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scended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat

upon that house ; and it fell not ; for it was founded upon a 20 rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and

doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which 27 built his house upon the sand ; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat


that house; and it fell ; and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, 29 the people were astonished at his doctrine. For he taught

them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. land is hilly and rocky, and the comfort, and outward privileges, heavy rains which fall at periodical which its presence in the world seasons wash away the earth. The partially communicates to all, have torrents pour down the hills with a speculative belief; but not pracirresistible violence, carrying away tising the precepts of religion, not whatever withstands their fury, bringing their own hearts and lives sweeping before them buildings that under its influences, they rest their are founded upona sandy and hopes upon a sandy foundation. treacherous basis. The winds also, The storms of this life, and the as is common in warm countries, trial of the next, will demonstrate blow with terrible force; still more their folly. endangering what is exposed to 27. Great was the fall of it. The the rolling floods. The houses too overthrow of the spiritual hopes and of the poorer classes are of frail prospects of the soul, the fall of construction, being built of mud man from virtue, is great indeed. walls, or bricks dried in the sun, The traveller is touched with sadand reeds, and rushes, which ren ness, as he surveys the ruins of der their overthrow still more prob- splendid temples and palaces, the able, in the heavy rains and hurri- relics of ancient grandeur ; but what canes incident to that climate, un are the desolations of carthly fabless they are very securely built rics, and splendid cities, compared upon a solid foundation. Jesus ac with man, the temple of the Deity, cordingly spoke to his hearers of broken down and in ruins ? what was familiar to them, drawing 28. Ended these sayings. Referillustrations from their own obser- ring to the whole discourse. ASvation and experience. Fell not; tonished at his doctrine. At his for it was founded upon a rock. teaching, both in matter and manThus one who has obeyed the in The original expresses more structions of Christ, and built his than astonishment. The truths he hopes upon him as the corner stone, enforced, the simplicity, directness, will be able to stand, and having and spiritual power with which he done all, and suffered all, still to delivered them, seized hold of their stand, unshaken by the storms of hearts, so as to strike them with adversity, calm in death, erect be awe. They felt, to their own wonfore the throne of God.

der, a power within them rising up 26. Heareth, and doeth them not. and paying respect to the power of A large class. Many now hear the Jesus. Deep responded unto deep. Gospel, participate in the security, 29. As having authority, and not





Miracles of Jesus.

WHEN he was come down from the mountain, great multi

as the scribes. Mention is repeated- flowing, as it must naturally have ly made of the surprise and admira- done, in tone, and gesture, and feation of the people at his teaching: ture, it impressed the people altoMatt. xxii. 33 ; Mark i. 22, xi. 18; gether differently from the cant and Luke iv. 32. Nor can we wonder coldness of the Pharisees and Sadat it, when we consider, on one side, ducees. Jesus was humble, accesthe capacities and wants of human sible, and noble. They were proud, nature, and, on the other, the quali- reserved, and mean.

Jesus preachfications of Jesus to speak to it. ed the truth of God. They preachMen have more in them than they ed themselves. It is not strange know of. A soul of unlimited pow. that the people were astonished. ers hungers and thirsts within them. No such teacher had ever yet apThey love to be caught up into the peared, or was ever again to appear. light and glory of great truths and He spoke to the reason, the conheavenly principles. Such times science, and the heart.

He was are memorable. And notwithstand- profound, yet plain ; powerful, but ing the degeneracy of the Jews, the gentle. The precepts he gave for formality and petrifaction into which human conduct; the motives he adreligion had grown, the hypocrisy dressed to the heart; the connexion of the priests, human nature was he pointed out between the characstronger than Jewish habits. The ter and the life ; the authority with common people heard Jesus glad- which he urged his doctrines ; the ly. For he spoke to them as a fearlessness with which he condivine brother. They perceived demned the hypocritical Scribes and that he was unlike their Rabbins Pharisees; the beautiful light_in and Scribes ; for they trifled, wast- which he presented God as a Faing their time and strength upon ther, and man as a brother; the puerile ceremonies and vain contro- views he opened of the purposes of versies. But Jesus was grave, and the Creator, and the destiny of dwelt upon truths that came home man ; and the fine illustrations with to the business and bosom of every which he clothed his truths — all

