« السابقةمتابعة »
involve themselves, traced the plan of redemp- different relations, of Jesus Christ with God, tion: from that period he provided the victim: of the apostles with Jesus Christ, have been from that period he set apart for us a Redeemer: formed only in the view of producing others, from that period, he prepared for us a kingdom. and these affect you. Attend to the interest Jesus Christ, in the fulness of time, came and which you have in the prayer of Jesus Christ: executed this plan. He assumed our flesh. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them He lived among us. He suffered. He died. also which shall believe on me through their “I have glorified thee upon the earth. I have word: that they all may be one, as thou, Father, finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” | art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be
one in us,” ver. 20, 21. The apostles succeeded their Master. And Awake to a sense of the dignity of your high these holy men, with that heroic courage which calling, contemplate the unbounded extent of the idea of a commission so honourable inspires your privileges, Behold to what a height of into generous minds, braved and surmounted glory you are encouraged to aspire, and what all the difficulties which opposed their progress. unspeakable benefits you already derive from “They trod upon the lion and adder: the young the religion of the blessed Jesus! Already you lion and dragon they trampled under feet,” Ps. possess with God, as does Jesus Christ, a unity xci. 13. “Power was given them to tread on of ideas, and you partake, in some sense, of his serpents and scorpions, and over all the power infallibility, by subjecting your faith to his diof the enemy,” Luke x. 19. They took as a vine oracles, and by seeing, if I may use the model in their course (it is an idea of the psalm- expression, by seeing with his eyes. Already ist,) that glorious orb of day, whose “ going you have with God, as Jesus Christ has, a unity forth is from the end of the heaven, and his of will, by the reception of his laws, and by circuit unto the ends of it," Ps. xix. 6. “Yes, exerting all your powers, that his will may be verily, their sound went into all the earth, and done on earth as it is done in heaven. Already their words unto the ends of the world,” Rom. you enjoy with God, as does Jesus Christ, a X. 18. They rose superior to the powers of unity of dominion: “all things are yours; whesense and nature: they subdued the passions ther Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, which have naturally the greatest intluence or life, or death,” i Cor. iii
. 21, 22. “You over the heart of man: they “knew no man are already partakers of a divine nature," 1 after the flesh,” 2 Cor. v. 16. They carried on Pet. i. 4. "You are already transformed into their souls the impress of their Saviour's vir- the same image, from glory to glory, even as tues, as they bare his marks imprinted on their by the spirit of the Lord,” 2 Cor. ii. 18. bodies.
But how is this union still marred and inThe ministers of Jesus Christ assume the terrupted! How imperfect still this "participaplace of the apostles: they have one and the tion of the divine nature" and this “ transsame vocation: they are called to the same formation into the same image!" Let this be work: they have to teach the same truths; the to us, my brethren, a source of humiliation, but same vices to reprove; the same maxims to not of dejection. A more glorious state of establish; the same threatenings to denounce; things is to succeed the present: "it doth not the same consolations to administer; the same yet appear what we shall be; but we know that felicity and the same glory to promise. "Who when he shall appear we shall be like him; for is sufficient for these things?” 2 Cor. ii. 16. But we shall see him as he is," i John iii. 2. A we are upheld by you, all-powerful intercession new influx of light with which the soul shall be of Jesus Christ with his Father! From your replenished, a new influx of divine love with energy it is that we obtain, in our retirement, which the heart shall be inflamed, a new influx that attention, that composure, that concen- of felicity and delight with which the immortal tration of thought of which we stand in need, nature shall be inundated, are going, ere long, in order to penetrate into those lively oracles to place in its brightest point of view, all the which it is our duty to announce to this people. sublimity, all the excellency of our condition. From your powerful energy it is we obtain that "Father, I pray not for my disciples alone, but clearness, that fervour, that courage, that ele- for them also who shall believe in me through vation of spirit of which we stand in need in their word: that they all may be one; as thou, this chair of verity, to exalt us above the ma- Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also lignant censure of a murmuring multitude, ever may be one in us." disposed to find fault with those who preach the But how is it possible for the miserable postruth. To you we must stand for ever indebted terity of Adam, how is it possible for wretched for the success of our ministry, and for the hope creatures born in sin, how is it possible for frail we entertain that this people, to whom we mi- mortals, a compound of dust and ashes, "that nister in holy things, shall one day be “our joy dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in and our crown," i Thess. ii. 19.
