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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 imninert 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, with the toils of the day, continued sleeping still: He was, according to 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 in Him here exactly the reverse of Jonah (Jon. i. 5, 6); the fugitive prophet asleep in the midst of a like danger out of 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.!
But the disciples understood not this. It was long, we may believe, before they dared to arouse Him; yet at length the extremity of the peril overcame their hesitation, and they did so, not without exclamations of haste and terror; as is evidenced by the double · Master, Master,' of St. Luke. This double compellation, as it scarcely needs to observe, always marks a special earnestness on the part of the speaker; and as God's speakings to man are ever of this character, it will often be found in them (Gen. xxii. 11; Exod. iii. 4; i Sam. iii. 10; Luke x. 41 ; Acts ix. 4); as in man's also into the prose of the κοινή διάλεκτος. Ηesychius defines itανέμου συστροφή pel' veroù : but darkness as well as rain should be included in the definition of it; in Homer it is constantly épauvin, or kelaiví. The storm-wind by which Elijah was rapt from earth to heaven is laiday a vpós (2 Kin. ii. 11, LXX).
Jerome (in loc.): Hujus signi typum in Jonâ legimus, quando ceteris periclitantibus ipse securus est, et dormit, et suscitatur : et imperio ac sacramento passionis suæ liberat suscitantes.
to God (Matt. vii. 22 ; xxvii. 46). In St. Mark, the disciples
1 On the different exclamations of fear which different Evangelists put into the mouth of the disciples, Augustine says well (De Cons. Evang. ii. 24): Una eademque sententia est excitantium Dominum, volentiumque salvari : nec opus est quærere quid horum potius 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 again (28): Per hujusmodi Evangelistarum locutiones varias, sed non contrarias, rem plane 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, cum utique non in verbis tantum, sed etiam in ceteris omnibus signis animorum, non sit nisi ipse animus inquirendus. Cf. 66, in fine.
2 Theophylact : Πρώτον παύσας τον χειμώνα της ψυχής αυτών, τότε λύει και τον της θαλάσσης. .
They had it, as the weapon which a soldier has, but cannot lay hold of at the moment when he needs it the most. Their sin lay not in seeking help of Him; for this indeed became them well; but in the excess of their terror, 'why are ye so fearful ?'' in their counting it possible that the ship which bore their Lord could ever perish.
• Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.' Cæsar's confidence that the bark which contained him and his fortunes could not sink, forms the earthly counterpart to the heavenly calmness and confidence of the Lord. We must not miss the force of that word “rebuked, preserved by all three Evangelists; and as little the direct address to the furious elements, Peace, be still,"? which St. Mark only records. To regard this as a mere oratorical personification would be absurd ; rather is there here, as Maldonatus truly remarks, a distinct tracing up of all the discords and disharmonies in the outward world to their source in a person, a referring them back to him, as to their ultimate ground; even as this person can be no other than Satan, the author of all disorders alike in the natural and in the spiritual world. The Lord elsewhere rebukes' a fever (Luke iv. 39), where the same remarks will hold good. Nor is this rebuke unheard or unheeded; for not willingly' was the creature thus made subject to vanity' (Rom. viii. 20). Constituted to be man's handmaid at the first, it is only reluctantly, and submitting to an alien force, that nature rises up against him, and becomes the instrument of his hurt and harm. In the hour of her wildest uproar, she knew the voice of Him who was her rightful Lord, gladly returned to her allegiance to Him, and in this to her place of proper service to that race of which He had become
1 Octw oecloi. Calvin : Quâ particulâ notat eos extra modum pavescere ; quemlibet vero timorem non esse fidei contrarium, indo patet, quod si nihil metuimus, obrepit supina carnis securitas.
? L16an, Tediuwoo. Cf. Ps. cvi. 9: 'He rebuked (dmetiunte, LXX) the Red Sea also;' although there, as in a poem, the same stress cannot be laid on the word as here.
the Head, and whose lost prerogatives He was reclaiming and reasserting once more. And to effect all this, his word alone was sufficient; He needed not, as Moses, to stretch a rod over the deep; He needed not, as his servant had needed, an instrument of power, apart from Himself, with which to do his mighty work (Exod. xiv. 16, 21, 27); but at his word only the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.'
The Evangelists proceed to describe the moral effect which this great wonder exercised on the minds of those that were in the ship ;-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 marvelled, 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. lxxxix. 8, 93).
A notable specimen of the dexterity with which a neological interpretation may be insinuated into a book of geography occurs in Röhr's Palistina, p. 59, in many respects a useful manual. Speaking of this lake, and the usual gentleness of its waters, he adds, that it is from time to time disturbed by squalls from the neighbouring hills, which yet last not long, and are not very perilous (Matt. viii. 23-27). What his reference to this passage means is more largely expressed by Kuinoel (in loc.). Dr. Thomson, who himself witnessed a violent storm on this lake which lasted for three days, gives quite a different account. "To understand,' he says, the causes of these sudden and violent tempests, we must remember that the lake lies low [v aréßn dailay, Luke viii. 23], six hundred feet lower than the ocean, that the vast and naked plateaus of Jaulan rise to a great height, spreading backward to the wilds of Hauran, and upward to the snowy Hermon; that the watercourses have cut out profound ravines and wild gorges, converging to the head of the lake, and that these act like gigantic funnels to draw down the winds from the mountains' (The Land and the Book, part ii. ch. xxv.).
2 'Exótarev, as one ceases out of weariness (korácw, from Rómoc). Talivn, not, as some propose, from yála, to express the soft milky colour of the calm sea, but from yeddiw. So Catullus, describing the gentlystirred waters,-leni resonant plangore cachinni.
3 Tertullian (Adv. Marc. iv. 20): Quum transfretat, Psalmus expungitur, Dominus, inquit, super aquas multas [P's. xxxix. 3]: quum undas freti discutit, Abacuc adimpletur, Dispargens, inquit, aquas itinere (Hab. iii. 15] : quum ad minas ejus eliditur mare, Naum quoque absolvitur ;
We see here, no doubt, the chief ethical purpose to which, in the providence of God who ordered all things for the glory of his Son, this miracle was intended to serve. It was to lead his disciples into thoughts ever higher and more awful of that Lord whom they served, more and more to teach them that in nearness to Him was safety and deliverance from every danger. The danger which exercised, should likewise 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 universe.
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 ”' (Ps. cvii. 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 sets Himself forth as the true Prince of peace (Isai. ix. 6-9), the speaker of peace to the troubled and storm-stirred heart of man, whether the storms that stir it be its own inner passions, or life's outward calamities and temptations. Thus Augustine, making application of all parts of the miracle : We are sailing in this life as through a sea, and the wind rises, and storms of temptations are not wanting. Whence is this, save because Jesus is
Comminans, inquit, mari, et arefaciens illud [Nah. i. 4], utique cum ventis quibus inquietabatur.
Bengel: Jesus habebat scholam ambulantem, et in eâ scholâ multo solidius instituti sunt discipuli, quam si sub tecto unius collegii sine ullâ solicitudine atque tentatione vixissent. – A circumstance which has perplexed some, that, apparently, the Apostles were never baptized, except some of them with John's baptism, has been by others curiously explained, that, as the children of Israel were baptized into Moses in the Red (1 Cor. x. 2), so they were in this storm baptized into Christ. Tertullian (De Bapt. 12): Alii plane satis coacte injiciunt, tunc Apostolos baptismi vicem implêsse, quum in naviculâ fluctibus adspersi operti sunt.