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one hath observ'd) to spread his healing Wings over all, to dispense his benign Infuences and Favours every where, and to make every one that came near him sensible of his good will to Mankind. Tho he was throng'd after and press’d upon by the Miserable and Unfortunate, the Dif eas'd and Poffess'd in all Places where he came, yet we ne. ver find any Person fent from his Presence dissatisfy'd. It was but ask and have; and the bare saying, Lord, have mercy, upon me, was enough to get the poor Beggar's Wants, of what kind foever, instantly supply'd. So it was here, they did but ask him to put his Hand upon this deaf and dumb Person, and he immediately took him aside, to avoid all Vanity and Ostentation, and put his Fingers into his Ears, and touch'd his Tongue. After which, looking up to Heaven, owning the paramount Power of his Father, and imploring his Blessing, he look'd down, and sighing at the Infirmities of the poor Man, said unto him, Ephphata, that is, be open'd; the Sense whereof is, Let all Inpediments of hearing and speaking be gone from thee, and let the Power of both come unto thee.
Well, and what was the issue of this kind and hearty Word? Why, that the next Verse will tell us; And Atraitway his Ears were open'd, and the String of his Tongue was Loos’d, and be Spake plain ; ver. 35. that is, immediately upon Christ's pronouncing the word Ephphata, his Hearing and Speaking came to him, and both in great perfection ; his Hearing was quick, and his Speech was plain, and both by a Touch and a Word's speaking,
Nothing, you see, is hard or difficult to an Almighty Power ; 'tis but to speak the Word (faith the Centurion to our Saviour) and thy Servant Mall be whole, Matth. 8, 8. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, faith the Leper in the Gospelý upon which our Saviour spake the word, I will be thou clean, and immediately the Leprosy departed from him ; Luke 8. 12, 13. What can be more lightly or easily done than by a Touch or a Word ? and yet this is all by which these miraculous Works were done. St, Mark tells us, that in all manner of. Distempers, all that touch'd hini were made whole, Mark 6. 56. and many were heald by his Word only, without coming to him or feeing of him. He that spake all things into Being by a word of his Mouth, can as easily restore them again by a word's speaking: So did he raise Lazarus, after he had lain three days in the Grave, with saying only, Lazarus, come forth, John
11. He brought to Life the Widow's Son of the City of Naim, only by bidding the dead Carcase arise. So did he Jairus's Daughter, only by faying unto her Talitha Cumi, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise ; Mark 5. 41, 42. And here by the word Ephphata, he rebúk'd a deaf and dumb Spirit, and restor'd the Hearing and Speaking to one that was depriv'd of both. This is the Miracle here related, together with what went before it. I proceed, in the
Last Place, to what follow'd after it, and that was, Ift, Our Saviour's Charge, That they mould tell no Man of it, tho the more be charg'd them, so much the more a great deal they publish'd it.
2dly, The Effect that the Miracle had upon them, They were beyond measure astonisd.
3dly; The Confession it drew from them, saying, He hath done all things well, he maketh the Deaf to hear, and the Dumb to speak. For the
Ift, Our Saviour straitly charg'd theni, That they should tell no Man of it, ver. 36. He did not affect Vain-glory, in exerting his miraculous Power, nor did he court the Applause or Admiration of the World in any thing that he did; he was above all such Vanity, and us'd all poffible Ways and Means to prevent it. Here he charg'd the deaf and dumb Man, whom he had curd, not to use his Tongue in fpeak. ing of it to any; and those that saw it, not to publilh or make words of it. When he cleans'a á Leper of his Leprosy, at his coming down from the Mount, he said unto him, See, thou tell no Man, but go and hero thy self to the Prieft, and offer the Gift that Moses commanded for a Testimony unto them : Mat. & 2, 3, 4. And the fame he fre. quently did upon other like occasions. Sometimes he withdrew out of Crouds and Throngs of People, to avoid their Hosannas and Acclamations. After his Miracle of the Loaves, the Multitude came about him, and would have made him a King; but he took occasion from thence to divert their Thoughts from earthly Glories, and directs them to mind more Heavenly Matters, John 6. He never exercis'd his Power for vain or worldly Purposes, but only for the Good of Mankind, as their Wants and Necefli. ties did require. The Jews indeed expected Signs and Shews in the Heavens to raise Admiration, fome wonderful and prodigious Appearances in the Air and in the Clouds, to draw the Eyes of the World upon him į but he rather
check'd than gratify'd their vain Curiosity. His Miracles were all falutary and healing, tending to the benefit of Mens Bodies, and the faving of their Souls; such good Offiees he did.with all Privacy, and without Levity or Of tentation, commanding those that receiv'd the Benefit of them to conceal it, and to tell no Man : but these great and good things could not be hid, like the Sun they discover themselves, and break out of the Cloud that covers them. Their Breasts could not contain a Secret so worthy to be known, neither could they forbear publishing what tended so much to the Publick Good; for the more he charg'd them, fo much the more a great deal they publishid it. Which will lead,
2dly, To the Effect the Miracle had upon the Minds of the People, which was Wonder and Astonishment; ver. 37. They were beyond measure astonish'd. And that,
1. For the stupendous Greatness of his Works, such as the healing all manner of Diseases, making the Lame to walk, the Blind to see, the Deaf to hear, cleansing the Lepers, raising the Dead, casting out evil Spirits, and dispoffelling Legions of Devils out of Persons cruelly tormented by them. These are astonishing Acts, such as none but a Divine Omnipotent Power could effect, and such as might well enough possess the Spectators of them with Wonder and Amazement: considering,
2. The wonderful manner of doing of them ; for he effected these things as well abfent as present, and that in an instant too, as well as by sensible Degrees, by applying of his Hand, by the Touch of his Garment, by the Word of his Mouth, by the Motion of his Will; to shew (as one hath observ'd) that any Means would serve, that no Means were necessary, and that all Times and Places were alike to the Sovereign Almighty Power of the Son of God : which could not but fill them with Admiration and Astonishment. Considering farther the End and Design of all his wonderful Works, which was nothing but the Good and Welfare of Mankind ; he fought not his own Glory, or the Praise of Men, but the Health and Happiness of all that came to him : His mighty Works were so many Miracles of Mercv, which surpriz’d the Beholders, and excited Wonder and Astonishment in all that heard of them.
