And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
Luke 8:1-10, 18
Mark 4:1-12, 24-25
Luke 8:1-10, 18
1. And on the same day Jesus went out of the house, and sat down near the sea. 2. And great multitudes were gathered to him, so that he entered into a ship, and sat down, and the whole multitude was standing on the shore. 3. And he said many things to them by parables, saying, Lo, one who was sowing, some seeds fell near the road, and the birds came and devoured them. 5. And some fell on stony places, where they had not much earth, and immediately they sprang up, because they had not depth of earth. 6. But when the sun rose, they were burnt up, and because they had not a root, they withered away. 7. Others again fell on thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked them. 8. And others fell on good soil, and yielded fruit: some a hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. 9. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10. And the disciples approaching said to him, Why dost thou speak to them by parables? 11. But he answering, said to them, To you it is given to know the mysteries  of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given, 12. For whosoever hath, it shall be given to him, and he shall be rendered more wealthy;  and whosoever hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him. 13. For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they do not see, and hearing, they do not hear nor understand. 14. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, With the ears you shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing, you shall see, and shall not perceive. 15. For the heart of this people hath become gross, and with their ears they have heard heavily, and their eyes they have shut, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with the heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 16. But your eyes are blessed for they see; and your ears, for they hear. 17. Verily, I say to you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things which you hear, and have not heard them.
1. And again he began to teach near the sea, and a great multitude was gathered to him, so that, entering into a ship, he sat on the sea, and the whole multitude was near the sea on land. 2. And he taught them many things by parables, and said to them in his doctrine: 3. Hear, lo, a sower went out to sow. 4. And it happened while he was sowing, some fell closer to the road; and the fowls of heaven came and ate them up. 5. And some fell on stony places, where it had not much earth, and immediately it sprang up, because it had not depth of earth. 6. And when the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had not a root, it withered. 7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew, and choked it, and it did not yield fruit. 8. And some fell on good soil, and yielded fruit springing up and growing, and produced some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundred. 9. And he said to them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10. And when he began to be alone, those who were around him, with the twelve, asked him about the parable. 11. And he said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery  of the kingdom of God, but to those who are without all things are done by parables: 12. That seeing, they may see and may not perceive, and hearing, they may hear and may not understand, lest at any time they may be converted, and their sins may be forgiven them. -- (A little after,) 24. And he said to them, Observe what you hear: with what measure, the same admeasurement shall be made to you, and it shall be added to you who shall hear. 25. For to him who hath it shall be given; and he that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away from him.
1. And it happened afterwards, and he was traveling through each city and village,  preaching and proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with him, 2. And likewise some women, who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases, Mary, who is called Magdalene, out of whom had gone seven devils, 3. And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who assisted him out of their property 4. And while a very great multitude was assembling, and while they were crowding to him out of each city, he said by a parable: 5. One who sowed went out to sow his seed, and while he was sowing, some fell near the road, and the fowls of heaven ate it up. 6. And some fell on a rock, and when it was sprung up, it withered, because it hath not moisture. 7. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns springing up along with it, choked it. 8. And some fell on a good soil, and, springing up, produced fruit a hundred-fold. Saying these things, he exclaimed, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9. And his disciples asked him, saying, What was this parable?  10. But he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries  of the kingdom of God, but to the rest by parables; that seeing, they may not see, and hearing, they may not understand. -- (A little after,) 18. Consider then how you hear. For whosoever hath, it shall be given to him; and whosoever hath not, even that which he thinketh that he hath shall be taken from him.
23. And turning to his disciples, he said to them privately, Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see. 24. For I say to you, That many prophets and kings have desired to see the things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things which you hear, and have not heard them.
What I have here introduced from Luke belongs, perhaps, to another time; but I saw no necessity for separating what he has placed in immediate connection. First, he says that the twelve apostles preached the kingdom of God along with Christ; from which we infer that, though the ordinary office of teaching had not yet been committed to them, they constantly attended as heralds to procure an audience for their Master; and, therefore, though they held an inferior rank, they are said to have been Christ's assistants. Next, he adds, that among those who accompanied Christ were certain women, who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases, such as Mary Magdalene, who had been tormented by seven devils To be associated with such persons might be thought dishonorable; for what could be more unworthy of the Son of God than to lead about with him women who were marked with infamy? But this enables us more clearly to perceive that the crimes with which we were loaded before we believed, are so far from diminishing the glory of Christ, that they tend rather to raise it to a higher pitch. And, certainly, it is not said, that the Church which he elected was found by him to be without spot and blemish, but that he cleansed it with his blood, and made it pure and fair.
The wretched and disgraceful condition of those women, now that they had been delivered from it, redounded greatly to the glory of Christ, by holding out public manifestations of his power and grace. At the same time, Luke applauds their gratitude in following their Deliverer, and disregarding the ridicule of the world.  Beyond all question, they were pointed at with the finger on every side, and the presence of Christ served for a platform to exhibit them; but they do not refuse to have their own shame made generally known, provided that the grace of Christ be not concealed. On the contrary, they willingly endure to be humbled, in order to become a mirror, by which he may be illustriously displayed.
In Mary, the boundless goodness of Christ was displayed in an astonishing manner. A woman, who had been possessed by seven devils, and might be said to have been the meanest slave of Satan, was not merely honored to be his disciple, but admitted to enjoy his society. Luke adds the surname Magdalene, to distinguish her from the sister of Martha, and other persons of the name of Mary, who are mentioned in other passages, (John 11:1; John 19:25.)
Luke 8:3. Joanna, the wife of Chuza It is uncertain whether or not Luke intended his statement to be applied to those women in the same manner as to Mary To me it appears probable that she is placed first in order, as a person in whom Christ had given a signal display of his power; and that the wife of Chuza, and Susanna, matrons of respectability and of spotless reputation, are mentioned afterwards, because they had only been cured of ordinary diseases. Those matrons being wealthy and of high rank, it reflects higher commendation on their pious zeal, that they supply Christ's expenses out of their own property, and, not satisfied with so doing, leave the care of their household affairs, and choose to follow him, attended by reproach and many other inconveniences, through various and uncertain habitations, instead of living quietly and at ease in their own houses. It is even possible, that Chuza, Herod's steward, being too like his master, was strongly opposed to what his wife did in this matter, but that the pious woman overcame this opposition by the ardor and constancy of her zeal.
Matthew 13:2. And great multitudes were gathered together to him. It is not without good reason that the Evangelists begin with informing us that, a vast multitude had assembled, and that when Christ beheld them, he was led to compare his doctrine to seed That multitude had been collected from various places: all were held in suspense; all were alike eager to hear, but not equally desirous to receive instruction. The design of the parable was to inform them, that the seed of doctrine, which is scattered far and wide, is not everywhere productive; because it does not always find a fertile and well cultivated soil. Christ declared that he was there in the capacity of a husbandman, who was going out to sow seed, but that many of his hearers resembled an uncultivated and parched soil, while others resembled a thorny soil; so that the labor and the very seed were thrown away. I forbear to make any farther inquiry into the meaning of the parable, till we come to the explanation of it; which, as we shall find, is shortly afterwards given by our Lord. It may only be necessary, for the present, to remind the reader, that if those who ran from distant places to Christ, like hungry persons, are compared to an unproductive and barren soil, we need not wonder if, in our own day, the Gospel does not yield fruit in many, of whom some are lazy and sluggish, others hear with indifference, and others are scarcely drawn even to hear.
9. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. These words were intended partly to show that all were not endued with true understanding to comprehend what he said, and partly to arouse his disciples to consider attentively that doctrine which is not readily and easily understood by all. Indeed, he makes a distinction among the hearers, by pronouncing some to have ears, and others to be deaf. If it is next inquired, how it comes to pass that the former have ears, Scripture testifies in other passages, that it is the Lord who pierces the ears, (Psalm 40:7,)and that no man obtains or accomplishes this by his own industry.
10. The disciples approaching said to him. From the words of Matthew it is evident, that the disciples did not merely look to themselves, but wished also to consult the benefit of others. Being unable to comprehend the parable, they concluded that it would be as little understood by the people; and, therefore, they complain that Christ employed language from which his hearers could derive no profit. Now though parables are generally found to illustrate the subject of which they treat, yet the uninterrupted course of a metaphor may lead to obscurity.  So then Christ, in delivering this parable, intended to wrap up, in an allegory, what he might have said more plainly and fully, without a figure.  But now that the exposition is added, the figurative discourse has greater energy and force than if it had been simple: by which is meant, that it is not only fitted to produce a more powerful impression on the mind, but is also more clear. So highly important is the manner in which any thing is said. 
11. To you it is given to know the mysteries  of the kingdom of heaven From this reply of Christ we learn, that the doctrine of salvation is proclaimed by God to men for various purposes; for Christ declares that he intentionally spoke obscurely, in order that his discourse might be a riddle to many, and might only strike their ears with a confused and doubtful sound. It will perhaps be objected, that this is inconsistent with that prophecy,
I have not spoken in secret, nor in a dark corner: I said not in vain to the seed of Jacob, Seek me,
or with the commendations which David pronounces on the Law, that it
is a lamp to the feet, and that it giveth wisdom to little children (Psalm 119:105,130.)
But the answer is easy: the word of God, in its own nature, is always bright,  but its light is choked by the darkness of men. Though the Law was concealed, as it were, by a kind of veil, yet the truth, of God shone brightly in it, if the eyes of many had not been blinded. With respect to the Gospel, Paul affirms with truth, that it is hidden to none but to the reprobate, and to those who are devoted to destruction, whose minds Satan hath blinded, (2 Corinthians 4:3,4.) Besides, it ought to be understood, that the power of enlightening which David mentions, and the familiar manner of teaching which Isaiah predicts, refer exclusively to the elect people.
Still it remains a fixed principle, that the word of God is not obscure, except so far as the world darkens it by its own blindness. And yet the Lord conceals its mysteries, so that the perception of them may not reach the reprobate.  There are two ways in which he deprives them of the light of his doctrine. Sometimes he states, in a dark manner, what might be more clearly expressed; and sometimes he explains his mind fully, without ambiguity and without metaphor, but strikes their senses with dulness and their minds with stupidity, so that they are blind amidst bright sunshine.
Such is the import of those dreadful threatenings, in which Isaiah forewarns, that he will be to the people a barbarian, speaking in a foreign and unknown language; that the prophetical visions will be to the learned a shut and sealed book, in which they cannot read; and that when the book shall be opened, all will be unlearned, and will remain in amazement, through inability to read, (Isaiah 28:11; Isaiah 29:11.) Now since Christ has purposely dispensed his doctrine in such a manner, that it might be profitable only to a small number, being firmly seated in their minds, and might hold others in suspense and perplexity, it follows that, by divine appointment, the doctrine of salvation is not proclaimed to all for the same end, but is so regulated by his wonderful purpose, that it is not less a savor of death to death to the reprobate than a life-giving savor to the elect, (2 Corinthians 2:15,16.) And that no one may dare to murmur, Paul declares, in that passage that whatever may be the effect of the Gospel, its savor, though deadly, is always a sweet savor to God.
