When that gentleman asked for the use of a Bible in the house where he was visiting, he was setting a good example. He was putting his candle on a candlestick and letting it shine. And the result that followed gives us a good illustration of the meaning of our Saviour’s words when he said:—“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
And so, when we remember the parables that Jesus taught, among other things illustrated by them, we can think of these,—the value of religion;—Christ’s love for sinners;—the duty of kindness;—the duty of forgiveness;—the influence of a good example.
I know not how to finish this subject better than in the words of the hymn:
“Father of mercies! in thy word,
What endless glory shines!
Forever be thy name adored
For these celestial lines.
O, may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight;
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light.”
We have seen how many valuable lessons our Saviour taught while on earth by the parables which he used. But we teach by our lives, as well as by our lips. It has passed into a proverb, and we all admit the truth of it, that “Actions speak louder than words.” If our words and our actions contradict each other, people will believe our actions sooner than our words. But when both agree together, then the effect is very great. This was true with our blessed Lord. There was an entire agreement between what he said, and what he did. His words and his actions, the teaching of his lips, and the teaching of his life—were in perfect harmony. He practised what he preached.
But then, in addition to the every day common actions of the life of Christ, there were actions in it that were very uncommon. He was daily performing miracles, and doing many mighty and wonderful works. And the prophets before him, and apostles after him, performed miracles too; yet there were two things in which the miracles of Christ differed from those performed by others. One was as to the number of them. He did a greater number of wonderful things than anyone else ever did. Indeed if we take the miracles that were done by Moses, by Elijah and Elisha, in the Old Testament, and those that were done by the apostles in the New Testament and put them all together we shall find that they would not equal, in number, the miracles of Christ. There are between thirty and forty of the mighty works wrought by our Saviour mentioned in the gospels. And these, as St. John says, are only a small portion of them. Ch. xxi: 25.