Mark 5:18
As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by the demons begged to go with Him.
Sermons
A Refused BequestAlexander MaclarenMark 5:18
A Man in RuinsH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:1-20
A Man with an Unclean SpiritR. Green Mark 5:1-20
Christ and the DemoniacF. Wallace.Mark 5:1-20
Christ, the Redeemer of the IntellectE. Johnson Mark 5:1-20
Demoniacal PossessionL. W. Bacon.Mark 5:1-20
Eastern TombsR. Jamieson, D. D.Mark 5:1-20
Gadarene or Gergesene DemoniacsJ.J. Given Mark 5:1-20
LegionA.F. Muir Mark 5:1-20
Nature Sitting At the Feet of JesusJ. Cumming, D. D.Mark 5:1-20
Our Great EnemyBishop Wilson.Mark 5:1-20
Power of Evil Spirits, and Power Over ThemD. C. Hughes, M. A.Mark 5:1-20
Sin and SalvationThe Pulpit AnalystMark 5:1-20
Sin DestructiveSunday School TimesMark 5:1-20
The Country of the GadarenesH. B. Hackett, D. D.Mark 5:1-20
The Demoniac of GadaraJ. B.Mark 5:1-20
The Demoniac of GergesaE. Stock.Mark 5:1-20
The Evil SpiritsBishop Wilberforce.Mark 5:1-20
The Gadarene DemoniacCongregational PulpitMark 5:1-20
The Gadarene DemoniacC. Gray.Mark 5:1-20
The TombsDean Mansel.Mark 5:1-20
Prayers Granted and DeniedA.F. Muir Mark 5:10, 12, 13, 17-19
The Rejection and the Reception of JesusA. Rowland Mark 5:17, 21
At the Feet of JesusJ. Caroming, D. D.Mark 5:18-20
Christ's DisinterestednessSegneri.Mark 5:18-20
Desire and DutyA. Rowland Mark 5:18-20
Going Home -- a Christmas StoryC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 5:18-20
Home Piety a Proof of Real ReligionW. Jay.Mark 5:18-20
Men Too Opaque to Let the Gospel Through ThemH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
Personal Testimony AppreciatedH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
Personal Testimony Hindered by the Fear of Subsequent FaiH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
Personal Testimony Permits Others to Share the Joys of the Christian ExperienceH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
The Apostle to the GadarenesL. W. Bacon.Mark 5:18-20
The Gospel a Living Christ in Living MenH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
The Home MissionaryH. Phillips.Mark 5:18-20
The Mission of the SavedC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 5:18-20
The Power of God Working Through Man Upon MenH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
The Power of Home in Regenerating SocietyJ. Cumming, D. D.Mark 5:18-20
The Recovered DemoniacS. Bridge, M. A.Mark 5:18-20
The Refused RequestR. Glover.Mark 5:18-20
The Restored DemoniacJ. Burns, D. D. , LL. D.Mark 5:18-20
The Return of the Cured DemoniacJ. Cumming, D. D.Mark 5:18-20
The Testimony of a Gospel Life Within the Reach of Every Variety of TalentH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
The Three PrayersW. Jay.Mark 5:18-20
The Unanswered PrayerW. G. Barrett.Mark 5:18-20
Witnessing for ChristH. W. Beecher.Mark 5:18-20
Work for Christ the Way to Retain the Vision of HimJ. Cumming, D. D.Mark 5:18-20
There was wonderful variety in the methods of treatment adopted by our Lord in dealing with those who surrounded him. He touched the eyes of the blind; he garb his hand to those prostrate by illness or stricken with death; he sometimes spoke the word of healing first, and sometimes the word of pardon, always suiting himself to the special condition of each, according to his perfect knowledge of his deepest need. The same completeness of knowledge and of consideration reveals itself in his intercourse with those who had been blessed, and were now among his followers. Some were urged to follow him, others were discouraged by a presentation of difficulties. A beautiful example of this is given by Luke (Luke 9:57-62), in his account of those who spoke to our Lord just before he crossed the lake. The same gracious consideration of what was really best for one of his followers is seen here. And his disciples now do not all require the same treatment, nor have they all the same work to do or the same sphere to fill.

I. THE CONVERT'S DESIRE. (Ver. 18.) "When Jesus was come into the ship," or, more correctly (Revised Version), "as he was entering into the boat," the delivered demoniac prayed that he might be with him. It was a natural desire, and a right one, although all the motives which prompted it were possibly not worthy. As in us, so in him, there was a mingling of the noble with the ignoble. let us see what actuated him.

