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(ETTEDwoke) shortly before sun-set, or the commencement of the Sabbath day, allowing only time for a hasty interment before the Sabbath day commenced. And after they had finished the interment, they rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, in order to secure it from intrusion, and departed, Matt. xxvii. 59, 60; Mark xv. 45, 46; Luke xxiii. 53, 54.
Of all our Lord's Galilean friends and acquaintances who attended the crucifixion, Matt. xxvii, 55, Mark xv. 40, 41, Luke xxii. 49, only Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the mother of James the less and Joses, attended the interment also, and sate down opposite the tomb, and beheld where and how the body was laid, Matt. xxvii. 61; Mark xv. 47; Luke xxiii. 55. And they seem to have lingered there, after the interment, in pensive mourning, until respect for the sabbath compelled them to retire.
The rest of the women seem to have returned to the city from the crucifixion, where they prepared aromatic spices and ointments, to finish the embalmment of the body, after the sabbath. But they religiously rested during the Sabbath, according to the (fourth] commandment, Luke xxiii. 56 *.
There is here a considerable biguity in Luke's narrative, which has principally contributed to embarrass the harmony of the resurrection hitherto.
At first sight, the same Galilean women who attended the crucifixion, in general, seem also to have attended the interment, ver. 55, and afterwards to have returned to the city, and prepared the aromatic spices and ointments before the Sabbath began, ver. 56. But these must have been distinct parties, for the former consisted only of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, as we learn from the express testimony of Matthew xxvii. 61, and of Mark xv. 47; and they staid so late at the tomb, till the Sabbath was going to dawn, by Luke's own account in the preceding ver. 54, that it was impossible they could prepare the embalming materials before it commenced. And accordingly, we learn from Mark, xvi. I, that they actually purchased them after the Sabbath was fully passed, on Sunday morning. It must, therefore, have been the rest of the Galilean women who prepared the materials on Friday evening, and went to embalm the body on Sunday Inorning, according to Luke's continuation, xxiv. 1.
And this is confirmed by Luke's phraseology in the former ver. 55, where the anarthrous term, yuVaikes, is indefinite; signifying, that “ some women of those that had come with him from Galilee, attending [the interment,] beheld the tomb, and how his body was laid, while (others] returning, prepared aromatic spices and ointments,”' &c. υποστρεψασαι δε [αλλαι, or λοιπαι,] ήτοιμασαν, &c.
And the necessity of supplying this ellipsis in ver. 56 is confirmed by Luke's subsequent enumeration of the Galilean women in general, xxiv. 10, as distinguished from the second party, whose visit to the tomb he notices in the preceding part of the chapter, ver. 1-9.
This distinction is judiciously remarked by Townson, in his Harmony, p. 131, &c. and will be more fully explained in the sequel.
THE SEPULCHRE GUARDED BY ROMAN SOLDIERS. Far otherwise were the ceremonious high priests and scrupulous Pharisees employed on the Sabbath day! As soon as it arrived, at night-fall, they went to Pilate, to entreat him that he would station a guard there, until the third day of that deceiver's predicted rising from the dead, lest his disciples should steal away the body on this or the following night, and pretend that it was risen. So the last error would be worst than the first, Matt. xxvii. 62–64.
Pilate consenting, they took with them a part of the temple guard, and we may be assured, after previously examining whether the body was in the tomb, they sealed the stone, to secure it against the soldiers themselves, and set the watch to guard it against the disciples, Matt. xxvii. 65, 66.
Thus did these whited sepulchres “fair without and foul within,” as our Lord significantly upbraided them,“ strain at a gnat, but swallow a camel." They scrupled indeed to enter the Roman prætorium on Friday, for fear of being polluted, but on Saturday, that high and holy day, they dared not only to profane the Sabbath by unhallowed work, but even to incur the highest pollution, of entering a sepulchre and approaching a dead body !-What a strange inconsistency was this !
All this uncommon care and caution on their part only contributed to defeat its own end. It was permitted, but overruled by PROVIDENCE, in order to furnish the strongest proofs of the miraculous resurrection of his Son, and to confute these wicked men, and their calumny, which they suggested to Pilate, and afterwards propagated, that the disciples stole away his body by night, although they had used every human precaution to prevent its being taken away out of a new tomb,” where there was
no other corpse,” and that tomb “hewn out of a rock,” inaccessible behind, and its mouth secured by a “great stone," under "a seal," and "a guard of soldiers !"_" to make assurance doubly sure.” In vain did they fight against God! and kick against the pricks! sorely to their own confusion and destruction.