To ascertain fully the meaning of the present passage, we must examine more closely the design of Christ, the reason why, and the purpose for which, these words were spoken. First, the comparison is undoubtedly intended by Christ to exhibit the magnitude of the grace bestowed on his disciples, in having specially received what was not given indiscriminately to all. If it is asked, why this privilege was peculiar to the apostles,  the reason certainly will not be found in themselves, and Christ, by declaring that it was given to them, excludes all merit.  Christ declares that there are certain and elect men, on whom God specially bestows this honor of revealing to them his secrets, and that others are deprived of this grace. No other reason will be found for this distinction, except that God calls to himself those whom he has gratuitously elected.
12. For whosoever hath, it shall be given to him. Christ pursues the subject which I have just mentioned; for he reminds his disciples how kindly God acts towards them, that they may more highly prize his grace, and may acknowledge themselves to be under deeper obligations to his kindness. The same words he afterwards repeats, but in a different sense, (Matthew 25:29;) for on that occasion the discourse relates to the lawful use of gifts.  But here he simply teaches, that more is given to the apostles than to the generality of men, because the heavenly Father is pleased to display in perfection his kindness towards them.
He does not forsake the work of his own hand,
Those whom he has once begun to form are continually polished more and more, till they are at length brought to the highest perfection. The multiplied favors which are continually flowing from him to us, and the joyful progress which we make, spring from God's contemplation of his own liberality, which prompts him to an uninterrupted course of bounty. And as his riches are inexhaustible,  so he is never wearied with enriching his children. Whenever he advances us to a higher degree, let us remember that every increase of the favors which we daily receive from him flows from this source, that it is his purpose to complete the work, of our salvation already commenced. On the other hand, Christ declares that the reprobate are continually proceeding from bad to worse, till, at length exhausted, they waste away in their own poverty.
And he that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him. This may appear to be a harsh expression; but instead of saying, that what the ungodly have not is taken from them, Luke softens the harshness and removes the ambiguity by a slight change of the words: and whosoever hath not, even that which he thinketh that he hath shall be taken from him. And indeed it frequently happens, that the reprobate are endued with eminent gifts, and appear to resemble the children of God: but there is nothing of real value about them; for their mind is destitute of piety, and has only the glitter of an empty show. Matthew is therefore justified in saying that they have nothing; for what they have is of no value in the sight of God, and has no permanency within. Equally appropriate is the statement of Luke, that the gifts, with which they have been endued, are corrupted by them, so that they shine only in the eyes of men, but have nothing more than splendor and empty display. Hence, also let us learn to aim at progress throughout our whole life; for God grants to us the taste of his heavenly doctrine on the express condition, that we feed on it abundantly from day to day, till we come to be fully satiated with it.
The manner in which Mark introduces this sentence has some appearance of confusion. Consider, says our Lord, what you hear; and then, if they make due progress, he holds out the expectation of more plentiful grace: it shall be added to you that hear Lastly, follows the clause which agrees with the words of Matthew, but is inserted in the middle of a sentence which I expounded under the seventh chapter of Matthew;  for it is not probable that they are here placed in their proper order. The Evangelists, as we have remarked on former occasions, were not very exact in arranging Christ's discourses, but frequently throw together a variety of sayings uttered by him. Luke mixes this sentence with other discourses of Christ spoken at different times, and likewise points out a different purpose for which Christ used these words. It was that they might be attentive to his doctrine, and not permit the seed of life to pass away unimproved, which ought to be cordially received, and take root in their minds. "Beware," he says, "lest what has been given be taken away from you, if it yield no fruit."
13. For this reason I speak by parables. He says that he speaks to the multitude in an obscure manner, because they are not partakers of the true light. And yet, while he declares that a veil is spread over the blind, that they may remain in their darkness, he does not ascribe the blame of this to themselves, but takes occasion to commend more highly the grace bestowed on the Apostles, because it is not equally communicated to all. He assigns no cause for it, except the secret purpose of God; for which, as we shall afterwards see more fully, there is a good reason, though it has been concealed from us. It is not the only design of a parable to state, in an obscure manner, what God is not pleased to reveal clearly; but we have said that the parable now under our consideration was delivered by Christ, in order that the form of an allegory might present a doubtful riddle.
14. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. He confirms his statement by a prediction of Isaiah, that it is far from being a new thing, if many persons derive no advantage from the word of God, which was formerly appointed to the ancient people, for the purpose of inducing greater blindness. This passage of the Prophet is quoted, in a variety of ways, in the New Testament. Paul quotes it (Acts 28:26) to charge the Jews with obstinate malice, and says that they were blinded by the light of the Gospel, because they were bitter and rebellious against God. There he points out the immediate cause which appeared in the men themselves. But in the Epistle to the Romans (11:7) he draws the distinction from a deeper and more hidden source; for he tells us, that the remnant was saved according to the election of grace, and that the rest were blinded, according as it is written. The contrast must there be observed; for if it is the election of God, and an undeserved election, which alone saves any remnant of the people, it follows that all others perish by a hidden, though just, judgment of God. Who are the rest, whom Paul contrasts with the elect remnant, but those on whom God has not bestowed a special salvation?
Similar reasoning may be applied to the passage in John, (12:38;) for he says that many believed not, because no man believes, except he to whom God reveals his arm, and immediately adds, that they could not believe, because it is again written, Blind the heart of this people. Such, too is the object which Christ has in view, when he ascribes it to the secret purpose of God, that the truth of the Gospel is not revealed indiscriminately to all, but is exhibited at a distance under obscure forms, so as to have no other effect than to overspread the minds of the people with grosser darkness.  In all cases, I admit, those whom God blinds will be found to deserve this condemnation; but as the immediate cause is not always obvious in the persons of men, let it be held as a fixed principle, that God enlightens to salvation, and that by a peculiar gift, those whom He has freely chosen; and that all the reprobate are deprived of the light of life, whether God withholds his word from them, or keeps their eyes and ears closed, that they do not hear or see.
Hearing you shall hear. We now perceive the manner in which Christ applies the prediction of the prophet to the present occasion. He does not quote the prophet's words, nor was it necessary; for Christ reckoned it enough to show, that it was no new or uncommon occurrence, if many were hardened by the word of God. The words of the prophet were,
Go, blind their minds, and harden their hearts, (Isaiah 6:10.)
Matthew ascribes this to the hearers, that they may endure the blame of their own blindness and hardness; for the one cannot be separated from the other. All who have been given over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28) do voluntarily, and from inward malice, blind and harden themselves. Nor can it be otherwise, wherever the Spirit of God does not reign, by whom the elect alone are governed. Let us, therefore, attend to this connection, that all whom God does not enlighten with the Spirit of adoption are men of unsound mind; and that, while they are more and more blinded by the word of God, the blame rests wholly on themselves, because this blindness is voluntary. Again, the ministers of the word ought to seek consolation from this passage, if the success of their labors does not always correspond to their wish. Many are so far from profiting by their instruction, that they are rendered worse by it. What has befallen them was experienced by a Prophet,  to whom they are not superior. It were, indeed, to be wished, that they should bring all under subjection to God; and they ought to labor and strive for that end. But let them not wonder if that judgment, which God anciently displayed through the ministration of the Prophet, is likewise fulfilled at the present day. At the same time, we ought to be extremely careful, that the fruit of the Gospel be not lost through our negligence.
Mark 4:12. That seeing, they may see, and not perceive. Here it may suffice to state briefly what has already been fully explained, that the doctrine is not, strictly speaking, or by itself, or in its own nature, but by accident, the cause of blindness. When persons of a weak sight come out into sunshine, their eyes become dimmer than before, and that defect is in no way attributed to the sun, but to their eyes. In like manner, when the word of God blinds and hardens the reprobate, as this takes place through their own depravity, it belongs truly and naturally to themselves, but is accidental, as respects the word.
Lest at any time they should be converted. This clause points out the advantage that is gained by seeing and understanding It is, that men, having been converted to God, are restored to his favor, and, being reconciled to him, enjoy prosperity and happiness. The true end for which
God desires that his word should be preached is, to reconcile men to himself by renewing their minds and hearts. With respect to the reprobate, on the other hand, Isaiah here declares that the stony hardness remains in them, so that they do not obtain mercy, and that the word fails to produce its effect upon them, so as to soften their minds to repentance.
Matthew 13:15. Lest I should heal them In the word healing, Matthew, as well as the Prophet, includes deliverance from every evil; for a people afflicted by the hand of God is metaphorically compared by them to a sick man. They say that healing is bestowed,  when the Lord releases from punishment. But as this healing depends on the pardon of sins, Mark describes appropriately and justly its cause and source, lest they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them For whence comes the mitigation of chastisements, but because God has been reconciled to us, and makes us the objects of his blessing? Sometimes, no doubt, after removing our guilt, he continues to punish us, either with the view of humbling us the more, or of making us more cautious for the future. And yet, not only does he show evidences of his favor by restoring us to life and health; but as punishments usually terminate when the guilt is removed, healing and forgiveness are properly introduced together. It must not, however, be concluded, that repentance is the cause of pardon, as if God received into his favor converted men, because they deserved it;  for conversion itself is a mark of God's free favor. Nothing more is expressed than such an order and connection, that God does not forgive the sins of any but those who are dissatisfied with themselves.
Matthew 13:16. But blessed are your eyes. Luke appears to represent this statement as having been spoken at another time; but this is easily explained, for in that passage he throws together a variety of our Lord's sayings, without attending to the order of dates. We shall, therefore, follow the text of Matthew, who explains more clearly the circumstances from which Christ took occasion to utter these words. Having formerly reminded them of the extraordinary favor which they had received, in being separated by our Lord from the common people, and familiarly admitted to the mysteries of his kingdom, he now magnifies that grace by another comparison, which is, that they excel ancient Prophets and holy Kings This is a far loftier distinction than to be preferred to an unbelieving multitude. Christ does not mean any kind of hearing, or the mere beholding of the flesh, but pronounces their eyes to be blessed, because they perceive in him a glory which is worthy of the only-begotten Son of God, so as to acknowledge him as the Redeemer; because they perceive shining in him the lively image of God, by which they obtain salvation and perfect happiness; and because in them is fulfilled what had been spoken by the Prophets, that those who have been truly and perfectly taught by the Lord (Isaiah 54:13) do not need to learn every man from his neighbor, (Jeremiah 31:34.)
This furnishes a reply to an objection that might be drawn from another saying of Christ, that
blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed, (John 20:29;)
for there he describes that kind of seeing which Thomas desired in consequence of his gross apprehension.  But that seeing, of which Christ now speaks, has been enjoyed by believers in every age in common with the Apostles. We do not see Christ, and yet we see him; we do not hear Christ, and yet we hear him: for in the Gospel we behold him, as Paul says,
face to face, so as to be transformed into his image, (2 Corinthians 3:18;)
and the perfection of wisdom, righteousness, and life, which was formerly exhibited in him, shines there continually.
Luke 10:24. Many Prophets and Kings have desired to see. The condition of the Church, at the present day, is justly pronounced to be preferable to that of the holy fathers, who lived under the Law; because to them was exhibited, under shadows and figures only, what is now openly manifested in the shining face of Christ. The veil of the temple being rent, (Matthew 27:51,) we enter by faith into the heavenly sanctuary, and are freely permitted to approach to God. Although the fathers were satisfied with their lot, and enjoyed a blessed peace in their own minds, yet this did not prevent their desires from extending farther. Thus, Abraham saw the day of Christ afar off, and rejoice, (John 8:56,) and yet longed to enjoy a nearer view, but did not obtain his wish. Simeon spoke the sentiments of all,  when he said, Now thou sendest thy servant away in peace, (Luke 2:29.) And indeed it was impossible that, under the burden of that curse by which the human race is crushed, they should be otherwise than altogether inflamed with the desire of a promised deliverance.  Let us therefore learn, that they breathed after Christ, like hungry persons, and yet possessed a serene faith; so that they did not murmur against God, but kept their minds in patient expectation till the full time of revelation.
