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blind to the real glory of his character, and such is every unregenerate sinner.
But though this passage be easily reconciled with the foregoing hypothesis yet there are others more difficult; particularly the words of Peter, in Acts iii. 17; and of Paul, in Acts xiii. 27, And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they know him not, nor yet the voices of their prophets, which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
I know of no way to reconcile these things, but by supposing, what indeed is very probable, That there were some of each description; and that the former passages refer to the one, and the latter to the other.
Luke i. 33. He shall reign over the house of Jacob for
ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end, 1 Cor. xv. 24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power.
When the kingdom of Christ is said to have no end, it may mean that it shall never be overturned, or succeed. ed by any rival power, as all the kingdoms of this world have been, or shall be. Such is the interpretation given of the phrase in Dan. vii. 14; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shALL NOT PASS AWAY, and his kingdom that which SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED.
But this need not be alleged in order to account for the phraseology, which will be found to be literally true. The end, of which Paul speaks, does not mean the end of Christ's kingdom; but of the world, and the things thereof. The delivering up of the kingdom to the Father will not put an end to it, but eternally establish it in a new and more glorious form. Christ shall not cease to reign, though the mode of his administration be different. As a Divine Person he will always be one with the Father: and though his Mediatorial Kingdom shall cease,* yet the effects of it will remain for ever. There will never be a period in duration in which the Redeemer of sinners will be thrown into the shade, or become of less account than he now is, or in which honor and glory and blessing will cease to be ascribed to him by the whole creation.
Luke x. 23. Biessed are the eyes which see the things
that ye see. John xx. 29. Blessed are they that have not seen, and
yet have believed.
The first of these passages pronounces a blessing up
on those ho saw the fulfilment of what others had believed; the last, of those who should believe the gospel upon the ground of their testimony, without having witnessed the facts with their own eyes.
* A correct explanation is given of this passage in a former part of this work. The reader must examine and judge for himself which is the most correct. The former sense certainly sets forth the media. tion of Christ in a very striking manner, and it is always safe to ex® plain Scripture in that way which exalts the character and work of God manifested in the flesh. Editor.
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There is no contradiction in these blessings: for there is a wide difference between requiring sight as the ground of faith, which Thomas did: and obtaining it as the compiletion of faith, which those who saw the coming and kingdom of the Messiah did. The one was a species of unbelief; the other was faith terminating in vision.
John v. 31. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is
not true. John viii. 14. Though I bear record of myself, yet my
record is true.
Our Lord, in the first of these passages, expresses what was to be admitted as truth in the account of men; in the last, what his testimony was in itself. Admitting their laws or rules of evidence, his testimony should not have been credible; and therefore in the verses following he appeals to that of John the Baptist and the works which he had wrought in his Father's name, and which amounted to a testimony from the Father. But though he in a manner gave up his own testimony, yielding himself to be tried even by their forms of evi. dence, yet would he not so far concede as to dishonor his character. He was in fact, whatever they might judge of him, the Amen, the faithful and the true Witness; and as such he taught many things, prefacing what he delivered with that peculiar and expressive phrase, Verily, verily, I say unto you.
John xx. 17. Jesus saith unto Mary, Touch me not!
for I am not yet ascended to my Father. John xx. 27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither
thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing
It is manifest from these and other passages; that the reason why Mary was forbidden to touch her risen Savior was not because the thing itself was impossible. Indeed, if it had been so, the prohibition had been unnecessary: for we need not be forbidden to do that which cannot be done. There might, however be an impropriety in her using the same freedoms with him in his immortal state, as she had been wont to do in his mortal state. It might be proper to touch him at his own invitation, and to answer an important end, (see Luke xxiv. 39.) and yet improper to do so without it. By comparing the passage with Matt. xxviii. 9, 10, it appears that Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary who was with her, did touch him; for they are there said to have "held him by the feet, and worshipped him." There is reason to think therefore, that the words, touch me not, in John, were used merely to induce her to desist from what she was doing; and that on account of his having more important employment for her; Go, tell my brethren! This agrees with the reason given in John; Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, &c. This was as much as if he had said, “You need not be so unwilling to let go my feet, as though you should see me no more: I am not yet ascended,
nor shall I ascend at present.
Yet do not imagine that I am raised to a mere mortal life, or am going to set up a temporal kingdom in this world .. .. No.... I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and unto my God, and your God.'
Heb. xi. 33. Who through faith obtained promises. Heb. xi. 39. And these all received not the promise.
The promises, which were obtained by faith, refer to those which were fulfilled during the Old Testament dispensation. It was promised to Abraham that he should have a son; to Israel, that they should possess the land of Canaan for an inheritance; to David, that he should sit upon the throne; to Judah, that they should return from the Babylonish captivity, &c. and by faith each of them in due time obtained the promise.
But there was one promise which was of greater importance than all the rest; namely, the coming of the Messiah. In the faith of this the fathers lived and died; but they saw not its acconiplishment. To see this was reserved for another generation. Hence the words of our Savior to his disciples: Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them,