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him to be unfaithful to it, therefore such signs are not given, and to seek them is declared by JESUS CHRIST to be the proper mark and character of an evil and adulterous generation. Miracles, on the other hand, do not produce conviction of the understanding only, but are intended to affect the will, as was above observed, and therefore Miracles are vouchsafed of the DIVINE MERCY for the reasons above mentioned, because Divine Miracles have a representative signification, by virtue of which they become instructive and edifying to all those who are in a state of mind capable of being benefited by them; in other words, who are in a state of mind sincerely desirous both to know and to do the whole will of their HEAVENLY FATHER.
Q. How ought you then to be affected by a sense of the LORD's Miracles?
A. With unfeigned adoration both of His DIVINE POWER and DIVINE GOODNESS, manifested in every Miracle which He performed. I ought also to be rightly affected with the significative sense of every Miracle, and with this view to explore attentively what their distinct signification is, that so I may gain a clearer insight into the nature of the divine operation. Lastly, I ought to consider, and to consider seriously, that JESUS CHRIST, in his adorable mercy, is ever disposed to work all his Miracles in my own mind and life, and since this cannot be done, only so far as I co-operate freely with HIM in the working of such Miracles, therefore I ought to consi
der further, that I am appointed, under Hıм, to perform the same Miracles, agreeable to His own declaration, where He says concerning every one of His true followers, The works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father, (John xiv. 12.) I am resolved therefore henceforth to pay due attention to the meaning and import of every Divine Miracle, and to take heed to my own conduct and conversation, that I may always be in a fit state to be a subject of the Miraculous Operation of my GoD and SAVIOUR, and may thus co-operate with Him in the removal of all my natural infirmities, ignorances and disorders, until I be finally restored, through his Divine Agency, to the full and complete order of that heavenly life, which He is ever willing to re-establish in every principle and degree both of my soul and body. AMEN.
THE LEPER CLEANSED,
MATTHEW viii. 1 to 5.
When Ile was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him, and behold, there came a Leper and worshipped Ilim, &c. &c.
Q. WHAT do you conceive to be here figured by the Leper, who is the subject of this Miracle?
A. The Leprosy, like all other bodily diseases. prevalent at the time, was a representative figure of spiritual disease, and the spiritual disease which it represented, was the profanation of Good and of Truth, which then prevailed in the Jewish Church.
Q. And what do you understand by the profanation of Good and Truth?
A. Man is guilty of profanation, and is thus a spiritual Leper, whensoever he has been initiated into the knowledge of what is true, and into the love of what is good, and afterwards acts contrary to such knowledge and love. This evil of profanation is represented by what JESUS CHRIST says concerning the unclean Spirit, that when he is cast out, he says, I will return to
my house from whence I came out. Then he goeth, and taketh to himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first, (Matt. xii. 43 to 46:) The LORD therefore, in his merciful providence, exercises a peculiar care over mankind, to prevent, as far as possible, their receiving more knowledge, and being affected with more love of what is right and good, than they can be supported in to the end of life, because the profanation of what is good and true exposes man to a more grievous condemnation than he can be exposed to by mere ignorance of, and insensibility to what is good and true, agreeable to those words of JESUS CHRIST, where He says, "That servant which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes; but he who knew not, though he committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few, (Luke xii. 47, 48.) The Leper then, who is the subject of this Miracle, is a representative figure of all those, who have once admitted into their minds the knowledge of heavenly things, and been made sensible of the love of them, and who af terwards decline from such knowledge and love, in consequence of immersing their thoughts and affections again in the selfish and worldly love which they had forsaken.
Q. But it is said of the above Leper, that he worshipped JESUS CHRIST, saying, LORD, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean what
do you understand here by the Leper's worshipping JESUS CHRIST?
A. The worship of JESUS CHRIST implies the acknowledgment of His DIVINITY, and thus that He was GOD MADE MAN in One Divine Person. Such worship therefore is here recorded of the above Leper, because the acknowledgment of the DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST is the necessary qualification to draw from Him the operation of His Divine Virtue for the cure of disease whether mental or bodily.
Q. And what do you further understand by the Leper saying, LORD, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean ?
A. These words involve confidence, on the part of the Leper, in the Omnipotence of the INCARNATE GOD, whom he now worshipped, which confidence was grounded in the conviction, that JeSUS CHRIST is able to accomplish every purpose which is in agreement with His Own DIVINE ORDER AND PROVIDENCE; in other words, that He has power to effect all things which are not contrary to the laws of His own appointment, thus to the determinations of His Divine Will. This confidence therefore is here recorded, because it is another essential qualification for receiving all the benefits and blessings resulting from the Divine Operation.
Q. But it follows, that JESUS put forth his hand and touched him, saying, Iwill, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed What do you here understand by JESUS putting forth his hand?