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train of mourners, a widow in the melancholy retinue following the remains of her only son. Jesus could not pass such a scene without manifesting his power and his compassion. Turning to the disconsolate widow, who was leading that son to the grave, in which she had, in all probability, placed her husband, He said unto her, “Weep not.
And he came and touched the bier; and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise ; and he that was dead sat up and began to speak.” Now there were many of the disciples with Jesus at the performance of this miracle, and also “ much people of the city” was in the train, which precludes all supposition that the miracle was not real; the death of the young man was indisputable. Others may have effected great and mighty cures, but no other power but that which belongeth unto God could raise the dead. The compassion of our Lord was evidenced by thus raising the widow's son, and miraculously restoring the dead man to his mother; for “ he delivered him to his mother,” Though a God, He could feel as a man, and though a man, He could act as a God, for He was GOD.
The effect that this miracle had upon the multitudes attests further its reality; the miracle was beyond all deception : had there been any deception, surely some would have detected it. On the contrary, at its performance " there came a fear on all ; and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; that God hath visited his people.” The temporal life which Christ imparted to this dead man may be considered emblematic of that spiritual life, that eternal existence, which He will hereafter impart to them that seek it.
In this glorification of God, by the quotation of passages, which are elsewhere applied to the Messiah, it is very apparent that they acknowledged Him to be the long-predicted Saviour, and glorified Him personally as God. Some extraordinary impression on the public mind by this miracle, some extraordinary confession of Christ, and ascription of homage to Him must have taken place, since the rumour of the wonderful act went throughout all Judæa and the neighbouring regions, and induced the disciples of John to apprize him of these signs of Almighty power. And it must be borne in mind, that it was this resuscitation of the dead, which caused John to send two of his disciples to Christ, that they (not himself) might be certified of the authenticity of his Divine claims.
After this comes the cure of the blind and dumb demoniac, in the presence of the twelve and of certain women, who had been healed of evil spirits and
infirmities. In this miracle the people had conceptions that Christ was the Messiah ; for such was the purport of their question, Is not this the Son of David ? And the Scribes and Pharisees, referring the agency to Beelzebub, showed, that they understood the nature of the popular inquiry, but wished to direct their minds away from the proofs which Christ exhibited of his character. Thus if we examine all the miracles, we shall find them preparatives to the mighty extension, which Christianity shortly afterwards acquired.
The next miracle that comes under our notice evidences Jesus's power over the elements, and was wrought, not as in most cases in answer to a manifestation of faith ; for the record states that the disciples were with Him in a ship, and there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that they were afraid. They therefore came to Jesus for protection, saying; “ Lord, save us, we perish.” Our Lord, awaking from the sleep into which He had fallen, as Lord and Governor of the creation rebuked the winds and the waves ; the ruffled and tempestuous billows in an instant became calm at his word. The disciples, as well they might be, were astonished at the sudden and mighty change : the wind ceased to blow ; the waves, that had almost sunken the ship, began to glide on calmly as
on a tranquil lake. “ What manner of man is this," said they, “that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
This miracle was certainly another of those which were intended to display Christ's Omnipotence and Divinity; it was one which never could have been forgotten by those who witnessed it; one, which must have carried a conviction with it, that something more than humanity controlled the elements. The instantaneous and unruffled calm, which succeeded to the violence of the tempest, was not natural, therefore it was the effect of the Divine power; for the original by no means gives the notion of a gradual, but of an immediate cessation of the storm 1. Doubtless it was when the elements had attained their utmost fury, when the extremity of danger had arrived, that He, by whom all things were made, interposed his authority, and proved to his disciples that verily He was the Son of God.
The cures of the demoniacs of Gadara again evidenced Christ's superior power ; even the Devils practically proved that his chief object was to destroy the works of the Evil one. The record of
Meyan yalyvn, a still—a perfect calm ; a perfect smoothness of the waters.
St. Matthew mentions two men thus possessed, whose abode was in the tombs, who were so fierce and savage that no person dared to venture within their reach. When however they saw Jesus at a distance, their consciousness of the Divine Power, which was inherent in Him, forced them to fall down before Him and pay Him adoration. Their confession, that He was the Son of the Most High God, was a confession of his Divinity.
In the three accounts of this miracle there is a little difference. St. Matthew mentions two demoniacs, St. Mark and St. Luke one, whose name was Legion. The historical fact therefore is, that there were indeed two demoniacs; but that as one was probably more violently under demoniacal possession than the other, the two latter Evangelists confined their accounts to him !
The permission given the Devils to enter the herd of swine has been strangely called into question by infidels; and some interpreters, referring the words to the oriental style, have supposed that the demoniacs were the real agents, and that they drove the swine into the sea. Yet even in this case the mi
· Burder, in his “ Oriental Customs," has illustrated the narrative from Arrian, i. 25, and Herod. vi. 84, but not to the full extent.