« AnteriorContinuar »
and her Cure; and from hence it is no hard Matter to discern, that her Distemper was no flight or sudden Indisposition, but one of so obstinate and inveterate a Nature, as not to be cur'd by the Art of Physick. For hex suffering many Things of many Physicians shews, that she had undergone some harsh and uncommon Courses of it, and that too at so great an Expence, that whatever her Circumstances were (and they seem to be considerable by her consulting so many Physicians) she was reduc'd by them to Poverty.
Her Condition indeed is not repre- why she sented so weak, but that she could get might into the Crowd, and make forward to Q^q1 come at Christ; but the Crowd, we read of here, could not possibly be so great, as what we meet with in other places. In other places k we find our Saviour frequently represented, as surrounded with large Multitudes of People, whose Attention was strongly engag'd in hearing his excellent Discourses, and in seeing his amazing Works. In this Case indeed there was no breaking through the Crowd, nor could any new Comer gain Admittance to him, especially l when he was in an House. But here
* Ray's Vind. part 2. p. $6. .' Vid. Mark ii. 2, 4> & Luke viii. 19, 20.
we find him walking along in an open place, accompanied with a Magistrate, whose Presence might restrain any T.u* mult, and neither Preaching to the People, nor working any Miracle, until this Woman came, which made her Access much more easy. But be the Difficulty suppos'd never so great, yet who would not struggle upon such an Occasion as this, when Skin for Skin, and all that a Man has, will he give for his Life; when her Condition was become so desperate, that, without this last Experiment, she was lost and undone? For such was the Nature of her Distemper, (fays m a very great Physician, having her very Case before him) that it gains Strength in Progress: It encreafes and grows worse by Remedies, and, at laft, all Benefit of them is deff aired of, inibmuch that Æsculapius himself, could not have cured a Patient in these Circum-* fiances.
How vain and groundless a Notion vras^otC is it then, to suppose, that a Disease of cur'd by this Kind and Continuance, could ever jj*8"" be cured by the Strength of the Woman's Imagination? Whether ever Cures of Chronical Diseases were brought about by the help of a strong n Fancy, is
"Adver.de pxrbis Evang. dpud critic Sacra.Tom. 9. /. 3685. ;Dr. Pearce's Vind. part 4. p. 24..
much to be questioned; but admitting there were ibme Instances of this kind, yet there is one Circumstance, which plainly distinguishes thern from the miraculous Cures of Christ, viz. that they were never affected at once, and in a moment, but when a Surprize of Joy, and a strong Persuasion that he should be cured, had so far work'd upon the Patient, as to give a new Turn and Motion to his Spirits and Juices of his Body, he has only begun, from that Time, to find an Amendment; and the Impression of the fame Passions remaining strong upon him afterwards, he has recovered by degrees, and in length of Time, the Cure has been compleated, and Nature help'd to finish, what the Imaginatio had imperfectly begun. The- Truth is, all the Work of Fancy, in this Case, is, to entertain a very good Opinion of a Physician, of his Skill, and Fidelity, and possibly of his Friendship, and thence to be pleased with great Hopes of the Success of his Prescriptions. But it is utterly incredible, that the very best Opinion, or most Sanguine Hopes could be powerful enough to remove a Chronical Distemper, so habitually rooted in Nature for twelve Tears together, as to have in vain exhausted the whole
Art Art ofPhyfick, and baffled the Attempts of all Physicians. If ever the Power of Fancy could have availed any thing towards the curing of an inveterate Distemper, this Woman, one would think, must have received great Benefit from some one or other of those many Physicians, she had consulted; since it is not reasonable to think, flie would have Jfent all her Living upon them, nor gone through so many severe Courses, as were prescribed by them, had she not conceived a very good Opinion, at least, of some of them, and hoped, by their Advice, to recover her Health; and yet we find she rather grew worse, until ihe came to "Jesus, in full Assurance of Faith, and, by the Emanation of a divine Power from him, received the Consummation of her Hose. But by What this sanative Virtue was, which Ch«rand resided in the Body of the holy Jesus; her Faith bow it was exerted, and when exerted, in him. how he preceived it, and was affected by it, are Points that we cannot resolve, because the Spirit of God has not thought proper to reveal them. This, however, every common Reader may observe, that there was a certain previous Qualification, in some measure, required in those sick Persons, whom Christ vouchsafed to Cure, and without which he
did not (p not because he could not, but because he would not) usually extend his divine Power ; and that Qualification was Faith, or believing him to be a true Prophesy and consequently the MeJJiah, that was to come into the World.
This Woman therefore, hearing of Jesus, as he was accidentally passing by, and encouraged by the former Miracles, he had wrought, which were undeniable Proofs of his Power and Compassion, adventured to make her humble Application-to him. She, as well as the rest of the People, could not but stand amazed at the marvellous Works he did, and was constrained to acknowledge, that no Man could do the like, except that God were with him: and therefore, in Obedience to God, in whole Name he acted, and who ib visibly owned and approved of his Pretensions, stie gave a publick Testimony (by this outward touching of his Garment ) of her singular Regard and Veneration for so divine a Person. As her Extremity was great, so it gave her a fit Opportunity to express her high Opinion of his Power to help, and gracious Inclination to commiserate, the distressed. Upon this Subject
* Compare Matt. xiii. 58. with Marl vi. 5, 6.