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650 : Jésus leads them out to the Mount of Olives, Sect. 203. Effusion of the Holy Spirit ; and this shall be
m done not many Days bence.' Luk.XXIV. And he then took them with him out of the LUKE XXIV, 50.50.
And he led them out as far
as to Bethany
as to the Boundaries of Bethany (a). Acts I. 6. When therefore they were come together with Acts I. 6. When they
such peculiar Solemnity, and Jesus had thus af- therefore were come togesembled them
ther, they asked of him, fasin a Body, (as they apprehended, ing,' Lord, wilt thou at this on some extraordinary Occasion,) they asked him, Time restore again the saying, Lord, wilt thou at this Time, when they Kingdom to Israel? have just been guilty of such aggravated Wickedness, restore the Kingdom to Israel? And wilt thou now in such a Manner shew thy Favour to them, that Ifrael, that guilty Nation, which so well deserves to be destroyed, shall at this Time be raised from its Servitude, to that extensive Empire, which we have been taught to expect under the Government of the Messiah.
But as Jefus was not willing to enter into a 7 And he said unto them, long Debate with them, he chose to silence them hem be chore to Glence them It is not for you to know the
Times or the Seasons, which in few Words, and said to them, Whatever the the Father hath put in his Schemes of Providence may be, it is not for you own Power. to know, and therefore is not proper for you to enquire, what are those Times or Seasons, which the Father has placed under his own Authority : The Messiah's Kingdom (hall indeed be triumphant, and the Israel of Ġop Thall reign with
(a) As far as to the Boundaries of Bethany. This at least must be the Import of the Word eos; but what is said elsewhere, will not allow us to extend it to the Town itself: For it is plain, the Town of Bethany was about Fifteen Furlongs from Jerusalem, (cbn xi. 28.) whereas the Place from which our Lord ascended, on Mount Olivet, was but a Sabbarba Day's Journey, or about half that Distance from yêrufalem. (Aits i. 12.) So that to reconcile what Luke has told us in his Gospel, with the Account that he has given of our Lord's -Afcenfion in the Acts, we must conclude, that he conducted his Disciples only to the Boundaries of Bethany, which came much nearer to Jerusalem, and took in Part of the Mount of Olives. (See Note: (a) on Mat. xxi, 1. pag. 289.) It is indeed poflible, that sur Lord might make his last Visit on Earth to Lazarus and his pious Sisters; but it is manifeft, he did not ascend from the Town of Bethany, where many others muft have seen him, but from the Mount of Olives, where none beheld him but his own Disciples; nor is there any Intiination in the Words of the Evangelist, that he came from Bethany to the Mart of Olives on the Day of his Afcenfion, but rather that he went directly from Jerusalem thither.
and having blesled them, ascends to Heaven in their Sight. 651
him; but where, or when, or how this shall Sect, 203,
be, it is not your present Business to enquire : 8 But ye Dhall receive And therefore now let not these Secret Things Acts I. 8. Power after that the Holy
the Holy engage and take up your ' Attention ; but let
Service you are called to, you shall indeed, as
Obedience of Faith. LUKE XXIV.-50. And . And then lifting up his Hands, in a most fo- Luk.XXIV. he lift up his Hands, and
lemn and devout Manner, be blessed them, as one 50. blessed them.
that had Authority, not only to desire, but to
on Earth, he was now returning.
to his Disciples of the Work they were to do, and them,] while he blessed them, he was parted from them. of the Power they should have to qualify them (Mark XVI. 19.-Acts for it, even while he was bleffing them, he was I. 9.-)
in And while miraculoully separated from them. And while Acts L. they beheid, he was taken they stedfastly bebeld him, and fixed their Eyes up, [Luk. and carried up upon him with the strictest Observation, he was into Heaven,]" and a Cloud
a taken up from the Ground on which he stood, and
(b) While they beheld, he was taken up, &c.] Mr. Jennings has observed with his usual Sagacity and Propriety, (Serm. at Berry-Street, Vol. i. pag. 373.) that it was much more proper, our Lord should afcend to Heaven in the Sight of his Apostles, than that he should rise from the Dead in their Sight: For his Resurrection was proved, when they saw him alive after his Paffion; but they could not see him in Heaven, while they continued upon Earth.