 "De cognoistre les secrets;" -- "to know the secrets."
 "Et en aura tant plus;" -- "and he shall have so much the more of it."
 "De cognoistre le secret;" -- "to know the secret."
 "Il alloit de ville en ville, et de village en village;" -- "he was going from town to town, and from village to village."
 "Et ses disciples l'interroguerent, dema, dans quelle estoit ceste similitude;" -- "and his disciples interrogated him, asking what was this parable."
 "De cognoistre les secrets;" -- "to know the secrets."
 "D'autant qu'elles ont suyvi leur Liberateur, nonobstant l'ignominie du monde qu'il leur faloit endurer en ce faisant;" -- "because they followed their Deliverer, notwithstanding the ignominy of the world which they must endure by so doing."
 "Si est-ce toutesfois qu'elles sont obscures et enveloppees, quand on continue tousiours la metaphore sans rien y entremesler;" -- "yet they are obscure and involved, when the metaphor is constantly pursued, without any thing being intermingled with it."
 "En usant de termes communs;" -- "by using ordinary terms."
 "Voyla comme il y a bien a regarder comment on couche ou on deduit un propos;" -- "this shows us the great attention that is due to the manner in which a discourse is expressed or conveyed."
 "De cognoistre les secrets;" -- "to know the secrets."
 "La parole de Dieu de sa nature est tousiours pleine de lumiere et clairte;" -- "the word of God in its own nature is always full of light and brightness."
 "Cependant neantmoins il ne laisse point d'estre vray, que le Seigneur tient ses secrets cachez, a fin que le goust et la fruition d'iceux ne parviene aux reprouvez;" -- "yet, nevertheless, it does not cease to be true, that the Lord keeps its secrets hidden, in order that the relish and enjoyment of them may not reach the reprobate."
 "Si on demande d'ou venoit un tel privilege et honneur aux Apostres plustost aux autres;" -- "if it is asked, whence came such a privilege and honor to the Apostles rather than to the others."
 "Exclud toute merite de sa part;" -- "excludes all merit on their part."
 "Car la le propos sera touchant le droict et legitime usage des dons de Dieu;" -- "for there the discourse will relate to the right and lawful use of the gifts of God."
 "Et comme ses richesses sont infinies, et ne se peuvent espuiser;"-- "and as his riches are infinite, and cannot be exhausted."
 Harmony, volume 1[p. 345.
 "En sorte que c'estoit tousiours pour esblouir de plus en plus les yeux de l entendement du peuple;" -- "so that it was always to dazzle more and more the eyes of the understanding of the people."
 "Il leur advient ce que le Prophete Isaie a experimente;" -- "it happens to them what the Prophet Isaiah experienced."
 "Ils disent qu'il guarit, et remet en sante;" -- "they say that he heals, and restores to health."
 "Il ne faut pas conclurre par cela que la repentance, ou conversion, soit cause de nous faire avoir remission et pardon de nos pechez; comme si Dieu prenoit a merci ceux qui se convertissent, pource qu'ils en sont dignes, et le meritent;" -- "we must not therefore conclude, that repentance, or conversion, is the cause of making us have forgiveness and pardon of our sins; as if God exercised mercy towards those who are converted, because they are worthy of it, and deserve it."
 "Selon son apprehension carnale et grossiere;" -- "according to his carnal and gross apprehension."
 "Simeon disoit selon l'affection de tours les Peres;" -- "Simeon spoke according to the feeling of all the Fathers."
 "Et de faict, il ne se pouvoit faire que ces bons personnages ne fussent tous ravis, et comme enflambez d'un grand desir de la delivrance promise." -- "And indeed it was impossible that those good men should not be altogether transported, and as it were inflamed with a great desire of the promised deliverance."
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
18. Hear therefore the parable of the sower. 19. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth not, that wicked one cometh, and taketh away what was sown in the heart. This is he who received seed near the road. 20. But he that received the seed thrown into stony places, is he that heareth the word, and immediately receiveth it with joy: 21. But hath not root in himself, but is of short duration: when affliction or persecution ariseth on account of the word, immediately he is offended. 22. And he that received the seed among thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 23. But he who receiveth seed into a good soil is he that heareth the word and understandeth it, and who afterwards yieldeth and produceth fruit,  some a hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold.
13. And he said to them, Know you not this parable? and how shall you know all parables? 14. The sower is he that soweth the word. 15. And there are some that (receive the seed) near the road, in whom the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan cometh, and taketh away the word which was sown in their hearts. 16. And in like manner there are others who receive the seed into stony places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17. And have not root in themselves, but are of short duration: afterwards, when affliction or persecution ariseth on account of the words, immediately they are offended. 18. And there are others who receive the seed among thorns: these are they that hear the word, 19. And the anxieties of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires of other things, entering in, choke the word, and it is rendered unfruitful. 20. There are others who have received the seed into a good soil, who hear the word, and receive it, and bear fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred.
11. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12. And they that (received the seed) near the road are those who hear: afterwards cometh the devil, and taketh the word out of their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. 13. For they that are on the rock are those who, when they have heard, receive the word with joy: but these have not roots, who for a time believe, and in the time of temptation fall away. 14. And what fell among thorns are those who have heard, and, going away, are choked by the anxieties, and riches, and pleasures of life, and do not yield fruit. 15. And what fell into a good soil are those who, with a good and upright heart, keep it, and yield fruit with patience.
According to Matthew and Luke, Christ explains the parable to his disciples simply, and unaccompanied by a reproof; but according to Mark, he indirectly blames them for being slow of apprehension, because those who were to be the teachers of all did not run before others.  The general truth conveyed is, that the doctrine of the Gospel, when it is scattered like seed,  is not everywhere fruitful; because it does not always meet with a fertile and well cultivated soil. He enumerates four kinds of hearers: the first of which do not receive the seed;  the second appear, indeed, to receive it,  but in such a manner that it does not take deep root; in the third, the corn is choked;  and so there remains a fourth part, which produces fruit. Not that one hearer only out of four, or ten out of forty, embrace the doctrine, and yield fruit; for Christ did not intend here to fix down an exact number, or to arrange the persons, of whom he speaks, in equal divisions; and, indeed, where the word is sown, the produce of faith is not always alike, but is sometimes more abundant, and at other times more scanty. He only intended to warn us, that, in many persons, the seed of life is lost on account of various defects, in consequence of which it is either destroyed immediately, or it withers, or it gradually degenerates. That we may derive the greater advantage from this warning, we ought to bear in mind, that he makes no mention of despisers who openly reject the word of God, but describes those only in whom there is some appearance of docility. But if the greater part of such men perish, what shall become of the rest of the world, by whom the doctrine of salvation is openly rejected? I now come down to each class.
Matthew 13:19. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not. He mentions, in the first place, the barren and uncultivated, who do not receive the seed within, because there is no preparation in their hearts. Such persons he compares to a stiff and dry soil, like what we find on a public road, which is trodden down, and becomes hard, like a pavement. I wish that we had not occasion to see so many of this class at the present day, who come forward to hear, but remain in a state of amazement, and acquire no relish for the word, and in the end differ little from blocks or stones. Need we wonder that they utterly vanish away?
That which was sown in their heart. This expression, which Christ employs, is not strictly accurate, and yet it is not without meaning; for the wickedness and depravity of men do not make the word to lose its own nature, or to cease to have the character of seed. This must be carefully observed, that we may not suppose the favors of God to cease to be what they are, though the good effect of them does not reach us. With respect to God, the word is sown in the hearts, but it is far from being true, that the hearts of all receive with meekness what is planted in them, as James (1:21) exhorts us to receive the word. So then the Gospel is always a fruitful seed as to its power, but not as to its produce. 
Luke adds, that the devil  taketh away the seed out of their heart, that they may not believe and be saved Hence we infer that, as hungry birds are wont to do at the time of sowing, this enemy of our salvation, as soon as the doctrine is delivered, watches and rushes forth to seize it, before it acquires moisture and springs up. It is no ordinary praise of the word, when it is pronounced to be the cause of our salvation.
20. But he that received the seed thrown into stony places. This class differs from the former; for temporary faith, being a sort of vegetation of the seed,  promises at first some fruit; but their hearts are not so properly and thoroughly subdued, as to have the softness necessary for their continued nourishment.  We see too many of this class in our own day, who eagerly embrace the Gospel, and shortly afterwards fall off; for they have not the lively affection that is necessary to give them firmness and perseverance. Let every one then examine himself thoroughly, that the alacrity which gives out a bright flame may not quickly go out, as the saying is, like a fire of tow;  for if the word does not fully penetrate the whole heart, and strike its roots deep, faith will want the supply of moisture that is necessary for perseverance. Great commendation is due, no doubt, to that promptitude, which receives the word of God with joy, and without delay, as soon as it is published; but let us learn, that nothing has been done, till faith acquires true firmness, that it may not wither in the first blade.
21. When affliction or persecution ariseth on account of the word. By way of example, Christ says that such persons are made uneasy by the offense of the cross. And certainly, as the heat of the sun discovers the barrenness of the soil, so persecution and the cross lay open the vanity of those, who are slightly influenced by I know not what desire, but are not actually moved by earnest feelings of piety. Such persons, according to Matthew and Mark, are temporary,  not only because, having professed, for a time, that they are the disciples of Christ, they afterwards fall away through temptation, but because they imagine that they have true faith. According to Luke, Christ says that they believe for a time; because that honor which they render to the Gospel resembles faith.  At the same time we ought to learn, that they are not truly regenerated by the incorruptible seed, which never fadeth, as Peter tells us, (1 Peter 1:4;) for he says that these words of Isaiah, The word of God endureth for ever, (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25,) are fulfilled in the hearts of believers, in whom the truth of God, once fixed, never passes away, but retains its vigor to the end. Still, those persons who take delight in the word of God, and cherish some reverence for it, do in some manner believe; for they are widely different from unbelievers, who give no credit to God when he speaks, or who reject his word. In a word, let us learn that none are partakers of true faith, except those who are scaled with the Spirit of adoption, and who sincerely call on God as their Father; and as that Spirit is never extinguished, so it is impossible that the faith, which he has once engraven on the hearts of the godly, shall pass away or be destroyed.
22. And he who received the seed among thorns. He places in the third class, those who would have been disposed to receive the seed within, if they had not permitted other things to corrupt and render it degenerate. Christ compares to thorns the pleasures of this life, or wicked desires, and covetousness, and the other anxieties of the flesh. Matthew mentions only the care of this life, along with covetousness, but the meaning is the same; for under that term he includes the allurements of pleasures, which Luke mentions, and every kind of desire. As corn, which otherwise might have been productive, no sooner rises into the stalk than it is choked by thorns and other matters injurious to its growth; so the sinful affections of the flesh prevail over the hearts of men, and overcome faith, and thus destroy the force of the heavenly doctrine, before it has reached maturity.
