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after this fashion : make his trouble and misery your own, and then “ bring him unto Me.”

" Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe : help Thou mine unbelief.” We have got to know now that always our Lord is seeking to open up the avenue of faith in our hearts, along which the blessing may come. But here it gets an emphasis again. "If Thou canst," said the father. But Jesus restated the problem: “No, no. There is an *if,' but the if' is not with Me, but with you."

Even in this awful scene, where sin assumes its most malignant and most heart-breaking form this lad possessed from a child, a case in which the problem is hardest for a good and benevolent God, Jesus is unabashed, undismayed, undisturbed. He stands at the very centre of this moral cyclone calm and cool, quiet and self-possessed, and in a moment notices the wrong way in which the case is stated when the cry comes, “ If Thou canst do anything.” He is quick as lightning: “But if thou canst.” He puts back the “if” into its true place. He shows where the knot is on the string. It is with us. There is an “if,” but, thank God, it is not on His side. All things are possible to Him, and He says faith so allies us with Him that we become part of Him—the expansion of Divine omnipotence right into the region where the devil's power is reigning in the human heart. Then can we believe ? Am I speaking to any poor

sinner now? The Lord urges you to believe, my friend. Don't say you can't. Sin is wrecking you, although not openly, before the eyes of the world, perhaps ; but you are conscious that sin is spoiling you, creeping farther and farther

into you. Can you believe in Christ ? Rouse yourself to trust Him. “Oh,” say so many, “I have prayed. I have heard the Gospel. I have done this thing, and that thing, and the other thing, and I am no better yet.” My friend, you have not done it. Rouse thyself; call upon thy soul. Hearty faith, living faith, is what is wanted—no mere name of the thing. You don't believe, you don't grip, you don't hold, you don't hang; for Christ has the power to cure you and me, and faith is the medium of the blessing, and there is no other.

What is hindering the blessing? for Christ has come in greater power than this ; Christ has died, yea, rather has risen again. He is even now at the right hand of power. If thou canst believe, O church, O individual! Why is there no water in the pipes of some of our houses just now? It is not because London has not a water-supply. It is not because the streets are not threaded all through their length from the great reservoirs with a perfect system of piping. It is not that the system of piping does not go right into every house. Then why do I turn the tap in vain in my house, and you in yours ? Because there is a block of ice in the pipe; because, as we are all saying, “ It is frozen.” Why is the blessing not leaping and laughing like bubbling water through London's humanity? It is not because the great ocean and fountain of fulness is not there. It is not because the links of communication between Divine fulness and our emptiness are not formed. Christ is there, and His Church is here, and all the channels, and tubes, and pipes of prayer, and promise, and supplication are there. What is wrong? There is ice in the pipe, that is what is wrong. The frost has come on our hearts, that is what is wrong.

We do not pray—we are frozen—that

is what is wrong. How much did you pray last week ? How much did we plead, and ask the Lord last week to relieve at particular definite spots London's damnation?

“ This kind goeth not forth but by prayer.” He will bring you to your knees; but it is hard to do it. The trouble even for Almightiness is to get the individual and whole Church on its knees. Believing prayer; that is illustrated and called for by what He said to the father, and afterwards what He said to the disciples. I believe we are entitled to put away the word “fasting.” It is a gloss, and should not be there. Christ says,

- There is no trick about it. There is no secret about it. This kind goeth not forth but by prayer.” Some things you can heal with human sympathy. Some things you can cure, along lower planes. Kindly counsel, loving hearts, the warm shake of the hand, the gentle kiss by a woman upon another woman's cheek, may win, and woo, and heal, and cure some things. Coals, and boots, and blankets, and medicines may do a great deal in their own way. Total abstinence, if it can be adopted, may build up certain weaknesses; but the last result, the real heart of the trouble, to get out the devil and to get in God and real health, health for the heart, that needs laying hold nakedly of the arm of the Lord, asking point-blank for what you want, and seeing that you get it.

“Straightway the father cried out with tears, and said, Lord, I believe : help Thou mine unbelief." Now, dear Sabbath-school teacher, do not stand between your children and the blessing. Preacher, do not stand between the Lord and your congregation, Christian worker, do not be a frozen pipe with a block of ice in the heart of it. But be open. Live in communion with God. “ In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to Him;" and then, when you pull the cord of prayer, the streams of blessing will descend on you

and yours.

“Lord, I believe: help Thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead ; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.” He always does that. You and I never knew a day of happiness until Jesus took us by the hand. True, it was not done by an Incarnate Saviour, as here. It was not just literally done like this; but the eternal day will show that every soul in Regent Square that was ever redeemed from the power of the devil and the ruin of an unclean heart was taken in hand, by the hand that gripped the lunatic lad. “ Took him by the hand.” Blessed Saviour, we love Thee. That is the gospel in the Gospel: not only the word, but the grip—the personal grasp of a personal Redeemer. Again, I say, we never knew the tingling pulse of real health till Jesus gripped our soul by His hand of grace in the Gospel.

May we all have it to-day, the hand of Christ upon us, the power of Christ working in us, through faith and prayer. For we want believing, and better believing. “Lord, I believe! I believe !" " And when He was come into the house".I have anticipated that "His disciples asked Him privately, Why could not we have cast him out? And He said, This kind goeth not forth but by

prayer.” To do Gospel work, real work, to cast out sin and impart the saving grace of God, will never do for men such as the disciples then were. A little while before they were showing that they did not really know their Lord; and in a little after they were disputing " who should be greatest."

" Will ever these men cast out devils ?”And it was a stinging word that He said. He virtually said, “ Until you give up your petty ambitions, and your taking of Me in hand, and contradicting Me, and being wiser than Me, you will never tell upon the work of the devil-never.” Teacher, father and mother, preacher, as long as you are one foot in the world and one foot in the Church, never expect to see drunkards saved, and really bad people made holy. It cannot be done at the price--never. Be prayerful ; live

your work; live your Gospel ; grip the hand of Christ, and never let Him go; be in fellowship with Him. And then at kirk or market you will save souls. Then, wherever you go, Sabbath-day or week-day, streams of blessing will attend you. “Out of you shall flow rivers of living water.” Ye shall do Christ's works, “and greater works than these.” Because He was hurrying back to the Father, back to that place of central power, that from that place, having died for our sins, and risen again, He might send down upon a poor, perishing, howling, demented world, through a million pipes and channels, copious floods of His pardoning grace and healing power, through the Holy Spirit. Oh for a praying people ! Oh for a praying minister! Oh for praying Sabbath-school teachers ! Oh for praying fathers and mothers !

Then everywhere throughout the city, death, and darkness, and old night, would roll away. Christ the Lord in His saving grace

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