The Scribes referred for bore the fullest evidence to his unauthority to the ancients. Jesus rivalled excellence as a spiritual spoke from an internal authority, teacher and guide. What further and consciousness of the truth of proof can we reasonably demand of what he said, and of an inspiration his divine mission, or of our perand commission from the Deity, sonal obligation to obey and follow that must have clothed his words him as our Master ? with a truly celestial power. The wickedness and hypocrisy of many

CHAP. VIII. of the Scribes of course undermin 1. Was come down. Whilst he ed all their moral force as teachers was coming down. — The mounof religion. The pure and benevo- tain. The mountain which he had lent spirit of Jesus, his unimpeacha- ascended, Matt. v. 1, and upon ble goodness, added a thousand per- which he had delivered the foregosuasives to his doctrine; and over- ing discourse.


2 tudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and

worshipped him, saying : Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make 3 me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him,

Luke says

66 in

2-4. Parallel to Mark i. 40 – 45, the east, lepers, to this day, live and Luke v. 12 – 16.

apart from the rest of the people, 2. Leper. The leprosy is per- and in some towns have a quarter haps the most dreadful disease of their own, where they dwell and known in the world. There are intermarry. They wear a peculiar several different kinds of it, chiefly badge, to warn others not to apdistinguished by the different ap- proach them. The unhappy leper pearances it presents. The skin is in question was severely afflicted, the principal seat of the disorder, Luke v. 12, and was probably livthough it extends finally to every ing in solitude in the vicinity of the part of the system, and even de- mountain, when Jesus and the mulstroys the bones, and causes the titude passed by. limbs to drop off. The first symp a city," which may mean in the tom is a small red spot, but in the suburbs or territory of a city. The progress of the disease it covers

man may have caught at a distance The body with white scales, and re- the words of the Messiah ; and enduces the patient to an offensive and couraged by his kindness and powincurable mass of corruption, almost er, and inclined to regard him as at without the form and visage of man. least a prophet, if not the Promised Some kinds of it are highly infec- One, on account of his fame and tious, and also hereditary. In gen- the crowds about him, he comes to eral it is not accompanied with salute Jesus at some distance, and great pain, but with numbness, or beseeches his interposition. Worviolent itchings. Persons often live shipped him, i. e. did him obeisance, for many years who are afflicted

or prostrated himself before him, with it, carrying about with them a as was done to persons of great dis6 body of death.” It is almost in- tinction. -- Lord. Sir, or Master. curable by human means, and the Thou canst make me clean. His Jews are said to have reckoned the request is modest and trustful. He power of healing it among the gifts doubts not the Saviour's power, he of their Messiah. It has prevailed only prays that he may be disposed chiefly in the hot oriental countries, to exert it to cure him. The leper, but was common in Guadaloupe, in according to the laws of Moses, the West Indies, in the 18th centu was an unclean person. He therery. Some have supposed that fore naturally speaks of his cure as swine's flesh was prohibited to the making him clean, and taking off Jews, as tending to produce or ag- those social disabilities under which gravate this complaint. Mention of he was suffering. the leprosy is frequently made in 3. Touched him. This act was the Bible, and specific directions are significant. It implied that there given by Moses to distinguish it, to

connexion between Jesus exclude its victims from the society and the cure of the leper. By the of others, or to receive them back Jewish law, one who touched a lepafter a cure, and to cleanse houses er incurred uncleanness. It was a and clothes, that they may not com- mark of confidence and a sign of municate the dreadful contagion. power in Jesus, to touch one inLev. xiii., xiv. In the countries of fected with this foul discase. - I



saying : I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him : See thou tell no 4 man ; but

go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. will, be thou clean. An instance of they attempted to do repeatedly, the sublime, similar to that in Gene- and which would excite the jealsis: “Let there be light, and there ousy of the Romans, the masters was light.” The loathsome disease of the country. One or all of these retreats before the power of God, reasons might induce Jesus, upon exerted by his Son. The Father this and other occasions, to forbid gives Jesus this control over the the proclaiming of his miracles by worst of maladies. Though he those upon whom they were peruses the personal pronoun I, it is formed. If the cure of the leprosy by no means to be supposed that was an evidence of Messiahship acJesus possessed in himself the pow- cording to the Jewish belief, there er adequate to a cure. It was the was the more reason at this time for gift of God. John v. 30. The the command of Jesus, as he evisame power of working miracles dently did not wish to declare himwas bestowed upon Moses, the pro- self prematurely, for he would thus phets, and apostles. — And imme- have produced such an agitation, diately his leprosy was cleansed, i. e. both among Jews and Romans, as the leper was cured. The disease to arrest his further course of preachis put in the place of the diseased ing and miracles. Mark, i. 45, reperson. The cure being instanta- lates that the man broke the comneous was an evidence of a miracle; mand of Jesus, who was afterwards for when cured by human means, obliged on that account to live more the disorder would go off by de- retired. Priest,


