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tians, behold your pattern to do much good, and make but little noise. Christ affected no popular air; he did not spoil a good work by vain ostentation. When we work hard for God, take we great care that pride doth not blow either it or us. O how difficult it is to do much service, and not value ourselves too much for the services which we do! The second part of the charge which Christ gave the recovered leper was, To show himself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them; that is, as a testimony to the Jews that he was the Messias, and that he did not oppose the ceremonial law given by Moses. Where note, That our Saviour would have the ceremonial law punctually observed, so long as the time for its continuance did endure: though he came to destroy that law, yet whilst it stood he would have it observed. Here Dr. Lightfoot observes, that though the priesthood was much degenerated from its primitive institution by human invention, yet Christ sends the leper to submit to it; because though they did corrupt, yet they did not extinguish, the divine institution.

5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that I

followed, Verily I say unto you, have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

The second miracle our Saviour works in this chapter, is the healing of the centurion's servant: where observe, 1. The person that applies to our Saviour for help and healing: he was a Gentile, an heathen, a Roman soldier, an officer and commander; yet he

believes in and relies upon the power of Christ. Note, That such is the freeness of divine grace, that it extends itself to all sorts and ranks, to all orders and degrees of men, without exception. Even the bloody trade of war yields worthy clients to Christ. He doth not so much regard who we are, and whence we are, as what we are, and with what dispositions and inclinations we come unto him. Observe, 2. The person whom the centurion comes to Christ for; not for himself, nor for his son, but for his servant; his servant is sick, he doth not drive him out of doors, nor stand gazing by his bed-side, but looks out for relief for him: a worthy example. Some masters have not so much regard to their sick servants as they have to their oxen or their swine; but he is not worthy of a good servant, that in a time of sickness is not willing to serve his servant.


A conceit of superiority

must beget in no man a neglect of charitable offices towards inferiors. Observe, 3. Unto whom the centurion seeks, and with what zeal and application: he seeks not to wizards and conjurers, but to the physician, for his poor servant; yea, to Christ, the best Physician and this not with a formal relation in his mouth, but with a vehement aggravation of the disease: My servant is grievously tormented : where the master's condolency and tender sympathy with his afflicted servant is both matter of commendation and imitation also. Observe, 4. The happy mixture of humility and faith which was found in this centurion; he owns his unworthiness of having Christ come under his roof; yet he acknowledged Christ's power, that by speaking of a word his servant might be healed by him. Humility is both the fruit of faith, and the companion of faith; an humble soul has an high esteem of Christ, and a low esteem of himself. Observe, 5. How our blessed Saviour exceeds both his desires and his expectations; Christ says, not only, I will heal him, but, I will come and heal him : wonderful condescension! In St. John, chap. iv. 47. we read of a certain nobleman and ruler, that twice entreated our Saviour to come to his house and heal his son; but our Lord refused, and did not stir a foot; here the centurion doth but barely tell Christ of his poor servant's sickness, and Christ both unasked and undesired says, I will come and heal him. O how far was Christ from seeming in the least to honour riches and despise poverty! He that came in the form of a servant, goes down and

visits a sick servant upon his poor palletbed, that would not visit the rich couch of the ruler's son. How should we stoop to the lowest offices of love and kindness to one another, when Christ thus condescendingly abased himself before us! Observe, 6. The notice and observation which our

Saviour takes of the centurion's faith; he wondered at it from him, who had wrought in him. Christ wrought this faith as God, and wondered at it as man: what can be more wonderful than to see Christ wonder?

We do not find our Saviour wondering at worldly pomp and greatness. When the disciples wondered at the magnificence of the temple, Christ rather rebuked them, than wondered with them; but when he sees the gracious acts of faith, he is ravished with wonder. Let it teach us to place our admiration where Christ fixes his : let us be more affected with the least measure of grace in a good man, than with all the gaieties and glory of a great man; let us not envy the one, but admire the other.

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.

This was the first occasion that Christ took to speak of the calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews. Observe here, That the unbelieving Jews are called the children of the kingdom, because born within the pale of the visible church; they presumed that the kingdom of heaven was entailed upon them, because they were Abraham's seed; they boasted of and gloried in their external and outward privileges. Note thence, 1. That gospelordinances, and church-privileges enjoyed, are a special honour to a people admitted to the participation of them; our Saviour here styles the Jews that account, upon the children of the kingdom. 2. That such privileges enjoyed, but not improved, do provoke Almighty God to inflict the heaviest of judgments upon a people. The children of the kingdom shall be cast

into outer darkness; that is, into the darknes of hell, where shall be perpetual lamentation for the remembrance of the gospel kindly offered, but unthankfully rejected.

14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her and she arose, and ministered unto them.

