Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

and the rent is made worse. 17. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Here we learn that religious fasting ought to proceed from religious sorrow, and was unseasonable at a time when thy disciples enjoyed thy comfortable presence; but would be very proper afterwards, when thou wast taken from them. And thy words concerning the impropriety of putting a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, and of putting new wine into old bottles, seem to point to thy prudent and tender management of thy disciples. Agreeable to what is said in the prophet concerning thee, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; " he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them "in his bosom; he shall gently lead them that are with young." For the same reason thou saidst afterwards, "I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot "bear them now." Praise to thee who considerest what thy poor disciples can bear, and proportionest their labours and burdens to the strength thou givest them. We rejoice to be under the care of such a Shepherd. The Lord is our Shepherd; we shall not want. He maketh us to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth us beside the still waters; he restoreth our souls; he leadeth us in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for thou art with us; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort us.. Thou preparest a table before us in the presence of our enemies; thou anointest our head with oil; our cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

SECT. XXXIII.

The Ruler's Daughter raised, the Woman diseased with an Issue of Blood healed, and two blind Men restored to sight.

18. While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead; but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. | 22. But Jesus turned him about; and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 23. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24. He said unto them Give place; for

[ocr errors]

the maid is not dead but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. 27. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. 28. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith, be it unto you. 30. And their eyes were opened: and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country,

The first of these (the ruler's daughter) was raised to life agreeably to the faith which her father had in thy power, when he said, "Lay thy hand upon her, and she "shall live." The next was made whole according to her faith, for thou saidst to her, "Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole." The blind men were restored to sight in the same way: to them thou saidst," Believe ye that I am able to do this? According to your faith, be it unto you." From all these instances we see, that a faith in thy healing power was required in those that were to get their bodies healed. Lord, give us that faith which is necessary to the healing of our souls. Glory to thy free grace; we believe, and are sure, that thou art "able" to heal us,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

We are also sure that thou hast no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Since then thou art both able and willing, and hast given us to believe both, what should hinder our being healed? Thou knowest our earnest desire to be healed; we wait for thy salvation. If there be any thing else implied in that faith which is necessary to the healing of our souls, O Lord Jesus, graciously work it in us, and increase our faith.

SECT. XXXIV.

Jesus gives Speech to a dumb Man, and teaches the People.

32. As they went out, behold, I they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the

multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. 34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.

This is the case when souls are delivered from the power of Satan. They who had not a tongue to speak, or a heart to think of thy praise, can now speak and think of nothing else. Their hearts indite good matter, and their tongues are the pen of a ready writer, to utter abundantly the memory of thy great goodness, and to sing all the day long of thy mercy.

35. And Jesus went about kingdom, and healing every sickall the cities and villages teach-ness and every disease among ing in their synagogues, and the people.

preaching the gospel of the

This is the second time the sacred historian takes notice of the divine tenor of thy life, which was a continual doing good to the souls and bodies of men. How comfortable is it to read again and again, that thou healedst every sickness and every disease! There is no disease in our souls which thou art not able to heal. Lord, heal us then, to the eternal praise of thy mercy and power.

36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because

[ocr errors]

they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37. Then saith he unto

his disciples, The harvest truly | fore the Lord of the harvest, is plenteous, but the labourers that he will send forth labourers are few: 38. Pray ye there- into his harvest.

Oh infinite God! we adore thy unsearchable mercy, thus clothing itself with flesh, and appearing in the form of human compassion! Thy divine attributes are far above our thoughts; but we know what it is to be moved with compassion. Thou, O Son of God, wast moved with real compassion; thy bowels were moved at the sight of the poor people fainting, and scattered abroad like sheep having no shepherd. Lord, save us from a hard and unfeeling heart. Give us a heart full of pity and tenderness; and let these natural affections be sanctified as they were in thee, and directed to their proper objects. Give us to be concerned for the outward and temporal distresses of our brethren, but much more for the misery and danger of their immortal souls. Lord, save perishing souls; thou who art the Lord of the harvest, send forth labourers into thy harvest : unless they are sent, and constrained by thee to this work, what success can they hope for? Oh send them forth through the whole earth, and accompany their ministrations with thy saving power, that thy harvest may be fully reaped.

SECT. XXXV.

[ocr errors]

The Apostles sent forth, with Power to perform Miracles. The Instructions given them by Jesus Christ.

A

CHAP. X.

drew his brother; James the ND when he had called son of Zebedee, and John his unto him his twelve dis- brother; 3. Philip, and Barciples, he gave them power tholomew; Thomas, and Matagainst unclean spirits, to cast thew the publican; James the them out, and to heal all man- son of Alpheus; and Lebbeus, ner of sickness and all man-whose surname was Thaddeus; ner of disease. 2. Now the 4. Simon the Canaanite; and names of the twelve apostles Judas Iscariot, who also betrayare these: The first, Simon, ed him. who is called Peter, and An

Lord, shew those, whom thou sendest forth into thy harvest, how far the directions given to thy apostles are

1

given to them also. Save them from presuming to go out of the sphere thou hast assigned them: at the same time, vouchsafe them light and grace to imitate thy apostles in every thing in which they are called by thee to imitate them.

5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of

the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

Oh let none run to this work unsent; let them not undertake it from unworthy motives, but with a mind enlightened in the knowledge of the gospel, and a heart inclined to spend and be spent in it by thy blessed Spirit.

6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7. And, as ye go, preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses: 10. Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is

worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12. And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14. And whosoever shall not receive you nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Thy apostles were sent first to the Jews, whom they were to consider as poor wandering lost sheep, and to them they were to preach the kingdom of heaven. Lord, give to all, who preach thy gospel, to look upon their hearers as by nature lost souls; and to declare to them, in thy name, the absolute necessity of being born again, that they may enter into the kingdom of God. And may they give the most free and universal invitations to lost sinners, to accept of that free grace which they themselves have received. Thou commandest thy apostles not to provide gold nor silver, because the work

« AnteriorContinuar »