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its evil Effects both on Soul and Body.
Let us not therefore be curious in making ourselves un- MATT. seemly. For neither is any one of God's works imperfect, nor doth it need to be set right by thee. For not even if to an image of the Emperor, after it was set up, any one were to seek to add his own work, would the attempt be safe, but he will incur extreme danger. Well then, man works and thou addest not; but doth God work, and dost thou amend it? And dost thou not consider the fire of hell? Dost thou not consider the destitution of thy soul? For on this account it is neglected, because all thy care is wasted on the flesh. But why do I speak of the soul? For to the very flesh every thing falls out contrary to what ye have sought. Consider it. Dost thou wish to appear beautiful? This shews thee uncomely. Dost thou wish to please thy husband? This rather grieves him; and causes not him only, but strangers also, to become thine accusers. Wouldest thou appear young? This will quickly bring thee to old age. Wouldest thou wish to array thyself honourably? This makes thee to be ashamed. For such an one is ashamed not only before those of her own rank, but even those of her maids who are in her secret, and those of her servants who know; and, above all, before herself.
But why need I say these things? For that which is more grievous than all I have now omitted, namely, that thou dost offend God; thou underminest modesty, kindlest the flame of jealousy, emulatest the harlot women at their brothel.
All these things then consider, ye women, and laugh to scorn the pomp of Satan and the craft of the Devil; and letting go this adorning, or rather disfiguring, cultivate that beauty in your own souls which is lovely even to Angels, and desired of God, and delightful to your husbands; that ye may attain both unto present glory, and unto that which is to come. To which God grant that we may all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and might for ever and ever. Amen.
MATT. ix. 18.
While He spake these things unto them, behold, there came in a ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, My daughter is even now dead, but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
THE deed overtook the words; so that the mouths of the Pharisees were the more stopped. For both he that came was a ruler of the synagogue, and his affliction terrible. For the young damsel was both his only child, and twelve years old, the very flower of her age; on which account especially He raised her up again, and that immediately.
And if Luke say that men came, saying, Trouble not the Master, for she is dead'; we will say this, that the expression, she is even now dead, was that of one conjecturing from the time of his journeying, or exaggerating his affliction. For it is an usual thing with persons in need to heighten their own evils by their report, and to say something more than is really true, the more to attract those whom they are beseeching.
But see his dulness: how he requires of Christ two things, both His actual presence, and the laying on of His hand : and this by the way is a sign that he had left her still breathing. This Naaman also, that Syrian, required of the Prophet. For I thought, saith he, he will surely come out, 22Kings and will lay on his hand2. For in truth they who are more LXX. or less dull of temper, require sight and sensible things.
The Woman with the Issue of Blood.
And whereas Mark1 saith, He took the three disciples, MATT. and so doth Luke2; our Evangelist merely saith, the disciples. Wherefore then did He not take with Him Matthew, 1 Mark though he had but just come unto Him? To bring him to a more earnest longing, and because he was yet rather in an 8, 51. imperfect state. For to this intent doth He honour those, that these may grow such as those are. But for him it sufficed for the present, to see what befel the woman with the issue of blood, and to be honoured by His table, and by His partaking of his salt.
And when He had risen up many followed Him, as for a great miracle, both on account of the person who had come, and because the more part being of a grosser disposition were seeking not so much the care of the soul, as the healing of the body; and they flowed together, some urged by their own afflictions, some hastening to behold how other men's were cured: however, there were as yet but few in the habit of coming principally for the sake of His words and doctrine. Nevertheless, He did not suffer them to enter into the house, but His disciples only; and not even all of these, every where instructing us to repel the applause of the multitude.
[2.] And, behold, it is said, a woman that had an issue of v.21,22. blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.
Wherefore did she not approach Him boldly? She was ashamed on account of her affliction, accounting herself to be unclean. For if the menstruous woman was judged not to be clean, much more would she have the same thought, who was afflicted with such a disease; since in fact that complaint was under the Law accounted a great uncleanness 3. Therefore she lies hidden, and conceals herself. 3 Levit. For neither had she as yet the proper and correct opinion concerning Him: else she would not have thought to be concealed. And this is the first woman that came unto Him in public, having heard of course that He heals women also, and that He is on His way to the little daughter that was dead.
