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DISCOURSE LIX.

The GOSPEL for the Four and Twentieth
Sunday after Trinity.

St. Matthew ix. 18 ———————27.

While Jefus fpake thefe things unto John's Disciples, bebold, there came a certain Ruler, and worShipp'd him; faying, My Daughter is even now dead, but come and lay thine Hand upon her, and he fball live, And Jefus arose and follow'd him, &c.

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HIS Gofpel for the Day gives us an account of two Miracles wrought by our bleffed Saviour; the one, the raifing of a rich Man's Daughter, from Death to Life; the other, the healing a poor Woman's Iffue of Blood: the latter being in the Way to the former. In relating whereof we may obferve,

Firft, The Time and Place when and where they were done, both which are fet forth in the first Words of this Gofpel: While Jefus fpake these things to John's Difciples; that is, while he was in or near Capernaum, his own City, or the Place of his Refidence, where the Disciples of John came to him with a Question, of which we read in the 14th Verfe of this Chapter; Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy Difciples faft not? Why doth John command us the Strictneffes and Severities of Fafting, and the Pharifees faft at least twice in the Week, when thy Disciples ufe no fuch Abftinencies or Aufterities? To which Chrift replies with another Question; Can the Children of the Bride-chamber faft whilft the Bridegroom is with them? But the Days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away, and then hall they faft. Is it fit that the chief Guefts at a Wedding fhould faft or fhew any Sadness, whilft the Marriage-Feaft continues: that is, whilft I the Bridegroom am with them? But the time is coming,

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when I fhall be gone from them, and then will the Time of fafting and mourning come; for Joy and Sorrow can no more fuit together, than a new Piece of Cloth with an old Garment, or new Wine with old Bottles. And then it follows, While Jefus Spake these things to John's Difciples, behold, there came a certain Ruler, and worshipp'd him: The

Second Thing to be here obferv'd, viz. the Perfon that here addrest himself to our Saviour, and that was a certain Ruler, by whom we are to understand, one of the Sanbedrim or great Council among the Jews, of which there were two Ranks or Degrees, call'd the greater and the leffer Sanhedrim: the former confifted of 72 Judges, made up of the chief Priefts, Scribes and Elders, who refided moftly in Jerufalem; the latter confifted of 23, who refided abroad in the feveral Cities, to decide the Differences that arofe in them and the adjacent Countries. And of this latter fort was the Ruler here mention'd, who was one of the Confiftory of that City, and dwelt there; of him it is faid, that he came to Jefus, and fell down upon his Knees and worshipp'd him. This Ruler's Name (as St. Mark tells us) was Jairus, one of the Rulers of the Synagogue, who prefided in the Jews particular Affemblies, and there pronounc'd what was right according to Law, and thereby ended Controverfies, and punish'd Exorbitances. This Ruler when he faw Jefus, came to him and fell at his feet; Mark 5. 22.

But what was his Requeft to him? Why, he faid unto him, My Daughter is even now dead; but come and lay thy Hand upon her, and the fhall live. St. Mark tells us that the was at the point of Death; meaning, that when he came from her he was gafping out her laft Breath, and he concluded that when he spake to our Saviour, fhe must be then dead. But yet he had fo firm a Perfuafion and Confidence in Chrift's Power, that if he would but come and lay his Hand upon her, fhe would recover and be reftor'd to Life again poffibly he had heard or feen fome of the Miracles that Chrift had done of that kind, as the raifing of Laza rus, after he had been dead four days; the bringing the Widow's Son at Naim to Life again, when he was carrying to his Grave; with many others, which begat in him a ftrong Faith, that he was able to do the fame to his dying or dead Daughter. But what did our Saviour hereupon? Why, 'tis faid, that Jefus immediately arofe and follow'd

him, and fo did his Difciples. He rais'd no Doubts, nor made any Delays, but went away presently with his Difciples to his House.

But as he was going to this Ruler's Houfe, Behold, a Wo man which was difeas'd with an Ifue of Blood twelve Years, came where he was. St. Mark tells us, that this Woman had fuffer'd many things of many Phyficians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing better'd, but rather grew worfe; Mark 5. 26. Her Difeafe had run fo long, that the Flux of Blood could not be ftopt by any Methods of Art or Phyfick which made her upon the hearing of Jefus, and the Cures wrought by him, betake her felf to him. But how did the apply her felf to him, when fhe came? Why, fhe made no formal Addrefs to him by way of Petition or Word of Mouth, but took opportunity of the Throng or Prefs wherein he was, to go behind him and touch the Hem of his Garment; For fhe faid within her Self, if I may but touch his Garment, I shall be whole. Upon which St. Mark tells us, that the Fountain of her Blood was ftraightway dried up, and fhe felt in her Body, that fhe was heal'd of that Plague.

