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ARK is shorter than Matthew. It is a repetition of the same
history by another hand, with here and there some few facts not 9 kJ mentioned by Matthew. Some of these are all that need, there
fore, be added in this place. In the fourth chapter we have the Parable of the Seed, which appears to have been delivered at the same time that the Parable of the Sower was, as we have read in Matthew, but was not mentioned by him with that parable. Thus, that nothing important might be lost, one evangelist has supplied what another has omitted, as well as confirmed the truth of all that the other has said.
The parable given by Mark is contained in the verses between the twentyfifth and the thirtieth, of the fourth chapter.
In the seventh chapter, Mark gives us the particulars of Christ's curing a deaf man. “And he put his fingers in his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Be opened," and his deafness was cured, and "he spake plain.” Most likely he might have once had his hearing, and had learned to speak a little, but having lost his hearing early in life, he could learn no more ; but now with his hearing he learns also to speak. This kind action of Christ made the people look upon him with admiration, and they said, “He hath done all things well; he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak."
In the eighth chapter is related the cure of a blind man at Bethsaida, on whose eyes he spit, and he put his hand upon them. And the man directly saw men as trees walking: he could not exactly make out their shape from a tree. He put his hands on his eyes a second time, and then he saw clearly: teaching us, perhaps, to persevere in the use of proper means. But both in this case and in that of the deaf man, the means were only
signs; they could never have cured the man if administered by 2 COMIDOR physician: these were miracles—things not of a common kind, and showed that he who performed them could only be the Son of God.
In the last chapter we have some further particulars about Christ's resurrection, and his encouragement to his disciples to preach his gospel and work miracles in his name, which would prove that their message was divide. and establish the truth of it at its beginning, before all the world. They were to cast out devils, who then possessed the bodies of men, just as Jesus had cast them out; they had to speak new languages which they had Deter learnt, so as to be able to tell men of every country about the way of savation through Jesus Christ; they were to take up serpents without being bitten or endangered by them ; if any attempt should be made to poison them, the deadly potion, which would kill other persons, should do them do harm ; and if sick persons were brought to them to be cured, they should only lay their hands upon them, and they would recover. You must, bomever, remember that there was this great distinction between the miracles performed by Jesus and those performed by his disciples, that Jesus did all his by his own power, and without using any other name ; but the power which the disciples had was not their own, but only what he gave them, and they were to work miracles only in his name ; and thus, when the apostle Peter cured a lame man, as we shall soon read in the Acts, he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." These miracles are not now needed, because we have so many proofs left us that they were done by the first ministers, and the religion of Jesus is everywhere spread and spreading without them.
Mark further informs us more than Matthew, as he not only mentions Christ's command to his disciples, but the effect of their obeying it, and preaching the gospel to every creature ; for “they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." Amen.
ONU KE is thought to have been the same mentioned by the apostle
Paul in the last chapter of his epistle to the Colossians, where he
speaks of “Luke the beloved physician." en This Evangelist tells us some particulars about the birth of John the Baptist, which are not mentioned by the other three. That his father was a priest of the name of Zacharias—that his wife's name was Ezliabeth, and that she was sprung from the race of Aaron—that they were both very good people, and walked together in the holy ways of God—and that John the Baptist was born when they were “well stricken in years,” or quite old.
This remarkable forerunner of Christ was born, like Him whom he was to honour and proclaim, in a very honourable and wonderful way. John's father, Zacharias, was burning incense in the temple, while the people “were praying without,” when an angel appeared to him, and told him that his son should be born, and that he must call him John—a name which means, the grace and favour of God; and this was to show, that God's grace would be upon him in a very striking manner. He was to be separated from the world, like the ancient Nazarites (Numb. vi. 3), to drink “neither wine nor strong drink ;' and God would bless his preaching, so that he should turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He should have the