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with waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of 25 the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the 26 disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying: It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake 27 unto them, saying: Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid. And Pe- 28
24. Tossed with waves. Violently 12, just before the choice of his tossed with the waves, for so the twelve Apostles, he continued all original authorizes us to translate it. night in prayer.—Walking on the This lake was subject to sudden This was an undoubted exhisqualls and frequent gusts of wind bition of supernatural power. The from the surrounding mountains. Egyptian hieroglyphic for an imDr. Clarke says that a boisterous possibility was the figure of two sea is instantly raised, when the feet walking upon the sea. Jesus strong current made by the Jordan comes down from the mount of is opposed by contrary winds, prayer, to still the boisterous lake which sometimes blow here with and relieve his endangered disci. the force of a hurricane from the ples. south-east.
26. It is a spirit, i. e. a spectre, 25. Fourth watch of the night. apparition. The ancients believed Anciently the Jews divided the that the spirits of the departed renight into three parts; the first appeared to the living; and the unlasting till midnight, Lam. ii. 19; usual circumstances under which the second, from midnight till cock- they saw the figure of a man on the crowing, Judg. vii. 19; the third billows, in the darkness of the night, or morning watch, from cock- at once suggested that here was crowing till the rising of the sun, such an appearance, the most apEx. xiv. 24, 1 Sam. xi. 11. But after palling in nature. the conquest of Palestine by Pom- 27. It is l; be not afraid. Jepey, this mode was superseded by sus does not attempt to correct the Roman division of the night their philosophical error respecting into four watches, which furnishes ghosts, but simply to banish their an incidental evidence of the period fears. In like manner, he did not when these events took place, and disabuse his hearers of the popular authenticates the Gospel history. but false notions of possessions by By this last division, 1st, the evening demons. We have an illustration watch was from six to nine o'clock; in this narrative of the terror pro2d, midnight watch, from nine to duced by superstition. twelve; 3d, cock-crowing, from
“When power divine, in mortal form, twelve to three; 4th, morning, or Hushed with a word the raging storm, fourth watch, from three to six. It In soothing accents, Jesus said,
Lo! it is 1! be not afraid.' was, therefore, after three in the morning, when Jesus came to them. « Blessed be the voice which breathes from
heaven, So long had he been engaged in To every heart in sunder riven, communion with God; finding thus When love, and joy, and hope are fled,
"Lo! it is í! be not afraid. his rest in prayer, as at another season he found it to be his meat and “ And when the last dread hour shall come, drink to do the will of his Father.
While shuddering nature waits hier doom,
This voice shall call the pious dead: Upon a previous occasion, Luke vi. Lo! it is I! be not afraid.''
ter answered him and said: Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto 29 thee on the water. And he said: Come. And when Peter was come 30 down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But
when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and beginning to 31 sink, he cried, saying: Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus
stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him: 0 thou 32 of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were
28. If it be thou, bid me come unto in him. This whole account is in thee, &c. Peter, with his character- perfect keeping with Peter's charistic impetuosity, as soon as he re acter, as elsewhere recorded in the covered from his fear, gives loose New Testament. All his bold and to his ardor, and wishes to be bet- headlong acts are kindred to each ter assured that it was Jesus. He other. It is the same spirit under was tempted, perhaps, also, to exhi- different circumstances; first rash, bit his faith ostentatiously. In the then “easily daunted, and prone to individuality of character which is fall." We are led to remark how preserved of all those persons in many persons in life sink in the troduced into the New Testament, sea of troubles and difficulties, for we have a proof, of immeasurable lack of faith. A distinguished lady, and undeveloped strength, of the who exhibited uncommon force of truth of the book.
character, and steady devotion to 29. He said: Come. Our Lord noble objects, once observed, that gave permission to his rash and ar she drew, in her youth, a vital lesdent disciple to make the attempt, son of the importance of courage principally, we may conjecture, in and faith, from this narrative. order to test bis character, and ac 31. Immediately Jesus stretched quaint him with its weaknesses. forth his hand, &c. There was no Walked on the water, &c. It appears real danger of his drowning, while that Peter succeeded for a time, and such a friend was near him. His actually walked upon the fluid sur call for help is instantly answered, face, as upon a solid floor.
