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With the two disciples.
463 Israel in the most glorious and effectual manner, by those very SECT: sufferings which gave them such distress. Verily thou art the God of Israel, and the Saviour, when thou art a God that hidest thyself Ver. from us. (Isa. xlv. 15.)
In faithful friendship, and with a plainness well becoming his 25 office, the compassionate Redeemer upbraids them with their slowness of heart to believe these things, when they had rec ived line upon line, precept upon precept, concerning them. How justly do we fall under such a rebuke in many instances! Let us then humbly say, Lord, increase our faith! (Luke xvii. 5.)
We should reasonably have thought ourselves happy in an op-26, 27 portunity of hearing or reading this discourse of Jesus, in which he threw such lustre on the prophecies of the Old Testament, and proved that, according to the tenor of them, it was necessary that the Messiah should thus suffer, and so enter into his glory. As Providence bas denied us this satisfaction, let us however improve this general and very important hint, that Moses and all the prophets speak of these things. Let us delight to trace the heavenly beam from its earliest dawn, and to observe how it grew brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. May the blessed Spirit, by whom those mysterious predictions were inspired, so direct our inquiries, that every
veil may be taken off from our eyes, that we may see Jesus in the Old Testament as well as in the New; and see him in both with that lively fervour of holy affection which may cause our hearts to burn within us ! And oh, that we may especially find that, when we surround his table, he makes himself known to us in 30, 31 the breaking of bread, in such a manner, as to fill our souls with all joy, as well as peace in believing ! (Rom. xv. 13.)
The two disciples return to make their report to the apostles; and
while they are together, Jesus appears to them the evening after
Luke XXIV.-33. AND [they] found T was observed before, concerning Cleopas SECT: the eleven gather . IT
. ed together, and them
and the other disciple, to whom Jesus disco. that were with them, vered himself at Eininaus, that they immedi- Luke
ately arose and returned to Jerusalem, to com- XXIV.
• They found the eleven apostles assembled.] of the apostles the twelve, though Judas, As Paul (1 Cor. xv. 5) calls the company the twelith person, was dead; so Luke
464 The two disciples tell the apostles what they had seen.
SECT. who, before these two could begin their story,
were eager on their part to inform the travellers
of the satisfaction they had received since they Luke XXIV. went out: So that, as soon as they appeared, 34 Saying, The Lord 34 they heard several of the company saying, as
is risen indeed, and
hath appeared to Simon. with one voice, () brethren, here are good tidings, which will make your hearts leap within you; for the Lord is risen indeed, and has himself appeared to Simon Peter, who is here present
to testify the truth of it. 35 And the two travellers declared how easily 35 And they told they could believe it, and recounted the things what tinings were done
in the way, and how [which had happened] to them in the
he was known of them
clared) that the Lord was risen indeed. Mark And quickly afterwards, as they were speaking Mark XVI. 14.XVI. 14 of these things among themselves,
while they were (And] afterwards, (as sitting at supper, [Jesus] himself appeared to the they thus spake,] he eleven, who were then all together, except one of eleven as they sat at them. And this appearance was attended with meat, (Luk& XXIV.
John XX. 19. Then
the same day, at evenhave before observed, the first day of the week, of the week, when the
here calls them the eleven, though Thomas, None of the apostles seem to hare had the eleventh person, was absent, as evi such a firm expectation of Christ's resurdently appears from John xx. 24, in the rection as must have been the foundation next section.
of such a vow; and the order in which 6 And has appeared to Simon Peter.) Paul mentions his appearance to James None of the evangelists mention any thing does very ill suit with this story.- Preof the circumstances of this appearance to bably Peter was the first man, as Mary Peter; but it has been observed before Magdalene was the first troman, tlat (note f, sect. cxcvi. p. 454), that the a}.os- was favoured with the view of onr risen lle Paul expressly refers to it, 1 Cor. XV. Saviour. 5.—The same apostle likewise mentions an c Some--did not believe, &r.] Mark appearance of Christ to James; (ibid. ver. expresses it in a general way (chap. xvi. 7.) Yet, as nothing is said of his having 13) that they went and told it unto ire re. seen him that day, it much diminishes the situe : neither belicord they them: but we credit of the story which Jerom gives us are undoubtedly to understand these words from the gospel of the Nazarenes, that with such a limitation as in the paraJames had cored to eat nothing after the phrase. See noteg on Mark xvi. 12, p. 451; paschal supper, till Jesus arose ; on which and nole a ou Mat. xxvii, 17, sect. ccii. account our Lord appeared first to him.
Jesus appears to the apostles when the doors were shut. 465 doors were shut, where even when the doors of the room, where the disci- Sect.
cxcviii. sembled for fear of the ples were gathered together, were shut, and fasJews, Jesus tened on the inside, for fear of the Jews; as
John (himself), and stood in they did not know but some officers of the bigh- XX.19. the midst [of them), priest might come to apprehend them, on the Peace be unto you. scandalous pretence that they had stolen away (Luke XXIV.--36.] the body, which was now publicly laid to their
charge: it was, I say, at this time and place
character and relation. LUKE XXIV. 37.
