Our Lord's Question to the Blind Men

   (No. 1355)




   "And when Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying
   and saying, Son of David, ha ve mercy on us. And when He was come into
   the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said unto them, Do you
   believe that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yes, Lord. Then
   touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
   And their eyes were opened." Matthew 9:27-30.

   [On this occasion the Members of the regular Congregation left their
   seats to strangers.)

   IN OUR own streets we meet, here and there, with a blind beggar, but
   they swarm in Eastern cities. Opthalmia is the scourge of Egypt and
   Syria and Volney declares that in Cairo, out of a hundred persons whom
   he met, 20 were quite blind, 10 had one eye, and 20 others were more or
   less afflicted in that organ. At the present day everyone is struck
   with the immense number of the blind in Oriental lands, but things were
   probably worse in our Savior's times. We ought to be very grateful that
   leprosy, opthalmia and certain other forms of disease have been
   wonderfully held in check among us in modern times, so that the plague
   which devastated our city 200 years ago is now unknown and our Lock
   hospitals are no longer crowded with lepers.

   Blindness is now often prevented, and frequently cured. And it is not,
   by any means, an evil of such frequent occurrence as to constitute a
   leading source of the poverty of the country. Because there were so
   many blind folk in our Savior's day and so many gathered around Him, we
   very commonly read of His healing the blind. Mercy met misery on its
   own ground. Where human sorrow was most conspicuous, Divine power was
   most compassionate. Now, in these days it is a very usual thing for men
   to be blind spiritually and, therefore, I have great hope that our Lord
   Jesus will act after His former manner and display His power amid the
   abounding evil.

   I trust there are some here at this hour who are longing to obtain
   spiritual sight, longing especially, like the two blind men in our
   text, to see Jesus, whom to see is everlasting life! We have come,
   tonight to speak to those who feel their spiritual blindness and are
   pining for the light of God--the light of pardon, the light of love and
   peace, the light of holiness and purity. Our eager desire is that the
   pall of darkness may be lifted, that the Divine Ray may find a passage
   into the soul's inner gloom and cause the night of Nature to pass away
   forever. O that the moment of day-dawn may be just at hand to many of
   you who are "only blind!"

   Immediate illumination is the blessing I implore upon you. I know that
   Truth of God may abide in the memory for years and, at last, produce
   fruit. But at this time our prayer is for immediate results, for such
   only will be in accordance with the nature of the light of which we
   speak. At the first, Jehovah did but say, "Let there be light," and
   there was light! And when Jehovah Jesus sojourned here below, He did
   but touch the eyes of the blind and straightway they received sight! O
   for the same speedy work at this hour! Men who were led by the hand to
   Jesus, or groped their way along walls to the place where His voice
   proclaimed His Presence, were touched by His finger and went home
   without a guide, rejoicing that Jesus Christ had opened their eyes!

   Such marvels Jesus is still able to perform and, depending upon the
   Holy Spirit, we will preach His Word and watch for the signs following,
   expecting to see them at once! Why should not hundreds of you who came
   into this Tabernacle in Nature's blackness go forth from it blessed
   with the light of Heaven? This, at any rate, is our heart's inmost and

   uppermost desire--and at this we aim with concentrated faculties. Come
   with us, then, to the text, and be at once friendly enough to
   yourselves to be willing to be affected by the Truths of God which it
   will bring before you.

   I. First, in explaining the passage before us, we must call your
   attention to THE SEEKERS themselves--the two blind men. There is
   something about them worthy of imitation by all who would be saved. We
   notice at once that the two blind men were in downright earnest. The
   word which describes their appeal to Christ is, "crying," and by this
   is not meant mere speaking, for they are represented as, "crying and
   saying." Now, crying implies earnest, energetic, pathetic imploring,
   pleading and beseeching. Their tones and gestures indicated that theirs
   was no holiday fancy, but a deep, passionate craving.

   Imagine yourselves in such a case. How eager you would be for the
   blessed light if for years you had been compelled to abide in what
   Milton called, "the ever-during dark." They were hungering and
   thirsting after sight. Now, we cannot hope for salvation till we seek
   it with equal vigor and yet, how few are in earnest about being saved!
   How earnest some men are about their money, their health, or their
   children! How warm they are upon politics and parish business! But the
   moment you touch them upon matters of true godliness they are as cool
   as the Arctic snows. O Sirs, why is this? Do you expect to be saved
   while you are half asleep? Do you expect to find pardon and Grace while
   you continue in listless indifference? If so, you are woefully
   mistaken, for "the kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent
   take it by force."

