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worketh'in Hs, than alf the evil Spirits that conspire against us. Ancs as this Grace is sufHcient, so is it ever ready for us.- THeSpirit of God"is never wanting to those that seek to, and desire its Aid; and never fails such as heartily engage in this spiritual Corn bat: If earthly Parents (faith our Saviour) know how to giije^ good Gifts to their Children, how much mirt^will your heavertly Father give the Holy Spirit to them thai ask it? While we strive against Sin, we shall be sere to have the Spirit of God to strive with us, and that .will derive• that Strength and Power into us that will make us more than Conquerors, Hence we find St. Paul, who struggled so hard, and was sometimes foil'd by the Power of his Corruption, at last thanking God for giving him the Victory, thro Jefiis Christ our Lord; Rom.7.25. 1 Cor. 15. 57. And elsewhere we are told, that if we fight this good Fight of Faith, we shall finish our Course with Joy, and in the end receive a Crown of Glory. I fay then with the Apostle, that if ye walk in the Spirit, ye shaU not fulfil the Lusts of the Flesh, but (hall find Grace and Strength enough to subdue and vanquish them. So that from this Discourse we may learn,
Ij The difference between a Regenerate and Unregene^ rate Man; in the one the Spirit prevails, in the other the Flesh is predominant: that is, the Will of the one is led by the Spirit, which makes him act the Deeds, and bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit; but the Will of the other follows the carnal Dictates, and performs the Will of the Flesh. The Character of a good Man is to be led by the Spirit into the Ways of Purity and Peace, which is to walk in the Spirit: And the Note of a bad Man is to follow the Sway of sinful and vile Affections; which is to fulfil the Lusts of the Flejb. From whence we may learn,
2. How to know and judg of our spiritual State: if we are acted by the Holy Spirit of God, and delight in the foremention'd Fruits^ of it, we may fafely conclude our selves in a Regenerate State •, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.
But if we give up our selves to the Command of a carnal and sensual Appetite, and are at the beck of every imperious Lust, we are in the Gall of Bitterness, and Bond of Iniquity •, for they they that walk after the Flesh cannot please God, nor will they ever be accepted by him. Not that every Act of Concupiscence or inordinate Affection will exclude us from the Favour of God, or the State of Regenera
Y 3 tion; tion ; but 'tis the voluntary Consent and wilful Continuance in the Love and Practice of them that denominates nn Unregenerate Man, and excludes from the Kingdom of Heaven. We find St. Paul sometimes complainings |hftt the Body of Sin was too strong for him, that the Law in his Members warred against the Law of his Mind, and carry'd him captive to the Law, of Sin and Death -,.but still he lamented and labour'd against it, and never left fighting and striving till he had got the Mastery,: whiclv teaches us what to do in the like Cafe j. to. wity npt to yield to, but strive against Temptation, and to fay with. Joseph, How can I do this 'great }Vickednefs, and fin against God? Wherefore, in the., ;. . '.'W.au jj ! v i:nziTi0 f;A io Last place, let us learn from, hence to walk in the Spirit, ,and to make no provision .for the Flesh, to fulfil the Lusts thereof. To encourage ;us,, the Apostle assures-us, There is no Condemnation to them that polk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit ; N,roqi. 8. i. but,, they that do otherwise will rCertainly sall, into Condemnation; for to be carnally-minded is Death, but- to be spirituall^-mfnded is Life and Peace: ver. 6. & ver. 13. If ye live after the Flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit mortify the Deeds of the Body, ye stall live. We see then the Way both to Life and Death ., let
D I SCOURSE XXXIX.
The Gospel for the Fourteenth Sunday after
. St. Luke Jcvii. 11 20.
And it came to pass, as Jesus went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee: And as he entred into a certain Village, there met him ten Men that were Lepers, who stood afar off, Sec.
