Page images
PDF
EPUB

The same poiver will he still exercise over Satan on our behalf

[He is that stronger person who alone can overcome the strong mank

However enslaved we have been, he is able to deliver us

He that once triumphed over principalities on the cross, will now vanquish them in us

His word has been effectual for the deliverance of thousandsm

If he suffer “ Satan to buffet” us, “his grace shall be sufficient for us” —

If to “sift us as wheat,” he will keep us that " our faith fail not”_

He has given us armour by which the weakest may withstand himp

And has promised in due time to bruise him under our feet?-]

This benevolent act could not fail, one would suppose, of conciliating the esteem of all III. Though all are greatly indebted to Jesus for restrain

ing Satan, there is a wide difference in the disposi

tions of different men towards him The ungrateful Gadarenes solicited his departure from them

[The Jews who owned the swine were justly punished for keeping them

Yet were well recompensed for the loss of them by the dismission of the evil spirits

And should have rejoiced, that so mighty a deliverer was come among them

Yea, they should have availed themselves of his presence to gain instruction

But they preferred their temporal to their spiritual interests And with one voice intreated him to depart from them-]

Thus do many act at this time when Jesus comes to them in his gospel

[While they acknowledge him to be “the Son of God," they exclaim, "What have we to do with thee?”

They cannot endure to have their lusts mortified and slain

They dread his presence as an occasion of “ torment” to them

k Luke xi. 21, 22. * 2 Cor. xii. 7, 9. . Rom. xvi. 20.

i Col. ii. 15.

m Acts xxvi, 18. o Luke xxii. 31, 32, p Eph. vi. 11-13. They are averse to hear his word lest it

[should make them melancholy.

Were it not for the restraints imposed by Jesus, Satan would destroy them utterly as he did the swine

Yet they love their chains, and hate their deliverer

They deprecate freedom from sin, as though it were the sorest bondage

Their language resembles that of the Gadarenes in the texts

Not that they speak thus from ignorance or humility, like Petert

The motives, which actuate them, are declared by our Lord himself

But the dæmoniac had far different thoughts of his benefactor

[He begged to become a stated attendant and follower of Jesus

When, for wise reasons, his petition was refused, he acquiesced cheerfully in his Lord's will

He willingly denied himself, that he might benefit his friends, and glorify his Lord

He gladly proclaimed to all around him what great things Jesus had done for him

In discharging his duty he feared neither men nor devilsBut lived a conspicuous monument of the power

and

grace of Christ

Every one that has experienced a like deliverance, will resemble him

[A sense of benefits received will animate their souls They will “ devote themselves as living sacrifices” to their God and Saviour

To enjoy and glorify him will be their highest ambition

Yet will they deny themselves many spiritual privileges to promote the welfare of others, or to fulfil their relative duties

Sure of divine protection, they will shrink at no dangerThey will study only to walk worthy of their RedeemerThey will rejoice, like David, to commend him to others

And to extend the knowledge of him to all around them-] APPLICATION

[Let us inquire whether we have been indeed rescued froin this “roaring lion?”.

We must not judge by extorted confessions, or occasional prayers

Šatan acknowledged Christ, and deprecated his wrath

But though “ he believed and trembled," he was a devil still

• Compare Job xxi. 14. with the text. u John iii. 19,

i Luke v. 8.

20.

Ps. Ixvi. 16.

Thus many pray,

“ Torment me not,” who have no real love to Christ, or desire after spiritual blessings

Let us seek a better and more certain evidence of our conversion

Let us obey his commands however dangerous or self-denyinga

Let us devote ourselves to his service, and live to his glory-]

CCXCIV. THE WOMAN WITH A BLOODY FLUX

HEALED.

