صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

and it not unfrequently happens that some who, in the days of their ignorance and folly, were noted for their opposition to religion, become, by the converting grace of God, peculiarly useful, and like Onesimus, though "in time past unprofitable, yet now profitable" to many. Indeed, a chief reason why men are not generally taken immediately to heaven after their conversion, seems to be, that their continuance on earth may manifest the power of divine grace, and promote the cause of religion in the world. See here, then, Christians, your pleasing duty. Show how great things the Lord hath done for you. Show this, on proper occasions, by a simple, humble, and grateful statement in words. Say, with the Psalmist, "Come, and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul." Show this, especially, by the silent yet eloquent language of a holy, charitable, and devoted life. Seek to be much with Christ in the enjoyment of public and private religious exercises: yet be ready to deny yourselves, even as to these, when, by so doing, you are called on, by the voice of providence, to promote the good of others. Live, in every respect, as it becomes the spiritually emancipated and redeemed; and consecrate, with hearty goodwill, and with all your might, to the glory of your Saviour, those powers which he has rescued from a state of bondage, perversion, and degradation, and renovated for the noble service and blissful enjoyment of himself.


LUKE VIII. 40-56.

"And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. 41. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42. For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a-dying. (But as he went the people thronged him. 43. And a woman, having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44. Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter, and they that were with him, said, Master, the multitude throng thee, and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46. And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and, falling down before him, she declared unto him, before all the people, for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.) 49. While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52. And all wept, and bewailed her; but he said, Weep not; she is not dead but sleepeth. 53. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56. And her parents were astonished; but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done."

OUR Lord, having dispossessed the demoniacs at Gadara, left the country, at the request of its unbelieving and worldly inhabitants, and crossed over the lake to Galilee, whence he had lately come. There the people, awakened, at least in some degree, by his former instructions and miracles, were anxiously waiting for him, and gladly received him on his arrival. And is not this the posture of mind which at this moment becomes us? Now that we are again in the place in which he is wont to come unto his people and bless them, ought we not to be waiting for, and

ready to welcome, his gracious spiritual presence?-From Matthew's account, it seems that certain things occurred after our Lord's return, on which, however, as they are not stated here by Luke, we shall not enter. The passage now read describes two miracles, the account of which is interwoven by this evangelist, as it also is by Matthew and Mark. The first miracle here described is that of the restoration of Jairus' daughter to life. As the only mention of this man occurs in the history of this miracle, we know nothing more of him than what is gathered from this source. Jairus is the Old Testament, Hebrew, name, Jair, with the Greek termination added by Mark and Luke; and the name signifies, my light, or, who enlightens, or, is enlightened. This "Jairus" was "a ruler of the synagogue." The rulers of the synagogues presided in the government, and directed the worship, in the synagogues; and they also acted as local magistrates, subordinate to the Sanhedrim, or great council of Seventy, which sat in Jerusalem. There appear to have been generally several of them connected with each synagogue, though one of these was the chief. The synagogue here meant, must have been the synagogue in Capernaum, where Jesus now was. Matthew informs

us, in the first verse of his 9th chapter, that when Jesus had passed over the lake, he "came into his own city:" now, we are to recollect that, though he spent his early years in Nazareth, and was therefore called Jesus of Nazareth, yet it is stated, in Matt. iv. 13, " that leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the seacoast."

[ocr errors]

A person of note and of worth, as Jairus was, he was not, however, exempt from trouble, but was visited with a 'severe domestic trial. His daughter, and what added greatly to the affliction, his only daughter, and what was even more trying still, his "only daughter," after she had reached the age of "twelve years," and had, of course, made much progress, and become peculiarly interesting and dear to him, so that to her continuance with him he was looking forward as the chief comfort of his remaining days on earth, was grieviously ill, and "lay a-dying." In this most anxious conjuncture, Jairus, wisely and happily, bethought himself of applying to Jesus, whose powerful and gracious works he had heard of, and, probably, partly witnessed. Coming to him, "he fell down at Jesus' feet," in deep humility, or as it is in Matthew, "worshipped him:"

"and besought him that he would come into his house." According to Matthew, Jairus said, " My daughter is even now dead" (that is, she was in the last extremity, and given over, when he left the house, and he considered her the same as dead); "but come, and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." Matthew also says that "Jesus arose" (for, it appears that he was sitting in a house, probably in Matthew's house), "and followed him," that is, Jairus, and "so did his disciples." Our Lord readily complied with the ruler's request, and set out immediately for his house. But we must suspend our further consideration of this part of the history, till we consider the very interesting event which occurred by the way.

[ocr errors]

"As he went the people thronged him." While they were crowding around, and anxious to see what would be the result of the ruler's application, a poor woman, who had been, for a long time, even "twelve years," afflicted with an issue of blood;" who "had suffered a great deal from many physicians,"* by painful restraints and disagreeable medicines; and who had spent all her living upon physicians, and yet could not be healed of any"-who " was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse' "came" in the press, "behind him, and touched the border of his garment.” According to the divine law,t the Jews were directed to "make fringes in the borders of their garments," and to "put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue," "that they might look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them." This seems to have been the part of our Lord's garment which this poor woman touched. We formerly read, in Luke vi. 19, that, "the whole multitude sought to touch Christ; for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." It was publicly known, then, that many had been cured in this way; and this woman's knowledge of the fact led her to expect a cure accordingly. She, no doubt, betrayed much weakness in the way of her proceeding; for, it was folly to imagine that she could touch him without his knowledge, or that the mere touch could have efficacy of itself, without his special cognizance and voluntary agency. There was much, however, that was excellent, in her procedure. It discovered much humility, for it was as if she thought that she was unworthy to meet him in the face, and that all she ought to presume to do was to touch his garment from behind.

* Mark v. 26.

Numb. xv. 38.

[blocks in formation]

There was also great faith in her case; for Matthew tells us, that "she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole:"-she was fully persuaded that she would be healed, if she could only get forward to touch his garment. Accordingly, Jesus graciously overlooked all her weakness, and vouchsafed her an instantaneous and complete cure. "Immediately her issue of blood stanched," and she felt that she was healed of that distemper.


On this, Jesus turned round, and said, "Who touched me?" It was, not because he needed information, that he put the question; but it was that he might draw forth a confession from the woman, and consult the advancement of his own blessed cause among the people. "When all denied"-when none would confess that they had touched Christ, at least with any particular design," Peter, and they that were with him, said, Master, the multitude throng thee, and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?"-how is it possible, in such circumstances, but that many must touch thee? Jesus, however, would not rest satisfied with this reply, but said, "Somebody hath touched me,”—and that too with an important object in view;-" for I perceive that virtue," that is, healing power, divine energy, “ has gone out of me," or proceeded forth from me. Jesus was looking round again to discover the person, and probably directing his eye to the woman; and "when the woman saw that she was not hid," (how indeed could she be hid from him who knew what is in man, who needed not that any should testify to him, who knew all things?) "she came trembling," afraid, probably, that he would be offended by her having presumed to touch him, when she was ceremonially unclean, and also by her having obtained a cure in a surreptitious manner: "and falling down before him," "she told all the truth,"*_ "she declared unto him before all the people, for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately." Our blessed Saviour, instead of expressing displeasure, spoke to her in the most kind and consolatory way. He addressed her by the affectionate appellation of Daughter;" he exhorted her to "be of good comfort;” he told her that "her faith," which he noticed with approbation, had instrumentally "made her whole;" and he dismissed her, with the gracious words, "Go in peace. It was indeed a great deliverance which was conferred on her, when she wns healed of a disease which, by ceremonial prohibi


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« السابقةمتابعة »