« السابقةمتابعة »
within sight of my sepulchre.” But not one word of all this by upbraiding them for their late shameful cowardice, but all words of divine indulgence, and endearing kindness; Go tell my brethren. Where mark, That Christ calls them brethren after his resurrection and exaltation, thereby showing, that the change of his condition had wrought no change in his affection towards his poor disciples: but those that were his brethren before, in the time of his humiliation and abasement, are still so, after his exaltation and advancement: Go tell my brethren. One thing more must be noted with reference to our Lord's resurrection, and that is, why he did not first choose to appear to the Virgin Mary, his disconsolate mother, whose soul was pierced with a quick and lively sight and sense of her son's sufferings; but to Mary Magdalene, who had been a grievous sinner Doubtless this was for the comfort of all true penitents, and administers great consolation to them : as the angels in heaven rejoice, much more doth Christ, in the recovery of one repenting sinner, than in multitudes of holy and just persons (such was the blessed Virgin) who need no repentance. For the same reason did our Saviour particularly name Peter, Go tell my disciples, and Peter, he being for his denial of Christ swallowed up with sorrow, and standing in most need of consolation; therefore speak particularly to Peter: as if Christ had said, “Be sure that his sad heart be comforted with this joyful news, that I am risen; and let him know, that I am friends with him, notwithstanding his late cowardice.”
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day, to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass that while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto
them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre: 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, That they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said; but him they saw not.
Here we have observable, 1. The journey which two of the disciples took to Emmaus, a village not far from Jerusalem. The occasion of their journey is not told us, but the scripture acquaints us with their discourse in their journey, and as they were walking by the way. It was holy and useful, pious and profitable discourse, that they entertained one another with as they walked; they discoursed of Christ's death and resurrection; a good pattern for our imitation, when providentially cast into such company as will bear it: That our lips as the honey-comb, and our as choice silrer. Observe, 2. How our holy Lord presently made one in the company; when they were discoursing seriously about the matters of religion, he overtook them and joined himself to them. The way to have Christ's presence and company with us is to be discoursing of Christ and the things of Christ. Observe, 3. Though Christ came to them, it was incognito; he was not known to them, for their eyes were holden by the power of God; their sight was restrained, that they could not discern who he was, but took him for another person, though his body had the same dimensions that he had before. Whence we learn, The influence which God has upon all our powers and faculties, upon all our members and senses, and how much we depend upon God for the use and exercise of our faculties and members: Their eyes were holden that they could not know him. Observe, 4. That the notion of the Messias being a temporal Saviour, was so deeply
rooted in the minds of the disciples, that it remained here with them, even after he was risen from the dead. They here own and acknowledge him to be a prophet mighty in deed and in word, but they question whether he were the Messias, the Redeemer of Israel. They could not reconcile the ignominy of his death with the grandeur of his office; nor conceive how the infamy of a cross was consistent with the glory of a king: We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel. As if they had said, “We were full of hopes, that this had been the Messias so long expected by us; but, this being the third day since he died, we fear we shall find ourselves mistaken.” 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he cxpounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself, 28 And they drew nigh unto the village whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further, 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures 2 Observe, 1. Our Saviour reproves, and then instructs them. He reproves them for being ignorant of the sense of scripture. They thought the death of the Messias a sufficient ground to question the truth of his office, when it was an argument to confirm and establish it: O fools, vught not Christ to suffer? As if he had said, “Do you not find that the person described by the prophets in the Old Testament to be the Messias, was to wade to 'nis glory through a sea of blood? Why then do you think yourselves deceived in the person who suffered three days ago, when his death doth agree so well with the predictions of the prophets, who foretold,
that the Messias should be cut off, but not for himself, and be smitten for the iniquities of his people? Here we may observe, The great wisdom and grace of God, who makes sometimes the diffidence of his people an occasion of farther clearing up the choicest truths unto them : never did these disciples hear so excellent an exposition of Moses and the Prophets concerning the Messias as now, when their sinful distrust had so far prevailed over them. Observe, 2. The doctrines which Christ instructs his disciples in, namely, in the necessity of his death and passion, and of his glory and exaltation; Ought not Christ to suffer, and to enter into his glory? Learn, 1. That with respect to God's decree, and with relation to man's guilt, the death of Christ was necessary and indispensable. 2. That his resurrection and exaltation was as necessary as his passion. 3. That there was a meritorious connexion between Christ's sufferings and his glory; his exaltation was merited by his passion; He was to drink of the brook in the way, and then he was to lift up his head. Observe, 4. Christ did not only put light into these his apostles' heads, but heat also into their hearts, which burned all the while he communed with them; Did not our hearts burn within us, while he opened to us the scriptures 2 Oh what an efficacious power is there in the word of Christ, when set home upon the hearts of men by the Spirit of Christ! 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were dome in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and
wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat: 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honey-comb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.
