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that since St. Mark and St. Luke affirm, that this woman, before her cure," had spent all her substance upon physicians," it is not easily imaginable how she should become able to dispend so great a sum of money, as would purchase two so great statues of brass and if she could, yet it is still more unlikely that the Gentile princes and proconsuls, who searched all places, public and private, and were curiously diligent to destroy all honorary monuments of Christianity, should let this alone; and that this should escape, not only the diligence of the persecutors, but the fury of such wars and changes as happened in Palestine, and that for three hundred years together it should stand up in defiance of all violences and changeable fate of all things. However it be, it is certain, that the book against images, published by the command of Charles the Great, eight hundred and fifty years ago, gave no credit to the story; and if it had been true, it is more than probable, that Justin Martyr", who was born and bred in Palestine, and Origen, who lived many years in Tyre, in the neighbourhood of the place where the statue is said to stand, and were highly diligent to heap together all things of advantage and reputation to the Christian cause, would not have omitted so notable an instance. It is therefore likely that the statues which Eusebius saw, and concerning which he heard such stories, were first placed there upon the stock of a heathen story or ceremony; and in process of time, for the likeness of the figures, and its capacity to be translated to the Christian story, was, by the Christians in after ages, attributed, by a fiction of fancy, and afterwards by credulity, confidently applied to the present narrative.

21. "When Jesus was come to the ruler's house," he found the minstrels making their funeral noises for the death of Jairus's daughter, and his servants had met him, and acquainted him of " the death of the child;" yet Jesus turned out the minstrels, and "entered with the parents of the child into her chamber, and taking her by the hand, called her," and awakened her from her sleep of death, and "commanded them to give her to eat," and enjoined them not to publish the miracle. But as flames, suppressed by violent detentions, break out and rage with a more impetuous and rapid motion;

Lib. iv. de Imagin. cap. 15.

m Mark, v. 26. Luke, viii. 43.

so it happened to Jesus; who, endeavouring to make the noises and reports of him less popular, made them to be œcumenical; for not only we do that most greedily from which we are most restrained, but a great merit, enamelled with humility, and restrained with modesty, grows more beauteous and florid, up to the heights of wonder and glories.

22. As he came from Jairus's house, he cured two blind men upon their petition, and confession that they did believe in him; and cast out a dumb devil, so much to the wonder and amazement of the people, that the Pharisees could, hold no longer, being ready to burst with envy, but said, "he cast out devils by help of the devils:" their malice being, as usually it is, contradictory to its own design, by its being unreasonable; nothing being more sottish than for the devil to divide his kingdom upon a plot; to ruin his certainties upon hopes future and contingent. But this was but the first eruption of their malice; all the year last past, which was the first year of Jesus's preaching, all was quiet; neither the Jews, nor the Samaritans, nor the Galileans, did malign his doctrine or person, but he preached with much peace on all hands; for this was the year which the prophet Isaiah called in his prediction " the acceptable year of the Lord."

Ad SECTION XII.

Considerations upon the Intercourse happening between the Holy Jesus and the Woman of Samaria.

1. WHEN the holy Jesus, perceiving it unsafe to be at Jerusalem, returned to Galilee, where the largest scene of his prophetical office was to be represented, he journeyed on foot through Samaria; and being weary and faint, hungry and thirsty, he sat down by a well, and begged water of a Samaritan woman that was a sinner; who at first refused him, with some incivility of language. But he, instead of returning anger and passion to her rudeness, which was com

Epiphan, in Panar. lib. ii. tom. 1. hæres. 51.

menced upon the interest of a mistaken religion, preached the coming of the Messias to her, unlocked the secrets of her heart, and let in his grace, and made " a fountain of living water to spring up" in her soul, to extinguish the impure flames of lust which had set her on fire, burning like hell ever since the death of her fifth husband, she then becoming a concubine to the sixth. Thus Jesus transplanted nature into grace, his hunger and thirst into religious appetites, the darkness of the Samaritan into a clear revelation, her sin into repentance and charity, and so quenched his own thirst by relieving her needs: and as "it was meat to him to do his Father's will," so it was drink to him to bring us to drink of "the fountain of living water." For thus God declared it to be a delight to him to see us live, as if he were refreshed by those felicities which he gives to us as communications of his grace, and instances of mercy, and consignations to heaven. Upon which we can look with no eye but such as sees and admires the excellency of the Divine charity, which, being an emanation from the mercies and essential compassion of eternity, God cannot choose but rejoice in it, and love the works of his mercy, who was so well pleased in the works of his power. He that was delighted in the creation, was highly pleased in the nearer conveyances of himself, when he sent the holy Jesus to bear his image, and his mercies, and his glories, and offer them to the use and benefit of man. For this was the chief of the works of God, and therefore the blessed Master could not but be highliest pleased with it, in imitation of his heavenly Father.

