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piacular expiation after he had healed these sicknesses than before. We can understand his being said in his death and in his passion to come himself under the burden of those sufferings and pains from which he released others; but how can this be affirmed of him when he was engaged in works of beneficent activity? Then he was rather chasing away diseases and pains altogether, than himself undertaking them*.
An explanation, which has found favour with many, has been suggested by those words which we have already noticed, that his labours were not ended with the day, but protracted far into the evening,—so that he removed indeed sicknesses from others, but with painfulness to himself, and with the weariness attendant upon labours unseasonably drawn out; and thus may not unfitly be said to have taken those sicknesses on himselft. Olshausen, though in somewhat more spiritual a manner, gives the same explanation. He says, the obscurity of the passage only disappears when we learn to think more really of the healing activity of Christ, as an actual outstreaming and outbreathing of the fulness of his inner life. As therefore physical exertion physically wearied him, (John iv. 6,) so did spiritual activity long drawn out spiritually ex
• Some have been tempted to make here laußávew and Baotálel = upaipeiv. (So 'Tertullian, Adv. Marc., l. 3, c. 17: abstulit.) But this plainly will not suit with the original, where Messias is described not as the physician of, but the sufferer for, men; or at least only the first through being the second.
• So Woltzogen, whom, despite his Socinian tendencies, here Witsius (Meletem. Leidens., p. 402,) quotes with approbation : Adeo ut locus hic prophetæ bis fuerit adimpletus; semel cum Christus corporis morbos abstulit ab hominibus non sine summâ molestiâ ac defatigatione, dum ad vesperam usque circa agrorum curationem occupatus, quodammodo ipsas hominum ægritudines in se recipiebat. . . . Alterâ vice, cùm suis perpessionibus ac morte spiritualiter morbos nostrorum peccatorum à nobis sustulit. Cf. Grotius in loc. Theophylact had led the way to this explanation, finding an emphasis in the fact that the sick were brought to Jesus in the evening, out of season, (mapa napov,) though he does not bring that circunstance into connexion with these words of Isaiah.
haust him, and this exhaustion, as all other forms of suffering, he underwent for our sakes. A statement questionable in its doctrine : moreover, I cannot believe that the Evangelist meant to lay any such stress upon the unusual or prolonged labours of this day, or that he would not as willingly have quoted these words in relating any other cure or cures which the Lord performed. Not this day only, even had it been a day of especial weariness, but every day of his earthly life was a coming under, upon his part, of the evils which he removed from others. For that which is the law of all true helping, namely, that the burden which you would lift, you must yourself stoop to and come under, (Gal. vi. 2), the grief which you would console, you must yourself feel with,—a law which we witness to as often as we use the words “sympathy” and “compassion,”—was, of course, eminently true in him upon whom the help of all was laid* Not in this single aspect of his life, namely, that he was a healer of sicknesses, were these words of the prophet fulfilled, but rather in the life itself, which brought him in contact with these sicknesses and these discords of man's inner being, every one of which as a real consequence of sin, and as being at every moment contemplated by him as such, did press with a living pang into the holy soul of the Lord. Not so much the healing of these sicknesses was Christ's bearing of them ; but his burden was that there were these sicknesses to heal. He “ bore” them, inasmuch as he bore the mortal suffering life, in which alone he could bring them to an end, and at length swallow up death in victory.
• Hilary (in loc.): Passione corporis sui infirinitates humanæ imbecillitatis absorbens. In Schoettgen's Hor. Heb., (in loc.) there is a remarkable quotation to the same effect from the book Sohar.
14. THE RAISING OF THE WIDOW'S SON.
LUKE vii. 11–16.
