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out all Syria, and they brought -unto him all sick People, that were taken with divers Diseases and Torments, and those that were possessed with Devils, and those that were lunatick, and those that had the Palsy, and he healed them. And there followed him great Multitudes of People from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerufalem, and Judæa, and from beyond Jordan. They brought to him ,a Paralytick, and many possess'd with evil Spirits at Capernaum; they brought Lepers and Lunaticks to him at Cesarea , and in all Parts and Places of his Progress were brought to him the Lame, and the Blind, and the Sick of all manner of Maladies to be heal'd by him. Here, in the Text, they brought to him one that was deaf, and had an Impediment in his Speech; by which is meant not barely a stammering Speech, but one totally dumb or speechless•, for so the word here and in other places is us'd to signify. The Diseases then here to be cur'd were either a natural Deafness and Dumbness in one that was so born, or adventitious in one that was possess'd with a deaf and dumb Spirit •, both which were incurable by any natural or ordinary Means.
But what was it they besought our Saviour for him? Why, that the next words declare; They beseech him to put his Hand upon him; which they did, from the many Examples they had seen and heard of his curing many distemper'd Persons merely by a Touch; so he cur'd Peter's Wife's Mother of a Fever, only by touching her Hand: he heal'd a Leper in Galilee by a Touch of his Hand; with many 0thers recorded in Holy Scripture. Yea, we read of one that was heal'd by touching the Hem of his Garment and of others who, by sending Handkerchiefs and Linen-Clothes, and receiving them back again touch'd by him, were heal'd of divers Diseases, and the evil Spirits went out of them. These things encourag'd the People of Galilee to beseech him to put his Hand upon this deaf and dumb Man: upon which, as the following words declare, He took him aside from the Multitude, and put his Fingers into his Ears, and he spit and touched his Tongue,
So ready was he to do good upon the least Motion, he needed no Importunity, nor was he drawn to it by any earnest or frequent Repetition of the Suit, but readily answer'd the Request, and chearfully embrae'd the Opportunity of shewing Kindness •, 'twas his Meat and Drink, his Business and Delight too, to do the Will of God, and to do good Offices unto Men; it was his greatest pleasure (as
U 4 one one hath observ'd) to spread his healing Wings over all, to dispense his benign Influences and Favours every where, and to make every one that came near him sensible of his good Will to Mankind. Tho he was throng'd after and press'd upon by the Miserable and Unfortunate, the Diseas'd and Possess'd in all Places where he came, yet we never find any Person sent from his Presence dissatisfy'd. It was but ask and have and the bare laying, Lord, have mercy upon me, was enough to get the poor Beggar's Wants, of what kind soever, instantly supply'd. So it was here, they did but ask him to put his Hand upon this deaf and dumb Person, and he immediately took him aside, to avoid all Vanity and Ostentation, and put his Fingers into his Ears, and touch'd his Tongue. After which, looking up to Heaven, owning the paramount Power of his Father, and imploring his Blessing, he look'd down, and sighing at the Infirmities of the poor Man, faid unto him, Ephphata, that is, be open'd; the Sense whereof is, Let all Impediments of hearing and speaking be gone from thee, and let the Power of both come unto thee.
Well, and what was the Issue of this kind and hearty Word? Why, that the next Verse will tell usAnd straitway his Ears were open'd, and the String of his Tongue was loos'd, and he spake plains ver. 35. that is, immediately upon Christ's pronouncing the word Ephphata, his Hearing and Speaking came to him, and both in great perfection; his Hearing was quick, and his Speech was plain, and both by a Touch and a Word's speaking.
Nothing, you see, is hard or disficult to an Almighty Power ., 'tis but to speak the Word (faith the Centurion to our Saviour) and thy Servant shall he whale, Matth. 8, 8. Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, (aith the Leper in the Gospel- , upon which our Saviour spake the word, / will be thou clean, and immediately the Leprosy departed from him; Luke 8. 12,13. What can be more lightly or easily done than by a Touch or a Word ? and yet this is all by which these miraculous Works were done. St, Mark tells us, that in all manner of Distempers, all that touch'd him were made whole, Mark 6. 56. and many were heal'd by his Word only, without coming to him or seeing of him. He that spake all things into Being by a word of his Mouth, can as easily restore them again by a word's speaking: So did he raise Laz.arus, after he had lain three days in the Crave, with faying only, La^arta, come forth, John 11. He brought to Life the Widow's Son of the City of JVaim, only by bidding the dead Carcase arise. So did he Jairuss Daughter, only by faying unto her Talitha Cumiy Damsel, I fay unto thee, arise; Mark 5. 41, 42. And here by the word Ephphata, he rebuk'd a deaf and dumb Spirit, and restor'd the Hearing and Speaking to one that was depriv'd of both. This is the Miracle here related, together with what went before it. I proceed, in the
Last Place, to what follow'd after it; and that was,
1st, Our Saviour's Charge, That they should tell no Man of it, tho the more he charg'd them, so much the more a great deal theypublilb'd it.
zdly, The Effect that the Miracle had upon them, They "Were beyond measure astonifi'd.