1. Admiration. No wonder that he sat at the feet of this Mighty One, and gazed upon him with adoring love. Angels bow before him; the redeemed cast their crowns at his feet. Reverence and awe are too rarely felt now. Proud self-sufficiency characterizes the civilized world, and even the professedly Christian Church. It is well to know, but it is better to adore. Consciousness of ignorance and weakness, in the presence of God, leads to worship. let reverence characterize our search into the Divine Word, our utterances in God's name, our approaches to his throne.

2. Gratitude. Having received salvation, this man longed to prove his thankfulness, and he naturally thought that an opportunity would be found, while following Jesus, to defend his reputation or to do him some lowly service. Under the old economy many thank-offerings were presented. The firstfruits of the fields and flocks were offered to the Lord, and any special blessing received from him called forth special acknowledgment. Show how thank-offerings have dice out of the Church, and how they might be profitably revived. Point out various modes of showing thankfulness to God.

3. Self-distrust. Near the Deliverer he was safe, but might there not be some relapse when he was gone? A right feeling on his part and on ours. See the teaching of our Lord in John 15 on the necessity of the branch abiding in the vine.

4. Fear. The people were greatly excited. They had begged Christ to go out of their coasts, lest he should destroy more of their possessions. It was not improbable that they would wreak their vengeance on a man whose deliverance had been the cause of their loss. They did not believe, as Christ did, that it was better that any lower creatures should perish if only one human soul was rescued. But this is in harmony with all God's works, in which the less is being constantly destroyed for the preservation and sustenance of the greater. The luxuriant growth of the fields is cut down that the cattle may live; myriads of creatures in the air and in the sea are devoured by those higher in the scale of creation than themselves; living creatures are slain that we may be fed and clothed. In harmony with all this, the destruction of the swine was the accompaniment of, or the shadow cast by, the redemption of the man. And high above all these mysteries rises the cross of Calvary, on which the highest life was given as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. In this event we can see glimpses of Divine righteousness and pity; but these people of Gadara shut their eyes to them, and were angry at their loss. Amongst them this man must "endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

II. THE CONVERT'S DUTY. (Ver. 19.)

1. His work was to begin at home. "Go home to thy friends." His presence there would be a constant sermon. In the truest sense he was "a living epistle." Sane instead of mad, holy instead of unclean, gentle instead of raving; he was "a new creation." All true work for God should commence in the home. Self-control and self-sacrifice, gentleness and patience, purity and truth, in the domestic circle - will make the home a temple of God.

2. His work was to be found among old acquaintances. Some had scorned him, others had hated and perhaps ill-treated him. But resentment was to be conquered in him by God's grace, and to those who knew him at his worst he was now to speak for Christ. Such witness-bearing is the most difficult, but the most effective. John the Baptist told the penitents around him, whether publicans or soldiers, to go back to their old spheres, and prove repentance by changed life and spirit amid the old temptations.

3. His work was to be quiet and unostentatious. Perhaps Christ saw that publicity would injure him spiritually, for it does injure some; or it may be that the excitement involved in following the Lord would be unsafe for him so soon after his restoration. For some reason he had assigned to him a quiet work, which was not the less true and effective. Luke says that he was to show "how great things God had done for him," as if the witness-bearing was to be in living rather than in talking. Speak of the quiet spheres in which many can still serve God.

4. His work was to spread and grow. The home was too small a sphere for such gratitude as his. He published the fame of the Lord in "all Decapolis." This was not wrong, or forbidden, for there were not the reasons for restraint of testimony in Peraea which existed in Galilee. It was a natural and legitimate enlargement of commission. Similarly the apostles were to preach to all nations, but to begin in Jerusalem. He who is faithful with a few things is made ruler over many things, sometimes on earth, and invariably in heaven. - A.R.







Prayed Him that he might be with Him.
I. THE PROBABLE REASON THAT LED THIS RESTORED DEMONIAC TO OFFER THIS PRAYER.

1. A vague but very dreadful fear may have taken possession of him that, perhaps, in the absence of Christ, his deliverer, these demoniac powers might again regain the mastery over him. Fear, the salutary fear, of going astray may often assist the soul; it may be, and has often been our wisdom to be afraid of the possibility of departure from Christ.

2. And there may have been, who can doubt that there was, a depth of gratitude in his heart towards Christ, that, perhaps, he thought could only be expressed by his becoming His disciple.

II. SOME OR THE PROBABLE REASONS THAT LED TO THE REFUSAL OF THIS PRAYER BY OUR SAVIOUR. "Go home to thy friends," etc.

1. Because, perhaps, it was better for the healed Gadarene to be a living witness of Christ's goodness and power amongst his countrymen.