   Death and eternity, judgment and Hell are not things to play with! The
   soul's eternal destiny is no small matter and salvation by the precious
   blood of Christ is no trifle. Men are not saved from going down into
   the pit by a careless nod or a wink. A mumbled, "Our Father," or a
   hasty "Lord, have mercy upon me," will not suffice! These blind men
   would have remained blind had they not been in earnest to have their
   eyes opened. And so, many continue in their sins because they are not
   in earnest to escape from them. These men were fully awake. Dear
   Hearer, are you? Can you join with me in these verses?--

   "Jesus, who now are passing by

   Our Prophet, Priest, and King You are!

   Hear a poor unbeliever's cry,

   And heal the blindness of my heart

   Urging my passionate request,

   Your pardoning mercy I implore,

   Whoever rebuke I will not rest,

   Till You my spirit's sight restore." The blind men were thoroughly
   persevering in consequence of being in earnest, for they "followed"
   Christ and so continued to urge their suit. How did they manage to
   follow the movements of the Lord? We do not know. It must have been
   very difficult, for they were blind, but they, no doubt, asked others
   the way which the Master had taken and they kept their ears open to
   every sound. Doubtless they said, "Where is He? Where is Jesus? Lead
   us! Guide us! We must find Him." We do not know how far our Lord had
   gone, but we know this, that as far as He had gone they followed. They
   were so bravely persevering that having reached the house where He was,
   they did not stay outside waiting till He came out again, but they
   pressed into the room where He sat. They were insatiable for sight!

   Their earnest cries took Him off from His preaching. He paused and
   listened while they said, "Son of David, have mercy on us." Thus does
   perseverance prevail--no man shall be lost who knows the art of
   importunate prayer! If you will resolve never to leave the gate of
   Mercy till the porter opens to you, he will assuredly unbar the door.
   If you grasp the Covenant angel with this resolve, "I will not let You
   go except You bless me," you shall come forth from the place of
   wrestling more than a conqueror! A mouth open in never-ceasing prayer
   shall bring about eyes open in full vision of faith. Pray, therefore,
   in the darkness, even if there is no hope of light, for when God, who
   is Light, itself, moves a poor sinner to plead and cry out before Him
   with the solemn intent to continue to do so till the blessing comes, He
   has no thought of mocking that poor crying heart! Perseverance in
   prayer is a sure sign that the day of the opening of the eyes is near.

   The blind men had a definite object in their prayers. They knew what
   they wanted, they were not like children crying for nothing, or greedy
   misers crying for everything! They wanted their sight and they knew it.
   Too many blind souls are unaware of their blindness and, therefore,
   when they pray, they ask for anything except the one thing necessary.
   Many so-

   called prayers consist in saying very nice words, very pretty, pious
   sentences, but they are not prayers. Prayer, "to saved ones," is
   communion with God. And to persons seeking salvation, it is asking for
   what you need and expecting to receive it through the name of Jesus,
   whose name you plead with God.

   But what sort of prayer is that in which there is no sense of need, no
   direct asking, no intelligent pleading? Dear Hearer, have you in
   distinct terms asked the Lord to save you? Have you expressed your need
   of a new heart, your need of being washed in the blood of Christ, your
   need of being made God's child and adopted into His family? There is no
   praying till a man knows what he is praying for and sets himself to
   pray for it as if he cared for nothing else. If being already earnest
   and importunate, he is, also, instructed and full of definite desires,
   he is sure to succeed in his pleading. With a strong arm he draws the
   bow of desire and fits upon the string the sharp arrow of passionate
   longing. And then with the instructed eye of perception, he takes
   deliberate aim and, therefore, we may expect that he will hit the very
   center of the target.

   Pray for light, life, forgiveness, salvation--and pray for these with
   all your soul--and as surely as Christ is in Heaven, He will give these
   good gifts to you. Whom did He ever refuse? These blind men in their
   prayers honored Christ, for they said, "Son of David have mercy on us."
   The great ones of the land were loath to recognize our Lord as being of
   the royal seed, but these blind men proclaimed the Son of David right
   lustily! They were blind, but they could see a great deal more than
   some with sharp eyes, for they could see that the Nazarene was the
   Messiah, sent of God to restore the kingdom unto Israel!

