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The Apostle to the Gadarenes.

The Apostle to the Gadarenes.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON


—Mark v. 18, 19.

Can any one explain the reason and significance of the
varying instructions which our Lord gave to those whom he
liad healed, and to his disciples generally, on the subject of
making known his works and his character ? They are a per-
plexity to me. In some cases I can understand the reason, for
it is declared on the face of the record. In some other cases
I can make a conjecture which satisfies me in part. And in
some, it is difficult to make even a satisfactory guess. On the
whole, the matter is a puzzle. I wish you would examine it
and see what light you can get upon it.
BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON


—Mark v. 18, 19.

Can any one explain the reason and significance of the
varying instructions which our Lord gave to those whom he
liad healed, and to his disciples generally, on the subject of
making known his works and his character ? They are a per-
plexity to me. In some cases I can understand the reason, for
it is declared on the face of the record. In some other cases
I can make a conjecture which satisfies me in part. And in
some, it is difficult to make even a satisfactory guess. On the
whole, the matter is a puzzle. I wish you would examine it
and see what light you can get upon it.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 12, 2013
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THE APOSTLE TO THE GADAREES.BY LEOARD WOOLSEY BACO —Mark v. 18, 19.Can any one explain the reason and significance of thevarying instructions which our Lord gave to those whom heliad healed, and to his disciples generally, on the subject of making known his works and his character ? They are a per-plexity to me. In some cases I can understand the reason, forit is declared on the face of the record. In some other casesI can make a conjecture which satisfies me in j^ai't. And insome, it is difficult to make even a satisfactory guess. On thewhole, the matter is a puzzle. I wish you would examine itand see what light you can get upon it.It is not difficult to understand his silencing the uncleanspirits whom he cast out, with a rebuke, forbidding them tosay that they knew him, or to testify that he was the Christ(Mark i. 34). He wanted no dealings with the kingdom of Satan except as an enemy, and would give no excuse for theblasphemers who declared that he ca.*t out demons by Beelze-bub their prince. Therefore he abhorred and repudiated allsuch endorsements, as Paul and Silas did afterward when thePythoness at Philippi followed them day after day, crying," These men are the ser\^ants of the most high God, whichshoAV unto us the way of salvation ! "Then there are certain cases in which the injunction not to154THE APOSTLE TO THE GADAREXES. 155report ii certain ininicle seems to be closely connected with thfcaccount of (huigcroiis plots agiiinst the life of the Lord, as inthe third chapter of ^lark and the twelfth chapter of Mat-
 
thew, as if it was simply a just precaution for personal safety.And in this latter passage (Matt, xii.) there is that strikingquotation from Isaiah — " he healed them all ; and charged themthat they should not make him known ; that it might be ful-filled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: .... *heshall not strive nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voicein the streets ; ' " — as if this was an expression of that calmness,meekness, absence of egotism or ambition which marked themind which was in Jesus Christ.Then tliere was the connnand to the three disciples, as theycame down from the mount of transfiguration, that they should" tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man should be risenfrom tlie dead" ; and that more impressive injunction, followingupon the solemn declaration of Peter, Thou art the Christ, theSon of the Living God, in which he " straitly charged them thatthey should tell no man that he was Jesus, the Christ." Per-haps this, too, had something to do with those growing conspir-acies against his life which he forewarned them, at that verytime, were soon to be successful. But I cannot help the im-pression that it was part of the settled method of his missionthat men should see his works and life, and form their own con-clusions as to his pereon, rather than to have the propositionJesus is the Christ put before them in the first place, and thenmiracles and gracious words quoted to prove it. This seems tohave been the spirit of his answer to the messengers of John theBaptist when they brought the question, Art thou He thatshould come ? He answered them never a word ; but told themto look and see, and then go and tell John and let him judgefor himself. And it would really seem, to-day, that if that wasthe thought of our Lord, the Church has at last, after eighteenhundred years of contrary practice — teaching a dogma aboutChrist and then citing his life to prove it — gone back to its156 THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IX CHRIST.Master's own method, and given all its powers to the telling sjidillustrating of the facts of his life. Observe how very rarely
 
the Saviour volunteered to tell any one that he was the Christ.He told the Samaritan woman ; he told one poor excommuni-cated blind man ; whom else did he tell it to, except in answerto question?But how do you explain his charge to the two blind men inGalilee, when he had healed them — to " see that no man shouldknow it " ? or that command to the household of Jairus thecenturic^i, after the raising of his daughter, — in almost the sam^eterms? But mainly, how do you explain that such injunctionswere his general custom so far as he gave any directions at allto those whom he had healed of their diseases ?TJiis ptory of the man from whom he cast out the legion of demons is really, so far as I have found, the one solitary ex-ception to this custom. Other men, filled with a grateful andinexpressible longing to tell of the Lord's miraculous mercytoward them, he strictly charges to be quiet and let no manknow about it. In this only instance, one who is beseeching tobe allowed to get into the little boat just pushing from theshore, that he may be near his Lord and Saviour and followhim meekly and silently as a learner, is repelled and sent awaywith the command to go on a mission and preach the story of his mai'velous cure among his kindred and to his father'shouse ! Can you tell me the reason why the rest should beforbidden to tell of the loving-kindness of the Lord, and whythis man should be forbidden to do anything else ?Why is it ail? There are a dozen charges to conceal thegospel, to one charge to proclaim it ; and yet I have heard thisone text exhorted and preached upon a score of times, to whereI have heard the others once, — if even they are ever preachedupon at all. I leave the question for your own meditation andstudy ; and now, in the moments that remain, let us study thissolitary case by itself for our own instruction.Take the scene once more into mind. It is changed since

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