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he took them at their word; he let them alone *. (Cf. Exod. x. 28, 29.)
But the healed man would fain accompany his healer : and as Christ was stepping into the ship to return, entreated that he might be allowed to bear him company. Was it that he feared, as Theophylact supposes, lest in the absence of his deliverer the powers of hell should regain their dominion over him, and only felt safe in immediate nearness to him ?-or merely that out of the depth of his gratitude he desired henceforth to be a follower of him to whom he owed this mighty benefit? But whatever was his motive the Lord had other purposes with him : though he was himself leaving them who were as yet unfitted to welcome him, he would not leave himself without a witness among them. This healed man should be a standing monument of his grace and power,
--that he would have healed them, and was willing to heal them still, of all the diseases of their souls: “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee t.” And the
* Augustine (Enarr, in Ps. cxxxvi. 3,) has a noble passage on what the world calls prosperity; which when Christ interrupts, then the world counts that he has brought nothing good, and would fain hare him depart from it, if it might: Vides eniin si theatra et amphitheatra et circi starent inco. lumes, si nihil caderet de Babyloniâ, si ubertas esset circumfluentium voluptatum hominibus cantaturis et saltaturis ad turpia cantica, si libido scortantium et meretricantium haberet quietem et securitatem, si non timeret famem in domo suâ qui clamat ut pantomimi vestiantur, si hæc omnia sine labe, sine perturbatione aliquâ fluerent, et esset securitas magna nugarum, felicia essent tempora, et magnam felicitatem rebus humanis Christus adtulisset. Quia verò cæduntur iniquitates, ut exstirpatâ cupiditate plantetur caritas Jerusalem, quia miscentur amaritudines vitæ temporali, ut æterna desideretur, quia erudiuntur in flagellis homines, paternam accipientes disciplinam, ne judiciariam inveniant sententiam ; nihil boni adtulit Christus, et labores adtulit Christus.
+ Erasmus seems to me to have right when he connects öga, not alone with heroínkev, but also with vjengev. Of course, in the second case, adverbially: Et quantopere misertus sit tui. It is true that we should rather expect in such a case to have the con repeated, but there are abundant examples to justify the omission.
man did so, and not without effect : “He departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him; and all men did marcel*.”
Yet this command that he should go and declare the wonderful works of God in regard of him, may also have rested on other grounds, may have found its motive in the peculiar idiosyncracy of the man. Only with reference to this state are we able to reconcile the apparently contradictory commands which the Lord gave to those whom he had healed:-some bidden to say-nothing, (Matt. viii. 4; Luke viïi. 56,)—this one to publish abroad the mercy which he had received. Where there was danger of all deeper impressions being lost and scattered through a garrulous repetition of the outward circumstances of the healing, there silence was enjoined, that so there might be an inward brooding over the gracious and mighty dealing of the Lord. . But where, on the contrary, there was a temperament over-inclined to melancholy, sunken and shut up in itself, and needing to be drawn out from self, and into healthy communion with its fellowmen, as was evidently the case with such a solitary melancholic person as we have here, there the command was, that he should go and tell to others the great things which God had done for him, and in this telling preserve the healthy condition of his own soul:
* Augustine (Quæst. Erang., l. 2, c. 13): Ut sic quisque intelligat post remissionem peccatorum redeundum sibi esse in conscientiam bonam, et serviendum Evangelio propter aliorum etiam salutem, ut deinde cum Christo requiescat ; ne cùm præproperè jam vult esse cum Christo, negligat ministerium prædicationis, fraternæ redemptioni accommodatum. He makes in the the same place this whole account an historico-prophetic delineation of the exorcising, so to speak, of the heathen world of its foul superstitions and devilish idolatries.
The present miracle is connected by St. Mark and St. Luke immediately with our Lord's return from the country on the other side of the lake, which he had left at the urgent entreaty of the inhabitants. In St. Matthew other events, the curing of the paralytic, the calling of Matthew, and some discourses of the Lord with the Pharisees, are inserted between. Yet of these only the latter (ix. 10-17,) the best harmonists find really to have their place here. The two later Evangelists telle us also the name of the father of the child; St. Matthew, who has his eye only on the main fact, and passes over every thing that is not absolutely necessary for that, speaks of him more generally as “a certain ruler ;" they again telling us what kind of a ruler, namely that he was one of the prefects of the synagogue*. This, we can hardly doubt, was the synagogue of Capernaum, where now Jesus was; (Matt. ix. 1 ;) he was therefore one who most probably afterwards made a part of that deputation which came to the Lord pleading for the heathen centurion ; (Luke vii. 3 ;) for “the elders of the Jews" there, are identical with the "rulers of the synagogue” here.
