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and our ignorance shall be dispelled, and our tongues shall speak His praise.
If we seek to recall sinners from the error of their ways, we may go in sure confidence to Him for help, Who doeth “all things well,” Who “maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”
He can make the sinner and the heathen hear and confess. And He can no less give us a tongue that none shall be able to gainsay, opening our ears to the suggestions of the Spirit, that shall teach us what to say, and how to say it; and our lips, that we may shew forth His praise, and declare the wonders of His law.
Truly may we, whom He hath called to the state of salvation, exclaim, in respect of ourselves, “ He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak!"
Truly may we say it in respect of His work of regeneration and renovation now; and so carry on the exulting thought to “the times of refreshing, and of the restitution of all things.”
When the clouds and darkness of trouble gather round us, let us remember His Ephphatha, Who said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” and,“ behold, it was very good.” When the upbraidings of sin seem to stop our ears against the voice of His consolations, and the consciousness of our iniquities paralyzes the tongue ; let us still remember His Ephphatha, and fear not, but cast all our care upon Him, and beseech Him to put His fingers in our ears, and to touch our tongue; that they may be opened to comfort, and this be loosed to thanksgiving.
When death has closed the eyes we loved, and stilled the voice we delighted in, let us remember His “ Ephphatha,” and hope that, closing to earth, the eyes opened on heaven; that becoming voiceless here, the tongue began its praises there; and so let our thoughts go on to the last Ephphatha, to the last “Be opened ;" which, opening the graves and making the sea give up its dead, shall open again the eye
f Acts iii. 19, 21.
and the ear and the tongue of the long slumbering flesh, that they may see, and hear, and learn, and repeat, things which it now cannot enter into the heart of man to conceive.
For then, assuredly, the work of the New Creation being ended, shall Angel and Archangel and all the company of Heaven exult and say,
“ He hath done all things well;" He hath made the deaf to hear, the blind to see, the dumb to speak, yea, the dead to be alive again for ever!
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
MATT. xviii. 32, 33.
O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt,
because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity upon
thee? In the parable of the merciful king and his unmerciful servant, given for our special instruction in the Gospel for today, our Lord sets forth, first, our condition by nature; secondly, our condition in the state of grace; thirdly, our duty towards each other in that state.
The King in the parable is the Lord God Almighty”. “The Lord is King." “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth" by • Ps. X. 10.
b Rev. xix. 6.
a right as indisputable as His power is irresistible. And He is the Judge of the earth." “ We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ d.” The Lord our King shall judge whether we have obeyed Him as such. Yea, His throne is set for judgment already. By the voice of conscience, where His Gospel is not known; and by the requirements of the Gospel, where it is known, He even now “ takes account of His servants."
And when He does even now “ begin to reckon” with them, all are found His debtors; and none have wherewith to pay; and so all are liable to be “ sold under sin,” to be given over to reprobation and damnation without hope. . “ The kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one
was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents. But, forasmuch as he had not to pay,
his Lord commanded him to be sold, and his
c Ps. xciv. 2.
d Rom. xiv. 10.