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Behold, therefore, the great end and design of the par-
doning love of God in Christ. It is, that we may love hiui
for the great love wherewith he loved us. You know in
your consciences that you would be the basest of all crea-
tures, if you did not judge, and act thus toward one who had
saved your life, or who had forgiven you a great debt.
And why, then, should things work just the wrong way
with respect to God ? They would not, they could not, if
you knew your sin, and the mercy of forgiveness.

44. And be turned to tbe woman, and said unto Simon, Seest
thou this woman ? I entered into thine bouse, thou gavest me no
water for my feet : but she bath washed my feet with tears, and
wijied tbem with the hairs of her head.

45. Thou gavest me no kiss : but this woman since tbe time I
came in bath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46. My bead with oil tbuu didst not anoint : but ibis woman
hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Simon paid Chris^t the outward civility of asking him to

VER. 36 — 50.] ST. LUKE. 215

eat with him ; but he had none of that dear love and
respect for him in his heart, which this woman, whom he des-
pised, showed in her whole behaviour. May the Lord de-
liver us from Simon's coldness !

47. Wherefore I say unto thee. Her sins, which are many, are
forgiven ; for she loved much : but to whom httle is lorgiven, the
same loveth little.

She therefore loved much, because much was forgiven
her. Her love was not first, but her forgiveness ; and it
followed forgiveness, as a token or proof of it. She could
never have done wliat she did for Christ, without a lively
sense of mercy in her heart.

48. And lie said unto her. Thy sins are forgiven.

They are, they are forgiven, to every humble, desiring
soul; doubt not of it, whatever this ill-judging Phari-
see, or any others, may think or say, or whatever thy own
fears may suggest.

49. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within
tlicuiselves. Who is this that forgiveih sins also ?

He who came with this joyful message to a lost world,
and paid the price of his most precious blood for our for-

50. And he said to the woman. Thy faith hath saved thee ; go
in peace.

Here is the whole of our religion. Faith saves us;
Christ says to every one who receives him, go in peace,
thy sins are forgiven. Peace with God is the ground of
our love to him, and of all holy working. This is a sweet
portion of scripture to those who look for redemption
through the name of Jesus ; and who seek for a full de-
claration of the manner of it. Christ wrought his miracles
of healing on the bodies of particular persons, that he
nn'ght be believed in as the universal physician, and
helper of the soul : and here he shines out in all the glory
of his peculiar office, his great work, and his endearing

216 ST. LUKE. [chap. VIII.

In this section we have a lively representation of the
freedom of God's grace in the forgiveness of sinners, and
the effect of it, in turning the soul to Christ with the stress
of its love. Let us understand this scripture, and we have
all saving knowledge. The whole gospel is contained in it.
Let us re-peruse it with deep attention.

Chap. viii. ver. 1 — 15.


1 . And it came to pass afterward, that he went tliroiighout every
citv and village, pveacliing and shewing the glad tidings of die
kingdom of God : and the twelve were with him,

Jesus went to preach God's kingdom of grace upon the
earth, in which remission of sins is published, — newness
of life is required, and strength is offered to do the will of
God. We enter into this kingdom noiv, in this short day
of our lives, or never.

2. And certain women, which had been healed of evil s])irits
and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven

3. And Joanna the wife of Chiiza, Herod's steward, and Susanna,
and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

The poverty of Christ was the advantage of these dis-
ciples, and they had eyes to see it, though probably they
were then called fools for their care of Jesus. He may
still be ministered unto in his poor members.

4. And when much people were gathered together, and were
come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable :

5. A sower went out to sow his seed : and as he sowed, some
fell by the way side ; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the
air devoured it.

VER. 1 — 15.] ST. LUKE. 217

6. And some fell upon a rock ; and as soon as it was sj)nuig up,
it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7. And some fell among tliorns ; and the thorns s})rang up with
it, and choked it.

8. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare
fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, lie
cried. He that hath ears to bear, let him bear.

9. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this para-
ble be ?

With this request, Jesus immediately complied. Let
us also ask, and it shall be given us. Why do we not
understand, but because we do not desire it with all our

10. And be said. Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of
the kingdom of God : hut to others in parables ; that seeing they
:night not see, and hearing they might not understand.

It is given unto us to know the mysteries of the kingdom
of God, if we choose it. This parable is either a dark say-
ing, or it is heavenly instruction, just as the heart is pre-
pared for it, or not. Though Christ is the expounder, it
has not ligiit for those who will not see. May the Lord
deliver us from so sore a judgment !

1 1. Now the parable is this : The seed is the word of God.

12. Those by the way-side are tbey that bear ; then cometh the
devil, and takctli away the word out of their hearts, lest tbey should
believe and be saved.

