Abbildungen der Seite

• per manner. Accordingly, when he was laid in the sepul• chre, they returned to the city, and bought what other • spices were necessary for that purpose : Nicodemus having ' furnished a mixture only of myrrh and aloes.'

I must take the liberty to say, this manner of speaking is unjustifiable, after the accounts which we bave of our Lord's interment by all the evangelists, before referred to, and particularly by St. John, ch. xix. 3840, “ After this Joseph of Arimathea-took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus,—and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pounds weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.” Eraßov 8v 70 σωμα το Ιησε, και εδησαν αυτο οθονιοις, μετα των αρωματων, καθως εθος εστι τοις Ιεδαιοις ενταφιαζειν.

The funeral rites were performed with expedition, but not, properly speaking, in a hurry. And when St. John says ihat the “ body was wound up in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury:" I think he means as they use to bury, persons of distinction. For to such only spices and aromatic gums belong. I think that to be implied also in the original word, evtablačelv, Nor was Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, buried in that manner. His body was bound or swathed in rollers. But there was no mixture of spices. For he was supposed to smell after he had been dead not more than four days. And whereas you use the expression, ' rolled in nothing but a mixture of • myrrh and aloes,' and again, “a mixture only of myrrh • and aloes :' I think there can be no reason to doubt that they were such spices, as were most proper for the purpose. Soh says Grotius. And all was done, as may be reasonably supposed, after the best manner, by the hands of an apothecary, or confectioner, or perfumer, skilful in performing funeral rites. There must have been many such in Jerusalem. And those two great and rich men, Joseph and Nicodemus, would procure one of the best and most proper for the service intended by them. Such men as these seem to be meant in Eccles. xxxviii. 4, 7, 8, “ The Lord has created medicines out of the earth—with such does the physician heal men, and take away their pains. Of such does the apothecary make a confection," or mixture, uerqua, the word used by St. John. “ And of bis works there is no end." See Grotius upon the place. There must have been at Jerusalemn several of this profession, Unguentarii, who were

-wyua ouvpvns kui alons. Quæ aromata ad hunc usum optima habebantur. Grot. ad Joan. xix. 39.

able to perform funeral rites in a proper manner, in the space of three hours. And Nicodemus and Joseph would, besides, have the attendance of such, of their servants as could be of any use upon this occasion. A representation of our Saviour's body, embalmed, and swatbed and brought to the door of the sepulchre, may be seen in Chifflet. And I suppose, that the justness of the representation is allowed by antiquarians.

V. I come now to the fifth and last article of my inquiry. and the most important of all: the journey of these women • to the sepulchre, and the appearances of our Lord to them, " and to others after his resurrection.

Here I cannot forbear saying, that your harmony of this part of the evangelical history is very perplexed and intricate. Your words at p. 634, are these. • It may seem • strange, that in the accounts which the evangelists have

given of our Lord's resurrection, there is not the least men• tion made of the disciples meeting one another in the way, • although they went several times backward and forward, • in separate companies, between their lodgings in the city . and the sepulchre. On the contrary, the circumstances of • the history oblige us to suppose, that they did not meet one • another. But there is nothing improbable in all this. For, • as Jerusalem was a great city, the apostles' lodging might • be at the distance of a mile or two from that extremity of • it, wbich was nearest to the sepulchre. And therefore • from their lodging to the sepulchre there might be several • different ways through the city, all equally convenient. • Farther, Calvary, where our Lord was crucified, is said to • have been " nigh unto the city,” John xix. 20. But it

would be nigh, though it was at the distance of half a • mile. Suppose it however to have been only a little more • than a quarter of a mile. In this place, or nigh to it [ev • TOTW] was the garden, where our Lord was buried, John • xix. 41. Yet the garden might be on the side of Calvary,

which was farthest from Jerusalem. Wherefore, as it was • a spacious garden, the sepulchre could not well be nearer

the city than half a mile. It may however have been at 'the distance of a whole mile, consistently enough with the • description which John has given of its situation. On • either supposition, there may have been different roads ' from Joseph's villa and garden to the city. Besides, as • Jerusalem was walled round, the apostles' lodging might • be so situated, that persons going from thence to Joseph's • garden, could come out of the city by different gates. To ' conclude, the garden, where the sepulchre was, might


2 B

have more doors than one, and several shady walks in it, • leading to the sepulchre. On these suppositions, it is easy ! to imagine, that the disciples and the women, who went " to and from the sepulchre, may have missed each other by • taking their rout through different streets of the city, or • different roads in the field; or they may have been hid : from one another by the shady walks of the garden, in • which the sepulchre stood. • So you write. But should you not have been led to sus. pect a scheme, which needs so many suppositions to support it? If the women and the disciples never met each other, in passing to and from the sepulchre, may it not afford reason to believe, that they did not make so many journeys separately, as you have supposed ? How many of those journeys you have found in the evangelists, or ingeniously contrived for them; I should not be able to say distinctly, were it not for a note, wbich you have placed at the bottom, p. 657, 658, where you say :if the reader desires a more - compendious view of the several journeys to the sepulchre, • and of the relation which they bear to one another, he may • take it as follows.' Where you reckon twelve in number, the last of which is this : · 12. In the evening, the disciples • arrive from Emmaus, and while they are telling their • story, Jesus himself appears.'