2. Because young converts are generally unfit to choose their spiritual vocation. Many, in the freshness of their love, are as impetuous and misguided as a mountain stream bursting from its hidden prison.

(W. G. Barrett.)

In general, every man who believes himself to be a Christian, is bound to make such public acknowledgment that men shall know the source of his godly life. Every man who is conscious that his character has been brought under the power of the Spirit of God, is bound to let men know that the life which is flowing out from him now is not his own natural life, but one which proceeds from the Spirit of God. This would seem too obvious for remark, did not facts show that multitudes of men endeavour to live Christianly, but are very cautious about saying that they are Christians — and from shame-faced reasons, sometimes; from reasons of fear, sometimes; from reasons of pride, sometimes. Men who are endeavouring to live Christianly say, often, "Let my example speak, and not my lips." Why should not a man's lips and example both speak? Why should not a man interpret his example? Why should a man leave it to be inferred, in this world, that he is still living simply by the power of his own will? Why should he leave it for men to point to him, and say, "There is a man of a well-regulated life who holds his temper aright; but see, it is on account of the household that he has around him; it is on account of the companionship that he keeps; it is on account of the valorous purpose which he has fashioned in his own mind" — thus giving credit to these secondary causes, and not to that Divine inspiration, that power from on high, which gives to all secondary causes their efficiency?

(H. W. Beecher.)

Two men come together, one of whom is shrunk and crippled with a rheumatic affection, and the other of whom is walking in health and comfort; and the well man says to the other, "My friend, I know how to pity you. I spent fifteen as wretched years as any man ever spent in the world. I, too, was a miserable cripple, in the same way that you are." And the man with rheumatism at once says, "You were?" He sees him walk; he sees how lithe and nimble he is; he sees that he can straighten out his limbs, and that his joints are not swollen; he sees that he is in the enjoyment of all his bodily power; and he is eager to know more about it. "Yes, I was as bad off as you are, and I suffered everything." "Tell me what cured you." There is nothing that a man wants to hear so much as the history of one who has been cured, if he too is a sufferer.

(H. W. Beecher.)

lure: — When a watchmaker sets a watch, he almost always stops it first, in order to get the second hand right; and then, at the right second, he gives it a turn, and starts it. But suppose, having stopped a watch, he should lay it down, and should not start it till he knew whether it would keep time or not, how long would he wait? There are a great many men who are set exactly right, and all that is wanted is, that they should start, and go on and keep time. But no, they are not going to tick until they know whether they are going to continue right or not. And what is needed is, that somebody, out of his own experience, should say to them, "You are under an illusion. Your reasoning is false. You are being held back by a misconception. You have enough sense of sin to act as a motive. If you have wind enough to fill a sail, you have enough to start a voyage with. You do not need to wait for a gale before you go out of the harbour. If you have enough wind to get steerage way, start!" And if a man has enough feeling to give him an impulse forward, let him move. After that he will have more and more feeling.

(H. W. Beecher.)

I was as much struck, when I travelled in England, with the stinginess of the people there, in respect to their gardens, as with anything else. It was afterwards explained to me, as owing partly to conditions of climate, and partly to the notions of the people. I travelled two miles along a park shut in by a fence, that was probably twelve feet high, of solid brick and coped with stone. On the other side were all sorts of trees and shrubs, and though I was skirting along within a few feet of them, I could not see a single one of them. There were fine gardens in which almost all the fruits in the world were cultivated, either under glass, or against walls, or out in the open air; and a man might smell something in the air; but what it came from, he had to imagine. There were plants and shrubs drooping to the ground with gorgeous blossoms, and there might just as well as not have been an open iron fence, so that every poor beggar child might look through and see the flowers, and feel that he had an ownership in them, and congratulate himself, and say, "Are not these mine?" Oh! I like to see the little wretches of the street go and stand before a rich man's house, and look over into his grounds, and feast their eyes on the trees, and shrubs, and plants, and piebald beds, and magnificent blossoms, and luscious fruit, and comfort themselves with the thought that they can see everything that the rich man owns; and I like to hear them tell what they would do if they were only rich. And I always feel as though, if a man has a fine garden, it is mean for him to build around it a close fence, so that nobody but himself and his friends can enjoy it. But oh! it is a great deal meaner, when the Lord has made a garden of Eden in your soul, for you to build around it a great dumb wall so close and so high that nobody can look through it or over it, and nobody can hear the birds singing in it. And yet, there are persons who carry a heart full of sweet, gardenesque experiences all the way through life, only letting here and there a very confidential friend know anything about the wealth that is in them.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Why, then, did Christ refuse to allow the man to go with Him? Be was calling disciples, and the very watchword almost was, "Follow Me." But now, here was one that wanted to follow Him, doubtless from the best motives, and He says, "Go home." Why? Well, for the best reason in the world, I think. The man's nature was so transformed, the very radiancy of his joy was such a moral power, that not in one of the twelve disciples was there probably so much of the gospel as this man had in his new experience; and He sends him out thus to make known the Christ; to glow before men with trust, with gratitude, and with love. He was a glorious manifestation of the transforming power of the gospel upon the human soul, and that was the power that Christ came to institute in this world. It was because he was a gospel. The gospel never can be preached. The gospel can never be spoken. It is a thing that must be lived. It defies letters. It is a living soul in a Christ-like estate. That is the gospel. That can be manifested, but it cannot be described. No philosophy can unfold it. No symbols can demonstrate it. It is life centred on love, inflamed by the conscious presence of the Divine and the eternal. That is the real power of the gospel.

