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A Lunatick poffeffed with a Dumb Spirit is brought to him,

faluted him.

9

zed, and running to him, and running to him, they faluted him with the greatest Sect. 91. Marks of Refpect and Affection: Yet the Scribes and Pharifees were not at all impreffed, but continued their ill-natured Attack on his Difciples.

16 And he afked the

with them?

Mark IX.

15.

And taking Notice of the warm Dispute they 16 Scribes, What queftion ye were engaged in, he asked the Scribes, What is the Point you are debating, and what do you contend with them about?

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And prefently upon his making this Enquiry, 17
behold, a [certain] Man of the Multitude came, and
kneeling down to him, anfwered the Question in Ef-
fect; and crying out with a loud and eager Voice
faid, Oh thou great Teacher and Master in our
Hrael, I have brought thee my poor afflicted Son,
who has for a long Time been poffeffed with a
Dumb Spirit, and the malicious Dæmon has de-
prived him of the Ufe of his Hearing and Speech:
And in this moving Cafe, Oh Lord, I beseech thee, Mat, XVII.
look upon my Son, for he is mine only Child, [and] 15.
yet inftead of being any Comfort to me, is a most
melancholy Spectacle of Horror; let me intreat
thee therefore to have Compaffion on [him,] for he
is Lunatick (b), and grievously tormented with ter-
rible Fits, which frequently feize him, and some-
times endanger his Life; for he often falleth into
the Fire, and often into the Water. And behold, Luke IX. 39.
wherever [this] Spirit feizes him, he has no Strength
or Thought to take Care of himself, but fuddenly
cries out in a violent Manner; and it convulfes him
fo, that he foams again at the Mouth, and gnashes
with his Teeth in Extremity of Anguifh; and
thus he miferably pines, and withers away in the
Bloom of his Age: And [it] is with great Diffi-
culty that the malignant Dæmon departs from him
for a little while, having bruifed him to fuch a
Degree by violent Distortions, that he is hardly
able to use his Limbs in the Interval of these

dreadful Agitations. And I am perfuaded Mat. XVII.
there is fome more than ordinary Difficulty in the 16.
Cafe;

(b) He is Lunatick.] Grotius well obferves, that this Word, (which exactly answers the Etymology of the Original,) might with great Propriety be used, tho' there was fomething preternatural in the Cafe; as the Evil Spirit would undoubtedly take Advantage of those Disorders, into which the Brain and Nerves of this unhappy Child were thrown by the Changes of the Moon.

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(c) From

10

Mat. XVII. 16.

Who had withstood the Attempts of his Difciples..

Sect. 91. Cafe; for I brought him to thy Difciples, and fpake V to [them] concerning him, and intreated [them] in the most affectionate Manner, to use their utmost Efforts to caft him out; and they could not accomplifh it, nor heal him.

17

Mark IX. 20.

21

Then Jefus faid in Reply to him, Ob ye incredulous and perverfe Generation of Men, how long fhall I be with you, before you will learn a becoming Regard to me? how long shall I endure that Infidelity, which you are fhewing on fo many Occafions? And thus did he mean at once to reprove, the Weakness of Faith, in the Father, and in his Difciples, as well as the Obftinacy and Perverfeness of the Jewish Teachers, who were triumphing in their prefent Difappointment: And then turning to the Father of the Child and his Attendants, he faid, Bring thy Son hither to me, and you shall see what my Power can effect.

And upon this, they brought him that was poffeffed to Jefus, and prefented the poor Creature to bim. And immediately, as foon as he faw him, while he was yet coming, the Evil Spirit in a Rage wrought in him with fuch Violence, that he threw him down, and convulfed him; and he fell on the Ground with great Force, and there lay, and rolled from one Side to the other, a Spectacle of Horror, foaming at the Mouth, and fweating profufely, till Nature was almost exhausted, and he feemed ready to die.

And, that the Greatness of the Cure might more plainly appear, while the unhappy Youth lay thus before him, he asked his Father, How long Time is it, that he hath been thus afflicted? And 22 be faid, Even from his Childhood (c).

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brought him to thy Difciples, [and fpake to them,] to caft him out,] and they [LUK. and befought them could not cure him. [MARK IX. 18. LUKE IX. 40.1

17 Then Jefus answered [him] and faid, Oh faithlefs and perverfe Generation, how long fhall I be with you? how long fhall I suffer you? bring [LUK. thy Son] hither to me. [MARK IX. 19. LUKE IX, 41.]

they brought him unto him: and when he faw him, [as he was yet a coming,] ftraightway the Spirit [threw him down, and] tare him, and he fell on the Ground, and wallowed foming. [LUKE IX. 42.—]

MARK IX. 20. And

21 And he asked his Father, How long is it ago

fince this came unto him? And he faid, Of a Child.

