31.Then the Jews who were with her. Though Martha was permitted by Christ to return home for the purpose of withdrawing her sister from the numerous assembly, yet Christ had another design in view, which was, that the Jews might be witnesses of the miracle. True, they have no thought of it, but it was no new thing that men should be led, as it were in darkness, and by the secret providence of God, where they did not intend to go. They think that Mary is going to the tomb, according to the custom of those who seek excitements of their grief. For it is a very prevalent disease, that husbands deprived of their wives, parents deprived of their children, and, on the other hand, wives deprived of their husbands, and children deprived of their parents or other relatives and friends, are eager to increase their grief by every possible method. It is also customary to resort to various contrivances for this purpose. The affections of men are already sufficiently disordered; but it is still worse, (322) that they inflame them by new excitements, that they may rush against God with greater ardor and violence. It was their duty to dissuade Mary from going, that the sight of the tomb might not give fresh occasion for her grief; yet they do not venture to apply so harsh a remedy, but even themselves contribute to the excess of her grief, by accompanying her to the tomb. Thus it frequently happens, that they who treat too gently the excesses of their friends do them little good by their consolations.