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You proceed therefore at p. 622, 623. • For these reasons I think it probable, that the two • Marys attempted to visit the sepulchre in the end of the Jewish sabbath, or about the setting • of the sun, on our Saturday evening: I say, attempted to visit the sepulchre, because it does
not appear that they actually went thither.' While they were going, there was a great earth. quake. This earthquake, I suppose, frightened the women to such a degree, that they immediately turned back. Or their return may have been rendered necessary by a storm, if this • earthquake was attended with a storm-- The guards, it is true, remained at the sepulchre all • the while. But there was a great difference between the tempers of the persons
That these women did not go, you argue in this manner, in the notes, at p. 624. It is true,' Matthew
says, • that the women “ came to see the sepulchre.” But the word yage, which he * makes use of, does not imply that they arrived at the sepulchre. All, who understand the
Greek, know that eller signifies to go, as well as to come. See Mark vii. 31. Luke ii. 44, in • the original.'
Well, let us look into Mark vii. 31. “ And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.” But how is this to your purpose ? Translate he went, instead of he came: still he actually arrived at the place here spoken of, “ the sea of Galilee.”
“ the sea of Galilee.” He did not attempt only, but he went. Again Luke ii. 41. " But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went, nadov, a day's journey.” Allowing that io be the right reading, still Joseph and Mary did actually go “ a day's journey,” and not attempt it only.
So it must be here also. “ At the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came, for went] Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre."
They did go. Consequentiy, the journey attempted, but not performed,' at the setting of the sun, is a fiction, without any foundation : for St. Matthew speaks of a journey, or visit to the sepulchre, which these women actually made, early in the morning. Which visit shall be observed by and by, as related by the evangelists.
For the present, I stay a while, to make some resicctions. For, sir, I cannot forbear to complain of you, and expostulate with you. Is this to do honour to the sacred history ? In support of this fictitious journey, attempted, but not performed,' you have made many suppositions, without any authority from the evangelists. I shall observe some of them as distinctly as I can, in so perplexed an argument as yours is.
Supp: 1. You say, · From John xix. 42, it woulè appear, that the friends of Jesus intended * to carry him somewhere else.'
620. Supp. 2. You suppose that the women knew this. Your words, in the same page, are: “The • women knowing this, had reason to think that Joseph would remove the body as soon as the • sabbath was ended.'
Where is your authority for these suppositions? If the friends of Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else, and the women knew this, that intention would have manifested itself when the women came to the sepulchre, and missed the body: or when John and Peter came thither, and likewise found not the body. If they had before known, that such a removal was intended by any of their own number, or by Joseph, they would not have been in such surprise at not finding the body, as they were. Some of them would presently have said : • The body indeed is gone. But we need not be very uneasy about it. Undoubtedly Joseph has removed it to some other place, and taken good care of it. Let us therefore go to him and inquire.' But no such speeches as these drop from any of them. When Mary Magdalene had been at the sepulchre, and saw the stone to be taken away, and the body not within : “ she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and 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,” John xx. 1, 2.. She did not suppose that to have been done by friends, but by strangers, whom she knew nothing of. And Peter, as related by St. Luke xxiv. 12. “ ran to 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.
Nevertheless this notion of the intention of Joseph, or the disciples, to remove the body elsewhere, has taken such possession of your mind, that in your argument to support the early attempted journey, you impute to the women an apprehension, that the body had been removed even during the sabbath, and before it ended. For you say, p. 621, . It is much more probable that by appointment of the rest, and in conformity to their own inclinations, the two set out
• for the sepulchre on Saturday evening, according to our form of the day, perhaps, at about six • or seven at night.' And p. 620. Accordingly, having bought the spices, they judged it proper to send two of their number, to see if Jesus was still in the sepulchre, and if not, to inquire of the gardener where he was · laid.' And at the top
And at the top of p. 621, you ask, · What • reason can be assigned for the women's not going to see the sepulchre, as soon as the Jewish * sabbath was ended, that is, on Saturday immediately after sun-setting, when they had more • than an hour's twilight to carry them thither ?' And at the bottom of p. 622, you suppose this visit was attempted, " In the end of the Jewish sabbath, or about the setting of the sun, on our • Saturday evening.'
Therefore, before their setting out, which, according to you, was, “as soon as the Jewish sabbath was ended, immediately after sun-setting, or about the setting of the sun, they had a suspicion that Joseph had already removed the body, and were in great doubt about it; but, if 'at that time they had any suspicion or doubt whether the body was • still in the sepulchre,' they must have had a suspicion, that it had been removed by Joseph, before the sabbath was
But I apprehend, that none could admit in their minds any suspicion, that a pious Jew (as Joseph certainly was) would remove a dead body on the sabbath day!