And she durst not invite him to her house, although she was wealthy; nay, neither did she approach publicly, but a Eusebius, E. H. viii. 18. mentions a tradition that she belonged to Cæsarea
450 Why our Lord would not suffer her to be hid.
HOMIL. Secretly with faith she touched His garments. For she did not doubt, nor say in herself, " shall I indeed be delivered from the disease? shall I indeed fail of deliverance?" But confident of her health, she so approached Him. For she said, we read, in herself, If I may only touch His garment, I shall be whole. Yea, for she saw out of what manner of house He was come, that of the publicans, and who they were that followed Him, sinners and publicans; and all these things made her to be of good hope.
What then doth Christ? He suffers her not to be hid, but brings her into the midst, and makes her manifest for many purposes. It is true indeed that some of the senseless ones say, "He does this for love of glory. For why," say they," did He not suffer her to be hid?" What sayest thou, unholy, yea, all unholy one? He that enjoins silence, He that passes by miracles innumerable, is He in love with glory?
For what intent then doth He bring her forward? In the first place He puts an end to the woman's fear, lest being pricked by her conscience, as having stolen the gift, she should abide in agony. In the second place, He sets her right, in respect of her thinking to be hid. Thirdly, He exhibits her faith to all, so as to provoke the rest also to emulation; and His staying of the fountains of her blood was no greater sign than He affords in signifying His knowledge of all things. Moreover the ruler of the synagogue, who was on the point of thorough unbelief, and so of utter ruin, He corrects by the woman. Since both they that came said, Trouble not the Master, for the damsel is dead; and those in the house laughed Him to scorn, when He said, She sleepeth; and it was likely that the father too should have experienced some such feeling. Therefore to correct this weakness beforehand, He brings forward the simple woman. For as to that ruler being quite of the grosser sort, hear what He saith unto him: Fear not, 1 Luke do thou believe only, and she shall be made whole1. 8, 50. Thus He waited also on purpose for death to come on,
Philippi, othewise called Paneas, and
certain plant which grew by the Saviour's statue, when it came to touch the hem of His garment, stopped growing; and that it was endowed with virtue to cure all manner of diseases.
The Praise of her Faith, above Jairus's.
451 and that then He should arrive; in order that the proof of MATT. the resurrection might be distinct. With this view He both walks more leisurely, and discourses more with the woman; that He might give time for the damsel to die, and for those to come, who told of it, and said, Trouble not the Master. This again surely the Evangelist obscurely signifies, when he saith, While He yet spake, there came from the house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead, trouble not the Master'. For His will was that her death should be believed, Mark that her resurrection might not be suspected. And this He 5, 35. doth in every instance. So also in the case of Lazarus, He 49. waited a first and a second and a third day2.
see v. 2.
On account then of all these things He brings her forward, and saith, Daughter, be of good cheer, even as He had said v. 22. also to the paralysed person, Son, be of good cheer. Because in truth the woman was exceedingly alarmed; therefore He saith, be of good cheer, and He calls her daughter; for her faith had made her a daughter. After that comes also her praise: Thy faith hath made thee whole.
But Luke tells us also other things more than these concerning the woman. Thus, when she had approached Him, saith he, and had received her health, Christ did not immediately call her, but first He saith, Which is he that touched Me? Then when Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee, and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? (which was a3 Luke very sure sign both that He was encompassed with real 8, 45. flesh, and that He trampled on all vain-glory, for they did not follow Him at all afar off, but thronged Him on every side;) He for His part continued to say, Somebody hath touched Me, for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me*; ib.v.46. answering after a grosser manner according to the impression of His hearers. But these things He said, that He might also induce her of herself to make confession. For on this account neither did He immediately convict her, in order that having signified that He knows all things clearly, He might induce her of her own accord to publish all, and work upon her to proclaim herself what had been done, and that He might not incur suspicion by saying it.
Seest thou the woman superior to the ruler of the