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done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had 12 taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying: Say 13 ye: His disciples came by night, and stole him away, while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and se- 14 cure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught. And 15
Either because they knew the would have answered no purpose priests would be most interested in to have got possession of the body the matter, or because they were by violent means. 7th, They were under their command, and respon- too poor to bribe the soldiers. 8th, sible to them for what occurred. As ihe tomb was in the vicinity of See note on chap. xxvi. 65.
Jerusalem, and it was now the time 12. Assembled with the elders, &c. of the passover, full moon, they A meeting of the Sanhedrim was would have been observed and decalled.-Large money. A large sum tected by others, even if they had of money. This was given as a eluded, or bribed, or destroyed, the bribe to the soldiers to induce them soldiers. 9th, The state of confusto circulate a false report respect
ion and fear into which the death ing the rising of Jesus. A fit con- of Jesus plunged them would clusion to the long train of iniquity incapacitate them for forming and of which the priests and Scribes executing so daring a plan. 10th, had been guilty, to destroy the in- If the Jewish story were true, the nocent, but which had only re- disciples must have been either dounded to their shame and his the confederates or dupes of Jesus, glory.
and they would therefore bave been 13. Stole him
while we slept. either enraged or overwhelmed by Fox, in his sermon on the Jews' ac- his death, so as to be disqualified count of the resurrection, has well for taking such a step. Ilth, The summed up the inconsistencies of disciples, in common with the rest this story. 1st, As the soldiers of the Jews, expected a temporal changed guard every three hours, Messiah. But the raising of Christ it was improbable that they should from the tomb would not further sleep. 2d, This improbability is that end in the least. To assert that increased by the fact that there were he had been raised up, when he had several, who would not all be likely to not been in reality, would have been sleep at the same time, or to sleep a gratuitous, useless, yet dangerous during the noise of opening the fiction. 12th, If the Jewish tale tomb and removing the body. 30, were true, would neither the disciThe severity of the Roman military ples have suffered for their theft, nor discipline, which made it death for the soldiers for permitting it, but all a soldier to be sleeping on his post, parties have escaped punishment ? would keep them awake. 4th, They It is incredible. testified to what took place during 14, 15. If this come to the governor's their sleep, when they could have ears. Or, if this come to a hearing or witnessed nothing. 5th, Had the trial before the governor.—We will body been lost through their vegli- persuade him. Rather, appease or gence, they would have been the conciliate him.--Secure you, i. e. iulast persons to confess it. 6th, If sure you against harm, set you we now turn from the soldiers to at rest about ihe inatter.—This saythe disciples, we shall see that it ing, i. e, that the disciples had stolen
this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain, 17 where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they 18 worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake
unto them, saying: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
the body of Jesus while the soldiers greatness of the crowd, doubted slept.— Until this day, i. e, the time whether it was indeed he; but from when the Evangelist wrote the ac
the following verse it would appear count, which, according to Dr. that Jesus approached ther, and Lardner, was about 30 years after. then, of course, their doubts would The credulity and prejudices of the be dissipated, and they would be satJews were easily satisfied with this isfied of his identity. The frankness barefaced imposition. They wish- with which the narrator states that ed to believe it, and they took no some doubted, without giving one pains to ascertain the truth.
word of explanation, reveals his 16. The accounts of the appear- guileless, fearless honesty, and unance of Jesus to the two disciples hesitating confidence in the candid on the way to Emmaus, and to Pe- and reasonable construction of his ler, Luke xxiv. 13–34, 1 Cor. xv. readers. The fact that some of those 5, and twice to the Apostles at Je- who saw Jesus after his resurrecrusalem, and also to some of them tion doubted, is of value, as showat the Lake of Galilee, John xx. 19% ing that they did not receive things 30, xxi. 1—23, are omitted by Mat- without examination, nor believe thew.—Then the eleven disciples
without sufficient evidence. As an went, &c. This verse is connected old writer has said, “ they doubted, with the tenth, and what intervenes that we might not doubt.” may be regarded as in some meas- 18. Jesus came and spake unto ure parenthetical. Although only them. He approaches them, and eleven disciples are here mentioned,
those who doubted would then be yet it is very probable that many
satisfied that it was indeed he.-All more went to see Jesus; perhaps power is given unto me, &c. i. e. all the five hundred spoken of by Paul, authority necessary for the estab1 Cor. xv. 6. The reason of hold- lishment of his spiritual kingdom ing the interview in Galilee was both over the Jewish and Gentile that they would not be exposed to world, for so the expressions, in the animosity of the Jews, John xx. heaven and in earth, sometimes sig19, and because in Galilee he chiefly nify in sacred phraseology. This passed the time of his ministry, and language of Jesus may be illustrated gathered the most of his disciples. by a reference to John v. 22, xvii. 2, A mountain was chosen, as more free Acts ii. 36, v. 31, Eph. i. 20-22, from interruption, and perhaps bet- Col. i. 18, where it is said that all ter accommodated to a large multi- judgment is cominitted unto the tude.