13. 1'bey on the rock are tbey, which, when they bear, receive
the word with joy ; and these have no root, which for a while be-
lieve, and in time of leniptalion fall away.

14. And that which fell among thorns are tbey, which, when
they have beard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches
and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

The fruit fails in all these cases, not from tiie fault of
the seed, but the ground. Let us seek to the Holy Spirit
to make our hearts good. — Edit.

15. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest
and good heart, having beard the word, keep it, and bring forth
iVuit with i)utience.

218 ST. LUKE. [chap. VIII.

They do not suppose that fruit can be produced all at
once : but whatever they have, they aim at more and hold
out to the last, in spite of all difficulties.

The parable of the sower is easy, as it is explained by
Christ, and needs nothing but application. What is the
ground of the heart, good or bad ? Is it working to and
with God, in honesty and simplicity, and striving with
downright simplicity and earnestness to enter into the
door of grace, which is opened for all in Christ ? Or do
we cheat ourselves with a vain show of religion, or an
empty form of reading and hearing? It matters not which
kind of the three hearers here mentioned we are, if we do
not get life and power from Christ, so as to bring forth
fruit under him. Everything else will be rejected by God.
Examine yourselves. Bring all within you to the touch-
stone of this parable. It was delivered for this end.
Think of it by day and by night, and pray continually
against the deceitfulness of your own hearts> Think more
especially of the poor man's hindrance. He says, it is
hard living, and pleads worldly care as an excuse for the
neglect of his great work. Christ knew this as well as he;
but nevertheless here is no allowance made for his case.
If the word is choked, let it be how it may, the soul will
be lost

Chap. viii. ver. 16 — 25.


16. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a
vessel, or puttelh it under a bed ; but setteth it on a candlestick,
tluit thev which enter in mav see the VvAit.

VER. 16 — 25.] ST. LUKE. 219

This is a charge to the apostles, and to all, to let their
light shine before men, — to speak what they know, and
communicate what is jjiven them to others. Althouo-h God
heljjs all, lie usually helps one man by another.

17. For nolliiug is secret, that shall not be made manifest ; nei-
ther anything hid, that shall not be made known and come abroad.

Nothing that is profitable should be hid within ourselves.
It was given, in part, for this end, that others might have
the benefit of it. A gracious word in season from any one of
you, may, by God's blessing, save a soul.

18. Take heed therefore how ye bear:

Let us be anxious to learn, with what profit we hear to
ourselves ; but not for ourselves only.

18. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given ; and whosoever
hath not, IVoni him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to

He that values, and retains, and improves what he hath
bestowed upon him from God, to his own benefit, and that
of others, shall have more given him. And whosoever hath
not, that is, does not use and improve what he has — ^which,
indeed, is the same thing as if he had it not — " from him
shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have."
For instance ; you have the parable of the sower, and
Clirist's interpretation of it, before you ; and you may
seem to yourselves and others, to have attained some know-
ledge by it. But none of us have got anything, and all is
lost, if we do not receive it into our hearts.

19. Then came to him bis mother and his brethren, and could
not come at him for the press.

20. And it was told him by certain which said. Thy mother and
thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.

21. And he answered and said unto them. My molher and my
brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

What greater encouragement can we have for doing the
Avill of God ? We see that we may claim kindred with Christ,

220 ST. LUKE. [chap. VIII.

and in what way we must become his brethren. O that we
knew how to value so great a privilege ! Happy is the
hearing which brings us to this ! But then we must turn
the words the other way ; if we do not hear the word of
God, and doits commands we do not belong to Christ.

22. Now it came to pass on a certain clay, that he went into a
ship with his disciples: and he said unto them. Let us go over
unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.

23. But as they sailed he fell asleep ; and there came down a
storm of wind on the lake ; and they were filled with water, and
were in jeopardy.

24. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master,
inasler, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the
raging of the water : and they ceased, and there was a calm.

Many poor sinners, when they think themselves to be lost,
cry, " Master, master, we perish," and Chrsit suffers us to
come into this condition, that we may know our weakness,
and his power. As Christ rebuked the wind and raging
elements, so, O Lord, rebuke our boisterous and unruly
passions, for thou canst do this, and turn all within us into

25. And he said unto them. Where is your faith ? And they be-
ing afraid wondered, saying one to another. What manner of man
is this ! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they
obey him.

The disciples thought of nothing but their danger, and
therefore Christ says to them, " Where is your faith ?"" We
never know what our faith is, till it comes to be tried.
What does Christ here require of us all, but a firm trust
in him, though everything seems to be against us ? Do we
inquire what manner of man is this ? The answer is, he is
the God-man ! Our deliverer, whenever we fly to him with
this prayer, Lord, save us.

