And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.…
There seems to be requisite, then, a relation between souls before the real and rich fruits of life can come to them in the highest forms of Christian experience. Let us look along the lines of analogy a little. Souls touch each other in various ways. Life touches life variously. People live together in bodily contact. They live in agreement only as to bodily conditions. They are related to each other simply by the necessity of food, raiment, warmth, protection. Ten thousand wedded souls are to each other simply as a blade is to knife. There is no real vitality between the two. Only in regard to provision for worldly wants and in bodily conditions are they in contact. But, then, these are the lowest, rudest forms of contact; yet there are people that are more in sympathy. There are multitudes that come into sympathy with each other only through their children. The cradle is a reconciler, often, between husband and wife. It opens up, in the rude, hard man, streams like those which Moses brought forth from the rock. For the child's sake, the mother becomes dear to him. There is mediation; and yet how little of life is there in common between two such souls! Again, people dwell together in single lines of mutuality. Many persons live together in all intellectual qualities, but in no other respects. Many dwell together being in accord in their tastes; but in no other regards. Many live together in literature, in history, in the ordinary and easier forms of knowledge that are of the earth earthy; but they never rise into eminence, aspiration, glorification, of each other, and never see anything in each other except that which the bird sees, or which the animal sees. They do not touch each other; and yet they are in perpetual contact. Higher phenomena of life there are, however; and there is developed heroism at times. There is a coming together of soul with soul, not through the ministration of the body, nor of taste, nor of thought, nor of mutual service, alone, but by that rare inflammation of the whole soul which has no definition, and which no man can describe. It is not needed by those who have it; it is not possible to those who have it not. Every faculty in one, then, has sympathy with every faculty in the other. Either they fit each other by exact agreement, or the positive element of one is just adapted for the absence of it in the other. Thus souls come together in an indefinable way. They are conscious that their liven mingle and blend. This is the rarest and highest form of contact; and yet is the revelation of that law by which men can rise from bodily conditions into social, and from those conditions into intellectual; but the consummation lies in that invisible, indescribable element which inheres in every man and woman — inheres sometimes only as a seed ungrown, and at other times develops and is full of fragrance, and then is full of fruit.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.