Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc. 17 v. 11. Saturday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Luke 17:11-19
At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off. And lifted up their voice, saying: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." Whom when he saw, he said: "Go, shew yourselves to the priests." And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks. And this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said: "Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger?"And he said to him: "Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole."
Fathers and Mothers do use sometimes to give, such things unto their children, as they know they love and delight in, to ſee how thankful & how mannerly they will ſhew themselves, and if they behave themſelves well, they will give them more, because they behaved themselves well, and that is all that Parents look for, at their children's hands for all the benefits and favors they bestow upon them, co wit, that they be thankful, & behave themselves well towards them.
Oh what a wonderful Love is this of parents, to provide their children this way, to benefit themselves, as if they sought their children's good more then their own, or more then the children did their own, unless they were thus provoked thereunto by the parents.
The like doth our most benign heavenly Father unto us, and if we be unthankful winto him , it is the only thing that dryeth up the fountain of his further benefyrs unto us: even as a hot burning Northerly wind dryeth up the waters and moisture of the earth, and burneth away apples, and other fruit in the bud; Such a burning wind, as wºn. Iok cdpareth unto death, which *... taketh away a rich miſerly, ſordidous, ſtincking, base, covetous, ºft. man, in a moment, and bloweth away all his riches from him, or rather him from his riches, as if he had had none at all: so is ingratitude the death of Gods benefits unto vs, and of all the benefit and merit we might make of it; the indignity whereof is ſo much the greater, by how much greater the perſon is that beſtoweth the benefits, and the leſle he that receaueth them : which being so, bow how infinit, ſpray you, is the difference between God, so liberall a benefactour, and man the receauer? the Creatour that maketh him of nothing to be ſo noble a creature, & the creature? between him that is all things of himself, and him that is nothing of himſelf? him that is all things to vs, & we nothing to him , he being every way as happy without us as with vs; Let vs conſider this well, and we shall find that our ingratitude is infinit, and reachcth even to heaven, to pull almighty God, if it could be, out of his throne: Ingratitude is not only odious to good and man, but even to brute beaſtes.
The ſcripture ſºndeth vs to ſome brute creatures to learn one vertue, & to ſome other to learne another, as pro- per to one & not to another as for example to the Emmet for induſtry & labor, in summer, to have to hue in winter, and pion, º, the like; but for gratitude, it v 4. may may ſend vs to all , for that is common to all, be they never so savage or cruel.
Hiſtories are full of it, experience she weth us.
A certain man passed by a Lyon that had a thorn in his foot that festered, & put him to ſuch Paine, that he could not go, the man pulled the thorn out of his foot, the Lyon ſeming to make moan unto him.
The Lyon contrary to his nature, fawned upon him,and let him go free.
A certayne merchant ſtepping out of the way to eaſe nature, forgot behind him a bag of money he carried with him & laid down upon the ground , his dog that followed, out of gra. titude for thoſe poore ſcraps he fed him withall, tarried behind by the bag of mony, ſo long that his May ſter after di- uers dayes comming thither to ſee, whether peraduenture he had left it there, which yet he leaſt of al ſuſpeated,but thoght ſtill he had loſt it ckwhº thc the gratefull dogge lying dead by the bag of mony, which he had kept for his Mayſler with the loſſe of his lyfe.
The Ele- §§ well known) for eing taken vp by a man and ſet vpon his feet, whé he was fallen downe & could not ryſe againe of himſelfe, having no lointes in his legges, goeth home with that man, ſerueth him and his heires after him al his life, which is two or tree hundreth years, and fighteth for them in the warres, even with the loss of his life.
I am ashamed I should need to persuade men so much so gratitude, which even brute Creatures do so much obscure.
This ugly Monster ingratitude in these nine leapers, & the ingratitude of the world, whereof this was a figure, there being scarce one of ten hundred grateful to God for the leaſt art of his benefits, Christ did i. reprehend sharply, not in “prºfimulus words,” y by wondring at it as a ſtrange & prodigious thing, ſaying: were there not ten of theſe leapers clean- *d and where are the other mine? as there none fodd that sould find in their hearts to return and give God thanks, but only this one, and he a #ranger? Like- wiſe out of this, that this that returned and gave God thanks, was a stranger, as Chriſt noted, we may conſider and be confounded at it, that oftentimes Heretics, and Jews, and Heathens do live a better moral lyte, and are more religious in their sect, then Catholics, as this one leaper being a Samaritan, a Schismatic or Heretic to the Jews the peculiar people of God, & whom they did for their Schism and Heresy hold as czcómunicate persons, was more thankful & respectful to God then the other nine that were Jews.
And likewise we may note, that oftentimes they that have most cause to to be thankful to God, as having received most benefits & favors at his hands, are less thankful, & serve him worſe then thoſe that have received less,which ought to be a great shame, and confusion unto us.
Laſtly, we may ask the question what made the nine Jews (for so those nine leapers were ) to be in the company of this Samaritan, the Jews abhorting the company and ſociety of the Samaritans so much Surely no other thing, but their common calamity, misery, and disease.
If they had by in health & prosperity they would not.
O happy necessity, poverty, and adversity, that make men live quietly, lovingly, and neighborly together! and unhappy riches £. and pride, that make men to fall out, to go to law for every trifle, to envy, to cease disdain, to cross & vex one . . . another! Wntill “Abraham and his nephew Lot were rich, they loved and lived together very well: but when they grew rich & welthy, they dº their servants fell out , and could not agrees one house, nor one Country could not hold them, they must divide theinſclues , and after they were divided, many mischief and misfortunes happened unto Lot: he was robbed & spoiled of his goods; the City of Sodom, which he made choice of to dwell in, was burnt with fire from heaven; he was drunk and lay with his own daughters; his wife was turned into a Statue of salt.
O rich Poverty,and poor riches, how so ever men of Riches falsely esteem them!