Supp. 3. p. 623. While they were going, there was a great earthquake. For this no authority from the gospels. The women as you say, set out for the sepulchre at about six or seven in the evening, immediately after sun-setting.' But there is no reason to think from St. Matthew, or any other evangelist, that there was an earthquake at Jerusalem at that time. The earthquake, of which you speak, must have happened soon after the women set out, near Jerusalem, and early in the evening, which seems not to be the time of the earthquake mentioned by St. Matthew.
Supp. 4. You say, p. 621, · This earthquake, I suppose, terrified the women to such a degree that they immediately turned back.' • Yet the guards remained at the sepulchre all • the while.' Suppositions for which there is no ground: for there is no intimation in the gospels that any of the women foilowers of Jesus were affrighted by an earthquake: nor that the Roman soldiers stayed near the sepulchre, after the earthquake mentioned by St. Matthew, which is the only earthquake spoken of at all about this season. Nor is it said, that the soldiers were seen by the women, or by the disciples, who came to the sepulchre, early in the morning
Supp. 5. You say, at p. 625, • That the angel's appearance was ushered in with a great earthquake and a storm, which lasted several hours. I do not see any intimation of this long storm in the gospels. It is a contrivance of yours, to support your fictitious journey, begun and attempted, but not finished, early in the evening, soon after sun-setting. The earthquake, men. tioned by St. Matthew, was sudden and instantaneous, or however, of no long duration, immediately preceding, or accompanying the appearance of the angel.
Supp. 6. In arguing for this imaginary journey, you suppose, that for a while the weather was cloudy and rainy. Your words at p. 621, are, • To conclude, it cannot be said, that this
journey was too great to be undertaken in the evening: for the sepulchre was nigh to the city. • John xix. 20. It may be said indeed, that it was always full moon at the passover: and there. • fore that the middle of the night was as proper a season for their visit as any. It would not, • however, be a proper season, if the weather was either rainy or cloudy then, as it seems actually • to have been. This I gather from John xx. 1, where we are told, that in the morning, when Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre, it was dark.'
But those words “ early (or in the morning] when it was yet dark,” Apwi CHOTIUS E71 eous, denote no more, than that it was not yet full day-light, or that the sun was not risen, or, according to Dr. Clarke's paraphrase: · Very early, before it was yet day-light.' To the same purpose are the two Latin versions of Beza and the Vulgate, which here agree exactly. Maria Magdalene venit mane, cum adhuc tenebræ essent. Those words do not denote the temperature of the air, but the time of the day.
However of the bad weather at that time, you speak also in some other places, particularly
a And just before, at the top of p. 620, you say, “The women went to see the sepulchre,” (bewp7Tai) to see if the
stone was still at the door, because by that they could know : whether the body was within.'
b • Terræ motus factus est magnus.') Motus hic signum fuit secuturæ otacias, satis notum Judaïco populo. Ps. Ixviii. 8, 9. xcix. 1. cxiv. 6, 7. Grot, ad Matt. xxviii. 2.
p. 613. • The storm, the earthquake, and the vision that accompanied this astonishing event, . had driven the soldiers away from the sepulchre. Impelled therefore by their fears and the • weather, they would take shelter in the first house they could find. And as they fed
away • about the time that Jesus arose, they would, probably, sleep till morning. Or, though the • terror they were in hindered them from sleeping, they would stay nevertheless, having no incli• nation to go out in such a stormy night.'
So you are pleased to write. Nevertheless I discern not any intimations in the evangelists what the weather was at that time. And if the evangelists have said nothing about it, we can form no determinations concerning it. And for aught that is said by them during the period of our Lord's lying in the grave, it may have been all calm and serene, till the time appointed for his rising out of it. When on a sudden, there was a forcible concussion of the earth and air, preceding, or accompanying the presence of the angel, who descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door of the sepulchre. After which also, so far as we know, the air was calm and serene. For the women, and some of the disciples, came early out of the city to the sepulchre, without any difficulties arising from bad weather, so far as we can observe.
The several suppositions above mentioned, appear to me to be made by you altogether without any ground or foundation from the evangelists: and therefore they are unjustifiable, and must be of bad consequence. What history can stand before such treatment? It must be perverted. It will be altered, and made somewhat very different from what it really is. Heedless and inattentive readers (of which there are too many) are amused and entertained, and not carefully consulting the original, they admit such suppositions as parts of the history, though they are not mentioned nor implied in it.
IV. I now proceed to my fourth inquiry, which relates to the preparing the spices by the women from Galilee to anoint the body of Jesus.'
