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the malice of Herodias, ke no longer appeared in the world as the forerunner and witness of the MESSIAH. - Our Saviour, before John's imprisonment, performed many wonderful miracles, which confirmed the testimony of John; and he had in private conversation declared himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God; but he had not preached publicly to the Jews, because it was appointed that John should prepare the way, and Jesus come after him: hut as soon as John's preparation was finished, our Lord himself began to preach.
The prediction in this section was spoken by Isaiah after Pekah * king of Israel, and Tiglath Pilesar king of Assyria, took the inhabitants of Galilee, and all the land of Naphthali, and carried them captive to Assyria. It seems to have been intended to comfort the faithful that remained, by giving them hopes, that at a future time that land, which had first fallen a prey to the Assy. rian power,
should be honoured in a peculiar manner. By the great light which the people of the land of Zebulon and Naphthali were to see, was meant that light which lighteth every man who cometh into the world, by the shadow of death, is to be understood spiritual darkness, or ignorance of the truths of religion.
In our Saviour's time, the land of Canaan, or Pas lestine, was divided into three principal provinces. On the south was Judea, which contained the lots of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In the midst: was Samaria, where the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh formerly dwelt; but in our Saviout's time it was in habited by the sect of the Samaritans. On the north was Galilee, the remotest from Jerusalem. The most fertile part of Galilee was the land of Zebulon and Naphthali,
u * See Isaiah, Chap. ix.
This province was divided into two parts, the higher and the lower. The higher consisted chiefly of the land of Naphthali, wherein stood Capernaum, the prin. cipal city of Galilee. It was situated upon the banks of the Jordan, near the lake of Gennesareth or Tiberius; over against which, on the other side of the water, stood Chorazin.
Galilee was held in great contempt by the Jews in general, who called it Galilee of the Gentiles; either be. cause part of it was, even in Solomon's reign, inhabited by heathens, and he offered twenty cities in it to Hiram, king of Tyre; or else, on account of its having many strangers amongst its inhabitants in our Saviour's time, and being the farthest from the Temple at Jerusalem. The lower Galilee contained the tribes of Zebulon and Issachar; and near to the sea or lake of Gennesareth were the cities of Nazareth, Bethsaida, and Cana. From Capernaum along by the sea-side lay the great road from Syria into Egypt, which is supposed to be that called the Way of the Sea.
At the time of our Saviour's preaching, Judea and Samaria continued to be governed by Pontius Pilate; and Galilee was still under the jurisdiction of Herod. Antipas.
We have before read, that though Jesus was born at Bethlehem in Judea, as had been foretold, he was brought up at Nazareth. His first public miracle was performed at Cana, and when he left Jordan, he resolved to return into Galilee ; but it seems he did not go back to Nazareth *, Jest the prejudices of his neighbours, who regarded him as the Son of Joseph, should obstruct his
doctrine, * Some authors are of opinion, that what is related, Luke iv. concerning our Lord's going to Nazareth, and being rejected by his doctrine, as it would have been hard to persuade them that he came out from God, and by fixing his abode in Caper. naum our Lord fulfilied the prediction of Isaiah.
JESUS CURES A NOBLEMAN'S SON AT CAPERNAUM.
From John, Chap. iv. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea, into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere,
my child die.
Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
And as he was now going down, his servants met. him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.
Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend : and they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
So the father knew that it was at the same hour in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth; and. himself believed, and his whole house.
countrymen, happened before the cure of the nobleman's son at Capernaum,
This is again the second miracle that Jesus did when he was come out of Judea into Galilee.
"ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. The nobleman who applied to Christ for the core of his son was a person belonging to Herod's court, sup. posed to have been Chuza * his steward, whose wife was afterwards a constant attendant on our Saviour.
The youth's disease was beyond the power of medi. cine; his father, therefore, resolved to go and intreat CHRIST to save a life so dear to his parents. From his earnest request, that Christ would go down with him to Capernaum, we may conclude that this nobleman had not a proper idea of our SAVIOUR's power; but
no sooner did our LORD intimate, that his personal at. tendance was not necessary, than he withdrew his soli. citations; and by this act, gave a satisfactory proof that he had a firm belief in our LORD's power: this belief, founded upon the report or sight of former miracles, was the substance of that faith which CHRIST commended, and rewarded by curing his son.
To have his dear child thus mercifully and miraculously snatched from death, was a most joyful event to the affectionate father ; but his journey was attended with still happier effects, for the nobleman and his whole family became converts to Christianity, and from that time had cause to rejoice in the hopes of salvation.
Cana was the place where our LORD performed his first miracle; and it is in reference to this circum. stance that his cure of the nobleman's son is called the second.
This portion of Sacred History shews in a very strong
# See Luke viïi. 3.
light the efficacy of faith; and this faith may be testified in as acceptable a manner by those who, from reading or hearing of this miracle, receive it as a proof of the divine power of our LORD, as it was by the nobleman, for whose sake it was first wrought.
PASSAGES OF THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL, RÉLATING TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
7 From Daniel, Chap. ii. vii. ix.
I. THOU, O king, sawest, and behold, a great image this great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible.
This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass.
His legs of iron, his feet, part of iron, and part of clay.
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that wer of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces."
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors, and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
This is the dream; and we will tell the interprétation thereof before the king.
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wheresover the. children of men dwell, the beasts