   They gathered from this belief that, as the Messiah was to open blind
   eyes, Jesus, being the Messiah, could open their blind eyes. And so
   they appealed to Him to perform the tokens of His office, thus honoring
   Him by a real, practical faith! This is the manner of prayer which will
   always speed to Heaven, the prayer which crowns the Son of David! Pray,
   glorifying Christ Jesus in your prayers, making much of Him, pleading
   much the merit of His life and death, giving Him glorious titles
   because your soul has a high reverence and a vast esteem of Him.
   Jesus-adoring prayers have in them the force and swiftness of eagles'
   wings! They must ascend to God, for the elements of heavenly power are
   abundant in them.

   Prayer which makes little of Christ is prayer which God will make
   little of, but the prayer in which the soul glorifies the Redeemer
   rises like a perfumed pillar of incense from the Most Holy place and
   the Lord, Himself, smells a sweet savor. Observe, also, that these two
   blind men in their prayer confessed their unworthiness. "Son of David,
   have mercy on us." Their sole appeal was to mercy. There was no talk
   about merit, no pleading of their past sufferings, or their persevering
   endeavors, or their resolves for the future! No, nothing but, "Have
   mercy on us."

   He will never win a blessing from God who demands it as if he had a
   right to it. We must plead with God as a condemned criminal appeals to
   his sovereign, asking for the exercise of the royal prerogative of free
   pardon. As a beggar asks for alms in the street by pleading his need of
   it and requesting a gift for charity's sake, so must we apply to the
   Most High, appealing and directing our supplication to the loving
   kindness and tender mercy of the Lord. We must plead after this
   fashion--"O God, if You destroy me, I deserve it. If never a
   comfortable look should come from Your face to me, I cannot complain.
   But save a sinner, Lord, for mercy's sake! I have no claim upon You
   whatever, but oh, because You are full of Grace, look on a poor blind
   soul that gladly would look on You."

   My Brothers and Sisters, I cannot put fine words together. I have never
   occupied myself in the school of oratory. In fact, my heart abhors the
   very idea of seeking to speak finely when souls are in peril. No, I
   labor to speak straight home to your hearts and consciences. And if
   there is, in this listening throng, any who are listening in the right
   manner, God will bless the Word to them. "And what kind of listening is
   that?" you ask. Why, that in which the man says, "As far as I perceive
   that the preacher delivers God's Word, I will follow him, and I will do
   what he describes the seeking sinner as doing. I will pray and plead
   tonight and I will persevere in my entreaties, laboring to glorify the
   name of Jesus and, at the same time, confessing my own unworthiness.
   Thus, even thus, will I crave mercy at the hands of the Son of David."

   Happy is the preacher if he knows that such will be the case!

   II. Now, we will pause a minute and note, secondly, THE QUESTION WHICH
   WAS PUT TO THEM. They sought to have their eyes opened. They both stood
   before the Lord, whom they could not see, but who could see them and
   could reveal Himself to them by their hearing. He began to question
   them, not that He might know them, but that they might know themselves.
   He asked only one question--"Do you believe that I am able to do this?"
   That question touched the

   only thing which stood between them and sight. On their answer depended
   whether they should go out of that room seeing men or blind.

   "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" Now, I believe that between
   every seeking sinner and Christ there is only this one question--"Do
   you believe that I am able to do this?" And if any man can truly answer
   as the men in the narrative did, "Yes Lord," he will assuredly receive
   the reply, "According to your faith be it unto you." Let us look, then,
   at this very weighty question with very serious attention. It concerned
   their faith. "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" He did not ask
   them what kind of characters they had been in the past, because when
   men come to Christ the past is forgiven them. He did not ask them
   whether they had tried various means of getting their eyes opened,
   because whether they had, or had not, they were still blind.

