Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

47 Whosoever--my sayings, and doeth them-
148 -a man which built an house—the flood arose—for it was founded upon
rock,

49 But he that heareth and doeth not, is like a man--an house upon the
earth: against which —

***

SECTION XX.
The Centurion's Servant healed 49.
MATT. viii. 5—14. LUKE vii, 1–11.

Now when he had ended all his sayings in the Capernaum. audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.

Luke vii. ).

49 That the cure related in Matt. viii. 5. is the same as that recorded in Luke vii. 1-11. is affirmed by Lightfoot, Newcome, Doddridge, and Michaelis. There is such a perfect agreement between the speeches and circumstances, that the great majority of the harmonizers have considered the narrative of St. Luke as a more extended history only of that of St. Matthew.

Pilkington supports the arrangement adopted by Newcome, &c. &c. There is, he observes, a seeming difference in the evangelical accounts, relating to the application which the centurion made to Christ, in favour of his servant. St. Luke expressly saith, that the application was first made to Christ by the rulers of the Jews, and afterwards by some other friends of the centurion, whom he sent to Jesus ; whereas St. Matthew relates the matter as a conference carried on between our Saviour and the centurion himself in person. In order to reconcile which, some have supposed they are two several facts that are related. But I cannot think, that the difference betwixt the evangelical accounts in this particular, is sufficient to vindicate that opinion, as they agree in all the other circumstances; and especially, as they are easily reconcileable without such a supposition : for, (1.) Though St. Matthew relates that to be done by the centurion himself, which he did by the mediation of other persons, yet we know this to be what is common in all writers, without any imputation upon their correctness; and that a message sent by another person, and an answer from him received, may be properly enough related, as what is transacted directly between the parties concerned. (2.) We find, (in an instance that admits of no doubt,) that St. Matthew sometimes chose to make use of this way of expressing himself: for he tells us, xi. 3. that “ John (when he was shut up in prison) sent two of his disciples to Jesus, and said unto him.” (3.) St. Mark also, in the same manner, relates that “ the sons of Zebedee came unto Jesus, saying,” &c. x. 35. Whereas we are particularly informed by St. Matthew, that the application there mentioned, was made to our Saviour by the inother of Zebedee's children in their behalf. And the same allowances being made for latitude of expression, there can be no difficulty in reconciling the accounts connected in this section : for, though the particular circumstances were as St. Luke relates them, yet St. Matthew appears not to have expressed himself in an improper, or an uncommon manner.

Capernaum.

And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear Luke vii. 2. unto him, was sick, and ready to die.

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, Matt. viii. 5.

He heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders Luke vii. 3. of the Jews, heseeching him that he would come and heal his servant;

And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home, Matt. viii.& sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

And when they came to Jesus, they besought Luke vii. 4. him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:

For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us Luke vii, 5. a synagogue.

And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal Matt. viii. 7. him.

Then Jesus went with them. And when he was Luke vii. 6. now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:

Wherefore, neither thought I myself worthy to Luke vii. 7. come unto thee; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be Matt. viii, 8. healed : For I

Matt, viii. 9. also am a man set under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say unto this man, Go, Matt. viii. 9. and he goeth ; and to another, Come, and he cometh ; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard

Matt. viil. 10. these things, he marvelled at him, and turned Lukė vii. 9. him about, and said unto the people that followed

Luke vii. 8.

him,

The scriptural authority for placing here the cure of the centurion's servant, is taken from Luke vii. 1, &c.

A curious specimen of the daring and unallowable boldness of German criticism, is given by Michaelis, in his Remarks on the probable Position of the Cure of the Leper, mentioned by St. Matthew as taking place after the sermon on the mount. He remarks, “ St. Mark and St. Luke relate this fact on a totally different occasion, because they were unacquainted with the time, and St. Luke even with the place where it happened (a).” Such criticisms are, or ought ta be, destructive of all dependence on the author who proposes them.

(a) Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. p. 85,

Matt. viii. 10. Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great Capernaum.

faith; no, not in Israel.
Matt. viii. 11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from

the east and west, and shall sit down with Abra-
ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of

heaven:
Matt. viii, 12. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast

out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping

and gnashing of teeth.
Matt. viii. 13. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy

way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done
unto thee. And his servant was healed in the

selfsame hour.
Luke vii. 10. And they that were sent, returning to the house,

found the servant whole that had been sick.

MATT. viii. part of ver. 5. 8, 9, 10. 5 -chere came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof

9 -am a man under authority, having-
10 --it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed

LUKE vii. part of ver. 3, 7, 8, 9, 10. * 3 --and when

7-but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

8 For I—under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come, and he cometh ; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

9 When Jesus heard-
10 I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

SECTION XXI.
The Widow's Son at Nain is raised to life 50.

LUKE vii. 11–19.
And it came to pass the day after, that he went Nain.
into a city called Nain: and many of his disciples
went with him, and much people.

Luke vii. 11.

50 This event is inserted here on the joint authorities of Lightfoot, Newcome, Pilkington, and Doddridge. Michaelis, on what account it is difficult to say, has arranged it next to the departure from Capernaum, noticed Mark i, 35-39. Bishop Marsh justly observes, “That the propriety of some of Michaelis's transpositions might be called in question (a).”

