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Examples of which we have many in Holy Scripture: David in his Prayers and Praifes was moftly on his Knees, and often calls upon others to worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker. The poor Publican could fearce lift up his Eyes to Heaven, but fmote upon his Breaft, out of a deep Senfe of his own Unworthiness. And here the poor Leper fell down on his Face at Jefus's Feet, to express his Thankfulness. Tho he before Itood off by reafon of his Leprofy, yet being now tur'd of that unclean Difeafe, He came hear unto him, and fell down on his Face before him: Of whom 'tis farther added, that he was a Samaritan to fignify that he was no Jew, from whom fuch things might be better expected; but an Inhabitant of SaMaria, to whom the Jews bore a great Hatred both as to their Religion and Country.

But were the reft as grateful as this poor Samaritan? No, fan from it; for we find our Saviour, in the next words, upbraiding their Ingratitude, and faying, Were there not ten cleanfed? But where are the nine? adding, There are not found any that return'd to give Glory to God, fave this Stran ger. All the reft went their way without making any Return at all; they took no notice of the Kindness fhew'd to them, but utterly forgat both him that heal'd them, and the manner of their Cure. Instead of owning the Mercy, they caft off all Regard or Refentment of it. When they fhould give Glory to God, they either afcrib'd it to fomething elfe, or totally overlook'd it. Inftead of falling down on their Face before him in a humble Acknowledgment and Adoration of his Goodness, they turn'd their backs up on him in a vile and ungrateful Contempt of all his Kindnefs, forgetting the God that help'd them, and fhewing no regard to the Operations of his Hand.

Now our Saviour's mentioning and upbraiding their Ingratitude, fhews all fuch Unworthiness to be highly difpleafing and offenfive to hini; tho yet his infinite Patience and Goodness was fuch, as to perfevere in doing Good, notwithstanding all their bafe and foul Ingratitude towards him. This generous Friend and Benefactor to Mankind, met with Difcouragements and unworthy Returns enough to ftop the current of his Bounty; for he was flighted by thofe whom he had moft oblig'd, yea and fought to be be tray'd by them whom he came to fave: and yet all this and much more could not make him defift from fhewing Favours. He tells us himself, that our heavenly Father is

kind to the Unthankful, for he maketh the Sun to fine on the Good and Bad, and the Rain to defcend on the Juft and Unjust; and wills us to be merciful, as our heavenly Father is merciful, and fo fhall we fhew our felves the Children of the most High...

This is the Senfe and main Design of the Gofpel for this Day, to imitate our Saviour in doing good; not in the miraculous way that he did, for that is above our power, but in the ordinary ways and methods which he is pleas'd to vouchsafe us.

But the Gofpel concludes with a Bleffing pronounc'd on the thankful Leper, and a great Commendation of his Faith: He faid unto him, Arife, go thy way, thy Faith hath made thee whole. The poor Leper was yet either upon his Knees, or proftrate upon his Face, from a humble Senfe of the Kindness he had receiv'd; which made our Saviour fay unto him, Arife, ftand upon thy Feet, and go away to the Bufinefs of thy Vocation, whereunto thou art call'd; withal adding the Motive of his Kindness, and the Cure wrought upon him in these words, Thy Faith hath made thee whole: Thy firm Belief of my Power and Willingness to help thee hath engag'd me to do it for thee, and the Strength of thy Faith hath procur'd thee this Soundnefs. Indeed great things are spoken in Scripture concerning Faith, and afcrib'd to the Power of it; it can remove Mountains, raise the Dead, heal all manner of Diseases, and conquer all Oppofition. The Author to the Hebrews imputes all the great Atchievements of the Patriarchs and other Worthies to the Strength of their Faith; who by that fubdued Kingdoms, wrought Righteoufnefs, obtained the Promifes, quenched the Violence of Fire, out of Weakness were made ftrong, &c. And no wonder, for Faith engages that Divine Power, that is able to do all things.,

And thus having confider'd the chief things contain'd in this Gospel, 'twill be requifite to infer fome Practical Lef fons from them. And,

ift, From the miraculous Cure of thefe Lepers, we may farther confirm our Faith in the Divinity of the Perfon and Power of our Bleffed Saviour. Among other things, which the Difciples of John were bid to tell their Mafter, to convince him of his Meffiahfhip, this was one, that the Lepers were cleanfed; Mat. 11. 5. which in the way that he

did it, could only be effected by a Divine Power, and may ferve to increase our Faith and Hope in him.


2dly, From thefe Lepers fhort and fuccessful Prayer, confifting only of thefe few words, Jefus, Mafter, bave mercy on us we may learn to avoid the Practice of the Heathen, who think to be heard for their much fpeaking; and the Pharifees, who value themselves for their long Prayers: whereas God Almighty neither looks nor cares for either; he knows our Neceffities before we ask, and if our Hearts be right, a few words will ferve the turn for the Supply of them. Solomon hath minded us, that God is in Heaven, and we upon Earth, and therefore our Words to him should be few for thereby we best own his infinite Greatness, together with his exceeding Goodness and Readiness to help us, which will prevail more with him than a Multitude or Variety of Words can do and a fhort Ejaculation, darted from a devout Heart, will go farther, and pierce deeper than the longest Speeches and Harangues of the Hypocrite.

