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is able to grant that relief which is sought from Him in humility and with fervency.

This poor man felt the disadvantages under which he had laboured by reason of his blindness. In consequence of it, he had been obliged to become a beggar, and to ask alms of the people who passed by him on the road. It was not, however, alms that he wanted to receive from the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not wish to live any longer in idleness and blindness. The almighty Physician having come in his


he was anxious that Divine power might be manifested in the healing of the disease with which he was afflicted. In answer, therefore, to the question put to him, he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. From others he had asked alms to support him in his indigent condition. From the Lord Jesus he sought what was more valuable, and what He only was able to give, the restoration of sight.

If this blind man had merely asked alms of the Lord Jesus he might have received them, and continued in his state of blindness. Our blessed Lord, poor as He was in this world's goods, sometimes directed money to be given to the poor, as we learn from an observation respecting Judas, Some of them thought that Jesus had said unto him, that he should give something to the poor. 29 But here it may be observed, How many are desirous of receiving alms, or temporal blessings, from God, worldly riches, earthly gratifications, rather than spiritual blessings, or to have their natural blindness removed, and to obtain spiritual sight; and to receive these things also in the true spirit of a common beggar, as gifts for the use of which they need not consider themselves to be accountable to the Giver. We

29 John xiïi. 29.

We may learn here that the gifts which we ask from God should be such as man cannot give, such as He alone is able to bestow. This is the case with regard to spiritual blessings; He holds them in His hands, that they may be sought for at His footstool.

Our blessed Saviour did not refuse to grant the desire of this poor man, because he had asked so great a blessing. But in reply to his request, Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight; thy faith hath saved thee, or made thee whole. He conferred the benefit upon him, and ascribed the cure to his faith ; though that was only the means or instrument whereby Divine power was called to his aid. He thus commended the man for his faith, for believing in His mighty power, that He was able to do this; and at once showed that He was as willing as He was able to effect that which was desired. For as soon as the Lord Jesus had spoken the word, immediately the man received his sight. Divine

power accompanied the word. He spake, and it was done.3d And when the blessing was conferred, which had been so earnestly desired, the receiver of the benefit, followed Him, who had so graciously bestowed it, glorifying God, for the recovery of his sight. He went after Jesus in the way that He was going; and as he went along he praised and thanked the Giver of all good for the mercy that had been extended to him. And the greatness of the miracle, and the conduct of the man who had received the benefit, had such an effect upon those who witnessed it, that all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. They joined their thanksgivings with those of the man who had been restored to sight.

It is proper for us to consider this miracle as having been recorded not merely to show the mighty power which the Lord Jesus exercised in the days of His flesh ; although the surprising miracles which He wrought declared Him to be indeed the Son of God with power', si Emmanuel, God with us,32 God manifest in the flesh. The object of this record is rather to lead our minds from temporal to spiritual things. As this poor man was blind as to bodily sight, so are all mankind by nature blind as to spiritual sight, having the understanding darkened,

30 Psalm xxxiii. 9. 31 Rom. i. 4. 32 Matt. i. 23. 33 1 Tim. iji. 16.

being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Therefore the commission given by Christ to His Apostle was, I send thee unto the Gentiles, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified, by faith that is in Me.35 But of the multitude who are spiritually blind, it may be said that they are insensible to the existence of the malady with which they are affected, and therefore they walk on in darkness. 36

But when a man is led by the influence of the Spirit of God to a sense of his spiritual blindness, it fills him with uneasiness and misery. He cannot be satisfied without having sight given to him. He hears of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners, and he calls earnestly upon Him, as the blind man in the text did, Lord Jesus, have mercy on me ; heal


soul, lighten mine eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death ;** that I may not die in my sins, and, find in my own bitter experience, when mine eyes are opened in the eternal world, that the wages of sin is death. And if those who are around him should endeavour to quell his fears and to stop his cries, by talking to him of his good life, or of his repentance, or such things, he will say to them, Miserable comforters are ye all. He will still persevere in his cries for mercy. And his importunity will at length prevail. For the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.39 He will hear them from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. 40 Let this be our encouragement to persevere in crying for mercy to Him who alone is able to bestow spiritual blessings upon us.

34 Eph.iv. 18. 35 Acts xxvi. 11. 36 Psalm lxxxii.5. 37 Psalm xiii. 3.

And since the Lord Jesus says to them who wait upon Him in the ordinances of His appointment, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? let us ask ourselves, What is it that we are most desirous to obtain from Him? Whatever we esteem to be the most valuable, we shall be the most anxious to receive from His bounty. Is the uppermost desire of our heart that which is fit to be presented to God? Is it consistent with His holy will ? If we desire and pray to be blessed with spiritual blessings,l as it is for His glory to give these, He will not deny the request of our lips. Let us then increase our importunity for them. If they are not granted at once in answer to our fervent supplications, the delay is for the purpose of making us more importunate. Faith and patience shall at length obtain

38 Job xvi. 2. 39 Psalm xxxiv. 18. 40 Psalm xx. 6. 41 Eph. i. 3.

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