   He did not ask them, even, whether they thought there might be a
   mysterious Physician who would effect a cure in a future state. No.
   Curious questions and idle speculations are never suggested by the Lord
   Jesus! His enquiries were all resolved into a trial upon one point--and
   that one point is faith. Did they believe that He, the Son of David,
   could heal them? Why does our Lord, everywhere, not only in His
   ministry, but in the teaching of the Apostles, always lay such stress
   upon faith? Why is faith so essential? It is because of its receptive
   power. A purse will not make a man rich and yet, without some place for
   his money, how could a man acquire wealth? Faith, of itself, could not
   contribute a penny to salvation, but it is the purse which holds a
   precious Christ within itself! Yes, it holds all the treasures of
   Divine Love.

   If a man is thirsty, a rope and a bucket are not, in themselves, of
   much use to him, but yet, Sirs, if there is a well near at hand, the
   very thing that is needed is a bucket and a rope, by means of which the
   water can be lifted. Faith is the bucket by means of which a man may
   draw water out of the wells of salvation and drink to his heart's
   content! You may, sometimes, have stopped a moment at a street fountain
   and have desired to drink, but you found you could not, for the
   drinking cup was gone. The water flowed, but you could not get at it.
   It was tantalizing to be at the fountainhead and yet to be thirsty,
   still, for lack of a little cup!

   Now faith is that little cup which we hold up to the flowing stream of
   Christ's Grace. We fill it and then we drink and are refreshed. Hence
   the importance of faith. It would have seemed to our forefathers an
   idle thing to lay down a cable under the sea from England to America.
   And it would be idle, now, if it were not that science has taught us
   how to speak by lightning--yet the cable, itself, is now of the utmost
   importance--for the best inventions of telegraphy would be of no use
   for purposes of transatlantic communication if there were not the
   connecting wire between the two continents! Faith is just that--it is
   the connecting link between our souls and God--and the living message
   flashes along it to our souls.

   Faith is sometimes weak and comparable only to a very slender thread,
   but it is a very precious thing for all that, for it is the beginning
   of great things. Years ago they were wanting to throw a suspension
   bridge across a mighty chasm, through which flowed, far down, a
   navigable river. From crag to crag it was proposed to hang an iron
   bridge aloft in the air, but how was it to be commenced? They shot an
   arrow from one side to the other and it carried across the gulf a tiny
   thread. That invisible thread was enough to begin with. The connection
   was established and, by-and-by, the thread drew a piece of twine. The
   twine carried after it, a small rope. The rope soon carried a cable
   across and all in good time came the iron chains and everything else
   that was needed for the permanent way.

   Now, faith is often very weak, but even in that case it is still of the
   utmost value, for it forms a communication between the soul and the
   Lord Jesus Christ. If you believe in Him, there is a link between Him
   and you. Your sinfulness rests on His Grace. Your weakness hangs on His
   strength. Your nothingness hides itself in His all-sufficiency! But if
   you believe not, you are apart from Jesus and no blessing can flow to
   you. So the question that I have to address, in my Master's name
   tonight, to every seeking sinner, has to do with his faith and nothing
   else. It does not matter to me whether you are a 100,000 pounds man, or
   whether you earn a few shillings a week. I care not whether you are a
   peer or a pauper, whether you are royal or rustic, learned or ignorant.
   We have the same Gospel to deliver to every man, woman and child--and
   we have to lay the stress upon the same point--"Do you believe?" If you
   believe, you shall be saved, but if you believe not, you can not
   partake of the blessings of Grace.

   Notice, next, that the question concerned their faith in Jesus. "Do you
   believe that I am able to do this?" If we were to ask the awakened
   sinner, "Do you believe that you can save yourself?" His answer would
   be, "No, that I do not. I know better. My self-sufficiency is dead." If
   we were, then, to put the question to him, "Do you believe that

   and means of Grace and sacraments can save you?" If he is an
   intelligent, awakened penitent, he will reply, "I know better. I have
   tried them, but in and of themselves they are utter vanity." Truly it
   is so! There remains in us and around us nothing upon which hope can
   build, even for an hour. But the enquiry passes beyond self and casts
   us upon Jesus only, by bidding us hear the Lord Himself say, "Do you
   believe that I am able to do this?"

   Now, Beloved, we are not talking concerning a merely historical Person
   when we speak about the Lord Jesus Christ. We speak of One who is above
   all others. He is the Son of the Highest and yet He came to this earth
   and was born a Baby at Bethlehem. He slept upon a woman's bosom and
   grew up as other children do. He became a Man in fullness of stature
   and wisdom, living here for 30 years or more, doing good. At the last,
   this glorious God in human flesh, "died, the Just for the unjust, that
   He might bring us to God," standing in the place of guilty man, that He
   might bear man's punishment--that God might be just and yet the
   Justifier of him that believes.

