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and august mission which was committed to his hands. He tells the Pharisees they were superstitious hypocrites, not fearing the wrath of that powerful ecclesiastical faction. On the other hand, he drives the money-changers from their temple, not fearing the revenge of the money interest, the most powerful then, as it is not the least powerful now. He defies the wrath of the crafty Herod, telling him plainly of his craft; and he stands the most kingly one, when at the tribunal of Pilate, accused as a criminal before an earthly judge.
Let us in these respects imitate him ; let us care little for prospects of honour, for preferment in the church, for increase of power, for any thing that man can give; but let us fearlessly and faithfully do the duty that devolves upon us.
We may be honoured, we may be popular, we may be great, we may be rich, but we must be faithful as ambassadors for God, and servants to his people.
Yet, while we mark in the conduct of Jesus this sublime indifference to all contingent persecution, we must notice also the beautiful gentleness that shines through it. Look at him on one occasion, when he took their babes from the bosoms of their ragged mothers, and laid his hands upon them, and blessed them, and told these down-trodden ones that of such was the kingdom of heaven. Watch him again sympathizing with the sisters of Bethany, weeping with them, and bringing back their lost brother to their circle; or with the widow of Nain, restoring her only son to be her comfort and her support. Look at him again in his last dread agony, when he committed his mother—a beautiful example to us—to the charge of John; and when he addressed the daughters of Jerusalem, “Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves.”
Because he is our sacrifice, our precious sacrifice, our only trust, our only atonement, our only righteousness—we must not lose sight of him as our perfect example, our model, our precedent in every difficulty in which humanity can be placed. Whether I look at the silence, or at the speech of Jesus—at what he did, or at what he taught, or at what he suffered, or at what he was every where, I see a heart in which every sound of human joy and sorrow found an echo—I see one whose life throughout was a perfect model, and whose example is now left with us that we may follow in his steps. And following him as our sacrifice and our example upon earth, and our works following us as the evidence of what we have been to the world through which we have passed, it shall be written over our dead ashes, “ Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord;" and to our glad souls it shall be said,
NATURE SITTING AT THE FEET OF JESUS.
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the
country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains : because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces : neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion : for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine : and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand ;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was dune. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind : and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts:-MARK v. 1-17.
We learn, from the close of the previous chapter, that Jesus had just shown himself the Lord of the storms, the controller of the elements by which our world is assailed; and in the commencement of this chapter he shows himself in a light still more glorious—the Lord of the inner storms by which the human mind is deranged. In the first case, he stills the sea and there is a calm ; in the second, he casts out the demon, and he that was possessed is sitting at his feet, clothed and in his right mind. Now in opening this miracle, which I have taken as the next in succession, a great difficulty has been felt by some, and expressed by not a few, as to there being or not being any real distinction between what are called demoniacal possessions in the New Testament, and mania, or maladies of various sorts and degrees of intensity. One fact alone seems to me almost conclusive on the subject, and it is this, that the diseases to which the