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The disciples are again bid to wait for the Spirit at Jerusalem. 189

Christ, after his last discourse with his disciples, ascends to heaven

in their sight, from the mount of Olives in the neighbourhood of
Bethany; and they joyfully return to Jerusalem, waiting for the
Spirit. Mark XVI. 19, to the end. Luke XXIV. 50, to the
end. John XX. 30, to the end. XXI. ult. Acts I. 4–12.
ACTS I. 4.

Acts I. 4.
AND being assem- CUCH was the conversation Jesus had with sert.

bled together with S them. The command- o his disciples at Jerusalem, and such the ccill. ed them that they commission he gave them : and now at length, -should not depart from having cathered them to

from having gathered them together on the fortieth day 1
Jerusalem, but wait"
for the promise of the after his resurrection, he charged them again, as
Father, which, saith he had done before (Luke xxiv. 49, p. 43 t),
ke, ye have heard of not to depart from Jerusalem
not to depart from Jerusalem, to employ them-

to eninlov then
selves in any secular cares at home; but rather
to spend some succeeding days in extraordinary
devotion in the temple, or in their secret
retirements; that they might, with the most
becoming temper, wait for the accomplishment
of that promise of the Father, which, (said he]
you have again and again heard from me, both
before and since my resurrection. (Compare.

John xiv. 26. xv. 26. xvi. 7. and Luke xxiv. 5 For Soho truly 49.) For John indeed baptized with water, when Baptized with water; heivos sent to call men to renentance

er; he was sent to call men to repentance; but you
but ye shall be bap-
tized with the Holy well know, that he declared at the same time,
Ghost, not many days “ there was one coming after him, who should

baptize in a more glorious manner with the
Holy Spirit:” (see Mat. iii. 11, Vol. VI. p. 103,
And in accomplishment of this prediction, as
you now are to be sent forth to preach the gospel,
and to bear witness of me as the true Messiah,
that whosoever shall believe in me may obtain
remission of sins, you shall be plentifully fur-
nished from above with all those graces that
may enable you to fulll your ministry, and by
my means shall be baptized with an extraordi-
nary effusion of the Iloly Spirit; and this sball

be done not many days hence. LUKE XXIV. 50. And he then took them with him out of the Luke -And he led them in

1. city, and passing over the brook Kedron again, xxiv. out as far as to Bethany.

in a very different manner from that in which he 50
had lately crossed it (John xviii. 1, p. 342),
he led them out to the mount of Olives, and
bronght them through that riage of hills, as far
as to the boundaries of Bethany".


a As far as to the boundaries of Bethany.] word iws; but what is said elsewhere will This at least must be the import of the not allowy us to extend it to the toon itself:



be bomen hal, bi to know the times of


They discourse with Jesus on the mount of Olives. SECT. When therefore they were come together with Acts I. 6. When cciii. such peculiar solemnity, and Jesus had thus as they

d Jesus hod thus as they therefore were

come together, they sembled them in a body (as they apprehended, asked of him, sayiug, Acts 1. 6.

on some extraordinary occasion) they asked him, Lord, wilt thou at this saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time, when they time restore again the

y kingdom to Israel? have just been guilty of such aggravated wickedness, restore the kingdom to Israel? And wilt thou now in such a manner shew thy favour to a nation which so well deserves to be destroyed, that Israel shall at this time be raised from its servitude, to that extensive empire which ancient prophecies have led us to expect under the government of the Messiah ? 7 But, as Jesus was not willing to enter on a ~ And he said noto subject, concerning which the Spirit would soon them, It is not for you rectify their notions, he chose to check their

the seasons, which the curiosity, and said to them, whatever the schemes Father bath put in his of providence may be, it is not for you to know, own power. and therefore is not proper for you to inquire, what are those times or seasons which the Father has placed under his own authority: the Messiah's kingdom shall indeed be triumphant, and the

Israel of God shall reign with him; but where, · or when, or how this shall be, it is not your pre8 sent business to inquire : And therefore now 8 But ye shall relet not these secret things engage and take up throach

ge and take u ceive power after that your attention ; but let me rather exhort you to

upon you : and ye shall mind your present duty, and to leave the event be witnesses unto me, of things to God: and, to prepare you for the both in Jerusalem, and

ī in all Judea, and in important service you are called to, you shall Samaria, and unto the indeed, as I before have told you, receive the uttermost part of the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you ; and earth. by this means you shall be qualified to be my witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth ; and you shall gather in subjects to my kingdom in the remotest regions, and subdue multitudes to the obedience of faith.


