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The GOSPEL for the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.

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And it came to pass, as Jefus went to Jerufalem, that he paffed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee: And as he entred into a certain Village, there met him ten Men that were Lepers, who stood afar off, &c.


HE Epiftle for this Day fpake of the Graces of the
Spirit, and the Victory obtain'd by them over the
Works of the Flesh.

The Gospel fpeaks of the miraculous Acts of the fame Holy Spirit, and the Victory obtain'd thereby over Satan and the World, our great and ghoftly Enemies.

The particular. Miracle here related is that wrought by our Saviour on the ten Lepers, the Subject of this Day's Gofpel. In which we may obferve,

Firft, Our Saviour's Progrefs to Jerufalem, which was through the midft of Samaria and Galilee, that which may be learnt from thence, is what hath been before obferv'd in the Miracle of the deaf and dumb Man, viz. Chrift's going about doing Good, and fpreading his healing Influences in all places of the Country, and the Regions round about; of which you may read in the Gofpel for the twelfth Sunday after Trinity. And as in that Miracle of the deaf and dumb Man, fo in this of the Lepers, we may observe,

Firft, What went before it.

Secondly, What happen'd in it. And,

Thirdly, What follow'd after it.

Firft, As for what went before the Miracle, it was Christ's entring into a certain Village, the ten Lepers meeting him

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there, and the Lepers ftanding afar off. What this certain Village was, it not being nam'd here or elfewhere, will not "be much material to enquire: Certain it is, that 'twas either in Samaria or Galilee, thro which he paffed in his way to Jerufalem; but wherever it was, 'tis farther faid, that

Ten Men that were Lepers met him there. Sometimes we read that he went to them as Physicians do to their fick Patients; which is imply'd in his going about doing Good. Where Distance or Mens Infirmities were fuch, as would not permit them to come to him, there he either went to them, or heal'd them at a diftance: And where he did not readily find Objects to fhew his Mercy and Compaffion, there he went about to feek them, But here we read that thefe ten Men that were Lepers came and met him, upon the Report (no doubt) that they had receiv'd of him; for he heal'd one Leper before, as he came down from the Mount: of which we read, Mat. 8.2, 3. St. Mark speaks of the fame or another, Mark 1. 40. And fo doth St. Luke, Chap. 5. 12,13. The Fame whereof being spread far and near, drew thefe ten Lepers to him. Indeed, 'tis all one to Omnipotence to cure ten as one, and ten thoufand as well as ten; for to an Almighty Power all things are poffible, and nothing can be hard or difficult to him, to whom nothing is impoffible: And therefore our Saviour did not any way check their Boldness, but rather commended their Faith in coming to him.

But how did they behave themselves when they came to him? Why, the next words tell us, that they food afar off, which they did not fo much for fear, as to comply with the Law of Mofes concerning Lepers, which was to ftand off, and to be feparated from Society till they were cleanfed for the Leprofy being a foul and infectious Difcafe, they that had it were to be remov'd out of the Camp, and to abide in their Tents feven Days, and the Prieft was to go forth to them; as we read in the 17th Chapter of Leviticus. Accordingly, in compliance with this Law, these ten Lepers, being unclean by their Leprofy, ftood afar off, and durft not come near unto him: nor would our Saviour encourage them to break the Law of the Lepers, by calling them nearer.

But what did they at that distance in order to be heal'd? Why, 'tis faid, that being afar off, they lifted up their Voices, and cry'd unto him; which Cries were loud enough to reach his Ears, and were heard by him, as appear'd afterward,


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To these their Cries they added this fhort Petition, Jefus, Mafter, have mercy upon us. They did not harangue it to him about the Soreness and Sadness of their Diftemper, to move Compaflion, or about the Means and Methods of their Cure; nor did they go to him, like the proud Pharifee, with Boafts of their own Righteoufnefs, that they were not as bad as other Men; nor with long extempore Prayers, to charm him with the Multitude and Variety of Words which are fulfom and nauseous to all they are apply'd to, and no way become true and humble Supplitants but they 'cry'd to him with these few hearty words, Jefus, Master, have mercy upon us. And indeed we find in Scripture, that thefe few hearty. Words have prevail'd more, and been attended with greater Succeffes than long and tedious O rations. and at bday is


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The poor Publican, when he went up folemnly to the Temple to worship, utter'd only this hort Litany, Lord be merciful to me a Sinner; Luke 18. 13. and was fent away justify'd to his own House, before the proud Pharifee, with his long Robes, and long Prayers. The poor blind Man, in the fame Chapter, following our Saviour with his earnest Prayer, utter'd only these words, Jefus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me; ver. 28, 29. His whole Prayer was no more, which, 'tis faid in the next Verfe, he went on repeating again and again, Jefus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me: And the Effect of it was, that his Eyes were open'd, and his Sight reftor'd to him. In like manner the Lepers in the Text lifted up their Voices, and faid more than once, Jefus, Mafter, have mercy on us, and what the Succefs was, we fhall fee by and by. In the mean time, we may obferve the Wisdom and Piety of our Church, in inferting this frequent and fuccessful Petition into her Litur gy or Publick Service, doubling and trebling it in the Litany to the three Perfons of the Bleffed Trinity; faying, Lord have mercy upon us, Chrift have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us which, if repeated with Earneftnefs and Affection, is fo far from a vain Repetition (as fome have vainly objected) that 'tis the moft effectual way to obtain Audience and Acceptance. Thefe are the previous Circumftances that went before the working of this Miracle; from whence I proceed,


Secondly, To the Miracle it felf, the Account whereof follows in the next Verfe; And when be fam them, &c.





