derogatory to him to pretend, that Jesus is now so shut up in heaven, that it is impossible for us to experience, or become conscious of anything more of him; since he has said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world!" But it would also be a matter of regret, if we had such an abundance of temporal things as to render Jesus indifferent to us, because he no longer heals our bodily diseases, except through a medium. We all require his medical aid, his healing power, in a more important sense than the people of Gennesaret experienced it—I mean with respect to our souls, whose disease is called Sin; the natural consequence of which is death, eternal death. Of th's we must necessarily be healed; and may be so, although we cannot, and ought not, to accomplish it as of ourselves. Jesus is also our physician, and so full of healing power, that he is at the same time the medicine. If we wish to be healed, we must at least touch the hem of his


garment. Thou art clothed with light," says

David," and art very glorious." The glory of

« ForrigeFortsæt »