(H. W. Beecher.)

This condition of the human soul carries with it a mysterious power which all ages and nations have associated with the Divine presence. A man living in that high state of purity, rapture, and love, always seems sacred. He is like a man standing apart and standing above, and seems to have been one informed with the Divine presence. That is always efficacious upon the imagination of men, whether they are brutal, vulgar, or heathen. Anything that seems to represent the near presence of God stops them, binds them, electrifies them. A great soul carrying itself greatly in the sweetness and putty of love, in the power of intelligence, and with all other implements in its hand and around about it, suggests more nearly the sense of Divine presence than any other thing in this world. When the human faculties are centred upon love, and all of them are inflamed by it; when conscience, reason, knowledge, the will power, all skill, all taste, and all culture are the bodyguards of this central element of Christian love, they are really, by their own nature, what electricity is by its nature, or what light is by its nature. They are infectious. If you want to move upon the human mind, that is the one force that all men everywhere and always yield to. The glowing enthusiastic soul, even in its lowest moods, and from its lowest faculties, has great contagious power. If you raise man higher along the levels of wisdom and of social excellence, still more powerful is he; if you give him the dimensions of a hero and make him a patriot, and give him the disinterestedness of a glowing love of country and a love of mankind, still higher he rises and wider is the circle that he shines upon; but if you give him the ineffable presence of God, if God is associated in his thought and perception, as in his own consciousness with the eternities, if he has in himself all the vigour of Divine inspiration and walks so among men, there is no other power like Divine-crowned power, no sordid power, no philosophic power, no aesthetic power, no artistic power. Nothing on earth is like God in a man.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Time and time again I have felt as though I were a window through which the sun straggled to come. You may remember those old bull's-eye windows, with the glass bulging in the centre so that the sun could not get through them except in twilight. I have felt that the natural man in me was so strong that not half the light of the gospel came through. Or, as you have seen, in an attic long unvisited by the broom, the only windows, jutting out from under the gable, have been taken possession of by dust and spiders, until a veil is woven over them, and the sun outside cannot get inside except as twilight! So men, cumbered with care and worldly conditions, and all manner of worldly ambitions, attempting to preach the doctrinal Christianity, are too opaque, or too nearly opaque, to let the gospel through.

(H. W. Beecher.)