   He died and was buried, but only for a short time could the grave
   contain Him. Early in the morning of the third day He rose and left the
   dead, no more to die. He tarried here sufficiently long for many to see
   Him alive and really in the body. No event in history is so well
   authenticated as the Resurrection of Christ. He was seen by individuals
   and by twos and twenties, and by above 500 Brothers and Sisters at
   once. After having lived here a little while, He ascended up into
   Heaven in the presence of His disciples, a cloud receiving Him out of
   their sight. At this moment He is sitting at the right hand of God in
   human flesh--that same Man who died upon the Cross is now enthroned in
   the highest heavens, Lord of All--and every angel delights to do Him

   The one question which He asks of you tonight, through these poor lips,
   is this, "Do you believe that I am able to save you--that I, the Christ
   of God now dwelling in Heaven, am able to save you?" Everything depends
   upon your answer to that question! I know what your answer ought to be.
   Surely, if He is God, nothing is impossible or even difficult for Him.
   If He has laid down His life to make atonement, and God has accepted
   that Atonement by permitting Him to rise from the dead, then there must
   be efficacy in His blood to cleanse me, even me! The answer ought to
   be, "Yes, Lord Jesus, I believe that You are able to do this."

   But now I want to lay stress on another word of my text and I want you
   to lay stress on it, too. "Do you believe that I am able to do this?"
   Now, it would have been of no use for these blind men to say, "We
   believe that You can raise the dead." "No," says Christ, "the matter at
   hand is the opening of your eyes. Do you believe that I am able to do
   this?" They might have replied, "Good Master, we believe that You did
   stop the woman's issue when she touched Your garment." "No," He says,
   "that is not the question. Your eyes have now to be attended to. You
   need sight and the question about your faith is, Do you believe that I
   am able to do this?"

   Ah, some of you can believe for other people, but we must bring the
   question more fully home to you and say, "Do you believe that Christ is
   able to save you--even you? Is He able to do this?" Possibly I address
   someone who has gone very far in sin. It may be, my Friend, you have
   crowded a great deal of iniquity into a short space. You went in for a
   short life and a merry one and according to your present prospects you
   are likely enough to have a short life. But the merriment is pretty
   nearly over with you, already, and as you look back upon your life, you
   reflect that never did a young man or a young woman throw life away
   more foolishly than you have done. Now then, do you desire to be saved?
   Can you say from your heart that you do? Answer me, then, this further
   question, Do you believe that Jesus Christ is able to do this, namely,
   to blot out all your sins, to renew your heart and to save you tonight?

   "Oh, Sir, I do believe He is able to forgive sin." But do you believe
   that He is able to forgive your sin? You, yourself are the case in
   hand! How is your faith on that point? Let the cases of others, alone,
   just now, and consider yourself! Do you believe that He is able to do
   this? This--this sin of yours, this misspent life--is Jesus able to
   cope with this? On your answer to that question everything depends. It
   is an idle faith which dreams of believing in the Lord's power over
   others, but then declares that it has no confidence in Him for itself.
   You must believe that He is able to do this--this which concerns
   you--or you are, for all practical purposes, an unbeliever.

   I know I am speaking to a great many persons who never did go into the
   vices of the world. I thank God on your behalf that you have been kept
   in the ways of morality and sobriety and honesty. Yet I know that some
   of you almost wish, or at least it has occurred to you that you might
   almost wish--that you had been great, open sinners--that you might be
   preached to as open sinners are and that you might see a change in
   yourself equal to what you have seen in some of them about whose
   conversion you can never doubt. Do not indulge in so unwise a wish, but
   listen while I put this

   question to you, also. Your case is that of a moralist who has obeyed
   every outward duty, but has neglected his God-- the case of a moralist
   who feels as if repentance were to him, impossible, because he has been
   so long eaten up with self-righteousness that he knows not how to cut
   out the gangrene!