Now though sinful desires exert their power on the hearts of men, before the word of the Lord springs up into the blade, yet, at first, their influence is not perceived, and it is only when the corn has grown up, and given promise of fruit, that they gradually make their appearance. Each of us ought to endeavor to tear the thorns out of his heart, if we do not choose that the word of God should be choked; for there is not one of us whose heart is not filled with a vast quantity, and, as I may say, a thick forest, of thorns. And, indeed, we perceive how few there are that reach maturity; for there is scarcely one individual out of ten that labors, I do not say to root out, but even to cut down the thorns. Nay more, the very number of the thorns, which is so prodigious that it ought to shake off our sloth, is the reason why most people give themselves no trouble about them.
The deceitfulness of riches. Christ employs this phrase to denote covetousness He expressly says, that riches are imposing or deceitful, in order that men may be more desirous to guard against falling into their snares. Let us remember that the affections of our flesh, the number and variety of which are incalculable, are so many injurious influences to corrupt the seed of life.
23. But he that received the seed into a good soil. None are compared by Christ to a good and fertile soil, but those in whom the word of God not only strikes its roots deep and solid, but overcomes every obstacle that would prevent it from yielding fruit. Is it objected that it is impossible to find any one who is pure and free from thorns? It is easy to reply, that Christ does not now speak of the perfection of faith, but only points out those in whom the word of God yields fruit. Though the produce may not be great, yet every one who does not fall off from the sincere worship of God is reckoned a good and fertile soil We ought to labor, no doubt, to pull out the thorns; but as our utmost exertion will never succeed so well, but that there will always be some remaining behind, let each of us endeavor, at least, to deaden them, that they may not hinder the fruit of the word. This statement is confirmed by what immediately follows, when Christ informs us that all do not yield fruit in an equal degree.
Some a hundred-fold, and some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold. Though the fertility of that soil, which yields a thirty-fold produce, is small, compared with that which yields a hundred-fold, yet we perceive that our Lord classes together all kinds of soil which do not entirely disappoint the labors and expectation of the husbandman.  Hence too we learn, that we have no right to despise those who occupy a lower degree of excellence; for the master of the house himself, though he gives to one the preference above another on account of more abundant produce, yet bestows the general designation, good, even on inferior soils. Those three gradations are absurdly tortured by Jerome, to denote virgins, widows, and married persons; as if that produce which the Lord demands from us belonged to celibacy alone, and as if the piety of married persons did not, in many cases, yield more abundantly every fruit of virtue. It must also be observed, in passing, that what Christ says about a hundred-fold produce is not hyperbolical; for such was at that time the fertility of some countries, as we learn from many historians, who give their report as eye-witnesses.
 "Celuy qui oit la Parole, et l'entend, a scavoir celuy qui porte et produit fruict;" -- "he who heareth the word, and understandeth it, that is he who beareth and produceth fruit."
 "Ne passent autrement les autres pour leur monstrer le chemin;"-- "did not go beyond others to show them the road."
 "Estant espandue ca et la comme le b1e qu'on iette en terre;"-- "being scattered here and there, like the corn which is thrown into the earth."
 "Desquels les premiers ne retienent pas la semence en leurs coeurs pour germer;" -- "the first of which do not retain the seed in their hearts so as to spring up."
 "Les seconds semblent bien l'avoir gardee iusques a venir a germer;" -- "the second appear to have kept it till it came to spring up."
 "Aux troisiemes, le ble estant en herbe est estouffe;" -- "in the third, the corn, while yet in the blade, is choked."
 "Mais non pas a ce qui s'accomplit es hommes;" -- "but not as to what is accomplished in men."
 "Le mauvais;" -- "the wicked one."
 "La foy temporelle, qui est comme le germe de la semence;"-- "temporary faith, which is as it were the germ of the seed."
 "Mais les coeurs ne sont point tellement cultivez et preparez, qu'ils ayant une douceur pour nourrir et entretenir ce qui est commence;" -- "but the hearts are not so cultivated and prepared, as to have a softness for nourishing and supporting what is begun."
 "De peur que ceste ardeur et alaigrete qui est de grand monstre pour le commencement, ne s'en aille bien tost en fumee comme un feu d'estouppes, ainsi que porte le proverbe commun;" -- "lest that ardor and alacrity, which makes a great show at the beginning, may soon vanish into smoke, like a fire of tow, as the common proverb goes."
 "Temporels, c'est a dire, de petite duree;" -- "temporary, that is to say, of short duration."
 "Ressemble aucunement a la foy;" -- "somewhat resembles faith."
 "Esquelles le laboureur ne perd pas du tout sa peine;" -- "in which the husbandman does not entirely lose his trouble."
Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
26. Fear them not therefore: for nothing is covered that shall not be revealed, and nothing is hid that shall not be known. 27. What I say to you in darkness speak you in light: and what you hear in the ear proclaim on the housetops. 28. And fear not those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul: but rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in gehenna. 29. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father? 30. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.
22. For nothing is hid which shall not be revealed; and nothing is secret that shall not come to light. 23. If any man have ears to hears, let him hear.
17. For there is nothing hid that shall not be revealed, and nothing concealed that shall not be known and come to light.
2. For nothing is covered which shall not be laid open, and nothing is hid wich shall not be known. 3. Therefore, those things which you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in light: and what you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops. 4. And I say to you my friends, Be not afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5. And I will show you whom you should fear: fear him who, after that he hath killed, hath power to throw into gehenna: yea, I say to you, Fear him. 6. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7. But even the hairs on your head are all numbered: fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:26. Fear them not therefore When the apostles saw the gospel so greatly despised, and recollected the small number of believers, they might be apt to throw away hope even for the future. Christ now meets this doubt, by declaring that the gospel would be widely spread, would at length rise superior to all the hindrances which might arise from men, and would become generally known. The saying, nothing is covered that shall not be revealed, has some appearance of being a proverb: but we restrict it in a special manner to the doctrine of salvation, which Christ promises will be victorious, whatsoever may be the contrivances of men to oppose it. Though he sometimes preached openly in the temple, yet, as his doctrine was rejected, it was still concealed in dark comers: but he declares that the time for proclaiming it will come; which, we know, happened shortly afterwards. In no part of the earth was there ever such thunder heard as the voice of the gospel, which resounded through the whole world. As this promise ought to fill them with courage, Christ exhorts them to devote themselves to it with boldness and perseverance, and not to be alarmed, though they see the gospel hitherto despised, but, on the contrary, to become its zealous preachers.
The passage which I have taken from Mark was, perhaps, spoken at a different time, and in a different sense: but as the sentences in that place are concise, I have followed the meaning which appeared to me the most probable. After having commanded the apostles to assemble burning lamps by sending out a bright light to a great distance, he immediately afterwards adds, nothing is hidden which shall not be revealed. Now the lamp of the gospel was kindled by the apostles, as it were in the midst of darkness, that by their agency it might be raised on high, and shine throughout the whole world. The passage in the eighth chapter of Luke's Gospel is precisely alike. As to the passage in the twelfth chapter, there is no room to doubt that it has the same meaning, though there is a difference in the words: for Christ there commands the apostles to bring to light what they had spoken in darkness. This means, that hitherto they had only spoken in whispers about the gospel, but that their future preaching would be so public, that it would spread to the most distant parts of the world.
28. And fear not those who kill the body To excite his disciples to despise death, Christ employs the very powerful argument, that this frail and perishing lift ought to be little regarded by men who have been created for a heavenly immortality. The statement amounts to this, that if believers will consider for what purpose they were born, and what is their condition, they will have no reason to be so earnest in desiring an earthly life. But the words have still a richer and fuller meaning: for we are here taught by Christ that the fear of God is dead in those men who, through dread of tyrants, fall from a confession of their faith, and that a brutish stupidity reigns in the hearts of those who, through dread of death, do not hesitate to abandon that confession.
We must attend to the distinction between the two opposite kinds of fear. If the fear of God is extinguished by the dread of men, is it not evident that we pay greater deference to them than to God himself? Hence it follows, that when we have abandoned the heavenly and eternal life, we reserve nothing more for ourselves than to be like the beasts that perish, (Psalm 49:12.) God alone has the power of bestowing eternal life, or of inflicting eternal death. We forget God, because we are hurried away by the dread of men. Is it not very evident that we set a higher value on the shadowy life of the body  than on the eternal condition of the soul; or rather, that the heavenly kingdom of God is of no estimation with us, in comparison of the fleeting and vanishing shadow of the present life?
These words of Christ ought therefore to be explained in this manner: "Acknowledge that you have received immortal souls, which are subject to the disposal of God alone, and do not come into the power of men. The consequence will be, that no terrors or alarms which men may employ will shake your faith. "For how comes it that the dread of men prevails in the struggle, but because the body is preferred to the soul, and immortality is less valued than a perishing life?"
Luke 12:5. Yea, I say to you, Fear Him This is an emphatic,  repetition of the statement. Christ must be viewed as saying, that when we give way to the dread of men, we pay no respect to God; and that if on the contrary we fear God, we have an easy victory in our hands, so that no efforts of men will draw us aside from our duty. The experience of every age shows the great necessity of this exhortation to the ministers of Christ, and likewise to all believers in general: for there never was a period when men did not rise furiously against God, and endeavor to overwhelm the Gospel.  All are not armed indeed with equal power to hold out to believers the dread of death, but the greater number are animated by that savage ferocity, which discovers itself as soon as an opportunity occurs. Frequently, too, Satan brings forward giants, in whose presence the servants of Christ would fall down lifeless, were it not that this doctrine fortifies them to maintain unshaken perseverance.
The two clauses being very closely related to each other, it is an incorrect view which some unskilful persons take, by reading separately this clause, Fear them not For Christ, (as we have already said,) in order to cure that wicked fear of men, which draws us aside from the right path contrasts with it a devout and holy fear of God: otherwise the consequence would not follow that, if we fear God, who is the Lord of body and soul, we have no reason to fear men, whose power goes no farther than the body. With regard to the statement that men have power to kill the body, Christ made it by way of concession. God allows wicked men to enjoy such a degree of liberty, that they are swelled with confidence in their own power, imagine that they may attempt any thing, and even succeed in terrifying weak minds, as if they could do whatever they pleased. Now the proud imaginations of wicked men, as if the life of the godly were placed at their disposal, is utterly unfounded: for God keeps them within limits, and restrains, whenever it pleases him, the cruelty and violence of their attacks. And yet they are said to have power to kill by his permission, for he often permits them to indulge their cruel rage. Besides, our Lord's discourse consists of two parts. First, in order to instruct us to bear with composure the loss of the bodily life, he bids us contemplate both eternal life and eternal death, and then arrives gradually at this point, that the protection of our life is in the hand of God.
Matthew 10:29. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? Christ proceeds farther, as I have already hinted, and declares that tyrants, whatever may be their madness, have no power whatever even over the body: and that therefore it is improper in any persons to dread the cruelty of men, as if they were not under the protection of God. In the midst of dangers, therefore, let us remember this second consolation. As God is the guardian of our life, we may safely rely on his providence; nay, we do him injustice, if we do not entrust to him our life, which he is pleased to take under his charge. Christ takes a general view of the providence of God as extending to all creatures, and thus argues from the greater to the less, that we are upheld by his special protection. There is hardly any thing of less value than sparrows, (for two were then sold for a farthing, or, as Luke states it, five for two farthings,) and yet God has his eye upon them to protect them, so that nothing happens to them by chance. Would He who is careful about the sparrows disregard the life of men?
