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here? and they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honey comb, the remains of their supper; which ascertains the time of this appearance. And he took, and ate before them; and probably, on this occasion also, he drank before them, (Acts x. 41,) to give them the fullest information of their senses*. Then were the disciples rejoiced, when they were satisfied that they saw THE LORD himself, Luke xxiv. 41-43, John xx. 20.
And now our gracious LORD proceeded to convince their reason also; resuming the conversation which he had with the two disciples going to Emmaus, as a further proof of his identity; and he addressed it to them in common with the disciples.
"These are the sayings which I spake unto you, while I was still with you [in the flesh,] namely, that all things written concerning Me in the law of Moses and the Prophets, and the Psalms, [or in the OLD TESTAMENT, of which these were the three divisions,] must needs be fulfilled, (Luke xxii. 37, Matt. xxvi. 53, 54.) Then he thoroughly opened their mind also, [as he did before of the two disciples, ver. 32,] to understand the Scripture prophecies †. And He said unto them, Thus it is
Jacob their father revived;" and with transport and delight: "And Israel said, it is proof enough: Joseph my son is still alive; I will go and see him before I die ;" anxious to set off instantly, lest death should arrest him! Gen. xlv. 26-28. There is no history, indeed, equal to the BIBLE, for portraying, in their native colours, and just dimensions, the various passions and emotions of the human heart, adapted to all the vicissitudes of human life. It furnishes the most philosophical history of “ man, the proper study of mankind." Pope.
The Apostles had the fullest evidence of all their senses for the personal appearance of CHRIST among them. And the complete conviction thereof, is thus expressed by the beloved disciple, 1 John i. 1-4, more closely rendered.
"What occurred from the beginning, concerning the ORACLE OF LIFE, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld, and our hands have handled ; - what we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye may participate with us :—and these write we unto you, that your joy may be completed."
Hence it appears, that the Apostles actually handled the body of CHRIST:-" they saw and handled,"-they touched, and were convinced.
+ The Scripture prophecies thoroughly expounded, or thoroughly interpreted by OUR LORD, on this occasion, probably related, 1. to his passion, 2. to his resurrection, 3. on the third day after his death.
I. The principal prophecies, relating to his passion, including his death and burial, in the LAW, or PENTATEUCH, were,
1. The bruising of the heel of the blessed Seed of the woman, by the old Serpent, Gen. iii. 15, fulfilled on the cross.
2. The intended sacrifice of Isaac, that type of CHRIST, Gen. xxii. 2. And in the same place, Calvary, Gen. xxii. 14.
written, and thus it behoved CHRIST to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day. And also, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached unto all the Gentiles, beginning from Jerusalem, with the Jews. And ye are witnesses of these things—the chosen witnesses of my resurrection to the world, Luke xxiv. 44-48, 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4, Acts x. 41.
Then said JESUS to them again, Peace be with you! And now, by the authority vested in him, he also commissioned them to proclaim, or publish THE GOSPEL. AS THE FATHER sent me forth, or delegated me as his REPRESENTATIVE, even so send I you, or depute you as my heralds, or ambassadors. And as at the creation, “ He had breathed into the nostrils of the first
3. The suspension of the Christian sacrifice, during the Jewish economy; intimated by the ram offered up in the stead of Isaac, Gen. xxii. 13.
4. The institution of the rite of the passover, typical of CHRIST our passover, Exod. xii. 14—17.
5. The brazen serpent in the wilderness, Numb. xxi. 6-9; applied, John iii. 14. IN THE PROPHETS.
1. Isaiah's prediction of CHRIST's passion, death, and burial, chap. liii. throughout, applied, John xii. 38, Acts viii. 30—35.
2. Daniel's prediction of CHRIST's cutting off, by a violent death, Dan. ix. 26. 3. Zechariah's prediction, that he should be pierced with the spear on the cross, Zech. xii. 10. Applied, John xix. 37,
Rev. i. 7.
IN THE PSALMS.
1. The description of CHRIST's rejection and sufferings, by the Jews, Pilate, and Herod, Psalm ii. 1-3. Applied, Acts iv. 25—28.
2. The circumstances of his crucifixion, Psalm xxii. 1—18. Applied by our Lord himself on the cross.
3. His death and interment, Psalm xvi. 10. Applied, Acts ii. 26, xiii. 35.
II. His resurrection on the third day.
IN THE LAW.
1. Isaac's figurative restoration to life, was on the third day, after his sacrifice was appointed, Gen. xxii. 2-4. Applied, Heb. xi. 17-19.
2. The law requiring the voluntary offerings to be eaten before the third day; on the third day they were to be burnt or destroyed, Levit. vii. 15—18.
IN THE PROPHETS.
1. Jonah's entombment in the great fish's belly for three days, Jonah i. 17. Applied by OUR LORD to himself, Matt. xii. 40, xvi. 4, compare John ii.19.
