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limited, and a covetousness wide as hell, and greedy as the fire or the grave. But Jesus gave so fair an account concerning his converse with these persons, that the objection turned to be his apology; for therefore he conversed with them, because they were sinners : and it was as if a physician should be reproved for having so much to do with sick persons : for therefore was he sent, not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance, to advance the reputation of mercy above the rites of sacrifice.
19. But as the little bubbling, and gentle murmurs of the water, are presages of a storm, and are more troublesome in their prediction than their violence; so were the arguings of the Pharisees symptoms of a secret displeasure, and an ensuing war: though at first represented in the civilities of questions and scholastical discourses, yet they did but forerun vigorous objections and bold calumnies, which were the fruits of the next summer. But as yet they discoursed fairly, asking him 'why John's disciples fasted often, but the disciples of Jesus did not fast. Jesus told them, it was because these were the days in which the bridegroom was come in person to espouse the church into himself; and therefore for the children of the bride-chamber to fast then, was like the bringing of a dead corpse to the joys of a bride, or the pomp of coronation : “the days should come that the bridegroom should retire' into his chamber, and draw the curtains ; "and then they should fast in those days.'
20. While Jesus was discoursing with the Pharisees, “Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came to him,' desiring he would help his daughter, who lay in the confines of death, ready to depart. Whither as lie was going, “a woman met him who had
been diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, without hope of remedy from art or nature; and therefore she runs to Jesus, thinking, without precedent, upon the confident persuasions of a holy faith, that if she did but touch the hem of his garment, she should be whole.' She came trembling, and full of hope and reverence, and touched his garment; and immediately the fountain of her unnatural emanation was stopped,' and reverted to its natural course and offices. St. Ambrose says that this woman was Martha. But it is not likely that she was a Jewess, but a Gentile, because of that return which she made in memory of her cure and honour of Jesus according to the Gentile rites. For Eusebius reports that himself saw, at Cæsarea Philippi, a statue of brass, representing a woman kneeling at the feet of a goodly personage, who held his band out to her in a posture of granting her request, and doing favour to her; and the inhabitants said it was erected by the care and cost of this woman; adding, (whether out of truth or easiness is not certain,) that at the pedestal of this statue an usual plant did grow, which when it was come up to that maturity and height as to arrive at the fringes of the brass monument, it was medicinal in many dangerous diseases.' So far Eusebius. Concerning which story I shall make no censure but this, that since St. Mark and St. Luke
1 Lib. vii. Hist. c. 14. 'Erionuov Xpsič äyalua, et tē Xpısē ávoprávta apud Sozomen. lib. v. c. 20. Johan. Damas. de Imagin, Orat. iii. ex Chronico Johan. Melalæ Antioch. Episc. ait, supplicem libellum oblatum Philippo, tetrarchæ Trachonitidis regionis, ut liceret statuas erigere in memoriam accepti beneficii.-" Johan. Damas. says, that a petition was presented to Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis, for permission to raise a statue in memory of the Mercy.”
affirm that this woman, before her cure, ' had spent seter all her substance upon physicians,'' it is not easily tea imaginable how she should become able to dispend met so great a sum of money as would purchase two sol great statues of brass. And if she could, yet it is en still more unlikely that the Gentile princes and be proconsuls, who searched all places, public and private, and were curiously diligent to destroy all honorary monuments of Christianity, should let this alone; and that this should escape not only the diligence of the persecutors, but the fury of a such wars and changes as happened in Palestine; and that for three hundred years together it should stand up in defiance of all violences and changeable fate of all things. However it be, it is certain that the book against images, published by the command of Charles the Great, eight hundred and fifty years ago, gave no credit to the story. And if it had been true, it is more than probable that Justin Martyr, who was born and bred in Palestine, and Origen, who lived many years in Tyre, in the neighbourhood of the place where the statue is said to stand, and were highly diligent to heap together all things of advantage and reputation to the Christian cause, would not have omitted so notable an instance. It is therefore likely that the statues which Eusebius saw, and concerning which he heard such stories, were first placed there upon the stock of a heathen story or ceremony; and in process of time, for the likeness of the figures, and its capacity to be translated to the Christian story, were by the Christians
I Mark, v. 6; Luke, viii. 43.
in after ages attributed, by a fiction of fancy, and afterwards by credulity confidently applied, to the present narrative.
21. “When Jesus was come to the ruler's house, be found the minstrels making their funeral noises for the death of Jairus's daughter; and his servants had met him, and acquainted him of the death of the child. Yet Jesus turned out the minstrels, and ' entered with tbe parents of the child into her cbamber, and taking her by the hand called her,' and awakened her from the sleep of death, and 'commanded them to give her to eat,' and enjoined them not to publish the miracle. But as flames suppressed by violent detensions break out and rage with a more impetuous and rapid motion, so it happened to Jesus, who endeavouring to make the noises and reports of him less popular, made them to be oecumenical. For not only we do that most greedily from which we are most restrained, but a great merit enamelled with bumility, and restrained with modesty, grows more beauteous and florid, up to the heights of wonder and glories.
22. As he came from Jairus's house, be cured two blind men, upon their petition and confession that they did believe in him, and cast out a dumb devil, so much to the wonder and amazement of the people, that the Pharisees could hold no longer, being ready to burst with envy, but said he cast out devils by belp of the devils :' their malice being, as usually it is, contradictory to its own design, by its being unreasonable; nothing being more sottish than for the devil to divide bis kingdom upon a plot, to ruin his certainties upon hopes future and contingent. But this was but the first eruption of their malice: all the year last
past, which was the first year of Jesus's preaching, all was quiet; neither the Jews, nor the Samaritans, nor the Galileans did malign his doctrine or person, but he preached with much peace on all hands;' for this was the year which the prophet Isaiah called in his prediction, the acceptable year of the Lord.'
AD. SECTION XII. Considerations upon the intercourse happening be
tween the Holy Jesus and the Woman of Samaria.
1. When the holy Jesus, perceiving it unsafe to be at Jerusalem, returned to Galilee, where the largest scene of his prophetical office was to be represented, he journeyed on foot through Samaria; and being weary and faint, hungry and thirsty, he sat down by a well, and begged water of a Samaritan woman that was a sinner, who at first refused him, with some incivility of language. But he, instead of returning anger and passion to her rudeness, which was commenced upon the interest of a mistaken religion, preached the coming of the Messias to her, unlocked the secrets of her heart, and let in his grace, and made 'a fountain of living water to spring up'in her soul, to extinguish the impure names of lust which had set her on fire, burning like bell ever since the death of her fifth husband, she then becoming a concubine to the sixth. Thus Jesus transplanted nature into grace, his hunger and thirst into religious appetites,
1 Epiphan. in Pan. lib. ii. tom. i. Hæres. 51.