TH E Epistle for this Day spake of the Graces of the
The particular Miracle here related is that wrought by our Saviour on the ten Lepers, the Subject of this Day's Gospel. In which we may observe,
First, Our Saviour's Progress to Jerusalem* which was through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, that which may be learnt from thence, is what hath been before observ'd in the Miracle of the deaf and dumb Man, viz.. Christ's going about doing Good, and spreading his healing Influences in all places of the Country, and the Regions round about; of which you may read in the Gospel for the twelfth Sunday after Trinity. And as in that Miracle of the deaf and dumb Man, so in this of the Lepers, we may observe,
First, What went before it. ,
First, As for what went before the Miracle, it was Christ's tntring into a certain Village, the ten Lepers meeting him
Y 4 . there, there., and the Lepers standing asar off. What this certain Village was, it not being nam'd here or elsewhere, will not be much material to enquire: Certain it is, that 'twas either in Samaria or Galilee, thro which he passed in his way to Jerusalem; but wherever it was, 'tis farther faid, that
Ten Men that were Lepers met him there. Sometimes we read that he went to them as Physicians do to their fick Patients ., which is imply'd in his going about doing Good. Where Distance or Mens Infirmities were such, as would not permit them to come to him, there he either went to them, or heal'd them at a distance: And where he did not readily find Objects to shew his Mercy and Compassion, there he went about to seek them. But here we read that these ten Men that were Lepers came and met him, upon the Report (no doubt) that they had receiv'd of him; for he heal'd one Leper before, as he came down from the Mount: of which we read, Mat. 8.2,3. St. Mark speaks of the lame or another, Mark 1. 40. And so doth St. Luke, Chap. 5.12,13. The Fame whereof being spread far and near, drew these ten Lepers to him. Indeed, 'tis all one to Omnipotence to cure ten as one, and ten thoufand as well as ten; for to an Almighty Power all things are possible, and nothing can be hard or difficult to him, to whom nothing is impossible: And therefore our Saviour did not any way check their Boldness, but rather commended their Faith in coming to him.
But how did they behave themselves when they came to him? Why, the next words tell us, that they stood asar off; which they did not so much for sear, as to comply with the Law of Moses concerning Lepers, which was to stand off, and to be separated from Society till they were cleansed; for the Leprosy being a foul and infectious Disease, they that had it were to be remov'd out of the Camp, and to abide in their Tents seven Days, and the Priest was to go forth to them j as we read in the 17th Chapter of L eviticHS. Accordingly, in compliance with this Law, these ten Lepers, being unclean by their Leprosy, stood afar off^ and durst not come near unto him: nor would our Saviour encourage them to break the Law of the Lepers, by calling them nearer.
But what did they at that distance in order to be heal'd? Why, 'tis laid, that being afar off, they lifted up their Voices, and ery'd unto him; which Cries were loud enough to rcich his Ears3 and were, heard by him,, as appear'd after-; yard. To
T« these their Cries they added this short Petition, Jesits, Master., have mercy, upon us. They d id not harangue it to him about the Soreness and Sadness of their Distemper, to move Compastion, or about the Means and Methods of their Cure '., nor did they go to him, like the proud Pharisee, with Boasts of their own Righteousness, fchat they wet* not as bad as other Men; nor with long extempore Prayers, to charm, him with the Multitude and Variety of Words, which are fulsom and nauseous to all they are apply'd to, and no way become true and humble Supplicants ; but they cry'd to him with, these few hearty words* Jestts, Master', have mercy upon t#. And indeed we find in Scripture,' that these few hearty , Words Have prevail'd more, and been; attended with greater:Success than longiiand tedious Orations.,: .r.r'J ff nVv/ - .• •• '*-nsnh 'sld .- "\
The poor Publican, whtn he went up solemnly to the Temple to worship, .utter'd only this'Jhort Litany, Lord, be merciful to me a Sinner', Luke 18.13. and was sent away justify'd to his own House, before the proud Pharisee, with his long Robes, and long Prayers. The poor blirid Man, in the fame Chapter, following our Saviour with his earnest Prayer, utter'd only these words, Jefiu, thou Sou of David, have mercy upon me; ver. 28,29. His whole Prayer was no more, which, 'tis faid in the next Verse, he went on repeating again and again; Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me: And the Effect of it was, that his Eyes were open'd, and his Sight restor'd to him. In like manner the Lepers in the Text lifted up. their Voices, and faid more than once, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us; and what the Success was, we shall see by and by. In the mean time, we may observe the Wisdom and Piety of our Church, in inserting this frequent and successful Petition into her Liturgy pr Publick Service, doubling and trebling it in the Litany to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity• , faying, Lord have mercy upon us, . Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us: which, if repeated with Earnestness and Affection, is so far from a vain Repetition (as some have vainly objected) that 'tis the most effectual way to obtain Audience and Acceptance. These are the previous Circumstances that went before the working of this Miracle , from whence, I proceed,
Secondly, To the Miracle it self, the Account whereof follows in the next Verse; And when be saw them, &c.