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example of his deference to the law,—and it was giving the priests themselves an opportunity of recognizing his supernatural power, and of considering his claims as the Messiah that was to come. His conduct was similar to that which is recorded by St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, in the case of the other leper whom I have already mentioned as being healed by him in an earlier part of his ministry :--for the charge which he gave to him, after removing his malady was, “ Go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them ;*-a testimony not only that the cure of a disease which by human power is incurable, has actually been effected, but also that the person who has performed it, has a respect even for the ceremonial law.
To return now to St. Luke's narrative. "It came to pass that” as the ten lepers were going away as Jesus had commanded, they were cleansed :-and while the others were proceeding on their way, without, perhaps, a thought of returning to thank Him who had wrought for them so extraordinary a work of mercy, one only of them, “ when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks.” The man who exhibited this religious sensibility and gratitude “ was," it is added, “a Samaritan," '-one who was therefore, publicly regarded as an alien from the commonwealth of Israel ; for “the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans ;'-he was also one, who, for the same reason, belonged not to those “ lost sheep” to whom our blessed Lord, in the exercise of his earthly ministry, declared himself to be sent,—though he withheld not his beneficent compassion from persons who were not Jews, provided they had, as was the case with this leper, a sincere and ardent faith in him. He then treated them with peculiar kindness,.--commended their faith,--and made an open or an implied comparison between them and the less-deserving Jews. His remark upon the centurion was, “ Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel :'_and the text is an instance of the same kind ; for, upon the leper's coming to him, worshipping, and giving him thanks, he 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.” From his styling the Samaritan a “stranger," as the Jews themselves would term him, we may reasonably conclude that the nine, who did not return to express their gratitude, were Jews.
* Matt. viii. 4.
Mark i. 44.
Luke v. 14.
This is the history of the circumstances connected with the text: Let us now consider some of the practical uses that it points out to us.
Though our Saviour no longer resides on earth to perform miracles personally, and though the power of working miracles, which in the first ages of Christianity was granted to the Apostles and others, has long been withdrawn-because the purposes for which it was given have for many centuries been accomplished ;--yet there still are many instances of God's mercy to us as individuals, which demand our grateful acknowledgment, as much as if they were really miraculous. That he delivers and rescues us from evils, is a truth of which every man living has frequent experience ;-and we should accordingly glorify Him by our devout thanksgiving.
“ What is your life?” enquires the Apostle St. James. “ It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Yet even this vapour, short as is its duration when prolonged to the extreme measure of earthly existence, is often preserved to us beyond expectation, and in cases in which hope had forsaken us. We naturally regard the bed of sickness as the avenue of death. Our bodily powers languish, and the soul seems to hover between this world and the next. We then feel that value of life, to which perhaps we before were insensible. We cling to it, by the impulse of nature, as our dearest possession. We pray for its continuance, that we may perform that Christian duty of selfcorrection which we have hitherto, unhappily, neglected,—and that we may exercise our sincere repentance and faith, in works of obedience to God. There are few persons to whom this is an imaginary statement :—for small indeed is the number of those who have enjoyed uninterrupted health. But when our sickness is, through the divine mercy, removed,
we forget the unseen but healing hand to which we are indebted for this much-desired change. We go our way, forgetful of the great goodness which has been extended to us, and do not turn back, even in thought, to glorify and thank our heavenly Physician: so that professed Christians are often in a parallel with the nine persons of whom our Saviour spoke. The very observation that numbers of others have been restored to health as well as themselves, induces them to think less of their personal release from death, and to consider it as a common case which may be passed over with a common indifference or insensibility. A “ stranger,”-one who has had little or no regard to religious profession,—who has heedlessly pursued a career of wickedness and levity,_shall, on the other hand, from an awakening sense of God's goodness to bim, reform his future life, and be as exemplary for the observance of religious duty, as he before was for neglecting it. He makes resolutions of amendment, and fulfils them. His “ faith has made him whole.” He remembers, as Hezekiah did when he had been sick, and was recovered, that he said in the cutting off of his days, “I shall go to the gates of the grave : I am deprived of the residue of my years. I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living:"* He writes down, not perhaps upon a tablet as that monarch did, but upon the vivid texture of his heart, his determination to bless God all the days of his life.
* Isaiah xxxviii. 10, &c.
But besides the predicament of sickness, there are numberless subjects of thanksgiving to the Almighty, which will occur to the mind of every reflecting per
A few of them I shall mention.' The dangers to which mankind in general are exposed, are comprehensively represented by the Psalmist, under the description of “the terror by night, the arrow that flieth by day, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and the destruction that wasteth at noon-day.” One or more of these assail every man in the course of his earthly pilgrimage and whenever it has been our lot to escape or to be released from them, have we been duly sensible of our deliverance, and duly grateful to that Almighty power
who has 6 delivered our souls from death, our eyes from tears, and our feet from falling ?” Have we resolved accordingly to “ love the Lord,”——and to “ walk before him in the land of the living ?"--Have we diligently performed that resolution, and made good the vows which we made to him in the hour of peril? Or have we, like mariners exposed to the tempest, prayed and been horror struck in the moment of affright, but returned to our habitual levity and unconcern, when the winds are dropped and the waters are calm ? If our gratitude for any such mercies is not an abiding principle, we are unfaithful disciples of our blessed Lord, and he will, consequently, reproach us. Our escapes even from the ordinary dangers that, in the present constitution of the world, daily happen, are not less the subjects of