And 22 And oft-times it hath caft him into the Fire, and into the Waters to destroy

the Evil Spirit is fo outragious, and fo mali-
cious, that it frequently, as I faid, has thrown him
into the Fire, and into the Waters, when he has
happened to be near them, as if he watched for
Opportunities to destroy him; fo that I am fenfible
it is a moft difficult, as well as dreadful Cafe: But

if

him:

(c) From his Childhood.] So the Word wardrobe properly fignifies; and I think with Grotius. it is much more convenient to render it thus, than from his Infancy.

Jesus rebukes the Dæmon, and expells him.

him: but if thou canst do if thou canst do any Thing in it (d), have Compaffion Sect. 9r. any thing, have Compaffion on us, and help us; for furely none ever needed thy Pity more.

on us, and help us.

23 Jefus faid unto him, If thou canst believe, all Things are poffible to him

that believeth.

24 And ftraightway the Father of the Child cried out, and faid with Tears, Lord, I believe; help thou

mine Unbelief.

25 When Jefus faw that the People came running together, he rebuked the [unhim, Thou Dumb and Deaf Spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no IX. —42.— MAT. XVII.

clean] Spirit, faying unto

more into him. [LUKE

18.-]

26 And the Spirit cried and rent him fore, and came

out

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And Jefus faid unto him, The Question is Mark IX. not at all concerning my Power, but concerning 23. the Strength of thy Faith; for if thou canst firmly and chearfully believe, the Deliverance will furely be effected, as all Things of this Kind are poffible to him that believeth.

And immediately the Father of the Child, touched 24 to the very Heart to think that his dear Son might poffibly lose the Cure thro' the Weakness of his own Faith, cried out aloud, and faid with Tears in his Eyes, and Ardor in his Countenance, Lord, I do from my Heart believe that thy Power is unlimited; yet fuch is my Frailty, that when I look on this Spectacle of Mifery, my Faith is ready to fail me again: Help me therefore against my Unbelief, by mitigating the Circumftances of the Trial, or communicating fuitable Strength to my Soul (e).

Then Jefus feeing that the Croud ran toge- 25 ther, and was continually increafing round them, rebuked the unclean Spirit, which had poffeffed the Child, and Jaid unto him, with an Air of fuperior Power and Divine Authority, Thou Dumb and Deaf Spirit, who haft fo maliciously deprived this Youth of his Speech and Hearing, I ftrictly charge and command thee, immediately to come out of him, and prefume to enter into him no more, nor farther to difquiet him as long as he lives.

And immediately, as foon as he had spoken 26 thefe Words, [the Evil Spirit,] having cried out with great Earneftnefs, and thrown him into violent DiStortions,

(d) If thou canst do any Thing in it.] Perhaps obferving the Fit grow more violent on his approaching Chrift, his Faith might begin to fail. This was a very natural Manner of fpeaking, and yet ftrongly pathetick, and obliquely interefting the Honour of Christ in the Iflue of the Affair. See Raphel. ex Xen. pag. 73.

(e) Help my Unbelief, &c.] It feems an Inconvenience infeparable from this Method of Paraphrafing, that fometimes (as in the prefent Inftance,) fome lively and ftrongly pointed Sentences fhould lofe fomething of their Spirit by it; yet keeping the Original thus diftinct, may in Part remedy it; and on the whole, many of thefe Expreffions are fo full of Meaning, that the general Laws of Interpretation require, they fhould be unfolded. To obferve the exact Medium here, is a Felicity, which I dare not say I have obtained, tho' I have laboured after it.

B 2

Faith

12

Mark IX.

26.

This Kind comes not out but by Prayer and Fafting.

Sect. 91. ftortions, came out of him; and the poor Youth
had been fo miferably handled, that he fell into a
Swoon, and feemed as one dead, fo that
many who
were prefent faid, He is undoubtedly quite dead,
27 and will revive no more. But Jefus taking hold
of him by the Hand lifted him up, and strengthened
him, fo that be arofe and stood on his Feet. And
when [be] thus had perfectly restored and healed
the Child, he took and delivered him to his Father,
who received him with an inexpreffible Mixture
of Joy and Amazement. And the Child was well
from that very Hour, and thefe terrible Symptoms
returned upon him no more.

Luke IX.43.

Mark IX.

28.

Mat. XVII. 20.

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And they who beheld it, were all aftonished at the mighty Power of GOD, by which this illuftrious Miracle had been wrought.

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And when he had left the Multitude, and was come into the House, where he then refided, bis Difciples, fomething mortified at the Repulfe they had met with in their late Attempt, came to Jefus when he was alone, and afked him privately, Why could not we prevail fo far, as to caft out this Dæmon, and expell him, fince we have performed many Cures which feemed equally difficult?

And Jefus faid unto them, It was because of the Remainder of your Unbelief; for verily I fay unto you, If you had but the leaft Degree of Faith in a lively Exercife, tho' it comparatively was but as a Grain of Mustard-feed (f), you might perform the greatest Wonders, fo as even to say to this Mountain here in the Neighbourhood, Remove from this Place to that, and it should accordingly remove; and in a Word, nothing will 21 be impoffible to you.

