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should see pass over from them into the possession of others.” Because of their unbelief, they, the natural branches of the olive tree, should be broken off; and in their room the wild olive should be graffed in: “Many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,” shall be partakers of the heavenly festival, which shall be at the inauguration of the kingdom; and from which they who were first invited should be excluded.
And then to him, or to his messengers, it was said, “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self.same hour;”—not merely was there a remission of the strength of the disease, but it altogether left him. There has sometimes been a difficulty concerning the exact nature of the complaint from which he was thus graciously delivered. In St. Matthew the centurion describes it as palsy, with which however the “grievously tormented” does not seem altogether to agree, nor yet St. Luke's words that he was “ready to die,” since in itself it is neither accompanied with these violent paroxysms of pain, nor is it in its nature mortal. But paralysis with the contraction of the joints is accompanied with strong pain, and when united, as it much oftener is in the hot climates of the East and of Africa than among us, with tetanus, both causes extreme suffering, and would rapidly bring on dissolution.*
THE healing of this demoniac, the second miracle of the kind which the Evangelists record at any length, is very far from offering so much remarkable as some other works of the same kind, yet it is not without its peculiar features. That which it has most remarkable, although that is not without its parallels, (see Mark i. 34; Matt. viii. 29,) is the testimony which the evil spirit bears to Christ, and his refusal to accept that testimony. In either of these circumstances, this history stands parallel to the account which we have in the Acts (xvi. 16–18) of the girl with the spirit of Apollo, who bore witness to Paul and his company, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation,” whereat, in like manner, Paul was “grieved,” and would not permit it any more. Our Lord was teaching, as was his wont upon a Sabbath, in the synagogue of Capernaum; and the people were already wondering at the authority with which he taught. But he was not only mighty in word, but also mighty in work, and it was ordained by the providence of his Heavenly Father, that the opportunity should here be offered him for making yet deeper the impression on his hearers, for here also confirming the word with signs following. “There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit;” and this unclean spirit felt at once that One was nigh, who was stronger than all the kingdom whereunto he belonged: hitherto his goods had been at peace; but now there was come One who should divide the spoil. And with the instinct and consciousness of this danger which so nearly threatened the kingdom of hell, he cried out, not the man himself, but the evil spirit which had usurped dominion over him, “saying, Let us alone;” what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth of art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Earth has not recognized her king, has not yet seen him through his disguise; but heaven and hell alike bear witness unto him: “the devils also believe and tremble.” Yet here this question arises, what could have been the motive to this testimony, thus borne? It is strange that the evil spirit should thus, without compulsion, proclaim to men his presence, who was come to be the destroyer of the kingdom of the devil. Rather we should expect that he would have denied, or sought to obscure, the glory of his Person. It cannot be said that this was an unwilling confession to the truth, forcibly extorted by Christ's superior power, since it displeased him in whose favor it professed to be borne, and was by him silenced at once. It remains either, with Theophylact and Grotius, to take this as the cry of base and abject fear, that with fawning and with flattery would fain avert from itself the doom, which with Christ's presence in the world appears so near;-to compare, as Jerome does, this exclamation to that of the fugitive slave, dreaming of nothing but stripes and torments when he encounters his well-known lord, and who would now by any means turn away his anger: or else, and so Christ's immediately stopping of his mouth would seem to argue, this testimony was intended only to do harm, to injure the estimation of him in whose behalf it was borne. It was to bring the truth itself into suspicion and discredit, when it was borne witness to by the spirit of lies:$ and thus these confessions to Christ may have been intended only to anticipate and to mar his great purpose and plan, even as we see Mark iii. 22 following hard on Mark iii. 11. Therefore the Lord would not allow this testimony; “Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him;"| not as Michael the archangel, “The
* "Ea, not the imperative from éâw, but an interjection of terror, wrung out by the posłepā Śróox) optaewo, (Heb. x. 27,)—unless indeed the interjection was originally this imperative. + Nagapmáç here. The word appears in the New Testament in two other forms, Nagapatoc and Nagopaloc. Of all these the last is the most frequent. + Grotius: Vult Jesum blanditiis demulcere, cuise certando imparem erat expertus. Jerome (Comm. in Matth. ix.): Velut si servi fugitivi post multum temporis dominum suum videant; nihil aliud nisi de verberibus deprecantur. § Thus, with a slight difference in the view, Tertullian (Adv. Marc, l. 4, c. 7). Increpuit eum Jesus, planè ut invidiosum et in ipsá confessione petulantem et malê adulantem, quasi haec esset summa gloria Christi, si ad perditionem damonum venisset, et non potius ad hominum salutem. | Tertullian (Adv. Marc., l. 4, c. 8): Illius erat, praeconium immundi spiritàs respuere, cui Sancti abundabant. Calvin': Duplex potest esseratio, curloquinon sineret: una generalis quod nondum maturum plenae revelationis tempus advenerat; altera speLord rebuke thee,” (Jude 9) but in his own name and in his own power.
