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.ir seems they were not so far onVbut he cotfld both see jind.hear them. They were not indeed near.-enough for Aimitaitduch them, and so were not heal'd, as the Leper in "St. Mattblm.wasyfcy a Toudrof his Hand: but the healing Vartiie wwcorevey'd them'by a Glance of his Eye, or a Motion of has Mirid• , for he us'd not those fanative words, J will, be thou healed, or I will, be thou clean, as he did to o.ther Lepers; which words immediately drove the Leprosy feom them, as we read, MatthewS. 3. & Luke 5.13. But ^11 he faid to 1 them was, Go shew your selves to the Priest • , which vwords were not wont to make, but so follow the Cure. - Th& words refer to the Iiw: of Moses conj»rriing Lepers^ in JxVi 14' where the Leper was commanded-to be brought to the Priest, who was to offer a Sacrifice for him in order to his cleansing•, and when the Cure was wrought, lies: was requirfdf by the Law to shew himself to the Priest, and\to make an Offering, ithatheumight pronounce him clean, without which they Were not admitted into the Camp or Congregation. Accordingly our Saviour, in obedience to the Law, to which he' was wont to shew a great Conformity, faid unto them, Go immediately unto the Prkst; adding (as Dr. Hammond supposes) Before ye come thither, ye shall be car'd: upon whkhy without any Hesitation or Dalay^ they go their way, and it came to pass as they went they were thansed'.' This was the Miracle, and for such it was taken by all that faw or heard of it• , the curing of the Leprosy especially, without the use of any means, being look'd upon as the peculiar Work of God.
Thirdly, But what follow'd after the working of this Miracle i Why, there were three things observable that attended it y viz.. The Thankfulness of one of the Persons heal'd: The Ingratitude of all the rest: And the Blessing pronounc'd on the thankful Person. For the ^
First, We read, that one os them, when he saw that he If as healed, turned back, and with a loud Voice glorified God, and fell down on his Face dt his feet, giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. Where we may observe,
1. His Sense of the Mercy receiv'd ; He saw that he was healed. This is the first, step .or degree of Thankfulness^ which begins with the Sense of Benefits receiv'd: for none can be thankful for what he hath no Feeling or Perception of y the Benefit must' strike the Mind, and affect the Heart, before there can be any true Gratitude for it: yea, it must
be^weli cpnsider'd and-stequently recollected, or else it will
4. That he fell down on his Face at his Feet, giving him Tnanh. Where the Mind is duly affected with a hearty Sense of Divine Favours, there it will appear in the humble Gestures of the Body; for we are bid to glorify God with our Bodies as well as Souls, which are both his, and that is J?est done by the humblest Postures and Expressions of both.
s Examples of which we have many in Holy Scripture : David in his Prayers and Praises was mostly on his Knees, and often calls upon others to worship, and sall down, and ined before the Lord our Maker. The poor Publican could scarce lift- np his Eyes to Heaven, but smote upon his Breasts out of a deep Sense of. his* own Unworthiness. And h«ire the poor Leper fell down'on his Face at Jesus's Feet, to express his Thankfulness. Tho he before stood off by reason of his Leprosy, yet being now cur'd of that unclean Disease, Jieicame hear unto him, and fell down on his Face before him Of whom 'tis farther added, that he was a Samaritans to signify that he was no Jew, from whom such •things might be better expected ; but an Inhabitant of Sa'Aari*, to whom the Jews bore a great Hatred both as to their Religion and Country.
-. But were the rest as grateful as this poor Samaritan? No,' sac from it; sot we find our Saviour, in the next words, upbraiding their Ingratitude, and faying, Were there mt tin cleansed? But where are the nine? adding, There are not found any that return'd to give Glory to God, save this Stranger. All the rest went their way without making any Return at all; they took no notice of theKindnefe shew'd to them, bur utterly forgat both him that heal'd them, and the manner of their Cure. Instead of owning the Mercy, they cast off all Regard or Resentment of it. When they Æould give Glory to God, they either ascrib'd it to something else, or totally overlook'd it. Instead of falling down on their Face before him in a humble Acknowledgment and Adoration of his Goodness, they turn'd their backs upon him in a vile and ungrateful Contempt of all his Kindness, forgetting the God that help'd them, and shewing no. regard to the Operations of his Hand.'
Now our Saviour's mentioning and upbraiding their Ingratitude, shews all such Unworthinefe to be highly displeasing and offensive to him ^ tho yet his infinite Patience and! Goodness was such, as to persevere in doing Good, notwithstanding all their base and fool Ingratitude towards him. This generous Friend and Benefactor to Mankind, inet with Discouragements and unworthy Returns enough to stop the current of his Bounty^ for he was flighted by those whom he had mostoblig'd, yea and sought to be betray 'd by them whom he came to fave : and yet all this ami much more could not make him desist from shewing Favours. He tells us himself, that our heavenly Father fs kittd to. the Unthankful^ for he maketh the Sun to stnttt,bn the Good and Bad) and the Rain to descend on the just and,. Unjust; and wills us to be merciful, as our heavenly Father is merciful, and so shall we shew our selves the Children of the most High.