· Nnnn 2
652 Two Angels tell them, he shall come again in the fame Manner. Sect. 203.a Kind of Triumphant Chariot which God had received him out of their Acts I. 9. m prepared on this great Occasion, and received him Sight, (and he sat on the
Right Hand of GOD.) out of their Sight : And passing thro’ Crouds of (MARK XVI.-19. Luki adoring Angels, be ascended to a Throne highly XXIV.-51.) exalted above theirs, and fate down, even at the Right Hand of GOD, on a Seat of the highest Dignity and Authority, there to reign in the Glories of his Mediatorial Kingdom, till all Things
shall be put under his Feet. (1 Cor. xv. 25, 27.) 10 And as they were stedfastly looking up to Heaven, 10 And while they lookwhile he went on in his amazing and triumphant ed Itedfastly toward Heaven,
as he went up, behold, Two Progress, behold, Two Angels, in the Form of Men, Men stood by them in white in white and shining Raiment, being of the Num- Apparel; ber of those whose Ministrations God was pleased
to make use of in this illustrious Event, came and I stood near them; Who also spake to them and 11 Which also said, Ye Jaid, Ye Men of Galilee, why do ye stand gazing
Men of Galilee, why ftand.
ye gazing up into Heaven? up to Heaven with such great Astonishment ? this fame Jerus which is taken Is it not what your Lord himself has often up from you into Heaven, told you, that he was soon to return to the Glo
ai shall so come in like Man
ner as ye have seen him go. ry from which he came? And we are now sent into Heaven. hither to assure you, that this Yesus, who is thus taken up from you into Heaven, mall so come again, in the very fame Manner as you have now beheld him go into Heaven : For the Great Day shall surely come, when he will visibly descend from Heaven in a Cloud of Glory, attended as now with a Guard of Angels, to dispense their final Judgment to all the Inhabitants of the World: But in the mean Time, the Heavens must receive him, and you must no more expect his Compa
ny on Earth. Luk.xxiv. ' And his Disciples were so fully satisfied of his LUKE XXIV. 52. And Divine Power and Glory, that they worshipped
they worshipped him, and
[then returned to Jerusabim with the humbleft Reverence, tho' he was lem, with great Joy, [from now become invisible to them; and then (as he had the Mount called. Olivet, ordered them,) returned to Jerusalem with great
which is from Jerusalem a
Sabbath-Day's Journey:) Hoy, from the Mount called Olivet, where he was acts l. 127 parted from them ; which is but a Sabbath-Day's Journey, or about a Mile distant from Yerusakem (€): And it exceedingly rejoiced their Hearts
(c) Which is a Sabbath-Day's Journey from. Yerusalem.) A Sabbath-Day's Journey is ge. perally reckoned by the 'y cws to be Two thousand Cubits; which was the Distance between
They return to Jerusalem, and praise GOD in the Temple. 653
to think, that Jesus their Lord was in this fin- Sect. 203. gular Manner honoured by his Heavenly Father,
'Luk.XXIV. and received up into a State of everlasting Feli
'elle 52. city and Glory, in which he would be able to protect all his Followers, and to provide in the
most effectual Manner for their present and eter-
at proper Times, and were daily present at the
Amen! May God always be praised by us, and
vants, and by them to us! MARK. XVI. 20. And And in a few Days after this, (as will be shewn Mark XVI.. they went forth, and preach more largely in the following History,) their as: 20. ed every where, the Lord working with them, and con- cended Lord, in Remembrance of his Promise firming the Word with Signs to them, fent down as a Royal Donative the following. Amen.