It might seem as though the evil spirit was not altogether and at once obedient to the word of Christ, that it was not altogether a word of power; since he bade him to hold his peace, and yet in the next verse it is said, that “he cried with a loud voice,” as he was leaving the man. (Cf. Acts viii. 7.) But in truth he was obedient to this command of silence; he did not speak any more, and that was the thing which our Lord meant to forbid: this cry was nothing but an inarticulate cry of rage and pain. Neither is there any contradiction between St. Luke, (iv. 35) who says that the evil spirit “hurt him not,” and St. Mark, according to whom he “tare” him: he did not do him any permanent injury; no doubt what evil he could do him he did. Even St. Luke says that he cast him on the ground; with which the phrase of the earlier Evangelist, that he threw him into strong convulsions, in fact consents. We have at Mark ix. 26 an analogous case, only with worse symptoms accompanying the going out of the foul spirit; for what the devil cannot keep as his own, he will, if he can, destroy; even as Pharaoh never treated the children of Israel worse than just when they were escaping from his grasp. Something similar is evermore finding place; and Satan vexes with temptations and with buffetings none so much as those who are in the act of being delivered from under his dominion for ever.
cialis, quod illos repudiabat praecones ac testes suae divinitatis, qui laude suá nihil aliud quam maculam, et sinistram opinionem aspergere illi poterant. Atque hac posterior indubia est, quia testatum oportuit esse hostile dissidium, quod habebat aeternae salutis et vitae auctor cum mortis principe ejusque ministris.
This miracle is by St. Mark and St. Luke linked immediately and in a manner that marks an historic connection, with that which has just come under our notice. The sacred historians go on to speak of our Lord, saying, “And he arose out of the synagogue, and went into Simon's house,”—in St. Mark, “the house of Simon and Andrew.” The stronger personality of Peter causes Andrew, the earlier called, and the leader of his brother to Jesus, probably also the elder brother, here as elsewhere to fall into the background. We may infer that he went on this Sabbath day to eat bread there. (Cf. Luke xiv. 1.*) Being arrived, it was told him of Simon's wife's mother, who “was taken with a great fever, and they besought him for her.” Here, again, we have the use of a remarkable phrase; Jesus “rebuked the fever,” as at other times he “rebuked” the winds and the waves; and with such effect that it left her, and not in that state of extreme weakness and exhaustion which fever usually leaves behind, when in the ordinary course of things it has abated; it left her not gradually convalescent: but so entire and
* Maldonatus is greatly troubled that Peter should have a house, while it has been said before that he “left all,” and to allow this really to have been Simon's house appears to him to militate against the perfection of his state. His explanation and that of most of the Romish expositors is, that this house was one which had been Peter's, and which he had made over to his wife's mother, when he determined to follow Christ in the absolute renunciation of all things. It is needless; the renunciation was entire in will, (see Matt. xix. 27,) and ready in act to be carried out into all its details, as necessity arose.
+ Jerome (Comm. in Matt, in loc.) observes this: Natura hominum istiusmodi
est, ut post febrim magis lassescant corpora, et incipiente sanitate aegrotationis mala sentiant.