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the [a herd of] swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what
d omitted by our earliest MSS. probably supposed, that some of these visible ; a view which at every step in. dæmoniacs may have arrived at their volves difficulties far more serious than dreadful state through various progressive those from which it attempts to escape. degrees of guilt and sensual abandonment. But (II.) a fresh difficulty is here found in • Lavish sin, and especially indulgence in the latter part of the narrative, in which sensual lusts, superinducing, as it would the devils enter into the swine, and their often, a weakness in the nervous system, destruction follows. (1) Of the reason of which is the especial band between body this permission, we surely are not comand soul, may have laid open these un- petent judges. Of this however we are happy ones to the fearful incursions of sure, that if this granting of the request the powers of darkness.' (Trench on the of the evil spirits helped in any way the Miracles, p. 160.) (5) The frequently urged cure of the man, caused them to resign objection, How comes it that this inalady their hold on himn more easily, mitigated is not now among us ? admits of an easy the paroxysm of their going forth (see answer, even if the assumption be granted. Mark ix. 26), this would have been motive The period of our Lord's being on earth enough. Or still more probably, it may was certainly more than any other in the have been necessary, for the permanent history of the world under the dominion healing of the man, that he should have of evil. The foundations of man's moral an outward evidence and testimony that being were broken up, and the hour and the hellish powers which held him in power of darkness' prevailing. Trench bondage had quitted him.' (Trench, p. 172.) excellently remarks, 'It was exactly the (2) The destruction of the swine is not for crisis for such soul-maladies as these, in a moment to be thought of in the matter, which the spiritual and bodily should be as if that were an act repugnant to the thus strangely interlinked, and it is no- merciful character of our Lord's miracles. thing wonderful that they should have It finds its parallel in the cursing of the abounded at that time ; for the predo- fig-tree (ch. xxi. 18—22); and we may minance of certain spiritual maladies at well think that, if God has appointed so certain epochs of the world's history which many animals daily to be slaughtered for were specially fitted for their generation, the sustenance of men's bodies, He may with their gradual decline and disappear. also be pleased to destroy animal life when ance in others less congenial to them, is He sees fit for the liberation or instruction a fact itself admitting no manner of ques- of their souls. Besides, if the confessedly tion' (pp. 162, 163). Besides, as the far greater evil of the possession of men by same writer goes on to observe, there can evil spirits, and all the misery thereupon be no doubt that the coming of the Son attendant, was permitted in God's inof God in the flesh, and the continual scrutable purposes, surely much more this testimony of Jesus borne by the Church in
lesser one. Whether there may have been her preaching and ordinances, have broken special reasons in this case, such as the and kept down, in some measure, the contempt of the Mosaic law by the keepers grosser manifestations of the power of of the swine, we have no means of judgSatan. (See Luke x. 18.) But (6) the ing: but it is at least possible. (3) The assumption contained in the objection fact itself related raises a question in our above must not be thus unreservedly minds, which, though we cannot wholly granted. We cannot tell in how many answer, we may yet approximate to the cases of insanity the malady may not even solution of. How can we imagine the now be traced to direct dæmoniacal pos. bestial nature capable of the reception of session. And, finally, (7) the above view, demoniac influence ? If what has been which I am persuaded is the only one cited above be true, and the unchecked honestly consistent with any kind of belief indulgence of sensual appetite afforded an in the truth of the Gospel narratives, will inlet for the powers of evil to possess the offend none but those who deny the exist. human dæmoniac, then we have their inence of the world of spirits altogether, and fluence joined to that part of man's nature who are continually striving to narrow the which he has in common with the brutes limits of our belief in that which is in- that perish, the animal and sensual soul.
h mee Deut. v.
25. i Kings xvii, 18. Luke v. 8. Acts xvi. 89.
was befallen to the possessed of the devils. 34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they h besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. IX. 1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven [e thee].
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themari 15. selves, This man blasphemeth.
4 And Jesus i knowing Luke iz their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your
hearts ? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be for
ich. xii. 25.
see Ps. cxxxix. 2.
We may thus conceive that the same man, who was at least a consenting party animal and sensual soul in the brute may to the bold step which they took. These be receptive of similar dæmoniacal influ- words are common to the three Evan.
