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"And when thou didst arise, thou didst not stand
With Devastation in thy red right hand,
Plaguing the guilty city's murtherous crew;
But thou didst haste to meet

The Women's coming feet,

And bear the words of peace unto the faithful few."


THE account which I shall here insert, of the circumstances which took place on the third day after the death of Jesus, is, with considerable additions, the same that originally appeared in the Christian Examiner, (Jan. 1834.) As some, whose judgment I respect greatly, were pleased to characterise it then as more ingenious than true, I have been led to review it more than once with particular care. The only consequence has been an increased conviction of the substantial truth of the following explanation of this portion of the History. The reader will perhaps think this result natural enough. Still I may be allowed to say that my respect for the opinion of those, who are unable to assent to my representation of this memorable event, is so great that I cannot but think I should have relinquished the peculiar views I have suggested, or at least looked upon them with diminished interest, if they did not rest upon grounds of no ordinary strength. I solicit attention to one or two preliminary considerations.



I will first, however, for the convenience of the reader, insert here those portions of the four Gospels, which relate to the subject.

Matth. xxviii. 1-11. "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen as he said. Come see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run and bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying, All hail. And they came, and held him by the feet and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done."


Mark xvi. 1-8. "And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre, at



the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed in a long white garment, and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified he is risen: he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee ; there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid."

Luke xxiv. 1-12. "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood by them, in shining garments; And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen; remember how he spake unto you, when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven and the rest. It was Mary 'Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, who told these things to the Apostles. And their words



seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter and ran unto the sepulchre, and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass."

John xx. 1—18. "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie; and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple who came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the door of the sepulchre, weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white, sitting the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith

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unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and said unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, my master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her."

1. Presuming the reader has read over these passages with care, I beg him to observe in the first place, that they all state that the particulars related took place very early in the morning, and that the last account, the only one that purports to be the testimony of one of the individuals personally present at the sepulchre, (John) states that it was yet dark. Surely this is a circumstance that should be allowed some weight, even though the witnesses were the keenest observers. Add to this the circumstance that the light in the sepulchre could not have been the strongest, as it appears that they who went into it were compelled to stoop. It must have descended more or less abruptly into the earth.

2. It deserves serious attention that it was not Peter nor John, nor any of the male friends of Jesus, but women who saw angels at the tomb. Is the constitutional difference of the sexes-the peculiar sensibility and imaginativeness of the female character, to be wholly disregarded by a sincere seeker after truth?

3. Not only were they women who reported the appearance of angels at the sepulchre, but women, of

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