for the town of Bethany was about fifteen Mat. xxi. 1, p. 154.)-It is indeed possible, Jurlongs from Jerusalem (John xi. 18.) that our Lord might make his last visit on whereas the place from which our Lord earth to Lazarus and his pious sisters; but ascended, on mount Olivet, was but a sab- it is manifest he did not ascend from the bath-day's journey, or about half that distance town of Bethany, where many others must from Jerusalem (Acts i. 12.) So that to have seen him, but from the mount of reconcile what Luke here tells us in bis Olives, where none beheld him but his gospel with the account he gives of our his oren disciples ; nor is there any intimaLord's ascension in the Acts, we must con- tion in the words of the evangelist, that be clude, that he conducted his disciples only to came from Bethany to the mount of Olives the boundaries of Bethany, which came on the day of his ascension, but rather that much nearer to Jerusalem, and took in part he went directly from Jerusalem thithet. of the mount of Olives. (See nole a on

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Having blessed them, he ascends to heaven in their sight. 491 LUKE XXIV.-50. And then, lifting up his hands in a most so. sect. And he lift up his lemoon hands, and blessed

| lemn and devout manner, he blessed them, as one

that had authority, not only to desire, but to Like command a blessing on them; and recommended xxiv. them to the guardianship and care of his hea- 50 venly Father, to whom, after so long an abode

on earth, he was now returning. 51-And it came to And it came to pass, after the Lord had spoken 51 pass [after the Lord had these things unto them, and had with great afspoken [ACTS, these things into them), fection and solemnity discoursed with his diswhile he blessed them, ciples of the work they were to do, and of the he was parted from power they should have to qualify them for it, them. (MARK XV. Even ohile he was blessing them, he was miracli19.-Acts 1.9.-) even while he was blessing inem, ne was mira

Acts 1.-9. And lously separated from them. And while they Acts vhile they beheld, he stedfastly beheld bim, and fixed their eyes upon was taken up, (L'UKÉ, bion with the str and carried up into

to him with the strictest observation, he was taken
heaven,) and a cloud up from the ground on which he stood, and gra-
received him out of dually carried up into heaven', as it seemed
their sight, (and he sat by the ministry of attending angels (though he
on the right-hand of
God.] [MARK XVI. could certainly bave ascended merely by his own
---19. LUKE XXIV. power) : and while he hovered in the air, at

some distance from them, a bright cloud ap-
peared, as a kind of triumphant chariot which
God had prepared on this great occasion, and re-
ceived him out of theirsight : and, passing through
crowds of adoring angels, he ascended to a
throne highly exalted above all theirs, and
sal down, even at the right-hand of God, on a
seat of the highest dignity and authority, there
to reign in the glories of his mediatorial king-
dom, till all things shall be put under his feet.

(See 1 Cor. xv. 25, 27.]
10 And while they And as they were stedfastly looking up to hea- 10
looked stedfastly to- ven, while he went on in his amazing and tri.
ward heaven, as he

e umphant progress, behold, two angels, in the men stood by them in form of men, in white and shining raiment, bewhite apparel; ing of the number of those whose ministration

God was pleased to make use of in this illustri11 Which also said, ous event, came and stood near them; Who 11 Ye men of Galilee, also spake to them, and said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing why do we stand uinto heaven this why do ye stand gazing up to hearen with such

same great astonishment ? Is it not what your Lord
himself has often told you, that he was soon to

went up, behold. tu


b While they beheld, he was taken up, 373), that it was much more proper our &c.] It will, I hope, be remembered, that Lord should ascend to heaven in the sight of it was for majesty, and not of necessity, that his apostles, than that he should rise from our Lord used the ministration of angels in the dead in their sight: for his resurrection carrying himself to beaven.-Dr. Jennings was proved, when they saw him alive after has observed, with his usual sagacity and his passion, but they could not see him in propriety (Serm. at Berry-street, Vol. I. p. heaven, while they continued upon earth. VOL. VII.

c Which



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492 Two angels tell them, he shall come again in like manner. SECT. return to the glory from which he came? And same Jesas which is cciii. we are now sent hither to assure you, that this taken up from you

into heaven, shall so Jesus, who is thus taken up from you into heaven, come in like manner 1.11. shall so come again, in the very same manner as as ye have seen him

you have now beheld him go into heaven : for the go into heaven.
great day shall surely come, when he will visi-
bly descend from heaven in a cloud of glory,
attended as now with a guard of angels, to dis-
pense their final judgment to all the inhabitants
of the world : but in the mean time, the heavens
must receive him, and you must no more expect
his company on earth.

