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row, nor trial, but wherein former things shall have passed away, and all things shall be made

Therefore a miracle is not contrary to nature, but it is the expansion, the perfection, the ennobling of nature, it brings nature back to what it was.

And that teaches us what I think I ought to impress, that we ought never to be satisfied with this world, as if it were what it was meant to be ; it is all out of course; and it always seems to me, therefore, that the physician is carrying forward, as it were, the work that Christ does perfectly; that he is here as a testimony to us, that the great Physician will one day do perfectly what his earthly agent does imperfectly. And so with every other curative process that goes on; it is an augury and foretaste of the perfection that will be; it is a testimony that nature has gone wrong, and an earnest that nature will yet be put right by nature's Lord.

But besides all this, a miracle is something more; it is an addition of a new and a nobler law to the law that previously was ; it is not the destruction of any existing law, but it is adding to that law a more perfect and glorious one. I

Thus, when I raise my arm, the power of gravitation ought to make that arm instantly

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fall; but when I keep that arm up it is not by the destruction of the law of gravitation, but it is the superadding of a higher law, the great law of life. So, we can conceive that when Christ does a miracle, it is not the extinction of that which is really a right law, but it is the bringing from heaven a nobler law, to be superadded to, and render more glorious, the law that is. I will not dwell longer upon this subject at present, but reserve a portion of my remarks upon it for next lecture. I proceed, therefore, at present to unfold the illustration and the instance of what I have said in that beautiful miracle, the first that Jesus performed, in Cana of Galilee.

Before I enter upon this miracle clause by clause, let me notice how graciously Christ begins his career of miracles and mercies. The day begins, not with a burst of meridian splendour, but its dawn peeps from behind the hills, tinges the sea with its beautiful and rosy colours, and then shines more and more unto the perfect day.” So rose softly, beautifully, and progressively the Sun of righteousness. His first miracle was not a miracle of tremendous power, but one of quiet and gentle be

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neficence. The Saviour's first miracle dawned in the form of a nuptial benediction upon a young couple, beginning the journey, and about to attempt the battle of life. He heightened domestic joys before he went forth to mitigate domestic sorrows. He began rejoicing with them that do rejoice before he went on his pilgrimage to “weep with them that weep.” Jesus sympathized first with the happy before he went forth to succour the miserable and the unhappy. And who was it that so sympathized ? Who was it that had a heart thus opened to the softest and most responsive sympathies? He on whose soul there pressed the load of a world's transgressions. He who saw a long and rugged road before him, and at the end of that road the cross to which he should be nailed. He whose spirit was thus heavy with the prospect of coming agony, could yet pause in that rough road, and step aside to that little cottage in that sequestered hamlet, to show that whilst he could expiate a world's sins, he would recognise the remains of Eden happiness and Eden bliss even in the humblest and poorest of mankind. And it is at such a time, let me add, such a time of happiness and joy, as that which is described at the marriage feast of Cana, that we need the presence of our Lord.

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Hence I must correct a very common misapprehension. When we are placed in affliction, or trial, when we have lost the near and the dear, or when our property has been swept away, at such a time we are very willing

“This is God's doing ;” but is it not strange, when joyful things come, and bounding hearts testify that they have come, when prosperity sheds its splendours upon us, and hope draws us forward to scenes of increasing happiness, that we then think “ this is our own doing”? If we are in affliction, we begin to pray, I speak of Christians, but strange that in prosperity we should never think of beginning to praise. Does it not indicate the original sin of our hearts, that we associate God and wrath together, instead of associating God with every thing that is beautiful and holy, beneficent and bright? We come to think Christianity is a capital thing for burials, but that it will do bridals no good at all; we come to suppose that the gospel is most appropriate when we weep, but that it is not fit to be put in the same category with rejoicing. My dear friends, you mistake it; it sweetens and sanctifies, not saddens, the happiest; and it sustains, and cheers, and strengthens the sorrowful and the suffering. It was more needed at the marriage-feast of Cana in Galilee than it was at the death-bed of Lazarus. It is as much needed to sweeten and to sanctify our joys as it is to mitigate and diminish our sufferings and our sorrows.

Let us then ask the presence of a Saviour at sickbeds and funerals, but let us also ask the presence of a Saviour at marriages and at festivals : let us pray that he may be present when the cup is empty, or filled with gall; or when the cup is full and overflows, and the trembling hand can scarcely hold it steadily.

I notice in this parable, that our Lord came not to destroy society, but to descend into its depths, and sweeten, and cement, and sanctify it. He came not like the Goth to raze, or like the Socialist and the Communist to disorganize, but, like the Christianity of which he is the Alpha and the Omega, to illuminate, to inspire, and to sanctify. He did not come to build in the wilderness a huge convent for all Christians to withdraw from the world and dwell in, but he did better ; he came to uphold, to sanctify, and sweeten human life, human joy, and

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