Page images

Mar.xvi.14. meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hard- Jerasalen.

ness of heart, because they believed not them which had

seen him after he was risen.
John xx.26. And after eight days" again his disciples were within,

and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors
being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be

unto you.

27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and

behold my hands ; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust

it into my side ; and be not faithless, but believing.
28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord

and my God 92.

they then heard from the mouth of their affectionate Lord. The
whole of his discourse and behaviour to them was directed at
that time to the composing of their troubles, and the satisfying
of their doubts. Reprehension was reserved for the following
Sunday, when a whole week baving been allowed to examine
and compare the proofs of his resurrection, and to call to mind
his own predictions and promises concerning it. They who
continued incredulous were become more worthy of blame. Then
if he said no more by way of reproof than what he said to St.
Thomas, it was a reprehension of the rest of the oompany wbo
were in the same state of mind: and it is sufficient to justify
St. Mark's expression, “ He upbraided them with their unbe-
lief and hardness of heart." St. Mark says, “ He appeared
unto the eleven," and it was of consequence to inform us that
he was seen by the apostles: but when he adds, “ And he up-
braided them with tbeir unbelief," he extends his view to all
those whom he had spoken of as incredulous in the preceding

31 The first appearances of our Lord to his apostles appear
to have taken place uniformly on the first day of the week, and
from their consequent observance of that day, originated the
Cbristian sabbath.

32 The disbelief of the Apostles is the means of furnishing us with full and satisfactory demonstration of the resurrection of Christ. Throughout the divine dispensations, it is to be observed, that every doctrine, and every important truth, is gradually revealed, and here we have a conspicuous instance of this progressive system. An angel first declares the glorious event!' The empty sepulchre confirms the women's report. Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene shewed that he was alive--that to the disciples at Emmaus proved that it was at least the spirit of Christ, by expounding the prophecies, and breaking of bread--that to the eleven shewed the reality of bis body, and the conviction given to St. Tbomas, proved it the self same body that had been crucified. The resurrection was testified by the conviction of the senses. The ear heard it, and blessed--the eye saw it, and gave witness—the hand was satisfied with feeling-the intellect was fed upon the heavenly teaching, and the Holy Ghost descended in confirmation of tbe holy truth. The miracle of the draught of fishes gave evidence of the continued existence of the same divine and almighty nature, which had been displayed before the cru. cifixion, and the Spirit of God, was manifested in opening the Scriptures, till their bearts burned within them. Every possible demonstration was vouchsased that man could receive, or God bestow. The wounds which had been inflicted upoo the body

John xx. 29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Jerusalem.

me, thou hast believed : blessed are they that have not
seen, and yet have believed.

of Christ were still visible, bearing testimony to his identity,
unclosed, yet free from corruption. Credulity itself was satis-
fied, and the convinced apostle exclaims, in the joy of his hoart,
“ My Lord and my God.”

The question whether St. Thomas, at the moment of his con-
viction, intended his address to our Lord as an act of religious
worship, must be decided by a consideration of the conclusions
from which it must have originated. St. Thomas had denied
the possibility of the resurrection. Our Lord convinced him of
his error, when he expressed himself in these remarkable words,
My Lord, and my God. So far, says Bishop Horsley, as the
disciples believed in Jesus as the Messiah, in the same degree
they understood and acknowledged bis divinity. In the first
interview of Nathaniel with our Lord, when he proved to him
his omniscience, be exclaimed, “ Thou art the Son of God,”
thou art the divine and expected king of Israel. When the
miraculous draught of fishes convinced St. Peter of the power
of Christ, he addressed him as his “ Lord.” When the Angel
Jebovab appeared to tbe patriarchs of old, they all worshipped
and paid their homage in the same mapper, and with similar
expressions to those nised by the Evangelists. It was some sud-
den proof of divinity in the mysterious personage who ad-
dressed them, which elicited the language of homage and ado-

The exclamation of the Apostle was Ο Κύριος μου, και ο θεός us, in the nominative, which is frequently put for the vocative, in pure, as well as in Hellenistic Greek. It seems, however, preferable to read the passage el, understood, Thou art my Lord, even my God; or, as the word Kupios corresponds to the principal oames, given in the Old Testament to the manisested God of Israel, it would be better to interpret the exclamation accordingly, as if he had said, obx, mo or as the Jews were accustomed to omit the ineffable name, and substitute '978 in its place, he might have used only the latter Othx 9778. It seems, however, more probable, that on the present occasion he would omit the substituted term, and express himself in the very language of the Scriptures, :oob 7777". This was the name given to the manifested God of the Old Testament, and the exclamation of the apostle therefore may be more fully rendered—Thou art the Lord Jehovah, the manifested God of my fathers.

It is true that the word #pookuvéw, in the original, which is rendered by our translators by the term worship, is used by the Evangelist to denote civil respect, or the homage due to persons of rank and dignity. But the word is one of general'im. port; and the cases in which it must be understood of religious adoration on the one band, or of civil homage on the other, can be discriminated only by attending to the circumstances in each instance. To assist in determining the true sense in the examples under consideration, let the following remarks be considered.

