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to sense that he does so, by removing the pains and penalties in, flicted on their account - that he, I say, is VERY Cod, though he appears in the form of a man "God manifest in the fleth, to destroy the works of the devil ?"
But such was the exceeding hardness of these men's hearts, that though Chrift vouchsafed them two most convincing proofs of his divinity, yet neither so believed they on him. First, he answered to their thoughts, thereby shewing himself to be one “who search- : eth the hearts and reins," the peculiar prerogative of God. “ Jesus, knowing their thoughts, faid, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts ? " Secondly, by releasing the fick man, in a moment, and by a word speaking, from a disease inflicted as a punishment for sin, he demonstrated to all the world the authority and power he had to pronounce the sentence, “ Thy fins are forgiven thee." 4 Whether,” says he, “is easier to say, Thy fins are forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and walk ? " Both, blessed Jesus, are equally impoflible to any one but a Cod of almighty power, and infinite mercy, who first made man, and then redeemed him. Şuch therefore we acknowledge thee to be who said it " That ye may know the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins - Arise, take up thy bed, and go to thine house." i. e. You shall see a divine power go along with my words to heal an outward and visible disease of the body, that ye may no longer doubt of the fame divine power going along with them to work the inward and, fpiritual cure of the soul by the remission of sins. Accordingly no fooner were the words spoken but the fick man instantly “ arose, took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house,” no longer mute, but “ glorifying God," perhaps in the words of the ciiid psalm, for words better adapted to his case cannot be conceived
"Praise the Lord, O my foul, and all that is within me praise his holy namę. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits : Who forgiveth all thy sins, and healeth all thine infirmities." It must be considered, that bodily diseases, as they were introduced by fin, so are they pictures and representations of corresponding disorders produced by the same fin in our fouls, which thereby became subject to the fever of anger, the droply of covetousness, the leprosy of uncleanness, the lunacy of am. bition, and, among other maladies, to the palsy of spiritual sloth and listlessness in things pertaining to the work of our salvation. This is the last of those called “the seven deadly fins ;” and when it seizes upon the man, it takes away the use of his powers and faculties in matters fpiritual, exactly as the palsy does in matters temporal. His nerves are unstrung, and he is under an abso. lute inability to work out his salvation, and walk in the way of God's commandments. His hands can neither be lified up to heaven in devotion, or stretched out to the poor in charity. His feet cannot support or carry him forward in a course of holy duties. His tongue cleaves to the roof of his mouth, when it should utter prayers or praises to God, or instru&t and comfort, reprove, or
of cool therebyrs. the lever malad
exhort his neighbour. His understanding likewise is dull and heavy, when the doctrines of salvation are proposed to it; his'. memory retaineth not divine truths; and the vigour of his fpirit is departed. His will is chained down to the creature, nor can by any human means be disengaged from the earth : and what is worst of all, the man labouring under this mental or intellectual palsy, and brought down by it to the gates of eternal death, seems 10 himself all the while to thrive and flourish, because he has perhaps riches, and honours, and pleasures in possession, and can bask himself in the sunshine of this world, saying to his poor soul in this most wretched condition, “ Soul, thou hast goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” But. fuffer not, O man, the world and the good things thereof to deceive thee to thy destruction. They may increase the disorder, and haften thy miserable end. Thý true condition can only be judged of by the state of thy soul. Turn thine eyes inward, and see whether the description just given belongs to it. If it does, then behold and acknowledge thy picture in “ the man fick of the palsy lying on a bed ;” and thou wilt presently cry out, if thou art not quite overcome of the distemper, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?! I answer — yea, thou wilt return answer to thyself, if thou confidereft this miracle aright _“I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
For by the wonderful cure wrought upon the body of this poor man, we are taught where to have recourse when the pally has seized the soul. He who said, “ Arise and walk," said likewise, “ Thy sins be forgiven thee;" and his word was with equal power in both cases. Nor is it possible that he who vouchfated to heal the more base and ignoble part of man, his body, should neglect his precious and immortal soul. All therefore that are spiritually “ fick of the palsy” must apply to Christ. No difficulties and discouragements must deter them. If they are not able to go to him of themselves by repentance and faith, let them beg the afGistance of kind and charitable friends, who may direct and con. vey them to him by godly counsel and advice, and by their prayers. And surely, if the son of man on earth, in his mortal and afflicted state of humiliation, had power to forgive sins, with how much greater confidence may finners approach him now that he has died and risen again for them, and fitteth on the throne of glory and grace, invefted with all the rights and powers of a priest and interceffor for evermore ? Most certainly, whosoever cometh, or is brought to him, in full faith and confidence of his mercy and power, as GOD THE SAVIOUR, shall in no wise he cast out, but Ihall be made whole of his plague. He shall hear the voice of Jesus saying to him by his word, and by the testimony of his conscience through the Holy Ghost "Son, be of good cheer ; thy sins be forgiven thee."