But with this weighty difference: gelists, as also“ • thy sins be forgiven.” that whereas in man there is an individual,
Neander has some excellent reimmortal spirit, to which alone belongs his marks on this man's disease. Either it personality and deliberative will and rea- was the natural consequence of sinful inson, and there was ever in him, as we dulgence, or by its means the feeling of have seen, a struggle and a protest against sinfulness and guilt was more strongly this tyrant power; the oppressed soul, the aroused in him, and he recognized the real • I, calling out against the usurper- misery of his disease as the punishment this would not be the case with the brute, of his sins. At all events spiritual and in whom this personality and reflective bodily pain seem to have been connected consciousness is wanting. And the result and interchanged within him, and the in the text confirms our view ; for as soon
to have received accession of as the dæmons enter into the swine, their strength from the presence of the latter. ferocity, having no self-conserving balance Schleiermacher supposes the haste of these as in the case of man, impels them head. bearers to have originated in the prospect long to their own destruction.
of our Lord's speedy departure thence; This request, which is related by all three but, as Neander observes, we do not know Evangelists, was probably not from hu- enough of the paralytic's own state to be anility, but for fear the miraculous powers able to say whether there may not have of our Lord should work them still more been some cause for it in the man himworldly loss. For the additional particulars self. 4. knowing] lit., seeing: viz. of this miracle, see Mark v. 15, 16, 18 -20: by the spiritual power indwelling in Him. Luke viii. 35, and notes. IX. 1.] Cer- See John ii. 24, 25. No other intertainly this verse should be the sequel of pretation of such passages is admissible. the history in the last chapter. It is not St. Mark's expression, “perceived in his connected with the miracle following ;- spirit,” is more precise and conclusive. which is placed by St. Luke at a different From wherefore to thine house is common time, but with the indefinite introduction (nearly verbatim) to the three Evangelists. of “it came to pass on a certain day.” 5.] “In our Lord's argument it must
his own city] Capernaum, where be carefully noted, that He does not ask, our Lord now dwelt : cf. ch. iv. 13.
which is easiest, to forgive sins, or to raise 2-8.] HEALING OF A PARALYTIC AT a sick man--for it could not be affirmed CAPERNAUM. Mark ii. 1--12: Luke v. 17 that that of forgiving was easier than this -26, in both of which the account is of healing—but, which is easiest, to claim more particular. 2. their faith] this power or that, to say, Thy sins be Namely, in letting him down through the forgiven thee, or to say, Arise and walk ? roof, because the whole house and space That (i. e. the former) is easiest, and I will round the door was full, Mark ii. 4.
now prove my right to say it, by saying their must be supposed to include the sick with effect and with an outward conse
given [f thee] ; or to say, Arise, and walk ? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they 8 marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed
8 read, were afraid. quence setting its seal to my truth, the this not by delegation, but “because He harder word, Arise and walk. By doing (being God) is the Son of Man.” John that, which is capable of being put to the
then saith he] See a similar proof, I will vindicate my right and power interchange of the persons in construction, to do that which in its very nature is in- Gen. iii. 22, 23. 8. unto men] Not capable of being proved. By these visible plur. for sing. 'to a man,' nor, for the tides of God's grace I will give you to benefit of men ;' but to mankind. They know in what direction the great under- regarded this wonder-working as somecurrents of His love are setting, and that thing by God granted to men-to manboth are obedient to My word. From kind; and without supposing that they this, which I will now do openly and be- had before them the full meaning of their fore you all, you may conclude that it is words, those words were true in the very ‘no robbery' (Phil. ii. 6, but see note highest sense. See John xvii. 8. Iu there) upon my part to claim also the Mark they say, "We never saw it in this power of forgiving men their sins.” Trench fashion:" in Luke, “We have seen strange on the Miracles, p. 206. 6. the son things to-day.” of man] The Messiah: an expression re- 9–17.] THE CALLING OF MATTHEW : garded by the Jews as equivalent to "the FEAST CONSEQUENT ON Christ, the Son of God,” ch. xxvi. 63. QUIRY OF JOHN'S DISCIPLES RESPECTING See also John v. 27. • The Alexandrian
OTR Lord's Fathers, in their conflict with the Nes. Mark ii. 13-22: Luke v. 27-39. Our torians, made use of this passage in proof Lord was going out to the sea to teach, of the entire transference which there was Mark, ver. 13. All three Evangelists conof all the properties of Christ's divine nect this calling with the preceding miranature to His human ; so that whatever cle, and the subsequent entertainment. one had, was so far common, that it might The real difficulty of the narrative is the also be predicated of the other. It is quite question as to the identity of Matthew in true that had not the two natures been the text, and Levi in Mark and Luke. I indissolubly knit together in a single Per- shall state the arguments on both sides. son, no such language could have been (1) There can be no question that the used; yet I should rather suppose that three narratives relate to the same erent.
