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healing all manner of sickness, I were lunatic, and those that and all manner of disease, among | had the palsy; and he healed the people. 24. And his fame them. 25. And there followed went throughout all Syria: and him great multitudes of people they brought unto him all sick from Galilee, and from Decapeople that were taken with di- polis, and from Jerusalem, and vers diseases and torments, and from Judea, and from beyond those which were possessed Jordan. with devils, and those which

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Thus, Lord, thou wentest about doing good, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease. O heal our souls! they have naturally no health nor soundness in them. The whole head is sick; the whole heart is faint. O heal the blindness of our minds, the sinful desires and passions of our hearts, our vain and evil thoughts of various kinds. They brought to thee all sick persons that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those that were possessed with devils, and thou healedst them. No disease was incurable to thee: every kind of pain and possession gave way to thy powerful word. How comfortable is it, that thou never sentest any away without a cure! Thou seest the wounds, and sores, and plagues of our hearts. O Divine Healer, pity us! Behold what a miserable condition we are in. We know, if thou wilt, thou canst heal us: we trust thou wilt do it, compassionate Saviour! We will look to thee, as the Israelites did to the brazen serpent, and will wait for thy salvation.


Christ's Sermon on the Mount. - And first, Of the Beatitudes.


AND seeing the multitudes,

he went up into a mountain; and, when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2.

And he opened his mouth, and

taught them, saying, 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, make us to understand what we now read. Who are the poor in spirit, whom thou declarest to be blessed? Are they not such as are sensible of their inward poverty, of their want of wisdom, of their want of

righteousness, of their want of strength? Lord, make us poor in spirit; make us more and more sensible of our want of all inward good in ourselves, that we may come to thee, and out of thy fulness receive whatever we need. Save us from thinking that we are rich and full of goods, when we are poor, and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked. Being sensible of our inward poverty, may we cheerfully comply with thy gracious counsel, to buy of thee gold tried in the fire to enrich us, and white raiment to cover our nakedness, and eye-salve that we may see. Lord deliver us from pride and self-conceit.

4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

They who mourn after a godly sort are undoubtedly included here. Sincere penitents, who mourn because they have been undutiful to so kind a Father, have wounded so gracious a Saviour, have grieved and vexed so compassionate a Comforter. The whole tenor of thy word shews, that they who thus sow in tears, shall reap in joy. And even they who mourn under thy afflicting hand, if their afflictions are sanctified to them, to convince them of the vanity of the world, and the evil of sin, and the inestimable value of an interest in God, must be sharers of this blessedness. How blind is the natural man to this! He thinks the only happy persons are they who live in continual pleasure and gaiety. But we are informed by thy word, that weeping is often better than mirth, and that the false joys of the unconverted are far worse than any sorrow. Lord deliver us from these false joys, and give us by thy Spirit the solid comfort that flows from peace with God through thy mediation, from thy image on our hearts, and from the cheerful hope of a blessed immortality.

5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Lord give us this blessed temper. Grant that we may learn of thee, who art meek and lowly in heart. Give us that true meekness which flows from deep humility. Give us what thy inspired apostle calls the

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meekness and gentleness of Christ; that meekness of wisdom which will make us easy in our own minds, and our behaviour edifying to others; and which will lead us to the best enjoyment of the blessings of a present life, according to thy promise, that the meek shall inherit the earth. Oh thou meek divine Spirit! give us this gracious disposition, which is one of thy fruits, and make us continually to watch against all kinds of anger and resentment, except what has sin for its object.

6. Blessed are they which do ousness: for they shall be hunger and thirst after righte- | filled.

Blessed be thy name, O Lord, for this most comfortable promise. The covetous may thirst for gold, and the ambitious for honour and preferment, and the men of pleasure for sensual gratifications, and may all be disappointed but if we hunger and thirst after righteousness, thou hast said we shall be filled. Lord, we hunger after an interest in thy righteousness to justify us and after the righteousness of thy holy Spirit, that we may be sanctified. Increase this hunger and thirst more and more satisfy our longing souls, according to thy gracious word.

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7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Lord give us a compassionate disposition, at the utmost distance from every kind of cruelty, in act or word. We often read, that thy bowels were moved with pity Lord Jesus, let the same mind be in us. May we, by thy Spirit, put on bowels of mercies, forbearing and forgiving others in love, and ready to give all the help in our power to those that need it. We thank thee for every degree of mercifulness thou hast given any of us. Heavenly Father, give us more of this temper, by which shall resemble thee, who art very pitiful, and of tender mercy.


8. Blessed are the pure in heart: For they shall see God. O! that we had purity of heart. Thou who knowe› what is in man, hast testified concerning the human

heart, that out of it proceeds every thing that defiles the man. Alas! what evil thoughts and inclinations spring up from time to time in our hearts! O! deliver us from them. Lord, give us a new heart, with thy law written upon it. Give us a heart according to thy own heart. Oh when shall every sinful disposition be quite rooted out? We earnestly long for the happy time. In the mean time, we beg thou wouldst give us to keep our hearts with all diligence, and to strive against the first beginnings of sin. Thou hast promised, that the pure in heart shall see God. Glorious reward! Where is there, or can there be, any honour so great, any sight so beautiful, any knowledge so pleasing and transporting! "To see God," all light is but darkness, all science is but ignorance, to this light. O Uncreated Light! O Eternal Love! how blessed are they who see thy face in heaven! Blessed also are they who see thy glory here on earth, by the light of thy gospel and the illumination of thy holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, thou hast said, "No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him." O shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. We know thou madest answer to Philip requesting this," Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father." Lord, give us then to keep thee continually in our eye by faith. In thee we see the wisdom, the power, the goodness, the holiness, the mercy, the condescension, the grace, the love, of thy Father. Blessed be God for humbling himself, and becoming incarnate, that poor sinful mortals might know him and see him. Now, Lord, we see thee by faith, and hope soon to see thee by open vision: but without holiness no man can see thee. If we have not some degree of heart purity, we but deceive ourselves in imagining we have fellowship with thee. Lord, purify our hearts by thy holy Spirit, and purify them more and


9. Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Lord, give us that inward peace which is the fruit of

thy Spirit; peace with heaven through thy blood; peace in our own minds; and a disposition to live peaceably with all men. And may we be lovers of peace, and endeavour to reconcile those that are at variance. May we have this work at heart, as children of God: may we be animated in it by love to our heavenly Father, the God of peace, and to thee, O our Saviour, the great peace-maker betwixt heaven and earth, and to thy loving and peaceful Spirit; and by love to our brethren, whose strife and contention ought to give us pain, and their living in peace and love ought to be very pleasing to us. May we never seek to ourselves, or others, that false deluding peace which favours the interests of sin, and takes away peace with thee: but may we always be zealous for true peace. May we have the wisdom which is from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all

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manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Thou, O Lord, hast said, in another place, "If they persecute you in one city flee to another." By comparing these words together, we learn, that we are not to seek persecutions and sufferings: but if in the course of thy providence they shall come upon us, we are to rejoice and be exceeding glad. Lord, give us strength and courage. Though it is very desirable to have a good, name among all men, yet if ever it shall happen, that men shall revile us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely for thy sake, may we reckon it our highest honour. Thou hast in former times given to thy martyrs such enlivening views of the heavenly reward, and hast so supported them by the joy of the Holy Ghost, that they have been happy in the midst of tortures. Thou canst do the same thing for us, weak as we are, if ever we be called to suffer as they did. In the mean time, may we be


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