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inhabitants of that country, for the time for his manifestation unto the heathen had not yet come. As a general thing, they were not yet prepared to receive him. But “he could not be hid” from those who expected, longed for, sought after, and believed in him, as did this Greek who had heard of his fame and miracles, and believed that he was the son of David,” the long-promised Messiah, prophecies of whom, heathen writers tell us, had long pervaded the East, and would easily reach this country bordering upon Judea. Her faith stimulated by her necessities, her “ daughter grievously vexed with a devil," 2 doubtless led her to pray for the appearance of this deliverer, this “star out of Jacob, and sceptre out of Israel,” 3 and when it is revealed to her that he had actually come into her very neighborhood, she went forth at once (E820owoa) in search of him, and with her petition already prepared, she publicly acknowledged his dignity and implored his assistance, “ Have mercy on me, O Lord !"
The Savior's silence, and apparent indifference to this touching appeal, would both excite the Apostles' attention, and impress them more deeply with what was to follow. The woman is not discouraged. She sees compassion in that noble countenance, pity in that melting eye. She draws nearer, falls at his feet, worships him, and urges her suit with still greater earnestness. Even the Apostles, despite all their Jewish prejudices against the Gentiles, are moved; they also intercede for her ; “Grant her request and send her away” (for so, with Kuinoel in loc. we understand the phrase, “áról voov ournu, non est simpliciter dimitte, imo majus quid involvit, auxilio tuo recreatam dimitte,” is his apposite remark.) “For she crieth after us,” in this connexion, does not indicate merely vexation, but rather sympathy.
Jesus never forgot in his own practice, the theory which he inculcated upon others. He had said, "give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine;" and when sending them forth to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of heaven, he had charged them, “go not into the way the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." It is well known that the Jews considered all Gentile, heathen, or foreign nations as “ dogs," deeply defiled, and utterly abominable in the sight of God, unfit to come into the congregation of the people of Jehovah here upon earth, and shut out from all hope of heaven. "They, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were exclusively the people of God, and the sole objects of his care.
Does our Savior sanction these narrow and fanatical ideas? Does he mean by “the house of Israel,” the lineal descendants of that patriarch? 1 See the well known passage in Tacitus, Hist. v: 13.
3 Numb. 24: 17. 4 Isaiah 42: 2.
2 Matt. 5: 22.
Does he make them the only "children” of God, and stigmatize all others as “dogs” and “swine ?”. Assuredly not. On the contrary, we consider him as here giving a practical exemplification of what he meant by those terms, and the sense in which they should be used.
Even his forerunner, John the Baptist, had already attempted the eradication of this national prejudice, as we find him in Matt. 3: 8, 9, using the pregnant language, “Bring forth, therefore, fruit meet for repentance, and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abrahám to our father: for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Where Kuinoel well remarks, “ do not,” says he, “suppose that you have a right to citizenship in the kingdom of the Messiah, and may not on any aceount be excluded from that kingdom, because you are Jews, and the posterity of Abraham. I assure you, you shall be excluded, and most severely punished, if you do not lay aside that perverse mode of thought and of action, whereby you are characterized." And Olshausen, after stating satisfactory reasons for rejecting Kuinoel's idea that John had referred to “ the stones lying upon the shores of the Jordan,” concludes, “It appears to me, therefore, more appropriate to understand by the didos (stones), the people who may have been composed in part of heathen (comp. Luke 3 : 12, 14), and always regarded by the Pharisees as accursed. The purport of John's words thus becomes somewhat prophetic, inasmuch as the kingdom of God was actually transferred from the children of Abraham to the dead heathen and publicans, among whom, by divine omnipotence, a spiritual life never anticipated, was awakened."
In like manner did our Savior show himself completely raised above all low national prejudices, not only in that beautiful narrative of the good Samaritan, where with he answered the inquiry of the subtle lawyer, “and who is my neighbor ?" but likewise when, early in his ministry, he remained two days at Shechem, instructing the Samaritans that the time was already come “ when the true worshippers should worship the Father in spirit and in truth,” not merely upon Mount Gerizim or at Jerusalem, but wherever they would's worship him in spirit and in truth.”: I consider the whole of our Savior's intercourse with the publicans, and others of that class, as incidentally illustrating this point; but passing that by, shall confine myself to that which is more direct. And for this a single passage may suffice. In John 8:31–49, we have a conversation between Jesus and the Jews, in which the latter, in order to assert their title to freedom, say, “ We be Abraham's children, and were never in bondage to any man."
To which Christ replies, “I know that ye are Abraham's seed" (v. 37), which may be either taken ironically, or mean to admit that in one sense they are indeed the descendants of Abraham. But in the following verse, they are told that they are the children of a very different father. And when (v. 39), “ They answered and said unto him," with indignation, “ Abraham is our father,” Jesus utterly denies their claim, in the emphatic words; “ If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth : this did not Abraham.” Where it is perfectly clear that spiritual children are spoken of, Abraham being taken as a type of faith, the father of the faithful, and only those who have his spirit, his faith, being considered as his children. In the same way is the term Israel used by Jesus himself, when he saw Nathaniel" coming unto him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.” Which idea Paul brings out very fully, where he says, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel ; neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but of Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of promise are counted for the seed." And he had before said (2:29), “For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly.” In fact, the whole fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans is employed in proving that “ Abraham is the father of allthem that believe,” whether they be circumcised or uncircumcised.
i Luke 10: 25. 2 See Robinson's Greck Harmony, pp. 20–21, where the amazement of the disciples is portrayed.