1. Out of sixty places in which this word occurs in the New Testament, there are oniy two or three in which it indisputably bears the inferior sense ; there are forty-three in which it is manifestly to be understood of religious worship: and the remaining instances are those of application to Christ, the genuine import of which we are desirous of ascertaining.

2. Our Lord, during the whole of his public ministry, evi

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Christ appears to a large number of his Disciples on a

mountain in Galilee.

MATT. xxviii. ver. 16, 17. and part of ver. 18.
Mt.xxviii16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into Galilee.

a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but

some doubted 93.
18. And Jesus came and spake with them”.

Christ appears again at the Sea of Tiberias-His conver-

sation with Peter 35,

JOHN xxi. 1-24. John xxi. 1. After these things, Jesus shewed himself again to the

disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.

אדוני ואלהי Thomas are rendered literally

dently made it a principle of his conduct, to disavow and refuse all eartbly eminence. The repeated attempts wbich were made to invest bim with the regal dignity, he inflexibly discountenanced. Even wben he was accosted with an epithet which he might have accepted very inoffensively, he rebuked the person who gave it, because he perceived it was the language of compliment rather than of sincere conviction : “ Why callest thou me good?" On the contrary, he never refused acknowledgments of spiritual supremacy. He openly claimed to be called Lord and Master, the Son of God, and the King of his Church.

A translation of the New Testament into Hebrew has been lately published by the London Society for Promoting the Conversion of the Jews; in this translation the words of St.

This Hebrew tran. slation, so far as I am able to judge, appears to be executed with ability and faithfulness.

Horsley's Letters in reply to Dr. Priestley, p. 239. Sermon on the Adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ, vindicated from the charge of Idolatry. By Dr. Pye Smith. 8vo. 1811.

33 Beza reads this passage voe idiotaoav, they did not doubt any longer. The Prussian version reads, #potecúvndav aury, oi édioracay, they worshipped him, even those who had doubted. In which sense it should be oi Te. Grotius interprets it, but some bad heretofore doubted. Bishop Pearce conjectures, that those who doubted did so because they might be at a greater distance from him than others; and therefore could not so well distinguish,

34 Si. Matthew's words are sai a pookdow é 'inconç élálnoev avrois; implying, that when our Lord first appeared to them it was at a distance: #pocelow is rendered by Grotius accedens. -See Townson, p. 167. and Bonyer, p. 136.

35 The contents of this section are very curious, and important. So little did the apostles anticipate their future elevation, as the reformers of the religion of the world, that they bad absolutely returned to their former occupation as fishermen of Galilee. Humble and unambitious, they appear to have as much forgotten all the splendid hopes and expectations of the past, as they were ignorant of their future high destinies.

John xxi. 2. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Galilee.

Didymus, and Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, and the sons

of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They

say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth,
and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they

caught nothing.
4. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on

shore : but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any

meat ? They answered him, No.
6. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side

of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and
now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of

7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto

Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that
it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he

was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
8. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they

were not far from land, but as it were two hundred

cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a

fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye

now caught.
11. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of

great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three 36 : and for
all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of
the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that

it was the Lord.
13. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them,

and fish likewise.

This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself
to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter,

Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?
He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love
thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

36 The number of fishes caught was the number of the thou-
sands of proselytes in the reign of Solomon. Some suppose tbis
to have been the number of the nations then known in the

37 These words may either refer to the third appearance which St. John relates, or the third appearance Christ made to the apostles when all, or most of them, were together. He manifested himself to ten of them, John xx. 19. again to eleven of them, ver. 26. and at this time to seven, see ch. xxi. 2. But when the accounts of all the Evangelists are collated, we shall find that our Saviour distinctly revealed himself eleven times áfter his resurrection.


Joh. xxi.16. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Galilee.

Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord ;
thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed

my sheep.
17. He saith unto him, the third time, Simon, son of Jonas,

lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto
him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto
him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that

I love thee? Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young,

thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest:
but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy
hands, and another shall gird thee 38, and carry thee

whither thou wouldest not.

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto

him, Follow me. 20.

Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following, which also leaned on his breast at

supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21.

Peter seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, 22. what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that 23.

that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die ; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things : and we know that his testimony is true.

[ocr errors]

Christ appears to his Apostles at Jerusalem, and commis-

sions them to convert the World.

LUKE xxiv. 44-49. ACTS i. 4, 5. And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem *, but

Acts i. 4.

38 Peter was now in the act of girding on his dry clothes, and our Lurd, according to his custom, spoke from the object before him.

39 This command was given for the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah, (ch. ii. 3.) “ that out of Sion should go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." On the feast of Pentecost the publication of the law on Mount Sinai took place; and on its approaching anuiversary a new, aod spiritual law, was to be delivered to the world, the substance and substitute of the former figurative economy. The injunction of our Lord evideotly shews an appointed analogy between the old and new dispensations. The time wben this address was spoken by our Lord cannot be exactly ascertained. There is reason,

« PreviousContinue »