The accounts which we have of this are in two evangelists only. St. Mark having at the end of ch. xv. said: “ And Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses, beheld where he was laid,” begins the xvi. chapter in this manner: “ And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought (or brought] sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.” St. Luke xxiii. 55, 56. xxiv. 1. " And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how the body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment. 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.”
I understand that narrative in this manner. When the crucifixion was over, and the women here spoken of had seen our Lord laid in the sepulchre, they returned to Jerusalem, to their apartment there, and rested on the sabbath day, which was now coming on, if not already begun. And when the sabbath was over, in the evening they bought sweet spices, and early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the sepulchre, carrying the spices with them. in order to anoint the body, according to their intention.
Your way of reconciling these two accounts is this. P. 617. • This is not inconsistent with • Mark xvi. 1, where we are told, that they bought spices after the sabbath was ended. It • seems, the quantity, which according to Luke had been provided and prepared on the night • of the crucifixion, was too small : or the sabbath coming on, they had not time to procure all
the ingredients that were necessary. For which reason they went the first day of the week, • and bought more.'
I rather think, that all the spices which they wanted were bought at once, and in the evening, after the sabbath was ended, as St. Mark says. Nor need St. Luke to be otherwise understood. You can help us out here. For you say, Prelim. Obser. iii. p. 14. · Matthew and Luke • giving the history of our Lord's public entry into Jerusalem, connect the purging the temple • therewith, as if both happened in one day. Nevertheless, from the more particular account « which Mark gives of these affairs, it appears, that on the day of his public entry, Jesus did not 'go into the temple till the evening, when the market, usually kept in the court of the • Gentiles, which he intended to prohibit, was over, and that he did not reform this abuse till • the next day.'
So it is here. Nor is St. Luke to be understood to say, that they prepared any spices that
day. He is to be understood in this manner. · And they returned, and prepared spices and
ointments. Nevertheless they rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment. And • deferred preparing them till that was over.'
In your Chronological Dissertations, p. 88. You say: Luke also insinuates, that Jesus was crucified on the preparation of the passover. For he tells us, ch. xxiii. 56, that when the • women had viewed our Lord's sepulchre, and how his body was laid, “ they returned, and • rested according to the commandment.” It seems the sabbath began about the time they were at the sepulchre.'
Which'indeed I take to be the truth of the case. By the time the funeral rites were finished, and whilst they were yet at the sepulchre, the day closed, the sun set, and the sabbath came on. After which the women, and the other company there present, might without any scruple of their own, and without offence to others, walk thence to their apartments, or their habitations, at Jerusalem. But after that, no work could be done until after the sabbath was over.
Nor do I see how it could be otherwise. For our Lord did not expire, as all allow, till the “ ninth hour of the day,” or our three after noon, “there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple. He went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus : then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.” Compare Mark xv. 42—45, and Luke xxiii. 50—53, and John xix. 38. But we are told by St. Mark, in the place just referred to, that when Joseph presented that request, “ Pilate marvelled if he were already dead : and calling for the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it, he gave the body to Joseph.” That would take up some time. For the centurion, undoubtedly, was at the place of execution, attending the bodies. Nor could he remove from that place without special order from the governor himself. Whether by “ calling for the centurion,” be intended, that Pilate commanded him to come to him, that he might limself speak to him: or whether there be only meant, that Pilate sent a messenger to the centurion, and received an answer from him by that messenger, I do not determine: either way some time was required to give Pilate satisfaction upon this head.
Nevertheless, I will suppose that much time was not lost by that means: for Joseph and Nicodemus might take it for granted that the body would not be refused, but would be delivered to them at their request: and immediately after the Lord Jesus had expired, they might begin to make preparations for his burial. However, the performing the funeral rites, as related by St. John, might fully occupy the space of time that followed, till sun-setting. Nor is it conceivable that the women could get back to Jerusalem before the sabbath was begun, or very near beginning, at the soonest, that is, the time of sun-setting, or our six after noon.
At p. 620, you speak of the women pounding and mixing the spices. Accordingly, having bought the spices, they judged it proper to send two of their number to see if Jesus
was still in • the sepulchre-that when the spices were prepared, that is, pounded, mixed, and melted into • an ointment, they might go directly to the place and embalm him.'
