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Where Are the Nine

Where Are the Nine

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"Were there not ten cleansed ? but where are the nine?" — Luke xvii. 17.

"Were there not ten cleansed ? but where are the nine?" — Luke xvii. 17.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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WHERE ARE THE IE ?BY REV. . P. KAPP"Were there not ten cleansed ? but where are the nine?" — Luke xvii.17.As Jesus was going to Jerusalem through the confines of Sa-maria and Galilee, he was met at a certain village, by ten lepers,who, haying heard of his fame, and being convinced of his powerto heal them, besought him earnestly to have compassion onthem. The disease with which they were afflicted, was conta-gious, loathsome, and almost incurable. It compelled them tobe shut out from the society, and in a great measure from thesympathy of their fellow men, by whom they were regarded withdisgust and abhorrence. Sensible, therefore, of their extremewretchedness, and of their utter inability to help themselves, orto obtain any relief from mere human power or skill, they criedout unto him, who had healed all manner of diseases throughoutthe land, saying, " Jesus, master, have mercy on us !" They knewthat he was able, they believed that he was willing to relievetheir sufferings. or were they deceived or disappointed. Hewho healed the bodily diseases of men, that he might preparethem to receive him as a physician for their souls, promptlyanswered their prayer. He spake, and it was done. He usedno appliances of medical skill. o intervention of any secondarycauses was necessary to effect the cure. He only prescribed asingle condition, suggested by his desire to observe the law of Moses, and expressed in these few words, " Go, show yourselvesunto the priests." It was required by the law, that all lepersshould be pronounced clean by the priest, before they could bepermitted to mingle with the congregation, and be restored tothe privileges of society. Hence our Lord commanded them toshow themselves to the proper judges of their case. As theySERMO XL. 339
went in obedience to liis command, they were cleansed fromtheir leprosy. What a minister of mercy Jesus was to thesewretched outcasts ! They no longer need stand afar off, and cry," Unclean 1 unclean!" to warn their fellow men to flee from acontagion so corrupting and painful. They are restored topurity, comfort, and the enjoyment of the charities and privilegesof social life. Could there be a greater occasion for deep and fer-vent gratitude, for an acknowledgment of the divine source of thewonder-working power, and an expression of devout thanksgivingto an almighty and gracious God? Should we not reasonablyexpect to hear that these ten men came, striving who should bemost earnest in his expression of thanksgiving to him whom Godhad endowed* with such miraculous gifts? Yet what was theirconduct on this occasion ? ine of them went their way, as if the mercy which they had received were a very common one,which they had expected as a matter of course. These wereJews. One only returned to give glory to God, and thanks toJesus, and he was a Samaritan. He, when he saw that he washealed so soon, and so entirely, at the will of Jesus, turned back,and with a loud voice, glorified God, and fell down on his faceat the feet of Jesus, giving him thanks. Well may Jesus havebeen surprised at the ingratitude of the others ! And just wasthe rebuke implied by his question, as recorded by the evange-list: ("And Jesus answering said,) Were there not ten cleansed?but where are the nine ?" Where are all those Jews who oweespecial praise to the God of Israel for this act of mercy ? Alas!He is compelled to say, " There are not found that returned togive glory to God, save this stranger."Brethren, do we wonder at, and condemn this conduct of thenine lepers ? Are we ready to charge them with base ingrati-tude, and to ask where we shall find a parallel to such conduct?Ask your own hearts, if it is not a fair picture of the world.All are ready to cry out for help in time of distress. But whenthat distress is relieved, can one in ten be found giving thanksto God for the mercy which he has vouchsafed to grant ? Arenot many constantly receiving proofs of God's loving-kindnessand tender mercy, who never think of the hand from which theyreceive them ? Mankind are much disposed to regard prosperity
as a matter of course, as a mere right, or else as an accident forwhich they owe no one thanks. They have life and health, and340 SERMO XL.all the comforts of life, constantly enjoyed, yet they never con-sider that it is only of God's goodness and mercy, that they arepermitted to enjoy them. Do they who have an abundance of prosperity in the midst of much adversity, who see around themevidences of much suffering, of distress and anguish, to whichthey are strangers, (do they) show any gratitude to the Giverof all good for the mercy which has " made them to differ fromtheir fellow men?" Are not the cases of proper estimation of God's goodness, and of gratitude for the constant expression of it, so few and rare, that it may be asked with reference to them," Where are the nine? "One may be found occasionally who has a deep sense of obli-gation to God for his manifold mercies : one pious worshipper,who falls down before the throne of grace to pour out an offeringof praise and thanksgiving for that which was given unasked, orobtained in answer to a fervent petition. But the rest are un-mindful of their obligations. ot only is this the case whenuninterrupted prosperity is considered, but likewise when refe-rence is made to delivery from actual misery, or from appre-hended suffering in time of general calamity. Look into thecity, where "pestilence has walked in darkness, and destructionhas wasted at noonday." Observe the conduct of those who arespared, not only from death, but from sickness also, who havebeen living in peace and quietness, in the midst of general sick-ness, sorrow, desolation and death. How many will you finddeeply sensible of their obligations to a merciful God, who hasgraciously protected them? How many can be pointed out,who feel grateful for their preservation, and who express theirgratitude in a way that leaves no room for mistake? Many,perhaps, may say, " Thank God, we have escaped." But evenif they say this reverently, they say it probably without anotherthought of religious obligation. How few show their sense of 

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