idly, The Confession it drew from them, faying, He hath done all things well, he maketh the Deaf to hear, and the Dumb to speak. For the
1st, Our Saviour straitly charg'd them, That they should tell no Man os it, ver. 36. He did not affect Vain-glory, in exerting his miraculous Power, nor did he court the Applause or Admiration of the World in any thing that he did; he was above all such Vanity, and us'd all possible Ways and Means to prevent it. Here he charg'd the deaf and dumb Man, whom he had cur'd, not to use his Tongue in speaking of it to any; and those that faw it, not to publish or make words of it. When he cleaas'd a Leper of his Leprosy, at his coming down from the Mount, he faid unto him, See, thou tell no Man, but go and shew thy self to the Priest, and offer the Gift that Moses commanded for a Testimony unto them: Mat.U.2,3, 4. And the fame he frequently did upon other like occasions. Sometimes he withdrew out of Crouds and Throngs of People, to avoid their Hofannas and Acclamations. After his Miracle of the Loaves, the Multitude came about him, and would have made him a King; but he took occasion from thence to divert their Thoughts from earthly Glories, and directs them to mind more Heavenly Matters, John 6, He never exercise his Power for vain or worldly Purposes, but only for the Good of Mankind, as their Wants and Necessities did require. The Jews indeed expected Signs and Shews in the Heavens to raise Admiration, some wonderful and prodigious Appearances in the Air and in the Clouds, to draw the Eyes of the World upon him; but he rather
theck'd than gratify'd their vain Curiosity. His Miracles were all falutary and healing, tending to the benefit of Mens Bodies, and the faving of their Souls, such good Offices he did-with all Privacy, and without Levity or Ostentation, commanding those that receiv'd the Benefit of them to conceal it, and to tell no Man: but these great and good things could not be hld, iike the Sun they discover themselves, and break out of the Cloud that covers them. Their Breasts could not contain a Secret so worthy to be known, neither could they forbear publishing what tended so much to the Publick Good; for the more he eharg'd them, so much the more a great deal they publifli'A it. Which will lead,
zdly, To the Effect the Miracle had upon the Minds of the People, which was Wonder and Astonishment ver. 37. They were beyond measure astonist/d. And that,
1. For the stupendous Greatness of his Works, such as the healing all manner of Diseases, making the Lame to walk, the Blind to fee, the Deaf to hear, cleansing the Lepers, raising the Dead, casting out evil Spirits, and dispossessing Legions of Devils out of Persons cruelly tormented by them. These are astonishing Acts, such as none but a Divine Omnipotent Power could effect, and such as might well enough possess the Spectators of them with Wonder and Amazement: considering,
2. The wonderful manner of doing of them •, for he effected these things as well absent as present, and that in an instant too, as well as by sensible Degrees, by applying of his Hand, by the Touch of his Garment, by the Word of his Mouth, by the Motion of his Will •, to shew (as one hath observ'd) that any Means would serve, that no Means were necessary, and that all Times and Places were alike to the Sovereign Almighty Power of the Son of God : which could not but fill them with Admiration and Astonishment. Considering farther the End and Design of all his wonderful Works, which was nothing but the Good and Welfare of Mankind , he sought not his own Glory, or the Praise of Men, but the Health and Happiness of all that came to him : His mighty Works were so many Miracles of Mercv. which surpriz'd the Beholders, and excited Wonder and Astonishment in all that heard of them.
idly, And this drew that Confession from them in the close of this Gospel,' faying, He hath done all things well, he maketh the Deaf to hear, and the Dumb to speak.the last. thing to be spoken to in it. Wonder and Astonishment commonly break out into Praises and Thanksgivings; the Breast cannot long contain such deep Resentments, which often force their way out, and vent themselves in Confessions and Commendations. After the Miracle of the Loaves, 'tis faid, the People were amazed, and cry'd out, saying, Of a truth this is that Prophet that was to come into the World j John 6. 14. and others, upon the sight of his mighty Works, faid among themselves, Surely this is the Son of God. And here upon his healing the deaf and dumb Man, they faid, He hath done all things well, that is, there is no Fault or Defect to be found in him, and nothing but the height of Charity and Goodness appear in all his Actions, for he maketh the Deaf to hear. He put his Finger into the Ears of many that were troubled with Deafness, and thereby remov'd all the Impediments of Sense, and their Hearing came to them: And likewise the Dumb to speak; he loosen'd the Tongues of many that were speechless and tongue-ty'd, and thereby their Speech was restor'd unto them, and they spake plain.
Thus is the Miracle of the Text briefly open'd and explains to you, together with what was previous, and what subsequent to it : It remains only to apply it, by inferring some useful Lessons from it. And,
1. From our Saviour's going about doing good, we may learn to imitate him, and to do likewise; not that we are to imitate him in doing Miracles, or in that stupendous manner of benefiting Mankind, as our Saviour did, these things are out of the reach of our Power •, but as far as we may, to be helpful and serviceable to the Good of one another. We cannot raise the Dead, but we may help, comfort, and counsel the Living: We cannot give Sight to the Blind, or Feet to the Lame, by any miraculous way of removing those Infirmities •, but we may be, in some sense, Eyes to the Blind, by instructing the Ignorant, and Feet to the Lame, by helping them to walk in the ways of Righteousness. 'Tis not (as one hath well obferv'd) the doing Good just in the fame Instances, or after the fame wonderful manner that this Example directs us to, but only to a like Willingness and Readiness to do good upon all fit Occasions, as far as our Power and Activity will reach. It obliges us in our several Stations, as much as in us l^es, to -promote the Welfare and Prosperity, , , i , "the