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afflictions, and the advantages we may reap from them, with regard to our spiritual welfare! How often have diseases and calamities weaned mens affections from the world; when they had, as it were, sold theinselves to còmmit iniquity, and were running headlong to destruction? How often have sickness and afflictions awakened sinners who were slumbering securely in the bosom of voluptuousness, though on the. very brink of ruin and eternal misery? How often, again, have those judgments, which God has.inflicted upon mankind, either in public of private calamities, struck terror and remorse, when the still voice of reason has been nea glected and despised? So that, however painful afflictions may be to us, we may justly say with holy David; “ It is good for me that I have " been in trouble. Before I was troubled I " went wrong, but now will I keep thy coni" mandments."

2dly, We

may

observe from Naaman's case, upon what easy terms God is pleased to bestow his mercies. The man of God requires no more of him, than to wash seven times in Jordan, to be healed of his inveterate leprosy: And what could he have required less, for so great and wonderful a cure? And what is it that the Lord your God requires of you all, for tlre

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healing healing that spiritual leprosy of sin, with which the whole race of mankind is infected ? Only to repent and to believe. And what could he have required less? How inexcusable, therefore, must they be, who neglect so easy a remedy for sin, that worst disease and leprosy of mankind? May we not justly say to them, as the servants of Naaman said to their master, “My father, “ if the prophet had bid thee do some great “ thing, wouldst thou not have done it? How “ much rather, when he saith to thee, wash, ” and be clean?"

Lastly, Consider the unexpected bounty of God towards this poor afflicted Syriar. He went only into Judæa to be healed of his bodily infirmity, but God grants him, at the same time, a spiritual cure of much greater importance: he admits him into his covenant, adopts him into the number of his elect children, and gives unto him eternal life.

And in the same manner our blessed Redeemer acted towards those, who came to be healed by him. The woman of Canaan asked only for the crumbs which fell froin the table;. but he gave her the bread of life. The poor paralyticman wished only to be restored to his limbs ; but Jesus restored hiin also to the favour of his

God. The thief on the cross requested only to be remembered in his kingdom; but his dying Saviour answered, “ To-day shalt thou be with

me in paradise.”

And ask your consciences, how often this has been your own case? Have I not received blessings, which I never solicited ? Have I not found favour, where I deserved punishment? Do I not enjoy more mercies, than I have ever acknowledged as they deserve ? May I not justly take up the humble confession of the good patriarch, "O God of my fathers, I am “ not worthy of the least of all the mercies, " and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed

unto thy servant: for with my staff, single " and unsupported, without friends and without “ wealth, I passed over this Jordan : and now,

by thy favour, I am become two bands of

inen.

How happy, therefore, are we to serve so good, so inerciful, and so gracious a Master, who is ever ready to do exceeding abundantly for us, above all that we can ask or think! And how does it become us, on all occasions, to acknowledge his mercies, to obey his commands, and to love him with all our heart, and with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all

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i our

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our might, and to endeavour that, both by our: selves and others, his name may be for ever glorified, and his blessed will be done in earth as it is in heaven!

SERMON

SERMON XVI.

2 KINGS v. 18, 19.

In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon; when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this

thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace.

HAVING already considered the lessons

A

of moral instruction deducible from the history of Naaman, I am now led to the consideration of a passage, which has given no small employment to the thoughts and pens of the learned world. And indeed it is a passage, which manifestly carries with it some difficulty and semblance of obscurity, at the first appearance. For it cannot but seem strange to every

reader,

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