But they were greatly amazed and terrified at Luke But they were terri
XXIV. fied and affrighted, and this sudden unexpected appearance; and as they
37 supposed that they had knew the doors of the room were shut, and in seen a spirit. the present hurry of their thoughts did not im
mediately reflect upon the proofs he had so often
and not a real body. 38 And he said unto And he said to them, Why are you thus per- 33 them. Why, arc ye plexed and troubled at the sight of me, and why troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your
do these doubtful and unreasonable suspicions
pearance of a spirit that you have here before
my and my teet, that it is you? Behold my hands and my feet, which for 39 I myself: handle me, your satisfaction still retain the scars of those
and wounds which I received on the cross, to con-
d Jesus himself came in, opening the spoken of by some of the pagan writers, locks or bolts by a miraculous power.] especially those who may be suspected of Dr. Wallis on the Sabbath, p. 25) thinks copying from the evangelists, as the efftct the expression of the doors being 'shut in- of a supernatural power attending the aptends 10 more, than that what follows pearance of their deities, or other extraorbappened in the evening, when the doors dinary persons, among them.-The arguare used to be shut up. But, as the deors ment which the Papists bring from hence, are said to have been shut for fear of the to prove that two bodies may be in the Jeus, it strongly implies they were fas same place at the same time, and consetened within ; and all that was herein quently one in different places, is so evimiraculous was the causing them, as of dently built upon an absurd interpretation themselves, to fly open, and shut again of the clause under consideration, as not very suddenly.-Elsner has shewn (O serv. to deserve any farther notice. Vol. I. p. 551) that this is sometimes
466 He eats with them, and upbraids them with their unbelief.
if you please, and see whether this be not and sce: for a spirit really a solid and substantial body: for you know bath not flesh and bones
as ye see me have, that a mere spirit or phantom hath noi flesh and XXIV. bones as you see me have, but is only an empty 39 form presenting itself to the eye, yet eluding the
grasp of any band. 40 And saying this, he shewed them his hands and 40 And when he his feet, and even the mark which the spear had shewed them his hands
had thus spoken, he left in his side, which appeared like a large wound, and his feet and his newly, though perfectly, healede: and several side.), (John XX. of them, and among the rest John the beloved 20.-) apostle, who records this circumstance, had the
curiosity particularly to examine it. (Compare John 1 John i. 1). And the disciples therefore were John XX.-20. Then XX. 20. exceeding glad, as it might reasonably be ex- when they saw
were the disciples glad pected they should be, when they thus saw the Lord. Lord, and learnt by such infallible tokens that
he was really alive. Luke
And for their further satisfaction, when some LUKE XXIV. 41. XXIV. of them) were so transported, that they as yet be. And while they yet 41 lieved not their own eyes for joy, and were so and wondered, he said
astonished that they hardly knew where they unto them, Have ye
were, he said to thein, Have ye any food here left, here any meat ? 42 that I may eat with you? And they gave him
42 And they gare such as they had, even part of a broiled fish, and him a piece of a broil
ed fish, and of an hoof an honey-comb, on which they had been sup- ney-comb. 43 ping just before. And taking [it], he cat before 43 And he took it
them, that thus they might be fully satisfied that and did eat before he was actually alive, and had a true and real
body. (Compare Acts x. 41.) Mark And when he had for a while gently upbraid
XVI.-14. XVI. 14 ed and reproved them for their unbelief, and for And [he] upbraidud
them with their unthe hardness of their hearts, that they had not be- belief, and hardness lieved the repeated testimony of those who had of heart, because they already seen him since he was risen from the dead, which had seen him and that, even after his own appearance to them, after he was risen.
they should be capable of entertaining any furJohn ther doubts; Then, that they might be satis John XX. 21. Then XX. 21 fied that he had graciously forgiven them, Jesus said Jesus to them
said to them again, Peace be unto you : may all you: as my Father hath
e He shewed them his hands and his feet, to the disciples of the truth of his resura &c.] Probably these marks were retained rection; though indeed without that adin bis body when raised from the dead, ditional circumstance the evidence might on purpose to give the greater satisfaction have been very satisfactory.
Reflections on Christ's first appearance to the apostles. 467 22 And when he
And saying this, he in a solemn manner breath. SECT: had said this, he breathi ed upon them], and said to them as one that had unto them, Receive ye Divine authority, Receive ye the Holy Spirit, and
John the Holy Ghost.
take this as an earnest of what you shall further xx. 22.
you have ever yet received them, to qualify and
soever (sins) you shall retain, or shall pronounce
And after this discourse with his disciples,
Luke. With pleasure let us echo back the words of the apostles, and
xxiv. join in that glad anthem which so well suits a resurrection-day, 34 The Lord is risen; he is risen indeed. We owe our daily praises to God for the abundant demonstration he has given us of so important a fact, for every appearance of Christ to his disciples, and for all the infallible tokens by which he shewed himself to be alive after his passion. (Acts i. 3.)
He came with peace and blessings in his mouth; he came to Ver. disperse their fears, and to assure them of his forgiving love, 36-41, How strong were those prejudices which so hardly yielded to such convincing proofs ? And how rich was that grace which condescended to overcome them!
Christ breathed on the apostles, that they might receive the Holy John Spirit. May he also breathe on our souls, and fill us with that xx.2%. glorious and Divine gift, which, if it qualified the apostles for their extraordinary office, may much more furnish us for the VOL.VII.