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rash things might we be restrained if we first ascertained what the will of the Lord is! It was a wise counsel once given to a hasty man to say the Lord's Prayer before He made answer after provocation. The Lord here marks His humanity by the very term He employs. As Isaac dug another well when the men of Gerar claimed the first, so He went to another village.3

CCCLXXXII.

THE TEN LEPERS.

St. Luke xvii. 11-14.

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

Passing through the midst of Samaria and Galilee means passing between the two; keeping to that common highway which was on the borders of both. This longer line of country the Jews that dwelt in Galilee often took, on their way to keep the Feasts at Jerusalem, in order to avoid the annoyances to which at such times they were especially subject from the schismatics of Samaria, against whose “will-worship” this pilgrimage was a silent but standing protest. We have just seen an exhibition of this religious animosity against our Lord; which however did not hinder Him from healing and commending a Samaritan here among

1 It is interesting to recall that Holy Ghost. Acts viii. 14, 15. This this same St. John came down after- was a noble revenge. St. Matt. v. 44. wards to this same Samaria to pray 2 Gen. xxvi. 18-22, for those who had despitefully used

3 St. Matt. x. 23. them, that they might receive the

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the other lepers. These ten were bound by the Law thus to stand afar off, to prevent the contagion of their fell disease. But they cried loud enough to be heard. The fame of this Master 2 of Israel had preceded Him. To Him they call for pity with one accord, though one of them was a Samaritan. Their common misery had made these lepers forget for the time their national quarrel. In presence of a calamity these differences were suspended. Sorrow had done for them what prosperity had failed to do. Had they been sound, they had been enemies; now that they are stricken, they become friends. The Lord, that lover of order, sent them to the Priests, even to the corrupt Priests of that day; men whose office He upholds, even when He was compelled to denounce their persons. The unworthiness of the minister cannot hinder the effect of Christ's ordinance. The trial of their faith consisted in this, whether they would do as He directed. For lepers were not sent to the Priests to be cleansed, but only to be pronounced clean. Still they did as they were directed, and they received the end of their faith." In the obedient use of the appointed means, we shall obtain the desired end.

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| The original word is peculiar to tion of the faithful in this world. St. Luke.

They are to take Christ's word that 2 “ They were all loud enough they will be cleansed. In Baptism is whilst they were suitors.”—Bp. San- the pledge and promise and initial derson, the Fifth Sur. al Populum. act of it all. And they are to believe 3 Art. xxvi.

this, while they yet feel in themselves 4 That there was a faith in our the leprous taint of sin,—to go forward Lord as a mighty Healer of the body, in faitli, being confident that in the distinct from its moral influence upon use of His Word, and of His Sacrathe soul, is plain from this record of ments, slight as they may seem to the unthankful nine.

meet and overcome such mighty mis5 Is. xxvi. 8; Hos. vi. 3.

chiefs, they will find that bealth, 6 Abp. Trench remarks upon “the wbich according to the sure word of aptness of the image which this his- promise is already theirs." tory supplies, to set forth the condi

CCCLXXXIII.

THE SAME SUBJECT-continuell.

St. Luke xvii. 15-19.

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And one 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 : and he was a Sumaritan. And Jesus answering 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. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

“ Ten cleansed, and only one remain !”] It is a poor proportion. The majority is (as majorities often are) altogether on the wrong side. The greater number is not here the better part. We are not to measure the goodness of a cause by the number of its adherents. “He was maritan,” and therefore, one might have thought, least of all likely to do so. He was a Samaritan,” and therefore would not naturally have been disposed to express his gratitude to a Jewish Rabbi. “He was a Samaritan,” and his advantages had been few. But there are who make a little go a great way, and there are who make nothing even of a great deal. To give thanks to Jesus is to glorify God.” This alone grateful one receives a blessing in soul as well as in body. His faith was of a higher order, of a different character, to that of the rest. We are struck with their ingratitude,—but how is it, let us ask, with ourselves? Is it not too often as in the common saying, “Out of sight, out of mind ?” Favours are forgotten as soon as they are enjoyed. Friends remembered no longer than we need them. It is so, often enough, in human things. It is so, still more generally, in things Divine. It is so even as regards man. It is yet more so as regards God. Our land yields her increase

The Christian Year, Fourteenth notes, “perhaps did not return beSunday after Trinity.

cause they would fain have obliterated 2 Ps. 1. 23; St. John v. 23.

the very memory of the fact that they 3 " Who," as Archbishop Trench had ever been those lepers at all.”

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year by year,—but as we enjoy the kindly fruits of the earth,
do we ever consider who it is gives and preserves them to
our use ?' He might withhold the gifts of His hand. If
there be but a threatening of it, we murmur loud enough.
We
cry

out even before we are hurt. “ We open our mouths wide till He open His hand . . . but after, as if the filling of our mouths were the stopping of our throats, so are we speechless and heartless. Shame we to be so clamorous when we crave from Him, and so dumb when we should give Him thanks."To take another case,-how many of those

2 who have been raised from a bed of sickness, and restored to health, return to give glory to God? Their repentance passes away with their sickness. Their ingratitude returns with their strength. “ Where are the nine?"--So asks the Minister of Christ's Word and Sacraments, as he sees those for whom Christ has done so much turning away time after time from that service of Eucharist or Thanksgiving. Is there even one in ten, of those who might and ought, that returns to give glory to God, to give thanks to Christ, by Whom we may be “partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust?" They fear, it may be, to be singular. Rather than return with the one, they will go away with the nine. But was not this man singular ? “It is a base and unworthy thing for a man so to subject himself to others' examples, as not sometimes to resolve to be an example to others . . . How much better is it to go the right way alone, than to err with company!'

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CCCLXXXIV.

OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

St. Luke xvii. 20-25.

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation : neither shall they 1 Jer, v. 24. ? Bp. Sanderson.

Bp. Hall.

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say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will

, come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See

, here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven ; 80 shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

The Pharisees cannot let Him alone. This question they ask, not for information, but in derision, and with a view to draw from him an answer which might be made matter of accusation against Him. That Kingdom which the Baptist proclaimed, and which the Lord was ever speaking of as “at hand," when would it indeed come? When will God send the Messiah to reign over us? It was an ignoring of His claims. In a very different spirit the Disciples ask their question afterwards. Calmly and patiently however. He answers them. “Do not suppose that the Kingdom of the Messiah is such, that its approach is to be observed from a watch-tower, like the march of a victorious army coming on with triumphal pomp and retinue.” 5 Such signs the Pharisees expected, and such are still vainly expected by the Jews. It was rather like the silent, unobserved growth of a plant.? They had inquired of time, not of place, nothing doubting but that this latter could only be Jerusalem. The Lord answers concerning both, but otherwise than as they imagined. There was no need for them to look forward to any other time or place. The Messiah, and therefore His Kingdom, was even then in their midst, even among them. And now to the Disciples, who were willing to be taught, He addresses some words of warning and practical application arising out of that careless question of the Pharisees. Ps. lvi. 1, 2, 5, 6.

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Apostles on Mount Olivet; but much ? St. Matt. iii. 2.

also which is peculiar to St. Luke.”— 3 Vatablus.

Alford. • St. Matt. xxiv. 3. “In this dis- 5 Bp. Wordsworth. course we have several sayings which

6 Grotius. our Lord afterwards repeated in His i St. Mark iv, 26-29, last prophetic discourse to the four

& Bengel.

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