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overjoyed at the extent of the
with which they had been entrusted. “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through thy
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold! I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and on all the powers of the enemy?.”
He has both his own final triumph over Satan, and the miraculous ejectment of evil spirits in view.
We are not aware that our Lord has, in the same express language, spiritualized any of the other species of cures. But, while we are on the subject, we may mention a prophetical design which is peculiar to some of them.
The benefits of Christ's benevolence while on earth were not confined to the Jewish nation. True, that in fulfilment of the covenant which God had entered into with his people, the Saviour came first “to the lost sheep of Israel";" yet his ear was still open to the cry of the suffering and believing Gentile.
far higher privilege was shortly to be conferred; the glad tidings of the Gospel were to be preached “ to the Jew first, but also to the Gentile 6." and the waters of salvation were to be thrown open to all that thirsted, “without money and + Luke x. 17. 5 Matt x. 6.
6 Rom. ij. 9.
without price.” And our Saviour seems to hint, that the extension of his temporal bounty to the Gentiles, and the faith and gratitude with which it was generally received, was a type of the cordial reception which the Gospel message was to meet with from them. After commending the faith of the centurion, which he declares he had not found equalled, no, not in Israel, he adds,—“And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east, and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
To the miracles of healing, naturally succeed those of raising the dead to life. And these, we are taught to look upon as illustrative, in a twofold manner, of the doctrines of the Gospel.
The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is the resurrection of the dead, which was essential to the full discharge of our Saviour's mediatorial, as well as judicial offices. Of this work he was himself the author and “firstfruits :" and, as a pledge and earnest of the certainty of its accomplishment, he repeatedly raises the dead during his life, and after death rises him1 Isa. Lv.1.
* Luke xvii. 17-19. Matt. xv. 27,28. Ib. viii. 3 Matt. viii. 11.
self from the grave, according to his promise". Some time after the raising of the son of the widow of Nain, and the daughter of Jairus, but evidently with reference to these miracles, this connection is pointed out in a very forcible man
Our Lord, after appealing to his miracles, as unexceptionable evidence that his mission is from heaven, and that God is his Father, goes on to assure his hearers, that the Father will enable him to work even greater works than these. “For, as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will,”—and the exercise of such a power is merely a specimen of that which is to happen at the last day, when the Father has committed to him the judgment of the quick and the dead; “ for the Father judgeth no man, , but hath committed all judgment to the Son." To judgment resurrection was clearly necessary, as he proceeds to inform them: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is,”—(as a pledge of my future power, you see I raise the dead even now,)—“ when the dead shall hear the voice of God, and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” And he then proceeds to describe, with thrilling distinctness, the resurrection and judgment of the dead.
The same interpreta
4 John y. 21.
tion is given in his conversation with Martha, previous to the raising of Lazarus?. Martha misunderstanding his assurance of the resuscitation of her brother, he tells her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die?”
There seem to be two distinct propositions, with their consequents, in this sentence; the first and third, and the second and fourth clauses being connected together. As the Resurrection, (we have already seen,) he will raise his people after death ; as the Life, he will, even in this world, bestow upon them a spiritual vitality, over which natural death shall never prevail. He is the quickening spirit, who pervades our whole moral man; who animates, invigorates, and sustains every principle of grace : without whom, the soul would be as dead, as the body without the soul.
This is the second typical lesson which we are to draw from these miracles. As all the diseases man is heir to, are but a portion of the sentence, which was incurred by the disobedience of our first parents, so all modifications of moral disease are merged in that death of the soul, from which no unregenerate man can escape. But “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” “ Men," saith St Au
1 John xi. 23.
gustine, of the miracle at Nain,-“ Men have not eyes wherewith to see the raising of the dead in soul, unless they themselves have had part in that resurrection : for that the dead (in soul) are even now raised, no man that is a Christian can doubt. And yet it is more to raise up a soul, to raise up that which shall live for ever, than a body, that which must surely die again. He (the son of the widow) was dead in body, but these are dead in soul; his visible death was lamented with great sorrow, their invisible death is neither seen nor lamented; He alone who raised the one
can raise the other; to whom none are dead, but asleep only?."
On more than one occasion Jesus fed several thousands with a very few loaves and fishes ;a significant emblem of those spiritual blessings of which he is the author,—the means of eternal salvation, and the Gospel preached to the poor. John vi. 26-65. In illustrating one of these miracles, he dwells at greater length upon its typical nature than he does in any other instance. We shall therefore follow his discourse with some minuteness.
The multitudes, anxious to obtain another supply of food, or viewing this miracle merely as a prelude to those temporal advantages, which they expected from the Messiah, followed him
• De Tribus mortuis, Op. Tom x. p. 65.