It seems they were not fo far off, but he could both fee and hear them. They were not indeed near enough for him to touch them, and fo were not heal'd, as the Leper in St. Matthem was, by a Touch of his Hand: but the healing Virtue was convey'd to them by a Glance of his Eye, or a Motion of his Mind for he us'd not thofe fanative words, I will, be thou healed, or I will, be thou clean, as he did to other Lepers which words immediately drove the Leprofy from them, as we read, Matthew 8. 3. & Luke 5. 13. But all he faid to them was, Go fhew your felves to the Prieft; which words were not wont to make, but to follow the Cure. The words refer to the Law of Mofes concerning Lepers, in Lev. 14 where the Leper was commanded to be brought to the Prieft, who was to offer a Sacrifice for him in order to his cleanfing; and when the Cure was wrought, he was requir'd by the Law to fhew himself to the Prieft, and to make an Offering, that he might pronounce him clean, without which they were not admitted into the Camp or Congregation. Accordingly our Saviour, in obedience to the Law, to which he was wont to fhew a great Conformity, faid unto them, Go immediately unto the Prieft, adding (as Dr. Hammond fuppofes) Before ye come thither, ye fhall be cur'd upon which, without any Hefitation or Delay, they go their way, and it came to pafs as they went they were cleanfed. This was the Miracle, and for fuch it was taken by all that faw or heard of it; the curing of the Leprofy efpecially, without the use of any means, being look'd upon as the peculiar Work of God.

Thirdly, But what follow'd after the working of this Miracle? Why, there were three things obfervable that attended it viz. The Thankfulness of one of the Perfons heal'd: The Ingratitude of all the reft: And the Bleffing pronounc'd on the thankful Perfon. For the

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First, We read, that one of them, when he saw that he was bealed, turned back, and with a loud Voice glorified God, and fell down on his Face at his feet, giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. Where we may observe,

1. His Senfe of the Mercy receiv'd; He faw that he was healed. This is the firft ftep or degree of Thankfulness, which begins with the Senfe of Benefits receiv'd: for none can be thankful for what he hath no Feeling or Perception of; the Benefit muft ftrike the Mind, and affect the Heart, before there can be any true Gratitude for it: yea, it must



be well confider'd and frequently recollected, or else it will fink away into Oblivion and Ingratitude. Whofo is wife (faith the Pfalmift) will confider thefe things, and he shall underftand the Loving-Kindness of the Lord; Pfal. 107. laft. For himself, he made the Mercies of the Lord the daily Subject of his Study and Meditation, and often call'd upon his Soul to blefs the Lord, and not to forget his Benefits. Accordingly this Leper in the Text felt his Mind touchia with a grateful Senfe of the Kindness receiv'd, in curing his Leprofy, and reftoring his Health to him. He could not forget or think flightly of it, and that made him, mid 2. To turn back to vifit and thank his Benefactor: being heal'd in the way, he prefently went back to own and ac knowledg the Favour, When the reft went away unconcern'd, without any regard to the Mercy receiv'd, or the Person that beftow'd it; he, on the contrary, could not reft till he return'd to his Phyfician, and paid him that Tribute of Acknowledgment that was due to him. One great Act of Gratitude is to own and efteem a Kindness and therefore we find David, that great Pattern of Thanksgiv ing, often acknowledging and magnifying the Divine. Fa vours, extolling them to the Skies, faying, Thy Mercy reaches to the Heavens, and thy Faithfulness to the Clouds. Such a deep Senfe and Refentment had this Leper of the Kindness our Saviour fhew'd to him; and that made him,

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3. With a loud Voice to glorify God. His thankful Heart led him not only to publish it to the World, but to break out into loud Praifes and Thanksgivings unto God for it; afcribing the Cure of his Leprofy wholly to the Divine Power and Goodness, and faying with the devout Pfalmift, Not unto us, not unto us, but to thy Name be all the Glory. This is a high Act of Gratitude, and the beft Return we can make for all his Benefits: and therefore this grateful Leper having no better Requital to make to him, fell to praifing and glorifying God; which is more acceptable to him, than the most coftly Sacrifices and Burnt-Offerings and this he did in all the lowlieft Poftures of Humility and Adoration; for we read,

4. That he fell down on his Face at his Feet, giving him Thanks. Where the Mind is duly affected with a hearty Senfe of Divine Favours, there it will appear in the humble Gestures of the Body; for we are bid to glorify God with our Bodies as well as Souls, which are both his, and that is beft done by the humbleft Poftures and Expreffions of both. Examples

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