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I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for
evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. That the word adne here signifies not merely hell, but the Invisible World, which includes both heaven and hell, is pretty generally known and admitted. A passage which illustrates this sense may not be unuseful. Diodorus Siculus, describing the burial of the Egyptians, says, “the multitude proclaim the praises of the deceased, who shall pass an eternal age with the pious in Hades, ως τον αιώνα διατριβειν μελλοντος καθ' αρε HETU TWV-EUGEßwv; which evidently proves the word here translated hell, to include the whole invisible state, where departed spirits dwell, with its two divisions, for the righteous as well as the wicked. This affords
a more exalted view of the dominion of Christ; for as Mr. Howe finely observes, it is not an instance of the authority with which a great prince is invested that he acts as a jailor, and keeps the key of the prison. But here Christ proclaims his sovereign authority, as fixing the boundaries of our present life, and holding absolute dominion over our departed spirits in the unseen world.
In Mat. ii. 14, Jesus says of John the Baptist, “If you will receive it, this is Elias, who was for to come:" and yet when the Pharisees asked John the Baptist, Art thou Elias,' he answered, "No." John answered them according to their own ideas; for he would not sanction their departure from revealed truth, and their adoption
of the heathen μετεμψυχωσις, or transmigration of souls from one body to another, by saying he was that prophet; or as they meant, Elias risen from the dead, or his soul animating another body. But Christ truly said this was Elias; who was to come; he that was intended by the promise. Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet: one in the spirit and power of Elijah.
ON THE GENEALOGY OF CHRIST.
To the Editor.
An Infidel has repeatedly challenged me to reconcile the
two accounts of St. Matthew and St. Luke, relative to our Savior's pedigree.
J. M. J. INFIDELS are fond of shooting their pointless arrows against the adamantine fabric of Christianity. But let them know that this noble edifice will stand when the present generation of its foes is mouldered in the dust, as it has outlived the envenomed attacks of their ances. tors. * Little more need be said to such, than that they might easily be condemned out of their own mouths; as a thousand arcana of nature are incredible to the eye of the keenest philosopher; and yet difficulties in the way of arriving to a perfect knowledge does not shake the belief of the fundamentals of their theory. In like manner the Christian might ask, Are not difficulties to be met with, and chasms to be found, in the genealogical tables of the ancestors of the first families of the present nobility? But do these things induce a doubt of the actual lineal descent of the present lord from his progenitor? A more effectual apology may therefore be made for the apparently incorrect table of our Lord's descent. The lapse of eighteen hundred years will afford to the candid mind a full reply to every objection now raised against some trivial irregularities, in tracing the correct list of the persons from whom Jesus Christ descended, as it relates to his human nature. I said apparently incorrect tables, because I am fully persuaded that persons skilled in this branch of science might, satisfactorily, solve all the difficulties which occur on this subject. But the limits of your publication will not admit of a full investigation. Suffice it to observe, that the genealogy of Christ is given by Matthew in the line of Joseph, because he was born in wedlock, and therefore generally accounted his son, agreeably to the general custom of tracing genealogy in the line of the father. And let it be remembered, that both Joseph and Mary were of the same tribe, as appears by their going to the same city (Bethlehem) to be taxed. So that it is clear that Christ was the son of Abraham and David, both by father and mother.
Luke gives his genealogy by Mary. Matthew shews Christ's royal descent from David and Solomon, from his father-in-law Joseph, who descended by his own father Jacob from Solomon. So Luke gives us Christ's natural descent as “the Seed of the woman,” from Mary, daughter of Heli; and thus descended from Nathan, another of the sons of David. The learned investigator may find ample satisfaction, by consulting Mr. Henry's Exposition, in loc.; and especially the authors quoted by Dr. Doddridge, or referred to in his 'notes on this subject in his Family Expositor, vol. i. p. 44, &c. I remain yours respectfully,
ON THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
If our Savior was crucified on the Friday, and rose a.
gain early on Sunday morning (which appears clearly from the Evangelists) how could the words be verified which he speaks of himself, Matthew xii. 40, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, 80 shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth?”
Sir, Your correspondent wishes to be informed how the words of our Savior could be verified, which he spake of himself, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth:” and yet Christ was crucified on the Friday, and rose again on the Sunday.
In answer to this, it may be proved, as it often has been, that this expression and many others, are merely Jewish ways of speaking; and exactly agree with the event to which they allude, when they are rightly ex* plained.
It must be observed, that the Jews count their natural days, or days of twenty-four hours, very differently from what we do; for we reckon from twelve o'clock at night to twelve the next night; but they reckoned from sunset to sunset; all the time between they called
a day: just as Moses did when he said, "the evening and the morning were the first day. And from even unto even shall
Sabbath.' Another thing to be observed on this head, is, that they reckoned, as indeed all nations do, any part of a day of twenty-four hours for a whole day. To this purpose an eminent Jewish writer, lben Ezrast speaking on the law for circumcising an infant on the eighth day, says, That if the infant were born but one hour before the first day was ended, it was counted for one whole day; and so for the same reason, the part of the day that was past when it was circumcised, was reckoned a whole day, if only one hour of the evening was past with which that day began. Reckoning then that the first day began on our Thursday at sunset and ended upon Friday at sunset, and because our Lord died about three in the afternoon of that day, reckoning that part of the day for a whole day: by this means we have one day; Saturday is, on all hands, allowed to be another day; and as the third day began on Saturday at sunset, and our Savior rose on the morning following, that part of the day is fairly computed for the third day.
The expression on the third day, is about ten times used in the New Testament on this occasion, and there. fore must serve for explaining the other phrases, but once or twice at most made use of: such as that of Christ's rising after three days;f the meaning of which expression is fairly shewn, where we read that Rehoboam said to the peopleg“Come again unto me after
* Lev. xxiii. 32 ...See also Acts xxviii. 27, compared with verse 33.
† On Lev xxii. 3. # Mark viii. 31. $ 2 Chion, x 5. VOL. III. 22