HARMONY OF THE RESURRECTION, AND OF OUR LORD'S
EASTER DAY. 31.
EARLY WATCH. A great earthquake, descent.
of tro angels, removal of the stone, terror
other Mary, and Salome, set out to view
the tomb, about day break.
chre, seeing the stone removed, hastily runs
was taken away somewhere.............
chre, after sun rise. ............ They see the first angel, and soldiers, in the
porch. ...... They see the second in the tomb................. They fly from the sepulchre, amazed and
and] transported The guards departed. Peter and John come running to the sepul
chre; and return, without seeing the an
gels......... Mary Magdalene, slowly following them,
} Presently eatere Jesus himself. His first }
appearance to her. She goes to tell the Disciples. n. CHRIST'S second appearance to the two
other women, as they were returning, Second party of women, Joanna and her company visit the sepulchre, and see the
two angels........... They retum, and tell the disciples, who dis
believe their report............. Peter goes a second time to the sepulchre,
but sees no more than before. ....................... Noon. Cleophas, and another disciple, go
at Emmaus, and vanishes.......................
others after supper; while Cleophas was
rest, shews him his hands and his side....... Thomas's confession of faith. ...................
pointed mountain, to all the Apostles, and xxviii. 16.
“ If Christ be not risen from the dead, your faith is vain ;
But now is Christ risen from the dead ;-
The evidences of this main pillar of Christian faith, hope, and charity-The bodily resurrection of our LORD JESUS Christ, as being “ the first fruits,” the earnest and the pledge of our own future resurrection likewise; and the grand incentive to“ labour in THE LORD," with " labour of love,"—have not been fully illustrated, even by the best Harmonists hitherto,
• This is the Apostle's inference from his detail of the chosen witnesses, to whom OUR Lord shewed himself alive, bodily, after his passion and resurrection, by many infallible proofs. He only states the premises, leaving the reader to draw the first conclusion; which is drawn according to a mode of hypothetic syllogism, usually reckoned fallacious, namely, from the removal of the antecedent to the removal of the consequent ; the legitimate mode, on the contrary, proceeding from the position of the antecedent to the position of the consequent. But where the parts are essentially connected, so that they must both stand, or both fall together, as in this instance, the two modes are equally valid. We owe this judicious correction of the received rules of syllogisms, to that mighty master of logic, or the art of reasoning, Paul, trained in the schools of Alexandria, Greece, and Rome, and illuminated with the Holy Spirit, by the ORACLE, or Reason in the original. The conclusion with which the Apostle finishes the argument, expressly, follows immediately from the first, understood.
on account of the difficulties, either real or adventitious, that occur in the coucise accounts of the Evangelists.
1. The first and chief difficulty has arisen from the confined plans, and studied brevity * of the Evangelists; each pursuing his own plan, with little apparent attention, and no express reference to the rest; which has produced some obscurity in their separate accounts, and some ambiguity, when compared with each other.
Matthew's report may be considered as the ground-work of the whole. His leading object seems to have been to counteract the foul and malignant calumny propagated by the chief priests and rulers of the Jews, and current in Palestine when he wrote his Gospel ; namely, that the disciples came by night, and stole the body of Jesus away, while the guards were asleep. A calumny, indeed, which carried its own refutation along with it; for what credit could be due to witnesses who attested a fact which they were incompetent to judge of, by their own confession, while they were asleep !—To refute this, in every particular, the Evangelist states, 1. that the body was not stolen away by the disciples, but raised by the power of God. 2. That this was effected, not by night, but in the morning; and 3. that the guards were not asleep, but terrified, and in a trance, as if dead, by the tremendous apparition of an angel arrayed in terrors, descending from heaven with an earthquake, rolling away the great stone, and sitting upon it close beside them; in which state the two women who went first to the sepulchre, actually beheld them.
Luke took up the narrative on the day of the resurrection, where Matthew ends, and without any express reference to his party, introduces another party, who came later to the sepulchre, in order to finish the embalmment; and he notices the appearance of tro angels to these women. He then proceeds to relate the succeeding appearances of that eventful day, which Matthew had omitted, as inconsistent with his confined plan. He relates the incredulity of the disciples in general, to the testimony of the women, and shews the grounds of it, their distrust of the bodily resurrection of CHRIST, which Matthew had only hinted.
Mark coming after both, endeavoured to supply chasms in