   The Lord Jesus Christ can as easily save you from your
   self-righteousness as He can save another from his guilty habits! Do
   you believe that He is able to do this? Come now, do you believe that
   He is able to meet this, your own peculiar case? Give me a, "yes," or
   a," no," to this question. "Alas," cries one of you, "my heart is so
   hard." Do you believe that He can soften it? Suppose it is as hard as
   granite--do you now believe that the Christ of God can turn it into wax
   in a moment? Suppose your heart is as fickle as the wind and waves of
   the sea--can you believe that He can make you stable-minded and settle
   you upon the Rock of Ages forever? If you believe in Him, He will do
   this for you, for, according to your faith shall it be unto you.

   But I know the pinch lies here. Everybody tries to run away to the
   thought that he does believe in Christ's power for others, but he
   trembles for himself. But I must hold each man to the point which
   concerns himself! I must buttonhole you and bring you to the real test!
   Jesus asks each one of you--"Do you believe that I am able to do this?"
   "Why," says one, "it would be the most surprising thing that the Lord
   Jesus ever did if He were to save me tonight!" Do you believe that He
   can do it? Will you trust Him to do it now? "But it will be such a
   strange thing, such a miracle!" The Lord Jesus works strange things! It
   is the way of Him. He was always a miracle-worker! Can you believe Him
   able to do this for you, even this, which is now needed to save you?

   It is wonderful, the power which faith has--power over the Lord Jesus,
   Himself! I have often experienced, in my little way, how confidence
   will master you. Have you not frequently been conquered by the
   trustfulness of a tiny child? The simple request was too full of trust
   to be refused. Have you ever been grasped by a blind man at a street
   crossing who has said to you, "Sir, would you take me across the road?"
   And then, perhaps, he has said somewhat cunningly, "I know by the tone
   of your voice that you are kind. I feel I can trust myself with you."
   At such a time you have felt that you were in for it--you could not let
   him go. And when a soul says to Jesus, "I know You can save me, my
   Lord. I know You can, therefore in You do I trust," why He cannot shake
   you off! He cannot wish to do so, for He has said, "Him that comes to
   Me, I will in no wise cast out."

   I sometimes tell a story to illustrate this. It is a simple enough
   tale, but it shows how faith wins everywhere. Many years ago my garden
   happened to be surrounded by a hedge, which looked green, but was a
   poor protection. A neighbor's dog was very fond of visiting my garden
   and as he never improved my flowers I never gave him a cordial welcome.
   Walking along quietly one evening I saw him doing mischief. I threw a
   stick at him and advised him to go home. But how did the good creature
   reply to me? He turned round and wagged his tail! And in the merriest
   manner, he picked up my stick, brought it to me and laid it at my feet!
   Did I strike him? No, I am not a monster! I should have been ashamed of
   myself if I had not patted him on the back and told him to come there
   whenever he liked! Soon he and I were friends, because, you see, he
   trusted me and conquered me.

   Now, simple as the story is, that is just the philosophy of a sinner's
   faith in Christ. As the dog mastered the man by confiding in him, so a
   poor guilty sinner does, in effect, master the Lord, Himself, by
   trusting Him when he says, "Lord, I am a poor dog of a sinner and You
   might drive me away, but I believe You to be too good for that. I
   believe You can save me, and lo, I trust myself with You. Whether I am
   lost or saved, I trust myself with You." Ah, dear Heart, you will never
   be lost if you thus trust! He who trusts himself with Jesus has given
   the answer to the question, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?"
   and there is nothing now left but for him to go his way and rejoice,
   for the Lord has opened his eyes and saved him!

   believe that I am able to do

   this?" Just a minute, let me show that it was a very reasonable
   question for Christ to put--and equally reasonable for me to urge home
   upon many here present. Our Lord Jesus might have said, "If you do not
   believe that I am able to do this, why did you follow Me? Why did you
   follow Me more than anybody else? You have been after Me down the
   streets and you have come into this house after Me. Why have you done
   this if you do not believe that I am able to open your eyes?"

   So a large proportion of you who are here tonight attend a place of
   worship. You like to be there, but why, if you do not believe Jesus?
   Why do you go there? Do you go to seek a savior who cannot save you? Do
   you foolishly seek after one in whom you cannot trust? I have never
   heard of such madness as for a sick man to run after a doctor in whom
   he has no

   confidence. And do you come here, tonight, and attend your places of
   worship at other times without having any faith in Jesus? Then why do
   you come? What inconsistent people you must be! Again, these blind men
   had been praying to Jesus to open their eyes, but why did they pray? If
   they did not believe that Jesus could heal them, their prayers were a
   mockery. Would you ask a man to do a thing which you knew he could not
   do? Must not prayer always be measured by the quantity of faith that we
   put into it?

