Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

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 sleeping in thee? If he were not sleeping in thee, thou wouldest have calm within. But what means this, that Jesus is sleeping in thee, save that thy faith, which is from Jesus, is slumbering in thine heart? What shalt thou do to be delivered? Arouse him and say, Master, we perish. He will awaken ; that is, thy faith will return to thee, and abide with thee always. When Christ is awakened, though the tempest beat into, yet it will not fill, thy ship; thy faith will now command the winds and the waves, and the danger will be over*."

* Enarr. in Ps. xcii. 19: Si cessaret Deus et non misceret amaritudines felicitatibus seculi, oblivisceremur eum. Sed ubi angores molestiarum faciunt fluctus animæ, fides illa quæ ibi dormiebat, excitetur. Tranquillum enim erat, quando dormivit Christus in mari: illo doriniente, tempestas orta est, et cæperunt periclitari. Ergo in corde Christiano et tranquillitas erit et pay, sed quamdiu vigilat fides nostra: si autem dormit fides nostra, periclitamur. ... . Sed quomodo illa navis cùm fluctuaret, excitatus est Christus à fluctuantibus et dicentibus, Domine, perimus : surrexit ille, imperavit tempestatibus, imperavit fluctibus, cessavit periculum, facta est tranquillitas, sic et te cùm turbant concupiscentiæ malæ, persuasiones malæ, fluctus sunt, tranquillabuntur. Jam desperas et putas te non pertinere ad Dominum ; Evigilet fides tua, excita Christum in corde tuo: surgente fide, jam agnoscis ubi sis ; . . . . Evigilante Christo tranquilletur cor tuum, ut ad portum quoque pervenias. Thus again (In Ev. Joh., Tract. 49): Fides tua de Christo, Christus est in corde tuo. . . . . Intrant venti cor tuum, utique ubi navigas, ubi hanc vitam tanquam procellosum et periculosum pelagus transis; intrant venti, movent fluctus, turbant navim. Qui sunt venti? Audisti convicium, irasceris : convicium ventus est, iracundia fluctus est : periclitaris, disponis respondere, disponis maledictum maledicto reddere, jam navis propinquat naufragio; excita Christum dormientem. Ideo enim fluctuas, et mala pro malis reddere praparas, quia Christus dornit in navi. In corde enim tuo somnus Christi, oblivio fidei. Nam si excites Christum, id est, recolas fidem, quid tibi dicit tanquam vigilans Christus in corde tuo? Ego audivi, Dæmonium habes, et pro eis oravi; audit Dominus et patitur; audit servus et indignatur. Sed vindicari vis. Quid enim, ego jam sum vindicatus? Cùın tibi hæc loquitur fides tua, quasi imperatur ventis et fluctibus, et fit tranquillitas inagna. Cf. Serm. 63; Enarr. in Ps. lv. S; and Enarr. 2a in Ps. xiv. in init.

Nor shall we in any wise do wrong to the literal truth of this or any other of Christ's miracles, by recognizing the character at once symbolic and prophetic, which, no doubt, many of them also bear, and this among the number. As the kernel of the old humanity, Noah and his family, was once contained in the Ark which was tossed upon the waves of the deluge, so the kernel of the new humanity, of the new creation, Christ and his apostles, in this little ship. And the Church of Christ has evermore resembled this tempested bark, in that the waves of the world rage horribly around it, in that it has evermore been delivered out of the perils which seemed ready to overwhelm it, and this because Christ is in it; who being roused by the cry of his servants, rebukes these winds and these waters, before they utterly overwhelm this ship*. In the Old Testament Ezekiel gives us a magnificent picture of a worldly kingdom under the image of a stately and

* Tertullian (De Bapt., c. 12): Cæterùm navicula illa figuram Ecclesiæ præferebat, quod in mari, id est seculo, fluctibus, id est persecutionibus et tentationibus, inquietatur, Domino per patientiam velut dormiente, donec orationibus sanctorum in ultimis suscitatus, compescat seculum et tranquillitatem suis reddat. Ambrose : Arbor quædam in navi est crux in Ecclesiâ, quà inter tot totius sæculi blanda et perniciosa naufragia incolumis sola servatur. Compare a passage of much beauty in the Clementine Homilies, (COTELER. Patt. Apostt., v. 1, p. 609) beginning thus: "Eoikev yap öłoy to πράγμα της εκκλησίας ναι μεγάλη, δια σφοδρού χειμωνος άνδρας φερούση έκ πολλών τόπων όντας, και μίαν τινά αγαθής βασιλείας πόλιν οικείν θέλοντας, *.7.1. The image of the world as a great ship, whereof God was at once the maker and the pilot, was familiar to the Indians (PHILOSTRATUS, De Vita Apollonii, l. 3, c. 35; Von BOHLEN, Das Alte Indien), and the same symbolic meaning lay in the procession of Egyptian priests bearing the sacred ship (the navigium auratum, Curt., l. 4, c. 7) full of the images of the gods. In Egypt it was the favourite manner to represent the gods as sailing in a ship. (CREUZER's Symbolik, v. 2, p. 9, 3rd edit.) All this was recognized in the early Christian art, where the Church is continually set forth as a ship, against which the personified winds are tighting. (Christliche KunstSymbolik, p. 159.) Aringhi describes an old seal-ring in which the Church appears as this ship, sustained and supported by a great fish in the sea beneath, (Christ the 'LXOY!, according to Ps. lxxii. 17, Aquila,) on its mast and poop two doves sitting, so that the thiree Clementine symbols, the ship, the dove, and the fish, appear here united in a single group.

