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Published by glennpease

" But when he heard that, lie said unto them, They that be whole need not the physician, but they that be sick." — Matt, ix., 12.

" But when he heard that, lie said unto them, They that be whole need not the physician, but they that be sick." — Matt, ix., 12.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 13, 2013
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CHRIST THE GREAT PHYSICIA. BY SIMO CLOUGH" But when he heard that, lie said unto them, They that be whole need not the physician, but they that be sick." — Matt, ix., 12. The envious Jews ever sought occasion to reproach our Lord, condennn his»conduct, and bring his character into suspicion. Be- ing filled with a deadly hatred against him, and stiing to the heart by his growing and increasing popularity, they left no means un- tried to cast a shade over his popular fame, to tarnish his glory, and to bring him into contempt among the common people. At one time he was accused of violating the Sabbath for healing a man of an infirmity on that day. From this charge our Lord successfully vindicated himself, by adverting to a long-established custom among them, of performing works of necessity on that day. What man, said he, shall there he amoiii^ you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out ? How much, then, is a man better than a sheep ? Wherefore it is lawful to do ivell on the Sabbath day. At another time, he was accused of performing his miracles by the agency of an evil spirit. To this charge our Lord replied, Eoery kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation ; every city or house divided against itself shall not stand; and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand ? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out ? therefore they shall he your judges. At another time they asserted that he could not be a good man, for he ate with publicans and sin- ners. This charge Jesus acknowledged, but denied the inference which they drew of his conduct. He justified himself on the com- mon maxim, that a physician should be among his patients — that it was not common for a skilful physician to spend his time among the hale and hearty of mankind, but among the sick and infirm — that, as the restorer of public morals, it highly became him to min- gle with all classes and conditions of society, but more especially among the profane and profligate, where he could exercise his per- sonal influence in correcting iniquity ^i its very fountains. Thus
our Lord exonerated himself from the charges which his enemies preferred against him. I. In speaking from these words, we shall take occasion to observe, in the first place, that sin is the disease of the soul. There are diseases peculiar to the mind, as well as those which are peculiar to the body.. Hence, the mind of man may become sickly and disordered as well as 42* 489 CHRIST THE GREAT PHYSICIA. the body. In tracing the effects of disease upon tlie mind, we shall do it by the way of analogy ; by drawing a comparison with the ef- I'ects of disease upon the body. Any disease of the body more or less affects the whole outward man. So sin disorders every power of the soul. It spreads darkness over the understanding, forgetful- ness through the memory, rebellion and stubbornness over the will, disorder and turbulence over the affections, and guilt and pain over the conscience. Hence, when the mind of man is under the influ- ence of sinful passions and perverted appetites, reason loses the helm of government, and this monster in human shape becomes re- solutely bent on the execution of his infernal purposes. The force of evidence does not convince him, the power of eloquence does not pei'suade him ; the man is beside himself Sin has beclouded his mind, darkened his understanding, alienated his affections ; in one word, it has tiansibrmed his soul into the image of the devil. It has robbed man of his innocence and peace, and infused its deadly poisoninto all the avenues of the heart. The once lovely form, co- vered with glory and grandeur, is now marred in all its features, and bereft of all its beauty. 2. Diseases of the body enervate the ivlioje system, produce weak- ness and inabilily, and render man incapable of attendirjj: to his usu- al avocations in life. So sin paralyzes the energy of the soul, and disqualifies man to attend to moral and religio is duties. In the same proportion as the corrupt passions and vicious appetites of man are excited by this moral malady, and strengthened by the in-
dulgence of habit, in the same degree the moral powers and ener- gies of the soul are all paralyzed. Hence we see with what ease and facility the vicious part of mankind are carried away by the seductions of vice, and huiTied into the commission of one crime af- ter anoiher, until they become ripe for destruction. Such persons not unfrequently make resolutions for amendment. But, alas ! their vows are generally prostrated before the first temptation. They very much resemble a man who attempts to stem a powerful cur- rent, who, after a few feeble eflforts, perceives his weakness, be- comes discouraged, and yields himself up to be carried away by its mighty force. Instance the man who has contracted the habit of intemperance ; he perceives that the evil is dragging him along in a wretched course, and must, sooner or later, prove his utter ruin ; he summons up his resolution to reform ; but, alas ! how feeble are all his efforts ; his appetites continue to prey upon him and plead for indulgence ; at length he yields to the most powerful impress- ions, and" returns to his wonted course. 3. Diseases of the body produce a sense of iveariness and disgust, even in ihcw pursuits and employments of life, in which, otherioise, uye. should take yleasure. So sin is the bane of human happiness, the destroyer of the peace of mankind. It excites in the breast of man restless and ungovernable tempers. It calls into exercise the most hateful and vicious passions. These tempers and passions, are con- CHRIST THE GREAT PHYSICIADT. 487 stantly ranklingin the bosom of man — they dry up all the fountains of joy, and hurry man on in a road strewed with thorns and cover- ed with brambles, in which he meets with repeated and perpetual difficulties. Disgusted and weary with life, he turns from one crea- ture to another, seeking rest and finding none. Disappointed with the world, to get rid of its cares, he flies to amusements and intem- perance, which aggravate his miseries and increase his calamities. In him the truth of God is exemplified, who says, There is no peace to the ivicked, for they are like the troubled sea which cannot rest, ivhose waters cast up mire and dirt.

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