" Observe, 1. That these two disciples at Emmaus, being fully satisfied in the truth of Christ's resurrection, by his appearing to them in breaking of bread, they arose presently, and went from Emmaus to Jerusalem. It must needs be late at night, being after supper, and seven miles distant; yet considering the sorrows that the disciples were under, these two leave all their private affairs, and hasten to comfort them with the glad tidings of our Lord's resurrection. Teaching us, That all secular affairs, all private and particular business, must give place to the glory of God, and the comfort and salvation of souls. Observe, 2. The great endeavours which our Saviour used, to confirm his disciples’ faith in the doctrine of the resurrection; He comes and stands in the midst of them, and says, Peace be unto you; next he shows them his pierced hands, side, and feet, with the scars and marks, which he yet retained, that they might see it was their crucified Master: after all this, He eats before them a piece of a broiled fish, and honey-comb; not that he needed it, his body being now become immortal; but to assure them that it was his own person; and that he had still the same body. Yet so slack and backward were they to believe that Christ was risen, that all the predictions of the scripture, all the assurances they had from our Saviour's mouth, and the several appearings of Christ unto them, were little enough to establish and confirm their faith in the resurrection of our Saviour. Observe, 3. The highest and fullest evidence which our Saviour offers to evince and prove the certainty of his resurrection, namely, by appealing to their senses; Handle me and see. Christ admits the testimony of our senses, to assure it to be his real body. And is the church of Rome will not allow us to believe our senses, we shall lose the best external evidence we can have to prove the truth of the Christian religion; namely, the miracles of Christ: for how can I know that those miracles were true, but by the
judgment of my senses? Now, as our senses tell us, that Christ's miracles were true, so they assure us, that the doctrine of transubstantiation is false.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
It is one thing to open the scriptures themselves, or to explain them, and another to open their understandings to perceive them: Christ did the latter. Wheng note, That the opening of the mind and heart effectually to receive the truths of God, is the peculiar prerogative and office of Jesus Christ; Then opened he their understandings; namely, by the illuminations of his Holy Spirit. One of the greatest miseries under which lapsed nature labours, is spiritual blindness; Christ has the only eye-salve which can heal and cure it, Rev. iii. 18. And there is no worse cloud to obscure the light of the Spirit, than a proud conceit of our own knowledge. Observe, 2. The special charge given by our Saviour to his apostles, to preach repentance and remission of sins, to preach it in Christ's name, to preach it to all nations, beginning first at Jerusalem. Where note, The astonishing mercy of Jesus Christ: although Jerusalem was the place where he lost his life, the city that barbarously butchered, and inhumanly murdered him, yet there will he have the doctrine of repentance preached; nay, first preached' there the gospel combination must first begin, That repentance and remission of sins be preached, beginning at Jerusalem. Lord! is. unwilling art thou that any should perish, when thou not only prayedst for thy murderers, and offeredst up thy blood to God in the behalf of them that shed it, but requiredst thy ambassadors to make Jerusalem the first tender of remission, upon condition of repentance! That repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye
in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany; and he listed up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. Our Saviour, being now about to leave his disciples, comforts them with the promises of his Holy Spirit, which should supply the want of his bodily presence; and bids them tarry at Jarusalem till they should, at the feast of Pentecost, be made partakers of this invaluable blessing. Observe, 2. Our Lord having blessed his disciples, he takes his leave of them, and
goes up into heaven. As he raised himself out of his grave, so did he ascend into heaven by his own power, there to appear in the presence of God for us; and, as our Forerunner, to give us an assurance, that in due time we shall ascend after him, Whither our Forerunner is for us entered, Heb. vi. 20. Observe lastly, The act of homage and adoration which the apostles perform to the Lord Jesus; how they worshipped him, that is, as God, the eternal Son of God, being so declared by the resurrection from the dead, and by his ascension into heaven before their eyes, from whence he will certainly come at the end of the world, to judge both the quick and the dead. For which solemn hour God Almighty prepare all mankind by a renewed frame of heart, and a religious course of life; and then, Come Lord Jesus to judgment, come quickly. Amen.