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gdy, From the Leper's returning to give Thanks, and the kind Acceptance it met with, we learn the great Vertue of Gratitude, which confifts in owning and glorifying God for all his Bleffings. Indeed Gratitude is a Debt due for Benefits receiv'd, and is therefore generally reckon'd a Branch of natural Juftice; for in giving Thanks we are trge and juft to our Benefactor, but in omitting of it we are falfe and unjuft to him: and therefore we are often bid in Holy Scripture, In every thing to give Thanks. We are forward enough to ask for what we want; as our daily Food, for Rain in cafe of Drowth, and fair Weather in cafe of immoderate Rain, and fo likewife for other Bleflings. Oh let us not be backward to return Thanks for what we receive, but learn of this poor Leper, who, being healed in the way, would not go a step farther, till he had gone back to pay his Acknowledgment to his great Benefactor. This is the Practice of all grateful Souls; from whom we fhould learn to do likewife.

4thly, From the other Nine's not returning to give Thanks, and our Saviour's Refentment of it, we may learn to hate and abhor the Sin of Ingratitude, which is a Vice odious and hateful in the fight of all Men: Ingratum fi dixeris, omnia dixeris to lay a Man is ungrateful, is to fay the worst that can be faid of any. Let it never then be faid of us, that we pray for Rain, or fair Weather, or o


thet needful Bleflings when we want them, but never come to give God Thanks for them, when we have them like the Hog in the Fable, who greedily eat the Acorns, but hever look'd up to the Tree from whence they came or thefe nine Lépers, that earnestly pray'd to be heal'd, but when that was done, never return'd to give God the Glory of it: let all fuch Ingratitude be far from usiqining was in i Laftly, From God's blefling the thankful Leper, and af cribing all to the Strength of his Faith, let us learn to pray for those excellent Graces, which will keep us found here, and make us for ever happy hereaftendisim vode out brok winno à bw laer woods allos

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The EPISTLE for the Fifteenth Sunday after, bilbords Trinity.der on Fr

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Gal. vi. 11, to the end. ce Te fee how large a Letter I have written unto you with mine own Hand. As many as defire to make a fair Shew in the Flefb, constrain you to be circumcifed, &c.


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HE Collect for this Day directs us to pray, that God would keep his Church with his perpetual Mercy, and because our own great Frailty daily expofes us to many Dangers, we befeech him to keep us from all things hurtful, and to lead us to all things profita ble to our Salvation, &c.Now the keeping of the Church here pray'd for, is chiefly to keep it in the true Faith and because there are many things that are apt to corrupt it, and to make Men fall away from the Purity of it, as Profperity and Perfecution, we are here taught to pray to be preferv'd from all things that may prejudice, and to be kept to all things that may promote our Salvation. Accordingly the Epiftle for this Day acquaints us with St. Paul's great Care to preferve the Galatians in the Purity of the Chrif tian Faith, against the Attempts of falfe Teachers, who


fought to bring them back to the antiquated Rites and Ge remonies of the Jewish Worship.

The Epiftle begins with thefe words; Te fee how large a Letter I have written unto you with mine own Hand. The large Letter here intended, is this Epiftle to the Galatians, wherein he enlarg'd himfelf on this point, to confirm them in the Principles of Chriftianity, which fome endeavour'd Lo fubvert, by preaching up the perpetual Obligation of Mofes's Law. And tho other of his Epiftles were written by an Amanuenfis, and only the Salutation with his own Hand, that they might be known to be his; yet this he tells them was all written by himself with his own Hand, that they might give the greater heed to it.


Theophylact's Conjecture on this place is, that St. Paul was accus'd for preaching elsewhere for the Obfervation of the Old Law, contrary to what is contain'd in this Epistle, and therefore was forc'd to write a large Letter with his own Hand, for his own Vindication in this matter. This Conjecture, I fay, is wholly precarious and without ground; for we find no where any mention of such an Accufation, and therefore there could be no need of any fuch Vindication. But the Conjecture of fome is yet more vain, viz. that St. Paul in thefe words endeavour'd to excuse the Badnefs of his Writing, the Largenefs of the Letters, or Illnefs of the Characters ufed in it; that whereas his other Epiftles, written by an Amanuenfis, were in a fairer and better Hand, this of his own writing was more rough and unpolifh'd. But this was too mean a matter for the Confideration of an Apoftle, whom we cannot fuppofe to have condefcended to fo trifling an Apology. In fhort then,

The plain Senfe of these words is, that the Apoftle being inform'd of fome falfe Teachers crept into the Churches of Galatia, who preach'd up Circumcifion, and other Mofaical Rites, he wrote this large Letter or Epiftle with his own Hand, to warn them against them, and to prevent their being feduc'd by them. To which end, he proceeds in the next words to defcribe thefe falfe Teachers,


Sif, By their plaufible Behaviour, or making a fair Shew in the Flesh.

2dly, By the Badness of their Doctrine; They constrain you to be circumcis'd.

3dly, By their evil End and Design, which was to avoid Perfecution for the Crofs of Christ.

ift, For

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