But he who appears on that later occasion pleading for another, presents himself now before the Lord, touched by a
yet nearer calamity; for he comes saying, “ My daughter is eren now dead, but come and lay thine hand upon her, and she shall live.” Thus St. Matthew records his words, but the others with an important variation :—“My little daughter lieth at the point of death*.” (Mark v. 23.) “He had one only daughter, about twelre years of age, and she lay a dying." (Luke viii. 42.) Thus they speak of her as dying when the father came, which the latter part of the history shows to have been the more exact, St. Matthew as already dead. Yet these differences are not hard to adjust; he left her at the last gasp; he knew not whether to regard her as alive or dead; he knew that life was ebbing so fast when he quitted her side, that she could scarcely be living nowt; and yet, having no certain notices of her death, he was perplexed whether to speak of her as departed or not, and thus at one moment expressed himself in one language, at the next in another. It is singular enough that a circumstance of this kind, so taken from the life, so testifying of the reality of the things recorded, should have been advanced by some as a contradiction between one Gospel and another.
That Lord, upon whose ear the tidings of woe might never fall in vain, at once "arose and followed him, and so did his disciples.” The crowd who had been listening to his teaching, followed also, that they might see the end. The miracle of the healing the woman with the issue of blood found place upon the way, but it will naturally be better treated apart, especially as it is entirely separable from this history, though not altogether without its bearing upon it; for the delay, the words to the disciples, the conversation with the woman, must all have been a sore trial to the
* 'Eoxátws ēxer = in extremis esse; one of the frequent Latinisms of St. Mark. So ikavov mosoai = satisfacere, (xv. 15,) omeková Twp, (vi. 27,) ppayetlów, (xv. 15,) neyewv, (v. 9, 15,) and many more.
of Bengel: Ita dixit ex conjecturâ. Augustine (De Cons. Evang., 1. 2, C. 28): Ita enim desperaverat, ut potius eam vellet reviviscere, non credens vivam posse inveniri, quam morientem reliquerat. But Theophylact, not, I think, rightly: 'Il v avĘávwv tiiv ovpopopcv, ws els ēdcov è inuo al TÓv Xplotóv.
agonized father, now when every moment was precious, when death was shaking the last few sands in the hour-glass of his daughter's life,-a trial in its kind similar to that with which the sisters of Lazarus were tried, when they beheld their beloved brother drawing ever nigher to death, and the Lord tarried notwithstanding. But however great the trial, we detect no signs of impatience on his part, and this no doubt was laid to his account. While the Lord was yet speaking to the woman, there came from the ruler's house certain of his friends or servants. St. Luke mentions but one, probably that one who was especially charged with the message, whom others went along with, even as it is common for men in their thirst for excitement to have a kind of pleasure in being the bearers even of evil tidings. They come “ saying to him, Thy daughter is dead, trouble not* the Master.” They who, perhaps, had faith enough to believe that Christ could fan the last expiring spark of life into a flame, yet had not the stronger faith which would have enabled them to believe the harder thing, that he could once more enkindle that spark of life, when it was quenched altogether. Their hope had perished : perhaps the father's would have perished too, and thus there would have been no room for this miracle, since faith, the necessary condition, would have been wanting; but a gracious Lord prevented his rising doubts, for “ as soon as he heard the word that was spoken, he saith to the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only beliere.” Here the emphasis should be placed on the first words-as soon as the tidings came, on that very instant the Lord spake, thus leaving no room or place for a doubt to insinuate into the
* Exów, properly to flay, as okula are originally the spoils, dress, or armour, stripped from the bodies of the slain; see Passow. Afterwards more generally, fatigare, vexare, and often it would seem with a more particular allusion to fatiguing with the length of a journey; and so perhaps here, “Why do you weary the master with this tedious way?" It is well known that some MSS. and Fathers read έσκυλμένοι for έκλελυμένοι at Matt. ix. 36, which, if the word have indeed this under meaning, would then be peculiarly appropriate. (See Suicer's Thes., s. v.)