I cannot believe that there was any occasion for this. These women were not inhabitants of Jerusalem, but had come up thither with our Lord as attendants upon him at the time of the passover. I see not how they should be furnished with pestles and mortars, and other vessels for pounding, mixing, and melting spices. I rather think they bought spices already mixed into an ointment, prepared and fitted for the use intended by them. In countries where embalming was in use, and where they buried soon after men had expired, and especially in great cities, and near them, such as Jerusalem, there must have been shops, or warehouses of apothecaries, or embalmers or confectioners, where spices of all sorts, proper for funeral rites, and also bandages and rollers might be had, and upon the shortest notice, for all sorts of persons, according to their several circumstances. We have an instance of this in the burial of our Saviour. His cruci. fixion and death were unlooked for by his friends. Nevertheless, as soon as he had expired, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came to the place, “bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. And they took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes, [or bandages,) with spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury”- Eorcay αυτο οθονιοις. .
• Apparemment que Joseph fit ses appareils, et assembla les gens dont il avoit besoin pour la sépulture de Jésus Christ,
dès qu'il le vit crocifié. Le Clerc sur Marc xv. 42. VOL. V,
And that the Jews of that time buried soon after decease, we see in the instances of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts v. 1-10. It also appears in the history of Lazarus. John xi. 39. “ Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him who was dead, saith unto him: Lord, by this time he smelleth: for he has been dead four days.” TETAPTUVOS YUp €51. You, Sir, are pleased to say in your Harmony, sect. c. p. 418: · When Jesus and his disciples were come nigh to • Bethany, they heard from some of the inhabitants that Lazarus was four days buried. Where
fore, as a day or two must have been spent in making preparations for the burial, he could not * well be less than five days dead when Jesus arrived.'
Your computation is wrong. Lazarus was buried on the day, in which he died. John xi. 17. “ Then, when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.” But those days are not to be reckoned complete. It was the fourth day since he was buried, on which also he had died. You know very well how the sacred writers compute days. Matt. xii. 4. “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.” You do not thereby understand three complete days and nights. If Lazarus had been dead more than four days Martha would have
For corruption of bodies does not commence merely from the time of burial, but from the time of death. And, says Cyril of Alexandria, «Jesus brought Lazarus out of the grave, • now dead, and stinking, on the fourth day after his death.' So says Cyril, who, as I think, must have understood Greek as well as any modern critics. This is the same computation of the time of Lazarus's death, which was made long ago in a tract which you just now quoted with approbation.
These good women of Galilee, then, as I suppose, bought the spices they wanted, ready prepared, and mixed into an ointment, in the evening, after the sabbath was over. And, when they had so done, as I apprehend, they went to rest, trusting in God, as other good men and women do: that they might be composed, and the better fitted for the intended service of the ensuing day. This is to be understood, so far as was consistent with the greatness of their concern for what had lately happened to their much respected Lord and Master.
What these women designed, we cannot say exactly. But I dare say, it was not what you suppose, p. 617. • That they might embalm their dead Lord by anointing and swathing him in
a proper manner.' For I think, he was properly swathed, or rolled, before. And any alteration of the rollers, or bandages, would have been inconsistent with that respect, which was due to the body of Jesus. What they aimed at, I say, I do not know. But, possibly they intended to rub ointment on the outside of the bandages, to fill up the spaces, or interstices, which there might be, and to add to the fragrancy of the spices, which had been already made use of.
After all, I do not think it was any great matter, which was intended by them. And to me it seems, that you speak too slightly of what had been done by Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. Your words at p. 617 are these: “ The Galilean women, who had waited on Jesus in « his last moments, and accompanied him to the sepulchre, observing, that his funeral rites were * performed in a hurry, (the body being rolled in nothing but a mixture of myrrh and aloes, • which Nicodemus brought) agreed among themselves to come when the sabbath was passed, • and embalm their dead Lord, by anointing and swathing him in a proper manner. Accord• ingly, when he was laid in the sepulchre, they returned to the city, and bought what other
spices were necessary for that purpose: Nicodemus having furnished a mixture only of myrrh . and aloes.'
I must take the liberty to say, this manner of speaking is unjustifiable, after the accounts which we have of our Lord's interment by all the evangelists, before referred to, and particularly by St. John, ch. xiv. 38–40. “ After this Joseph of Arimathea—took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus,--and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pounds weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Ελαβον εν το σωμα τ8 Ιησε, και εδησαν αυτο οθονιοις μετα των αρωμάτων, καθως εθος εςι τοις Ιεδαιοις ενταφιαζειν.
The funeral rites were performed with expedition, but not, properly speaking, in a hurry. And when St. John says that the “body was wound up in linen cloths, with the spices, as the
• Τον δυσωδη νεκρον, μετα τεταρτης της τελευτης ημεραν, εκ θηκης εξηγαγεν. Cyril in Jo. xi. 44. Τ. ΙV. p. 689.
See Vindication of three of our Saviour's Miracles, against Woolston, page 344, note 5.