Son, that power is given him over 17. They worshipped him, i. e. did all flesh, that God hath made him him obeisance, see note on verse 9. both Lord and Christ, exalted him -But some doubted. Since more to be a Prince and a Saviour, and than eleven were present, it is likely set him at his own right hand in the that some of them, perhaps at a dis- heavenly places, and put all things tance from Jesus, on account of the under his feet, and given him to be Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of 19
head over all things to the church. this verse is a different one in the The general terms of the Bible are Greek from that translated teaching always to be limited and interpreted in the next verse, and ought to be by the connexion in which they rendered differently. One means stand, and the subject to which they to make disciples of the other to apply. All power, in this verse, can- instruct in the doctrines and duties not signify omnipotence, for that of religion. One expresses an incannot be communicated from one cipient act, the other a more advancbeing to another, but the attribute ed one.- -Baptizing them in the name. of One alone. Is given, therefore, Rather, into the name, i. e. into the restricts the meaning of the clause, profession of. Name is redundant. and proves that what was bestowed The_sense is, baptizing them into on Jesus was not an infinite attri- the Father, &c. Infant baptism is bute, for that would be an absurdi- not here mentioned, but, as it was a ty, but such an extensive authority' prevalent custom to baptize the as was necessary for the promotion children of proselytes to the Jewish of his religion. So that the very religion, and as Christ makes no words that have been used to prove prohibition of their being baptized, that Jesus was God, when fairly the easy and natural inference is, construed, prove directly the re- that, in going forth to baptize all verse, by showing, what he inces
nations, as a token of their professantly declared, that his power was sion of Christianity, the Apostles not innate, or self-derived, but dele- were to baptize both young and old. gated. His words were the words The initiatory rite of circumcision of the Father, his works the works under Judaism also furnishes an of the Father, his life, his spirit, his argument from general analogy in power, were given him by the vindication of the baptism of chilFather; to the Father he was res- dren. It is observable tbat no speponsible for his conduct and char- cification is made either as to the acter, his mission and ministry; and quantity of water, or the mode of as if foreseeing, with prophetic eye, performing the rite.- Of the Father, that his followers would consound and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. him with God, and deify him, he said, Or, Holy Spirit. They were to “My Father is greater than I,” with- baptize their disciples into a proout the least intimation that he pos- fession of the Father of all, with sessed two natures, only one of whom the Gospel originated, and of which was inferior to the Father. his Son, whom he sent to preach it See John iii. 34, 35, v. 36, xvii. 4, 8, and to live it, and of the Holy Spirit, 12, 18, Heb. v. 8, 1 Cor. iii. 23. by which it was miraculously con
19. Therefore, i. e. since I am en- firmed, and with whose influences dowed with all authority, I give you and blessings it was ever to be acthis commission.-Teach all nations. companied. This form of words Or, more exactly, according to the was designed by Christ to jmbody original, make disciples of, or in, all the great elements of his religion. nations. A declaration that his re- The belief and worship of the Fathligion was to be universal. As we er was to supersede both Jewish should now say, Christianize the peculiarities and heathen superstiwhole world. The word teach in tions. The partition wall between
20 the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to
Jews and Gentiles was to be thrown mark is, that the coupling of the down by the acknowledgment of Father with the Son and Holy one God and Father of all. His Spirit in the same sentence does not Son and Messenger was to be re- necessarily imply that they possess cognized in his Divine authority, as equality, any more than the expresthe revealer of the new religion. sion, in 1 Chron. xxix. 20, worshipThe miraculous agency by which ped_ the Lord and the king, shows it was originally established, and that the king was equal to the Lord. the Divine influences from on high Is not worship as solemn as baptism? with which it would always be at- Neither does the joining of the tended, were to be objects of faith Holy Spirit to the Father and the to the Christian convert. For the Son prove that it possesses a disJews in particular had rejected the tinct personal existence, any more Son as the Messenger of God, and than the connection, in Acts xx. 32, attributed the agency of the Holy of the word of his grace with God, Spirit to demons. Every part, ac- in the same sentence, evinces, that, cordingly, of this comprehensive for- because one is a person, or conmulary aimed a death blow at some scious being, the other is also. See monstrous errer or corruption pre- also Eph. vi. 10, to the same point. dominant either in the Jewish or In 1 Cor. x. 2, we read that “ all Gentile world. It gathered up into were baptized unto Moses,” but no itself the leading essentials of Chris- one has ever thought of arguing tianity, and impressed them upon from that expression, that Moses the new disciple under the solemn was God. Why, then, should it be rite of baptism.