There are, undoubtedly, some real, or seeming difficulties in this part of the evangelical history. Which, as seems to me, have been of late increased and multiplied by annotators, and other writers, and not at all diminished by yourself. This being the case, I have found myself to be under a disability to unfold it by my own skill only. I have therefore, upon this occasion, bad recourse to a learned and judicious friend : who, I before knew, had some uncommon observations upon this subject. The answer, with which he has favoured me, is to this purpose.

• I never could bring my mind to think, that Christ ap• peared first to Mary Magdalene separately, but that his • first appearance was to the watch: who, I think, saw the · angel, and the rolling away of the stone, as well as felt the “ σεισμον μεγαν attending the presence and action of the

angel, for fear of whom the keepers did shake and be' came woel verpoi, “ as dead men.” Some of whom, as

the same evangelist says, tives ons kroTwòlas, “ came into

the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things • that were done.” The appearance to Mary Magdalene, I • think, was in common to her and to the other women, who went altogether to the sepulcbré, and once only, not twice,

• as is generally supposed, and saw our Saviour, and were • coming back to the city, with the account of what they

had seen and heard to the apostles, at the same time, that • some of the watch came to relate all that was done, to the • chief priests. And they did make their report to the • apostles, before the two went from the rest of the company . to Emmaus. No notice indeed is mentioned by the two • in discourse with Christ of the women's having related • their interview with Jesus, because it should seem none of • the company believed a word of what the women said, • Mark xvi. Il; Luke xxiv. 11. And none of the evange• lists pretend to give an exact detail of all circumstances.'

This I apprehend to be the truth, or nearly so. And it will be the key to this history. And I now intend to digest the several particulars of it, in their proper order, as well as I can. If I should at all differ from my friend, it will be in such points only as are not very material. And still I must acknowledge myself indebted to him for a clear insight into this history.

But before I enter upon the rehearsal of the several parts of the history, I must premise a few observations.

First of all, I reckon, I have showed, that your supposed journey of some of the women to the sepulchre, designed and begun, but not performed and finished, by them, about six or seven o'clock in the evening of Saturday, presently after the sabbath was over, is fictitious, and without founda


Secondly, You speak of a journey to the sepulchre made by some of the company of the apostles, who set out after Peter and John were gone. This you call, at p. 639, a second deputation from the apostles. You speak of it likewise at p. 633, 656, 657. I beg leave to say, that I cannot but consider this as a fiction, without any foundation. And perhaps I may take no farther notice of it hereafter.

Thirdly, You suppose St. Peter to have made a second visit to the sepulcbre alone, different from that mentioned, John xx. 3 10. · This you argue from Luke xxiv. 12, at p. 646, 647. But I think it to be the same visit which is mentioned by St. John ; when “ Peter, and that other disciple,” went together. So this also is understood by Le Clerc, and all other interpreters and commentators in general, so far as I know. Therefore my friend says in his letter to me: St. Luke, xxiv. 12, mentions only Peter running • to the sepulchre; but we do not conclude from thence, that • he ran thither twice, once by himself, and at another time * along with John. However, it is your opinion that two visits are here spoken of. And indeed this is agreeable to the usual method of your harmony; in which you make two stories of one, and account such passages of the gospels to be different, which are really parallel. Whereby, in my opinion, and so far as I am able to judge, you have oftentimes perverted the true order of things related by the evangelists.

I can now proceed to rebearse the several parts of this bistory, and to digest them in order as well as I can,

Says St. John, xx. 1, " The first day of the week, cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre."

But though Mary Magdalene only be here mentioned, I supposé she was not alone. It is agreeable to wbat you say also, p. 626, * In the morning of the first day of the week,

according to our form of the day, all the women went out together very early, carrying the spices which they bad • prepared to the sepulchre, at which they arrived about the ‘rising of the sun.' See Matt. xxviii. 1 ; Mark xvi. 1, 2; Luke xxiv. 10. And at p. 627, you observe, • The women • said to have made this journey, are in all the evangelists

the same- Mary Magdalene therefore, Joanna, and Mary * the mother of James, are the women who made the visit ' with the spices early in the morning. John indeed speaks • of none of the women who made this visit to the sepulchre,

but Mary Magdalene. Yet because he mentions none but • her, it does not follow, that there was nobody with her.

In the gospels there are many such omissions Where• fore, since it is the manner of the sacred historians in other

jnstances, John may be supposed to have mentioned Mary • Magdalene singly in this part of his bistory, notwithstand

ing he knew that others had been with her at the sepul'cbre, and the rather, because his intention was to relate • only what things happened in consequence of her informa• tion, and not to speak of the transactions of the rest, which • bis brethren bistorians had handled at large.'

You say very well. We therefore proceed in considering St. John's narrative, which follows, ver. 2, “ Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them; They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.”

I do not believe that Mary Magdalene was now alone. All the women might be with her. If some only, the rest

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »