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the sabbath-day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, thou JESUS of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of GOD.
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had forn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the hand, and lift her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door.
And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases,
and cast out many devils, and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him."
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
And Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him.
And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us into the next towns, for therefore came I forth,
And JESUS went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching of the gospel of the king. dom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people.
And his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases, and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, 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 Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
*The scribes and doctors only expounded the law, and taught the Jews the traditions of their fathers; but JESUS, coming with the power of GoD, delivered his doctrines with the authority and dignity of a divine teacher. Our LORD differed from the Jewish doctors, not only in his manner of instructing, but also in his conduct, which
Bishop Newcome's Observations on our Lord's Conduct.
perfectly agreed with his instructions, and distinguished him as superior to those who said and did not.
By curing all kinds of diseases as he did, our LORD proved that he was God. What is meant by being possessed with devils, is not precisely determined. Many learned authors suppose, that this possession was no more than a high degree of madness, imputed by the superstition of the Jews to the spirits of the deceased (called demons) entering into the bodies of the living. Others imagine, that some of the apostate an gels, who were cast out of heaven, had power to enter into men, and afflict them in a dreadful manner; but it is certainly best for those who are not capable of deep speculations and metaphysical disquisitions, to take the Scripture in a literal sense on this subject, and to sup pose (as appears from the account of themptation im the wilderness, and as many expressions of our LORD'S seem to imply) that * Satan, from the time of his apostacy, endeavoured to erect on earth a kingdom, in oppo sition to the kingdom of the LORD God intended for the MESSIAH; and that, on our SAVIOUR's appearing on earth, Satan exerted himself, and employed the wicked spirits who fell with him, in opposing the first establish ment of Christianity.; and they might perhaps be per mitted to prevail to a certain degree, in order more effectually to display the superior power and goodness of him whom God had sent into the world, and also to render the defeat of the devil more conspicuous. How the devils entered human bodies is impossible for us to know, because it is amongst the number of spiritual things which we have no faculties to comprehend: but if the opinion that they did so was erroneous, surely our
* Newcome's Observations.
LORD would have convinced his hearers of the falsehood of it, instead of confirming it, as he did by repeated miracles. Jesus, knowing that the disposition of the Jews was such, that those who believed him to be the MESSIAH would want to make him King immediately, and place him on the throne of Israel, and that others would oppose his doctrine, and raise commotions in the state, forbad the demoniacs to say that they knew him. He came into the world as the Prince of Peace; he there. fore resolved on all occasions to take every precaution that human prudence, directed by divine wisdom, could suggest to preserve it.
How astonishing must it have been, to behold one whose outward appearance proved him to be of human kind, evidently acting with divine power! None but an Almighty Being could effect such wonders, and we must consider our SAVIOUR in these instances as GOD manifested in the flesh. Here he is above our imitation; for no one could (as Nicodemus justly observed) perform such miracles unless GOD were with him. "But let us contemplate our LORD's behaviour as Man, and we shall find it possible to improve ourselves to some degree of resemblance to him, if we will endeavour to follow his blessed example. It is true, that we cannot, like him, cure all manner of diseases amongst the people; but we may often mitigate, and sometimes, by well-disposed charity, remove the bodily afflictions of our fellow. creatures. If we cannot restore reason to the distracted mind, we may, by religious arguments and rational advice, prevail with some to part with their sins, which are as great tormentors as evil spirits; and calm in others those fierce and turbulent passions, which often end in distraction. We may also imitate the prudence
* See Sect. xxix.
of our SAVIOUR, by avoiding all occasions of disturbing the peace of a neighbourhood, and may learn of him humility. His piety should also excite our emulation; for if he who did no sin, arose before the morning light, and retired into a solitary place to pray, how much more need have we to withdraw occasionally from the world, that we may recollect what is required of us,. and intreat our heavenly Father to enable us to do his blessed. will?
JESUS CURETH A MAN OF THE PALSY.
From Luke, Chap. v.—Mark, ii.—Matthew, ix..
AND it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the LORD was present to heal them..
And straightway many were gathered together, inso much that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word. unto them.
And they came unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and' when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
And JESUS seeing their faith, saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee,
And, behold, certain of the scribes said within them.