and he is taught the feebleness of 36. But when he saw the wind his own faith. Wherefore didst thou boisterous, &c. He was terrified by doubt? The Greek for doubt is tathe rough appearance of the sea, ken from a word descriptive of a and began to sink, though he still person's standing where two ways retained faith enough in Jesus to meet, hesitating wbich to choose, call upon him to rescue him. inclining sometimes to the one and “ Wbilst be believed, the sea was sometimes to the other, with a brass; when he began to distrust, doubtful, swaying motion, as of a those waves were water.” But his balance. “ Christ's mild rebuke, so want of faith was the occasion, not unlike the denunciations which his. the cause, of his sinking. As long professed followers in other ages as his confidence continued, he was have launched at what they have sustained by supernatural power; been pleased to call, but could not but wben it ceased, that power was with certainty know to be deficienwithdrawn by the will of Jesus, to cies of faith, that mild rebuke from teach his disciple his own defective him who did know all things, was character, and the necessity of faith the only punishment for the failing
come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship 33 came and worshipped him, saying: Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
Aud when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesa- 34 ret. And when the men of that place had kpowledge of him, they 35 sent out into all that country round about; and brought unto him all that were diseased, and besought him that they might only touch the 36 hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
faith of the disciple. Wherefore to the lake, on the western side. It didst thou doubt ?' wherefore, af was sometimes called, on this acter seeing what thou hast seen, and count, the lake oi Gennesaret. The hearing what thou hast heard, towns of Capernaum and Tiberias couldst thou doubt?”
were situated in this territory. 32. The wind ceased. Was hush- Hence, John, vi. 17, says, they ed or lulled. He who could walk “ went over the sea, toward Caperupon the waves could by the same naum,” and Mark, vi. 45, that they power calm the winds and smooth were to go to Bethsaida, which was the waters. John mentions that the on the west side, in the sane reship arrived immediately at its des- gion. From Bethsaida, on the east tination, vi. 21.
of the lake, they go to the land of
-The Son of God, i. e. the Messiah. in the vicinity, and the diseased
behind him Christ was God himself
, is it not in- trembling and touched the hem of credible, that they should never his garment, which may
incidentalhave suspected that he was God, or ly account for the request in the addressed him thus, but called him next verse. the Son of God, or the expected 36. Might only touch the hem of Messiah ?
his garment, i.e. the fringe or tassel 34. The land of Gennesaret. of the outer garment. They asked Called, in the Old Testament, Chin- but the smallest favor of his miranereth. Deut. iii. 17. Numb. xxxiv. culous power, confident that that 11. 1 Kings xv. 20. It was a small would be sufficient for their relief. district of Lower Galilee, adjacent -As many as touched were made
Jesus condemns the Traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, cures the Daughter of the Canaani
tish Woman, and feeds Four Thousand. THEN came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jeru2 salern, saying: Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of
perfectly whole. Not by any inhe 2. Transgress the tradition of the rent virtue in the garment, but elders ? The elders are those disthrough the distinct volition and tinguished for their wisdom and exercise of miraculous power by virtue, who had flourished in the Jesus himself.
past ages of the Jewish commonEvery chapter contains some les wealth. Their wise sayings and son of iruth, or pleadings of love, maxims relative to the Mosaic law or motives to duty. We are in this and institutions acquired, in the one reminded, by the death of John course of time, great_authority in the Baptist, of the persecutions and the eyes of the Jews. They were atmartyrdoins which have in every tributed to Moses, who, it was said, age befallen the most illustrious received from God an oral, as well servants of God. The world has as a written law, at Mount Sinai. hated and killed them because they The oral communications were exwere not of the world. Yet their planatory of the written laws. memories flourish green in all ages, They were said to have been given and twine themselves deep around by Moses to Aaron and his posterithe affections of the human heart. ty, passing from one to another, Wbat a kingdom is their posthu- through priests, prophets, and rabmous one over the wills and senti- bins, to Rabbi Judah, in the second ments of their race!
century of the Christian era, who Whilst the miracles of Christ committed to writing the traditions, should win our assent to bis divine as the oral law was called which authority, they should also impreg- existed in the time of Christ and nate our breasts with the feelings is referred to in the text, and thus of a divine benevolence. They formed what is now called the concern our hearts as much as our Mishna, which means miscellanies. heads.