The next miracle which our Saviour

wrought, was, in curing Peter's wife's mother of a fever; the miracle was not in curing an incurable distemper, but in the way and manner of curing: For, 1. It was by a touch of our Saviour's hand. 2.It was instantaneous and sudden; immediately the fever left her. 3. The visible effects of her recovery presently appeared; she instantly rose and ministered unto them. That she could arise, argued her cure miraculous; that she

Icould and did arise and administer unto Christ, argued her thankfulness, and a great sense of his goodness upon her mind. Note here, 1. That marriage in the ministers of the gospel, yea, even in the apostles themselves, and in Peter, the chiefest of by our Saviour. St. Peter had a wife and family, which Christ condescends to visit. Observe, 2. That the first thing which Christ takes notice of in the house which he condescends to visit, is what aileth any in it; what need they stand in of his help and healing; and accordingly, together Learn, 3. That when Christ has graciously with his presence, he affords them relief. visited and healed any of his servants, it ought to be their first work and next care to administer unto Christ; that is, to employ their recovered health, and improve their renewed strength, in his service: She arose and ministered.

them, was neither censured nor condemned

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sad and dismal evils which sin has made us liable and obnoxious to, to be bodily possessed by Satan: when we give Satan the power of our hearts, it is a just and righteous thing with God to give him the possession of our bodies. But who is the person that dispossesses Satan? Christ Jesus: tis a stronger than the strong man that must cast out Satan: our Jesus, in whom we trust, by his powerful word alone can deliver from Satan's power, and all the sad effects and consequences thereof. But observe, with what condolency and sympathizing pity he exercises these acts of mercy and compassion towards poor creatures: he is said to take our infirmities upon himself, and to bear our sicknesses; he bare the guilt which was the cause of these griefs and sorrows; and he bare the sorrows themselves by a tender sympathy with us under the burden of them. Christ considers our sufferings as our own: he is afflicted in all our afflictions, and pained with all our pains; in this sense, he took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. 19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Observe here, a person resolving to follow Christ: a good resolution, if made deliberately, and not rashly; nor for sinister ends and secular advantages; which, it is to be feared, was the case here, by the answer which our Saviour gives; for says he, Foxes have holes, &c. that is, my condition in this world is very poor, worse than the birds of the air, for they have their fixed nests; or the beasts of the earth, for they have their dens and holes, but I have no fixed habitation. Note, 1. That many persons take up rash and sudden resolutions to follow Christ, before they have well considered what it will cost them: what they are like to lose by being his disciples. 2. That such men may find themselves miserably mistaken, who expect to gain any thing by following Christ, but their soul's salvation. Note, 3. The title given to Christ; he is stiled here, and frequently elsewhere, The Son of man: 1. To show the truth of his

humanity; The Son of man must be Man. 2. To show the depth of his abasement; Christ humbled, yea, emptied himself, when, being the Son of God, he submitted to be made Man: The Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me: and let the dead bury their dead.

We must not suppose, by this prohibition, that Christ disallows or disapproves of any civil office from one person to another, much less of a child to a parent, either living or dying: but he lets us know, 1. That no office of love and service to man must be preferred before our duty to God, unto whom we owe our first obedience. 2. That lawful and decent offices become sinful when they hinder greater duties. 3. That such as are called to the work and employment of the ministry, must mind that alone, and leave inferior duties to inferior persons: as if our Saviour had said, Others will serve well enough to bury the dead; but thou, that art a consecrated person, must do that

unto which thou art consecrated and set

apart. Under the law, the priests might not come near a dead corpse, nor meddle with the interment of their own parents; unto which our Saviour probably alludes.

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Observe here, 1. Christ and his disciples no sooner put forth to sea, but dangers attend, and difficulties do accompany them; a tempest arose, and the ship was covered with waves. Learn thence, That the presence of Christ itself doth not exempt his disciples and followers from trouble and


danger: here is a great tempest about the disciples' ears, though Christ was in their company. Observe, 2. The posture our Saviour was in when this tempest arose; he being weary on the land, was fallen asleep in the ship: our blessed Redeemer hereby showed himself to be truly and really Man; as he took upon him our human nature, so he subjected himself to our human infirmities. Observe, 3. The disciples' application made to him: they awoke him with a sad outcry, Lord, save us, we perish. Here was faith mixed with human frailty: they had faith in his power, that he could save them; but being asleep, they concluded he must awake before he could save them: whereas, though his human nature was asleep, yet his divine nature neither slumbered nor slept. Learn hence, That the prevalency of fear in a time of great and imminent danger, though it may argue weakness of faith, yet it is no evidence of want of faith in the midst of the disciples' fears, they believed Christ's power. Observe, 4. A double rebuke given by our Saviour: 1. To the winds and seas; next, to the fears of his disciples. He rebukes the winds and the seas, and instantly they are calm; when the sea was as furious as a madman, Christ by his divine power calms it. Learn hence, That the most raging winds, and outrageous seas, cannot stand before the rebukes of Christ; if once he rebukes them, their rage is down: God lays a law upon the most lawless creatures, even when they seem to act most lawlessly. 2. Christ rebukes his disciples' fears. Why are ye fearful? No sooner was the storm up, but their fears were up; and they were as much overset with their boisterous passions, as the vessel was with the tempestuous winds; and accordingly Christ rebukes the tempest within, and then the tempest without; first he calms their hearts, and then the seas. From this instance we see, that great faith in the habit may appear little in act and exercise: the disciples' faith in forsaking all and following Christ, was great faith; but in this sent act, their faith was weak through the prevalency of their fear. Note, lastly, That the disciples' faith was lessened by their fear; fear is generated by unbelief, and unbelief strengthened by fear: as in things natural there is a circular generation, vapours beget showers, and showers vapours; so it is in things moral, nothing can cure us of fear, till God cures us of unbelief; Christ therefore takes an effectual


