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told, that particular circumstances befel him, that the prophecies might be fulfilled; and our LORD repeatedly declared, he did such and such things because the Scriptures must be fulfilled, and thus it must be.
At first sight these expressions convey an idea that our LORD's enemies were compelled to persecute him, and that he had no free will; but on consideration they prove, that he certainly had this distinguishing privilege of human nature, which could alone give a merit to his sufferings; that his enemies though not impelled by the FATHER to commit such outrages, were, through the wise disposition of Divine Providence, instrumental towards effecting the very purpose they meant to defeat, the glorification of the Son of God.
When our LORD's actions were properly Divine, he certainly acted and spake according to the impulse of the GODHEAD dwelling in him; but in particulars relating to his human nature, he seems to have constantly made the Scriptures the rule for his conduct. Such parts as were designed for the generality of mankind were not comprehensive enough for him, as a perfect and exact obedience to the Divine will in every instance of his life was requisite; therefore the HOLY SPIRIT dwelling in him, dictated what he should do and say, under trials which should have baffled the strength of human reason: and our LORD, instructed by the GODHEAD, who dictated these directions, to understand them, accommodated his behaviour and discourse to them, instead of following the suggestions of reason; by which mean he testified to the world his obedience to the Divine will, and gave an example for the imitation of his followers; and also proved, that he regarded the Scriptures, and the revelations of the DEITY made to his own soul, as of equal authority. Let us then imi
tate his blessed example, and have recourse to the SCRIPTURES for rules of life, especially in conflicting trials. When human reason fails, and the counsel of men is of no avail, the BOOK OF GOD will afford us certain direction; for we may find something in the general instructions given to mankind, either of precept or example, that will exactly suit our case; which the Holy Spirit, if we fervently pray for it, will, by his secret influence, teach us to apply, and we shall learn how to do the will of our HEAVENLY FATHER on all occasions.
As the history of our LORD's death, and the prophecies relating to his sufferings have been related, it is needless to point out how exactly every circumstance predicted concerning him was accomplished. We will not, therefore, at present take a retrospect of them, but return to the supulchre, and see whether our LORD fulfilled his predictions, that he should rise again from the dead.
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS-HE APPEARS то MARY MAGDALENE.-PETER AND JOHN VISIT THE
From Matt. Chap. xxviii.-Mark, xvi.—-Luke, xxiv. John, xx.
AND after the sabbath, the first day of the week, very early in the morning, when it was yet dark, they went unto the sepulchre. And Mary the mother of James and Salome, and certain others with them, came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun, bringing the spices which they had prepared, that they might anoint the body of Jesus,
And they said amongst themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the sepulchre? for it was very great. And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away.
For behold there had been a great earthquake; for an angel of the LORD descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the sepulchre, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow.
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
When Mary Magdalene saw that the stone was taken away, she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to that other disciple whom JESUS loved, and saith, They have taken away the LORD, and we know not where they have laid him.
And some of the women entering into the sepulchre, found not the body of the LORD JESUS.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
And as they were afraid, and bowed their faces to the earth, one of the angels said unto the women, Fear not ye, for I know that ye seek JESUS who was cruci fied. Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, for he is risen, as he said, Come, see
the place where the LORD lay.
Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet. in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Go.quickly and tell his disciples, and Peter, that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee.
And the women remembered his words, and they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. Neither said they any thing to any man, for they were afraid.
When Mary Magdalene had told Peter, and the disciple whom Jesus loved, that they had taken away the LORD: Peter went forth and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes lying; and he went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie; and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself, and he wondered at that which was come to pass. Then went in also that other disciple, who came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed.
For as yet they knew not the Scriptures, that he must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping, and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre,
And seeth two angels in white, sitting the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of JESUS had lain.
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw JESUS standing, and knew not that it was JESUS.
JESUS saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?: Whom seekest thou? She supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take!
JESUS saith unto her, MARY. She turned herself and said, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
JESUS saith unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and sayunto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my GoD and your GOD.
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
And as the other women went to tell his disciples, behold JESUS met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Then said JESUS unto them, Be not afraid; go tell my brethren, that they shall go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
And they returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
It was Mary Magdalene, out of whom the LORD cast seven devils, that went and told them that had been with him, as they wept.
And they, when they had heard he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
And Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, told these things unto the apostles.
And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they believed them not.
Now when the women were going to tell the apostles,