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testify your gratitude to so good a God. He is your love ing Father. Jesus will love you to the end. In all your afflictions try to read the love of God in them; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. As you have found Mary's place at the feet of Jesus, and have once and again expressed your sensibility in tears of grief mingled with love, let me exhort you to rise and find John's place upon the bosom of your Lord! There you will taste the riches of his dying love; there you will feel a degree of heaven below; and there you will rejoice in prospect of soon launching into the ocean of eternal love, in the bright realms above, to sing in higher and more loftier strains, that GOD IS LOVE! Amen.
Each moment draw from earth away
My heart, that lowly waits thy call;
I am thy love, thy God, thy all!
THE AFFLICTED YOUTH BROUGHT TO JESUS.
LUKE ix. 41, 42. Jesus said, Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a
coming, the devil threw him down and tare him: and Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
Cast out thy focs, and let them still
To thy great name submit;
And place me at thy feet.
From sin, the guilt, the power, the paint
Thou wilt relieve my soul:
For thou wilt make me whole..
AMONG the many cases which occurred under the im mediate ministry of Jesus Christ, few are more worthy. our attention than that of the youth possessed with a dumb and unclean spirit. This, indeed, must have been considered a very singular instance of cure at the time it was performed, as Matthew, Mark, and Luke, severally have placed it on record. It is generally believed, that this young person's case included both body and soul; and that both were the subjects of Christ's instantaneous cure. Besides, what Jesus did for the afflicted and dis. tressed during his personal residence on earth, he still continues to perform for sinners, in every age, by the power of his sovereign grace. This makes the present piece of history still more interesting to us. There are few instances of sinners brought to Christ by the operations
of grace, without experiencing some conflicts of heart, and vile temptations from satan. And there have been, and still are, some cases of anguish and despair, which bear a very striking analogy to that of this afflicted youth. We will, therefore, make it the subject of our present reflections, in expectation of some relief to the depressed mind, and of its creating in our breasts lively emotions of gratitude to Jesus, the physician of value, and the friend of sinners.
The case of this young person, collected from the different Evangelists, was truly distressing. He was possessed of a dumb spirit; an unclean spirit; the devil; a foul spirit; which, collectively, signify his being influenced by the wicked one, in the highest degree possible. It is also said, He was lunatic, * and foamed at the mouth; he gnashed with his teeth, and cried out ; he was sore vexed, falling into the water, and oftentimes into the fire; of course he bruised himself and pined away. This - statement corresponds with Epilepsy, or falling-sickness; and may designate the disease of his body, in addition to that of his soul, rendering his case deplorable indeed! But, what was an addition to his affliction, his father asserted, he had been 80 from a child. This young man, while his disease rendered him useless to society, and a burden to himself, must certainly have been a source of continued affliction to his parents and his family. Such domestic sorrows demand our commiseration. How ever affecting this case may appear, and however.some
* The present celebrated Bejámin Mosely, M. D, on the ini. fluence of the moon, mentions this very case. “Epileptic, and not insane people," says the Doctor, “ are, properly speaking lunatic." See bis Treatise on Tropical Diseases, &C. p. 642. 4th edition
may be indisposed to credit our assertion, we are obliged. to declare, that there are instances of equal wretchedness which frequently occur. Man, on his first creation, was decoyed into sin by the same malignant spirit, in. form of a serpent; and, although when Christ was on earth, there were many instances of satan visibly and bodily possessing men, perhaps in a manner seldom known in this day; yet, the same spirit now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience. If we may not see the features of the devil in men, as were visible in the first age of Christianity, a little attention to the temper and conduct of men will convince us that the infernal agent has not departed from the earth. In the case of the unhappy youth, he was possessed by a dumb spia rit; one I suppose who did not speak for truth, for God, nor for Christ. An unclean spirit, whose employ was to defile the heart and debase the body, in the sight of God and man. A foul spirit, blaspheming, and making. the man meet oply to dwelt in the regions of infernal dark. ness. Now, if we look around mankind, we shall cer. tainly find too many whose intemperance, prophaneness, and blasphemy, really evince that they are possessed by the devil in no small degree. As it was with the young man, so we are obliged to acknowledge our sinful disease is from youth, and by which men are led astray into the paths which end in bitterness and death. May a due sense of our guilty and depraved state pro duce in us an ardent desire to fly to Jesus, who is able to save to the utmost !
This poor young man had a father, whose heart must be allowed most sensibly to feel for his afflicted child. Anxious to try every expedient to eject the evil spirit from his son, he carried him to the disciples; but the devil was too hard for them. How natural is it for us, first to apply to men and creatures! and how just is it in the Lord to disappoint our expectations! The father next applied to Christ, saying, Lord, if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. It was both natural and commendable for the father to make his son's interest his own, and to ask in his own person ; but it is astonishing that he should address Jesus in the language of so much unbelief, If thou canst do any thing : whereas, on such an occasion, he ought rather to have said, “ Lord, since thou canst do all things, help me." This circumstance, while it calls for wonder at the afflicted father, may remind us how often we have addressed the Saviour with a much greater mixture of ignorance and unbelief. But the compassions of Jesus looked at the heart, and passed by the imperfections of the earnest petitioner. O the benevolence and the forbearance of our adored Saviour! After giving a very necessary admonition to his disciples Jesus said to the father of the youth, Bring him unto me. · Now, another part of the affecting scene opens, and demands our attention. The youth advanced ; and, when in sight of Christ, the devil exerted his infernal efforts ; threw down the youth, -tearing him in such an astonishing manner, that he lay upon the ground foaming and wallowing. This brought a number of people together, whose attention and pity were raised on behalf of the young man, whom many of them concluded was really dead. Jesus, in the midst of the crowd, full of compas*sion, cried, Come out of him thou' unclean spirit, and enter no more into him. Instantly, the devil departed from him; and Jesus took him by the hand, and he arose, and delivered him to his father. What a proof is this