gorgeous galley, which he describes with every circumstance that could heighten its glory and its beauty (xxvii. 4—9); but that ship with all its outward bravery and magnificence utterly perishes: “thy rowers have brought thee into great waters; the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas,” and they that have hoped in it and embarked in it their treasures, wail over its wreck with a bitter wailing; (ver. 26–36;) this kingdom of God meanwhile, which seems by comparison but as the slight and unhonoured fishing boat that every wave would engulph, rides triumphantly over all, and comes safely into haven at the last.

5. TIIE DEMONIACS IN THE COUNTRY OF

THE GADARENES.
Matt. viii. 20—34; Mark v. 1---20; Luke viii. 26–39.

Before entering upon this, the most important, and, in many respects, the most difficult of the demoniac cures in the New Testament, it is impossible to avoid making generally a few prefatory remarks on the subject of the demoniacs * of Scripture. It is a subject of which the difficulty is very much enhanced by the fact that, as in the case of some of the spiritual gifts, the gist, for instance, of tongues, the thing itself, if it still survives among us, yet does so no longer under the same name, nor yet with the same frequency and intensity as of old. We are obliged to put together, as best we can, the separate notices which have come down to us, and from them seek to frame some scheme, which will answer the demands of the different phenomena ; we have not, at least with certainty, the thing itself to examine and to question, before our eyes.

It is, of course, easy enough to cut short the whole

demoniacs were persons whom we should call insane-epileptic, maniac, melancholic. This has been often said, and the oftener perhaps, because there is a partial truth in the view that these possessions were bodily maladies. There was no doubt a substratum of disease, which in many cases helped to lay open to the deeper evil, and upon which it was superinduced * : and in agreement with this view, we may observe that cases of possession are at once classed with those of various sicknesses, and at the same time distinguished from them, by the Evangelists; who thus at once mark the relation and the difference. (Matt. iv. 24 ; viii. 16; Mark i. 33.) But the scheme which confounds these cases with those of disease, does not, as, I think, every reverent handler of God's word must own, exhaust the matter; it cannot be taken as a satisfying solution ; and this for more reasons than one.

* The most coinmon naine in Scripture for one thus possessed is oa luovilónevos, (Matt. iv. 24, and often.) Besides this, daquovioleís, (Mark v. 18; Luke viji. 36 ;) å v0pwtos iv uveumati analipto, (Mark i. 2, 3 ;) 7 xrov a veuren rincttaptor', (Acts vij. 7 ;) © xwv ĉallóvere, (Luke vi. 27;) ävOpwros ögon a vevnere oarjovivu vikurintov. (Luke iv. 33.) Other more general descriptions, natuÒNPAO tovonívors into tou oua Bodow, (Acts y. 38 ;) ixlouevos inn ne vempitov akébeéptwv. (Luke vi. 18; Acts 1. 16.) In Classic Greek, one thus possessed was said canoparnahooaemorar, and the state of posseission was called Arenočamorin.

And first, our Lord himself uses language which is not reconcileable with such a theory; he everywhere speaks of demoniacs not as persons merely of disordered intellects, but as subjects and thralls of an alien spiritual might; he addresses the evil spirit as distinct from the man ; “Hold thy peace, and come out of him.” (Mark i. 25.) And the poor reply, that he fell into and humoured the notions of the afflicted in order to facilitate their curet, is cut off by the fact that in his most confidential discourses with his disciples he uses exactly the same language. (Matt. x. 8; and especially xvii. 21, “ This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting :") The allegiance we owe to Christ as the King of

* Origen (in Matth., tom. 13, c. 6,) finds fault with some (iatpoi, he calls them,) who in his day saw in the youth mentioned Matt. xvii. 14, only one afflicted with the falling sickness. He himself runs into the opposite extreme, and will see no nature there, because they saw nothing but nature.

+ Not to say that such treatment had been sure to fail. Schubert, in his book, full of wisdom and love, Die Krankheiten und Störungen der menschlichen Seele, several times observes how fatal all giving into a madman's delusions is for his recovery; how sure it is to defeat its own objects. He is living in a world of falsehood, and what he wants is not more falsehood, but some truth-the truth indeed in love, but still only the truth. And I know that the greatest physicians in this line in England act exactly upon this principle.

# It is hardly necessary to observe, that by this "going out” that is not implied, which Arnobius (Adv. Gent., l. 1, c. 45) in the rudest manner expresses, when he speaks of gens illa mersorum in visceribus darmonum.

The

« PoprzedniaDalej »