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DelivERED TO THE
On Occasion of
Thursday, Nov. 29, 1798.
Printed by James Belcher.
MATTHEWS, and KNOTT, London,
LUKE XVII, 15, 16.
ME parts of human conduct are su tiling and unworthy, that the serious mind feels a mixture of picy and contempt when they come beneath its notice : other parts are so base and detestable, that chey furnish matter for the deepest lamentation and regret : whilst others are fo juft, fo beneficial, or so amiable, that it is impossible to contemplate them without pleasing admiration.
Such are the effusions of a grateful heart-a heart suitably affected with the kindness it has received from another, and expressing, to the utmost reach of language and conduct, its sense of obligation to its benefactor.
The Bible abounds with fine and striking specimens of this lovely temper; and few are more interesting than that presented to us by our A ?
text. We read, v. 12. that “ As he (Jesus) entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off.”
You may recollect, that the Jewish law prohibited leprous persons from abiding in cities or towns*; so that they were obliged to retire to the villages, or less populous parts of the country ; and being shut out from other society, they formed little parties of their own, and passed their time together. It seems one of these was a Samarican, between whose countrymen and the Jews there were no dealings ordinarily; but their common affliction had, in this instance, suspended the effect of party animosity.
Not presuming to come near, left they should spread the infection, they stood afar off, and,
v. 13, “ They lift up their voices and said, Jesus, master, have mercy on us.”
It is probable that they had heard of his fame “ who went about doing good, healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people,” and were therefore encouraged to make application to him for personal relief: and surely they could not have applied to one whose power, or whose kindness, would better justify a hope of success, as the issue proves; for v. 14, “ He (without keeping them in suspense) said, “ Go, Thew yourselves to the Priests.” This injunction contained a pretty strong intimation that he would
• Lev, xiü. 46.