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4. THE STILLING OF THE TEMPEST.
Matt. viii. 23—27; Mark iv. 35–41; LUKE viii. 22—25.

The three Evangelists who relate this history agree in placing it immediately before the healing of the possessed in the country of the Gadarenes. It was evening, the evening, probably, of that day on which the Lord had spoken all those parables recorded in Matt. xiii. (cf. Mark iv. 35), when, dismissing the multitude, he would fain pass over to the other side of the lake, and so, for a little while, withdraw from the tumult and the press. With this intention, he was received by the disciples “ even as he was* in the ship.” But before the transit was accomplished, a sudden and violent squallt, such as these small inland seas, surrounded with mountain gorges, are notoriously exposed to, descended on the bosom of the lake: and the ship which bore the Saviour of the world appeared to be in imminent peril, as, humanly speaking, no doubt it was ; for these men, exercised to the sea many of them from their youth, and familiar with all the changes of that lake, would not have been terrified by the mere shadow of a danger. But though the danger was so real, and was ever growing more urgent, until “ the waves beat into the ship, so that now it was full,” their Master, weary, it may be, after the toils of the day, continued sleeping still: he was, with details which St. Mark alone has preserved, in the hinder part of the ship, asleep upon a pillow ;" and was not roused by all the tumult and confusion incident on such a moment. We behold him here as exactly the reverse of Jonah ; the prophet asleep in the midst of a like danger through a dead conscience, the Saviour out of a pure conscience—Jonah by his presence making the danger, Jesus yielding the pledge and the assurance of deliverance from the danger*

* 'Qs jv, probably, sine ullo ad iter apparatu.

op Eclouds, which is generally an earth-quake; (so Matt. xxiv. 7;) in Mark and Luke, λαίλαψ, which is defined by Hesychius, ανέμου συστροφή peed' vetoù, a squall.

But the disciples understood not this. It was long, probably, before they dared to arouse him ; yet at length they did so, and then with exclamations of haste and terror; as is evidenced by the double “Master, Master,” of St. Luke. In St. Mark, they awaken him with words almost of rebuke, as if he was unmindful of their safety, “Master, carest thou not that we perish ?” though no doubt they meant in this " we” to include their beloved Lord as well as themselvest. Then the Lord arose ; from St. Mark it would appear, first blaming their want of faith, and then pacifying the storm ; though the other Evangelists make the blame not to have gone before, but to have followed after, the allaying of the winds and waves. Probably it did both: he spoke first to them, quieting with a word the tempest in their bosoms; and then, having allayed the tumult of the outward elements, he again turned to them, and more leisurely blamed them for their lack of faith in him I.

* Jerome (Comm. in. Matth., in loc.): Hujus signi typum in Jona legimus, quando ceteris periclitantibus ipse securus est et dormit et suscitatur: et imperio ac sacramento Passionis suæ liberat suscitantes.

† On the different exclamations of fear which the different Evangelists put into the mouth of the disciples, Augustine says excellently well (De Cons.. Evang., l. 2, c. 24): Una eademque sententia est excitantium Dominum, volentiumque salvari : nec opus est quærere quid horum potiùs Christo dictum sit. Sive enim aliquid horum trium dixerint, sive alia verba quæ nullus Evangelistarum commemoravit, tantumdem tamen valentia ad eandem sententiæ veritatem, quid ad rem interest ? And presently after (c. 28): Per hujusmodi Evangelistarum locutiones varias, sed non contrarias, rem planè utilissimam discimus et pernecessariam; nihil in cujusque verbis nos debere inspicere, nisi voluntatem, cui debent verba servire : nec mentiri quemquam, si aliis verbis dixerit quid ille voluerit, cujus verba non dicit; ne miseri aucupes vocum, apicibus quodammodo literarum putent ligandam esse veritatem, cùm utique non in verbis tantùm, sed etiam in cæteris omnibus signis animorum, non sit nisi ipse animus inquirendus. Cf. c. 66, in fine.

* Theophylact: IIpw tov natoas tòv xeljwva tils yuxas aŭtwv, Tóte λύει και τον της θαλάσσης.

Yet is it to be observed that he does not, in St. Matthew, call them “ without faith,” but “ of little faith*.” They were not wholly without faith; for, believing in the midst of their unbelief, they turned to Christ in their need. They had faith, but it was not quick and lively, it was not at hand as it should have been; “Where is your faith ?” as in St. Luke he asks ; so that it was like a weapon which a soldier has, but yet has mislaid, and cannot lay hold of in the moment of extremest need. The imperfection of their faith consisted not in this, that they appealed unto their Lord for help; for herein was faithf, but in the excess of their terror, in their counting it possible that the ship which bore their Lord, could ever truly perish 1.

But especially noticeable are the words with which that Lord, as all three Evangelists relate, quieted the storm. He " rebuked the winds and the sea ;” in the spirit of which words St. Mark relates, further, a more direct address to the furious elements, “ Peace, be still,which it would be absurd to suppose a mere oratorical personification. Rather, as Maldonatus truly remarks, there is in these words a distinct recognition of Satan and the powers of evil as the authors of the disharmony in the outward world, a tracing of all these disorders up to their source in a person, a carrying of them

* Not ärloto1, but óheyÓTLOTOI. The “ How is it ye have no faith ?" of St. Mark, must be overruled and explained by this word, and not vice versâ.

