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The Law of Foegiveness. II.

The Law of Foegiveness. II.

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Published by glennpease

Matt. ix. 2.

Matt. ix. 2.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE LAW OF FOEGIVEESS. II.BY REV, H. S. HOLLAD, M.A.Matt. ix. 2.To our uninstructed eyes, when we are brought faceto face with a disease, the scene is one of unqualifiedmisery. There lies the sick man, restless, shaken byterrors, his brow wet with the sweat of his agony, hiseyes staring, or closed with the weariness of pain. Itis a horrible thing to watch : a horrible thing for afather to stand by while the devil shaketh his child,throwing him on the ground and rending him so thathe gnasheth his teeth and pineth away ; a miserableand a terrible sight for us to watch, and kneel, whilewe are helpless, and can bring no relief and can win nosuccour out of any pitying heaven, and have onlyto pray and cry, and yet can find no man who can castout this devil from the child. Who is there thatwill make it all end? "Lord, come down ere myboy die."And no doubt we are right to be terrified, to cry outto God.This dismay is the evidence and proof of sometremendous wrong that has been done upon the earth.2o6 Conversion.It is an evidence that God's order has been broken;God's honour outraged; God's oath violated. Sick-ness brings it all out to the light. It is made visible,in order to convince us of all that which we have soeasily passed over. God, Whom we, with a light heart,offend every hour, every minute, wdthout a scruple,without a fear, may well bring us to book by this sterndiscipline. He may well shake us, as men are shakento save them from sinking to some fatal slumber undernumbing snows. Anything to be kept awake ! Awrong has been done to God, and if we cannot see it inone shape, let ^us, in God's holy ame, have it forcedupon us in another. If our sin leaves us unalarmedand unabashed, then let our misery, our unrest, bring
us back in penitence to God's breast. We may bedriven to seek God through wretchedness, as thosepoor ignorant Galileans who followed the Lord, seek-ing, pursuing, never letting Him rest, if only theymight drag their sores and their sickness to Hisblessed and merciful feet.And yet this is but the first, rude, ignorant move-ment of the fallen spirit. It cries to God to cancel itswretchedness — that first : but the wretchedness is notitself the wrong that has been done to God ; it is butthe proof and the witness of wrong. The wrong liesbeyond, far behind, in some perverted motives, in somemisdirected life. Sickness, whether it be sickness of body or sickness of soul, only makes it unmistakablethat some secret disturbance has taken place, out of which disturbance, by perfect, and orderly, and naturalrule, in obedience to the entire harmony of God'sThe Law of Forgiveness, 207creation, the changed condition follows which causesus so much pain. It is this spiritual wrong that wediscover in its horror, through the sharp evidence of God's goad as we kick against the pricks. If we bruiseourselves against the wall in the dark, it is not thebruise that we complain of; the blow itself is but thenotice that we have missed our way. And the cry-that we should send up to God in hours when the world'swoe smites us heavily is not, "0 God, I ask Theethis one thing, that Thou shouldest sweep away thissickness," but, " God, I see, I know, I feel now, thehideous wrong that in the ages have been done againstThy name ; that old recklessness in lust, that old, badexcess wherein the human race. Thy child, has wastedits substance in riotous living; I know it now, myGod, more as it is in Thy Eyes ; nor am I guiltless.I have been a partaker of that guilt ; I, too, have addedto the sins of my forefathers ; oh, leave me sick, if it beThy Will ; but at least have mercy on my sin ! "That is what our Lord desired to win from thoseGalileans who crowded behind Him, like woundedanimals, driven to Him only by their blind desire toescape from feeling wretched. This is what He desired,
and this is what He could not win, and because Hecould not win it He made Himself strange to them ;He fled far from them over the lake into the desolatewilderness, to escape their importunity. He hid Him-self, and He cried out against them when they camepursuing Him with their sickness, " Oh, faithless andperverse generation, how long shall I bear with thee ;how long shall I suffer you ? " They were meant to2o8 Conversion,learn a nobler lesson — the lesson which was first openedto the paralytic man, let down with so much troublefrom the roof, who, in response to his anxious pursuitof deliverance and health, heard, for his reward, not,"Eise and walk," but only, ''Son, be of cheer; thysins be forgiven thee." For if the Pharisees had never jeered or disputed at the forgiveness of sin, would ourLord have ever added His healing word ? Would notthe man have been left there, lying impotent as ever,with no release from that disease until the day of hisdeath ? If so, that would have been his moral proba-tion. Would he, or would he not, have been bravelysatisfied to have heard as his reward for all his follow-ing after the Lord. " Son, lie thou on thy bed, and fearnot ; let thy four faithful bearers carry thee away bythe way whereby they came. Let no sweet and secretchange pass over thy withered limbs; but, for allthat, be of good cheer, go in peace ; great is thyfaith, and great is thy reward; for thy sins areforgiven thee " ?Sickness is the witness to us of wrong that has beendone. It is the handwriting on the wall, wherewith aman's hand writes the word that tells that we have beenweighed in the balances and found wanting. And inthis sense it is a judgment ; it makes known the curseof sin. But that is not all. The misery of sicknesswitnesses not only to the wrong done, but also to theright that has been lost. Sickness is the protest madeby nature against the misdirection of her forces. Andin this sense it does not dower as with a curse, but criesout against the sin: "I have sinned, and lo, I am

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