Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. feveral particulars concerning there impi. pus and envious beings; they have taken care to acquaint us with their original and fall, their names and numbers, their government and orders, their malicious defigns, and various oftheir employments; and it is abundantly evident, both from facred and prophane hif{ory, that before Or Saviour's afcenfion, there were great numbers of perlons poffeffed with evil fpirits. Thefe evil Spirits had gained fo great an afcendancy, and taken poffef- fion of fo large a part of the world, that they reviled the great Creator in his wor- fhip ; and in feveral Heathen nations, there were oracles which were applied to, in order to refolve the doubts, and answer the inquiries of their worfhippers. And 's the deGgn of our Lord's incarnation, and his whole miniftry, was to deroy the works of the devil; perhaps, the reafon why there apoftate fpirits were fo fre- quently permitted to appear in Judea at this time, was, that the Son of God might, in a more manifeft and triumphant manner, difplay his authority and power over the prince of 'darknefs, and all his infernal legions, and thereby convince the wondering world, that he was really the Son of God, and the Saviour of mankind. The fame of this miracle was loon fpread over the neighbouring country. Our Redeemer had healed the fick, and done various wonderful works, which had excited the admiration of the people, and raifed their expectations of fomething very great and advantageous to the Jewilh na- tion, to arife from fo extraordinary a per- fon. But when the people beheld him, in the public affembly, with a commanding authority, difpoffers the devil, and drive the powers of darknefs before him ; their alto- nilbment increafed, and they acknowledged that this was the mightypower of God. Our Lord having performed this miracle in the Synagogue, he departed to Peter's 3 59 houfe, whorewife's mother lay lick of a fever: he took her by the hand, and im- mediately the fever left her ; and fo per- feEtly was fhe reftored to her former health, that fhe arofe and miniflered unto him. The evangelift Luke, in his account of this wonderful cure, Says, that he re- buked the'fever; which is a figurative way of (peaking; conformable to the language of the Scriptures, where not only the in- animate parts of the creation, but difeafes, famine, peffilence, and the like, are perfo- nated and reprefented as the fervants of the Almighty, to execute his vengeance on rebellious finners : hence, fays the pro- phet, before him went the fie/tilence ; and burning dfeafes went firth at his feet. Our Lord being grown popular, and famed through the city of Capernaum, for the authority and eloquence of his teach- ing, and the manifold wonders which he wrought, vaft numbers of people retorted to him while he abode at Peter's houfe, and brought with them great numbers of rick perlons, and thole who were poffeffed with devils. The kind and compaflionate Saviour of the world, was touched with pity at the fight of fo many difireffed and affliaed objects ; when he immediately healed them all, and fulfilled, by his ex- tenfive, all-relieving goodnefs, the prophecy of Ifaiah, which Pays, He himfelf took our infirmities, and bare ourficknefes, But the vaft crowds of people, who now gathered about him in Capernaum, were not eafily to be borne, and to avoid the troublefome prefs, our Redeemer re- tired to the defert, whither he was loon followed by 'great multitudes of people, who were fo delighted with his inftruc- tions, and had conceived fo high an opi- nion of him, from his kind condefcenfion, and his many wonderful works, that they defired him never to depart from them. But this requeft being inconfiftent with the nature of his miniftry, and the great deGgn of his coming into the world, he departed