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tendency to similar fierce humours, moral corruption, and spiritual mania; how blotched and full of angry blains the common state of mankind has become in consequence of this hereditary corruptness of our human nature-all such must have perceived the beautiful consolation imparted in the fact that Jesus healed lepers, and gave it as a peculiar charge to His disciples to "Cleanse the lepers." The soul that has become deeply conscious of its evil state may well say: "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment" (Isa. i. 5, 6). Remembering our many transgressions, our flagrant violations of the Divine law, we may well loathe ourselves in the words of the Psalmist: "There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over my head as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. . . For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease; and there is no soundness in my flesh" (Ps. xxxviii. 3-7). Whither can we go for help? This is our need. Jesus said to the leper, "I will be thou clean!" This is our consolation.

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Not less significant, nor less consolatory, is the sweet promise afforded in the miracle of the healing of the woman that had the issue of blood. "The blood is the life of the flesh;" it represents the life of the soul. The issue of blood, therefore, represents the wasting away of spiritual life. It is a fact of universal experience; our good desires, resolutions to deny ourselves, dispositions to self-sacrifice, ooze and waste away, leaving us spiritually enfeebled and dying. Health and energy, hope and power, buoyancy and daring, are in the sacred "virtue" which goes forth from the Divine Healer ;-and they who have before "tried many things of many physicians, but have not been bettered, but rather grew worse," may come to Him, lay hold on the truths which He exemplified in His life-- His "garment"-and be made whole. The miracle was another illustration of the abiding spiritual work of our Divine Helper, the ever-merciful God-man, who came to seek mankind in their low estate, and to save those who otherwise were lost indeed!

Before leaving these miracles of healing we may observe that they were of two kinds,-the healing of congenital infirmities, as blindness, deafness, and the like; and the healing of diseases, which had attacked

previously more or less healthy frames. A similar distinction also exists between the various subjects of the Lord's spiritual miracles. He heals both hereditary infirmities of character, and also those spiritual diseases which have been brought upon the soul by individual transgression. Were those who now have the "cure of souls" more precise in their knowledge of spiritual anatomy and of spiritual diseases, they might be able to trace the intimate and subtle links of connection between congenital infirmities, morally morbid conditions, organic derangement, and functional disorder. Their diagnoses of psychological ailments would be correspondingly more valuable. The "cure of souls" would then mean a real thing rather than a phrase; and, instead of being "lost in generalities," moral therapeutics would be able to teach definite principles applicable to all instances. A glimpse of an almost new science opens upon the mind in the fact that in such a twofold manner Jesus was the Good Physician; and that in such a twofold way the "Physician of Souls" is under pledge and promise to forgive all our iniquities, to heal all our diseases, to redeem our life from destruction, to crown us with loving-kindness and tender mercies!

Another large group of miracles consists of "casting out of devils." It is not surprising that those who doubt the immortality of man should question the existence of spiritual beings. To those who believe in the immortality of man it cannot be difficult to see that the spirits of those who once were men and women on earth must be sentient, conscious intelligences, variously endued with spiritual powers, and which they can employ for such purposes as are in harmony with their affectional character; that they who were bad in this world continue to be bad in that world, and that the delight of the wicked in both worlds is certainly, to this extent, similar,—that they strive to molest and injure others. All devils, like all angels, are from the human race, whether on this earth or on others. statement of Scripture is, that at the time when our Lord appeared on earth, so greatly had the power of hell increased,--"hell had enlarged itself," that devils could not only tempt the wills of men, and not only inject all manner of falsities, malignities, and infernal thoughts into the minds of men, but that they could also take possession of the bodily organs of men, women, and even children. Any one who has seen much of modern spiritualism must have witnessed not a few cases in which such a "possession" has been even marvellously illustrated. Such evil spirits the Lord cast out. Manifestly, there is


most significant symbolism here. To cast out devils from the possessed bodies of men is the very type of casting out devils from the minds and wills of men. If, in addition, we can recognize the fact that every evil desire and every wicked thought is excited within us by the activity of infernal spirits, the "casting out of devils" becomes a work needing continually to be repeated, and requiring for its performance the ever-abiding operation of the Saviour. The external act was illustrative of the spiritual operation: the miracle wrought on the bodies of the afflicted was the type and the promise of a corresponding "mighty work" operating on afflicted souls. Of course, the miracle did not convince onlookers of the power of the Saviour; and though the spiritual miracle should be a million times repeated, it would not now convince onlookers. Sceptics then declared, "He cast out devils by the power of Beelzebub the prince of devils:" sceptics now declare, that such rejection of evil and falsity from the soul is due to "automatic action of the mind itself," the voluntary or the involuntary operation of the man's own soul. To those who have sought and gained the help, the miracle is a reality, and they know that its operator is the Lord!