This issue comes home to all souls alike. It is the solvent of the difficulties which we feel in diversities of talent. One Christian man says, "How can I be expected to do much good? I am not eloquent, I am not an apostle, I am not Apollos, I am not a Paul." Another man says, "I should be very glad if I were a man of affairs; I should like to live a Christian life in the conduct of affairs; but I have no ability." Now, the gospel force belongs to every man alike. If you are low in life, you are susceptible of living like Christ. If you are very high in life, you are susceptible of living a Christ-like life. If you are wise and educated, that is the life for you. If you are ignorant, that is just as much the life for you. It does not lie in those gifts that the world prizes, and justly prizes, too. It is something deeper than that, far more interior than that; and it is clothed by the creative idea of God with an influence over men's souls greater than any other. Wherever you are; whether you are poor, obscure, mean, even sick and bedridden, or in places of conspicuity, the highest, the lowest, and the middle, all come to a gracious unity. Not only that, but they all feel resting upon them the sweet obligations of the duty of loving Christ, of being like Christ, of loving our fellow men. When we shall become communal, whenever the coronal faculties of the human soul are in ascendency and in sympathetic unity, the world will not linger another eighteen hundred years before it will be illumined. The new heavens will come, and the new earth.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Things must have looked perplexing enough to this poor man! "Go home to thy friends!" "But, Lord, I have no friend but Thee. I have been an outcast now these many years — a dweller in unclean sepulchres, abhorred of men. What have men done for me but bind me in chains and fetters of iron? But Thy hand hath loosed my bonds of pain, and bound me with Thy love. Let me be with Thee where Thou art!" But still from that most gracious One came the inexorable "Go back — back to thy friends and thy father's house. Go, tell them what the Lord hath done for thee." "What? I, Lord? I, so disused to rational speech? whose lips and tongue were but now the organs of demoniac blasphemy? I, just rallying from the rending of the exorcised fiends? I, surrounded by a hostile people that have just warned away my Lord and Saviour from their coasts? And can I hope that they will hear my words, who turn a deaf and rebellious ear to Thee? Nay, Lord, I entreat Thee let me be with Thee, there sitting at Thy feet clothed and in my right mind, that men may look and point at me and glorify my Lord, my Saviour! Let them go, whose zeal to tell of Thee even Thy interdict cannot repress — there be many such, send them! But let me be near Thee, be with Thee, and gaze, and love, and be silent, and adore!" Was ever a stronger argument of prayer? And yet the little boat moves off, and Christ departs, and the grateful believer is left alone to do the work for which he seems so insufficient and unfit! How like Christ's dealing is to His Father's! To translate the story into the terms of our daily life it shows us —

I. THAT THE PATH OF DUTY WHICH CHRIST HAS MARKED OUT FOR US MAY BE THE OPPOSITE OF THAT WHICH WE NATURALLY THINK AND ARDENTLY DESIRE. All our natural aptitudes, as we estimate them, yea, our purest and highest religious aspirations, may draw us toward a certain line of conduct, while on the other hand the manifest indications of God's Word and providence inexorably close up that way and wave us off in another direction.

II. WHEN RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGE AND RELIGIOUS DUTY SEEM TO CONFLICT, THE DUTY IS TO BE PREFERRED ABOVE THE PRIVILEGE.

III. DUTY, PREFERRED AND FOLLOWED INSTEAD OF PRIVILEGE, BECOMES ITSELF THE SUPREME PRIVILEGE. The interests of the soul are very great, but they are not supreme. The supreme interests are those of the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and whoso, forgetting the interests of his own soul, shall follow after these, shall surely find that all things beside are added unto him.

(L. W. Bacon.)

I. WHAT THEY ARE TO TELL. Personal experience. A story of free grace. A story filled with gratitude.

II. WHY THEY ARE TO TELL IT. For the Master's sake. To make others glad.

III. HOW IS THIS STORY TO BE TOLD?

1. Truthfully.

2. Humbly.

3. Earnestly.

4. Devoutly.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

It was a natural prayer of gratitude and sweetness. Why, when Christ giants the bad prayer of the people, does He deny the good prayer of the restored sufferer?

I. MERCY TO THE MAN HIMSELF.

1. To teach him to walk by faith, not by sight.

2. To leave his fears of a return of his affliction unsanctioned.

3. To indicate that Christ's work was perfect, not in danger of relapse.

4. To suggest that a distant Christ, if trusted, is as strong to save as a Christ who is nigh at hand.

II. MERCY TO THE GERGESENES. The presence of the Lord oppressed them. The presence of a disciple among them was

(1)a link to Him, and

(2)a testimony of Him. So the man is left, a living gospel, seeing whom, others may reflect, repent, and ultimately believe.

III. MERCY TO THE FAMILY OF THE RESTORED MAN. His family had suffered much pain, and probably poverty; let them have the pleasure of seeing his health and peace, and the advantage of his care. For wife and children's comfort he should return. How thoughtful is Christ of our best interests, even when He is crossing our wishes! How merciful in leaving an evangelist with those on whom some would have called down fire from heaven!

(R. Glover.)

Do you ever find, among all the persons whom Christ miraculously cured, a single one whom He retained to be afterwards near Him as His disciple, His attendant, His votary?...Where now is your worldly friend who will behave himself towards you in this fashion? So far from it, no sooner has he done you any service, however trifling, than he immediately lays a claim upon you for your daily attendance upon him. He requires you to be henceforth always at his elbow, and to be giving him continually every possible proof of your gratitude, of your devoted and even slavish attachment to his person.

(Segneri.)

A converted man should be a missionary to his fellow men.

I. CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY WORK, THE DUTY OF EVERY CONVERTED MAN, should be undertaken

(1)out of gratitude to God;

(2)from regard to human need,

(3)to promote the glory of Christ.

