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ST. MATTHEW XX. 30.
And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
WE are informed in the 20th Chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, that when Jesus departed from Jericho, a town very near to Jerusalem, a great multitude followed him. You have already heard, and that very often, that great numbers of people always followed our blessed Lord, not only on account of his heavenly words, but because he healed a great many sick by his
power as God. On this occasion two blind men, who were sitting by the road-side, as he passed, instantly cried out and begged him to have mercy on them. The people, who were with him, bid them hold their peace; but this did not silence them. They still cried out, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. Then Jesus stood still, and called them to him, and asked them what they would wish him to do for them? You may naturally suppose, that they would wish to be cured of their blindAnd they told him so. Lord, said they, we will that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus, we read, had compassiom on them, and touched their eyes,-mark that, only touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. They joined the multitude. The first use they made of their sight thus restored to them, was to follow praising and giving glory to God, who had given such power to Jesus Christ.
Now the use I would make of this circumstance is as follows. It shews us the great value of faith, of belief in Christ. When these two blind men called him the Son of David, they shewed their faith in him. I cannot now (for you could not at this time understand me) shew to you, how they proved their faith by calling him the Son of David. I can only tell you, that by calling him so, they meant to say, that he was the great prophet, whom God had so long ago promised, and whom the Jews at that time expected. They meant to say, that he was the king, expected, wished for, who was to reign for ever and ever, whose kingdom was to be for everlasting. This was the faith they shewed, and this faith our Lord blessed to them by restoring them to sight.
And indeed, my friends, without faith you cannot please God, nor Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ,-that he was born, and
died, and rose again to save us all,how, can you possibly be Christians? And this is a point about which I must be very anxious, till I see from all that you do, from all your behaviour, that you do really believe, that Jesus Christ died and rose again for you. Many people say that they believe, but never think at all about what they say. know what they believe.
Let me make the matter as clear as I
can to you, once for all.
You all believe
that the sun rose yesterday morning, and set yesterday evening. Why? Some of you will say, because I saw it: others, because I know that it must have done so. Now this is more than belief. Call it, if you choose, knowing a thing to have been When any one tells you, that there is such a country as England, and so great a person in it as the king of it, do you not believe these two things also? Why? You never saw them. You are sure, however,
it seems, that it must be so, because others, who have seen them, have told you so, or perhaps, because you hear every body say so.
Now although you have never seen Jesus Christ-although nobody now living has seen him, yet we all believe that some did see him, while he was upon earth, and did see him heal the sick, and raise the dead. Others heard it from them; and so on, till we come to our own times. We therefore believe it all on the same principle, as you believe that there is such a country as England, and so great a person in it, as the king of it. Belief in Jesus Christ is at first the same thing as this, though vastly more necessary for you to have because, if you have it not, you cannot be saved.
I for my part have read a great many books on this subject: I have thought a great deal about it: and the more I read,