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spise others, or led them into doubtful disputations, they might assure themselves it was corrupt and dis. pleasing to God, who would certainly bring it to nought; and that a mere outward profession, even of the true faith, would not conduct his disciples to hea. ven, unless they lived in conformity to it: for to call Christ, LORD, and at the same time to disobey his laws, is a mockery of him, and will justly provoke him to reject such false pretenders at that great day, when all men must appear at his judgment-seat, and hypo. crites of all kinds will be consigned to punishment, What our LORD said concerning prophesying and cast, ing out devils, related to the miraculous gifts of the HOLY Spirit, of which we shall read in the following part of this history.
“ In the parable with which our LORD concludes, he gives a lively emblem of the ruin which will one day overwhelm the unhappy man who trusts to an outward form of godliness, when he does not sincerely prac. tise it."
The Scribes, when instructing the people, generally contented themselves with quoting the name and au. thority of some celebrated doctor of the same age, and that frequently, to confirm some trifling remark, or uselesą ceremony of human invention ; but the discourses of CHRIST were weighty and convincing, always deli. vered with an air of seriousness, dignity, and authority, becoming the DiviNE WORD. The form, Verily I say unto you, so often repeated by our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount, where his decision is opposed to Moses himself, shews a consciousness of the high character with which he was invested; our Lord's general manner impressed his hearers with veneration and astonishment.
JESUS CURES THE CENTURION'S SERVANT, RAISES THE WIDOW'S SON, AND CLEANSES THE LEPER, &c.
From Luke, Chap.vii.--Matt. viii.-- Luke, V.-Mark, i.
Now when he had ended all his sayings in the au. dience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would como and heal his servant.
And when they came to JESUS, they bėsought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this.
For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us synagogue.
Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not chyself, for I ann not worthy that thou shouldst enter under
roof, Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers; and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it,
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel. And I say unto you,
shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, be. hold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
And when the LORD saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
And he came and touched the bier (and they that bare himn stood still), and he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak : and he delivered him to his mother.
And there came a fear on all : and they glorified GOD, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God had visited his people.
And this rumour of him went forth throughout all: Judea, and throughout all the region round about.
And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold, a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus, fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man, but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer
the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
But he went out, and published it much; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of him of their infirmities, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests : but the Son of Man hath no where to lay his head.
And another of his disciples said unto him, LORD, suffer me first to go and bury my father,
But Jesus şaid unto him, Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead,
And another also said, LORD, I will follow thee: þut let me first go bid them farewell which are at home at
And Jesus said unto him, No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. A centurion was an officer in the Roman army, who had the command over an hundred men. He who applied to Jesus seems to have been, though a heathen, of a very amiable disposition. We may conclude that the servant believed in the power of Christ, and, most likely, would have sought to him for relief himself had not the nature of his disease prevented him ; such bigh veneration did the good centurion entertain for
our Lord's person, that he thought himself unworthy to approach his presence : to illustrate his exalted faith, he made use of a comparison drawn from his own profession; and declared his belief, that Christ could as easily command diseases to disappear, as he could command his soldiers and domestics to do any thing.
These sentiments were so just, that our LORD pointed him out to his followers as an object of admiration; and intimated the propriety of admitting the Gentiles to be partakers with the Patriarchs in the kingdom of heaven, since they were capable of becoming members of it; solemnly assuring them, that many who lived at the greatest distance from Jerusalem should be received into his Church ; while others, who, on account of their natural descent from Abraham, thought themselves se. cure of inheriting the promises made to him, should be rejected with abhorrence for their unbelief, and be con. demned to dreadful punishments.
How happy must the good centurion have been, in this confirmation of his faith! There is no doubt but that he and his servant became sincere disciples to our LORD; and in all probability, his whole household, as well as others who were informed of the astonishing cure, were converted to Christianity.
From the tender solicitude which the centurion ex. pressed for the recovery of his domestic, there is reason to believe the man had endeared himself to him by dili. gence and fidelity. This transaction, therefore, fur. nishes a lesson of instruction to servants and masters; the former should conscientiously consult the interest of their employers, and they have then a right to expect in Teturn kindness on all occasions.
The miracle which our Saviour wrought at Nain, evidently proved that he was not only possessed of al.