II. CHRISTIAN EFFORT SHOULD BEGIN AT HOME.

III. CHRISTIAN USEFULNESS MUST BE BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

IV. CHRISTIAN OBEDIENCE WILL BE CROWNED WITH THE REWARD OF SUCCESS.

(H. Phillips.)

Men saved from Satan —

1. Beg to sit at Jesus' feet, clothed, and in their right mind.

2. Ask to be with Him always, and never to cease from personal attendance upon Him.

3. Go at His bidding, and publish abroad what great things He has done for them.

4. Henceforth have nothing to do but to live for Jesus and for Him alone. Come, ye despisers, and see yourselves as in a looking glass. The opposite of all this is true of you. Look until you see yourselves transformed.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. AN INTERESTING PRAYER which notwithstanding was rejected,

1. The prayer itself — "To be with Christ." Was not this the end of Christ's mission, that He might collect souls to Himself? Gather them out of the world, etc. It seems evidently a wise and proper prayer, a pious prayer, the sign of a gracious state of soul.

2. The probable reasons by which this prayer was dictated. It might be the result

(1)Of holy cautiousness and fear.

(2)From grateful love to Jesus.

(3)From a desire to know more of Christ.

3. The refusal of this request. "But Christ sent him away." However wise and proper and pious the man's petition appears, Jesus determined and directed otherwise; his suit could not be granted. Here let us pause and learn

(1)how necessary to be taught rightly to pray. We know not what we should pray for.

(2)We should learn to be satisfied with the Lord's good pleasure whether He grants our requests or not.

II. AN IMPORTANT COMMAND WHICH WAS PIOUSLY OBEYED. "Jesus sent him," etc.

1. The nature of the command. He was to be a personal witness for Christ; a monument of Christ's power and compassion. He could testify

(1)to the enthronement of reason.

(2)To emancipation from the thraldom of evil spirits.

(3)To restoration to happiness.

(4)To the Author of his deliverance, "Jesus."

2. The obedience which was rendered.

(1)It was prompt and immediate. He did not cavil, nor reason, nor refuse.

(2)It was decided and public. Not afraid, nor ashamed.Application:

1. The end of our conversion is more than our own salvation.

(1)We must testify to and for the benefit of others.

(2)We must glorify Christ.

2. The converted should not consult merely their own comfort.

3. Christian obedience is unquestioning and exact.

4. The hearts' desires of the saints shall be granted in a future state. Be with Jesus forever, etc.

(J. Burns, D. D. , LL. D.)

Two grand features in the close of the parable.

I. THE POSITION IN WHICH THE MAN WAS FOUND.

1. How interesting is this spectacle. It was the place of nearness to Jesus and intimate communion with Him. Perhaps he selected this place also as the site of safety, or, he may have been seeking that instruction which was requisite to guide and to direct him.

2. What took place in the case of the demoniac is only a fore-light of what will take place in the case of all creation.

II. THE PETITION THAT HE MIGHT BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN WITH HIM OR TO ACCOMPANY HIM. Why?

1. Because he might have recollected the fact of which the words are the description (Matthew 12:43). If we have obtained anything from Christ for which we feel thankful, we shall be jealous lest we lose it.

2. To give expression to the deep love that he felt to Him.

III. THE ACTUAL ANSWER THAT CHRIST GAVE HIM. Explain the seeming contradiction between this and Luke 8:56 and others. We have in this indirect but striking evidence of the divinity of the character of Jesus. A mere, common wonder worker would have been too glad of having a living specimen of his great power to accompany him into all lands, etc. We have these great lessons taught us! That he that receives the largest blessing from Christ is bound to go and be the largest and most untiring distributor of that blessing. We receive not for ourselves, but for diffusion, etc.

2. That the way, if you are Christians, to be with Christ, and to be with Him most closely, is to go out and labour for Christ with the greatest diligence. We are never so near to Christ as when, in His spirit and in His name, we are doing His work and fulfilling His will.

3. That labouring for Christ, according to Christ's command, is the very way to enjoy the greatest happiness that results from being with Christ. Labour for Christ and happiness from Christ are twins that are never separated.

4. That as Christ, in hearing the demoniac, had an object beyond him, so, in healing us, He has an object beyond us.

5. But there is something very instructive, too, in the place that the Saviour bade this recovered demoniac go to. Go to the sphere in which providence has placed you, and into that sphere bring the glorious riches with which grace has enriched you...Test your missionary powers at home before you try them in the school, etc. The little home, the family, is the fountain that feeds with a pure and noble population the large home, which is the country. Let us begin at home, but let us not stop there.