But as to the Cafe that was lately before us, he farther faid unto them, This Dæmon which poffeffed the Child was one of a very obftinate Kind, which cannot be expelled fo readily as others; nor must you ex

pect

out [of him; ] and he was

as one dead, infomuch that
He is dead.
many faid,
[MÁT. XVII.−18]

27 But Jefus took him by. the Hand, and lifted him up, and he arofe: [LUK. and livered him again to his Father.] [And the Child was cured from that very Hour.] [MAT. XVII.—18. LUKE X-42.]

he healed the Child, and de

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LUKE IX. 43.- And they were all amazed at the mighty Power of GOD.

MARK IX 28. And

when he was come into the Houfe, his Difciples [came to Jefus apart, and] afked him privately, Why could not we caft him out? [MAT. XVII. 19.]

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(f) Faith as a Grain of Mustard-feed.] It is very trifling to fuppofe, that here is a Refer ence to the Poignancy of Mustard-feed, as an Emblem of a vigorous and lively Faith. It is apparently a Proverb, to exprefs any thing inconfiderably fmall, that being,, as our Lord expreffes it, one of the smallest among Seeds. Thus the Rabbi's fay, the Globe of the Earth is but as a Grain of Mustard-feed, when compared with the Expanfe of the Heavens. See Drufius, in loc.

(8) This

Reflections on the Neceffity of a lively Faith.

come forth by nothing] but by Prayer and Falting. [MARK IX. 29.1

T

21.

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pect to have Power over fuch Spirits as thefe, to Sect. 91.
oblige them to go forth by any Means, unless you Mat. XVII.
do by frequent Prayer and Fafting intercede with
GOD for his more abundant Co-operation, and
by fuch extraordinary Devotions endeavour to pre-
pare your Souls for his farther Influences (g).

IMPROVEMENT.

HE invidious Oppofition, which thefe Scribes and Pharifees made Markix. 14. to our Lord, and the ill-natured Joy they expreffed, in what they imagined would difgrace his Difciples, appears exceeding odious; and it fhews us the fatal Effects of Ambition, Pride, and Avarice, when they poffefs the Hearts of those, who should be (as these by their Office were,) Teachers of others. Such Qualities render thofe in the Number of the most dangerous Enemies of Mankind, who ought to be its most affectionate Friends, and most useful Benefactors. May the Light of the Gofpel break in on their Souls, and form them to a better Temper!

The folicitous Concern of this Parent, when he faw his Child under Mat. xviii fuch fad Symptoms of Disorder, may furely remind Perfons in that Rela- 14, 15. Luke ix. 38. tion, of the Sentiments, with which they fhould view thofe of their Children, who are in a Spiritual Senfe under the Power of Satan; and of the Importunity with which they fhould intreat, that the Hand of Christ may be ftretched out for their Rescue.

A lively Exercife of Faith is greatly to be defired in this, and all other Applications of this Nature. But, alas, how often do we find the Remainders

of

(g) This Kind cannot go forth by any Means, unless by Prayer and Fafting.] An ingenious Phyfician mentioned by the learned Author of the Enquiry into Damoniacks, &c. pag. 47. inftead of ER poreux na sed, would read poornsea, by conftant Fafting; and fuppofes it refers to the Neceffity of frequent and long continued Abftinence, in order to the Cure of fuch an Epileptick Distemper, as the Child in Queftion had been fubject to. But as the Cris ticism is founded on mere Conjecture, contrary to all the Copies known in the World; fo I cannot think it at all natural in itself, or pertinent to the Occafion; for it feems not at all to our Lord's Purpose, to fpeak of the Natural Methods of Cure, in Anfwer to the Apostle's Demand, why they could not miraculously perform it? Nor can any Inftance be produced to prove, that the Expreffion is Proverbial, for any Thing very difficult. I could therefore fee no Reason to recede from the ufual Interpretation, which I have given in the Paraphrafe. Sir Norton Knatchbull's Senfe is extreamly forced, who underftands it, as if it had been faid, This Sort [of miraculous Faith] advances not but by Prayer and Fafting: Raphelius has abundantly fhewn, how inconclufive thofe Authorities from Xenophon are, by which he would juftify fo odd a. Verfion of new. See Raphel. Annot. ex Xen. pag. 44,-46. And were the Words confidered, as they ftand in Mark, where there is nothing faid of Faith, it would be eafy to perceive, our Lord is fpeaking of a Kind of Demons which they were not able to caft out: And that fome Dæmons are more malignant than others, is moft manifeft from Mat. xii. 45. But oftentimes an Explication has been built upon the Words of one. Evangelift, and many learned Remarks have been made to eftablish it, which could not be applied without great Violence to fuit the parallel Place in another, and prefently has fallen to the Ground upon comparing them together.

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