Wright - BT300 W8 1788

64 Tlse New and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED defired : perhaps this might be complied with, to give the difciples a full proof that thefe perfons were really poffeffed with devils, and to give a terrible inflame of the power of thefe malicious beings when free from reftraint: The commilliion was no fooner granted, than the devils forfopk the men, and, fwift as lightening, feized their brifily prey. The whole herd -were immediately in a tumult, and the torments the poor creatures fuffered, were plainly perceived by the fpectators at a diflance ; the keepers were affrighted, and found it impoffible to calm or ref-train the wild fury of the herd; they poured, with amafing rapidity, down the mountain's fide, and approaching the confines of the lake, leaped from the rocks and pre- cipices into the fea, and the whole herd pieriylzed in the waters. The perfons, who but a moment before, were roaring, ra- ving, and cutting themfelves, were now become calm and compofed ; they were become mild and gentle, having reco- vered the ufe of their reafon, and being now proper members of fociety, they, doubtlefs, believed in the Son of God. The keepers of the herd, aftonifhed at this furprifing event, ran into the city in . the utmoft terror and amazement, and related the cure of the men who had been poffeffed with devils, and the de- ftruclion of the fwine. This wonderful report threw the whole city into the àtmoft conflernation, and the inhabitants, in crowds, left their houfes, to be fpec- tators of the firange évent. They faw the men fitting at the feet of Jesus, and in their right minds; but, as they were confcious of having committed a trefpafs ágainft the law of Mofes, by keeping fuch numbers of fwine, which were firictly forbid to be eaten, they were afraid, and feemed to expect fome feverer judgment : they might have been convincedof the goodnefs and compaffion of the great perfon who had performed thefe wonders, by the cure 'of the men but theywere afraid, and meekly befought our Lord to depart from their country. The limpid Gadarenes, had they known how great a benefit they might have re- ceived by attending on the illuftriout perfon who had worked fuch wonders amongfl them, would not have been fo cruel to themfelves, as to have prefented fuch a petition. It is true they had loft their fwine, but had received two of their countrymen and fellow-creatures ; thefe happy men were delivered from the power of the Devil, and their country was freed from fo intolerable a burden ; and the benefit they might have received to their fouls, by attending onour great Redeemer, and hearing his words, would have been ofgreater value than the cattel on a thou- - fandhills. - The bleffed Jesus, however, thought fit to comply with the revert of the foolifh Gadarenes, and foon returned to the country from whence he came. The per- fons who were happily delivered from the power of the Devil, defired to accom- pany him ; but our Lord ordered them to remain in their owncountry, as a flanding monument of his divine power and good- nefs : Go home to thy friends, faid our exalted Redeemer to one of them, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hash had comp on thee. It may be remarked on this miracle, that here we have a fuller difplay of the tyranny and power of the Devil, than in any other part of Scripture ; and therefore it is fit to be recommended to the ferions attention of thofe infidels, who, like the Sadducees, will not believe in the extftence of fpirits, and fcoff at the power of the Devil. Let fuch per- fons behold the picture of thefe unhappy men, poffeffed by the devils, as drawn by the