Not less illustrative of the Lord's abiding and spiritual work were the miracles of raising the dead. Three cases are recorded, that of the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Nain, and Lazarus; the case of a child just deceased, that of a young man whose mortal remains were just about to be sepultured, and that of a man who had been "four days" dead. Each instance is significant of specific states. The truth which is common to them all is that Jesus gave life to the dead. But who can fail to remember that the state of those who are evil is invariably described as that of death? "This my son was dead and is alive again." "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." "Ye are graves which appear not." Ye are "whited sepulchres." "You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. . . . God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ" (Eph. ii. 1, 4, 5). "He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Jesus is not only the healer of diseases, He is also the giver of life! For, inasmuch as we may be spiritually infirm and spiritually diseased, spiritually paralyzed and

spiritually impotent, we may also be spiritually dead. The Lord's operation as the "Restorer" must therefore include restoration to life as well as restoration to health: He is to be the Life-giver as well as the Health-giver to His people. This external miracle was thus once more illustrative of His continual work far more than it was evidential of His supernatural power.

Space will not permit us to now do more than notice three other miracles, which we may group under the head of ministration to the wants of the healthy. He changed water into wine at the wedding feast, He fed the hungry multitudes, He stilled the raging tempest. The changing of the water into wine illustrates the whole scope and purpose of the New Testament as compared with the previous Testament. Jesus filled out all the forms, types, and figures of the Mosaic dispensation with spiritual wisdom. He taught the spiritual application and relevancy of the Ten Commandments; the spiritual significance of the Jewish kingdom, temple, rites, and ordinances; not so much the supersession of the Levitical law as its absorption into the spiritual and universal law of the Gospel covenant. What was

only water under the Judaic economy He changed into the wine of the New Covenant, the spiritual truth, the "grace and truth which came by Jesus." The Judaic water of cleansing was made by Jesus to be the wine of invigoration. The beginning of miracles was a fitting illustration of the whole nature of His then future work, the sanction given to marriage, the prefigurement of a higher marriage between Himself as the Divine Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride prepared and adorned for her Husband, an external antepast of the "wine" which He would drink "new" with His disciples at the "marriage-supper of the Lamb."

So also His feeding the hungry was a significant symbol of His eternal operation as the "giver of meat to them that are ready to perish." He is the feeder of His flock, who supplies to them their "daily bread;" who, not content with giving to them the "bread that perisheth," will give them of "HIMSELF," the bread that endureth unto everlasting life. The symbolism, and therefore the illustrativeness of the miracle has been seen by all who have pondered upon the narrative. He is the universal feeder of the hungry: the external work was a parable in act, whose spiritual significance is so plain that he may run who reads.

Who, again, can fail to discern the evident suggestiveness of the Lord's relieving the fears of the disciples by rescuing them from the

danger of shipwreck in the midst of the storm. "Peace, be still!" has been felt to be a word of power, not at all to be confined to the one occasion of its symbolic utterance. The creaking, toiling, quivering ship-the wild surges-the black sky-the eager, angry, devouring wind-the cry of terror and supplication-the majestic uprising-the Peace, be still!-the sullen subsidence of the waves-the outbursting moon beaming sweetly through the storm-rent rifts of flying cloud-the scene pictures every horrible danger, every agony of fear, and the might of the storm-queller speaking "peace." It is a divine exemplification of the universal truth of "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me!" Of course, the miracle exhibited the divine power of the Saviour, as do all others of His works; but it is most wretchedly to miss the great purpose of this, as of all His miracles, to regard it as a dramatic spectacle got up merely to display His power for the object of creating "evidence." The Lord taught by what He did even more impressively than by what He said. His life was a continual sermon, preaching wondrous truths. The Gospel is even more truly what He was and what He wrought than what He uttered, and we speak it most reverently-the very last thought in His mind while working His miracles must have been to furnish "evidences" thereby of His Divine Mission in the world.

(To be continued.)




35. THE STORAX-TREE (Styrax officinale. Nat. Ord. Styracaceae). In the Authorized Version of the Old Testament we read, upon two occasions, of the "poplar." The place held in the Scripture Flora by the poplar, truly and properly so designated, has already been discussed: -here we have quite a different thing, the word employed in the original Hebrew of the two passages alluded to being libneh. This word certainly does not designate the tree currently and familiarly known as the poplar, the Populus nigra of science, nor any one of its varieties, nor yet the aspen, Populus tremula. The etymological sense being "whiteness," it is possible, however, that it may have

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