SAINT J () HN,
The fourth and last of the Holy Gospels falls under consideration: namely. that which was written by the evangelist St. John; concerning which we have observable, the writer, the occasion, the *::: and scope of this sublime book. Observe, 1. The writer of it, St. John, the belovei disciple, that lay in the bosom of Christ; he that lay in Christ's bosom reveals the secrets of Christ's heart, John, saith St. Austin, drew out esthe bosom of Christ the very heart of Christ, and made it known to a lost world. Observe, 2. The occasion of S. John's writing this Gospel, and that was the heresy of Ebion and Cerinthus, which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. When God suffers heretics to vent their blasphemous opinions, he takes occasion from thence to make a clearer discovery of divine truth. We had perhaps wanted St. John's Gospel, if Ebion and Cerinthus had not broached their heresy against Christ's divinity. Observe, 3. The design And scope of this Gospel, which is to describe the person of Christ in his two natures, Divine and Human, as the object of our faith; this he doth in a sublime and lofty manner, upon which account he was compared by the ancients to the eagle that soars aloft, and maketh her nest on high; and was also called John the Divine. Observe lasily, The difference between this and the other Gospels. The other evangelists chiefly insist upon the HuImanity of Christ, and prove him to be truly man, the Son of the Virgin Mary; this evangelist proves him to be God as well as man'; God from eternity, and man in the fulness of time. The other three writers relite what Christ did. St. John reports what Christ said: they recount his miracles, he records his sermons and prayers. In short, the profound mysteries of our holy religion are here unfolded by the beloved disciple; and
particularly the divinity and incarnation of our BLEssed SAviour.
IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God.
Observe here, 1. The person spoken of, Jesus Christ, under the name of the Word In the beginning was the Word. Because God spake to us by him, and makes known his will to us by Christ, as we make known our minds to one another by our words. Again; As our words are the conception and image of our minds, so Christ is the express Image of his Father's person, and was begotten of the Father, even as our words are begotten of our minds: for these reasons he is often styled the Word. Observe, 2. What the evangelist here asserts concerning the Word, Christ Jesus, even three particulars; namely, his eternal existence, his personal co-existence, and his divine essence. 1. His eternal existence; In the beginning was the Word: in the beginning, when all things received their being, then the Word was, and did actually subsist, even from all eternity. Not in the beginning of the gospel-state, but in the beginning of the creation, as appears from the took words, All things were made by
him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. Which plainly shows that the evangelist is here speaking of the creation, rise, or beginning of all things created. Learn hence, That Jesus Christ, not only antecedent to his incarnation, but even before all time, and the beginning of all things, had an actual being and existence. 2. His personal co-existence with the Father, The word was with God: that is, eternally and inseparably with him, in the same essence and nature, being in the Father, as well as with him, so that the Father never was without him, Prov. viii. 22, I was by him as one brought up with him. I was by his side, says the Chaldee interpreter. Learn hence, That the Son is a Person distinct from the Father, but of the same essence and nature with the Father; he is God of God, very God of very God; being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made: The Word was orith God. 3. His divine essence. The Word was God. Here St. John declares the divinity, as he did before the eternity, of our blessed Saviour. He was with God, and existed in him ; therefore he must be God, and a Person distinct from the Father. The Word was God, say the Socinians, that is, a god by office, not by nature, as being God's ambassador. But the word