the dust, which are crushed before the moth," III. Thus are we led forward, my brethren, Job iv. 19, how is it possible for beings so mean, to the third division of our discourse, in which so degraded, to become "one" with God, as you are most particularly interested. It is truly Jesus Christ is "one" with him? delightful to behold "the Author and Finisher Away, Christians, away with every shade of of our faith” united, in a manner so intimate incredulity. Nothing is too great for this praywith the Deity. It is delightful to behold those er to procure. There is nothing that God can apostles, whose writings are in our hands, and deny to this dying Intercessor. "Let the mind whose doctrine is the rule of our faith, inti- be filled to its utmost capacity, with all that is mately united to Jesus Christ as he is with God. vast and affecting in the sacrifice which Jesus There is, however, something behind still more Christ was about to present to his Father. particular and more consolatory. All these Consider that “God is love," 1 John iv. 16.
Ser. LXXII.) CHRIST'S SACERDOTAL PRAYER.
163 And what could the God who is "love" refuse the blood of thy expiring Son, that which is to the Redeemer of the world, at the moment most capable of supporting him amidst those when he was going to devote himself, with such fearful objects with which he is surrounded; it arddur of affection, for the salvation of man- is the salvation of that world of believers, who kind? Behold him the Redeemer of a lost are to embrace my doctrine: "Father, I will world, behold him ready to affix the seal to the that where I am, those whom thou hast given great work which God had committed to him: me may may be there also with me, that they behold him prepared to be “led as a lamb to may behold my glory: and I pray not for them the slaughter, and as a sheep, dumb before her only, but also for those who shall believe in shearers," Isa. liii. 7; behold him prepared to thee through their word.” undergo that punishment, the bare idea of These prayers, my brethren, are still prewhich makes nature shudder: behold him pre- sented. Jesus Christ is still doing in heaven, pared to enter into the deep mire where there what, in the days of his flesh, he did upon earth: is no standing," of which the prophets speak, he is "even at the right hand of God," where Ps. Ixix. 2, and all this out of that love, and all he still “maketh intercession for us,” Rom. this from that principle of charity which glowed viii. 34. He is still “able to save them to the in his compassionate breast.
uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing At that moment of love, at that moment he ever liveth to make intercession for them," which embraces an eternity-pardon me the Heb. vii. 25. But do we avail ourselves of expression, my friends, and condemn me not, these prayers! But are we seconding this interif in a subject which has nothing human, I am cession? Alas! I was preparing to set open to constrained to employ modes of speech which you all the treasures of consolation which we are not in common use among men—at that see issuing from a dying Saviour's prayers. moment which embraces a whole eternity, But I find, in that prayer, one word which stops when charity was carried as far as it could go, me short; one word which terrifies me; one this Redeemer presents himself before the God word which suggests an inquiry that awakens of love, and asks of him, that in virtue of this a thousand solicitudes: are we in the class of sacrifice of love, which he is going to offer up, those for whom Jesus Christ prayed to the Faall the faithful, this people, you, my dearly be- ther; or are we of those for whom, he tells us, loved brethren, you might be crowned with the he prayed not? Does it contain the sentence felicity and with the glory with which he him- of our absolution; or that of our eternal conself was to be crowned; but to which, love would demnation? You have heard this word; but have rendered him insensible, had he not pro- have you seriously weighed its import? Have mised himself to communicate them, one day, you listened to it with that composure, and to men, the objects of his tenderest affection. with that application which it demands? The
O mysteries of redemption, how far you word is this: “I pray not for the world; I pray transcend all expression, all thought! Ye an- for those whom thou hast given me,” ver. 9. gels of light, who live in the bosom of glory, My disciples for whom I pray to thee, " are not turn aside your eyes from beholding wonders of the world, even as I am not of the world,” which dazzle the heaven of heavens: bend lowly ver. 14. over the mystical ark, and search it to the bot- We frame for ourselves a morality that suits tom. And you, for whom all these wonders our own fancy. We look upon a worldly spirit are wrought, children of fallen Adam, bow as a matter of trivial importance, which it is down in gratitude and adoration, and measure, scarcely worth while to think of correcting. A if you can, the dimensions, "the length, the preacher who should take upon him to condemn breadth, the height, the depth, of that abyss this disposition of mind, would pass for a mere which passeth knowledge,” Eph. iii. 18, 19. declaimer, who abused the liberty given him,