Son of Man' being the standing title They are identical almost verbatim : inwhereby the Lord was well pleased to serted between narratives indisputably designate Himself, bringing out by it that relating the same occurrences.
(2) The He was at once one with humanity, and almost general consent of all ages has supthe crown of humanity, He does not so posed the two persons the same. On use it that the title is every where to be the other hand, (3) our Gospel makes not pressed, but at times simply as equivalent the slightest allusion to the name of Levi, to Messiah.” Trench, p. 208.
either here, or in ch. x. 3, where we find earth] Distinguished from “in heaven," “ Matthew the publican” among the Aposas in ch. xvi. 19; xviii. 18. Bengel finely tles, clearly identified with the subject of remarks, “This saying savours of heavenly this narrative: whereas the other two Evanorigin.”' The Son of Man, as God mani. gelists, having in this narrative spoken of fest in man's flesh, has on man's earth Levi in their enumerations of the Aposthat power, which in its fountain and tles (Mark iii. 18; Luke vi. 15), mention essence belongs to God in heaven. And Matlhew without any note of identifica
him. 10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with 'publicans and sinners ? 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said [h unto them], They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
jch. xi 19.
Luke xv. 2.
13 But go ye
tion with the Levi called on this occasion. narrative in our text is so closely identical This is almost inexplicable, on the suppo- with that in Mark, that it is impossible to sition of his having borne both names. suppose, with Greswell, that a different (4) Early tradition separates the two feast is intended. The arguments by persons. Clement of Alexandria, quoting which he supports his view are by no from Heracleon the Gnostic, mentions means weighty. From the words the Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Levi, and many house, he infers that the house was not others, as eminent men who had not suf. that of Matthew, but that in which our fered martyrdom from a public confession Lord usually dwelt, which he supposes to of the faith. (5) Again, Origen, when Cel- be intended in several other places. But sus has called the Apostles publicans and surely the article might be used without sailors, after acknowledging Matthew the any such significance, or designating any publican, adds, “And there may be also Levi particular house,-- as would be very likely a publican among Jesus's followers. But if Matthew himself is here the narrator. he was not of the number of His Apostles, Again, Greswell presses to verbal accuracy except according to some copies of Mark's the terms used in the accounts, and atGospel.” It is not quite clear from this, tempts to shew them to be inconsistent whether the copies of Mark substituted with one another. But surely the time is Levi's (?) name for Matthew's, or for some past for such dealing with the historic other : but most probably the latter. (6) text of the Gospels; and, besides, he has It certainly would hence appear, as if overlooked a great inconsistency in his there were in ancient times an idea that own explanation, viz. that of making in the two names belonged to distinct per- the second instance, according to him, sons. But in the very passages where it is Scribes and Pharisees present at the feast mentioned, a confusion is evident, which given by a Publican, and exclaiming prevents us from drawing any certain con- against that which they themselves were clusion able to withstand the general doing. It was not at, but after the feast testimony to the contrary, arising from that the discourse in vv. 11-17 took the prima facie view of the Gospel narra- place. And his whole inference, that the tive. (7) It is probable enough that great feast must be the great meal in the St. Matthew, in his own Gospel, would day, and consequently in the evening, mention only his apostolic name, seeing hangs on too slender a thread to need that St. Mark and St. Luke also give hiin refutation. The real difficulty, insuperable this name, when they speak of him as an to a Harmonist, is the connexion here of Apostle. (8) It is remarkable, as an in- the raising of Jaeirus's daughter with this dication that St. Matthew's frequently
: on which see below, ver. 18. unprecise manner of narration did not 11.] These Pharisees appear to have been proceed from want of information,—that the Pharisees of the place : Luke has in this case, when he of all men must have “their Scribes and Pharisees.” The very been best informed, his own account is the circumstances related shew that this releast precise of the three. (9) With re- monstrance cannot have taken place at the gard to the narrative itself in the text, we feast. The Pharisees say the words to the may observe, that this solemn and peculiar disciples : our Lord hears it. This denotes call seems (see ch. iv. 19, 22) hardly to an occasion when our Lord and the disbelong to any but an Apostle ; and that, ciples were present, but not surely interas in the case of Peter, it here also implies mixed with the great company of publia previous acquaintance and discipleship. cans.
