Nor where, at sultry noon, thy Son
Sat, weary, by the patriarch's well.

From every place below the skies,
The grateful song, the fervent prayer,
The incense of the heart, may rise
To heaven, and find acceptance there.

To thee shall age, with snowy hair,
And strength and beauty bend the knee,
And childhood lisp, with reverent air,
Its praises and its prayers to thee.

Oh thou to whom in ancient time
The lyre of prophet bards was strung,
To thee at length, in

every clime,
Shall temples rise, and praise be sung.



JOHN IV. 43. Now, after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then, when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast ; for they also went unto the feast. So he came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down and heal his son ;

for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.

And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee.


“ The man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him.” Few of those who surrounded Jesus would have been contented with so unostentatious a display of the Saviour's power. They would have besought him to visit in person the chamber of the sick; they would have expected to witness the performance of solemn rites. But for this petitioner the sentence, Thy son liveth,” was enough. Confiding humbly in the divine power, he yielded implicit belief to the words of Jesus. The example he affords is one which we can never directly imitate, for as the Saviour is no more on earth, performing miracles, the circumstances of his suppliant can never be ours. But the same implicit belief which filled his heart when Jesus spoke, may animate us, when we listen to the declarations of scripture, and when we look to Providence in the events of life. Our heavenly Father has promised us his protecting care : let us confide in that promise ; and when, in the hour of distress, we rise

from prayer, let it be as the noblemen of Capernaum left the presence of Jesus, with undoubting faith that our supplication is heard and accepted, and that although the gift we ask may be denied, all needed blessings will be granted us, by the mercy of our heavenly Benefactor.


What power, unseen by mortal eye,
Wafted Messiah's high command,
Bade sickness from its victim fly,
And the glad friends believing stand ?

Father! ’T was thine. The Saviour spoke
The word confirmed by love divine;
The bonds of fell disease he broke,
And, in his power, exalted thine.

Thy power, Oh Lord, is round us still,
Though shrouded from our feebler sight,
To guard, in danger's hour, from ill,
To lead us in the way of right.

Oh, if temptations paths we tread,
Still may we feel that thou art near;
And in thy servants' bosom shed
The spirit of thy love and fear.

Then as of old, the hour which hears
Thy word, shall see that word obeyed;
And rescued souls, with grateful tears
Shall bless thy Spirit's timely aid.



JOHN v. AFTER this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem, by the sheep market, a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great number of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water : whosoever then first after the troubling of the water, stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool : but while I am coming, another steppeth down before

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked. And on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day : it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed and walk ? And he


that was healed wist not who it was, for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole : sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day..

[ocr errors][merged small]


Various accounts are given of the pool of Bethesda, and its efficacy as a means of cure. Whatever the explanation may be, is of little consequence to us, for the circumstance from which its interest is derived, is that our Saviour here performed a miracle. We may however observe that the expression, an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water,” may signify only, that at regular intervals, the healing power of the water returned, or was increased. But how useless was that healing power to the impotent man who now lay there! Day after day did he look for relief, and day after day was he disappointed. Thus how often, in the very hour when we expect happiness, an obstacle starts up before us, and our hope is turned to mourning!

But the Saviour came. The sick man heard his question without interest, for he knew not the power of him by whom it was proposed. A light arose where he looked not for it. Jesus healed by a word the disease under which he laboured. Thus amid our disappointments, does God open to us paths of happiness of which we had never thought. May we then moderate our expectations, cheerfully resign what our God denies, and gratefully take what his providence assigns us!

5 *

« ForrigeFortsett »