2. The woman, observing our Saviour to have come with his face from Jerusalem, was angry at him upon the quarrel of the old schism. The Jews and the Samaritans had differing rites, and the zealous persons upon each side did commonly dispute themselves into uncharitableness: and so have Christians upon the same confidence, and zeal, and mistake. For although "righteousness hath no fellowship with unrighteousness, nor Christ with Belial;" yet the consideration of the crime of heresy, which is a spiritual wickedness, is to be

Apud ipsos fides obstinata, misericordia in promptu, adversus omnes alios hostile odium. - Tacit.

b Quæ nubit toties non nubit, adultera lege est. Offendor mœchà simpliciore minùs.-Martial. Ep.

separate from the person, who is material. That is, no spiritual communion is to be endured with heretical persons, when it is certain they are such, when they are convinced by competent authority and sufficient argument. But the persons of the men are to be pitied, to be reproved, to be redargued and convinced, to be wrought upon by fair compliances and the offices of civility, and invited to the family of faith by the best arguments of charity, and the instances of a holy life;" having your conversation honest among them, that they may, beholding your good works, glorify God in the day when he shall visit them." Indeed, if there be danger, that is, a weak understanding may not safely converse in civil society with a subtle heretic; in such cases they are to be avoided, not saluted: but as this is only when the danger is by reason of the unequal capacities and strengths of the person; so it must be only when the article is certainly heresy, and the person criminal, and interest is the ingredient in the persuasion, and a certain and a necessary truth destroyed by the opinion. We read that St. John, spying Cerinthus in a bath, refused to wash there where the enemy of God and his holy Son had been. This is a good precedent for us when the case is equal. St. John could discern the spirit of Cerinthus; and his heresy was notorious, fundamental, and highly criminal, and the apostle a person assisted up to infallibility. And possibly it was done by the whisper of a prophetic spirit, and upon a miraculous design; for, immediately upon his retreat, the bath fell down, and crushed Cerinthus in the ruins. But such acts of aversation as these, are not easily, by us, to be drawn into example, unless in the same, or the parallel concourse, of equally concluding accidents. We must not quickly, nor upon slight grounds, nor unworthy instances, call heretic; there had need be a long process, and a high conviction, and a competent judge, and a necessary article, that must be ingredients into so sad and decretory definitions, and condemnation of a person or opinion. But if such instances occur, come not near the danger nor the scandal. And this advice St. Cyprianf gave to the lay people of his diocese: "Let them decline their discourses,

c 1 Pet. ii. 12. d Tit. iii. 10. 2 Epist. John, x.
• Irenæ. lib. iii. cap. 3. Euseb. lib. iii. cap. 13.
Lib. i. ep. 3.

whose sermons creep and corrode like a cancer; let there be no colloquies, no banquets, no commerce with such who are excommunicate, and justly driven from the communion of the church." "For such persons (as St. Leo descants upon the apostle's expression of heretical discourses) creep in humbly, and with small and modest beginnings; they catch with flattery, they bind gently, and kill privily." Let, therefore, all persons who are in danger, secure their persons and persuasions, by removing far from the infection. And for the scandal, St. Herminigilda gave an heroic example, which, in her persuasion, and the circumstances of the age and action, deserved the highest testimony of zeal, religious passion, and confident persuasion. For she rather chose to die by the mandate of her tyrant father, Leonigildus the Goth, than she would, at the paschal solemnity, receive the blessed sacrament at the hand of an Arian bishop.

3. But excepting these cases, which are not to be judged with forwardness, nor rashly taken measure of, we find, that conversing charitably with persons of differing persuasions, hath been instrumental to their conversion, and God's glory.

The believing wife" may "sanctify the unbelieving husband;" and we find it verified in church-story. St. Cecily converted her husband Valerianus; St. Theodora converted Sisinius; St. Monica converted Patricius, and Theodelinda Agilulphus; St. Clotilda persuaded king Clodoveus to be a Christian; and St. Natolia persuaded Adrianus to be a martyr. For they, having their conversation honest and holy amongst the unbelievers, shined like virgin-tapers in the midst of an impure prison, and amused the eyes of the sons of darkness with the brightness of the flame. For the excellency of a holy life is the best argument of the inhabitation of God within the soul: and who will not offer up his understanding' upon that altar, where a Deity is placed as the president and author of religion? And this very intercourse of the holy Jesus with the woman is abundant argument, that it were well we were not so forward to refuse communion with dissenting persons, upon the easy and confident mistakes of a too forward zeal. They that call heretic may themselves be the mistaken persons, and, by refusing to communicate the

Serm. 5. de Jejun. Decimi Mensis.

Gregor. lib. iïï. dial. iïì. 13. ·

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