My brethren, there is an air of credulity and of talking alone from the pulpit. A worldly superstition in what passes between a dying life, wasted in dissipation, in pleasure, at play, person, and a minister who is endeavouring to at public spectacles, has nothing terrifying in fortify him against the fears of death. The our eyes. But be pleased to learn from Jesus minister has the appearance of an impostor, and Christ whether or not a worldly spirit be a trithe dying person of a visionary. We promise vial matter. But learn of Jesus Christ what to a man extended on a sick bed, to a man who are the fatal effects of a worldly mind. It is an is in a few days to be shut up in a tomb, and exclusion from the glorious catalogue of those to become a prey to worms, we promise him an for whom Jesus Christ intercedes. It destroys eternal abode, and rivers of pleasures: we assure the right of pretending to those blessings which him that he is the favourite of heaven, at the the Saviour requests in behalf of his church: very moment when he is going to become the “I pray not for the world; I pray for them abhorrence of the earth, at the very moment whom thou hast given me.” My disciples, for when corruption and rottenness are hastening whom I pray to thee,“ are not of the world, to put to flight from his person his most affec- even as I am not of the world.” tionate friends. These pretensions are, how- Would you wish to know whether Jesus ever, incontestable. They are founded on the Christ is an intercessor for you? Would you charitable prayers which the Redeemer of men wish to know whether you are of the number addressed to the God of love, at the time when of them who shall, one day, be where Jesus he himself was perfected in love: “I have glo- Christ is? See whether you can distinguish rified thee on the earth: I have finished the yourself by this character, they are not of the work which thou gavest me to do,” and I am world, even as I am not of the world.” And going to seal with my blood that awful ministry what is it not to be of the world? which thou hast committed unto me. Grant Not to be of the world, is not to live in deto my obedience, grant to the prayers and to serts and in solitudes: it is not for a man to bury
himself before he is dead, and to pass his life as /"Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into it were in a tomb. Jesus Christ and his apos- heaven? or, Who shall descend into the deep? tles lived in society; but they sanctified society the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and by useful instruction and by a holy example; in thy heart,” Rom. x. 6—8. “ The friendship but they were the light of the world, and if they of the world is enmity with God," James iv. 4. mingled “in the midst of a crooked and per- If you are of the world, you are not of the numverse nation,” they were “blameless and harm- ber of those for whom Jesus Christ pleads. If less, and without rebuke;" and shone among you are not of the world, you are within the them.
decree of his election: he has interceded for you, Not to be of the world, is not to abandon the and you are warranted to expect all the fruits reins of government to ruffians. Jesus Christ of his intercession. and his apostles permitted Christians to occupy These reflections will probably excite, in the most distinguished stations in society; but some, many a painful apprehension, amounting it was their wish and endeavour, that while they to a conviction that you are in the dreadful class filled such stations, they should guard against of those for whom Christ intercedes not. But the illusions of their own lustre: that they if it be high time to renounce this world, by should not imagine themselves exalted to ter- acts of penitence, of mortification, of a sincere restrial greatness merely to display their own return unto God, let us proportion these acts · vain self-importance, but that they should ever to the degree of criminality which renders them keep in view the necessities of those whose hap- necessary. The love of the world has inspired piness is intrusted to their care.
a taste for voluptuousness: let us deny ourselves Not to be of the world, is not to break off all by a course of abstinence, during the passion relation with the world, to be always absorbed weeks, even from what is necessary to nature. in meditation, in contemplation, in ecstacies. The love of the world has transported us into No, religion is adapted to the various relations excesses of worldly joy: let us clothe ourselves of human life; to fathers, to children, to mas in sackcloth and ashes, during the passion ters, to servants.
