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Written by R.Anna Phillips   

ZION'S LANDMARK -- July 1901

"If I may but touch his clothes!" Mark 5:28.

A certain woman twelve years before had good health and a good living, when a certain health consuming, life-wasting disease attacked her. She applied and exhausted all her personal skill and home-remedies and only grew worse. She then successively called in many physicians of whom she not only "suffered many things"-perhaps in painful treatment and surgical operations-but also whose charges took "all her living;" and that when her malady instead of being cured, or even arrested, had steadily grown worse and worse; till now with the purse-draining physicians and the life-draining disease for twelve years, what was left her but penury, despair, and disease; and that disease growing worse and taking deeper hold on her system and causing such weakness that when she heard of Jesus and thought of going to him, she doubted her physical strength sufficient to struggle through the throng of people following him. Then what an awful, and alarming condition was hers? To what depths of poverty, suffering, sore need, and despair, had this disease and "physicians of no value," brought her. And more depressing than all was the loss of all confidence in human help. But just then she heard of Jesus, and how he cured all manner of disease, and that without charge. What glad tidings was this to one thus diseased and counted incurable, as also to one thus destitute of her means and money. Perhaps in her sore sufferings and despondency she had wondered if there was no balm-no physician equal to her case-that is one able to cure her without money and without price. Then wonderful and welcome the news when they tell her Jesus is able and is willing. This now became her only hope. But in thinking about it, how could she so unseemly from disease, and so uncomely from poverty, dare approach into his presence, or trouble the Master? Then she heard if one just touched his clothes- the hem of his garment, it would heal one of whatever disease. So, she determined to "come behind him" in the press of people always following him and secretly touch his clothes. The emergency of her case lent her courage and she determines to try; for as she was she must soon die; and she could but die if she failed. Anyway, it was her only hope-her last resort. The pressing necessities of her case overcame all obstacles as she saw Jesus passing by, and she started out after him with her mind intensified to the one purpose of touching him, and her heart to the one desire that occasionally found vent in the exclamation ''Oh if I may! -If I may but touch his clothes'' as she pressed on through the throng coming nearer and nearer to Jesus, till finally he was near enough and reached out her hand and touched his clothes in such perfect faith that she immediately felt and knew that she was healed.

And thus a simple touch in faith had gained what all her earthly means combined had failed to do. Like the Syrian leper healed by simply dipping in Jordan when all the combined resources of his king and country had failed.

This case represents that of a sinner under conviction-one diseased and burdened with sin who having exhausted all human skill-all earthly means-every effort of nature to keep the law, but to find all worthless and unavailing, and sin but the more exceeding sinful; or like this poor sick woman who had spent all her living to find her life still fast ebbing away.

Yet all this is well; for one must be converted or turned from trusting in his resources before he becomes as a little child helpless and dependent; and this state must be before one is prepared to come in touch with Jesus. And such will never turn to Jesus while there remains any physician or remedy yet untried. But with all the living gone and the disease growing worse; then disease, destitution, and despair force an emergency apparently holding the issues of life and death in hand, making the case so urgent and alarming as to compel to Christ as the last resort. Yet all these incidents in connection bringing up to this, and seeming under the control of men, are never the less ordered of God according to his purpose in grace making these pressing emergencies and necessities, his compelling power to bring his people to Christ as also causing that pleading cry of the poor sinner ''What shall I do to be saved'' -''Oh if I may but touch his clothes." And in this emergency Jesus-as always-is passing by. And the poor sinner is told he is the Savior of sinners-that he came to seek and save the lost. But some like the sick woman about coming in to his presence, feel so polluted as to be utterly unfit to come into his presence and be looked upon, like the lepers who stood afar off and cried to him for mercy; and too unworthy to trouble Jesus to come to them, like the nobleman who said to him he was not worthy that he should come under his roof, but to speak the word and his son would live. Therefore such would "come behind him'' in the press.

Yet such little weak ones are the great and strong. To the humble soul God gives the greater grace, and faith strong enough to save men as he told the woman "thy faith hath saved thee." But it was the faith, and gift of God.

So that if any are now crying in secret soul-if I may but touch his clothes, you have the faith that saves; for without it, you would doubt this effect.


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