Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 65 the evangelifls : they were driven from their abodes, and fromthe fociety of men ; one of them was fo fierce that he could not be confined, but broke chains of iron like a burnt thread, and fetters like rotten wood ; he frequented the molt folitary places, and filled the defart with more dreadful howlings than the wild beafts; he dwelt among the tombs, and abode in the difmal and folitary manfions of the dead, forlorn and naked, crying out day and night, cutting himfelf with floues, and tearing his own flefh:- If fuch perfons would give themfelves time to confider this dreadful reprefenta- tion of human mifery, furély their fcoffs would be changed into compaffion for thefe unhappy creatures, and fearful ap- prehenfions for themfelves; furely they wouldno longer fcoff at the power of the Devil, nor the pains of eternal damna- tion. It would certainly be more worthy the fuperior wifdom they boalt of, to be cautious and diffident ; they are_men, and furely they will allow, that it -is poffible they may be miflaken : and when their eternal intereft is at flake, one would think they might condefcend to confider. But if they will deride, and frill perfifl in their unbelief, a fhort fpace of time will con- vince them of their fatal error; and dreadful experience, force them to con- fefs the greatnefs of the tyranny, and the bitternefs of the malice, of this prince of darknefs againft the fouls of men. May they fee the error of their conduf, and be enabled, by, the Divine Spirit, fin- cerely to - repent of their evil thoughts, and perverfe ways, and feek the things which belong to their eternal peace. - The bleffed JESUS, with his difciples, being landed in Galilee, he foon repaired to Capernaum ; no fooner was his arrival known, than great multitudes reforted to him ; the houfe where he was could not contain them, nor even the court before the door. He preached the doarines and 1Vo.6. duties of his gofpel to the liflening throng, amongfl whom Wete many Phari- fees and doctors of the law, whom the fame of his miracles had brought froni diflant countries, to behold his perfon, and hearhis words. Í3e hot only, by his preaching, repre- fented the great precepts and principles of his religion, in a plain and linking point of light, but worked fuch miracles atnongfl them, as were fufficient to con- vince every judicious, unprejudiced, and impartial inquirer after truth, of his divine miffion ; and he proved himfelf to be the Son of God, by thofe illuftrious- and be- nevolent anions which God only could perform: Atnongfl nìahy other ifìfiahces of his almighty power and Godlike benevolence, was that of his refloring a perfon to per- feét health, who had long been aftliEed with the palfy, and Was reducedby that deplorable diforder to the titmoft nielan- choly and diftrefsful condition : he wag unable to moue any member of his body, and was become an helplefs bundle of mifery and diftrefs. In this deplorable condition, he was carried in his bed, with a defign to have petitioned our Lord to take pity on his dithers, and exert that healing power, for which he was fo remarkable in his relief. The multitudes who furrounded our Lord, had filled the houfe, and preffed fo clofe, that it was impoffible to bring the fick perfon into his prefence. -The perfons that carried this miferable objeE, petceiving the dif- ficulty which attended their defign, took the lame man to the top of the houfe lying in his bed. The houfes in Judea had flat roofs, with battlements round them, ac- cording to the command of the law, Deut. xxii. 8. on thefe roofs there was a kind of trap-door, by which they came up from the houfe upon the roof, where they fpent a confiderable part of the day. It was alfo common to have a flight of flairs R from