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11. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

It appears from hence, that it is some ease to the devils, and a mitigation of their torments, to be in the bodies of men, and other animals. Instead of prying farther into this matter, let us be careful to keep them out of ourselves. They may have possession of our bodies oftener than we think of; and they certainly have possession of our souls when we give way to their temptations.

13. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

Ver. 10-14.-Why Jesus complied with the request of these devils, in suffering them to enter into, and destroy the swine, we cannot certainly know. No doubt the owners of them deserved this punishment. The loss indeed of their swine, if they would have understood it, might have been a gain to them. We may learn hence that the devil has no power of his own, and cannot hurt us without God's permission. And he has no power given him, but as we consent to it, by first withdrawing ourselves from God.

15. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind and they were afraid.

Are we in our right mind? Jesus brings us all to this. No man, however, is in his right mind until he makes his soul his first care. And no man does that until he thinks in good earnest with himself what he must do to be saved: until he turns to God in repentance, humility, and prayer, and sues out his pardon in the name of Christ. Has then

the same Jesus, who only can, brought you to your right mind? Then you are thankful to God for him ; you make your soul your first care: you have his rule always before you: you keep a strict watch over your heart. You pray, you think it as great folly to return to your former state of unbelief, and alienation from God, as it would have been in this recovered man to invite the legion of devils into him again.

16. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

17. And they began to pray him to depart out of their


Instead of considering the miracle which he had done, and reaping the benefit of his presence, their hearts were hardened, notwithstanding what they had seen and heard, like all others who value their worldly goods more than Christ.

18. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

This is a proof of conversion, when we desire to be with Jesus:—when we gladly receive his instructions, and cleave to him, in our wills and affections, from a sense of his love, and knowing how great and good he is to us.

19. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

As Jesus could stay no longer in that country himself, he judged it proper that the man should remain there, to publish what the Lord had done for him; and especially to make this known to his friends and acquaintance, as he knew it would be natural for him to do.

20. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him :

When you know Christ, be not afraid to speak of him to others. Who knows but you may save a soul?

20. And all men did marvel.

So may you upon hearing this miracle; but he wants improvement from you, and application of what you hear and read, and not stupid admiration only. Jesus came into the world to do great things for us all. Ask yourselves, what has he done? what one thing did you ever desire him to do for you?

Ver. 1-19.-The great end of all Christ's miracles was that he might prove himself to be sent of God to be the Saviour of the world, and the great prophet to teach us the way to salvation, and to bring us to heaven. They have, then, their proper effect upon us, when they excite our belief in him, as the Son of God, and the only Saviour of sinners. One use and design of them is, that we may see something of our own case in all the cures he performed, and go to him for the help we need. It is by this self-application, looking narrowly into our hearts, and considering how far we ourselves are concerned in everything we read, that we may get life and nourishment from the Scripture. We are the leper in chap. i., the paralytic in chap. ii., the man with the withered hand in chap. iii. And as to the account before us,-have we no devils to be cast out? no stubborn opposition to the will of God? no uncleanness? no pride, nor malice? no hatred? no revenge? no worldliness? no drunkenness? no cursing and swearing? no lying or evil-speaking devil? It is by these unhappy tempers of our corrupt nature, that the devil gets possession of us, and has full power over us. And if we never came to Christ to have these works of the devil destroyed, he is still in us. He need not make us rage outwardly, or make us cut and mangle ourselves, to prove it; he works our destruction not the less surely for doing it secretly.


Chap. v. ver. 21-34.


21. And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.

22. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

23. And besought him greatly,

Oh! this is the way to come at all we want; and take notice there is no other. It is a full proof of an unconverted state, when we can keep all quiet within us, without going to Jesus, and telling him of our trouble. Now, therefore, ask yourselves, whether you ever fell down at his feet, so much as once in your whole life, to beseech him greatly, in the distress of your souls, to help you.

23. Saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death:

The case of every soul, in its natural state, before Jesus comes to it.

23. I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

24. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

Jesus complies with all upon the same kind of request as this man made. Sense of our want of him brings us to him for help, and he never denies it to those who so ask it of him.

25. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26. And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

We may draw a very important lesson of instruction from hence. If you feel the plague of sin in your souls, go directly to Jesus. When men are first awakened to see their lost condition as sinners against God, they are all for doing great things for themselves, and would gladly be working for life. Know, it is in vain, and that you will be no better, but farther from a cure, till you apply to Jesus. You can as easily make a world, as remove one sin from the heart without him: and where else will you go with the guilt of all sin?

27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

Perhaps she had heard of one or two of Christ's miracles. We have a great many of them before us in the gospels, and yet some of us do not go to him for healing. Sin cleaves to us three, or four times twelve years, without our being troubled at it. We deny it, and make ourselves whole, and so long as we pursue this scheme, we cannot take one step to Christ.

28. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

This is an admirable picture of true faith. It knows all its help is in Christ, makes no doubt that he has help enough for it, and that he certainly will help it. How plainly does this speak to us all, and in effect says to us, be not afraid, only believe in Christ for a cure. But then let us not fancy that we believe, when we have no feeling of our disease.

29. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30. And Jesus immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes ?

31. And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me ?

Jesus was not diverted from his

purpose of

mercy to the

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