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§ 99. Use of Physical Agencies in the Cure of Diseases.

Christ employed his miraculous power in various modes of operation. He operated by his immediate presence, by the power of that Divine will which exercised its influence through his word and his whole manifestation; and this in the very cases in which we might admit a bodily cure by the use of physical agencies. Sometimes, indeed. there was besides a material application, e.g., the contact of the hand. In other cases he made use of material substances, and even of such as were thought to be possessed of healing virtues, as, in blindness, of saliva,220220   Plin., Hist Natur., xxviii., 7. water,221221   Mark, viii.; John, ix. and anointing with oil.

But in these cases the means were too disproportionate to the results, for us to imagine that they were naturally capable of producing them; and as Christ did not always employ them, there is no room to suppose that they were necessary as vehicles of his healing power—a supposition which brings the miracles too far down into the sphere of 143merely physical agencies. We must rather presuppose that as Christ. in his teaching, &c., took up the forms in common use among men to work out something higher from them, so he allowed his powers of healing to exhibit themselves in the use of these ordinary means in symbolical way. He may have designed thereby to bestow some peculiar lessons of instruction.

The cures wrought at a distance do not admit of this material connecting link; but the operations of Christ’s will could overstep all the barriers of space.

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