Jesus grees, and not at once.

shows his respect for the foregoing 4. See thou tell no man. Jesus dispensation, though its officers had not only cures him, but seeks to become degenerate, and verifies his profit him yet further by his advice. saying, that he came not to destroy Various reasons may have combined the law. How true and beautiful in this prohibition. Luther sug- such moderation and dignity of congests, that he did it from humility. duct in one so powerful! ReformIt was designed, perhaps, for the ers may learn a good lesson from Inoral benefit of the cured ; or to se- their Master. For the health regucure to him the advantages of the lations and sacred offerings relative law, and of being pronounced clean to leprosy, see Lev. xiv. — Testiby the priests, which, owing to their mony unto them, i. e. an evidence to opposition to Jesus, they might have the public that the leper was cleansbeen unwilling to do, had they ed. If the priests accepted the ofknown who wrought the cure. He fering, it was proof to the people enjoins it on him to go his way, to that the disorder was expelled. proceed directly to Jerusalem, and 5-13. Parallel to Luke vii. 1-10. obtain a certificate of his cure, be. The accounts vary in unimportant fore it was published who was the particulars, as we might suppose author of it. Again, if he had gone they naturally would, coming from forth proclaiming the deeds of Je, independent witnesses. Slight dif

it would tend to arouse the ferences and discrepancies, instead Jews to declare Jesus king, which of overthrowing, confirm the fidelity


5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came 6 unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying : Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him: I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said : Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and

7 8


of the narrators, and the truth of lowing the dictates of a good heart, the facts.

loves him, and cares for him as for 5. Capernaum. A town on the a child.

Lieth sick of the palsy. Sea of Galilee. See note on chap. Luke does not name the malady, iv. 13. · There came unto him a but says that he was “ready to centurion. This was a Roman offi- die.” Matthew says he was “grievcer who commanded one hundred ously tormented.” Palsy is not

Judea was kept in subjection usually attended by excessive pain. by troops garrisoned in the principal But Jahn calls the palsy of the New cities and towns. There was prob- Testament a disease of very wide ably a garrison of soldiers at Caper- import, and supposes that this pernaum, a considerable city on the son had the

cramp, which, in orinorthwest side of the Sea of Gali- ental countries, is a fearful malady, lee. Luke represents the commu- subjecting the patient to exquisite nications from the centurion to Je- sufferings, and inducing death in a sus as made through Jewish friends, few days.” In the present case, whilst Matthew introduces the Ro- palsy approximated to apoplexy. man as preferring his request in his 7. I will come and heal him. That own person.

As a man is often de was his intention, but a change of scribed as doing a thing which he circumstances rendered it proper to accomplishes through the agency of alter it. The strong faith of the another, for example, building a centurion made it unnecessary for house which he procures done; so him to go to the house ; for he bewe may, without any violence or lieved that Jesus could work a miwresting of language, suppose that racle at a distance, and thought Matthew exhibits the centurion as himself unworthy of receiving him doing himself what he did in reality under his own roof. by means of his friends. Luke is 8. I am not worthy, fc. The more minute in his narration. He Jews avoided intercourse with the mentions that the centurion was Gentiles as unclean. Acts x. 28. very much attached to his servant, The Roman felt, therefore, that his evincing the benevolence of his feel- house was undeserving of the honor ings even to one of inferior rank. of having a great prophet enter it. He also describes the elders as He expresses a deep and genuine strengthening their entreaty by men- humility, the fruit, no doubt, of a tioning that he was friendly to the tender religious sensibility. How Jews, and had built a synagogue for refreshing to find a heathen like them, thus manifesting his piety to him, as it were, a native Christian ; God.

a piece of human nature retaining 6. Lord. Sir, a title of respect its divine image; a Roman relito a stranger.

My servant. Or, gious; a soldier humane; an officer slave. Though in this abject and humble! A bright light shining in menial condition, the centurion, fol a dark place! — Speak the word on

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