Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Matt. 9. v. 18 TUESDAY Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 9:18-26
At that time, as Jesus was speaking these things unto them, behold a certain ruler came up, and adored him, saying: "Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." And Jesus rising up followed him, with his disciples. And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: "If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed." But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: "Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole." And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels and the multitude making a rout, He said: "Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth." And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.
In that this Master, or Prince of the Synagogue being an eminent man, came to Christ for his daughter in his own person, and did not content himself with sending his servants, as commonly such men use; and that he came in that humble manner as is aforesaid, to one that seemed so mean as Christ did, and was so accounted; we may see the exceeding natural love of parents to their children, which is the cause that God gave not parents a particular commandment to love their children, as he gave children to love and honor their parents; because parents are proclive and prone enough of their natural inclination to love their children, rather to much then too little, and to be more troubled and afflicted at their afflictions, then at their own, as this Prince was, and desire to advance them with riches, dignities , and honor, more then themselves.
Hence it is, that when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his Son Issac unto him by way of holocaust, that is to say, to be burnt to ashes and consumed clean, to the honor of God, though Issac his prompt obedience, being no child but a young man that was able to Carr a good big burden of wood, for so he did, and suspecting whereunto he went, seemed to be more praise worthy for Obedience then Abraham: yet God commended the obedience of Abraham highly for it in these words: I swear unto thee by myself, because thou hast done this thing & hast not spared thine only begotten son, I will bless thee & c. but of Issac never a word as though it were a greater difficulty for Abraham to loose his Son's life, then for his son to loose his own.
Whereby God gave us to understand, how great the natural love of parents is to their children; & this did the Devil well know when he first, by God's permission, took away Job his goods, and afterwards his children, to vex and tempt him the more.
For if he had taken away his children first, he would not so much have cared for the loss of his wealth for whom he had it, but taking away his wealth first & leaving him his children without means, out of his love that could endure to see them want, it touched him near.
As parents love their children so well naturally, that they need no other precept, and oftentimes so much that God is fain to punish them for it in the same they offended, to wit in their children; so do children lover their parents so little, that God was fain to add a precept unto them, to love and honor their parents with a benediction if they did it, and a malediction if they did it not, and yet all is to little.
Hence it is that rich parents seldom suffer their children to be poor, but rich children often their parents.
Wherefore by this that hath been said, parents may take heed of loving their children too much, and children their parents too little: and as I have brought Abraham for an example of the love of parents to their children, so may children make Isaac a pattern for them to obey their parents, who obeyed his Father even to death, for any thing he, or his Father knew to the contrary.