. .. The
: The reality of the cure of the spiritual palsy will be demonStrated to all the world, exactly, as that performed upon the body of the Paralytic was by what followed when Christ had spoken these words to him. Straightway " he arose, took up that whereon he lay, and" (regardless of the censures ånd calumnies of the scribes and pharisees) “ departed to his house glorifying God," the people around him doing the fame. This will be the process with every one, who by the mighty power and infinite mercy of the Redeemer is healed, upon application to him, of his inability to good, his sloth, and liftlessness, his criminal attachment to the creature. He will arise forthwith, and as it were ftand upright, fhewing that he now enjoys the use of his powers aná faculties, and is in a posture to execute the will of God." He who cannot rise and stand upright, but either continues groveling on the earih, or falls back as foon as he gets up, is not yet cured of his fpiritual palsy. The finner's bed is every thing which he loves, and in which he finds his reft and sarisfa&tion upon earth; his criminal inclinations, and the abje&ts of his paflions : a true conversion takes up and carries away every thing of this nature." And now being thus arisen, in some sort, from the dead, the man begins to lead a new life, a lile of vigour and activity, setting forward in the path of life, the way of God's commandments, to “ go to his house" not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Nor will he suffer himself to be stopped in his progress by the sneers, and scoffs, and calumnies of those, who have in them the spirit of the scribes and pharisees, and are ever ready to detract from the glory of Christ, and to laugh at the remission of fins, and the conversion of the finner. None of these things will move the true penitent from his purpose, or prevent his "glorifying God," openly and before men, for his mercy and goodness towards him, in his redemption from the guilt and power of sin through his Saviour Cbrift. The consequence of which will be, that others will be led thereby to give glory to the God of heaven, for the mighty
and wonderful work that he hath done, in restoring health and · falvation to a difeased and lost soul. "For surely nothing but great
blindness of mind, want of faith, and love of this life, can make men rejoice more at a bodily cure, than at the convergon of a foul from sin to righteousness; a work, which is indeed spiritual and invisible, and for that reason perhaps the less regarded; but it is a work that far surpasses all the miracles wrought upon matter ... a work, to accomplish which, the Son of God died; and to celebrate which, the angels tune their golden harps to everlasting hallelujahs --- " Chrift Jesus came into the world to save finners :" and “here is joy in heaven, among the angels ot God, over one finner that repenteth." . Which joy therefore let us labour to increase, while it is in our power, by arising from all sloth and inactivity of spirit, and. walking in all boliness and righteousness, without being weary or faint in our minds, un il we come to the home and house of eternal reft, through him who says to every
create, while penteth...cawon among online world of
true penitent and sincere believer, in the person of the man fick of the pally ---- “Son, be of good cheer: thy fios be forgiven thee, Arise, take up thy bed, and go to thine house."