There are here two things to be observed. First, Christ gives a very different account of the providence of God from what is given by many who talk like the philosophers, and tell us that God governs the world, but yet imagine providence to be a confused sort of arrangement, as if God did not keep his eye on each of the creatures. Now, Christ declares that each of the creatures in particular is under his hand and protection, so that nothing is left to chance. Unquestionably, the will of God is contrasted with contingence or uncertainty  , And yet we must not be understood to uphold the fate of the Stoics,  for it is one thing to imagine a necessity which is involved in a complicated chain of causes, and quite another thing to believe that the world, and every part of it, is directed by the will of God. In the nature of things, I do acknowledge there is uncertainty:  but I maintain that nothing happens through a blind revolution of chance, for all is regulated by the will of God.
The second thing to be observed is, that we ought to contemplate Providence, not as curious and fickle persons are wont to do, but as a ground of confidence and excitement to prayer. When he informs us that the hairs of our head are all numbered, it is not to encourage trivial speculations, but to instruct us to depend on the fatherly care of God which is exercised over these frail bodies.
31. You are of more value This is true in general of all men, for the sparrows were created for their advantage. But this discourse relates peculiarly to the sons of God, who possess a far higher right than what they derive from creation. Now the rank which belongs to men arises solely from the undeserved kindness of God.
 "La vie de ce corps, laquelle n'est qu'une fumee;" -- "the life of this body, which is but a vapor," (James 4:14.)
 "Emporte poids;" -- "carries weight.
 "S'esforcans d'abattre et exterminer l'Evangile;" -- "laboring to destroy and exterminate the Gospel."
 "La volonte de Dieu est mise a l'opposite de ce que tels Philosophes appellent Contingence: par lequel mot ils signifient un accident qui vient de soy ?s choses, sans qu'il y ait une certaine conduite d'enhaut." -- "The will of God is contrasted with what such Philosophers call Contingence: a term by which they denote an accident which comes of its own accord in events, without any fixed direction of it from above."
 We have formerly adverted to a leading tenet of the Stoics, that the distinction between pleasure and pain is imaginary, and that consequently the highest wisdom consists in being utterly unmoved by the events of life. The present allusion is to their notion of Fate, a mysterious and irresistible necessity, over which those beings whom they blindly worshipped were supposed to have as little control as the inhabitants of the earth. Calvin demonstrates that the serenity of a Christian differs not more widely from Stoical apathy, than the doctrine of a special Providence which is here taught by our Savior differs from Stoical Fate; that the believer in Providence adores the high and lofty One that inhabiteth, eternity, (Isaiah 57:15,) who hath, prepared His throne in the heavens, and whose kingdom ruleth over all, (Psalm 103:19;) and, far from viewing the will of God as swayed by a higher power, traces every event to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, (Ephesians 1:11.) -- Ed
 "Je confesse bien que si on regarde la nature des choses en soy, on trouvera qu'il y a quelque Contingence;" -- "I readily acknowledge that, if the nature of things in itself be considered, it will be found that there is some uncertainty."
Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.
And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23. And when he had entered into the ship,  his disciples followed him. 24. And, lo, there was a great swell in the sea, so that the ship was covered with the billows: and he was asleep. 25. And his disiples approached and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish. 26. And he saith to them, Why are you timid, O men of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. 27. But the men wondered, saying, What sort of man is this: for the winds and the sea obey him?
35. And the same day, when it was evening, he said to them, Let us cross to the opposite side. 36. And having sent away the multitude, they take him even as he was, in the ship. But there were also other ships along with him. 37. Then ariseth a great storm of wind: and the billows dashed into the ship, so that it was now filled. 38. And he was at the stern, sleeping upon a pillow: and they awake him, and say to him, Master, hast thou no care that we perish? 39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Silence, be still. And the wind was hushed, and there was a great calm. 40. And he said to them, Why are you so timid? How have you not confidence? 41. And they feared with a great fear, and said among themselves, Who is this: for even the wind and the sea obey him?
22. And it happened on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples. And he saith to them, Let us cross to the opposite side of the lake: and they set sail. 23. And while they were sailing, he fell asleep, and a tempest of wind arose in the lake, and they were filled with water, and were in danger. 24. And they approached and awoke him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. But he arose, and rebuked the wind and the tempest of the water; and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25. And he said to them, Where is your faith? And they were afraid, and wondered, saying among themselves, Who is this? for he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.
As we shall soon meet again with the mention of a lake, where it is said (Matthew 8:33) that the swine were carried into it with violence, it is not universally agreed whether one and the same lake is mentioned in both places. The waters of Gennesareth, all admit,  were pleasant and healthful to drink: but the Gadarene lake, Strabo tells us, was so unwholesome and pestilential, that the cattle which drank of it often lost their hair and their hoofs. There is therefore no doubt that there were two separate lakes, and that they were at a considerable distance from each other. There is as little doubt that the lake mentioned here was the lake of Gennesareth; and that Christ, having crossed it, came to the Gadarenes, whom Matthew calls Geresenes, (8:28.)
Those who infer, from the diversity of the names, that the narratives are different, through a desire to be thought very acute, fall under the charge of gross ignorance: for the country of the Gergesenes was also called Gadarene, from a celebrated city, Gadara. In the age of Jerome, the name was changed; and, therefore, in accordance with the prevailing custom, he calls them Geraseaes That it was the Gadarene lake into which the swine were thrown down by the devils, I have no hesitation in admitting: but when Christ says, let us cross to the other side, I cannot explain the reference as made to any other lake than that of Gennesareth.
It remains that we now inquire as to the time, which cannot be learned either from Matthew or from Luke. Mark alone mentions that it was the evening of that day on which Christ discoursed about the preaching of the gospel under the parable of the sower. Hence it is evident, that they did not attend to the order of time; and, indeed, this is expressly stated by Luke, when he says that it happened on a certain day: for these words show that he gives himself little concern as to the question which of the events was earlier or later.
Matthew 8:23. And when he had entered into a ship Mark says that other little ships crossed along with him: but that Christ entered into his own ship with his disciples Luke too quotes his words: Matthew is more concise. They agree, however, as to the leading fact, that Christ laid himself down to rest, and that, while he was asleep, a tempest suddenly arose. First, it is certain that the storm which agitated the lake was not accidental: for how would God have permitted his Son to be driven about at random by the violence of the waves? But on this occasion he intended to make known to the apostles how weak and inconsiderable their faith still was. Though Christ's sleep was natural, yet it served the additional purpose of making the disciples better acquainted with their weakness. I will not say, as many do, that Christ pretended sleep, in order to try them. On the contrary, I think that he was asleep in such a manner as the condition and necessity of human nature required.
And yet his divinity watched over him, so that the apostles had no reason to fear that consolation would not be immediately provided, or that assistance would not be obtained from heaven. Let us therefore conclude, that all this was arranged by the secret providence of God, -- that Christ was asleep, that a violent tempest arose, and that the waves covered the ship, which was in imminent danger of perishing. And let us learn hence that, whenever any adverse occurrence takes place, the Lord tries our faith. If the distresses grow to such a height as almost to overwhelm us, let us believe that God does it with the same design of exercising our patience, or of bringing to light in this way our hidden weakness; as we see that, when the apostles were covered by the billows,  their weakness, which formerly lay concealed, was discovered.
25. Lord, save us A pious prayer  , one would think: for what else had they to do when they were lost than to implore safety from Christ? But as Christ charges them with unbelief, we must inquire in what respect they sinned. Certainly, I have no doubt that they attached too much importance to the bodily presence of their Master: for, according to Mark, they do not merely pray, but expostulate with him, Master, hast thou no care that we perish? Luke describes also confusion and trembling: Master, Master, we perish They ought to have believed that the Divinity of Christ was not oppressed by carnal sleep, and to his Divinity they ought to have had recourse. But they do nothing till they are urged by extreme danger; and then they are overwhelmed with such unreasonable fear that they do not think they will be safe  till Christ is awakened. This is the reason why he accuses them of unbelief for their entreaty that he would assist them was rather a proof of their faith, if, in confident reliance on his divine power, they had calmly, and without so much alarm, expected the assistance which they asked.
And here we obtain an answer to a question which might be put, and which arises out of his reproof. Is every kind of fear sinful and contrary to faith? First, he does not blame them simply because they fear, but because they are timid Mark adds the word houto -- Why are you so timid? and by this term indicates that their alarm goes beyond proper bounds. Besides, he contrasts faith with their fear, and thus shows that he is speaking about immoderate dread, the tendency of which is not to exercise their faith, but to banish it from their minds. It is not every kind of fear that is opposed to faith. This is evident from the consideration that, if we fear nothing, an indolent and carnal security steals upon us; and thus faith languishes, the desire to pray becomes sluggish, and the remembrance of God is at length extinguished  Besides, those who are not affected by a sense of calamities, so as to fear, are rather insensible than firm.
Thus we see that fear, which awakens faith, is not in itself faulty till it go beyond bounds.  Its excess lies in disturbing or weakening the composure of faith, which ought to rest on the word of God. But as it never happens that believers exercise such restraint on themselves as to keep their faith from being injured, their fear is almost always attended by sin. Yet we ought to be aware that it is not every kind of fear which indicates a want of faith, but only that dread which disturbs the peace of the conscience in such a manner that it does not rest on the promise of God.
26. He rebuked the winds Mark relates also the words of Christ, by which, addressing the sea, he enjoins silence, (siopa,) that is, stillness not that the lake had any perception, but to show that the power of his voice reached the elements, which were devoid of feeling. And not only the sea and the winds, which are without feeling, but wicked men also, with all their obstinacy, obey the commands of God. For when God is pleased to allay the tumults of war, he does not always soften the fierce minds of men, and mould them to obedience, but even while their rage continues, makes the arms to drop from their hands: And thus is fulfilled that declaration,
He maketh wars to cease to the ends of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in pieces, and burneth the chariots in the fire, (Psalm 46:10.)
27. But the men wondered Mark and Luke appear to say this in reference to the apostles; for, after having stated that Christ reproved them, they add that they cried out with fear, Who is this? It applies, however, more properly to others, who had not yet known Christ. Whether we take the one or the other of these views, the result of the miracle appears in the display of the glory of Christ. If any one shall suppose that it is the apostles who speak, the meaning of the words will be, that his divine power was sufficiently proved by the fact that the wind and the sea obey him But as it is more probable that these words were spoken by others, the Evangelists show that the miracle made such an impression on their minds, as to produce a certain reverence for Christ which prepared them for believing on him.
 "La naselle," -- "to ploion."
 "C'est un poinct bien resolu entre tous ceux qui ont escrit;" -- "it is a point well agreed among all who have written."
 "Quand les Apostres se sont trouvez assaillis et quasi couvers des riots du lac;" -- "when the Apostles found themselves assaulted, and, as it were, covered by the waves of the lake."
 "Une priere bonne et sainte;" -- "a good and holy prayer.
 "En sorte qu'il ne leur semble oint qu'il y ait moyen de les sauver, sinon que Christ s'eveeile; -- so that they think there will be no way of saving them till Christ is awakened."
