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to the utterinost--that he will cast out some that come to him. The truth is, we do not habitually live under a deep conviction of our absolute unworthiness of divine mercy; of our constant need of forgiveness; of our'utter helplessness in the affair of salvation, and the necessity there is of continual dependence on divine aid to carry on the work of faith with power, and also to keep us from falling a prey to perpetual dejection.
That a conviction of want naturally stimulates to action, is a position that needs no proof. A sense of weakness makes the feeble solicitous for strength. Guilt, felt and lamented, impels the sinner to be urgent for mercy. Apprehension of danger wings the flight of him that pants for safety. The axiom is strikingly exemplified in the admirable plea of the Syrophenician woman. on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.' It is true the anxious supplicant at first met with much discouragement, but this discouragement only constrained her to be more impor
Have mercy tunate. She knew that her child stood in need of assistance: and that he to whom she 'applied was able to grant it: and were. you equally sensible of your spiritual wants; and equally solicitous for the heavenly blessing; the same Lord would say unto you, as he did unto her, O woman, great is thy faith : be it unto thee even as thou wilt.
On this principle acted the blind man who sat by the way side begging when our Lord departed from Jericho. The petitioner had doubtless heard of the miracles and the bene. ficence of Jesus. He was also conscious that he stood in need of assistance, and convinced that the Saviour of men was able to grant it: and this conviction urged him to cry out, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me! And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace : but he cried so 'much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me! And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight : thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God.
Now the injunctions of the multitude could neither repress desire of relief, nor compel Bartimeus to desist from being importunate to gain it. The aid he wanted, the people could not give ; nor would he suffer them to obstruct application to him from whom he knew it could certainly be had. The very attempt to impose silence induced him to cry more loudly for help: nor did he cease to petition till his petition was granted.
Thus, in reference to spiritual affairs, every man acts who feels his depravity and guilt; who knows his wounds to be incurable, unless he that forgiveth all our iniquities, and healeth all our diseases, have mercy on him. He is convinced, as was Bartimeus, that he cannot
relieve himself-that vain is the help of man: but he has heard, and believes, that help is laid on one mighty to save ; and has, in application for succour, one advantage which the son of Timeus could not boast He can plead both the power and the promise of the Saviour: and therefore, however apparently many or great his discouragements, to this Saviour he ever looks for acceptance and pardon. If enormous guilt wound the conscience and forbid his hope of remission, he becomes more urgent for help. His importunity for mercy is, in some measure, proportioned to the worth of the blessing and the danger of losing it. He knows there is forgiveness with God for the chief of sinners-that he will in no wise cast out them that come to him—that he never said to the seed of Jacob, seek ye me in vain. Under a sense of unworthiness and weakness, he is emboldened, because commanded, to take hold of Jehovah's strength: he says, therefore, with Jacob, I will not let thee go, except thou bless memor, interrogates with Peter, Lord, to whom shall I go? thou hast the words of eternal life,
Does the christian wait for light, but behold obscuri y; for brightness, but walk in darkness; he remembers him that said, who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obey. eth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.' Though he slay me, says the disconsolate soul, yet will I trust in him—the Lord is the God of truth-he will not cast off for ever : but though he cause grief, yet will he have come passion according to the multitude of mercies.'
of the strength of faith, and the power of unbelief, we have a striking instance in the conduct of Peter. The apostle, with other disciples, was in a ship in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves : for the wind was contráry. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good