3 See John 4:4-42.
It would be useless to multiply quotations to prove that, in the New Testament generally, the term dogs" is used to indicate the impure
and sinners, that is, those who are destitute of true faith. It is sufficient merely to refer to the passage above quoted, and to Phil. 3:2, and Rev. 22 : 15.
When, therefore, the Savior says, “I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” I unlerstand, and think the context clearly shows, that he addresses the Apostles, to whose intercession for the woman he thus replies: 16 You Jews expect me to bless you exclusively, to restore the kingilom again unto Israel ; and it is true, that I am sent to save only the lost sheep of the house of Israel; but I wish you to observe those whom I think worthy of that name." Then the woman comes forward (v.25), and “ worships him” as her king, and prays to him as her only Savior, “ Lord, help me!" Jesus answers, “Let the children first be filled,” that is, you acknowledge me as a king; as such, I am the father of my people, and do you not think that I ought first to feed, to supply the wants of my own subjects, who are my family? Besides, are you a proper subject of my bounty? Do you indeed believe that I am the Messiah, not of the Jews merely, but the 1 Rom. 9: 6-8.
· Matt. 7: 6, and Phil. 3 : 2, and Rev. 22 : 15. 3 Matt. 15 : 24."
A Mark 7:27.
Savior of the whole world; and have you that moral character, that purity and faith that become my disciples? For, if you have not, “it is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it upto the dogs.” To which, in the language of deep humility and genuine faith, she answered with the publican,' “God be merciful to me a sinner.” For such I take to be the true import of vai (which both evangelists have), and which Kuinoel renders “ obsecro te, domine” (I beseech thee, Lord); and adds in explanation, “ It is not so much the language of one affirming, yes, it is so (or as our English version has it, * Truth”]; or, as others suppose, of one conceding, be it so; but rather of one entreating and urging, I beseech thee, which is also its force in Philemon v. 20, and Rev. 22 : 20.” The expression reminds me of what Paul says, Rom. 6: 26-27, “ The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.” But she acknowledges that she has no claim whatever upon him; she is utterly unworthy of his notice or favor; but she still prays that he would have mercy upon her, “ for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table ;" 2 “ beneath” which they are, whilst the children are seated at it (comp. Mark 7 : 28); and where alone she considers herself worthy to be. Whereupon the Savior replies, “O woman! great is thy faith.” Thou art a true daughter of Abraham-an Israelite indeed; for like him of old, thou hast wrestled with thy God, and wilt take no denial, wilt not let me go, until I bless thee; therefore be it unto thee even as thou wilt."
9' And well might it be said of her, “ Thou shalt no more be called “a dog," " a Greek," "a Syrophænician," a "a Canaanite;" “but Israel, for us a prince” (a child of God), “hast thou power with God and with man, and hast prevailed." +
Now, although this explanation may appear too refined and farfetched to those who are satisfied with that which has hitherto prevailed, yet is it not without support even among those who have taken a very different view of the passage in general. Thus Kuinoel, in the commencement of his observations upon Matt. 15: 23, 24, says, that “Christ did not answer the woman imploring his aid a single word, in order that he might prove her constancy and faith, and exhibit her true character to his disciples, and might thus gradually prepare them to embrace that doctrine which Paul afterwards so frequently expounded in his letters, viz. that through Christ all distinctions between Jews and Gentiles were abolished," Comp. 8; 11.
Still more decidedly is this the view of Luther, for, although he commences his sermon upon “ the woman of Canaan” by saying, “In this text is set forth unto us an example of a constant and steadfast faith," and illustrates this idea throughout this brilliant specimen of pulpit eloquence, yet he concludes the third i Luke 18: 13.
3 See Gen, 32: 26. 4 Gen, 32 : 28
2 Matt. 15 : 27.
point that he makes thus: “He was now taken: for the crumbs under the table are given.to the dogs, as that to which they have a perfect right; here, therefore, Christ being overcome, opens himself wholly, and granteth the desires of the woman, and showeth that she is not a dog, but a true Israelite.”
He then proceeds to say, “ These things are written for our instruction and comfort, and we hence learn how deeply Christ sometimes hideth his grace from us, and that we must not judge of God according to our own notions, but only according to his words; for we see here that, although Christ showeth himself very hard to this woman, yet he did not plainly deny to help her, but all his answers, though seemingly denials, were not in fact denials, and though they left the matter in doubt, yet left an opening, however small, for faith. *All these things seem rather a denial of help than room to hope; but in reality they did contain in them rather a promise and hope than a denial ; yea, there was nothing but a promise, though most deeply hid and concealed beneath that silence, and those answers, although hard, had but the sound of a denial.” Here, I think, we have the germ of that idea which I have endeavored above to develope more fully and consistently.
LUTHER'S TABLE TALK.
By Alfred H. GUERNSEY, New York.
LUTHER was every way-physically, intellectually, and morally, a man of mark. The rudest wood-cut presents his rugged features as faithfully as the most finished picture. The square, burly form, with its “ Atlantean shoulders ;" the face, repulsive at first sight, the massive brow—that surest sign of intellectual strengthcrushing, as it were, the organ beneath; the firm-set mouth, are alike preserved in all portraits which have come down to us. He is not the less recognisable in the word-pictures,” which undertake to set him forth. Bossuet's terrible delineation-terrible because the likeness is so recognisable-presents the same Luther as Merle D'Aubigné's mezzotint. Physically and intellectually, he is the type and emblem of the great Teutonic race, formed, so runs the wild old legend, of the grey rock of the Hartz Mountains, a race indomitable and born to empire. But the loveliest valleys lie embosomed amid the most rugged mountains, and seem all the lovelier from their stern environment; so there were in Luther's character phases of the most loving tenderness. If no