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Christ Shows Sympathy Toward Us.

Christ Shows Sympathy Toward Us.

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Published by glennpease
REV. JOSEPH WELLAND, B.A.,



St. Mark vn. 33-34.

** And JETe took him aside from the multitude, and put his
fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
and looking up to heaven^ He sighed, and saith unto him,
Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.^ ^
REV. JOSEPH WELLAND, B.A.,



St. Mark vn. 33-34.

** And JETe took him aside from the multitude, and put his
fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
and looking up to heaven^ He sighed, and saith unto him,
Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.^ ^

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 09, 2013
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CHRIST SHEWS SYMPATHY TOWARD US.REV. JOSEPH WELLAD, B.A.,St. Mark vn. 33-34.** And JETe took him aside from the multitude, and put hisfingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;and looking up to heaven^ He sighed, and saith unto him,Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.^ ^If it be true, that " one touch of nature makes the"^rhole world kin/* then the most genuinely natural manliolds in himself the secret of a marvellous empire overhuman feeling. He carries in his bosom the voiceVhich will awaken echoes wherever it is heard ; his lifeBnd actions have a pathetic familiarity in them, whichclaims the aflfection of every soul. I suppose the expla-nation of this power lies in the fact, that every one of us86 SYMPATHY.is yearning after a better self — some ideal of ourselves,with which we would gladly identify ourselves. Andwe welcome this, or any appearance of this, whereverwe find it. Certain it is, that what moves us has in itsomething which we recognize as our own. The poetry,the painting, the music which touches us sets before usfeelings which belong to us — ^which we believe wouldbe or even have been, ours ; so that we have a sense of ownership in that which excites our feeling, not to say,of identity with it. We are ready to say, " that is me !"or, if not, at least, " that is mine ! " Mere imitation isnot art ; there must be in the scene or sound whichmoves us a representation of the thought or feeling wehave, or know we could have.ow, the most human man that ever was, is JesusHimself. Every other man has a limited nature, somemore narrow, some less narrow. Everyone has his ownidiosjmcrasy, his own selfishness, his own characteristic,
 
distinctive qualities. But Christ is human nature it-self. Men are like the lakes and rivers of the earth ;all of them water, to be sure, but how various incondition, in circumstance, in colour, in form, in char-acter! Commonplace rills and streams in tens of thousands, and majestic world-famous rivers in units — ^waters impetuous and still, flowing and stagnate,pure and befouled — all of them shaped and limited bytheir own bed or channel. Christ is like the sea I water,SYMPATHY. 87too, but unbounded, unsbaped, flowing all over tbeeartby batbing every sbore, botb impetuous and placid,baying its majestic stretcbes and its gentle familiarinlets and bays lovingly embosomed in many a coast — eternally pure, sustained by tbe salt of Divinity. Tbusit bappens tbat sympatby between one man and anotheris often nearly impossible ; tbe two bave almost notbingin common beyond the fact of their humanity; butChrist touches both ; His wider nature includes both of theirs. One soul is like a lonely tarn far up among themountains, reflecting in its still bosom the stars of heaven, or the uplifted peaks around it, or shroudedbetimes in thick clouds, which only visit solitary con-templation. Another is like the active vigorous stream,forcing its way with loud impetuosity among the rocks,happy rather to make itself heard and felt, useful andused, than in quiet reflection to wait and learn. Whathave these two in common ? how shall one understandor appreciate the other? But the sea has its quietsolemn expanses, its mute communings with the stars ;it has also its swift active waves full of useful energy.Christ is the sea ; all human characters, apart from theiradded sin, have their place in Him ; whatever is humanis at home with Him ; He is privy to it all. He feelsthe active impulse of the vigorous — feels, too, the repose-ful yearnings of the contemplative. There are peopleof whom we truly say, that if they lived together a88 SYMPATHY.hundred years, they would never come to understand
 
one another. Perhaps there are some here to-daywho, at least in certain important particulars, haye notfound anyone to understand them, to sympathise withthem. It is a joy to think that Christ does understandyou, does sympathise with you, because your feelingsand instincts, however peculiar, are human, and Hisnature embraces all humanity. A man may well say,Christ is my nearest relation ; my nature touches Hismore often than it does my mother's or my brother's,sin only excepted.It is this sympathy in Jesus which elicits our faith^and ajBFords foothold for it. The Scriptures, in theirlength and breadth, are the record and revelation of this sympathy.But while the human sympathy of Jesus has thus itsplace of contact with every man's nature, there are na-turally some persons more accessible to it, and someless. Some respond quickly to the exhibition of it,others, heartless through prejudice, or perversity, ordespair, are slow to recognise the look of intelligent,appreciatory, sympathising love bent upon them, which,if they did but see it, would bring to their hearts thestartling conviction that their secret was read, imder-stood, welcomed by the heart of Jesus.To-day's Gospel is the story of one of these less ac-cessible souls.SYMPATHY. 89From the 24th verse we learn that our Lord hadwithdrawn Himself from public notice, and sought re-tirement ; " but Se could not be hid.'' That blessedLight was too bright and too sweet, the darkness evenof heathendom could not screen it. His popularity inGalilee had awakened the animosity of His enemies ;and He did not desire to provoke them too far and toofast, nor was the growing excitement created by thefame of His miracles altogether useful and helpful.He had no desire to be known as a miracle-monger ;there was little hope of the rise and growth of true,sound views, while so much of mere eager agitationand wonderment prevailed. The Lord therefore with-

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