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is as original as it is grand ; and it is so truly that of the Roman officer: the Lord appears to him as the true Cæsar and Imperator, the highest over the hierarchy, not of earth, but of heaven. (Col. i. 16.)
In all this there was so wonderful a union of childlike faith and profound huniility, that it is not strange to read that the Lord himself was filled with admiration : "When Jesus heard it, he marcelled", and said to them that followed, Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israelt.” It is notable that St. Matthew alone records
heavenly Father, hast yet an heavenly host at thy bidding.” Ego sum homo sub potestate alterius, tamen habeo potestatem jubendi eis qui sub me sunt. Nec enim impedior jubere minores, propter quod ipse sum sub majoribus; sed ab illis quidem jubeor, sub quibus sum; illis autem jubeo, qui sub me sunt: sic et tu, quamvis sub potestate Patris sis, secundùm quod homo es, habes tamen potestatem jubendi angelis tuis, nec impediris jubere inferioribus, propter quod ipse habes superiorem. This interpretation, though just capable of a fair meaning, is probably the outcoming of the Arian tendencies of the author.
But since all wonder, properly so called, arises from the meeting with something unexpected and hitherto unknown, how could the Lord, to whom all things were known, be said to marvel ? To this it has been answered that Christ did not so much actually wonder, as commend to us that which was worthy of our admiration. Thus Augustine (De. Gen., Con. Man., 1. 1, c. 8): Quod mirabatur Dominus, nobis mirandum esse significabat ; and he asks in another place, (Con. Adv. Leg. et Proph., l. 1, c. 7,) how should not he have known before the faith, which he himself had created ? (An verò alius eam in corde centurionis operabatur, quàm ipse qui mirabatur :) There is against this, that it seems to bring an unreality into parts of our Lord's conduct, as though he did some things for shew and the effect which they would have on others, instead of all his actions having their deepest root in his own nature, being the truthful exponents of his own most inmost being. On the other hand, to say that according to bis human nature he might have been ignorant of some things, seems to threaten a Nestorian severance of the Person of Christ. But the whole question of the Communio idiomatum, with its precipices on either side, is one of the hardest in the whole domain of theology. See AQUINAS, Sum. Theol., 34. qu. 15, art. 8, and GERHARD's Loc. Theoll., 1. 4, p. 2, c. 4.
+ Augustine : In olivâ non inveni, quod inveni in oleastro. Ergo oliva superbiens præcidatur: oleaster humilis inseratur. Vide inserentem, vide præcidentem. Cf. In Joh., Tract. 16, ad finem.
these words, which before-hand we should rather have expected to have found recorded by St. Luke. For it is he, the companion of the apostle to the Gentiles, that for the most part loves to bring out the side of our Lord's ministry, on which it looked not merely to the Jewish nation but to the heathen world. In these words, and in those which follow, is a solemn warning, on the Lord's part, to his Jewish hearers of their danger of losing privileges, which now were theirs, but which yet they 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 t, so be it done unto thee. And his serrant 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 “grierously 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
Augustine : Alienigenze carne, domestici corde. * Bernard (Serm. 3, De Anima): Oleum misericordiæ in vase fiduciæ ponit.
Africa than among us, with tetanus, both causes extreme suffering, and would rapidly bring on dissolution*
• At i Macc. ix. 55, 56, it is said of Alcimus, who is described taken with a palsy,” that he died presently “with great torment,” Cueta βασάνου μεγάλης,) as here this servant is described as δεινώς βασανιζόμενος. (See WINER's Real Wörterbuch, s. v. Paralytische.) In St. Matthew and St. Mark those thus afflicted are always hapalutinoi, in St. Luke, both in his Gospel and in the Acts, παραλελυμένοι.
12. THE DEMONIAC IN THE SYNAGOGUE
MARK i. 23—26; LUKE iv. 33–36.
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 †? 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 favour 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 1: or clse, 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
"Ea, not the imperative from iuw, but an interjection of terror, wrung out by the poßepa éxãoxij kpíocws, (Heb. x. 27,)- unless indeed the interjection was originally this imperative.
† Našapyrós here. The word appears in the New Testament in two other forms, Našaprios and Nağwpaîos. Of all these the last is the most frequent.
# Grotius : Vult Jesum blanditiis demulcere, cui se 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.