3dly, And this drew that Confession from them in the close of this Gospel, saying, He hath done all things well, be maketh the Deaf to hear, and the. Dumb, to speak ; the laft
thing to be spoken to in it. Wonder and Astonishment commonly break out into Praises and Thanksgivings; the Breast cannot long contain such deep Resentments, which often force their way out, and vent'themselves in Confeffions and Commendations. After the Miracle of the Loaves, 'tis said, the People were amaz’d, and cry'd out, saying, Of a truth this is that Prophet that was to come into the World ; John 6. 14. and others, upon the light of his mighty Works, said among themselves, Surely this is the Son of God. And here upon his healing the deaf and dumb Man, they said, He bath done all things well; that is, there is no Fault or Defect to be found in him, and nothing but the height of Charity and Goodness appear in all his Actions, for he maketh the Deaf to hear. He put his Finger into the Ears of many that were troubled with Deafness, and thereby remov'd all the Impedimients of Sense, and their Hearing came to them: And likewise the Dumb to speak; he loosen'd the Tongues of many that were speechless and tongue-ty'd, and thereby their Speech was restor'd unto them, and they spake plain.
Thus is the Miracle of the Text briefly open'd and explain'd to you, together with what was previous, and what subsequent to it : It remains only to apply it, by inferring some useful Lessons from it. And,
1. From our Saviour's going about doing good, we may learn to imitate him, and to do likewise ; not that we are to imitate him in doing Miracles, or in that stupendous manner of benefiting Mankind, as our Saviour did, these things are out of the reach of our Power ; but as far as we may, to be helpful and serviceable to the Good of one another. We cannot raise the Dead, but we may help, comfort, and counsel the Living: We cannot give Sight to the Blind, or Feet to the Lame, by any miraculous way of removing those Infirmities; but we may be, in fome sense, Eyes to the Blind, by instructing the Ignorant, and Feet to the Lane, by helping them to walk in the ways of Righteousness. Tis not as one hath well observ'd) the doing Good just in the same Instances, or af. ter the same wonderful manner that this Example directs us to, but only to a like Willingness and Readiness to do good upon all fit Occasions, as far as our Power and Activity will reach. It obliges us in our several Stations, as much as in us lies, to promote the Welfare and Prosperity,
the Eafe and Happiness of our Neighbours; and, as Opportunity offers, to do Good anto all Men. We are, according to our Abilities, to better the State of their Bodies and Minds, that others may bless God for our imparting those Bleslings unto them, which he hath more liberally bestow'd upon us,
2. The Miracle in the Text, as well as the rest recorded in Holy Scripture, may ferve to confirm us in the Belief of Christ's Doctrine, that he was the true promis'd Meffias, the Son of God, and the Saviour of the World. So we find Nicodemus confeffing, I know (faith he) that thou art a Teacher come from God; for none could do the Works that thou dost, except God were with him: John 3. 2. He spake as no Man spake, and did the Works which no Man ever did or could do ; for which many believ'd on him. That the Messias or Saviour of the World was to do Miracles when he came, is evident from that Prophecy of Isaias, Chap. 35. ver. 4, 5, 6. Be frong (faith he) and fear not, behold your God mall come and save you : then the Eyes of the Blind hall be open'd, and the Ears of the Deaf Mall be unstopp’d; then mall the Lame leap as an Hart, and the Tongue of the Dumb shall fing. All which things were punetually fulfild and done by our Blessed Saviour, who made the Blind to see, the Deaf to hear, and the Dumb to speak. Hence we find hini often urging the Testimony of his Miracles for the Truth of his Messiahship. When St. John sent some of his Disciples to him, with this Question, Art rhou he that mould come, or must we look for another His Answer was an Appeal to his Miracles, Go tell John (faith he) those things which ye do hear and sée; the Blind receive their Sight, the Lame walk, the Lepers are cleans'd, the Deaf bear, the Dead are rais'd up, and the Poor have the Gospel preach'd to them; and blessed is he, whosoever mall not be offended in me: Mat. 11.4,5,6 Miracles are the Seal of a Divine Commission, as being the Effects of a Divine Power; and he that brings this to attest his Doctrine, may be well enough fuppos'd to come from God : And therefore we find our Saviour thus reasoning with the Jews, If I do not the Works of my Father, that is, such as manifest a Di. vine Power, and a Commission from Heaven, believe me not; but if I do, the ye believe not me, believe the Works, that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him : John 10. 37, 38. So that from this Evidence we may fafely take him for our Saviour, and repose our whole Trust and Confidence in him.