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nest supplications. These are the means which He has appointed to be used in order tha we may obtain that forgiveness of sins, which His atonement sets before the penitent sinner, and deliverance from sin and its consequences in eternity. He, like the good Samaritan, of His own compassion, and not on account of any desert on our part, freely bestows pardon on the guilty soul, that is humbled at His feet. He applies His blood to the wounded conscience, and thus confers on the humbled penitent joy and peace in believing. He by His Holy Spirit pours the oil of His consolations into the distressed mind, and with the cheering wine of His grace invigorates the soul to run in the way of His commandments. He acts the part of the good Physician, and heals all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease.15 There is no case too desperate for His skill to cure; there are none so worthless that He will refuse to listen to their cries of distress, when they implore His help. Let us then earnestly seek His aid, and we shall not apply to Him in vain. He will hear us from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand,16 and will give us that relief which we need. He will pardon and deliver us from all our sins. He will confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and will bring us to everlasting life. For as the good Samaritan
took care of the poor man after he had relieved him, so the Lord Jesus will bless with the spiritual blessings of His grace all those whom He has pardoned; and will guide them by His strength to His holy habitation, where they shall praise His holy name for evermore. That we may be numbered among those who shall partake of His great salvation, may He of His infinite mercy grant, for His own name's sake.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and
be honour, glory and praise ascribed for ever
AND JESUS ANSWERING SAID, WERE THERE NOT TEN CLEANSED? BUT WHERE ARE THE NINE? THERE ARE NOT FOUND THAT RETURNED TO GIVE GLORY TO GOD, SAVE THIS STRANGER. AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, ARISE, GO THY WAY, THY FAITH HATH
MADE THEE WHOLE.
THE goodness of God, and the ingratitude of man, are subjects which force themselves upon the consideration of the reflective mind. When we look around us, and behold the beauties of creation, and see how every thing is adapted to
promote the comfort and enjoyment of mankind, the goodness of Him who made all these things appears most conspicuously. But how do the children of men, while they partake of the bounties of Providence, overlook the hand that bestows all their comforts; how apt are they to pride themselves on the distinction which is made between themselves and others by the portion of this world's goods which they may enjoy; and while they make use of the gift for their own purposes, forget the Giver to whom they are indebted both for what they possess, and for their ability to enjoy it. What ingratitude does this manifest! We expect gratitude from a fellow-creature to whom we have shown kindness, but we are ungrateful to Him who daily loadeth us with benefits."7 What inconsistency does this discover! The conduct of the persons whose case is described in the Gospel for this day, has led to these remarks. Let us enter into its particulars with prayer, that by Divine grace we may be enabled to discover our own characters, and being brought to humble ourselves before God, may obtain the blessedness which is the portion of His children both here and hereafter.
The Gospel for this day begins with stating, that it came to pass as Jesus went to Jerusalem,
17 Psalm lxviii. 19.
that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Samaria lay between Galilee and Jerusalem, so that it was necessary to pass through it in the way from one of these places to the other. 18 But notwithstanding the Samaritans were such near neighbours, the most inveterate enmity subsisted between them and the Jews. As these hostile nations were both subject to the Roman power, they were able to show their enmity only by avoiding one another as much as possible. It was needful however for the Jews in passing from Galilee to Judea, to go through the country of the people whom they detested.
On this occasion, As Jesus entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off. The leprosy was a disease that was most painful, loathsome, and infectious; and was accounted incurable. It was supposed to be commonly inflicted by the judgment of God for some great crimes; it being recorded in the holy Scriptures, that Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and Gehazi, the servant of the prophet Elisha, were so punished. It was directed by the law of God, respecting the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare; and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, un
18 John iv. 2, 3.