extraordinary Influences of his Spirit upon them,
the Ark and the Camp, when they marched ; (7oh. iii. 4.) and probably the same Proportion was observed, when they rested. This is usually computed at about Eight Furlongs, or a Mile. But as the Camp took in a large Extent of Ground, and this was only the Dir. tance of those that incamped nearest to the Ark; so it is evident, that as all the People were to repair on the Sabbath-Day to the Place of God's publick Worship, a Sabbath-Day's Journey was more than two thousand Cubits to those, whose Station in the Camp was more remote from the Ark: Yet when they were afterwards settled in Towns, they allowed no more than. Two thousand Cubits for a Sabbath-Day's Fourney. (See Selden de Jur. Nat. et Gent. Lib. iii. cap. 9. and Lightfoot Hor. Hebr, on Luke xxiv. 50. and Aats i. 12.) Compare Note (a) above, on Luke xxiv. 50.
(d) Were always in the Temple.] Some have imagined, (by comparing this with Aits i.. 13, 14.) that the Apostles dwelt for some Time afterwards, in an upper Chamber of the Temple : But they had no such Interest with the Priests, as to allow us to suppose, they would permit them to lodge in an Apartment of the Temple. It is sufficient, that they were always there at the proper Seasons; for it is well known, that by Night the Temple was shut upe (Compare Luke ii. 37. Vol. i. pag. 65, and John xviii. 20. pag. 522.) They probably. joined their Voices with the Chorus of the Levites, as no doubt other pious Ifraelites did; and must surely from what they had already seen and known, have learnt to use many of the Psalms sung by chem, in a much fublimer Sense, than the Generality of the People could.
654 There are many other Things that Jesus did: Sect. 203. Word of his Grace by the Signs and Miracles
m y which followed it; which were at once the most Mark XVI.
1. folid, as well as the most obvious and popular 20.
Demonstrations of those Divine Truths which
Evidences of its Divine Authority!
the most remarkable Passages of the Life of Christ there are also many other during the Time of his Abode on Earth: But af. Things which Jesus did;
[and many other Signs truir ter all, it must be considered only as Specimen, did Jesus in the Presence of rather than a full Narration ; for there are also many his Disciples, which are not other Things that yesus said and did, and indeed written in this Book ;] the
which, if they thould be many other Signs and Miracles, that Jesus wrought, written every one, I lupboth before and after his Resurrection, in the pose that even the World itPresence of his Disciples, which are not written self could not contain the in this Book of the Four Evangelists, which is ten. John XX. 30.1
Books that should be writhere compleated ; and which indeed are so numerous, that if every one [of them] should be recorded in all its Circumstances, I am persuaded, the Work would amount to so vast a Bulk, that the World itself could not be able to receive the Books that would be written; but the very Size of the Volumes would neceffarily prevent the Ge- ;
nerality of Mankind from procuring, or reading John XX. them (e). But these moft necessary and imporo John XX. 31. But these tant Things are written, in this plain Way, and in are written, that ye might
believe this portable Volume, not merely that the Reader may be amused by so curious a Story, but that the
(c) The World itself could not be able to receive the Books &c.] There would be no great Inconvenience in allowing an Hyperbole here, as most Expositors do; of which we meet with other Instances in Scripture : (See Gen. xi. 4. Numb. xiii. 33. and compare 7 obn xii. 19.) But I think the Sense given in the Paraphrafe easier, and more suited to the remarkable Plainness of St. John's Style. Elsner explains this Passage, as if the Evangelift had said, “ If “ they were all to be particularly written, the unbelieving World would not admit them, « so as to be moved by them to Faith and Obedience:" And he produces Instances in which gaper has such a Signification. But as 7ohn knew, the unbelieving World would reject even what he had writ, this could be no Reason for his writing no more. — Perhaps it may be a most delightful Part of the Entertainment of the Heavenly World, to learn from our blessed Lord himself, or from those who conversed with bim on Earth, a Multitude of such Particulars of his Life, as will be well worthy our everlasting Admiration. In the mean Time, the pious and attentive Study of what is here recorded, may moft Lappily prepare us for such Discoveries, and add an unutterable Relish to them: Amen! So may k be, to the Author of this Exposition, and to all those, who do, or may perufe it!
even what he hadelightful part from those who worthy our ceoladed, may messo in