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THE LIFE OF CHRIST.
From the Cure of the dumb and deaf Demoniac, to the Parable of the unmerciful Servant.
O God, whose blessed Son was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; grant us, we beseech thee, that having this hope we may purify ourselves even as he is pure; that when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him, in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, He liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen.
AND it came to pass that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him. And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the Scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the Scribes, What question ye with them? And behold, there came to him a certain man of the company, one of the multitude, and kneeling down to him, answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; Lord, I beseech thee, look upon my son: have mercy on him (he is mine only child): for he is a lunatick, and sore vexed: for oft-times he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: he sud..
denly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away : and, bruising him, it hardly departeth from him. And I brought him to thy disciples, and I spake to them that they should cast him out; and I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.
He answered him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring thy son hither unto me. And they brought him unto him: And as he was yet acoming, when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; the devil threw him down, and he fell on the ground, and wallowed, foaming. And He asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And oft-times it nath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
Jesus said unto him,
If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears,
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him : and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose and the child was cured from that very hour: and he delivered him again to his father. And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. And when he was come into the
FORETELLS HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
house, the disciples then came to Jesus apart, and asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.
And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. And while they abode in Galilee, and wondered, every one, at all things which Jesus did, he taught his disciples, and said unto them, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of Man shall be betrayed, and delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and, after that he is killed, he shall rise again, the third day. But they understood not that saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not. And they were exceeding sorry; and were afraid to ask him of that saying. Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest.
But He came to Capernaum.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your Master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him *, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon ? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him,
* Prevent means here to anticipate, or be beforehand with.
Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
At the same time, being in the house, came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? and he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him by him, in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, He said unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
NECESSITY OF MORTIFYING OUR DESIRES. 129
For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh ! Wherefore if
thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched : Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life, into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell-fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched: For every one shall be salted with fire,* and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good but if the salt have lost its saltness, wherewith will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and
* This extraordinary and fearful expression, "salted with fire," seems to intimate a means of future punishment that shall contain within itself a principle by which it will preserve its victims fresh for continual torment. The repetitions here, too, are very emphatic.