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There are several circumstances related by St. Mark not noticed by the other Evangelists, the chief are, viz. :— The casting out the Unclean Spirit of the Daughter of the Syrophenician Woman.
The Cure of one Deaf and with Impediment of Speech. The Restoring Sight to the Blind Man, in chap. viii. 307, and following verses.
St. Luke, the beloved physician, in the chaste dedication of his Gospel, modestly states that it seemed good to him, "having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first," to write them in order that not only Theophilus (who had been instructed therein), but that all might know their certainty and truth.
St. Luke is thought to have been one of the seventy sent forth by our Lord Jesus in his lifetime, and the emphatic and ever-blessed instruction, "Freely ye have received, freely give"! which was addressed to the twelve, we may infer was also an established law to the seventy. St. Luke's friendship and attachment to St. Paul elicit the same remark as to the composition of his Gospel, as did the connection of St. Mark and St. Peter as to the influence of such relation.
The highly cultivated intellect and education both of St. Luke and St. Paul rendered them meet companions: St. Paul brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and St. Luke as a physician, educated for the performance of a class of duties requiring reflection and patient inquiry; the one describing himself as born out of season, yet prepared by the Divine Spirit for his mission to the Gentile world,— the other by his love, and animated by the example of his great Teacher, desirous of curing both the soul and body by urging all men to embrace the truth in Christ Jesus.
It is supposed St. Luke was with St. Paul and suffered martyrdom in Rome before he had finished the record of the Acts of the Apostles: happily for Christians he has recorded in his pure, gentle, Christian style, the accomplishment of the last act of our Blessed Saviour's mission, his ascension into heaven, and the testimony of the two angels that he should revisit earth in like manner; also the fulfilment of his gracious promise to send the Holy Spirit or Comforter, giving thereby to his apostles the
gift of tongues, conferring and confirming all power necessary to propagate truth in his holy name.
The Gospel of St. Luke contains, as might be expected from such a well-prepared and regulated mind, many illustrations of subjects not noticed by his less-gifted though truthful fellow-labourers, and is adapted, it is considered, for the Gentile world, as was St. Matthew's Gospel for his Jewish countrymen.
The following are not found in the other Gospels:
The Birth of John the Baptist.
The Testimony of Simeon and Anna.
The Hearing and Asking Questions in the Temple at Twelve Years old.
The Good Samaritan.
The Prodigal Son.
The Rich Man and Lazarus.
The Wicked Judge.
The Publican and Pharisee.
The Miraculous Cure of the Woman afflicted Eighteen Years.
The Cleansing of the Ten Lepers.
The Restoring to Life the Widow's Son of Nain.
The Account of Zacchæus.
The Penitent Thief.
The Journey of Two Disciples to Emmaus.
St. John, the youngest, the beloved disciple, called by our Saviour the Son of Thunder, who, though he fled with the rest in the agony of terror, yet returned in faith, and at the foot of the cross received the last words and precious legacy of his Divine Master: so thoroughly embued was St. John with the spirit of the Holy Jesus, that, when age and infirmity rendered him otherwise powerless, he still found strength to reiterate the onethe new commandment, "Little Children, love one another."
St. John was spared by the Holy One to see the fulfilment of the divine prophecies as to the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews; and we may admire and adore the wise dispensation which thus preserved him to long life to write his Gospel, which makes clear the divinity of our Saviour, and corrected the early errors with which the sinfulness of man strove to tarnish the bright lustre of truth and salvation.
In his good tidings St. John has left to mankind such a record and outpouring gush of heavenly love and truth as could only be learned by one who had leaned on the holy and heavenly bosom of Incarnate Divinity; and as from his divine lips and spirit he drank in the inspiration, so should we bind to our hearts his words of love, encouragement, and reproof, in the firm hope and faith of hearing with our own ears the voice of Christ himself, saying, "Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world."
St. John wrote the Revelation in the Isle of Patmos ; and after the death of the Emperor Domitian the sentence of proscription was recalled by Nerva, and St. John returned to Ephesus, where he died at a very advanced
St. John, with his characteristic feeling, relates more attempts on the life of his Saviour than either of the other Evangelists; is more explanatory of Jewish customs and manners for general edification; and more distinct and decided in all that relates to the divinity and dignity of the Holy Jesus.
The first chapter sets out in all the boldness and sublimity of truth the doctrine upon which is based the eternal mercy of the Creator. Therefore be advised; read, rejoice, and open your heart and soul to admit the light, that ye may thereby have power to become one of the Sons of God.