 "Et finalemeat la souvenance que chacun doit avoir de Dieu vient a s'esteindre;" -- and, finally, that remembrance of God which every one ought to have, comes to be extinguished."
 "Jusque ace qu'ellc passe mesurc, ct soit excessive;" -- "till it go beyond bounds, and become excessive."
But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
28. And when he had come to the opposite bank,  into the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs, who had come from among the tombs, met him: and they were fierce beyond measure, so that no man could pass along that road. 29. And, lo, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, Son of God? Hast thou come hither before the time to torment us? 30. And at a distance from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31. And the devils entreated him, saying, If thou cast us out, permit us to remove into the herd of swine. 32. And he said to them, Go. And when they had gone out, they went away into the heard of swine. And, lo, the whole herd was carried headlong into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33. And those who had the charge of them fled; and going away into the city, they related all things, and what had happened to the demoniacs, 34. And, lo, the whole city went out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they entreated him, that he would depart from their territories.
1. And having crossed the sea, they came into the country of Gaderanes. 2. And when he left the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man possessed by an unclean spirit, 3. Who had a dwelling among the tombs,  and no man could bind him, not even with chains: 4. Because frequently, when he had been bound with fetters and chains, the chains were torn asunder by him, and the fetters were broken in pieces, so that no man could tame him. 5. And always, day and night, he was in the mountains, and among the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6. And when he saw Jesus at a distance, he ran and worshipped him: 7. And, crying with a loud voice, he said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, that thou do not torment me. 8. For he said to him, Go out of the man, unclean spirit. 9. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying to him, My name is Legion: for there are many. 10. And he entreated him earnestly, that he would not send him out of the country. 11. And there was there, near the mountains, a great herd of swine feeding. 12. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13. And immediately Jesus permitted them. And the unclean spirit having gone out, entered into the swine, and the herd was carried headlong into the sea: and they were about two thousand, and were choked in the sea. 14. Then those who tended the swine fled, and told it in the city and in the fields. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15. And they come to Jesus, and see the demoniac who had had the Legion, sitting and clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16. And those who had seen, related how it had happened to the demoniac, and concerning the swine. 17. And they began to request him to depart from their territories. 18. And when he entered into a ship, he who had been possessed by a devil besought him that he might be with him. 19. But Jesus did not permit him: but said to him, Go to thy home, to thy friends, and relate to them how great things God hath done to thee, and hath pitied thee. 20. And he went away, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all wondered.
26. And they sailed to the country of the Gaderenes, which is opposite to Galilee. 27. And when he had gone out of the ship into the land, there met him a certain man out of the city, who had devils for along time, and wore no clothes, and did not dwell in a house, but among the tombs. 28. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him,  and said with a loud voice, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech thee, do not torment me. 29. For he was commanding the unclean spirit to go out of the man: for many times it had seized him, and he was bound by chains, and kept in fetters, and he broke the chains, and was driven by the devil into the deserts. 30. And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: for many devils had entered into him. 31. And they entreated him that he would not command them to go into the deep. 32. And there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountains, and they requested him to permit them to enter into them: and he permitted them. 33. And the devils going out of the man entered into the swine, and the herd ran violently down headlong into the lake, and were choked. 34. And when those who tended them saw what was done, they fled, and told it in the city and in the villages. 35. And they went out  to see what was done, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the devils and had gone out, clothed, and in his right mind, at the feet of Jesus; and they were afraid. 36. And those who had seen, related to them how the demoniac had been cured. 37. And the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes besought him to depart from them: for they were seized with a great fear; and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. 38. And the man out of whom the devils had departed requested to be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39. Return to thy house, and relate what things God hath done to thee.  And he went away through the whole city proclaiming what thing Jesus had done to him.
The error of those who think that Mark and Luke relate a different miracle from this, has been already refuted. It is the same country which was opposite, as Luke expressly states, to Galilee, that is described by the three Evangelists, and all the circumstances agree. Who then will believe that the same things, so fully coincident at all points, happened at different times?
Matthew 8:28 Two demoniacs met him Commentators have been led into the error of separating Matthew's narrative from that of the others by this single difference, that he mentions two, while the others mention but one. There is probability in the conjecture of Augustine, who thinks that there were two, but accounts for not more than one being mentioned here by saying, that this one was more generally known, and that the aggravation of his disease made the miracle performed on him the more remarkable. And, indeed, we see that Luke and Mark employ many words in describing the extraordinary rage of the devil, so as to make it evident that the wretched man, of whom they speak, was grievously fomented. The circumstance of their holding up to commendation one singular instance of Christ's divine power is not inconsistent with the narrative of Matthew, in which another, though less known man,  is also mentioned.
Luke 8:26. There met him a certain man out of the city It is uncertain whether Luke means that he was a citizen of Gadara, or that he came out of it to meet Christ. For, when he was ordered to go home and proclaim among his friends the grace of God, Mark says, that he did this in Decapolis, which was a neighboring country stretching towards Galilee; and hence it is conjectured that he was not a native of Gadara. Again, Matthew and Mark expressly state that he did not go out of the city, but from the tombs, and Luke himself, throughout the whole passage, gives us to understand that the man lived in solitary places. These words, therefore, there met him a certain man out of the city, I understand to mean, that, before Christ came near the city, the demoniac met him in that direction.
As to the opinion that the man dwelt among the graves, either because devils are delighted with the stench of dead bodies, or gratified by the smell of oblations, or because they watch over souls which are desirous to approach their bodies; it is an idle, and, indeed, a foolish conjecture. On the contrary, this wretched man was kept among the graves by an unclean spirit, that he might have an opportunity of terrifying him continually with the mournful spectacle of death, as if he were cut off from the society of men, and already dwelt among the dead. We learn from this also that the devil does not only torment men in the present life, but pursues them even to death, and that in death his dominion over them is chiefly exercised.
Mark 5:3. And no man could bind him, not even with chains Naturally, he was not able to break the chains; and hence we infer that Satan is sometimes permitted to make extraordinary movements, the effect of which goes beyond our comprehension and beyond ordinary means. We often perceive in madmen much greater strength than belongs to their natural capacity; and we are not at liberty to deny that, in such cases, the devil does his part when God permits him: but the force, which is described by the Evangelists, was far greater.  It was indeed a sad and shocking exhibition, but may serve to remind us how wretched and alarming it is to be placed under the tyranny of Satan, and also that bodily agony, however violent or cruel, is not more to be dreaded than distress of mind.
Mark 5:6 Worshipped him  The arrangement of the narrative may be thus stated. When the demoniacs came to meet him, Christ ordered the unclean spirits to go out of them, and then they prayed and entreated that he would not torment them before the time The worship, therefore, did not precede Christ's words: nor did they complain that Christ gave them uneasiness,  till he urged them to go out. We ought to be aware that they did not come of their own accord into the presence of Christ, but were drawn by a secret exercise of his authority. As they had formerly been accustomed to carry men off, in furious violence, to the tombs, so now a superior power compels them to appear reluctantly at the tribunal of their judge.
Hence we infer, that the whole of Satan's kingdom is subject to the authority of Christ.  For the devils, when Christ summons them to appear before him, are not more at their own disposal than were the wretched men whom their tyranny was wont to drive about in every direction. At length, by the secret power of Christ, they are dragged before him, that, by casting them out, he may prove himself to be the deliverer of men. Reluctantly too they worship him, and their rebellious complaints testify that their confession was not made from choice, but was drawn from them by force.
Matthew 8:29. What have we to do with thee? Willingly would they, by this word, drive him far from them. But when they see that they are held under restraint, and that it is in vain for them to decline his authority, they complain that they are tormented before the time, and likewise mingle entreaty. Thus we see that the devils breathe nothing but rebellion against God; and yet, with all their swelling pride, they are crushed and fall in a moment: for their malice and obstinacy, which is never subdued, ceases not to struggle against the government of God, and yet it is compelled to yield.
Christ does not openly reject, as he did on other occasions, the confession of the devil; and the reason appears to be, that their enmity towards him was so manifest, as to remove every opportunity of unfavorable or calumnious imputation. Besides, Christ paid regard to the spectators. Accordingly, when malicious and wicked men were present, he was more eager to repress calumnies, and more inclined to put a severe restraint on devils. On the present occasion, it was quite enough that the devils, while they were offering a prayer and entreaty, raged and stormed against him.
Hast thou come hither before the time to torment us? Some explain this kind of torment as consisting in their being compelled to set at absolute liberty the man whom they possessed. Others understand it as referring to the last day of judgment. My view of it is, that they trembled in the presence of their Judge, while they thought of their punishment: for, though Christ said nothing,  a bad conscience told them what they deserved. As criminals, when they come to the judgment-seat, expect their punishment, so devils and all wicked men must tremble at the sight of God, as truly as if they already experienced hell, the unquenchable fire, and the torments that await them. Now, the devils knew that Christ was the Judge of the world; and therefore we need not wonder that the sight of him impressed them with dread of immediate torment.
Were they acquainted with the day of the last judgment? This question, which some have proposed, is uncalled for. What, then, is the meaning of the phrase, before the time? It means that the reprobate never reckon that the time for punishing them is fully come: for they would willingly delay it from day to day.  Any measure of delay, which the Lord is pleased to allow them, is counted gain; and thus by subterfuges they endeavor to avoid his sentence, though the attempt is to no purpose.
Mark 5:9 My name is Legion. The devil was compelled by Christ to pronounce this word, that he might more fully display the greatness and excellence of his grace. There must have been good reasons why this man should have endured so severe a punishment as to have an army of devils, so to speak, dwelling within him. What compassion then was it, to rescue from so many deaths a man who was more than a thousand times ruined! It was a magnificent display of the power of Christ., that by his voice not one devil, but a great multitude of devils, were suddenly driven out. Legion denotes here not a definite number of men, but merely a great multitude.
Hence it is evident what a wretched creature man is, when he is deprived of the divine protection. Every man is not only exposed to a single devil, but becomes the retreat of vast numbers. This passage refutes also the common error, which has been borrowed by Jews and Christians from the heathens, that every man is attacked by his own particular devil? On the contrary, Scripture plainly declares, that, just as it pleases God, one devil  is sometimes sent to punish a whole nation, and at other times many devils are permitted to punish one man: as, on the other hand, one angel sometimes protects a whole nation, and every man has many angels to act as his guardians. There is the greater necessity for keeping diligent watch, lest so great a multitude of enemies should take us by surprise.
Mark 5:10. And entreated him earnestly Luke says, they requested that they might not be sent into the deep Some explain these words to mean that they wished to avoid uninhabited places.  I rather view it as referring to their rage for doing mischief. As the devils have no other object than to prowl among men, like lions in search of prey, they are grieved at being plunged into the deep, where they will have no opportunity of injuring and ruining men. That this is the true meaning may be inferred from the words of Mark, who says that they requested that they might not be compelled to go out of the country In a word, they manifest their disposition to be such, that there is nothing which they more eagerly desire than the destruction of mankind.
