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FAITH AND UNFAITH,.pdf

FAITH AND UNFAITH,.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY SAMUEL COX



THE TWO MARVELS WHICH ASTONISHED CHRIST.

" And he marvelled because of their unbelief." — Mark vi. 6.
BY SAMUEL COX



THE TWO MARVELS WHICH ASTONISHED CHRIST.

" And he marvelled because of their unbelief." — Mark vi. 6.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 09, 2013
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FAITH AND UNFAITH,BY SAMUEL COXTHE TWO MARVELS WHICH ASTONISHED CHRIST." And he marvelled because of their unbelief." — Mark vi. 6." When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, andturned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, Isay unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." — •Luke vii. g.I SPOKE in my last Discourse of Faith as a condition of Salvation, and tried to shew how reasonable, how inevit-able it was, and is, that this condition should be exacted.The task was not so difficult as it seems. For if, asHartley Coleridge has said,Faith is an affirmation, and an act,Which bids eternal truth be present fact,how shall the eternal truths which Christ came to revealbecome the present and ruling facts of our lives exceptby the affirmation and act of faith } How can wepossibly be saved by them until they have becomepresent and living facts to us?So, again, if faith be the only gate and avenue byFAITH AND UNFAITH.which uc can pass into the invisible and spiritual world,or the powers of that world can pass to us, how should
 
these supernal powers come down into this visible world,and work signs and v/onders in it, save by this gate andavenue of the soul ? In the fact that faith is the onlyfacult}- which gives the truths and forces of the spiritualworld substance and power, and brings them home tous, we have a sufficient vindication of our Lord's con-stant and imperative demand for faith, whether He wereabout to " save " the body or the soul.In this same fact we have the key to both the pas-sages I have just read from the writings of St. Mark andSt. Luke, and to many similar passages. Like the Jews,like the Disciples, we marvel at miracles, at wonderswrought in the visible world, wonders which appeal toand dazzle the senses, rather than at the still greaterwonders wrought in the world invisible. To heal a sick body by a word seems more astonishing to us than torestore health to a mind diseased ; to calm a tempestuoussea than to still the tumults of the heart ; to call thedead from the grave than to quicken a soul dead intrespasses and sins.Now what men marvel at indicates their character.It shews what manner of spirit they are of, on whatlevel they are moving, how high they have risen, or howlow they have sunk on the scale of being. And I donot know that we ever feel the immense interval betweenourselves and the Son of Man more keenly than whenwe compare that which astonishes us with that whichastonished II im. To us, as a rule, the word MiraclesriVO MARVELS WHICH ASTONISHED CHRIST. 201denotes mere physical wonders ; and tliese arc so won-derful to us as to be well-nigh incredible, liut in Himthey awake no astonishment. He never speaks of themwith the faintest accent of surprise. He set so littlestore by them that He often seemed reluctant to work 
 
them, and openly expressed his wish that those on orfor whom they had been wrought would tell no man of them. So far from regarding them as strange or un-natural, or even as supernatural, they appeared to Himperfectly natural and simple. There is no sign of effortor strain about Him as He works them ; no, not evenwhen He bids the storm be still, or summons Lazarusfrom his charnel cave. " He speaks, and it is done ; hecommands, and it stands fast." And when the miracleis wrought, so far from boasting of it or appealing to it,or in any way making much of it, He makes light of it,or even takes pains to hush it up, lest it should leavea false impression of what He was and what He cameto do. What does astonish Him is not these outwardwonders so surprising to us, but that inward wonder,the mystery of man's soul, the miraculous power whichwe often exercise without a thought of surprise, thepower of shutting and opening that door or window of the soul which looks heavenward, and through whichalone the glories of the spiritual world can stream inupon us. Only twice are we told that He marvelled towhom all the secrets of Nature and Life lay open ; onceat the unbelief of men, and once at their faith. WhenHe came to his own, and they received Him not. Hewas driven from his wonted calm bv an immeasurable203 FAITH AND UNFAITH.surprise : He marvelled at their unbelief. And, again,when He came to those to whom He was a Stranger,and they took Him in, He was beyond all measureastonished : He marvelled at their prompt and vigorousfaith.How consistent it was with all we know of Him thatthe only wonders which amazed Him should lie in the

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