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occasionally and very suddenly, and for a brief space of time, to his disciples, in order to satisfy them of the certainty of his resurrection that they might be witnesses of it; and for the purpose of instructing them concerning the mission he was about to commit to them for publishing his gospel to the world. His appearances to his disciples, and his intercourse with them after his resurrection differed very strikingly from those before his crucifixion. Before his crucifixion he always appeared as one of them, and subject to the same conditions and accidents, except sin, and entered fully into their feelings, and freely into conversation with them. After his resurrection his body 6eemed to have new and wonderful properties, which belong not to matter. He appeared among them in closed rooms, suddenly, without opening the door, and as suddenly vanished out of their sight, as a spirit is supposed to vanish into thin air.* His conversation was brief, solemn, and accompanied with a peculiar awe and power. His body was no longer the natural body that was crucified on the cross and laid in the sepulehre, but it was now a spiritual body; for, as St. Paul says, "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." The change in him from a natural to a spiritual body by the resurrection, is the illustration of the change which will take place in hi3 children. His soul also participated in the wonderful advance which the resurrection made in the condition of his being, and hence gave forth the heavenly manifestations witnessed in his occasional intercourse with his disciples.
And yet even these wondrous appearances of the Lord failed to keep the disciples free from doubt . So slow were they to admit the miraculous story, instead of eagerly following cunningly devised fables, that they seem to have resolved on resuming their former occupation,
• The Evangelists convoy the same idea of the appearances and disappearances of Out Lord, after his resurrection, u is found in the ancient classics, and still entertuned, concerning the appearances and disappearances of departed persons, or supernatural beings. Our Lord had tiie power to become visible or invisible at pleasure. Luke »ys, M And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." Not that he removed tram their vicinity, hut that he became invisible to them. So £neas, in the sack of Troy, was separated from his *ife Creosa, who perished unexpectedly. While he was Marching for her, Virgil makes JEneas say, the mournful gboct and shade of Crcusa appeared before his eyes, her figure larger than the life, and spoke to him. As ho was about to reply to her, and throw his arms around her aeck, ttnu&sque recessit in auras, she vanished into thin air.
la the same manner, Shakespeare makes the witches nuUh.
Bi.fQ.uo. The earth has bubbles as the water has, And these are of them:—whither are they vanished?
Macbeth. Into the air: and what seemed corporal melted, *J breath into the wind.
which suggests the probability that they had relinquished all hope of the speedy establishment of the kingdom of God, as promised by their lately crucified Master. As they had been called by the Lord from the shores of the Sea of Galilee, so now, in their disappointment, they return thither; and, after consultation, Peter said to them, "I go a-fishing," that is, I will resume my former occupation, since I see no signs of the kingdom of God; and it is now more than a month since the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. The other disciples said, "We also go with thee." We too will resume our former occupation. The Lord saw their despondency, and heard their consultations. The sun went down, and thus screened from the intense heat of an eastern sun (for it was in the month of May), "they went forth, and entered into a ship immediately, and that night they caught nothing." As the day dawned, and they neared the shore to rest, they saw a stranger standing on the beach. The mildness and majesty of his mien, and the gentleness and tenderness of his address threw a spell over the wearied and desponding fishermen. He said, " Children, have ye any meat?" They answered, "No." "Cast," said he, "your net on the right side, and ye shall find." The sudden and miraculous success opened their eyes, and one said, "It is the Lord." Peter, with his characteristic impetuosity, threw himself into the sea, and hastened to the feet of his Master. So profound and convincing was the effect of this sudden appearance of the Lord, that the disciples durst not converse with him, only as he drew them on by questions.
His followers and friends seem after this to have assembled at Jerusalem in expectation of some decisive event connected with the promised kingdom of God. Doubtless the mysterious influences of the Divine Master had drawn them to the city. The time of his ascension was at hand. Preparatory to this, he joined them and gave them more particular instruction concerning the mission he was about to commit to them. As Jerusalem was to be the centre of this divine mission, he commanded them that they should not depart from the city upon their mission until they should receive power from on high to qualify them for it. But this divine power, the Holy Spirit, which was to be given them, and which was wonderfully shed upon them on the day of Pentecost, was not sufficient to qualify them for their heavenly work. It is particularly recorded, "Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scripture." How long the Lord "assembled together with them at Jerusalem" is not certain. The impression made by the Sacred History is, that he was with them for several days, explaining "all things written in the law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning himself." (Luke, xxiv. 44.)
When he had fully instructed them in the Messianic Scriptures, he prepared for his ascension. The power of his presence drew his friends as well as his disciples close around him. And in the dusk of the evening, that he might escape the notice of the multitude, he passed out of the city eastward, crossing the Kidron, and wound round the southern flank of Mount Olivet, all following slowly and in silence, while he announced to his disciples the import and prospect of their perilous mission. "Ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Go ye, therefore, into all the world, teach all nations, and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. All power is given to me in heaven and in earth, and lo! I am with you always even unto the end of the world."
As he pronounced these words he had advanced round the southern flank of the mountain, leading his disciples, "as far as to Bethany." There, as he uttered the last words of the divine benediction, he lifted up his hands, spreading them out, perhaps over, and perhaps touching the heads of his apostles. While in this act he was parted from them. He threw aside the restraint which for the time weighed down his glorious resurrection body, and it rose majestically and was carried up into heaven; and the clouds received him out of their sight, into that spiritual and glorious world where he sat down on the right hand of the throne of God, to make intercession for us.
