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The same power 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 use
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 him.
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 slall
They dread his presence as an occasion of “ torment them
Acts xxvi. 18.
k Luke xi. 21, 22. - 1 Col. ii., 15. . m Acts XXVI.
[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 text
Not that they speak thus from ignorance or humility, like Petert - The motives, which actuate them, are declared by our Lord himselfum] :
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 acqui. esced cheerfully in his Lord's will
He willinglý 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 devils
But lived a conspicuous monument of the power and grace of Christm]
Every one that has experienced a like deliverance, will resemble him . A sense of benefits received will animate their souls... :
They will “ deyote 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 Redeemerom They 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 from this roaring lion?”
We must not judge by extorted confessions, or occasional prayers
Satan acknowledged Christ, and deprecated his wrath
But though “ he believed and trembled,” he was a devil still
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-denying
Let us devote ourselves to his service, and live to his glory-]
CCXCIV. THE WOMAN WITH A BLOODY FLUX
HEALEI). Mark v. 25—29. A certain woman which had an issue of blood
twelve years, and had suffered many things 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 in. struction :
They were not perhaps always intended as types
But they afford a just occasion for spiritual observa. tions
To improve the miracle now before us, we observe I. Sin has introduced many lamentable evils into the
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 text
But incomparably worse effects have proceeded from sin-
II. We are prone to rest in carnal methods of removing
them [The woman had employed many physiciansanm And had spent her substance on them without any benefit We blame her not for using all possible means of reliefm But she had looked no higher than to the creature for help This conduct incensed the Lord against good king AsaeAnd in every age it provokes the eyes of his glory In spiritual things we generally act the same part
Under slight convictions of sio we rest in purposes of amendment
If guilt lie heavy on our souls, we flee to duties
And expect mercy, not for our diligence, but for his name's sakem
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 Jesus-Nor was she disappointed in her application to him There 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 spiritham A 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
hé 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-
His inquiries were made, not for his own information, but to bring her into notice
e 2 Chron. xvi. 12.
f Mic. vi. 6, 7. 8 Rom. ix. 31, 32.
bi Cor. vi. 11. i Manasseh, Dayid, Solomon, Paul, &c. See I Tim. i. 16. VOL. III.
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 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 phy. sician
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 and 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 shame
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 first The 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.
Hos. v. 13.
Matt. xii. 31. o Jer. xvii. 5, 6.
m Mark xi. 22,25.