weeks, or rather let us present unto God the But not to be of the world, is never to lose “sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart,” Ps. sight, even in the distraction of worldly con- li. 19. Let us make extraordinary efforts to cerns, of the end which God proposed to him- , disarm his wrath, ever enkindled against the self, when he placed us in the world: it is con- abominations of the Christian world. Let us stantly to recollect that we have a soul to be say to him a thousand and a thousand times, saved; an account to render; a hell to shun; a as we turn our eyes towards
the cross of Jesus heaven to gain: it is habitually to direct, towards Christ: “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto these great objects, the edge of our spirit, the thee, but unto us confusion of faces:'' Dan. ix. vivacity of our passions, the ardour of our de- 7. Let us entreat him by those bowels of love sires: it is to be able to say, at the close of life, which prompted him to restore a fallen world, with Jesus Christ, as far as the infinite distance that he would disunite us from the creature, between the sanctity of this divine Saviour and and unite us to himself. ours can permit: “Father, I have glorified thee If we act in this manner, we have every thing on the earth, I have finished the work which to expect from a God whose great leading chathou gavest me to do. I have fought the good racter is love. He will take pity on this fight; I have kept the faith,” 2 Tim. iv. 7. Wo wretched people. He will have compassion on be to the man who, at that fatal period, shall these miserable provinces, in which it seems as be reduced to the necessity of holding an op- if every individual had undertaken the task of posite language, and of saying, “Scarcely have shutting his own eyes, in order to precipitate I, as yet, put my hand to the works which thou himself, with the greater indifference, into the gavest me to do. Scarcely have I employed an abyss which is gaping to swallow us up: he will instant of my time in meditating on eternity.” repress those sea-piracies which have reduced Wo be to the man who shall then have cause so many families, and impaired the general to say: and ah! how many such are there, under commerce: he will remove those dreadful the name of Christians! I have employed part plagues which have ruined so many respectable of my life in cultivating my estate, in swelling communities as well as individuals: he will stop my revenue, in “pulling down my barns and those fearful inundations which have already building greater," Luke xii. 18. I have de- committed such devastation in the midst of us, voted another part to the delights of a present and which still occasion so many well-grounded life, to refinement in pleasure. A third has alarms: he will reconcile the hearts of the pobeen employed in gratifying the most criminal tentates of Europe, and engage them to use appetites, in vomiting out blasphemy against their united efforts to promote the happiness and my Benefactor, in waging war with religion, the glory of the Christian world. morals, and common decency, in scandalizing Much more, if we are not of the world, we the church of God by my impurities and excess. shall partake of delights which the world knows
Let us not be ingenious in practising illusion not of, and which it cannot take from us, as it upon ourselves. Let us not amuse ourselves cannot bestow. If we are not of the world, we with unprofitable speculations respecting the shall have cause of self-gratulation, with our meaning of these words, “I pray not for the divine Master, that we are not like those desworld." What bold and rash researches have perate madmen who seem resolutely bent on the schools pursued on the subject of this saying mutual and self-destruction; and in these sentiof Christ What chimerical consequences have ments shall thus address ourselves to God: “O not been deduced from it? But from these I righteous Father, the world hath not known must still revert to this grand principle: Are thee: but I have known thee," vor. 25. If we you of the world, or are you not of the world? I are not of the world, we shall be animated with
a holy intrepidity, when death takes us out of sacrifice of Isaac, the soul is thrown into asthe world, nay, when the world and its founda- tonishment. A father binding his own son tions crumble into dust beneath our feet. with cords, extending him upon a funeral pile,
We shall be filled with joy unspeakable when raising up an armed right hand to pierce bis we reflect, that we are leaving a world of which bosom; and all this by the command of Heawe were not, to go to that of which we are ven! What a prodigy! At such a sight reason citizens. We shall say, amidst the tears and murmurs, faith is staggered, and Providence lamentations of a last adieu: “It is true, my seems to labour under an indelible imputation. dear children, it is true my dear friends, I leave But a seasonable and happy interposition disyou upon the earth: but my Jesus is in heaven, sipates all this darkness. An angel descends and I go to be where he is: “ having a desire to from heaven, a voice pierces the yielding air: depart, and to be with Christ, which is far bet-“ Abraham, Abraham, lay not thy hand upon ter," Phil. i. 23; it is true, I tear myself from the lad: for now I know that thou fearest God, you, and it is like tearing me from myself; but seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine this mournful, is not an everlasting separation. only son from me,” Gen. xxii. 12. And this Jesus Christ has prayed equally for you and for revolution silences the murmurings of reason, me. He has asked for me and for you, that re-establishes our faith, and vindicates the ways we should all be “where he is, that we may all of Providence. be one in him and with the Father:" and I only A greater than Isaac, my brethren, a greater go before you a few instants into this state of than Abraham is here. This sacrifice must be blessedness.