method to rid the disciples of their fears, by rebuking their unbelief,

28 And when he was come to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

We read of few, if any, in the Old Tes tament, that were possessed with evil spirits; Saviour came into the world to destroy but of many in the New Testament. Our the works of the devil; therefore he suffered Satan to enter some human bodies, to show his divine power in casting them out. Note here, 1. That the evil angels by their fall lost their purity, but not their power. 2. That they do no oftener exert their powof men, is from the restraining power of er in doing mischief to the bodies and lives God. The devils cannot do all the mischief they would, and they shall not do all they can.

29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Observe, The devils knew Christ to be the Son of God, and that he came into the

world to be a Saviour, but not their Saviour; and therefore they cry out, What have we to do with thee? or thou with us?

what an uncomfortable faith is this, to be

lieve that Christ is a Saviour, and at the same time to know that he is none of our

Saviour! But what is their outcry against Christ? This, Art thou come to torment us before the time? Learn, 1. That there are tortures appointed to the spiritual natures of evil angels. The fire of hell is conceived to be partly material, and partly spiritual; partly material, to work upon the bodies of evil men, and partly spiritual, to work upon the souls of men, and the spirits of evil angels. Learn, 2. That though the devils be now as full of discontent as they can be, yet they are not so full of torment as they shall be; their speech here intimates, that there will be a time when their torments shall be increased, when they shall have their fill of torment; therefore they pray, Increase not our torments before the appointed time of their increase.

30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine

feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of


Observe here, 1. A notable evidence of Satan's limited power, that a whole legion of devils had not power to destroy one

man, nor were able to hurt the meanest creature without permission. Observe, 2. The devils' acknowledgment of their own impotency, and Christ's power; their asking leave of Christ to go into the swine, shows that they could not go of themselves. Learn hence, 1. The restlessness of Satan's malice; he will hurt the swine rather than not hurt at all. 2. That though Satan's malice be infinite, yet his power is limited and bounded; as he cannot do all the mischief he would, so he shall not do all he


32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters:

Although Christ seldom wrought any destructive miracle, and although he certainly foresaw that the swine would perish in the waters; yet that the people might see how great the power and malice of the devil would be, if not restrained by Christ, he permitted him to enter into the swine; Christ said unto them, Go; and how glad was Satan of this permission to enter into the swine, in order to their destruction. Let it teach us our duty, by prayer, to commit ourselves, and all that we have, morning and evening, into the hands of God's care; all that we have in the house, and all that we have in the field, that it may be preserved from the power and malice of evil spirits,

33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. 34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.

Observe, 1. What a contrary effect this miracle which Christ wrought had upon these people instead of believing on him for his miraculous cure of the possessed, the

loss of their swine enrages them, and makes them desire Christ to depart from them. Temporal losses are so great in worldly men's estimation, that spiritual advantages their swine before their Saviour, and had are nothing esteemed; carnal hearts prefer rather lose Christ's presence than their worldly profits. Observe, 2. How unanimous and importunate these Gadarenes were to get rid of Christ; the whole city came out, and are not only willing to his out of their coasts. Learn hence, That dedeparture, but they beseech him to depart plorably sad is the condition of such from whom Christ departs; more deplorably sad their state who say unto Christ, Depart; but most deplorably sad is the case of them that entreat and beseech Christ to depart from them: thus did these Gadarenes, and accordingly Christ took ship and departed from them, and we never read of his return unto them.


AND he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his

own city.

In the last verse of the foregoing chapter, the Gadarenes with one consent desire Christ to depart out of their coasts; here we find our Saviour, according to their desire, departing from them into his own city, which was Capernaum: for Bethlehem brought him forth, Nazareth brought him up, and Capernaum was his dwelling-place. From their desire of Christ's departure, and from Christ's departing according to their desire, we learn, That the blessed Jesus will not long trouble that people with his presence, who are weary of his company, and desirous of his departure.

2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed and Jesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Observe, 1. The patient, One sick of the palsy, which being a resolution of the nerves, weakens the joints, and confines the person to his bed or couch. As a demonstration of Christ's divine power, he was pleased to single out some incurable diseases (as the world accounts them) to work a cure upon, as the leprosy and palsy 2. The Physician, Jesus Christ; he alone is that wise, faithful, and compassionate Physician, that can and doth cure both soul

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