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tion ; but 'tis the voluntary Confent and wilful Continuance in the Love and Practice of them that denominates an Unregenerate Man, and excludes from the Kingdom of Hea
We find St. Paul sometimes complaining that the Body of Şin was too strong for him, that the Law in his Members warred against the Law of his Mind, and carry'd hini 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 : which teaches us what to do in the like Case to wit, not to yield to, but strive against Temptation, and to say with Foseph, Homo can I do this great Wickedness, and fin again't God? Wherefore, in the
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 walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit; Rom. 8. 1. but they that do otherwise will certainly fall into Condemnation, for to be carnally-minded is Death, but to be Spirituolly-minded is Life and Peace : ver. 6. & ver. 13. If ye live after the Flesh, ye Mall die; but if ye through the Spirit mortify the Deeds of the Body, ye fall live. We fee, then the Way both to Life and Death; let us all this day, make our Choice, and such a one too, of which we may never have cause to repent.
The GOSPEL for the Fourteenth Sunday after
St. Luke xvii. 11
that he passed through the midst of Samaria and
HE Epistle for this Day spake of the Graces of the
Works of the Flesh.
thereby over Satan and the World, our great and ghostly Enemies."
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, fo 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 entring into a certain Village, the ten Lepers mecting him
there, and the Lepers standing afar off. What this certain Village was, it not being nam'd here or elsewhere, : will not be much material tò 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 said, that
Ten Men that were Lepers met him there. Sonietimes 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 fhew his Mercy and Compassion, there he went about to seek then. 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 heald one Leper before, as he came down from the Mount: of which we read, Mat. 8.2, 3. St. Mark speaks of the fame or another, Mark 1. 40. And fo 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 Omé nipotence 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 afar of; which they did not so much for fear, 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 Difcase, 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; as we read in the 17th Chapter of Leviticus. Accordingly, in compliance with this Law, these ten Lepers, being unclean by their Leprosy, stood afar off, and durft not conie 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 faid, that being afar off, they lifted up their Voices, and cry'd unto him; which Cries were loud enough to reach his Ears, and were heard by him, as appear'd after ward,
To these their Cries they added this short Petition, Jéfus, Mafter, have mercy upon us. They did not harangue it to him about the Soreness and Sadnefs of their Difteniper, to move Compaflion, or about the Means and Methods of their Cure; nor did they go to him, like the proud Pharifee, with Boasts of their own Righteoufness, that they were not as bad as other Men, nor with long extempore Prayers, to charın 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 Supplitants : bat they cry'd to him with these few hearty words, Jefus, Mafter, have mercy upon us. And indeed we find in Scripture, that these few hearty Words have prevail'd more, andi been attended with greater Succeffes than long and tedious Om rations. 97 by ?risiti si
The poor Publican; when he went up folemnly to the Temple to worship; utter:d only this Chhort Litany, Lord be merciful to me a Şinner; 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 blind Man, in the same Chapter, following our Saviour with his earnest Prayer, utter'd only these words, Jesus, thou Son 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 re peating again and again; Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me: And the Effect of it was, that his Eyes were opend, and his Sight reftord to him. In like manner the Lepers in the Text lifted up their Voices, and said more than once, Jesus, Mafter, 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 or Publick Service, doubling and trebling it in the Litany to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity; faying, Lord have mercy upon usy Chrift bave mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us : which, if repeated with Earnestnefs 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 felf, the Account whereof follows in the next Verse; And when be. fam them, &c.
It seems they were not fo far off, but he could both fee and hear them. They were not indeed near enough for him to touch them, and so were not heald, as the Leper in St. Matthém was, by a Touch of his Hand: but the healing Virtue was convey'd to them by a Glance of his Eye, or & Motion of his. Mind; for he us'd not those fanative words, will, be thou heabed, or I will be thou clean, as he did to a ther Lepers; which words immediately drove the Leprofy from them, as we read, Marrhero 8. 3. & Luke 5. 13. But all he said to them was, Go Mew your felves to the Prieft; which words were not wont to make, but to follow the Cure. The words refer to the Law of Moses concerning Lepers, in Lev. 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, he was requirld by the Law to fhew himself to the Priest, and to make an Offering, that he might pronounce him clean, withont which they were not admitted into the Camp or Congregation. Accordingly our Saviour, in obedience to the Law, to which he was wont to fhéw a great Conformity, said unto them, Go immediately unto the Prieft; adding (as Dr. Hammond supposes) Before ye come thither, ye shall be cur'd: upon which; without any Hesitation or Delay, they go their way, and it came to pass as they went they were cleansed? This was the Miracle, and for such it was taken by all that saw 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?' Why, there were three things observable that attended it, viz. The Thankfulness of one of the Perfons heald: The Ingratitude of all the rest : And the Blessing pronounc'd on the thankful Person. For the
First, We read, that one of them, mhen he faro that he was bealed, turned back, and with a loud Voice glorified God, and fell down on bis Fære at his feets giving him thanks; and be was. o Samaritan. Where we may observe,
1. His Sense of the Mercy receivid; 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; the Benefit must strike the Mind, and affect the Heart, before there can be any true Gratitude for it : yea, it must