IN THE PSALMS.
1. His resurrection without seeing corruption, and therefore, not later than the third day, Psalm xvi. 10, as collected from the state of Lazarus, on the fourth day, John xi. 39.
Hence in apoplexies, persons are not allowed to be buried till seventy-two hours be past, lest they should revive within that time; of which there have been instances. It was within forty hours from OUR LORD's death, on Friday, at the first afternoon, till his resurrection, before sun rise, on Sunday; not two entire days. See Mede's excellent Discourse, 13th, p. 49.
man the breath, or spirit of life," Gen. ii. 7, (see Vol. II. p. 2, &c.) so now, at the new creation, as it were, or regeneration of his disciples, he made them "new men" in disposition, or in “the spirit of their mind," for He breathed on them, (ɛvequonoɛ,) and said, Receive ye a holy spirit! This was the prelude of that fuller baptism of THE HOLY SPIRIT, which was repeatedly promised them before, from the days of John's ministry, Matt. iii. 11, Luke xii. 12, xxi. 15, John vii. 38, 39, xiv. 26, xv. 26, and again, Acts i. 5. The Holy Spirit now conferred on them, as distinguished from that fuller effusion on the day of Pentecost, seems to correspond to " the Spirit of THE LORD,” which animated the worthies of the OLD TESTAMENT, Gideon, Jephtha, Samson, Saul, David, &c. *, namely, an uncommon and præternatural spirit of boldness or fortitude, and fervent zeal for THE LORD, and all the other qualifications of a moral nature, necessary for the discharge of their arduous and perilous mission, to enable them "to speak the word with boldness,” regardless of the consequences to themselves, John xx. 21, 22.
Our Lord also, on this occasion, formally confirmed the privilege of binding and loosing, which he had promised before, Matt. xvi. 19, xviii. 18, by granting them authority to remit sins to the penitent, and to retain sins to the impenitent, John xx. 23.
Such were the amazing and important occurrences that occupied the whole of this eventful day of the resurrection, here, we trust, arranged in a simple, natural, and consistent order of time and place; sufficient, by the harmonious symmetry of the outline with the detail, even in the minutest parts, to solve all those "variations," or "inconsistencies," hitherto complained of, which surely are neither "trifling" nor "unimportant+" to believers, and have actually proved a “stumbling block" to sceptics, and "foolishness" or absurdity to infidels; all attributing to the inspired Evangelists, the faults of their own error, or unskilfulness, or precipitation, or presumption.
THE SUNDAY FOLLOWING.
At the foregoing manifestation on Easter evening, Thomas, one of the Apostles, happened to be absent. When the rest
See Vol. II. pages, 281, 287, 293, 310, 315, &c.
+ See Gilpin, Notes on Matt. xxviii. 1, John xx. 11, &c. stating them as "trifling," &c.
told him that they had seen THE LORD, he remained incredulous, and said, “Except I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I shall not believe," John xx. 24, 25.
Eight days after, the disciples were assembled again, and Thomas with them. Then cometh JESUS, the door having been shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you! Then said he to Thomas, repeating his own expressions, Reach hither thy finger, and see, [or examine,] my hands, and reach [hither] thy hand, and put it into my side, and be not a disbeliever, but a believer," John xx. 26, 27.
Overpowered by this unmerited condescension, and thoroughly convinced by CHRIST's knowledge of the very words. he had spoken, that he must be the Divine SEARCHER OF HEARTS, from whom no secrets are hid, he instantly exclaimed, with the fullest confession of faith, MY LORD, AND MY GOD!
This is indeed the most signal and important confession of faith in CHRIST, to be found in the Gospels. It clearly and distinctly recognizes his proper Sovereignty and Divinity, as OUR immediate LORD or GOVERNOR, Psalm xxii. 28, and OUR future JUDGE, or MIGHTY GOD, the Arbiter of the destinies of Mankind, Psalm 1. 1-4, as OUR LORD himself asserted, John v. 22, Matt. xxv. 31.
It is also the most satisfactory and convincing, for it was extorted from "a disbeliever," or obstinate unbeliever, after he had, for an entire week, resisted the most authentic and credible human testimony of a "cloud of witnesses" of the resurrection, and was only borne down irresistibly, by “many infallible proofs,” addressed both to his senses and to his understanding.
Any idle argument, therefore, designed to evade, or explain away its evidence, is criminal and unpardonable. It ranks, perhaps, with that blasphemy against THE HOLY SPIRIT, which shall not be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the next; and most justly, because it sets at defiance all testimony, human and divine, by a reprobate or undiscerning mind, incapable of conviction.