6. Conceive, if you can, the return of the man to his home — the picture realized in his reception.

(J. Caroming, D. D.)

Loyalty, and love, and happiness in Britain's homes, will make loyalty, and happiness, and love be reflected from Britain's altars and from Britain's shores. There may be a mob, or there may be slaves; but let statesmen recollect there cannot be a people unless there be a home. I repeat, there may be in a country slaves, or there may be mobs, but there cannot be in a country a people, the people, unless it be a country of holy and happy homes. And he that helps to elevate, sustain, ennoble, and sanctify the homes of a country, contributes more to its glory, its beauty, its permanence, than all its legislators, its laws, its literature, its science, its poetry together. Our Lord began at the first home that was found at Bethabara beyond Jordan — the home of Andrew and Peter; and starting from it, he carried the glorious gospel of which he was the author into the home of Mary and Martha at Bethany, of Cornelius the centurion, of Lydia, of the gaoler of Philippi, of Crispus, and finally of Timothy; and these consecrated and converted homes became multiplying foci amid the world's darkness, till the scattered and ever multiplying lights shall be gathered one day into one broad blaze, that shall illuminate and make glad the wide world. Let us begin at home, but let us not stop there. It is groups of homes that make a congregation; it is clusters of congregations that make a country.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

He went home, and proclaimed not only there, but in all Decapolis, what God had done for him. Conceive, if you can, the picture realized in his reception. He turns his face quietly to his home the first time, perhaps, for years — the first time, at least, that he recollects. One child of his, looking from the casement, sees the father return, and gives the alarm: every door is doubly bolted; the mother and children cling together in one group, lest the supposed still fierce demoniac, who had so often torn and assailed them before, should again tear and utterly destroy them. But a second child, looking, calls out, "My father is clothed; before he was not clothed at all." A third child shouts to the mother, "My father is not only clothed, but he comes home so quietly, so beautifully, that he looks as when he dandled us upon his knee, kissed us, and told us sweet and interesting stories: can this be he?" A fourth exclaims, "It is my father, and he seems so gentle, and so quiet, and so beautiful — come, my mother, and see." The mother, not believing it to be true, but wishing it were so, runs and looks with sceptical belief; and lo! it is the dead one alive, it is the lost one found, it is the naked one clothed, it is the demon-possessed one, holy, happy, peaceful; and when he comes and mingles with that glad and welcoming household, the group upon the threshold grows too beautiful before my imagination for me to attempt to delineate, and its hearts are too happy for human language to express. The father crosses the threshold, and the inmates welcome him home to their fireside. The father gathers his children around him, while his wife sits and listens, and is not weary with listening the whole day and the whole night, as he tells them how One who proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah, who is the Prophet promised to the fathers, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, spake to him, exorcised the demons, and restored him to his right mind, and made him happy.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

A poor monk, who, in spite of his cowl, seems from the fact to have been one of God's hidden ones, was one day, according to a mediaeval legend, meditating in his cell. A glorious vision burst upon him, it is recorded, with the brilliancy of noon-day, and revealed in its bosom the "Man of Sorrows," the "acquainted with grief." The monk was gazing on the spectacle charmed, delighted, adoring. The convent bell rang; and that bell was the daily signal for the monk to go to the poor that were crowding round the convent gate, and distribute bread and fragments of food among them. The monk hesitated whether he should remain to enjoy the splendid apocalypse, or should go out to do the daily drudgery that belonged to him. At last he decided on the latter; he left the vision with regret, and went out at the bidding of the bell to distribute the alms, and bread, and crumbs among the poor. He returned, of course expecting that, because of his not seeming to appreciate it, the vision would be darkened; but to his surprise, when he returned, the vision was there still, and on his expressing his amazement that his apparent want of appreciating it and being thankful for it should be overlooked, and that the vision should still continue in augmented splendour, a voice came from the lips of the Saviour it revealed, which said, "If you had stayed, I had not." This may be a legend but it teaches a great lesson — that active duty in Christ's name and for Christ's sake is the way to retain the vision of His peace in all its permanence and power.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

Here are three prayers, the prayer of the devils, of the Gadarenes, and of the demoniac who had been restored. The first prayer was answered, and the devils obtained their wish; the second was complied with, but the last was re. fused, though all he asked was permission to be with Christ; surely there must be something very instructive in all this, otherwise it would not have been registered.