[j This is the Sense and main Design of the Gospel for this Day, to imitate our Saviour in doing good; not in the miraculous way that he did, for that is above our power, but in the ordinary ways and methods which he is pleas'd to Vouchsafe us. .,. . ,' 'd
Bdt, the Gospel concludes with a Blessing pronounc'i On the thankful Leper, and a great Commendation of his Fstith" He faid unto him, Arise, go thy way, thy Faith hath made thee whole. The poor Leper was yet either upon his Knees, or proltrate upon his Face, from- a humble Sense of the Kindness he had receiv'd•, which made our Saviour fiiy unto him, Arise, stand upon thy Feet, and go away to the Business of thy Vocation, whereonto thou art calPd; withal adding the Motive of his Kindness, and the Cure wrought upon him in these words, Thy Faith hath made thee yoholez Thy firm Belief of my Power and Willingness to help thee hath engag'd me to do it for thee, and the Strength of thy Faith hath procur'd thee this Soundness. Indeed great things are spoken in Scripture concerning Faith, and ascrib'i to the Power of it; it can remove Mountains, raise the Dead, heal all manner of Diseases, and conquer all Opposition. The Author to the Hebrews imputes all the great Achievements of the Patriarchs and other Worthies to the Strength of their Faiths who by that subdued Kingdoms* wrought Righteousness, obtained the Promises, quenched the Violence of Fire, out of Weakness were made strong, &c. An£ no wonder, for Faith engages that Diviae Power, that it able lo d 0 all things., 'r,s
And thus having consider'd the chief things contain'd i% this Gospel, 'twill be requisite to infer some Practical LesT sons from them. And, f. \
1st, From the miraculous Cure of these Lepers, we may farther confirm our Faith in the Divinity of the Person and Power of our Blessed Saviour. Among other things, which the Disciples of John were bid to tell their Master, to convince him of his Messiahship, this was one, that the Lepers were cleansed; Mat. 11. %, which in the way that h| did it, could oniyjbe effected by a Divine Power, and may
. -serve to increase out Faith and Hope in him. :;..,'
2%,-'From these Lepers short and successful Prayer, consisting only of these few words, ^tfmy Master, have mercy on m; we may learn to avoid the Practice of the Heathen, who Khink to be heard for their much speaking 5 and the Pharisees, who value themselves sot their long Prayers: whereas God Almighty neither looks nor cares for either , 'he knows our Necessities before we askj and if onr Hearts be right, a few words will serve the turn for the Supply «if them. Solomon hath ' minded u*, thatGW is in Heaven, and we upon Earth, and therefore out Words to him should 'be few; for thereby we best own 'his infinite Greatness, together with his exceeding Goodness and Readiness to help tas, which will prevail more with him than a Multitude X» Variety of Words can do: and a short Ejaculation, darted from a devout Heart, wilt go ferther, and pierce deeper than the longest Speeches and Harangues of the Hypocrite: '. !. '[>;'* .:. «.'.'i"io itluV
. From the''Leper's returning^ro-give Thanks, and the'l^nd Acceptance it met with;''we learn the great Verxai of Gcaeitude,' Which consists ia Owning and glorifying -God for all his Blessings. Indeed-Gratitude is a Debt due for benefits receiv'd, and is therefore generally reckon'd a Branch of natural J'tfst*ce . , fop in giving Thanks we are «qe,:«nd just to our Benefactor, bnt isl'omitting of it we tee false and uftjuft to him: and therefore we are often 4>id ih'^Joly Scripture, In every thing td give Thanks. We 0xt forward enough to ask for what we want; as our daily Food, for Rain in case of Drowth, and fair Weather in-case of immoderate Rain -, and so likewise for other Blessings. Oh' let us not be backward to return Thanks for what we receive, but learn of this poor Leper, who, being healed in the way, would not go a step $rfeh%r, till he'had gone back to pay bis Acknowledgment tb-hisgpeat Benefactor. This is the 'Practice of all grateful Soulsifrom, whoni we should learn todo likewise.
Ftom; the ojher Nine's not returning to give ThanfcV, and ortr Saviour's Resentment of it, we may learn ttf bajte and abhor the §tn of In gratitude j which-tea Vice tididuVartd'fcatesal fa the sight of all Men . Ingratum fi dixeris,- omnid dixens ^ - t<ySky a Man is ungrateful, is to fty the worst that tfan ;be fiid of any. Let it never then M feid of us, that we pray for Rain, or fair Weather, or o