   I know that some of you have been in the habit of prayer ever since you
   were little children. You scarcely ever go to bed at night without
   repeating the form of prayer your mother taught you. Why do you do that
   if you do not believe that Jesus Christ can save you? Why ask Him to do
   what you do not believe He can do? What strange inconsistency--to pray
   without faith! Moreover, these two blind men had called Jesus Christ
   the "Son of David." Why had they thus confessed His Messiahship? The
   most of you do the same. I suppose that out of this congregation there
   are very few who doubt the Deity of Christ. You believe in the Word of
   God--you do not doubt that it is Inspired--you believe that Jesus
   Christ has lived and died and gone into His Glory.

   Well, then, if you do not believe that He is able to save you, what do
   you mean by saying that He is God? God and yet not able? A dying,
   bleeding, atoning, Sacrifice--and yet not able to save? Oh, man, your
   nominal creed is not your true one! If you were to write your true
   creed out it would run something like this--"I do not believe in Jesus
   Christ as the Son of God, or that He has made a full atonement for sin,
   for I do not believe that He is able to save me." Would not that be
   correct and all of a piece? Well, then, I charge you by your frequent
   hearings of the Word, by your habitual prayers and by your profession
   of being Believers in that grand old Bible, answer me--How is it that
   you do not believe in Jesus?

   Sirs, He must be able to save you! Do you know it is some 27 years or
   more since I put my trust in Him and I must speak of Him as I find. In
   every hour of darkness, in every season of despondency, in every time
   of trial I have found Him faithful and true! And, as to trusting Him
   with my soul, if I had a thousand souls I would trust them with Him!
   And if I had as many souls as there are sands upon the seashore, I
   would not ask for a second Savior, but would just put them all into
   those dear hands which were pierced with the nails, that He might grasp
   me and hold me fast forever.

   He is worthy of your trust and your trust is all He asks of you!
   Knowing that He is able--and you cannot doubt that He is willing,
   seeing that He has died--He asks you to act upon your belief that He is
   able to save you and trust yourself to Him.

   IV. Now, I must not detain you much longer and, therefore, I want you
   to notice THE ANSWER which these blind men gave to His question. They
   said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Well, now, I have been pressing that question
   upon you and I again repeat it. Do you believe that Christ is able to
   save you? Do you believe that He is able to do this, to touch your case
   in all its specialty? Now for your answer. How many will say, "Yes,
   Lord"? I am half inclined to ask you to say it aloud. But I will rather
   beg you to say it in your secret souls--"Yes, Lord." And now may God
   the Holy Spirit help you to say it very distinctly, without any holding
   back and mental reservation, "Yes, Lord. Blind eyes, dumb tongue, cold
   heart--I believe that You are able to change them all and I rest myself
   on You, to be renewed by Your Divine Grace."

   Say it and mean it! Say it decidedly and distinctly, with your whole
   heart, "Yes, Lord." Notice that the two men replied immediately. The
   question was no sooner out of Christ's mouth than they gave the answer,
   "Yes, Lord." There is nothing like being prompt in your answers, for
   when you ask a man a question and you say, "Do you believe that I am
   able to do this?" and he stops, rubs his forehead, strokes his head
   and, at last says--"Y-y-yes," does not such a, "yes," sound uncommonly
   like "no"? The best "yes" in the world is the "yes" which leaps forth
   at once!

   "Yes, Lord. Bad as I am, I believe You can save me, for I know Your
   precious blood can take away every stain. Though I am an old sinner,
   though I am an aggravated sinner, though I am one who has gone back
   from a profession of religion and have played the backslider's part.
   Though I seem to be an outcast from society, though I do not, at this
   time, feel as I could wish to feel, and am the very reverse of what I
   ought to be, yet I do believe that if Christ has died for sinners, that
   if the eternal Son of God has gone into Heaven to plead for sinners,
   then He must be 'able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God
   by Him.' And so I come to God tonight by Him, by His Grace, and I do
   believe that He is able to save even me."