VER. 2G— 39.] ST. LUKE. 221


Chap. viii. ver. 26 — 39.


26. And they arrived at tlic country of tlie Gadarenes, which is
over against Galilee.

27. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the
city a certain man, which had devils a long time, and ware no
clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

28. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him,
and with a loud voice said. What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou
Son of God most high ? I beseech thee, torment me not.

29. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of
the man. For oftentimes it had caught him : and he was kept
bound with chains and in fetters ; and he brake the bands, and was
driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

30. And Jesus asked him, saying. What is thy name ? And he
said. Legion : because many devils were entered into him.

31. And they besought him that he would not command them
to go out into the deep.

The deep here is the bottomless pit — the eternal prison
of these spirits. It seems from hence that it was some re-
lief to them, to be in the bodies of men, or even of animals ;
and according to St. Mark, v. 10, in one place rather than
another. We learn also from hence that the devils are
wholly under the power of Christ, and can do nothinf^
without his permission.

32. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the
mountain : and they besought him that he would siiflcr them to
enter into ihcm. And he suffered them.

33. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the
swine : and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake,
and were choked.

34. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and
went and told it in the city and in the country.

222 ST. LUKE. [chap. viir.

35. Then they went out to see what was done ; and came to
Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed,
sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind : and
the}' were afraid.

36. They also which saw it told them by what means he that
was possessed of the devils was healed.

37. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes
round about besought him to depart from them ; for thev were
taken with great fear : and he went up into the ship, and returned
back again.

These Gadarenes dreaded the presence of the Saviour,
and feared some greater loss: they little thought that the
greatest loss that could befal them, would be the departure
of Jesus, to return no more. How many, in effect, be-
seech Christ to depart from them ! Even all who do not
hear him, and leave their sins.

38. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed be-
sought him that he might be with him :

He could not but cleave to Jesus, in his present mind, and
knowing how great a change had happened to him.

38. But Jesus sent him away, saying,

39. Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God
hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published
throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto

And this is recorded, that others hearing it may think of
their own case, and look to Christ for great things for

When we read this account of the possessed with
devils, and think it a pitiable case, let us turn our eyes in-
ward and have pity on ourselves. The devil rules in all
unconverted men, and his name is Legion. But know
that Christ is at hand to cast him out : and he wrought this
miracle on purpose that we might be convinced of his
power and will to help us.

VER. 40—56.] ST. LUKE. 223


Chap. viii. ver. 40 — 56.


40. And it came to jiass, that, when Jesus was returned, the
people gladly received him : for they were all waiting for him.

AVliat, all theyi, and so few noiv ! and yet he has no
blessing for us, if we do not wait and long for him, with
the desire and will of our souls. Learn from the two fol-
lowing miracles, how we get help from him. The woman
was healed of her issue of blood, and the ruler had his
daughter raised to life again ; and why ? because they
came to him in faith and longing for his benefits.

41. And, behold, there came a rnan named Jairus, and he was
a ruler of the synagogue : and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and be-
sought him that he would come into his house :

42. For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age,
and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

We here see, how a penitent and believing sinner sues
to Christ ; and how powerful the intercession of such is
with the Lord Jesus. — Edit.

43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which
liad spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed
of any,

44. Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment:
and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

45. And Jesus said. Who touched me ? When all denied,
Peter and they that were with him said, JNIaster, the multitude
throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou. Who touched me ?

Though Jesus asked the question, lie knew who touched
him, and for what end. But he inquired, that the miracle
might be known ; and that we might observe the power of
a true faith, and what it springs from, namely, a feeling of
our disease.

224 ST. LUKE. [chap. VIII.

46. And .fesns said. Somebody hath touched me : for I perceive
that virtue is gone out of me.

So virtue will come out from Christ to heal our souls, if
it be the will of God.

47. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came
trembh'ng, and falling down before him, she declared unto him he-
fore all the jjeople for what cause she had touched him, and how
she was healed immediately.

She found that she was not hid, and therefore would not :
she made a full discovery of all, though it was what her
modesty would otherwise have inclined her to conceal.

48. And he said unto her. Daughter, be of good comfort : thy
faith hath made thee whole ; go in peace.

Daughter, was a healing and kind word, indeed ! Christ
has the same comfort for all, who know their want of it
above all things, and therefore can have faith to receive

49. While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of
the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead ;
trouble not the Master.

50. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying. Fear
not : believe only, and she shall be made whole.

O ! how often do fearful penitents want to have these
words sounded in their ears. But do not mistake. This
saying does not belong to the careless, who never saw their
danger in sin, and think they believe, only because they
are blind.

51. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to
go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the
mother of the maiden.

52. And all wept and bewailed her : but he said, Weep not ;
she is not dead, but sleepeth.

Christ speaks of her as only asleep, though she was dead,
because he knew that she would presently awake from it.

53. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

VER. 1 17.] ST. LUKE. 225

54. And lie put them all out, and took licr by the hand, and
called, saying. Maid, arise.

55. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway : and
he commanded to give her meat.

Christ knew meat to be necessary. He would not, how-
ever, work another miracle for the preservation of her life,
but left her to the use of ordinary means.

56. And her parents were astonished : and he charged them
that they should tell no man what was done.

A little time before he bade the demoniac show how
great things God had done unto him. Here he gives a
contrary charge. The reason of which may be this. It
was fit that his miracles should be known in part, and they
were wrought for that end. But he would not have them
noised abroad too much, lest the Pharisees should appre-
hend him before the time. When his time came, he offered
himself to it ; and by his public entry into Jerusalem, as it
were, put himself into their hands.

Chap. ix. ver. 1 — 17.



1. Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them
power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

What Jesus did then by his disciples, for the bodies of
men, he is always ready, with his ministers, to do for their
souls ; and one is the proof and assurance of the other.
Let us think where we most want healing, and whose fault
it is, if we are not helped.

VOL. II. a

226 ST. LUKE. [chap. IX.

2. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to lieal
the sick.

They to whom they were sent cor.ld not plead ignorance ;
nor can we : the kingdom of God is preached to us. Let
us choose, whether we will be his subjects, or those of Satan.
These two kingdoms divide the world.

3. And be said unto them. Take nothing for your journey, nei-
ther staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money ; neither have
two coats apiece.

They were not to busy themselves, or spend time in lay-
ing in provision for it, but to enter immediately upon their
office, and have no care but that of discharging it. They
were to depend upon God for a maintenance, to which he
here gives them a right.

4. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence

They were to be content with the entertainment with
which they met ; and not to go from house to house for
the sake of better.

5. And whosoever will not receive yon, when ye go out of that
city, shake oflf the very dust from your feet for a testimony against

Whosoever does not, ivill not. God will have this to lay
to the charge of all who refuse his offer of salvation. You
are undone, if you do not give up your vain excuses. In
token of God's abhorrence and utter rejection of them, for
slighting their call, shake off the dust from your feet
against them. This is terrible to think of. Take warn-
ing. God knows if the apostles were to come now to this
place, whether they would not shake oft' the very dust
from their feet.

6. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching
the gospel, and healing everywhere.

Thus they were intent on their work, leaving us an ex-
ample that we should follow their steps. — Edit.

7. Now Herod the tctrarch heard of all that was done by him :

VER. I — 17.] ST. I.UKE. 227

and lie was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John
was risen from the dead :

8. And of some, that Elias had appeared ; and of others, that
one ol" the old prophets was risen again.

Some said one thing, and some another, but none hit
upon the truth. There was a great deal of vain reasoning,
but no faith. " Here we may learn to detect a common
error into which men fall, when they attempt to judge of
the doctrines of religion, by the opposite opinions which
are afloat in the world. They judge that the Bible must
contain the doctrines advanced by one of the extreme parties,
when in truth, tlie opinions though disagreeing with eacii
other, are all opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ." — Edit.

9. And Ilerod said, John have I beheaded : but who is this, of
whom I hear such things ? And he desired to see him.

Herod desired to see Christ ; and when he did, he set him
at nought. Great numbers desire to hear of him, in every
age, and after all their hearing, they make light of him.

10. And tlie apostles, when they were retm'ned, told him all
that they bad done. And he took them, and went aside privately
into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

We may suppose they told him to this effect: here they
received us; there they did not: here they listened to our
preaching ; there they stopped their ears, and would not
hear the truth. He knows without their report, how we hear.

We shall see presently for what end Christ took them
aside privately. He wished to have an opportunity of
feeding the multitude by a miracle, where no bread was to
be had. Our souls may be compared to that desert place:
but Christ has food for them ; and wherever he is, tiiere
can be no want of food.

1 1. And the people, when they knew it, followed him : and he
received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and
healed them that had need of healing.

We here see that the people did not follow Christ in
vain ; as indeed, none ever shall. He took effectual care
both of their souls and bodies.

Q 2

228 ST. LUKE. [chat. IX.

12. And when the day began to wear away, then came the
twelve, and said unto hiin, Send the multitude away, that they
may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and
get victuals : for we are here in a desert place.

Let us take occasion from the observation of St. Luke,

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