And bis disciples were so fully satisfied of his LUKE XXIV. 59. 52 Divine power and glory, that they worshipped A

y that they worshipped And they worshipped

"bim, and (then) rehim with the humblest reverence, though he was turned to Jerusalem, now become invisible to them; and then (as be with great joy (from had ordered them) returned to Jerusalem with the mount called Oli

vet, which is from Jegreat joy, from the mount called Olivet, where he rusalem "asat was parted from them); which is but a sabbath day's journey :] (ACTS day's journey, or about a mile distant from Je- 1. 12.] rusalem : and it exceedingly rejoiced their hearts to think that Jesus their Lord was in this singular inanner honoured by his heavenly Father, and received up into a state of everlasting felicity and glory, in which he would be able to protect all his followers, and to provide in the

most effectual manner for their present and 53 eternal happiness. . And they were always in the 53 And were con

Yo, attended there or tinually in the temple, temple, that is, they constantly attended there at tinually

praising proper times, and were dailv present at the hours of prayer, praising and blessing God, both in


c Which is a sabbath-day's journey from on Luke xxiv. 50; and Acts i. 12.) ComJerusalem.] A sabbath-day's journey is ge- pare note a in this section, on Luke xxiv. 50. nerally reckoned by the Jews to be two d And they were always in the temple.] thousand cubits; which was the distance be- Some have imagined (by comparing this tween the ark and the camp, when they with Acts i. 13, 14), that the apostles dwelt marched (Josh. iii. +); and probably the for some time afterwards in an under-chan. same proportion was observed when they ber of the temple : but they bad no such inrested. This is usually computed at about terest with the priests, as to allow us to sup. eight furlongs. or a mile. But as the camp pose they would permitthem to lodge in an took in a large exteut of ground, and this apartment of the temple. It is sufficient was only the distance of those that en

that en- that they w

that they were always there at the proper camped nearest to the ark; so it is evident, seasons; for it is well known, that by night that as all the people were to repair on the the lemple was shut up. (Compare Luke ü. sabbath-day to the place of God's public 37, Vol. VI. p. 74, and John xviii. 20, worship, a sabbath-day's journey was more Vol VII. p. 368.) They probably joined than two thousand cubits to those whose their voices with the chorus of the Levites, station in the camp was more remote from as no doubt other pious Israelites did ; and the ark: yet when they were afterwards must surely, from what they had already settled in towns, they allowed no more than seen and known, have learnt to use many two thousand cubits for a sabbath-day's jour- of the psalms sung by them, in a much ney. (See Selden, de Jur. Nat. & Gent. sublimer sense than the generality of the lib. iii. cap. 9, and Lightfoot, Hor, Hebr. people could.

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They return to Jerusalem, and praise God in the temple. 493 praising and blessing his house, and in their own retirements. Amen.' sect: God. Amen.

May God always be praised by us, and by all
who receive his gospel, for the discoveries and Luke
attestations of it given to these his servants, and xxiv.
by them to us!

53 MARK XVI. 20. And, in a few days after this (as will be shewn Mark

th, more largely in the following history), their XVI. 20. and preached every where, the Lord works ascended Lord, in remembrance of his promise to ing with them, and them, sent down as a royal donative the extraorconfirming the word dinary influences of his Spirit upon them, fully with signs following Amen.

to qualify them for that important office to which
they were designed. And going forth with this
furniture, they preached the gospel every where
throughout the whole Roman empire, and even
among the barbarous nations, with amazing suc-
cess; the Lord, according to his promise, work-
ing with them, and confirming the word of his
grace by the signs and miracles which followed it;
which were at once the most solid, as well as
the most obvious and popular demonstrations
of those Divine truths which they delivered.
Amen! So may the presence of the Lord be al-
ways with his faithful ministers! and may his
gospel be attended every where with efficacy
and success, as well as with convincing evi-

dences of its Divine authority! JOHN XXI. 25.

And the wat

And thus we have given a summary account of John And there are also many other things the most remarkable passages of the life of Christ **•• which Jesus did; [and during the time of his abode on earth : but afmany other signs truly ter all, it must be considered only as a specimen. did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, rather than a qui narr

es, rather than a full narration ; for there are also which are not written many other things that Jesus said and did, and in this book ;] the indeed many other signs and miracles, that Jesus which, if they should be written every one, wrough,

one, wrought, both before and after his resurrection, I suppose that even in the presence of his disciples which are not writthe world itself could ten in this book of the four evangelists, which is not contain the books that should be written. Dere completed ; ana w

en here completed ; and which indeed are so nu(John XX, 30.] merous, that if every one (of them) should be re

corded in all its circumstances, I am persuaded
the work would amount to so vast a bulk, that
the world itself would not be able to receive the
books that should be written; but the very size of

the volumes would necessarily prevent the ge.

But nerality of mankind from procuring or reading JOHN XX. these them. But these most necessary and impor


e The world itself would not be able to which we meet with other instances in receive the books, &c.] There would be scripture : (see Gen, xi. 4; Numb. xiii. 33; no great inconvenience in allowing an and compare John xii. 19.) But I think hyperbole here, as most expositors do, of the sense given in the paraphrase easier 3Q %


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