   That is the kind of answer which I long to get from you all! May the
   Spirit of God produce it!

   V. Then see OUR LORD'S RESPONSE to their answer. He said, "According to
   your faith be it unto you." As much as if He had said--If you believe
   in Me there is light for your blind eyes. So true the faith, so true
   the sight. If you believe decidedly and fully, you shall not have one
   eye opened, or both eyes half opened, but all your sight shall be given
   to you. Decided faith shall clear away every speck and make your vision
   strong and clear. If your answer is quick, so shall My answer be. You
   shall see in a moment, for you at once believed.

   The Lord's power just kept touch with their faith. If their faith was
   true, His cure was true. If their faith was complete, His cure was
   complete. And if their faith said, "yes," at once, He give them sight
   at once. If you are a long while in saying, "yes," you will be a long
   while in getting peace. But if you say, tonight, "I will venture it,
   for I see it is so. Jesus must be able to save me. I will give myself
   up to Him." If you do that at once you shall have instantaneous
   peace--yes, in that very seat, young man, you who are burdened tonight
   shall find rest! You shall wonder where the burden has gone, and look
   round and find that it has vanished, because you have looked to the
   Crucified One and trusted all your sins with Him.

   Your bad habits, which you have been trying in vain to conquer, which
   have forged fresh chains to hold you fast-- you shall find them fall
   from off you, like spiders' webs. If you can but trust Jesus to break
   them and give yourself up to Him to be renewed by Him, it shall be done
   and done tonight! And Heaven's eternal arches shall ring with shouts of
   Sovereign Grace. Thus I have put the whole matter before you. My only
   hope is that God, the blessed Spirit, will lead you to seek as the
   blind men sought--and especially to trust as they trusted. This last
   word. There are some persons who are specially diligent in finding out
   reasons why they should not be saved. I have battled with some such by
   the half-hour together and they always finish up with, "Yes, that is
   true, Sir, but"--and then we try and chop that, "but," to pieces.

   But after a while they find another and say, "Yes, I now see that
   point, but"--so they buttress their unbelief with "buts." If anybody
   here should be willing to give you a thousand pounds, can you tell me
   any reason why he should not? Well, I fancy if he were to come to you
   and present you with a bank note for that amount you would not worry
   yourself to discover objections! You would not keep on saying, "I
   should like the money, but"--no, if there were any reason why you
   should not have it, you would let other people find it out. You would
   not labor and cudgel your brains to try and find out arguments against
   yourself--you are not so much your own enemy!

   And yet with regard to eternal life, which is infinitely more precious
   than all the treasures of this world, men act most absurdly and say, "I
   earnestly desire it and Christ is able to do it, but"--What folly is
   this to argue against yourself! If a man were in Newgate, condemned to
   die, and had to stand upon the drop tomorrow morning, and the sheriff
   came and said, "There is a free pardon for you," do you think that man
   would begin to object? Would he cry, "I should like another half-hour
   to consider my case and find out reasons why I should not be pardoned"?
   No, he would jump at it! Oh that you may, also, jump at the pardon
   tonight! The Lord grant that you may feel such a sense of danger and
   guilt that you may promptly cry, "I do believe; I will believe in

   Sinners are not half as sensible as sparrows. David said in one of the
   Psalms, "I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop." Well,
   have you noticed the sparrow? He keeps his eyes open and the moment he
   sees a grain of wheat or anything to eat down in the road, he flies to
   get it. I never knew him wait for someone to invite him, much less to
   beg and beseech him to come and feed! He sees the food and he says to
   himself, "Here is a hungry sparrow and there is a piece of bread. Those
   two things go well together--they shall not be long apart." Down he
   flies and eats up all he can find as fast as he finds it!

   Oh, if you had half the sense of the sparrow, you would say, "Here is a
   guilty sinner and there is a precious Savior. These two things go well
   together--they shall not be long apart. I believe in Jesus and Jesus is
   mine." The Lord grant that you may find Jesus, tonight, before you
   leave this house! I pray you may. In these very pews and aisles may you
   look to Jesus Christ and believe! Faith is only a look, a look of
   simple trust! It is reliance, a believing that He is able to do this
   and a trusting in Him to do it and to do it now! God bless every one of
   you and may we meet in Heaven, for Christ's sake. Amen.