« PreviousContinue »
stroy them, as they deserved, came out and begged him to depart out of their coasts.
I shall give you a little advice from this piece of history, and conclude. I believe that you are, most of you, better informed and knowing than to believe any thing in obeah and witchcraft. I am glad that you are so. You see that the devil has no power, but as Jesus gives him leave. · If, therefore, you are Christians, and try so to live depend on it, the devil 'can bave no power over you, and they, who pretend to hurt you, can have no power over you. The only way in which the devil can hurt you now, is by tempting you to wickedness : but if you pray to God not to lead you into temptation, nor suffer you to be led into it, and try to resist temptation, you will, with the grace of God, be able to conquer all the wiles and arts of the devil.
You see too, how the people, because
they were wicked, begged our Saviour not to come among them. I suppose they could have told him as the devils did, what have we to do with thee, Jesus? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? Jesus preaches by us his ministers to the world: we preach to men to repent and believe the gospel. And although many a wicked man may be ready to say to us, what have we to do with you? depart from our coasts; good people will love and hear us for our work's sake, for our Master's sake. I trust and hope that you will be amongst such good people, will seek instruction, will profit by it, and will not act, as if you thought or said, that you had nothing to do either with me, or with Jesus whom I preach.
And now to God, &c.
St. MATTHEW ix. 1, 2. And he entered into a ship, and passed
over, and came into his own city ; 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.
· After our blessed Saviour had driven the devils out of two poor creatures, who were possessed of them, the people of the country were so frightened, and knowiog themselves to be wicked, were so much afraid that he would inflict some -dreadful punishment on them, that they prayed him to depart out of their coasts.
He saw that his instructions and his preaching would have no effect on them, and be left them, went into the ship, and departed into his own city. Little did those poor, ignorant, sinful creatures know that they were wishing to get rid of their best friend, of one who would bave shewn them the way to Heaven, taught them and helped them to get thither. But so it is, and has been always. People are so taken up with this world, so much in love with this life, as if it were to last for ever, that they seem to think and care little about their souls. Were we to preach to them, and to tell them, that by hearing us, and by praying, they would get heaps of money, get all the good things of this life, wallow in pleasure and in lust, they would hear us gladly. But when we tell them, that they must be in a manner dead to the things of this world, and alive to those of the next, and that they must conquer their strongest passions, and put away from them every favourite lust, every wicked thing in wbich
they take pleasure, and we promise thèm for doing so, such joys in Heaven, as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into any body's heart to conceive them, they do not mind us: they think only of the present: they think not of the future. And yet the future will one day be, present. Time passes very swiftly. years soon roll on: and Heaven and hell which they think so far off, will be near, will be present, will be seen by them. Then will they call, but the Saviour will not hear: then they will knock, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, and will have this answer,-Depart from me, ye that have despised me, and worked iniquity and wick, edness,
When our Saviour had reached his own city, the people of it were glad of his return, not indeed because he was to save them from their sins, (for many of them did not think about this) but because he was able to heal their diseases. They had faith