This volume contains explanations
of all the precepts of the Mosaic CHAP. XV.
law. About a century after, anoth1-29. Parallel to Mark vii. 1–31. er Jewish Rabbi, Jochanan, com
1. Scribes and Pharisees. See posed another volume, supplemennote on Mat. iii. 7, v. 20.— Of Je- tary to the Mishna, called Gemara, rusalem. Belonging to Jerusalem. i. e.completion or perfection, which A deputation had been sent from contained illustrations and comthe metropolis, where the most ments on the Mishna. These two, learned men resided, perhaps with the Mishna and the Jewish Gemara, the express design of watching Je- compose the Jerusalem Talınud. sus, whose fame was now spread Long after, Rabbi Asa composed abroad from one end of the coun the Talmud of Babylon in a celetry to the other. He was at this brated Jewish school near that city. time in Galilee, as mentioned in the This consisted of the aforesaid last chapter.
Mishna as the text, and a new Ge
the elders? for they wash not their hands, when they eat bread. But 3 he answered and said unto them: Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God, by your tradition? For God commanded, say- 4 ing: "Honor thy father and mother;" and : “ He that curseth father
mara as commentary or supple- to make the food hurtful. A story is
These works are all writ related in the Talmud of a man's ten in the Hebrew language, and perishing in prison, because, part of are in even higher estimation among the water brought him being spilt, the Jews than the Scripture itself. he preferred using the rest rather to In these Talmuds is found the Caba- wash than to driuk, and so lost his la, or mystical method of explain- life.—Mark, writing for the benefit ing the law, by which abstruse and of the Gentiles, went into a fuller mysterious significations are formed account of the ceremonies of washhy ingenious combinations of let ing than Matthew, who was writing ters composing a word or words in for the Jews, where these customs the law. The criminality, in the were known. judgment of the Scribes and Phar 3. Transgress the commandment isees, of transgressing any precept of God, by your tradition? Jesus of this body of traditions of the el. did not commence with a vindicaders may be estimated from these tion of his disciples, for the observsentences in their writings :—“The ance had the sanction of great auwords of the Scribes are lovely thority among the Jews; but he above the words of the law, for the first destroyed the very foundation words of the law are weighty and on which their reasoning depended. light, but the words of the Scribes He showed that in their adherare all weighty”: “The words of ence to the traditions of men they the elders are weightier than the were guilty of violating the comwords of the prophets”: “The mandnients of God. His answer written law is narrow, but the tra was virtually: You accuse my disditional is longer than the earth ciples, and through thern me, of and broader than the sea.” The violating the traditions of the elJews compared the Bible to wafer, ders; but I will point out a case, the Mishna to wine, and the Ge- where, by these very traditions you mara to hippocras.-Wash not their value so much, you transgress the hands, when they eat bread. Or, eat infinitely bigher laws of God. You food. The Scribes and Pharisees, are the most guilty, for you break according to Mark, had already ob- the moral law. served that the disciples ate bread 4. For exainple: Honor thy father with unwashen hands. In the Tal- and mother, &c. This was the fifth mudical writings there were many commandment. Ex. xx. 12, xxi. minute and ridiculous directions 17. Lev. xix. 3. This precept ingiven respecting washing the hands, cluded not only filial respect, but upon the ground that some unclean- also a proper care and maintenance ness might be contracted. He was of parents. For instances of this thought worthy of excommunica sense of the word honor, see 1 Tim. tion and even death, who broke the v. 3, 17.-Curseth. Revileth.—Die
An evil spirit called Shib- the death, i. e. let him surely die. ta was said to sit on the food of Ex. xxi. 17. We learn from this him who ate without washing, and verse the high and holy nature of