Such appears to be that early heretical gloss of Theodore Mopsuesta, which was condemned in the fifth general council of Constantinople, held under Justinian, A.D. 553, but has been revived, unfortunately, in modern times, by the Socinians and Unitarians; idly supposing that the words of Thomas contained two distinct exclamations, ò Kupiog pov, kaι, ó Oɛoç μov, "O MY LORD, and O MY GOD!" either expressive of thanks to GOD for this miraculous resurrection of CHRIST, or else that they were mere expressions of astonishment or surprise, unmeaning and irreverent ejaculations to heaven; such as are too frequent in the modern languages of our own times.
"It is much to be lamented, (as Middleton justly observes,) that the [Socinian] bias of Wetstein's mind inclined him to countenance such "absurdity," adopting the former (Theodore's exposition), in his note on the place." But it is more extraordinary, that Middleton himself, that judicious critic in general, should partially adopt it, and suppose that "these words were spoken by way of exclamation; the nominative case, with the article prefixed, being put for the vocative, (ò Ɖɛoç μov, for Oɛɛ μov,) rather than by way of assertion of Christ's divinity, with the ellipsis ovε, understood; of such ellipsis,"
His earnestness and emotion, unequivocally supplying the ellipsis, "I believe that thou art MY LORD AND MY GOD!" John xx. 28.
says he, "I have not noticed any example." And yet, he rather inconsistently states afterwards, "Our Saviour's reply makes it absolutely certain, that the words of Thomas, though in the form of an exclamation, amount to a confession of faith, and were equivalent to a direct assertion of our Saviour's Divinity. CHRIST commends Thomas's acknowledgment, while he condemns the tardiness with which it is made." Middleton's Doctrine, p. 381, 382.
It may be shewn, however, 1. that the words are not in the form of an exclamation; 2. that of such an ellipsis, there are examples to be found:
1. The cases he has adduced from Psalm v. 3, and from Psalm xxxv. 3, seem to be irrelevant, for the Septuagint renderings of the former, ò Baoiλevs pov kaι ò kvρiog μov, and of the latter, ò Оɛoç μov kaι ỏ кvρioç μov, are not necessarily vocative cases; they may fairly be understood as nominatives, supplying an easy ellipsis, [Σv, ò wv] ô Barileve pov, &c. [Thou, who art] my king, &c. And though in some cases the Septuagint Version unquestionably uses such phrases vocatively, as in OUR LORD's exclamation on the cross, My God! MY GOD! which it renders O Oɛoç pov, ὁ Θεός μου ; yet for this, the Evangelist Matthew substituted the vocative, Oɛɛ pov, Ɖɛɛ pov, xxvii. 46. And Wetstein has ably shewn (in the very note in question), that though the Attic writers frequently used the nominative for the vocative case, yet they never confounded o and, their respective articles; as in the instances, & piλog for piλe, Odyss. III. 375; & piλrar' Aiaç, Sophocles, Ajax, 992, &c. A grammatical nicety, which ought not to have escaped Wakefield; grounding his mistranslation, as he says, upon the Attic usage. It is still more extraordinary that it is unnoticed in the Doctrine of the Greek Article.
2. Such an ellipsis as σv & is frequently understood in the Gospels. Thus, in that remarkable thanksgiving of ouR LORD to his FATHER, Ναι, ὁ Πατηρ ότι [συ ει] ούτως EYEVETO EVÔOKIA εμπρоσОɛv σov, adduced by Matthew, xi. 26, and repeated by Luke, x. 21, it seems absolutely necessary to introduce it, in order to discriminate the nominative, ò IIarno, from the vocative, at the beginning, Harɛp.
Again, at the celebration of the passover, CHRIST, recommending humility by his own example to his disciples, says "Ye call me THE TEACHER, and THE LORD, [emphatically,] (ò didaσkaλog, kaι ò Kvpioç,) and ye say well, for I am: if then I, THE LORD, and THE TEACHER (εyw, ò Kupioç, kai ô didaokaλog,) washed your feet, ye also ought to wash each others feet," John xiii. 13; where our Lord's acceptance of these exclusive titles, in ɛyw εui, "I am," demonstrates that ov ε, "thou art," must be understood, at least, if not expressed, by the disciples, [Thou art] "THE TEACHER," and "THE LORD." "These titles are not to be supposed to be given him at one and the same time, but distinctly and independently, as if our Saviour had said, One of you calls me ò didaokalos, another & Kupioc," as judiciously remarked by Middleton himself, who vindicates, in this place, the propriety of the article, p. 369, and has well explained the title given by our Lord to Nicodemus, ὁ διδασκαλος του Ισραηλ, “The teacher of Israel;" as being "the appellation which the followers of Nicodemus gave him, by way of distinction; in conformity with the high and sounding titles which the Jews gave their doctors," p. 346.
The high importance of the subject, and the deserved celebrity of the Doctrine of the Greek Article, must apologize for the length and minuteness of this note. It is only the mistakes of Master Critics that this work can afford to notice, and even these with regret, merely to counteract any undue weight of their authority. To such eminent scholars as