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Secondly, (and this is also an à fortiori for the first, that there appears to have been no lack of faith, such as should either merit trial, or require confirmation by outward signs, on the part of those who applied to our Lord.

They bring unto Him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and beseech Him to put His hand upon him.” On other occasions, the like faith was rewarded by simple compliance with the request; or, as in the case of the centurion's servant, by a cure without any outward sign whatever, beyond simply “speaking the word.”

Accordingly, I believe that there is no commentator, ancient or modern, but has endeavoured to assign some meaning to each of these particulars. That they all seem to fail (if so be) is no proof, of itself, that the attempt is wrong; no proof that the particulars have no meaning. It only throws us back on the Apostolic exhortation, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God;" and suggests the Psalmist's

prayer, Open Thou mine eyes, that I may

behold the wonders of Thy law;" and, “ Open Thou our lips, and our mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.” And even if we give up the attempt to assign to each particular its own proper significance, and simply take them all together as attendant on one and the same miracle, there should seem one general inference to be drawn from them. We may surely infer thus much, viz. that since our Blessed Lord was pleased to use signs and outward appliances, not only commonly, but on this occasion so largely, although the Fulness of the Spirit dwelt in Him; there surely can be nothing objectionable, in the nature of the thing, to the use of the same under the Gospel Dispensation, (which is the ministration of the Spirit,) by the Church, (which is Christ's Body.)

Let us, however, endeavour to look more closely into the details of this narrative. Perchance we shall find some fruit in each. Doubtless there are figs upon this full-leaved tree.

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Secondly, (and this is also an à fortiori for the first,) that there appears to have been no lack of faith, such as should either merit trial, or require confirmation by outward signs, on the part of those who applied to our Lord.

They bring unto Him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and beseech Him to put His hand upon him.On other occasions, the like faith was rewarded by simple compliance with the request; or, as in the case of the centurion's servant, by a cure without any outward sign whatever, beyond simply “ speaking the word.”

Accordingly, I believe that there is no commentator, ancient or modern, but has endeavoured to assign some meaning to each of these particulars. That they all seem to fail (if so be) is no proof, of itself, that the attempt is wrong; no proof that the particulars have no meaning. It only throws us back on the Apostolic exhortation, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God;" and suggests the Psalmist's

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prayer, Open Thou mine

eyes,

that I

may behold the wonders of Thy law;" and, “ Open Thou our lips, and our mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.” And even if we give up the attempt to assign to each particular its own proper significance, and simply take them all together as attendant on one and the same miracle, there should seem one general inference to be drawn from them. We may surely infer thus much, viz, that since our Blessed Lord was pleased to use signs and outward appliances, not only commonly, but on this occasion so largely, although the Fulness of the Spirit dwelt in Him; there surely can be nothing objectionable, in the nature of the thing, to the use of the same under the Gospel Dispensation, (which is the ministration of the Spirit,) by the Church, (which is Christ's Body.)

Let us, however, endeavour to look more closely into the details of this narrative. Perchance we shall find some fruit in each. Doubtless there are figs upon this full-leaved tree.

First, then, as to the man. He. like all others who needed our Lord's works of healing, represents, doubtless, to us the state of man needing a Saviour. And this he does in two respects. As deaf, and as having an impediment in his speech. Ever since Eve listened to the Devil, man's ears have been by nature “ dull of hearinga” God's will. Ever since Eve held parley with the Devil, and repeated his words to Adam, Adam's posterity have, by nature, been unable to speak rightly concerning God, or on any matter as God would have man speak. A confession of a God, or an imperfect confession of the true God, is the best that he has, if unaided, been able to utter. He has “an impediment in his speech.”

Now, as to the process of cure.

First, our Lord “ took him aside from the multitude.” The first reason for this that occurs is, that all might the better see what He did. For, whilst a whole multitude may see at the same moment

Acts xxviii. 27.

&

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