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show that I can do the other? Will not the power I exert so wonderfully on the body, assure you that I can exercise the same on the soul ? Each is alike easy to me. Or do you think that God would give such power to a blasphemer?" Then, to show that it was not a vain boast, he said to
Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."*
A secret energy went with the word; the joints and muscles received strength, and in a moment the man sprung from his bed, and stood erect before the astonished crowd. The next moment, he rolled up his bed, took it on his shoulder, and, pressing through the crowd, hastened to his home, praising God as he journeyed along. What new feelings now possessed
The beds of the poor among the Jews were much inore simple, and more easy to carry, than modern beds. They consisted of mats, or a long roll like stair-carpeting; which could be soon folded up, and conveniently carried away.
In the case of the paralytic, the carrying even of a small eastern bed was a clear proof of his cure. Others were formed of two quilts, one of which was folded double, and served for a mattress; the second was for a coverlet; with a roll of cloth for a pillow. Some had frames, like a cot.
“On the morning after my arrival at Bombay, I got up with the first blush of the dawn, and hastily drawing on my clothes, proceeded alone in search of adventures. I had not gone far, before I saw a native sleeping on a mat spread in the little verandah extending along the front of his house.
He was wrapped up in a long robe of white linen, or white cotton cloth. As soon as the first rays of the sun peeped into his rude sleeping chamber, 'he arose, took up his bed, aud went into his house.' I saw immediately an explanation of this expression, which, with slight variations, occurs in the Bible, in connexion with several of the most striking and impressive of Christ's miracles, particularly with that of the man sick of the palsy. The Hindoo got on his feet, cast the long folds of his wrapper over his shoulder, stooped down, and liaving rolled up his mat, which was all the bed he required, he walked into the house with it, and then proceeded to the nearest tank to perform his morning ablutions."-Captain Basil Hall's Fragments of Voyages and Travels, vol. iii.
his heart, a she entered the doors of his house! From those doors he had been carried out borne by four friends; he now returns on his own feet, bearing that on which, a few hours before, he was stretched in helplessness; he went out trembling in every joint, he is now active and strong; he then had hope, he now has joy; he went out with sin unpardoned, he now returns with a blessing both for body and soul.
The scribes and pharisees were silenced and confounded; they could not account for what they had seen. It was clear there was no delusion: there lay the man a minute before, in all his misery; they saw his wretched state, and now they behold him already on his way to his home in perfect health. It was useless to attempt to account for it as the result of natural causes; no means had been employed; only a sentence had been spoken: how then could they justify their unbelief? And yet, it is to be feared, they only hardened their hearts against the evident conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God.
While these wise men of their times were unwilling to be convinced, " the multitude glorified God, who had given such power unto men;" and as they walked to their homes they said one to another, “We have seen strange things to-day!" “We never saw it on this fashion!” The Jews believed that every disease was a punishment for some sin, and that as soon as that sin was forgiven, the disease would be taken away: they, therefore, praised God for the token he had given of his mercy; yet they knew not that He who wrought it, though now in humble dress and human form, had done it by his own almighty power.
The three miracles which have followed in order, supply convincing proofs that Jesus is Divine. The cure of the nobleman's son at a distance, proves his omnipresence--that he is in all places; the wonderful draught of fishes displays his omniscience-that he has all knowledge; and the healing of the paralytic shows that he is omnipotentthat he can do all things. These are the attributes of Deity: no human being, nor angel, ever possessed one of these properties; who then must He be, who proved he had them all? Indeed, this latter miracle supplies in itself three evidences of the Divinity of Christ. He instantly cured the man of the disease by his own power. He knew the thoughts of the scribes : no one can search the thoughts of the heart but God, i Chron. xxviii. 9; Jer. xvii. 10; Rom. viii. 27; Rev. ii. 23. He forgave the man his sin; and, to show that he had the right so to do, he removed its punishment. Forgiveness of sin belongs only to God, Isa. xliii. 25; xliv. 22.
In this view of Christ, every miracle possesses an increased interest: for while his Divine nature assures us he has power to pardon the guilty, and heal those diseased of sin, these works of mercy convince us he is willing. Then let us apply to him in faith; let no difficulties prevent us from seeking a cure; but submitting ourselves to his compassion, let us humbly lie at his feet, until he bids us arise, and go joyfully on our way to heaven. Thus will it appear to all around that we have risen from a state of sin; and our lives of obedience, gratitude, and love, will lead them to glorify God.
Christ at Jerusalem—The pool of Bethesda—An infirm man
cured—The Saviour's charge-His ability to save-Man with a withered hand restored— It is lawful to do good on the sabbath-Christ the Lord of the sabbath-The Christian
sabbath. The district of Galilee was favoured above all others with the presence of the Saviour, during his residence among men. Hitherto, all the principal miracles had been wrought in that province; out now Jesus left it, passing through the chief cities, on his way to Jerusalem to keep the passover.
INFIRM MAN AT POOL OF BETHESDA.
JOHN v. 1-47.
ARRIVED at “the great city,” our Saviour went up to the temple. On his way he passed a small collection of waters, inclosed by a building, which had obtained the name of Bethesda, or the “ house of mercy :” for here God had shown his mercy, by healing the sick and diseased in a miraculous manner. This pool was not far from the entrance of the city, near the sheep market, or gate, (built by Eliashib, the high priest, in the days of Nehemiah, Neh. iii. 1,) through which the animals, intended for sacrifice, were driven on their way to the temple. Around the waters, porches, or covered ways, were built, in which persons could find shelter from the heat of an eastern sun,
and the heavy rains which sometimes fell. These apartments were of great service to the sick, who resorted in considerable numbers to the pool; for God was pleased, at certain seasons, to send an angel to trouble, or disturb, the waters of the pool, by which a healing power was given to them; and the first person that stepped in after the moving of the waters, was instantly healed, whatever was the disease, and however long it had been endured. The sick were often attended by their friends, who watched with them, and assisted them in their efforts to reach the waters at the favourable moment.
How often this occurred is unknown: some have thought it was every sabbath ; but it would appear it was at uncertain intervals, which made it necessary for the people constantly to watch. Nor is it known when the waters first acquired their healing power. The Old Testament does not