completed; this victim must die; this burntAh! God grant, that after having preached offering must be reduced to ashes. In the the gospel to you, we may be enabled to say, preceding chapter you have seen the command with Jesus Christ, at our dying hour; “ Father, given, the scaffold erected, the arm extended those that thou gavest me I have kept, and to smite the devoted Jesus. You are going to none of them is lost!" ver. 12. God grant that behold him expire; no victim substituted in there may be no “son of perdition” in this as his room; no revocation of the decree; and insembly! May God vouchsafe to hearken to the stead of inquiring like Isaac, “Behold the fire prayer which we present in your behalf, in this and the wood; but where is the lamb for a place, and which we shall present to him on a burnt-offering?" ver. 7, he says, "Lo, I come; dying bed: or rather may God vouchsafe to hear : ... to do thy will, O my God,” Ps. xl. 1, the prayer which Jesus Christ presents for us: 8. Jesus expires: the dead leave their tombs: “Father, I will that they whom thou hast given the sun withdraws his light: nature is convulsme, be with me where I am; that they may be- ed at the sight of her Creator dying upon a hold my glory!" Amen. To the Father, to And the Son of God's love, before he the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, be honour and utters his last sigh, gives a free course to his glory for ever. Amen.
complaints, and makes an astonished world re-echo those mournful sounds: “
My God, my SERMON LXXIII.
God, why hast thou forsaken me?” ver. 46.
And you, Christians, what are you to become at beholding this spectacle; and what
effects are these objects to produce, that shall THE CRUCIFIXION.
be in any proportion to their magnitude? With whatever success our happiest addresses to you may be crowned, your actions must ever fall
far short of your obligations and engagements. Matthew xxvii. 45–53.
It is possible, however, that on certain points, Now from the sixth hour there was darkness we may have commendation only to bestow.
over all the land unto the ninth hour. And when restitution is the theme, some one perabout the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud haps conscience-struck, some Zaccheus is inroice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that duced to restore four fold. When the doctrine is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou of forgiveness and reconciliation is preached, forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, soine one, smitten to the heart, is, it may be, when they heard that, said, This man calleth disposed to open his arms to an estranged brofor Elias. And straightway one of them ran, ther. But what fruit can this discourse proand took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, duce, capable of, I do not say, fulfilling your and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. obligations, but that shall bear any manner of The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias proportion to them? Were your hearts, hencewill come to save him. Jesus, when he had forward, to burn with the purest and most arcried again with a loud voice, yielded up the dent affection; were your eyes to become a ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple living fountain of tears: were every particle of was rent in twain from the top to the bottom: your frame to serve as a several victim to peniand the earth did quake; and the rocks rent; tence; were this vaulted roof to cleave asunder; and the graves were opened; and many bodies were the dead, deposited in these tombs, to of saints which slept, arose, and came out of start up into life: what would there be in all the graves after his resurrection, and went into this that is not absorbed by the objects which the holy city, and appeared unto many. we are going to display?
We are going to set before you this day, Come and clothe yourselves in mourning my Christian friends, the concluding scene of with the rest of nature. Come, with the centhe most dreadful spectacle that ever the sun turion, and recognise your Redeemer and your beheld. On beholding the order, the prepa- God; and let the sentiments which severally rations, and the approaching completion of the occupy all these hearts and minds unite in this
one: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, the fourteenth day of the month of March; it I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and appears, I say, from these considerations, that the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by this darkness was not an eclipse properly so the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, called, but an obscuration effected by a special and gave himself for me,” Gal. ii. 20. Amen. interference of Providence, which we are un
That you may derive from the words which able clearly to explain. we have read, the fruit which the Holy Spirit If we are incapable of assigning the cause, presents to us in them, we shall, 1. Attempt we are equally incapable of determining the some elucidation of the letter of the text: and extent of this wonderful appearance. The exthen, 2. Endeavour to penetrate into the spirit pression in the original, “there was darkness of it, and dive to the bottom of the mysteries over all the land,” or, according to St. Luke's which it contains.
phraseology, “over all the earth,” chap. xxiii. I. We begin with attempting some elucida- 44, which presents at first to the mind an idea tion of the letter of the text.