An Account of THOMAS LUDFORD, of Barwell :
[ By Mr. LONGLEY. ] THOMAS LUDFORD was born at Barwell in Leicefter,
1 shire, in 1740; and at a proper age was put apprentice to a Frame-Work Knitter. His master being a civil moral man, com. pelled him 10 attend the Church, and read a few chapters in the Bible every Lord's-day ; he likewise, as much as posfible, reAtrained him from bad company, for which mercy Thomas often exprelled great thankfulness to God. In 1759, he married, and was diligent in business in order to support his family. At this time he supposed, that going to Church, and labouring for his wife and children, was all the Religion which God required of bim. · The Rev. Mr. Bowers having obtained the Curacy of Hinkley, and preaching the truth as it is in Jesus, occasioned many strange reports to be spread through the country concerning both himself and the doctrine he delivered, which coming to the ears of Thomas, his curiosity was excited to hear this new do&trine; which he did accordingly, and found it to be the Word of Lise to his soul. To use his own expressions, “ As soon as I saw Mr. Bowers ascend the pulpit, he seemed to me as an angel of light, and the words that dropt from his lips .came to my heart, and were as a nail fastened in a sure place by the master of assemblies. Mr. Bowers Jaboured much for our good, and not only preached at the usual hours on the Lord's-day, but likewise on Wednesday evenings ; and at other times gave us chriftian instructions at his own room, Hearing him preach from 1 Cor. i. 26, --- 29, I was fully convinced of my own foolishness and weakness, and saw that I had no cause to glory in my morality; all my righteousness appeared as filthy rags : and I was sensible, that without a better righteous. ness than my own, I could not be saved ; this made me cry to God, day and night, for mercy. Mr. Bowers gave me a Bible, Allein's Alarm, and other good books, and I took great delight in reading them ; I likewise set up family worship in my house, and walked circumspectly before the Lord.”
When Mr. Bowers was removed from Hinkley it was a fevere loss to Thomas, and for which he greatly mourned. For some time he walked once a month to hear Mr. Bowers at Alhby; but it being ten miles off, after a while he began to tire of the journey, and to be indifferent about Religion. In this fallen ftate he con, tinued for some years. In 1781, the Methodists began to preach in Barwell; but it was a conliderable time before he would submit
to hear them ; and although a few of his neighbours set up a PrayerMeeting in a house adjoining to his own, yet he would not unite with them. Nevertheless, at some seasons, he reflected greatly upon himself for his unfaithfulness and backsliding from God, and called to remembrance his former experience, when the Lord in mercy visited his soul.
Being at length weary of wandering from God, he awoke out of the snares of the wicked one; and in 1788, both he and his wife joined the Society. He found the Class-Meetings of great advantage to his foul, and would frequently say, “O the sweet “ consolations communicated to me in Class-Meetings : By these “ means I was brought to see into the depth and height of the “ Love of God in Christ Jesus; and also, the depth of inbred în " in my heart; the deceitfulness and vanity of the world, and the "devices of Satan. Such are the happy effects of Class-Meet“ ings.” He now received the people of God, and the means of Grace into his house, which proved an additional blessing to him. He frequently exhorted others to fear and love God, that they might experimentally know the forgiveness of their fins, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. . . .
He bore his last sickness with much patience and resignation,' and was never heard to murmur or repine from first to last. I visited him sundry times during his affliction, and had the satisfaction to find ihat he had neither fear nor doubt upon his mind relpecting his present acceptance with God. He conversed with pleasure on his approaching diffolution, saying, “ If I had the " great work now to do, what would become of me? But glory • be to God! He is mine, and I am his.” He was afflicted with violent fits of coughing, and would frequently fay, when one of these were past,“ Glory be to God, I have one lefs to go through;” and in the evening, “ I am one day nearer the kingdom of God.” When looking at his emaciated body, he said, “This mortal thall " put on immortality.' The sting of death is removed : O grave! “ where is thy victory." The peace and joy which he felt on contemplating the blessedness prepared for him above, made hima fry out, , ...'" There is my house and portion fair!
My Treasure, and my Heart is there,
And my abiding home :
And Jesus bids me come !" . On the Thursday before his decease, I found him exceeding weak; the affliction of his body oppressed his mind, and he could not stay it upon the Lord so comforiably as before ; he said, “I
cannot think so steadily as I did. When I want to get my mind "! up to the Lord, it'wanders. I would fain stay my soul upon: * bim as usual. Will the Lord be displeased, think you ? He
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