12. whole. sick] Both (10) We are told in Luke v. 29, that Levi words, in the application of the saying, made him a great feast in his house; and, must be understood subjectively (an ironical similarly, Mark has “in his house." The conecssion, as Calvin, Meyer): as referring
learn what that meaneth, k I will have mercy, and not "Micami: sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, 'but i i°Tim. i. 15. sinners [i to repentance].
14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees " fast oft, but thy disciples fast myuke xviii. not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the n k children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
16 No man k
n John iii, 29.
to their respective opinions of themselves; before : but also to many other passages, as also righteous and sinners, ver. 13 :- in which the Bride is the Church of God, not as though the Pharisees were objec- the Bridegroom the God of Israel. See tirely either “whole” or “righteous," especially Isa. liv. 5.-10 Heb. and E. V. however much objective truth“ sick” As Stier (i. 320, edn. 2) observes, the and “sinners ” may have had as applied article the here must not be considered as to the publicans and sinners.
merely introduced on account of the para13.] The whole of this discourse, with ble, as usual elsewhere, but the parable the exception of the citation, is almost itself to have sprung out of the emphatic verbatim in Mark, and (with the ad- name, “the bridegroom.” The sons of dition of “ to repentance”) Luke also. the bridechamber are more than the mere
14.] According to the detailed nar- guests at the wedding : they are the rative of St. Mark (ii. 18) it was the dis- bridegroom's friends who go and fetch the ciples of John and of the Pharisees who bride.
the days will come] How asked this question. St. Luke continues sublime and peaceful is this early anthe discourse as that of the former Phari. nouncement by our Lord of the bitter sees and Scribes. This is one of those passage before Him! Compare the words instances where the three accounts imply of our Christian poet : ' measuring with and confirm one another, and the hints calm presage the infinite descent. It has incidentally dropped by one Evangelist been asked, “What man ever looked so form the prominent assertions of the other. calmly, so lovingly, from such a height The fasting often of the disciples of dowu to such a depth!”
shall be] John must not be understood as done in more properly, shall have been taken from mourning for their master's imprisonment, them: when His departure shall have but as belonging to the asceticism which taken place. and then shall (better, John, as a preacher of repentance, incul. will) they fast] These words are not a de. cated. On the fasts of the Pharisees, see claration of a duty, or of an ordinance, as Lightfoot in loc.
15. mourn] binding on the Church in the days of her "fast,” Mark and Luke. The difference Lord's absence: the whole spirit of what of these two words is curiously enough one follows is against such a supposition : but of Greswell's arguments for the non- they declare, in accordance with the paidentity of the narratives. Even if there rallel word “mourn,” that in those days were any force in such an argument, we they shall have real occasion for fasting; might fairly set against it that the Greek sorrow enough; see John xvi. 20 :--a fast word rendered taken is common to all of God's own appointing in the solemn three Evangelists, and occurs no where purpose of His will respecting them, not else in the N. T. the bridegroom] one of their own arbitrary laying on. This appellation of Himself had from our This view is strikingly brought out in Lord peculiar appropriateness as addressed Luke, where the question is, “Can ye to the disciples of John. Their master make the sons, &c. fast,” i. e. by your had himself used the figure, and the very rites and ordinances ? but, &c." and word in John ii. 29. Our Lord, in calling then shall they fast : there is no constraint Himself the Bridegroom, announces the in this latter case: they shall (will) fast. fulfilment in Him of a whole cycle of And this furnishes us with an analogous 0. T. prophecies and figures: very pro- rule for the fasting of the Christian life : bably with immediate reference to Hosea that it should be the genuine offspring of ii., that prophet having been cited just inward and spiritual sorrow, of the sense