Excerpt from Christ the Healer: A Sermon Preached by the Lord Bishop of Oxford, on the Opening of the New Buildings of the House of Mercy, Clewer, Vigil of S. Andrew, November 29, 1855
All the enactments, indeed, of the Law of Moses concerning leprosy seem to have been appointed by god, in order to stamp upon it this mystical charac ter. This purpose will account for that separation of the leper from the touch or company of his friends and relations, which is so alien to the general charac ter of humanity and kindness which marks the pro visions of the Jewish law. This is the solution of his being shut out of the congregation and the services of the sanctuary, though there was nothing infectious in his disease, and his separation could not, therefore, be required in order to protect others from any phy sical evil he could communicate to them. This ao counts for his ever bearing about with him in his sickness the tokens of extremest mourning, as of one weeping for his dead, and for his needing, if restored, the same purification as one who by the touch of a dead body had incurred a legal impurity.
In studying, therefore, our lord's treatment of the leprous man whom He made whole, we are studying, as in some great acted parable, His treatment of the sinner, who is receiving moral and spiritual renovation from Him. And here, first, we may see of these, as of His other works of mercy, that He did not scatter them with an undiscerning prodigality around Him, but gave them to those who had yielded themselves to be drawn to Him by the secret breathings of His spirit, and who came to seek their deliverance from Him. For that mysterious limitation to His working.
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