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that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy; and others of a similar nature, which had secretly given him offence before, but which now become wisdom itself to him. He now experiences how much reason Peter had to call the light, to which the chosen generation is called out of darkness, “a marvellous light.?
We could still say much in pointing out how the Lord, in repentance, commences the destruction of the false ground of self-confidence, and then carries it on and completes it by a variety of trials, and in a very strange manner, until the sinner, stripped of everything, casts himself into the arms of his blessed Lord and Savior. But we break off, and leave the subject to a future opportunity.
We only ask, in conclusion, What becomes of our wisdom according to the wisdom of the Christian religion, which, as the way to wisdom, directs that we should become fools according to the maxims of the world, and affirms, that he who thinks he knows any thing, knows yet nothing as he ought ? What becomes of our strength, when Christ is only mighty in the weak, and we without him can do nothing? What becomes of our righteousness, since we are all declared to be unrighteous, and that there is no difference amongst us, except what is made by the grace of God? What becomes of our labor and efforts, since we are saved by grace? Lord, open our eyes, that we may behold wondrous things out of thy law !
It is evident, especially from Matt. xiv. 36, what a salutary and healing power Jesus must have possessed. He came into the land of Gennesaret. Scarcely had he left the vessel and stepped on shore, than he was immediately recognized. The people of that place sent out into all the country round about, in order to make it
every where kňown. A number of sick persons from far and near, who labored under a variety of diseases, were brought to him, and they besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment : and as many as touched it were made whole, whatever might have been their complaint.
“How much it is to be regretted,” might some one think," that Jesus is no longer upon earth !" But wherefore ? If he could heal the sick, even at a distance from them, he must still be able to do so now that he is ascended up on high. And it would be highly derogatory to him to pretend, that Jesus is now so shut up in heaven, that it is impossible for us to experience, or become conscious of anything more of him ; since he has said, 'Lo, I am with you always, even to the end the world ! But it would also be a matter of regret, if we had such an abundance of temporal things as to render Jesus indifferent to us, because he
no longer heals our bodily diseases, except through a medium. We all require his medical aid, his healing power, in a more important sense than the people of Gennesaret experienced it I mean with respect to our souls, whose disease is called sin ; the natural consequence of which is death, eternal death. Of this we must necessarily be healed ; and may be so, although we can not, and ought not, to accomplish it as of ourselves. Jesus is also our physician, and so full of healing power, that he is at the same time the medicine. If we wish to be healed, we must at least touch the hem of his garment. “Thou art clothed with light,' says David, "and art very glorious.' The glory of Jesus Christ is a perfect glory. The skirt of his garment is his meekness and humility, which fit him to be the physician of such diseased creatures as we. His invitations and promises are the hem which we ought to touch. It is not permitted to every one to approach the great and the mighty upon earth ; but the contrary is the case with the monarch of the skies. We may touch him, if we entreat him to let us do so. really touch him by the feeling of our wretchedness, and by our sincere longing and desire for the sanctification of our souls, by prayer, and particularly by believing confidence. But what benefit was derived from thus touching Jesus? All who did so were made whole. And such is still the case. Jesus retains the reputation of being a perfect, and at the same time the only, physician of souls. Deeply feel thy need of him, and then thou wilt also say with Jacob, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
GENESIS XXXII. 26.
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said,
I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
In the remarkable event recorded in this and the two preceding verses, one wonder succeeds another. The Son of God puts Jacob's thigh out of joint; but Jacob, so far from losing courage, throws himself upon the neck of him who had deprived him of all his strength, that he may be borne by him, since he is no longer able to stand of himself. A new wonder now. occurs; the Son of God entreats Jacob—the victor the yanquished—the strong the weak—to let him go. But Jacob wisely takes advantage of the opportunity, and replies, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.'
'Let me go,' says the Son of God to Jacob; and these words belong to those wondrous expressions, of which there are many in the Scriptures—to those expressions which, at first sight, seem to intimate something absurd, and yet bear upon them the impress of Divine wisdom. If we were desirous of producing a whole series of such paradoxes, of such seeming contradictions, they would be such as the following: “When I am weak, as Paul says, then am I strong.' As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.
"Let me go.' Was he in earnest, or did he merely dissemble? Dissemble? Who can think that of him
who is faithful and true. If he had been in earnest, it would have been an easy thing to extricate himself from the arms of Jacob. It was therefore a new temptation, into which he led the patriarch. It would have been ill for the latter, if he had let him go; he would have miserably sunk upon the ground, the Son of God would have vanished, and with him the blessing which he obtained by holding him fast.
Let me go. Could he not have dislocated his arms; which is an easier matter than putting a hip out of joint? No, his power did not extend so far, because it necessarily remained within the limits assigned to it by the Divine promise, 'I will do thee good.' But the dislocation of Jacob's arms, the extricating himself from them; the hasting away without conferring a blessing, would not have been a benefit, but an injury; and this he certainly could not inflict for his words sake.
"Let me go.' Did he need for this purpose the consent of his friend? Assuredly he did. He had established the covenant of grace with him, and with all the spiritual descendants of Abraham, according to which he engaged to be their shield and their defence. He has bound himself to bless them and to do them good, and cannot free himself from this obligation, which he has confirmed with an oath, without the consent of those in alliance with him ; and he himself has, in their regeneration, imparted such a feeling to them, that they never can nor will consent to it. • When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.' 'If we deny him, he will