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mist which was cast before their eyes, so that they im.. mediately knew him to be their dear Master; and while they were preparing to acknowledge him as such, he suddenly withdrew himself from them, the purpose of his joining them being completely effected; they now no longer questioned the impropriety of his sufferings, or doubted his resurrection, but rather wondered at themselves, that they had not discovered him before, from the spirit and energy of his discourse.
Whoever will read the Scriptures, either of the Old or New Testament, with an unprejudiced mind, and a real desire to derive spiritual instruction from them, will experience in some degree, the same kind of sensation which the disciples felt whilst our SAVIOUR unfolded the law and the prophets.
No study can be so interesting and delightful; and that heart must be dead indeed to the best feelings of humanity, which does not glow with gratitude, hope, and delight, at the display of the infinite goodness and compassion of GOD the FATHER of the universe, the benevolence of JESUS CHRIST his beloved Son, and the prospect of an everlasting inheritance in those blessed regions, where there will be found fulness of joy and blessedness for evermore.
OUR LORD APPEARS TO HIS APOSTLES.
From Luke, Chap. xxiv.-Mark, xvi.-John, xx.
AND they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Saying, The LORD is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
And as they thus spake, the doors being shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst of them: and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit,
And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
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.
And when he had thus spoken,- he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat ?
And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an heneycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them; and upbraided them with their unbelief, and hardness of heart, because they believed not them who had seen him after he was risen.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you : as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith to them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.
And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things niust be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me.
Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day :
And that repentance and remission of sins-should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem
And ye are witnesses of these things.
Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are re. tained.
Impatient to communicate the happy news of his resurrection, the two disciples hastened back unto Jerua Salem, where they found the Apostles assembled, who had, it seems, been just informed by Peter, that the Lord had appeared to him, on which they were then éonversing when the two disciples entered.
As the Evangelists have not given a particular ac. count of this appearance, it is not possible to ascertain when and where it happened ; bat we learn from St. Peter's own writings, that he was the first man that was favoured with a view of his Sarlour after he rose from the dead : therefore it must have been previous to his joining the disciples, on their way to Emmaus.
Notwithstanding these repeated testimonies, that JeSUS was actually risen from the dead, there were some in the
company whose prejudices were so strong and their faith so weak, that they neither believed Peter nor the other disciple; though the generality of them were convinced that the LORD was risen indeed. How then must they be astonished to see him standing in the midst of them, and to hear him accost them with his usual benignant salutation, Peace be unto you; intimating, that he forgave their cowardice in forsaking him, and would still consider them as friends; and at the same time proving, that he continued to be possessed of mi.
raculous power, by, entering the room notwithstanding they had fastened the doors. It is possible that our LORD might cause the door to open without noise, and unperceived by his disciples, who were engaged in earnest discourse, and they might not know of his entrance till they beheld him standing in the midst. His unexpected appearance amazed and terrified them exceedingly; and many suspected, that they saw only a spirit, or a phantom of the imagination. To satisfy their doubts, and convince them that he had a real body, our LORD invited them to handle and examine him. To give them the most satisfactory proof that he had the same body that was nailed to the cross, he shewed them his hands and feet, which still retained the marks of the nails; and for their further conviction he ate in their presence. So much compassion did our LORD shew for their infirmity, and so much care did he take, that not even a shadow of a doubt should remain in their minds, upon a point of the utmost importance to the business he came about! Then gently upbraiding them with their hardness of heart, in being so unwilling to admit the testimony of those who declared that they had seen him, whose veracity they had no reason to doubt, he assured them of his gracious forgiveness, and of his in, tention of sending them to preach the Gospel; to qua, lify them for which, it was necessary they should be inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT,
It is observable,. that our LORD breathed on his Apostles, as a token that the HOLY SPIRIT was to be conveyed to them through him; and in consequence of this their understandings were opened, so that they were able to comprehend those parts of the scriptures which had been hitherto dark and obscure: and they now clearly perceived, by the marks and characters of the MESSIAH
MESSIAH to which he constantly referred them, that it was agreeable to the design of GoD that the MESSIAH should suffer death, and rise again the third day; that repentance, and faith in CHRIST, were the terms on which redemption from sin was offered to mankind; and that it was their peculiar business, as his Apostles or Ambassadors, to make these conditions known to people. of all nations, as they were chosen witnesses selected for this very purpose..
THE INCREDULITY OF THOMAS THE LORD
APPEARS TO HIM.
From John, Chap. xx.
BUT Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when JESUS came.
The other disciples therefore said unto him. We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
And after eight days, again his disciples were within,. and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.,
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither they finger, and behold my hands: and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD my GOD!