I. "AND ALL THE DEVILS BESOUGHT JESUS, SAYING, SEND US INTO THE SWINE." Here, the devils acknowledge the power of Christ over them; they cannot injure even a brute without leave. This is orthodox so far as it goes, and even beyond the creed of many who profess themselves Christians. None of the devils in hell disbelieve the divinity of Christ. But cannot faith save us? It can, but not such faith as is purely a conviction of truth. All Christians know that their speculative surpasses their experimental and practical religion. But will devils pray? and will they be heard? Yes — "and forthwith Jesus gave them leave." Their request was founded on malice and mischief, in order to render Christ obnoxious to the Gadarenes, through the spoiling of their goods. Permission was given in judgment. Satan killed the children of Job; but Job triumphed in his trial. The same permission was given to Satan to tempt the Gadarenes, how different the result; he destroyed their property and them with it. The gold will endure the furnace, the dross will not.

II. THEY SAW THE POOR WRETCH DISPOSSESSED AND INSTEAD OF BRINGING ALL THEIR SICK TO BE HEALED BESOUGHT JESUS TO DEPART. How dreadful was this prayer! Oh, if you were of Moses you would say, "If Thy presence go not with us, suffer us not to go up hence." David said, "Cast me not away from Thy presence." You need the Saviour's presence as much as the earth needs the sun; in adversity, death, judgment. Observe, you may pray thus without words, actions speak louder than words. When you would tell a man to be off, it is done without speaking; an eye, a finger, nay, but turning your back will effect it. God interprets your meaning, he translates your actions into intelligible language. Wonder not if God takes you at your word; He punishes sin with sin; sealing men's eyes when they will not see; withdrawing grace that is neglected.

III. THE POOR PATIENT PRAYED TO BE WITH CHRIST.

1. His prayer arose from fear.

2. From gratitude.

3. From love. Everyone who has obtained grace prays, "Lord, show me Thy glory."Learn:

1. To think correctly of answers to prayers — that God may hear in wrath, or refuse a petition in kindness. God can distinguish our welfare from our wishes.

2. There is no ostentation in the miracle. The pure benevolence of Jesus terminated with the individual. The religion of Jesus Christ calls us into the world, as well as out of it. It calls us out, as to its spirit and maxims, in, as the sphere of activity, and place of trial. The idea of living among the wretched Gadarenes must have been uncomfortable to the renewed mind of the poor man, yet he is directed to go, without murmuring or gainsaying; not, indeed, in the spirit of the Pharisee, nor of the rigid professor, who, while he confesses a man can have nothing, except it be given him from above, is occupied all the day in maligning and censuring his neighbours; but to display the meekness and gentleness of Jesus Christ in his conduct and conversation, to relate his recovery, to honour the Physician, and to direct others unto Him. Oh, if there were a history of all whom the Saviour has made whole, what a work would it be.

(W. Jay.)

He that is not relatively godly, is not really so; a man who is bad at home is bad throughout, and this reminds me of a wise reply of Whitfield to the question "Is such a one a good man?" "How should I know that? I never lived with him."

(W. Jay.)

I. THE MAN'S REQUEST. We cannot wonder that his mind should shrink at the thought of the devil's returning in the absence of our Lord. He may have heard of such cases. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man...the last state of that man is worse than the first." Thus the soul rescued from Satan is frequently for a time unable to rejoice, but appears to "receive the spirit of bondage again to fear." Our feelings, after any unexpected deliverance or event, are such that we find it difficult to believe its reality. Go, tell the mother who has heard of the shipwreck of her child, that her son who was dead is alive again, she is with difficulty persuaded of its truth. And when so much is at stake we should fear for those who do not sometimes fear for themselves. Can the Christian, harassed by rising corruption, beset with temptation, feel no concern?

II. OUR LORD'S ANSWER. We might have supposed, after the great salvation Jesus had wrought for him, He would not have been reluctant to grant him any favour, especially when the request was dictated by gratitude.

1. The reply showed the modesty of the Saviour.

2. Also His compassion for the man's friends. Mercy to one member of the family should be an encouragement to all the rest.

3. And the great object which every man truly converted to God will keep perpetually in view is, the promotion of the Divine glory, and the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, in the salvation of those around him. The wife of his bosom, the parent, the brother, or the child; reason, as well as affection, points out these as the first objects of our concern. Religion does not petrify the feelings, and make us to be so absorbed in seeking our own safety, as to be indifferent to the fate of those about us; the grace of God does not annihilate the sympathies, or snap the bonds of nature; no, it strengthens and refines those sympathies, deepens the channel in which the affections flow, and purifies and consecrates the stream. But are there not some, who, instead of entreating Jesus that they may go with Him, are saying of the world and of the flesh, We have loved these, and after them we will go? But, fellow sinners, be persuaded it is the way of transgression, it is hard.

(S. Bridge, M. A.)

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