Matthew 8:31. Permit us to depart into the herd of swine Some conjecture that they wished to attack the swine, because they are filled with enmity to all God's creatures. I do admit it to be true, that they are entirely bent on confounding and overthrowing the whole order of nature which God has appointed. But it is certain that they had a more remote object in view, to excite the inhabitants of that country to curse God on account of the loss of the swine. When the devil thunders against Job's house, he does so not from any hatred he bears to timber or stones, but in order that the good man, through impatience at suffering loss, may break out against God. Again, when Christ consents, he does not listen to their prayers, but chooses to try in this manner what sort of people the Gadarenes are. Perhaps, too, it is to punish their crimes that he grants to the devils so much power over their swine. While the reason of it is not known by us with certainty, it is proper for us to behold with reverence and to adore with devout humility, the hidden judgment of God. This passage shows also the foolish trifling of some irreligious men, who imagine that the devils are not actually existing spirits, but merely the depraved affections of men: for how could covetousness, ambition, cruelty, and deceit, enter into the swine? Let us learn also, that unclean spirits (as they are devoted to destruction) are the enemies of mankind; so that they plunge all whom they can into the same destruction with themselves.
Mark 5:15. And they come to Jesus We have here a striking proof that not all who perceive the hand of God profit as they ought to do by yielding themselves to him in sincere godliness. Having seen the miracle, the Gadarenes were afraid, because the majesty of God shone brightly in Christ. So far they did right but now that they send him out of their territories, what could have been done worse than this? They too were scattered, and here is a shepherd to collect them or rather, it is God who stretches out his arms, through his Son, to embrace and carry to heaven those who were overwhelmed by the darkness of death. They choose rather to be deprived of the salvation which is offered to them, than to endure any longer the presence of Christ.
The apparent ground of their offense is the loss of the swine, but Luke assigns a loftier cause, that they were seized with a great fear;  and certainly, if they had been exasperated by the loss which they sustained, they would not have requested him, but would rudely have driven him out. They honor him as God's minister, and yet are so struck with dread as to desire that he will go to a distance from them. Thus we see that they were not at all moved by a sense of the divine grace. And indeed, though all wicked men adore God, and bestow great pains on appeasing him, yet if they had their choice, they would withdraw to the greatest possible distance from him: for his face is terrible, so long as they contemplate him as a Judge, and not as a Father. The consequence is, that the gospel, which is more delightful than any thing that can be conceived, is everywhere considered to be so dismal and severe, that a good part of the world would wish that it were buried.
And yet it is true that their fear was partly occasioned by their loss. Thus at the present day, so long as men believe that the kingdom of God is opposed to their interest, either of a public or private nature, they are prepossessed by a depraved and carnal fear, and have no relish for his grace. Accordingly, when he comes, they think that God does not regard them with favor, but rather with anger, and, so far as lies in their power, they send him to another place. It is a mark of shameful insensibility in those men, that the loss of their swine gives them more alarm than the salvation of their soul would give them joy.
Luke 8:38. And the men requested The Gadarenes cannot endure to have Christ among them but he who has been delivered from the devil is desirous to leave his own country and follow him. Hence we learn how wide is the difference between the knowledge of the goodness, and the knowledge of the power, of God. Power strikes men with terror, makes them fly from the presence of God, and drives them to a distance from him: but goodness draws them gently, and makes them feel that nothing is more desirable than to be united to God. Why Christ refuses to have this man as one of his followers we cannot determine with certainty, if it was not that he expected the man to make himself more extensively useful by communicating to his Gentile countrymen the remarkable and extraordinary act of kindness which he had received; and this he actually did, as we are assured by Mark and Luke.
39. Relate those things which God hath done for thee. He bids him relate not his own work, but the work of God His design in doing so is, that he may be acknowledged to be the true minister and prophet of God, and may thus acquire authority in teaching. In this gradual manner it was proper to instruct an ignorant people who were not yet acquainted with his divinity. Though Christ is the ladder by which we ascend to God the Father, yet, as he was not yet fully manifested, he begins with the Father, till a fitter opportunity occurred.
We must now add the symbolical meaning.  In the person of one man Christ has exhibited to us "proof of his grace" which is extended to all mankind. Though we are not tortured by the devil, yet he holds us as his slaves,  till the Son of God delivers us from his tyranny.  Naked, torn, and disfigured, we wander about,  till he restores us to soundness of mind. It remains that, in magnifying his grace, we testify our gratitude.
 "Et quarid il fur passd outre, ou a l'autre rive, cornme au verset 18;" -- "and when he had passed beyond, or to the other bank, as at v.18."
 "Lequel faisoit sa demeurance;" -- "who made his dwelling."
 "Il se jetta devant luy;" -- "he threw himself down before him."
 "Ainsi les gens sortirent pour voir;" -- "so the peoplo went out to see."
 "Raconte combien grandes choses Dieu t'a faitcs;" -- "relate how great things God hath done to thee."
 "Combien qu'il ne lust pas rant eognu que le premier;" -- "though he was not so well known as the former."
 "Mais l'effort et la violence que les Evangelistes deserlvent estoit bien autre et plus grande;" -- "but the effort and the violence, which the Evangelists describe, was quite different and much greater."
 "S'enclina devant luy;" -- "kneeled down before him."
 "Et ils ne se sont point plainds que Christ les tormentast, sinon quand il les pressoit de sortir;" -- "and they did not complain that Christ tormented them, till he urged them to go out."
 "Que tout le regne de Satan est tenu en bride sous la domination de Christ;" -- "that all the kingdom of Satan is kept in check under the government of Christ."
 "Sans que Christ ouvrist sa bouche;" -- "without Christ opening his mouth."
 "Ils voudroyent bien tousjours prolonger leur terme;" -- "they would always choose to prolong their time.
 "A scavoir que chacun hornroe ha son diable et son mauvals ange qui lui fait la guerre;" -- "namely, that each man has his devil and his evil angel who makes war with him."
 "Ce qu'aucuns exposent comme si les diables n'eussent point voulu aller en lieu desert;" -- "which some explain as if the devils did not wish to go into a desert place."
 " 'Ephobethesan, they were afraid, (Mark 5:15,) is by most Commentators understood of fear lest they might suffer a yet greater calamity; but it rather denotes awe at the stupendous miracle." -- Bloomfield
 Nunc addenda est anagoge. -- "Maintenant il rested adjouster la deduction ou derivation;" -- "it now remains to add the inference or remoter instruction." -- The word anagoge, or rather anagoge was technically employed by divines of the allegorizing school to denote the mystical meaning, which was the last and most recondite, as the literal was the first and most obvious, of the various meanings which they supposed to be contained in every verse of the Bible. Never did those men encounter a more zealous or more formidable opponent than Calvin. But, while he manfully sets his face against all that is mystical, when it can plead no higher authority than the ravings of a wild imagination, he is equally careful that those instructions which are indicated, though not directly conveyed, by the sacred writers, shall receive due consideration. He lays down as a general principle, which he endeavors to support by the word of God, that the cures of bodily diseases, performed by our Lord and his apostles, were intended to be symbolical of the removal of spiritual diseases by the power and grace of the Great Physician. Seldom does he close his illustration of one of those miracles without adverting to the loftier and more important occasions on which the arm of the Deliverer will put forth its strength. It is to this symbolical meaning that Calvin, under the word anagoge, borrowing the language, but disavowing the principles, of an ancient school, now proceeds to draw the attention of his reader. The grounds of his opinion it were foreign to our purpose to examine, but we have judged it necessary to append this note, in order to bring out clearly what the Author means. -- Ed.
 "Toutesfois nous luy sommes serfs et esclaves;" -- "yet we are his serfs and slaves."
 "De la tyrannic malheureuse d'iceluy;" -- "from his unhappy tyranny."
 "Nous ne raisons que trainer ca et la estans nuds, deschirez, et dis- figurez;" -- "we do but drag along here and there, being naked, torn, and disfigured."
And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
18. While he was speaking these things to them, a certain ruler came, and worshipped him,  saying, My daughter is now dead; but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she will live. 19. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and likewise his disciples, 20. And, lo, a woman, who had been afflicted with a bloody flux for twelve years came behind him, and touched the tuft of his cloak: 21. For she said within herself, If I shall only touch his cloak, I shall be cured. 22. But Jesus turned round, and, when he saw her, he said, Take courage, my daughter; thy faith hath cured thee. And the woman was cured from that time.
22. And, lo, one of the rulers of the synagogue, by name Jarius, came: and when he had seen him, he fell at his feet. 23. And he besought him earnestly, saying, My daughter is at the point of death: I entreat that thou wilt come, and lay thy hands upon her, that she may be cured, and she shall live. 24. And Jesus went away with him: and a great multitude followed him, and they pressed upon him. 25. And a certain woman, who had been subject to a bloody flux for twelve years, 26. And had suffered much from many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and had not at all recovered, but had rather grown worse, 27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the crowd behind him, and touched his cloak. 28. For she said, If I shall touch but his cloak, I shall be cured. 29. And immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she had been delivered from the scourge. 30. And Jesus suddenly knowing in himself that power had gone out from him, turned round in the crowd, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31. And his disciples said to him, Thou seest the crowd on all sides pressing upon thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32. And he looked around to see her who who had done this. 33. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34. And he said to her, Daughter, thy faith hath cured thee: go in peace, and be delivered from thy scourge.
40. And it happened, while Jesus was returning, the multitude received him: for they were all waiting for him. 41. And, lo, a man came, whose name was Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue, and fell at the feet of Jesus, beseeching him to enter into his house. 42. For he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But while he was going, the multitudes pressed upon him. 43 And a woman, who had been subject to a bloody flux for twelve years, who had spent all her substance on physicians, and could not be cured by an one, 44. Approached behind, and touched the tuft of his cloak, and immediately her issue of blood was stopped. 45. And Jesus said, Who is it that touched me? And while all were denying, Peter, and those who were with him, said, Master, the multitudes press upon and distress thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46. And Jesus said, Some person hath touched me: for I know that power hath gone out form me. 47. And the woman seeing that she was not concealed, came trembling, and fell down before his feet, and told him before all the people for what reason she had touched him, and in what manner she had been immediately cured. 48. And he said to her, Take courage, my daughter: thy faith hath cured; go in peace.
Matthew 9:18. While he was speaking these things to them. Those who imagine that the narrative, which is here given by Mark and Luke, is different from that of Matthew, are so clearly refuted by the passage itself, that there is no necessity for a lengthened debate. All the three agree in saying that Christ was requested by a ruler of the synagogue to enter his house for the purpose of curing his daughter The only difference is, that the name of Jairus, which is withheld by Matthew, is mentioned by Mark and Luke; and that he represents the father as saying, My daughter is dead, while the other two say that she was in her last moments, and that, while he was bringing Christ, her death was announced to him on the road. But there is no absurdity in saying that Matthew, studying brevity, merely glances at those particulars which the other two give in minute detail. But since all the other points agree with such exactness, since so many circumstances conspire as to give it the appearance of three fingers stretched out at the same time to point out a single object, there is no argument that would justify us in dividing this history into various dates. The Evangelists agree in relating, that while Christ, at the request of a ruler of the synagogue, was coming to his house, a woman on the road was secretly cured of a bloody flux by touching his cloak; and that afterwards Christ came into the ruler's house, and raised a dead young woman to life. There is no necessity, I think, for circuitous language to prove that all the three relate the same event. Let us now come to details.
