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There is a boldness and even obstinacy in this resolution, which at first is apt to offend us; but on reflection we may find that it was neither harsh nor unreasonable. He could not have refused his belief as he did, through a want of respect or affection for his Master; because he had but a short time before expressed his readiness to die with him. Neither did he hold in too slight regard the testimony of his brethren, considering the circumstances; for it was no common matter to which they testified; in almost any other case he would have believed their report, or the report of a single one of their number, but now, the event which they related was too marvellous in itself, and too momentous in its consequences, to be received on the witness of men who might not wish to deceive, but who nevertheless might themselves be deceived or mistaken ; and he would trust to nothing but his own senses to bring him decisive evidence of an occurrence on which the direction of his whole future life depended.

He thought too, no doubt, that he ought to be satisfied of this wonderful fact as well as the rest of the disciples, and in the same way; and he was unquestionably right in so thinking. If he was hereafter to journey through the world,

teaching and asserting, with all his powers, and in the face of every peril, the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, it was needful that he should possess a deep conviction of the reality of that event, such a conviction as, in the capacity of a companion, friend, pupil, and apostle of Jesus, he ought to have, and such a conviction as the world would surely require of him. The miracle had just occurred, as his brethren told him; if so, why should not he, standing in the same situation as they did, and to whom its truth was as important as to them, why should not he have the saine evidence as they did; nay, why should he not have more? Why should he not, not only on his own account, but as their representative, demand the opportunity of clearing away every shadow of doubt which might rest on so splendid a truth, both by seeing his risen Lord as they had, and touching him with his hands as they had not ?

If we regard the incredulity of Thomas in this light, we shall see nothing improper in it, and shall be disposed to grant, that it was no greater than, in his situation, was natural and justifiable. In this conclusion we are countenanced by the conduct of our Saviour himself, who neither refuses to show himself to his doubting disciple,

nor manifests any displeasure at his freedom or his unbelief; for the narration of the occurrence is thus continued by St. John: “ 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. 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." Startled, doubtless, by the sudden appearance of his Master, and affected too by the kind and assuring manner in which he is bid to satisfy his doubts completely, Thomas broke out into the exclamation of wonder and acknowledgment, “My Lord and

His doubts were entirely overcome, his faith was now as ardent and lively as before his distrust had been cold; and his testimony to the reality of the resurrection is perhaps more valuable than any other single testimony, because it was rendered under such peculiar circumstances, and by one so honest and so sturdy in avowing his scruples, and so candid in resigning them. “By touching, in Christ," says one of the fathers, “ the wounds of the flesh, he has healed, in us, the wounds of unbelief."

my God!"

The exclamation of Thomas, quoted above, has held so conspicuous. a place, and been so often brought forward in theological controversy, that I must necessarily dwell for a moment on the consideration of its import. By many, though by no means by all of those who hold the doctrine of the perfect equality of the Son with the Father, it has been adduced as a Scripture proof of that equality; as an acknowledgment by the apostle of the godhead and supreme divinity of Jesus Christ. To this interpretation of the passage, there seem to me to be insurmountable objections. In the first place, the question of the Deity of Christ has no concern with the event. It was not to be satisfied of the Deity, but of the resurrection of his Master, that Thomas required his appearance; and it was to convince him of that resurrection, that his Master condescended to appear to him. , “ Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Believe what? What the disciples had just told him, certainly, that they had seen the Lord, that he was truly alive, not that he was truly God. Secondly, it is difficult to conceive how the appearance of Jesus in a human form, just as he had always appeared before, and with bodily wounds, just as he had been taken from the cross, that is, as a man in all respects, could have convinced his disciple, and that disciple a Jew, that he was the eternal God. The miracle of the resurrection itself could not have had this effect, because Thomas had often witnessed the miracles of his Master, without once confessing that he was God; and no other evidence was at this time offered. Thirdly, if Jesus was on this occasion acknowledged to be God, it might be expected that the writer of the narrative should take some notice of the circumstance; but what are his words, immediately after relating this event? “ These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;" not God himself. Fourthly, the exclamation itself is abrupt, and without any connexion to determine precisely its meaning. It might not have been addressed to Jesus at all, but to God alone; or the first appellation might have been addressed to him, and the second to Heaven; it was an exclamation, in short, of wonder, of extatic wonder, of extatic gratitude, and just such a one as any of us would be likely to utter on witnessing a similar marvel; such, for instance as the resurrection of a dear friend from the grave. Fifthly, if the whole exclamation was

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