Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Matt. 9. v. 18 WEDNESDAY 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.


As we have shown the great reverence the Prince of the Synagogue used to Christ in the last Meditation but one: so will we here show the great respect Christ used to him, and the cause thereof. 

When a certain King though no great one, came to Christ for his son who was a dying, entreating him to come to his house to cure, or rather raise him from death; as this Prince of the Synagogue did for his daughter" Christ rebuked him, saying Unless yee see signs and miracles yee will not believe, and he desired to see none, but so perfect a belief in Christ, as that he could cure or raise his son from death without his corporal presence; and so might he have done to this Prince of the Synagogue, who desired his corporal presence as well as he, yet Christ rebuked not him, but arose and went presently with him, interrupting his Sermon with the people.

This he did for three causes, and those for our example & instruction, as St. Gregory, sayth, every action of his was.

The one was, because the Prince of the Synagogue honored him so much. therefore he would honor him again, according as he sayth in the Scripture: Those that honor me, I will honor them, and those that dishonor me, shall be inglorious, and without honor.

The second was, to show the reverence & respect we should bear unto ecclesiastical persons and men of the Church, and especially the Prelates and Governors thereof, as this Prince of the Synagogue was, whom God would have honored so much, that in sign thereof he commanded in the old Law the people. that against a priest or Levite came to their house, they should sweep and dress it up, and in the new Testament Christ commanded that men should be subject unto them, and obey them as their spiritual Fathers, and Pastors that had the government of their souls, as being to give an account for the same: & Christ respected this Prince of the Synagogue so much the more because he being a Pharisee was as it were of s religious Order, or Degree, as the Pharisees were, who professed greater perfection of life, then the ordinary Priests and Levites did, as now our Religious persons do more then the secular priests: & therefore to make them more Venerable and gracious to the people, Christ seemed to insinuate, that those that received them should have a peculiar reward, hi words are these: He that receaveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man: and he that receaveth a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, shall receive the reward of a Prophet.

Whereof may be inferred, and he that receaveth a Religious man, as the Pharisees were, in the name of a Religious man, shall have the reward of a Religious man.

The third is, that the Pharisees, being his enemies, and oftentimes showing to more then the people, he would show this Pharisee an extraordinary favour; to give us example, not only to have patient with our enemies, but to do them good offices so much the rather, whereby we might avoid our own hurt, & win them out of their sin of hatred, and malice against us; the one being a point of prudence, the other of supreme charity.

And for the first, it is wisdom to yield and give way to the anger and displeasure of another, especially of he be potent, rather then to resist over stiffly, if we will avoid our own hurt.

Corn standing on the ground though it hath a small weak stalk, and is laden with a heavy ear at the top, will yielding and bowing to a boisterous wind saveth if self from being broken, when a strong sturdy tree standing stiff against it, is broken, and rent in pieces.

For the other, as there is nothing doth confound us & convert us more to God, then to see he heap his benefits upon us, even then when we deserve worse: so is there nothing more forcibly to make our foe see his fault of envy and malice against us, and to reform himself, then to use him well when he deserveth ill, and then best when he deserveth worst; and this is called in the Scripture, to heap coals upon his head, which ca not chose but kindle love in him towards us.


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