inferred from this formula, that the This verse has been adduced in Son is God, and the Spirit is God, support of the Trinity, It has been because the disciple is to be baptizthought that Jesus designed to give ed into their name, or into a profes, a high prominence to that doctrine, sion of them, if, as has been proved by putting it forward in the words above, there were reasons why they by which baptism was to be admin- should be introduced in close conistered to bis disciples. But two nection with the Father, as more remarks may be made here. The definitely describing the character first is, that no peculiar importance of the Gospel ? One who did not could have been attached to these believe in Christianity, a Grecian identical words, for the Apostles sage, a Jewish priest, a Mohammeused different ones in performing dan, a modern Deist, might be bapthe sacred ceremony. Acts viii. 16, tized into the Father, for they sevx. 48, xix. 5. The words of Christ erally believe in one God. But are to be viewed rather as a general only a Christian could_sincerely model than as an invariable formu- espouse the faith of the Father and la to be used on every occasion; in the Son and the Holy Spirit. the same manner that the Lord's 20. Teaching them, i. e. giving prayer contains the fundamentals of them instruction in the doctrines and devotion, yet was not intended to duties communicated and enjoined be the sole form in which our sup- by Christ.-I am with you alway. plications should be offered to Heav- Jesus was with his Apostles of that en. Acts i. 24, 25. The second re- age, in a peculiar manner, and per
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
sonally appeared more than once ing, nor grow insipid by familiarity; after his ascension. He was with because they are a store-house of thern in spirit, he sent them theCom- spiritual truth and influence, of inforter, and was an Advocate for exhaustible richness and capacity, them with the Father. In a figura- and contain the life of the Son of tive sense, he would be with his fol- God. They are equal to the highest, lowers of every land and age, in the rarest experiences of the human spirit and power of the religion soul, and can never be outrun by the which he had lived to exemplify wisdom of the wise, nor the virtues and died to seal, and which exerts of the good. They meet our wants a vital energy in saving man, in pro- as sinners, animate our hopes, conportion as it unites his spirit, in a sole our sorrows under every condiliving union, as of the branch with tion, and point the way to everlastthe vine, and the limbs with the ing life. In them God breathes trunk, to him the Great Head.—Un- upon our minds, and impregnates to the end of the world. The more us with his own spirit. In them approved translation, according to his Son lives, and teaches and dies the original, is, unto the end of the to reconcile us to him, to make age, or the Jewish economy, and known the way of forgiveness to the establishment of the Christian the sinner, and to invite and conreligion, after which miracles ceas- strain us, by all the motives the unied, and Christ appeared no more verse can supply, or the soul feel, personally to his Apostles and dis- to lay aside every weight and the ciples as he had done before. Acts sin that doth so easily beset us, and vii. 55, 56, ix. 17. 1 Cor. xi. 23.- to run with patience the race that is The Amen is rejected by Griesbach set before us, and to be followers as of doubtful authority,
and heirs of God as dear children. As we study the history of the May they thus draw us up, with dilife, death, and resurrection of vine attractions, from earth and sin, our beloved Master, and enter more from the darkness of ignorance, the deeply into the spirit of his Divine grovellings of lust and passion, and instructions, and into sympathy with " the Slough of Despond," into the bis beautiful character, we shall find purer air, and the clearer light of a new reasons for the hope that is in spiritual creation, a vew heavens us, new revelations of the truths of and a new earth, wherein dwelleth the spiritual world, and new mo- righteousness, and beauty, and truth, tives to virtue and holiness. The and lead us onward to the abodes Gospels can never tire by often read- of everlasting love an blessedness!
END OF VOL. I.