Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Matt. 9. v. 1. Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

GOSPEL Matt. 9:1-8 
At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into his own city. And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: "Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee." And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: "He blasphemeth." And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: "Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins," (then said he to the man sick of the palsy,) "Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house." And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men. 


Christ to give us a taste here of his infinite liberality in heaven, where he giveth us infinitely more then we are able to desire. The Centurion in the Gospel desired Christ to cure his sick servant only by his word, without going himself, saying: Lord, I am not worthy thou shouldest come to my house, only say the word, & my servant shall be whole, or at most he expected no more, but that he would have sent one of his disciples to cure him: but Christ out of his extraordinary respect to the Centurion, & for his great humility would needs go himself, doing more then was asked.

Many such examples are to be found in the holy Scripture, whereof this here is one, of this palsy man. Whose friends in his behalf, desired no more then his corporal cure, not believing that Christ could forgive sins: but Christ cured not only his corporal disease, but also his soul, forgiving his sins.

Here we may learn notwithstanding that God giveth more to them that serve and follow him, then he promiseth both in this world and the next; and the Devil promiseth much, but performeth nothing that is good indeed, but evil, under the presence of good:yet we are slack and dull to serve God, and prompt and ready to serve the Devil, for serve him we do when we sin.

For as St Paul sayeth, whose will we do, him we serve, but sin is the will of the devil, therefore when we sin, yea or do any thing that tendeth thereunto, we serve the devil. These terms of serving the devil, are odious, and terrible unto us, but true; therefore if the very words be terrible unto us, much more ought sin itself.

Likewise, out of this that Christ forgave the palsy man his sins, and that first before he cured his bodily disease, we may gather that sin was the cause of his sickness, & that as skillful Physicians will first take away the cause, and then the cure is easy and certain: so did Christ here, to teach us, that we must do the like, when we are sick think, as it is indeed, that not only original sin is the cause of our sickness, and manifold afflictions, but our own personal sins; and having searched our conscience & found what they be, to run first unto the spiritual Physician of our souls, & purge our souls thereof, and then to use corporal Physician.

This did those heathen and unbelieving people. know, that Jonas was in the ship withal, who were absolutely persuaded that somebody's sins in the ship were the cause of the Tempest, & therefore cast lots who it should be, and the lot fell right, where the cause was, upon Jonas who had sinned, and he was cast into the Sea, and the Tempest ceased.

And therefore did the Church like a good Mother, command that the corporal Physician, in a dangerous sickness, before he begin with his patient, to persuade him to confess his sins, to his spiritual Physician, being the principal means, to obtain bodily health.

Nay actual sin is the cause, not only of personal sickness of our body, but of the body of the whole common wealth, whereof heresy is the worse of all.

The people commonly are punished for the sins of the Prince; and for the sins of the people, God giveth them an ill Prince, & therefore the like remedy is to be used for the one and the other, if we expect the cure thereof.


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