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in the waves. What ease is this to them? Good God, that there should be any creature that seeks contentment in destroying, in tormenting the good creatures of his Maker? This is the diet of hell. Those fiends feed upon spite towards man, so much more as he doth more resemble his Creator; towards all other living substances, so much more as they may be more useful to man.

The swine ran down violently; what marvel is it if their keepers fled? That miraculous work, which should have drawn them to Christ, drives them from him. They run with the news; the country comes in with clamour: The whole multitude of the country about besought him to depart. The multitude is a beast of many heads; every head hath a several mouth, and every mouth a several tongue, and every tongue a several accent; every head hath a several brain, and every brain thoughts of their own so as it is hard to find a multitude, without some division. At least seldom ever hath a good motion found a perfect accordance: it is not so unfrequent, for a multitude to conspire in evil. Generality of assent is no warrant for any act. Common error carries away many, who inquire not into the reason of ought, but the practice. The way to hell is a beaten road, through the many feet that tread it. When vice grows into fashion, singularity is a virtue.

There was not a Gadarene found, that either dehorted his fellows, or opposed the motion. It is a sign of a people given up to judgment, when no man makes head against projects of evil. Alas! what can one strong man do, against a whole throng of wickedness? Yet this good comes of an unprevailing resistance, that God forbears to plague, where he finds but a sprinkling of faith. Happy are they, who (like unto the celestial bodies, which being carried about with the sway of the highest sphere, yet creep on their own ways) keep on the courses of their own holiness, against the swinge of common corruptions: they shall both deliver their own souls, and help to withhold judgment from others.

The Gadarenes sue to Christ for his departure. It is too much favour to attribute this to their modesty, as if they held themselves unworthy of so divine a guest. Why then did they fall upon this suit, in a time of their loss? Why did they not tax themselves, and intimate a secret desire of that, which they durst not beg? It is too much rigour, to attribute it to the love of their hogs, and an anger at their loss: then they had not entreated, but expelled him. It was their fear, that moved this harsh suit: a servile fear of danger to their persons, to their goods; lest he, that could so absolutely command the devils, should have set these tormenters upon them; lest their other demoniacs should be dispossessed with like loss.

I cannot blame these Gadarenes, that they feared. This

power was worthy of trembling at. Their fear was unjust: they should have argued; "This man hath power over men, beasts, devils it is good having him to our friend; his presence is our safety and protection." Now they contrarily mis-infer; "Thus powerful is he: it is good he were further off."


What miserable and pernicious misconstructions do men make of God; of divine attributes and actions! "God is omnipotent, able to take infinite vengeance of sin; oh, that he were not! He is provident; I may be careless: he is merciful; I may sin he is holy; let him depart from me, for I am a sinful man." How witty sophisters are natural men, to deceive their own souls, to rob themselves of a God! O Saviour, how worthy are they to want thee, that wish to be rid of thee! Thou hast just cause to be weary of us, even while we sue to hold thee; but, when once our wretched unthankfulness grows weary of thee, who can pity us, to be punished with thy departure? Who can say, it is other than righteous, that thou shouldst regest one day upon us, Depart from me, ye wicked.

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To the only honour and glory of God my Saviour; and to the benefit and behoof of his blessed Spouse, the Church; I do in all humility, devote myself and all my Meditations.

The weak and unworthy Servant of both,

J. E.

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