Mark v. 25—29. A certain woman which had an issue of blood

twelve years, and had suffered many thing's of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, if I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

THE miracles of our Lord afford much useful instruction

They were not perhaps always intended as types-

But they afford a just occasion for spiritual observations

To improve the miracle now before us, we observe I. Sin has introduced many lamentable evils into the

world

[Sickness and pain and death are the effects of sinIf our first parents had not sinned, these things had never existed

The infirmities of the weaker sex are especially noticed in this view

Deplorable was the condition of the woman mentioned in the texto

But incomparably worse effects have proceeded from sin-
Our souls are altogether diseased in every part-
The prophet's description of the Jews is applicable to us.
Our own confession is but too just a picture of our state-
And if we should die in this state, we must surely perish._)

[ocr errors]

a Gen, iii. 16.
cư There is no health in us."

b Isai. i. 5, 6.
di Cor. vi. 9.

II. We are prone to rest in carnal methods of removing

thein [The woman had employed many physicians And had spent her substance on them without any benefit We blame her not for using all possible means of reliefBut she had looked no higher than to the creature for help This conduct incensed the Lord against good king Asa And in every age it provokes the eyes of his gloryIn spiritual things we generally act the same part

Under slight convictions of sin we rest in purposes of amendment

If guilt lie heavy on our souls, we flee to duties And hope by them to compensate for past neglects Not but that it is right to use the means of salvationBut we should look through the means to the Saviour And expect mercy, not for our diligence, but for his name's sake

Unless we do this, our labour will end in disappointment-] III. However desperate our disorders be, the Lord Jesus

is able to heal them [The woman's disease had baffled all the art of medicine But she hoped to find relief from the Lord JesusNor was she disappointed in her application to himThere went virtue out of him and healed her instantly

The same power will he exercise over the diseases of the soul

The most heinous sins may be purged away by his blood The most inveterate lusts may be subdued by his spirithA whole cloud of witnesses have testified of this truthi

Nor are there wanting many living monuments of his power and grace.] IV. The more we honour Jesus by faith, the more will

he bless and honour us

[Greatly did this diseased person honour Jesus by her faith

She had heard of his unbounded power and benevolence towards others

She trusted that he would exercise them towards herself
Nor did she at all stagger through unbelief-
Jesus therefore determined to bless and honour her-

His inquiries were made, not for his own information, but to bring her into notice

e 2 Chron. xvi. 12.

i Mic. vi. 6, 7. & Rom. ix. 31, 32.

h I Cor. vi. 11. i Manasseh, David, Solomon, Paul, &c. See 1 Tim. i. 16. VOL. III.

Pp

And to propose her as a pattern for the encouragement of others

He not only conveyed, but expressly confirmed, her cure

And dismissed her with the endearing appellation of “ daughter”

Thus will he testify his love to all who rely upon him

How gloriously did he reward the confidence of the Hebrew youths!k_

Nor shall any put their trust in him in vain
Their sins, however numerous, shall surely be forgiven

Their difficulties, however great, shall surely be overcomem-] ADDRESS

1. To those who are unconcerned about their spiritual maladies

[We all are sensible that we are sinful creatures And profess an intention to seek forgiveness Yet for the most part we defer this necessary work

If our bodies were disordered we should apply to the physician

We should even spend our substance in procuring his aid And this, with only an uncertain hope of obtaining reliefBut we account the smallest labour too much for our souls We will not apply in earnest to our almighty Physician~

Notwithstanding we could not fail of success in our application

And should be sure to obtain healing “without money ani without price”

What strange infatuation possesses impenitent sinners!

What extreme folly is it to prefer the transient welfare of a perishable body, before the eternal welfare of an immortal soul!

Let the conduct of this woman put such persons to shamem

And let them instantly avail themselves of the Saviour's presence] 2. To those who desire to have their disorders healed

[Man is ever prone to seek help in the creature firstThe Jews of old did this to their own confusion"

And God has declared, that all who do so shall fail of successo

Let us then be convinced that the sinner's help is in God alone

And that all others are “physicians of no value”.

k Dan. iii. 17, 25, 27.
n Hos. v. 13.

| Matt. xii. 31.
Jer. xvii. 5, 6.

m Mark xi. 22, 23.

« PreviousContinue »