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were actually written long, very long, before the events took place? Because the Jews were well acquainted with the writings of the prophets, and preserved them with the greatest care. Would they

have easily detected, if any thing had been altered in their books of Scripture, or added to them? Very easily. For what purpose were the gifts of miracles and prophecy conferred upon the church? That we might know the certainty of those things which are revealed in the Bible. Have the gifts of miracles and prophecy ceased? Yes. Why have they ceased? Because the revelation of God's will is complete in the Bible. When our Lord had reproved the infidel scribes, what did he say to the father of the lunatic? "Bring him hither to me."

18. When they brought him, was he in a very pitiable state? Yes; the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.* What spirit tare him? The evil spirit. What is meant by his wallowing? Rolling and writhing on the ground. What is the meaning of foaming? Frothing at the mouth. How long had he been thus dreadfully afflicted? From a child.† And was there at length a physician found who could cure him? Yes; "Jesus rebuked the devil, and he departed out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour." 19. When our Lord had wrought this gracious miracle, whither did he withdraw? Into the house. Who

*Mark ix. 20.

Mark ix. 21.

Mark ix. 28.

followed him? His disciples.

What house was

it? The house where they were lodging. In what part of the country? In Cesarea Philippi.* Was Jesus there alone with his disciples? Yes. As they were thus in private, what did the disciples ask their Lord? "Why could not we cast him out?" Cast out whom? The evil spirit that had possessed the lunatic. Which of the disciples put this question? One of the nine, whom Jesus had left in the plain, when he went up into an high mountain. 20. Did our Lord tell them plainly the cause of their failure? Yes; "Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief." What is unbelief? See ii. 18. Must faith always have some word or promise of God to rest on? Yes; if our persuasion does not rest upon some word of God, it is a mere fancy. What word had the disciples on which to ground the faith of miraculous power? They had our Lord's express command to work miracles.+ If they had

believed the word of the Lord, what would have been the consequence? They would have been able to cast out the evil spirit from the lunatic. How did our Lord describe the power of faith? "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." When the Jews spoke of "a grain of mustard-seed," what did they mean to Something exceedingly small.

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meant by "faith as a grain of mustard-seed?" A very small degree of faith. Would a very small measure of faith produce great effects? Yes; it would suffice to remove mountains. When the Jews spoke of removing mountains, what did they mean? Doing things exceedingly difficult, and naturally impossible. Is the faith of believers in

For

all ages the same as the faith here referred to? Faith is always the same; but the object of faith differs according to the thing promised.* instance, if God promises you pardon and eternal life, what then are the objects of your faith? Pardon and eternal life. If he were to promise you power to raise the dead, what, in that case, would be object of your faith? The power to work that particular miracle. Should your faith and mine be such as to remove mountains? Yes. What are some of the mountains, which our faith should remove? The power of sin, the love of the world, the devices of Satan, and the fear of death.†

21. What more did our Lord say respecting the evil spirit which the disciples could not eject? "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." What did our Lord mean by "this kind”? This malignant kind of spirit. Were some evil

What is called miraculous faith has nothing more than the power to work miracles for its object; hence the highest exercise of it (1 Cor. xiii. 2) may consist with the absence of true religion, as in the case of Judas. The efficacy of what is termed saving faith arises from the OBJECT of it being saving.

+ Heb. ii. 15, i. e. the dread of condemnation and future misery.

spirits more wicked, obstinate, and violent than others? Yes.* Did it require extraordinary means in order to cast out those more malignant spirits? Yes. What are the means specified as necessary in such difficult cases? "Prayer and fasting." What is prayer? See vi. 5. What is fasting? See vi. 16. Are not prayer and humiliation to be observed on all occasions? Yes; but there are some occasions which call for special prayer and humiliation. Do such occasions occur in our experience, as private individuals? Yes; all believers have occasions for special devotion. tion one or two instances when we are called upon to engage in extraordinary acts of devotion? When we want support under some heavy trial, or assistance in some difficult duty. What may we expect as the result of special prayer?

success.

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22. In what district of the Holy Land were Jesus and his disciples at this time? "In Galilee." Did they remain long in any one place? No; they were passing through Galilee.+ What then are we to understand by their "abode" in Galilee? The time they spent in that district. When our Lord left the multitude, did he tell them which way he was going? No; he would not that any man should know it.t Why did he depart thus privately? That he might be alone with his disciples, to converse with them. On what particular subject did our

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Lord now discourse to his disciples? On the subject of his approaching sufferings and death. Had not our Lord already spoken very plainly of this subject? Yes.* Was it needful for him to repeat and dwell upon the subject of his sufferings?

Yes;

very needful. Why so? Because God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.† What did he now say respecting his sufferings? "The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men." What is the meaning of "betrayed "? Delivered

up. By whom, and to whom, was the Son of man to be delivered up? By Judas, to the chief priests; by the chief priests to Pilate ;|| and by Pilate to the Roman soldiers.§

23. What then would be done to him?

"And they

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shall kill him." And after that he was killed, what was to take place? "The third day he shall be raised again." When our Lord had said these things, how were his disciples affected? They were exceeding sorry." What made them so exceeding sorry? The thought that their master was to be killed, instead of abiding for ever as an earthly king. Ought they not to have rejoiced, and blessed him, for his purpose of suffering and dying? Yes; but they knew not the design of his sufferings, nor the glory that should follow. Does not our distress often arise from the disappointment of our earthly hopes and prospects? Yes; very often.

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+ Job xxxiii. 14.
Mark xv. 15, 16.

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