The city whither our Lord was bound, and at the gate of which this great miracle was wrought, is not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. It lay upon the southern border of Galilee, and on the road to Jerusalem, whither our Lord was probably now going to keep the second passover of his open ministry. That our Lord should meet the funeral at the gate of the city, while it belonged no doubt to the wonderworks of God's grace, while it was one of those marvellous coincidences which, seeming accidental, are yet deep laid in the councils of his wisdom and of his love, is at the same time a natural circumstance, to be explained by the fact that the Jews did not suffer the interring of the dead in towns, but had their burial-places without the walls. Probably there was very much in the circumstances of the sad procession which he now met, to arouse the compassion even of them who were not touched with so lively a feeling for human sorrows as was the compassionate Saviour of men; and it was this which had brought that “much people” to accompany the bier. Indeed, there could little be added to the words of the Evangelist, whose whole narrative here, apart from its deeper interest, is a master-work for its perfect beauty—there could be little added to it to make the picture of desolation more complete“ There was a dead man carried out *, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.” The bitterness of the mourning for an only son had passed into a proverb ; thus, Jer. vi. 26, “ Make the mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation ;” and Zech. xii. 10, “They shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son ;” Amos viii. 10, “I will make it as the mourning of an only son."
The technical word is encéperv, and the carrying out,
“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.” How different this “Weep not,” from the “ Weep not” which often proceeds from the lips of earthly comforters, who, even while they speak the words, give no reason why the mourner should cease from weeping; but he that is come that he may one day make good that word, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain,” (Rev. xxi. 4,) does show now some effectual glimpses of his power, wiping away, though not yet for ever, the tears from the weeping eyes of that desolate mother. Yet, as Olshausen has observed, it would be an error to suppose that compassion for the mother was the determining motive for this mighty spiritual act on the part of Christ : for, in that case, had the joy of the mother been the only object which he had in view, the young man who was raised would have been used merely as a means, which yet no man can ever be. That joy of the mother was indeed the nearest consequence of the act, but not the final cause ;-that, though at present hidden, was, no doubt, the spiritual awakening of the young man for an higher life, through which, indeed, alone the joy of the mother became a true and an abiding joy.
The drawing nigh and touching the bier was meant as an intimation to the bearers that they should arrest their steps, and one which they understood, for immediately “they that bare him stood still.” Then follows the word of power, and spoken, as ever, in his own name, “ Young man, I say unto thee, Arise ;”—I, that am the Resurrection and the Life, quickening “ the dead, and calling those things which be not. as though they were.” And that word was heard, for “he that was dead sat up, and began to speak." Christ rouses from the bier as easily as another would rouse from the bed*,
• Augustine (Serm. 98, c. 2): Nemo tam facilè excitat in lecto, quàm facilè Christus in sepulcro.
different in this even from his own messengers and ministers in the Old Covenant ; for they, not without an effort, not without a long and earnest wrestling with God, won back its prey from the jaws of death ; and this, because there dwelt not the fulness of power in them, who were but as servants in the house of another, not as a son in his own house *.
“ And he delivered him to his mother.” (Cf. 1 Kin. xvii. 23; 2 Kin. iv. 36.) He who did this, shall once, when he has spoken the great “ Arise,” which shall awaken not one, but all the dead, deliver all the divided, that have fallen asleep in him, to their beloved for personal recognition and for a special fellowship of joy, amid the universal gladness and communion of love which shall then fill all hearts. We have the promise and pledge of this in the three raisings from the dead which prefigure that coming resurrection. The effects of this miracle on those present were for good ; “There came a fear on all," an holy fear, a sense that they were standing in the presence of some great one; "and they glorified God,”—praised him for his mercy in remembering and visiting his people Israel,—“ saying that a great prophet is risen up among us.”—They concluded that no ordinary prophet was among them, but a “great" one, since none but the very greatest prophets of the olden times, an Elijah or an Elisha, had brought the dead to life. In their other exclamation, “ God hath visited his people,” lay no less an allusion to the long periods during which they had been without a
* See what has been suid already, p. 32. Thus too Massillon, in a sermon Sur la Divinité de Jésus-Christ, has these eloquent remarks : Elie ressuscite des morts, il est vrai; mais il est obligé de se coucher plusieurs fois sur le corps de l'enfant qu'il ressuscite: il soutile, il se retrécit, il s'agite: on voit bien qu'il invoque une puissance étrangère : qu’l rappelle de l'empire de la mort une ame qui n'est pas soumise à sa voix: et qu'il n'est par lui-même le maître de la mort et de la vie. Jésus-Christ ressuscite les morts comme il fait les actions les plus communes; il parle en maître à ceux qui dorment d'un sommeil éternel; et l'on sent bien qu'il est le Dieu des morts comme des vivans, jamais plus tranquille que lorsqu'il opère les plus grandes choses.