of the whole globe, is frequently restricted in 1. Our first remark turns on the time which Scripture, sometimes to the land of Judea, the evangelist assigns to the first events which sometimes to the whole Roman empire; and he is here relating: " from the sixth hour,” this ambiguity, joined to the silence of the sasays he, “there was darkness unto the ninth cred historians, renders it impossible for us to hour: and about the ninth hour Jesus cried decide whether the darkness overspread the · with a loud voice," and so on. Respecting land of Judea only, or involved all the rest of which, it is to be observed, that the Jews com- our hemisphere. puted the hours of the day from sun-rising. Neither do we deem it of importance to The first from sun-rising was called one hour, dwell on an examination of the monuments the second two, and so of the rest: “ from the supposed to be found in antiquity respecting sixth hour to the ninth hour;" in other words, the truth of the prodigy of which we have been from noon till three of the clock afternoon. speaking. Among those which are transmit
But what merits a more particular attention ted to us on this subject, there is one which is this, that the evangelists appear here to vary bears visible marks of forgery. I speak of the in their testimony; at least St. Mark tells us, testimony of Dionysius, falsely denominated chap. xv. 25, that part of the events which the the Areopagite, who affirms that he himself other evangelists say took place about the ninth saw, in Egypt, the darkness mentioned by the hour, happened at the third hour. A single evangelists, which drew from him this exclaremark will resolve this difficulty. The Jews mation: “ Assuredly either the God of nature employed another method in computing time, is suffering, or the frame of the universe is besides that which we have indicated. They going to be destroyed."'* The learned have so divided the day into four intervals. The first clearly demonstrated that the author of this comprehended the space from the first to the book is an impostor, who, though he did not third hour of the day inclusively: the second live till the fourth century, would neverthefrom the end of the third hour of the day to less pass for the Dionysius who was converted the sixth: and so of the rest. This mode of to Christianity, by the preaching of St. Paul computation, if certain doctors are to be cre- on Mars-hill, Acts xvii. 34, that this author, dited, took its rise from the custom which was transfixed with a thousand wounds, is fallen, observed in the temple, of presenting prayers never to rise again. and sacrifices at the third, the sixth, and the Much more dependence is, undoubtedly, to ninth hour. Now the Jews sometimes deno- be placed on what is said by Phlegon, surnamminated the whole of this first interval, which ed the Trallian, the emperor Adrian's freedcontained three hours of the day, one hour, or man. He had composed a history of the Olymthe first hour. The second interval they de- piads, some fragments only, of which have nominated two, or the second hour, which con- reached us: but Eusebius the historian has tained the second three hours, and so of the preserved the following passage from it:f." In rest. This remark solves the apparent diffi- the fourth year of the two hundred and second culty which we pointed out. Some of the Olympiad, there was an eclipse of the sun, evangelists have followed the first mode of much greater than any one which had ever computation, and others have adopted the se before been observed. The night was so dark cond. The ninth hour in the style of St. Mat- at noon-day that the stars were perceptible, thew, and the third hour in the style of St. and there were such violent earthquakes in Mark, denote one and the same season of the Bithynia, that the greatest part of the city of day; because the one computes the hours elaps- Nicea was swallowed up by it." These are the ed from sun-rising, and the other that third in- words of Eusebius: but the inquiries to which terval of three hours which commenced pre- they might lead could not be prosecuted in an cisely at the ninth hour.
exercise like the present, and they would en2. Our second remark will lead us into an croach on that time which we destine to subexamination of certain questions started, rela- jects of much higher importance. tive to the prodigies recorded by our evange- 2. The evangelists tell us in the second lists. It is said,
place, that “the veil of the temple was rent in 1. That “there was darkness over all the iwain, from the top to the bottom.” There land.” It appears from astronomical calcula- were two veils in the temple at Jerusalem; tion, and from the very nature of solar eclips that which was suspended over the door that es, which are occasioned by the interposition of the body of the moon between us and the * Dionys. Areopag. tom. ii. p. 91. and Annot. Gorder. orb of day, which can take place only at the p. 33 and 102. Edit. Antwerp, 1634.
+ Euseb. Pamph. Thesaurus Temporum, p. 158. Edit. change, whereas it was then at the full, being | Amst. 1658.