Lo, a certain ruler. Though it is evident from the other two, that his confidence had not advanced so far as to hope that his daughter's life could be restored, there is no room to doubt that, after having been reproved by Christ, he entertained a stronger hope than when he left his house. But Matthew, as we have said, studies brevity, and puts down at the very beginning of his narrative what took place at various times. The manner in which the history must be arranged is this: Jairus first requested that his daughter might be cured of her disease, and afterwards that she might be restored from death to life; that is, after that Christ had given him courage to do so. Worship, or adoration, is here put for kneeling, as is evident from the words of Mark and Luke: for Jairus did not render divine honor to Christ,  but treated him with respect as a prophet of God; and we all know how common a practice kneeling was among eastern nations.
Come and lay thy hand. We have here a bright mirror in which the divine condescension towards us is beheld. If you compare the ruler of the synagogue with the centurion, who was a heathen, (Matthew 8:5-10,) you will say that the full brightness of faith shone in the centurion, while scarcely the smallest portion of it was visible in the ruler He ascribes to Christ no power except through his touching the person; and, when he has received information of her death, he trembles as if there were no farther remedy. We see, then, that his faith was feeble and nearly exhausted. Yet Christ yields to his prayers, and encourages him to expect a favorable result, and thus proves to us that his faith, however small it might be, was not wholly rejected. Though we have not such abundance of faith as might be desired, there is no reason why our weakness should drive away or discourage us from prayer.
20. And, lo, a woman who had been afflicted with a bloody flux. For twelve successive years the bloody flux had lasted, and the woman was so far from being negligent in seeking remedies, that she had spent all her substance on physicians All this is expressly stated by the Evangelists, that the miracle may shine with brighter glory. When an incurable disease was removed so suddenly, and by the mere touch of a garment, it is perfectly obvious that it was not accomplished by human power. The thought of the woman that, if she only touched Christ's garment, she would immediately be cured, arose from an extraordinary impulse of the Holy Spirit, and ought not to be regarded as a general rule. We know how eagerly superstition is wont to sport in foolish and thoughtless attempts to copy the saints; but they are apes, and not imitators, who take up some remarkable example without the command of God, and are led rather by their own senses than by the direction of the Spirit.
It is even possible that there was a mixture of sin and error in the woman's faith, which Christ graciously bears and forgives. Certainly, when she afterwards thinks that she has done wrong, and fears and trembles, there is no apology for that kind of doubt: for it is opposed to faith. Why did she not rather go straight to Christ? If her reverence for him prevented, from what other source than from his mercy did she expect aid? How comes it, then, that she is afraid of offending him, if she was convinced of his favorable regard?
Yet Christ bestows high commendation on her faith. This agrees with what I have lately noticed, that God deals kindly and gently with his people, -- accepts their faith, though imperfect and weak, -- and does not lay to their charge the faults and imperfections with which it is connected. It was by the guidance of faith, therefore, that the woman approached to Christ. When she stopped at the garment, instead of presenting herself in prayers that she might be cured, inconsiderate zeal may have drawn her a little aside from the right path; particularly as she soon afterwards shows that she had made the attempt with some degree of doubt and uncertainty. Were we even to grant that this was suggested to her by the Spirit, it still remains a fixed rule, that our faith must not be driven hither and thither by particular examples, but ought to rest wholly on the word of God, according to the saying of Paul, Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, (Romans 10:17.) This is a highly necessary warning, that we may not dignify with the name of faith any opinion which has been rashly embraced.
Luke 8:45. Who is it that touched me, Mark expresses it still more clearly, when he says that Christ looked around to see who she was. It does appear to be absurd that Christ should pour out his grace without knowing on whom he was bestowing a favor. There is not less difficulty in what he shortly afterwards says, that he perceived that power had gone out from him: as if, while it flowed from him, it was not a free gift bestowed at those times, and on those persons, whom he was pleased to select. Beyond all question, he knowingly and willingly cured the woman; and there is as little doubt that he drew her to himself by his Spirit, that she might obtain a cure: but he puts the question to her, that she may freely and publicly make it known. If Christ had been the only witness of his miracle, his statements might not perhaps have been believed: but now, when the woman, struck with dread, relates what happened to her, greater weight is due to her confession.
Matthew 9:22. Take courage, my daughter. This expression shows the weakness of her faith for, had there been no impropriety in her trembling, Christ would not have corrected it by exhorting her to take courage Yet, at the same time, he commends her faith; and this supports the view which I have already stated, that, while she sought Christ by the guidance of the Spirit, and from a sincere and pious desire, she hesitated in such a manner as to need to be strengthened. Thus we see that faith, in order to please God, needs forgiveness, and is at the same time sustained by new aid, that it may acquire additional strength. We may here draw a comparison from the health of the body to that of the soul: for, as Christ says that the woman's deliverance from her disease was the consequence of her faith, so it is certain, that we obtain by faith the forgiveness of sins, which reconciles us to God.
Mark 5:34. Go in peace, and be delivered from thy scourge. From this exhortation we infer that the benefit which she had obtained was fully ratified, when she heard from the lips of Christ what she had already learned from experience: for we do not truly, or with a safe conscience, enjoy God's benefits in any other way than by possessing them as contained in the treasury of his promises.
 "Lequel s'enclina devant lui;" -- "who bowed down before him."
 "Car Jairus ne pretendoit pas d'attribuer a Christ un honneur appar-tenant a la majeste Divine;" -- "for Jairus did not profess to ascribe to Christ an honor belonging to the Divine majesty."
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:
For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
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?
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
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.
And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
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.
23. And when Jesus came into the house of the ruler, and saw the musicians and the multitude making a noise, 24. He saith to them, Withdraw: for the young woman is not dead, but sleepeth: and they ridiculed him. 25. And when the multitude was put out, he entered and took hold of her hand, and the girl arose. 26. And this report spread into all that country.
35. While he is still speaking, there come from the ruler of the synagogue persons who say, Thy daughter is dead: why dost thou trouble the Master any farther? 36. And immediately on hearing the word which was said, he saith to the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe. 37. And he did not permit any one to follow him, except Peter, and James, and John the brother of James 38. And he came into the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw the tumult, and persons who wept and lamented much. 39. And he entered, and said to them, Why do you vex yourselves and lament? the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. 40. And they ridiculed him. But, having put them all out, he taketh the father and mother of the girl, and those who were with him, and entereth where the girl is lying. 41. And he took hold of the hand of the girl, and said to her, Talitha-cumi: which is, if one interpret it, Girl, I say to thee, Arise. 42. And immediately the girl arose, and walked: for she was twelve years of age. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. 43. And he charged them earnestly, that no man should know it: and commanded them to give her something to eat.
49. While he was still speaking, one came from the house of the ruler of the synagogue, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead, do not trouble the Master. 50. But Jesus, having heard this, replied to the ruler, saying, Fear not, only believe, and she shall be cured. 51. And when he came into the house, he did not permit any one to enter, except Peter, and James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52. And all were weeping and bewailing her. But he said, Weep not: she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53. And they ridiculed him, knowing that she was dead. 54. And he having put them all out, took hold of her hand, and cried out, saying, Girl, arise. 55. And her spirit returned, and she immediately arose: and he commanded to give her something to eat. 56. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them to tell no man what had been done.
Mark 5:36. Fear not, only believe. The message about her death had induced despair: for he had asked nothing from Christ but relief to the diseased young woman. Christ therefore bids him take care lest, by fear or distrust, he shut out that grace, to which death will be no hindrance. By this expression, only believe, he means that he will not want power, provided Jairus will allow him; and, at the same time, exhorts him to enlarge his heart with confidence, because there is no room to fear that his faith will be more extensive than the boundless power of God. And truly this is the case with us all: for God would be much more liberal in his communications to us, if we were not so close; but our own scanty desires hinder him from pouring out his gifts upon us in greater abundance.  In general, we are taught by this passage, that we cannot go beyond bounds in believing: because our faith, however large, will never embrace the hundredth part of the divine goodness.
37. And did not permit any one to follow him. He forbade that they should be allowed to enter, either because they were unworthy to be his witnesses of the miracle, or because he did not choose that the miracle should be overpowered by a noisy crowd around him. It was better that the young woman, whose dead body they had beheld, should suddenly go out before the eyes of men, alive and full of rigor. Mark and Luke tell us that not more than three of the disciples were admitted, and both mention also the parents. Mark alone states that those who had accompanied Jairus when he came to supplicate Christ were admitted. Matthew, who is more concise, takes no notice of this circumstance.
Luke 8:52. And all were weeping. The Evangelists mention the lamentation, that the resurrection may be more fully believed. Matthew expressly states that musicians were present, which was not usually the case till the death had been ascertained, and while the preparations for the funeral were going forward. The flute, he tells us, was heard in plaintive airs. Now, though their intention was to bestow this sort of honor on their dead, and as it were to adorn their grave, we see how strongly inclined the world is not only to indulge but to promote its faults. It was their duty to employ every method for allaying grief; but as if they had not sinned enough in disorderly lamentation, they are eager to heighten it by fresh excitements. The Gentiles even thought that this was a way of soothing departed spirits; and hence we see how many corruptions were at that time spread throughout Judea. 
Mark 5:39 The girl sleepeth. Sleep is everywhere in Scripture employed to denote death; and there is no doubt but this comparison, taken from temporal rest, points out a future resurrection. But here Christ expressly makes a distinction between sleep and death, so as to excite an expectation of life. His meaning is, "You will presently see her raised up whom you suppose to be dead." That he was ridiculed by thoughtless and ignorant people, who were wholly engrossed with profane lamentation, and who did not comprehend his design, ought not to awaken surprise. And yet this very circumstance was an additional confirmation of the miracle, that those persons entertained no doubt whatever as to her death.
41. And he took hold of her hand, and said to her Luke 8:54. And he took hold of her hand, and cried Though naturally this cry was of no avail for recalling the senses of the deceased young woman, yet Christ intended to give a magnificent display of the power of his voice, that he might more fully accustom men to listen to his doctrine. It is easy to learn from this the great efficacy of the voice of Christ, which reaches even to the dead, and exerts a quickening influence on death itself. Accordingly, Luke says that her spirit returned, or, in other words, that immediately on being called, it obeyed the command of Christ.
43. And he charged them Though Christ did not admit all indiscriminately to behold this resurrection, yet the miracle might not have remained long concealed. And it would indeed have been improper to suppress that power of God, by which the whole world ought to be prepared for life. Why then does he enjoin silence on the young woman's parents? Perhaps it was not so much about the fact itself, as about the manner of it, that he wished them to be silent, and that only for a time; for we see that there were other instances in which he sought out a proper occasion. Those who think that they were forbidden to speak for the purpose of whetting their desire, resort to a solution which is unnatural. I do acknowledge that Christ did not perform this miracle without the intention of making it known, but perhaps at a more fitting time, or after the dismission of a crowd among whom there was no prudence or moderation. He therefore intended to allow some delay, that they might in quietness and composure revolve the work of God.
 "Mais la petitesse, et (par maniere de dire) la chicete de nostre foy, l'empesche de faire decouler plus abondamment ses biens sur nous;" -- "But the smallness and (so to speak) the niggardliness of our faith, hinders him from making his benefits flow more abundantly on us."
 "Dont nous pouvons recueillir comment le pays de Judee estoit lots reinply de beaucoup de corruptions, et diverses sortes d'abus;" -- "whence we may infer how much the country of Judea was then filled with many corruptions, and various sorts of abuses."
But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
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.
And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.
And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.