† Something of the same kind we see in John the Baptist. No doubt there was a shaking of his faith before he could send to Jesus with the question, “ Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" (Matt. xi. 3 ;) but that he sent to Jesus and to no other to resolve him this doubt, proved that the faith which was assaulted, yet was not overthrown.

# They are blamed, not for fearing, but for being oŰ rw deiloi. Calvin: Quâ particulâ notat eos extra modum pavescere; ..... quemlibet verò timorem non esse fidei contrarium, inde patet, quod si nihil metuimus, obrepit supina carnis securitas.

♡ Ecura, repinwoo. We may compare Ps. cvi. 9: “ He rebuked (émitiunoe, LXX.) the Red Sea also,” although there, as in a poem, the same stress cannot be laid on the word as here.

back to him as to their ultimate ground. The Lord elsewhere uses the same form of address to a fever, for it is said that he rebuked it, (Luke iv. 39,) where the same remarks will hold good.

And in the hour of her wildest uproar, nature yielded obedience unto him, who was come to re-assert man's dominion over her, and over the evil powers, which held her in thrall, and had made her, who should have always been his willing handmaid, to be oftentimes the instrument of his harm and ruin*. And his word was sufficient for this. He needed not, as Moses, to stretch a rod over the deep ; he needed not, as his servant had needed, an instrument of power, foreign to himself, with which to do his mighty work ; but only at his word the wind ceased +, and there was a great calm.And then is added the moral effect which this great wonder exercised on the minds of those that were in the ship with him ;—it may be, also on those that were in the "other little ships,” which St. Mark has noted as sailing in their company : The men maroelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him ?” an exclamation which only can find its answer in another exclamation of the Psalmist, “O Lord God of Hosts, who is like unto thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea : when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.” (Ps. lxxix.

• A notable specimen of the dexterity with which a neological interpretation may be insinuated into a book of geography occurs in Röhr's Palästina, p. 59, in many respects a useful manual of the Holy Land. Speaking of this lake, and the usual gentleness and calmness of its waters, he adds, that it is from time to time disturbed by squalls from the neighbouring hills, which yet, last not long, nor are very perilous. (Matt. viii. 23—27.)” What his reference to this passage means is at once clear, and may be seen more largely expressed in Kuinoel, or any other rationalist commentary, in loc.

+ 'Ekórage, as one ceases out of weariness (Korálw, from kóros). Talýjun, probably not, as some propose, from yola, to express the soft milky colour of the calm sea, but from yelów. So Catullus, describing the gentlystirred waters,-leni resonant plangore cachinni.

T. M.

8, 9.)* We see then here one of the moral purposes to which, in the providence of God, who ordered all things for the glory of his Son, this miracle should serve. It should lead his disciples into thoughts ever higher and more awful of that Lord whom they followed, and should more and more bring them to feel that in nearness to him was all safety and deliverance from every danger. The danger which exercised, should strengthen, their faith,—who indeed had need of a mighty faith, since God, in St. Chrysostom's words, had chosen them to be the athletes of the universet.

An old expositor has somewhat boldly said, “ This power of the Lord's word, this admiration of them that were with him in the ship, holy David had predicted in the Psalm, saying, “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep,'” and so forward. (Ps. cviji. 23-30.) And as in the spiritual world, the inward is ever shadowed forth by the outward, we may regard this outward fact but as the clothing of an inward truth which in the language of this miracle the Lord declares unto men. He would set himself forth as the true Prince of Peace, (Isai. xi. 649,) as the speaker of peace to the troubled and stormstirred heart of man, whether the storms that stir it be its

* Tertullian (Adv. Marc., l. 4, c. 20): Quum transfretat, Psalmus expungitur, Dominus, inquit, super aquas multas (Ps. xxxix. 3] : quum undas freti discutit, Abacuc adimpletur, Dispargens, inquit, aquas itinere (Hab. iii. 157: quum ad minas ejus eliditur mare, Naum quoque absolvitur; Comminans, inquit, mari, et arefaciens illud, [Nah. i. 4,] utique cum ventis quibus inquietabatur.

+ Bengel : Jesus habebat scholam ambulantem, et in eâ scholâ multò solidius instituti sunt discipuli, quàm si sub tecto unius collegii sine ullâ solicitudine atque tentatione vixissent.—The fact which has perplexed some, that, apparently, the apostles were never baptized, at least with Christ's baptism, has been by others curiously enough explained, that as the children of Israel were baptized into Moses in the Red Sea, (1 Cor. x. 2,) so the apostles were in this storm baptized into Christ. Tertullian (De Bapt., c. 12): Alii planè satis coactè injiciunt, tunc apostolos baptismi vicem implêsse, quum in naviculâ fluctibus adspersi operti sunt.

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