The scriptural authority for placing this event in the present section is derived from Luke vii. 11. The day after.

(a) Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. part ii. p. 67.

Nain.

Now when he came nigh to the gate of the Luke vil. 12. city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow : : and much people of the city was with her.

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion Luke vii. 13. on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

And he came and touched the * bier; and they Luke vii. 14. that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

[ocr errors]

In the Sermon on the Mount the Messiah had asserted his authority as a lawgiver ; on coming down from the mountain, he proves his power by healing the servant of the centurion, while he is at a distance from him; and, immediately after, by the stupendous miracle of raising from the dead the son of the widow of Nain.

One very impressive consideration on the subject of our Lord's authority over the laws of nature, as displayed in the resurrection of the dead, seems to have escaped the enquiries of commentators. He demonstrated the truth of his wonderful assertion—that he was the resurrection and the life-that the dead should hear the voice of the Son of God, and that he would raise them up at the last day, &c. by his manifesting his power over all the gradations of corruption. Whether the daughter of Jairus was really dead or not, has been disputed : she was either on the point of death, or had just died. Her restoration in the first case would have been a proof that our Lord could arrest the departing spirit: in the second that he could restore that spirit to the body immediately. This was the first stage of death. His power was next shown in the rai sing to life the widow's son. In that instance the body had been dead for a longer period : though, as the interment in that country took place very soon after death, it is probable that corruption had not begun. In the third miracle which our Lord wrought to demonstrate his power over the grave, the resurrection of Lazarus, corruption had already begun—the body was returning to its elements-the earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. When the time had come that the great sacrifice was completed, the graves opened—the bodies of many who had expected the coming of Christ rose again, and after his resurrection went into the holy city. We cannot tell whether, in the interval between his death and resurrection, the mouldering fragments of their decayed forms remained in their narrow prisons in the same condition as when the ground first opened, or whether during that interval the scene which Ezekiel saw in vision was renewed; we cannot tell whether the flesh and the nerves, and the skin, again covered the renovated bones ; and the scattered atoms were slowly and gradually reunited in one living mass —they rose from their graves as all mankind shall rise on the morning of the judgment day. And when all these proofs of his power had been effected, the greatest was yet to come. Christ raised up his own body, endued with powers and properties more than human. Lord of death and of life, he manifested to his followers, and he has revealed to us, that there are modes of existence, and laws of body, which we cannot comprehend. Sufficient only is disclosed to us to make us fear God and thank him, for the hope of eternal life, through his manifested Son, the Lord of life and death.

Luke vii. 13. And he that was dead sat up, and began to Nain.

speak. And he delivered him to his mother 51. Luke vii. 16. And there came a fear on all : and they glori

fied God, saying, That a great prophet is risen
up among us; and, That God hath visited his

people.
Luke vii. 17. And this rumour of him went forth throughout

all Judæa, and throughout all the region round
about.

And the disciples of John shewed him of all
these things.

Lake vil. 18.

51 In one of the MS. letters of Lord Barrington to Dr. Lardner, I meet with an argument in favour of the cessation of consciousness between death and the resurrection, derived from this history of the raising to life the widow's son. Our Lord is represented as raising the youth to life, from the deep compassion he felt at the sight of his funeral. Lord Barrington reasons,—that if the soal was conscious in an intermediate state, then the widow's son, and Lazarus, and the bodies of the saints which rose at the resurrection of Christ, and went into the holy city, were brought from a condition of great happiness to undergo a second time the miseries of an inferior state of being: and their resurrection would be rather a source of sorrow than of joy. I mention this circumstance, because the argument is frequently urged by the Psychopannychists. The reply, however, to the objection, may be derived from a consideration of the cause, for which these various restorations to mortal life took place. It was not for the benefit of the deceased that their resurrection was accomplished, but for the strengthening the faith of the spectators of the miracle, and of the survivors, and companions of the witnesses. If an objection be further proposed, that we never hear of any discoveries respecting the world of spirits from those who were raised from the dead, and that if their consciousness had not ceased, it is probable some of its mysteries would be disclosed; we answer, that every animated being is provided by his Creator with those faculties only, which are adapted to the condition which that Creator has assigned to him. The faculties which develope themselves in the next stage of our existence, may be so utterly different from those we at present possess, that if a human being were restored to life he might be unable to relate them, or convey an idea concerning them to others. We are unable, even from the hints in Revelation, to form any idea of the invi. sible world. We seem to require other faculties to comprehend that which is all spiritual, yet possible in space : which defies all language, calculation, and comprehension. There is a beautiful idea in some Brahminical record concerning the Deity. “I am like nothing human, with which to compare myself.” So there is nothing in this state of existence, which can enable us to comprehend the invisible world : it could not be understood, and therefore, if the mortal faculties only were restored to those who were raised from the dead, the things which are unseen could not be clothed in human language; they could not be remembered, they could not be imparted.

MS. letter of Lord Barrington to Dr. Lardner, dated Dec. 18, 1728, communicated to me by his son, the late Bishop of Durham.

« AnteriorContinuar »