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Blessing According to Prayer.

Blessing According to Prayer.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JAMES GALLOWAY COWAN


St. Matthew, vra., 13.

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as
thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.
BY JAMES GALLOWAY COWAN


St. Matthew, vra., 13.

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as
thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 13, 2013
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06/20/2014

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BLESSIG ACCORDIG TO PRAYER.BY JAMES GALLOWAY COWASt. Matthew, vra., 13.And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and asthou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.TX7E must compare the narrative contained inSt. Matthew's Gospel with its parallel inthe 7th chapter of St. Luke, to obtain a clear andfull idea of the circumstances which preceded thehealing of the centurion's servant. St. Matthewrecords just so much of the history as would illus-trate the teaching that the Gentiles from afarshould be received, and many of the children of the kingdom cast out: St. Luke sets forth inorder all the particulars, small and great, whichhe had been able to obtain from those who wereeye-witnesses and ministers of the word.From the harmonised accounts we gather thata certain centurion, who had renounced the wor-ship of the " gods many," and become a proselyteBLESSIG ACCORDIG TO PRAYER. 147of the gate, hearing of the miracles of Jesus,sent certain elders of the Jews to beseech theexercise of His healing power upon a favouriteservant, who was grievously tormented, and atthe point of death. He does not seem to havecome at all himself. The deep sense which heentertained of personal un worthiness would alonehave deterred him; and, besides, he knew thatthere was a middle wall of partition between Jews
 
and Gentiles, and that as yet Jfsus was notsent but unto the house of Israel. The elders,come to Jesus, seek to enlist His sympathy andactive interest, by pleading that the centurion,though not actually a Jew, was a friend of Jews,and had done much for the support of the Jewishworship. " He is worthy for whom Thou shouldstdo this, for he loveth our nation, and himself hathbuilt us a synagogue. Come, then, and heal hisservant." Jesus replies, "I will come and healhim ;" and straightway sets out with them. Butwhen He was not far from the house, the centu-rion, alarmed at the temerity of his formerrequest, and shrinking instinctively from One sohigh and so holy, sent some of those around himto prevent further condescension and trouble, onbehalf of one so unworthy, and to suggest thatJesus should but express His will (whiaVv V^a ^"^1.^148 SERMO X.must be omnipotent) from the spot where Hestood : " Say in a word and my servant shall behealed." The centurion had arrived at the know-ledge of a great truth, namely, that Christ'spower was not confined to the scene of His bodilypresence : and he described the process of reason-ing by which he had arrived at it. " I am but aman, myself under authority, yet I have but tosay. Go, come, do this, and, lo ! it is done by myservants here, there, or wherever else I appoint,while I remain still. How much more shaltThou speak and be obeyed, Thou who art Abso-lute and Supreme in authority, Whose will allthe spiritual armies of heaven observe, and areprompt and eager to perform. * Speak the word
 
only, and my servant shall be healed.' " WhenJesus heard it. He marvelled and said to themthat followed, "Verily, I say unto you, I haveAot found so great faith, no, not in Israel.'^ Twicewe read that our Lord marvelled — once at unbe-lief, and once at belief. And this is no merefigurative statement. Our Lord literally mar-velled. His human nature, much as He knew of what was in man, was taken aback by theunexpected and extraordinary display, in the onecase of perverse blindness, in the other of clearspiritual perception. " Verily, I say unto you, IBLESSIG ACCORDIG TO PRAYER. 149have not found so great faith." It is remarkablethat our Lord selects the centurion's faith foradmiration. He dwells not on his care and anxietyfor his slave, on his general good will and gooddeeds, on his consciousness of unworthiness, hisresolute humility, '^ Lord, I am not worthy thatthou shouldst come under my roof.'' o I it ishis faith, to which Jesus gives this highest praise.That while he walked among His own people, whowere taught of God, and was haughtily and in-dignantly treated, yea, despised ; that while Jewssaw and albut felt His power, and refused toacknowledge it, a Gentile, at a distance, shouldbe filled with reverential awe of Him, shouldassert so confidently the fulness of His power,should have such an insight into its spiritualworking, should find and adduce proofs of thatpower and its working, to satisfy himself, to pleadto Christ — this was, indeed, worthy of note ;this was, as yet, unparalleled. "I have notfound so great faith."We need not, however, suppose — in fact we must

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