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floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27. And the rain descended, and the floods came,:

and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell : and great was the fall of it. 28. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Lord, keep us from building our house upon the sand; hearing these sayings of thine, and not doing them. Lord, give us to do them. Give us grace to understand the true meaning, and to make the right improvement of them all. When we compare our hearts and lives with the explications thou hast here given of the law of God, how great is our guilt! But, blessed be thy name, thou hast perfectly fulfilled the law in all its extent, and in thee is our justifying righteousness. Lord, give us also conformity to thy image. With hearts purified by faith in thee, constrained by thy love, and animated by the hope of the gospel, may we seriously pursue a constant course of new obedience to the divine law. Accomplish thy promise in thy covenant of writing it on our hearts. May we be humbled for every failure, and daily implore forgiveness front thy Father in thy name: and may we unweariedly press after a fuller and stricter observation of all these sayings of thine.

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After teaching, the next thing we find thee employed in, is healing diseases. The first instance here mentioned is that of leprosy, for curing which a long process was prescribed under the law; but thou healedst it by a touch of thy hand. We adore thy divine power; we adore thy condescension to the poor leper; and we are affected to see here a picture of thy healing diseased souls. Lord, the leprosy of sin has quite overspread our souls. We come with the teper, worshipping thee, and saying, "Lord! if thou wilt, thou canst make us "clean:" we are sure thou canst do it. O be pleased to say, "I will; be you clean," and immediately we shall be cleansed. Our sinful vileness, which made us all loathsome, shall be taken away. Lord, heal us, and we shall be healed; and instead of the gift offered under the law of Moses, accept our healed souls to be thy servants for ever.

SECT. XXV..

The Centurion's Servant healed.

Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11. And I say unto

5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him. 6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy grievously tor-you, that many shall come from mented. 7. And Jesus saith the east and west, and shall sit unto him, I will come and heal down with Abraham, and Isaac, him. 8. The centurion an- and Jacob, in the kingdom of swered and said, Lord, I am heaven: 12. But the children not worthy that thou shouldst of the kingdom shall be cast come under my roof: but speak out into outer darkness: there the word only, and my servant shall be weeping and gnashing 'shall be healed. 9. For I am of teeth. 13. And Jesus said of teeth. a man under authority, having unto the centurion, Go thy way; soldiers under me: and I say to and as thou hast believed, so be this man, Go, and he goeth; it done unto thee. And his and to another, Come, and he servant was healed in the selfcometh; and to my servant, Do same hour, this, and he doeth it. 10. When

We see thee next curing the palsy! another disease very hard to be removed by ordinary means, but thou

healest it by a word; thus shewing thyself to be that God whose words are works. How ready wast thou to help the miserable! "I will come and heal him." Thou didst not excuse thyself because wearied with other occupations, nor grudge the trouble of going where the diseased person was. The faith of the centurion, however, prevented this trouble. "Lord, I am not worthy that "thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." O give us this sense of our unworthiness, and this faith with which thou wast so well pleased. Lord, our souls are grievously diseased with a palsy, by which we are quite disabled, and are without all spiritual strength. Art not thou, O compassionate Saviour! willing to come and heal us? But we are not worthy that thou shouldst come under our roof. We are wretched, vile, hell-deserving sinners; but speak the word only, and our souls shall be healed. Lord, give us faith in thee, and be pleased to say, as thou didst to the centurion, "Go your way, your way, and as you have believed, so be it done

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SECT. XXVI.

Peter's Mother-in-law, and many others, healed,

14. And when Jesus was Led her hand, and the fever left come into Peter's house, he saw

his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15. And he touch

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her and she arose, and ministered unto them.

The next instance is, Peter's mother-in-law, who of a fever. Thou touchedst her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose and ministred unto them. How suddenly was her health and strength restored! O rebuke the fever of tumultuous passions, of raging lusts of the flesh and of the mind, under which our souls naturally lie, and cause us to arise and minister to thee. What a happy life to serve thee, instead of lying sick of such a fever! If thou hast already healed us, we would bless and praise thy name for it. Lord, suffer us not to relapse into this dreadful disease.

16. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils:

and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick :

After all the labours of the day, thy hand was not shortened, nor thine ear heavy, but in the evening thou continuedst to heal all that were sick, and those that were possessed with devils. It appears from thy word, that the devil, when permitted, can inflict grievous diseases on the human body, such as these possessions seem to have been; and that he has a far more dreadful power over the souls of the wicked, whom he possesses with brutish and devilish lusts. O Son of God, who camest to destroy the works of the devil, we beseech thee suffer him not to exercise this last power over us any longer; whatever bodily pains or diseases he may be permitted to inflict upon us; whatever trouble of mind we may endure by his fiery temptations, save us from being under that power which he exercises over the children of disobedience. We trust also thou wilt not let us be tempted by him in any respect above what we are

able to bear.

17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, (Isa. liii. 4.) saying,

Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Praise to thee, O Saviour, for taking upon thyself the guilt and punishment of our sins, which are the procuring causes of all these numerous infirmities and sicknesses we are liable to. What a compassionate physician would he be, who was willing to heal his patients by taking the disease off them upon himself: this would not do among men ; but this is the way thou hast taken, O Divine Healer! whose pity and love are as admirable as thy power.

SECT. XXVII.

In what Manner Jesus is to be followed.

18. Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart

unto the other side. 19. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow

thee whithersoever thou goest. 20. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the

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If he proposed to better his worldly circumstances by following thee, thy answer gave him to understand he would be disappointed; but if his resolution proceeded upon better motives, we learn from these words that thou wouldst have thy disciples to found their most commendable zeal upon deliberate and serious consideration. This man, before he determined to follow thee every where, ought to have considered what inconveniencies and hardships this would expose him to; fatigue; long want of food sometimes; sometimes worse lodging than that of the foxes or birds; besides being hated, and persecuted, and 'looked upon with horror by his former friends: yet, in the view of all these discouragements, he might, by thy grace, have thus reasoned with himself, "I shall still be with him who is Lord of all, whose power can provide the means of life for me, or support me under the want of them; who will be my day "in the darkest night, and my refuge in the most ter"rible storms; in whose company I need for nothing, "because he is the Almighty God; and he is my Saviour, the friend of my soul: therefore I will in his strength cheerfully partake of all hardships with him, "and reckon myself happier to follow him through the "wide world, than to dwell in a palace or a paradise.' Lord Jesus, our hearts are deceitful; but we think, if thou wast now upon earth, we should be exceeding happy to follow thee every where. No lodging, no fare would be disagreeable with thee. Nothing would affright us or make us uneasy in thy blessed company. But thou art now in heaven, and we remember how thou hast said, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and

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yet have believed." Lord, give us to follow thee now by faith wheresoever thou callest us, for thy divine presence is with us still. Whatever inconvenience or trouble we suffer in the way of serving thee, may we suffer them pleasantly and cheerfully, as we think we should

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