This Woman's Diftemper being a legal Uncleannefs, fhe thought it might be heal'd or done away by touching the Fringe of that Garment, which God commanded the Jews to wear, Numb. 15. and that made her come by Stealth behind our Saviour, and touch the Fringe of his Garment. Or elfe, her Faith in Chrift was fo ftrong, as to be fully perfuaded, that the Touch of any thing about him was fufficient to heal her and fo indeed it prov'd, for our Saviour was fo well pleas'd with the Strength of her Faith, that he turn'd about, and feeing her, faid unto her, Daugh ter, Be of good Comfort, thy Faith hath made thee whole. St. Mark and St. Luke have added another Paffage to this Relation, to wit, that upon the Woman's touching his Gar ment, Jefus immediately knew in himself, that Virtue had gone out of him; and turning about in the Prefs, ask'd, Who hath touch'd me? To which the Disciples reply'd; Thou feeft the Multitude thronging about thee, and Sayeft thou, Who touched me? The Woman feeing Jefus look about, and knowing what was done in her, came fearing and trembling, and fell done before him, and told him all the Truth. Upon which he faid unto her, Daughter, thy Faith hath made thee whole, go in Peace, and be whole of thy Plague; Mark 5. 30-35. By which it appear'd, that his Gar

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ment was fanative, and his Touch medicinal, for the Woman was made whole from that Hour. And this may encourage us in all Exigencies to go to this great Physician, who is able so easily to heal all the Maladies both of Soul and Body.

This Miracle our Saviour did in his Way to the Ruler's House, where as he was going, there came certain Persons from the Ruler's Houfe, who faid unto him, Thy Daughter is dead; why troubleft thou the Mafter any farther: Jefus hearing thefe Words, and fearing that the Ruler's Faith might fail, faid unto him, Be not afraid, only believe; which made him go on heavily indeed for the Death of his Child, but chearfully enough for the Hopes he had in our Saviour.

When Jefus came to the Ruler's Houfe, 'tis faid, he saw the Minstrels, and the People making a noife: Thefe Minftrels were certain Perfons hired to play mournful Tunes at Funerals, according to the Cuftom of the Jews and other Nations; of which we read in 2 Chron. 35. 25. where Jeremiah lamented for Jofiah, and the finging Men and finging Women Spake of Jofiah in their Lamentations to this day; that is, they fang Threnes or mournful Songs, compos'd for Lamentation on fuch fad Occafions, which is there faid to be made an Ordinance in Ifrael,

According to this Cuftom and Constitution, our Saviour found thefe Minstrels in the Ruler's House, playing their mournful Ditties, the People making a noile with weeping and wailing about them; all things preparing with Mufick and other Solemnities for the Funeral: when Chrift came in, he said unto them, Give place, or as St. Mark hath it, Why make ye fuch ado, and weep, the Maid is not dead, but fleepeth? meaning, that he would make her Death to be but a Sleep, from whence the fhould rife, as one that waketh out of Sleep. But the People instead of believing, laugh'd him to fcorn.

But when the People were put forth, he took the Father and Mother of the Damfel, with his three Difciples, Peter, James and John, and went in where the lay, and coming to her as one that was asleep, he took her by the Hand, and the Maid arofe: fhe awak'd as one out of deep, came to Life again, and rofe up. St. Mark relates it, that Christ beside taking her by the Hand utter'd thefe Words, Talitha Cumi, which is being interpreted, Damfel, I say unto thee arife; and adds, that the Damfel ftraightway arofe and walk'd.

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These are the two Miracles related in the Gospel for this Day, the one upon a difeas'd Woman, the other upon a departed Maid, and both of them were very great, and far exceeding all the Powers of Art and Nature: For which reafon, 'tis added in the Clofe, that the Fame thereof went abroad into all that Land. For tho he charg'd them to conceal it, yet the Rumour of it fpread far and near throughout that Country. St. Mark adds, that they were aftonish'd with a great Aftonishment; and elsewhere 'tis faid upon the like Occafions, that they marvell'd greatly, and glorify'd God: the two ufual Effects of his Miracles, to wit, Admiration and Adoration, both which suit very well with the Miracles related to us this Day.

For the First, we may juftly raife our Wonder to the higheft Pitch of Admiration, and with thefe in the Text be aftonifh'd with a great Aftonifhment, at fuch amazing Effects of the Divine Power. And indeed if we confider the Greatness of the Works done by him, the Eafiness of his doing of them, the Ufefulness of them to Mankind, together with the End and Extent of them, we shall find Reafon enough to fill us with Admiration and Aftonifh

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Ift, I fay the ftupendous Greatnefs and Number of our Saviour's Miracles may fill us with Wonder and Amazement. As Chrift was a Prophet above all other Prophets, fo were his Miracles far above all other Miracles; no Man ever did the mighty Works that he did, even in the Judgment of his Enemies; nor did all or any that were before him, ever come near him in the Greatnefs of the miraculous Acts done by him. The Jews of old had a Saying, that all paft Miracles fhould be nothing in comparison of the Miracles of the Meffias. And indeed if we compare the Miracles of the Prophets, and all that went before him, they are not fit to be nam'd with thofe that were done by our Saviour; and if the Jews were not blinded by Prejudice, they might from thence reafonably have taken him for the true Meflias: for there was no part of the Creation that afforded not fome Inftance or other of his Divine Power. He had (as a Father hath obferv'd) the Bleffed Angels at his Call, and the damned Spirits fubject to his Will; he commanded the Seas and the Winds, and they obey'd him; he guided the Fishes in the Sea which way he pleas'd, and did many Wonders in the Deep. As for Men, who were his more peculiar Charge, he provided against their Neceflities,

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