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was taught in one lesson was alluded to in another on a different topic, so as to keep up a connection throughout all his teaching.
Having now seen the commencement of Christ's ministry, as contained in the preceding chapter, we may expect to find, on our arrival at the second, some illustration of this principle. Having been now presented with the first lessons of our Lord, we naturally look to discover, in each succeeding one, some such reference to the preceding as has been described. We may expect too, as we advance in the series of continued instruction, to find each link more explicit and intelligible than the last.
The second chapter of St. Mark will not disappoint these expectations. At the same time, it will be necessary to preface a view of its contents with some cautions, which will be found useful, not only now, but in the whole of our future course of readings.
And first, it must be clearly borne in mind, that instruction is to be sought for, not only in the record of our Saviour's words, but in that of bis works-his more striking actions, and especially his miracles. Some remarks were made on this subject when we were considering the preceding chapter.
Again, although in the narrative of St. Mark, or of any one Evangelist, a parable or instructive miracle may be recorded, as if conveying the first hint of any truth, which is found unfolded in that Evangelist's narrative; yet it by no means follows, that this parable or miracle was the first occasion of our Lord's inculcating the do rine in question. Sometimes the original and first link in the series may be omitted ; and the first named will then contain a reference to some piece of instruction not recorded by that Evangelist. In this respect it is that the use of the four Gospels is apparent. We shall generally find in one what has been so omitted in another. If the view given of our Lord's ministry be correct, that his teaching was progressive and connected throughout, the Evangelists could not have been insensible of the importance of the principle. In their successive narratives therefore, nothing is more likely, than that the first hint, or any closely connecting links in a series of teaching, if omitted by a preceding historian, should be carefully related by a succeeding one, who had
experienced the need of it. If human wisdom were too weak to suggest and perform this, it was surely a case not unworthy of the extraordinary assistance of the Holy Ghost, which was promised not less to the written than to the oral Gospels of Christ's servants. To this cause we may attribute the exactness of St. John's relation of the marriage-feast miracle, and its being specified as “the beginning of miracles;” and also his detail of many other matters wholly passed over or slightly mentioned by the other three. On the other hand, what was already familiarly known, either by means of an existing narrative, or otherwise, might, if conciseness were an object, be naturally omitted. Hence, doubtless, many of the omissions of St. Mark and St. John. To revert to an instance just noticed—the marriage-feast miracle at Cana. It was probably so famous as to be neglected by St. Matthew and St. Luke when selecting facts to record for the use of the Church. On the same ground St. Mark too might omit it, but still relate that portion of Christ's teaching which was connected with it, and which was to be illustrated by it. In process of time, as the Church became enlarged,
and more of its information was drawn from written documents; as the persons converted were removed further and further from the scene of these occurrences; the necessity of recording such an important event (hitherto unrecorded from its notoriety) would be obvious. The last Evangelist might have viewed the matter in this light, when he wrote the account of the miracle at Cana; the other narratives supposing all along in their readers a knowledge of it -a knowledge which in their case was derived orally, as in ours it is from the written record. All this must be borne in mind as we proceed.
THE CURE OF THE PALSIED MAN.
Ver. 1--12. And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto hiin, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Our Lord had, according to the preceding narrative, performed various miracles of bodily healing, in themselves no less expressive of a moral course of healing than this. But the former were the first obscure hints, awakening the attention. Now he is repeating his miracles; and in this, first shews a little more of their meaning. He now begins to connect release from bodily infirmity, with release from moral infirmity; and directs his hearers to a reconsideration of his former miracles, as at once symbolically expressing the doctrine that he was the physician of men's