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SERMONS.

SERMON I.

JESUS OF NAZARETH PASSING BY.

MAT. xx. 29-34.*

And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And behold two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them because they should hold their peace; but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

From comparing the accounts of the different evangelists, it appears that one of these unhappy men was Bartimeus,—that they sat by the road to ask alms,—that hearing the noise of the passing multitude they inquired the cause, and found that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by,—that when they raised their cries of suppliant distress, he sent messengers to call them,—that when their eyes were opened they “followed him, glorifying God,"

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and that “all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God.”

The time of this transaction was awfully critical. He who came into the world to open the

eyes

of the blind, was now on his last journey to Jerusalem, where in a few days, he was to suffer death. He was at Jericho, but twenty miles from the scene of his sufferings. His stay in that city was ended, and he had just set out for the spot from which he was to leave the world. His work on earth was nearly finished. He never was to come that way again.

The bodily cures which Christ performed in the days of his flesh, were designed to announce him to the world as the great Physician of the soul, and to teach sinners how to apply to him for spiritual healing. I am therefore authorized to employ this piece of history for such a purpose.

My first remark is, that it was necessary for these blind men to be by the way side while Jesus was passing by. Had they been any where else, they could not have received their sight. However fixed the event was in the counsels of heaven, their being by the way side was an established link in the chain leading to the happy change. Without that means, the end was never to be accomplished. And it was necessary for them to be there at the very punctum of time when Jesus was passing by. They might have sat there for years at any other time without effect. So it is necessary for ruined men to attend solemnly and earnestly and sincerely on all the means of grace, without which, they are not in the

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