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which the power of Christ might run, like an electric flash, from Him to the object of her love. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed,' weak and exhausted, as these last words would imply, from the paroxysms of the spirit's going out ;-unless, indeed, they indicate that she was now taking that quiet rest, which hitherto the evil spirit had not allowed. It will then answer to the clothed and in his right mind' (Luke viii. 35) of another who had been similarly tormented.
The question remains, Why this bitterness was not spared her, why the Lord should have presented Himself under so different an aspect to her, and to most other suppliants ? Sometimes He anticipated their needs, “Wilt thou be made whole?' (John v. 6); or if not so, He who was waiting to be gracious required not to be twice asked for his blessings. Why was it that in this case, to use the words of an old divine, Christ (stayed long, wrestling with her faith, and shaking and trying whether it were fast-rooted' or no? DoubtJess because He knew that it was a faith which would stand the proof, and that she would come out victorious from this sore trial; and not only so, but with a stronger, mightier, purer faith than if she had borne away her blessing merely for the asking. Now she has learned, as then she never could have learned, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;' that when God delays a boon, He does not therefore deny it. She has learned the lesson which Moses must have learned, when “the Lord met him, and sought to kill him’ (Exod. iv. 24); she has won the strength which Jacob won from his wrestling, till the day broke, with the Angel. There is, indeed, a remarkable resemblance between this history and that of Jacob (Gen. xxxii. 24-32). There, as here, we note the same persevering struggle on the one side, the same persevering refusal on the other; there, as here, the stronger is at last overcome by the weaker. God Himself yields to the might of faith and prayer; for a later
prophet, interpreting that mysterious struggle, tells us the weapons which the patriarch wielded : "he wept and made supplication unto Him, connecting with this the fact that he had power over the Angel, and prevailed” (Hos. xii. 3, 4). The two histories, indeed, only stand out in their full resemblance, when we keep in mind that the Angel there, the Angel of the Covenant, was no other than that Word, who, now incarnate,' •blest' this woman at last, as He had blest at length Jacob at Peniel, -in each case so rewarding a faith which had said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.'
Yet, when we thus speak of man overcoming God, we must never, of course, for an instant lose sight of this, that the power whereby he overcomes the resistance of God, is itself a power supplied by God. All that is man's is the faith, or the emptiness of self, with the hunger after God, which enables him to appropriate and make so largely his own the fulness and power of God; so that here also that word comes true, ' Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' Thus when St. Paul speaks of himself under an image which rested originally on Jacob's struggle, if there was not a direct allusion to it in the Apostle's mind, as striving for the Colossians (Col. i. 29), striving, that is, with God in prayer (see iv. 12), he immediately adds, according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.'
We may observe, in conclusion, that we have three ascending degrees of faith, as it manifests itself in the breaking through hindrances which would keep from Christ, in the paralytic (Mark ii. 4); in the blind man at Jericho (Mark X. 48); and in this woman of Canaan. The paralytic broke through the outward hindrances, the obstacles of things merely external; blind Bartimæus through the hindrances
1 This has been doubted by some; but see the younger Vitringa, Diss. de Luctâ Jacobi, p. 18, seq., in his Diss. Sac.; and Deyling, Obss. Sac. p. 827, seq.
2 'Aywvicóuevoç: cf. Col. ii. 1, where Grotius says rightly, Per dywva intelligit non sollicitudinem tantum, sed preces assiduas.
opposed by his fellow-men; but this woman, more heroically than all, through apparent hindrances even from Christ Himself. These, in all their seeming weakness, were yet three mighty ones, not of David, but of David's Son and Lord, who broke through opposing hosts, until they could draw living water from wells of salvation (2 Sam. xxiii. 16).
24. THE HEALING OF ONE DEAF AND DUMB.
MARK vii. 31-37.
ST. MATTHEW tells us in general terms that when the
Lord had returned from those coasts of Tyre and Sidon unto the sea of Galilee, 'great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them' (xv. 30). Out of this number of cures St. Mark selects one to relate more in detail, and this, no doubt, because it was signalized by some circumstances not usual in other like cases of healing. They bring unto Him one that was deaf and had an impediment in his speech,' one who, if he was not altogether dumb, was yet incapable of making any articulate sounds. His case differs, apparently, from that of
1 Kullós, properly, crippled or maimed in the hand, as Jerome (in loc.) observes : Quomodo claudus dicitur, qui uno claudicat pede, sic evalòg appellatur, qui unam manum debilem habet. Nos proprietatem hujus verbi non habemus. We also have no one equivalent word. It is the Italian monco. At Matt. xviii. 8 it is evidently "maimed of the band,' but does not here mean so much ; for though, of course, it lay in Christ's power to supply a lost limb, yet we nowhere meet a miracle of this kind ; neither should we expect to meet such ; for He was come now, a Redeemer, that is a setter free of man in his body and in his soul from alien powers which held him in bondage—but not a Creator. Even in his miracles which approach nearest to creation, He ever assumes a substratum on which to work. It is no limitation of this divine power of Christ, to suppose that it had thus a law according to which it wrought, and beyond which it did not extend ; for this law is only the law of infinite fitness, wbich it received from itself.
· Some make uoyıládoç here mute, chiefly on account of the alálovs of ver. 37; and refer to Isai. xxxv. 6 (LXX), tpavri od Total ydwooa uoyıládwr',
the dumb man mentioned Matt. ix. 32 ; for while that man's evil is traced up distinctly and directly to a spiritual source, nothing of the kind is intimated here, nor are we, as Theophylact suggests, to presume such. Him his friends now brought to the great Healer, and they beseech Him to put his hand upon him.' But it is not exactly in this way that He will heal him.
It has been already observed, that there must lie a deep meaning in all the variations which mark the different healings of different sick and afflicted, a wisdom of God ordering all the circumstances of each particular cure. Were we acquainted as accurately as He, who “kņew what was in man,' with the spiritual condition of each who was brought within the circle of his grace, we should then perfectly understand wby one was healed in the crowd, another led out of the city ere the work of restoration was commenced; why for one a word effected a cure, for another a touch, while a third was sent to wash in the pool of Siloam ere he came seeing;' why for this one the process of restoration was instantaneous, while another saw at first men as trees, walking. We are not for an instant to suppose in cures gradually accomplished any restraint on the power of the Lord, save such as He willingly imposed on Himself,—and this, doubtless, in each case having reference to, and being explicable by, the moral and spiritual state of the person who was passing under his hands. It is true that our ignorance prevents us from at once and in every case discerning the manifold wisdom' which ordered each of his proceedings, but we are not less sure that this wisdom ordered them all.'
in proof; as also to Exod. iv. 11, where, though not the Septuagint, yet the three other Greek translations use this word in the sense of dumb. Yet the étále opnūs of ver. 35 favours the meaning which the word more naturally suggests, and our Translation has given. He was Bpaðúy.wooos, áy vlóy.wooos, balbutiens, could make no intelligible sounds; but was not absolutely dumb; cf. Isai. xxxii. 4 (LXX): ai ytwooai ai Vendisovnas.
Maldonatus : Videtur etiam voluisse Christus non semper æqualiter suam divinitatem potentiamque declarare, quod non semper, etiamsi nos causa lateat, convenire judicaret. Aliquando solo verbo dæmones ejicit,