It was at nightfall, and the parting was so solemn and glorious, and his pathway to heaven so resplendent, and the majesty and benignancy of his ascending person so enrapturing, that his friends stood motionless and speechless, "gazing up into heaven," through the bright opening which his ascension had left in the sky. There probably they would have continued to stand had not the spell been broken by two of the heavenly visiters who had descended to witness the ascension. From the midst of the illuminated olouds, where they lingered in pity and admiration of the astonished and bereaved disciples, they descended to the earth, and "stood among them in white apparel, and said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing
up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." The charm was broken. Ascending Mount Olivet from the edge of the village of Bethany (for this was as near, and a more private way back to the city), they halted on the summit to look once more into the heavens, after their ascended Lord. But the sky had recovered its usual serenity, and spread out its calm blue canopy, lit up with the countless stars of heaven. On the spot where they halted, the piety of subsequent ages erected a magnificent church, and that same piety, sublimated into enthusiasm and credulity, transferred the scene of the ascension from the humble village of Bethany, far down on the southern flank of the mountain, to its summit. Hence the church, which is seen in the engraving, is called the Church of the Ascension. It is about half a mile due east from St. Stephen's gate, and about three hundred feet above the city. It is alone; neither tent nor hut is near it. And the only worshippers in it are a few monks; sometimes of the Greek order, and sometimes of the Armenian ; as the gold of the one outweighs, in the judgment of the Pacha of Jerusalem, the gold of the other. And not unfrequently very unchristian contests occur for the possession of the church; and in these contests, it has more than once been reduced to ashes. The traveller sees it from the northeast part of the city, sitting beautifully on the sacred Mount of Olivet; and if his piety or curiosity should lead him to ascend to it, he will be shown the footprint of our Lord, impressed in the solid rock, as he made the first bound towards Heaven. To this he will kneel, and will kiss it, if his faith waver not; or will turn away with regret and sorrow at the weak superstition that guards and worships an object Bo obviously apocryphal. In tho general uncertainty, and frequent absurdity of the sacred places shown to the traveller in the Holy Land, the free and intelligent Christian will see the wisdom and goodness of God. Had he designed those spots to be reverenced and worshipped, he would have provided for the certain knowledge of them. But in the kingdom of his Son he has made the divine glory and power to appear in the new and divine life which the gospel imparts to individuals and to nations, and not in sacred localities, or buildings, or relics.
BY MBS. C. H. E8LING.
I Iooked upon thy youthful face, It sccmed as though the gates of heaven
In all its beauty bright, Had been unclosed awhile;
Till like a sunbeam through a eloud, So radiant was that face of thine,
It gleamed with sudden light; Lit by that sunny smile.
BY EDITH MAY.
The Bride of Christ! oh, at those words there swept
Bright glories through my spirit! I was deaf
To the deep anthem. Prelate, and cowled priest,
The dim cathedral walls, the kneeling crowd,
The lattice where the black-veiled nuns looked through,
All parsed away from mine enraptured eyes!
I saw no more thy bowed form, oh my mother!
Nor his who stood far down the aisle of columns,
Hiding his bent brow with his mantle's foldl
It seems not long since I, a little child,
Trod yon cathedral floors, and in deep awe
First crossed my forehead with the holy water.
It seems not long, Jacopo, since we twain
Prayed, kneeling at one shrine; together winged
Our mated voices like paired larks to heaven,
Or, hand in hand, walked where the garden fountains
Cleft the grim lion mouths!
Have patience, Father,
Thou knowest well my father was a noble,
Rut this was for a season—Many months
The palace was deserted. Then, alone,
We wandered freely through the vacant rooms,
I, and my nurse Guiseppa. She would pause
Sometimes, by pictures of worn saints and martyrs;
Saint Lawrence in the flames, his lifted face
Pull of sublime forgetfulncss of pain;
Or Stephen, stoned and prone; perchance, to mark
Pale hermits watching in their forest caves,
With lamp and book, the inner darkness shapen
Into black fiends; or, sometimes, oh my soul!
An Ecce Homo, with dim, upturned eyes,
And red drops trickling from the crown of thorns!
All these Guiseppa scanned with reverent face,
I. in her arms held level with the canvass,
hooked on in childish fear.
There came a message
Twas early noon;
I never knew
Once more Ginevra stood
From her brow
We knew bright, silent angels
Thou eamest, Jacopo,—
Do you remember now
Still my sister's chamber
To that place
I crept at noonday. There I treasured all
Linked with GinevTa's memory. 'Twas now
A garland we had woven; now a kerchief
That kept the faint rose odour she had loved.
I vexed my childish brain with pondering o'er
The books she prized. These, histories of saints ,
Temptations, miracles, and martyrdoms,
I peopled all the dark nooks of the palace
With phantoms of their raising. There, concealed
All through the slumberous noontide, first I read
Of Augustine, who heard the voice of God
Speak to him in the garden, and of her,
Holy Teresa, who stood face to face
With Mary's son, and carried to tho tomb
Remembrance of the vision. When I saw
How laying down love, wealth, the pride of birth,
Bowing her shoulders for the cross, this one
Frail nun obtained a saint's repute, becoming
Founder of monasteries, and of a host
The spiritual mother, all my soul
Thrilled with the rapturous history. I could dream
Only of mysteries; or if light shapes
Beckoned me to the world, there slid botween
Visions of her who o'er an open book
Hung pondering steadfastly; one pale, fair hand
Outspread upon the page, and one that held
Her brow within its hollow. Womanhood
Came, and my heart's betraying echoes scarce
Answered her loitering footfall. Life grew vague,
Nothing approached me nearly.
The first star
His footfall ring. Oh, Father, when he left,
Gone was tho smile trom sweet Saint Catherine's lip!
And the grave saints frowned on me. and my thoughts
Shapen to prayer, put on unholy guise,
Mocking my vain devotion! Marvel not—
I was a child. Ginevra fled the world,
Like a chased dove that calms its panting heart
Under green forest boughs. Life stood unmasked.
And pleasure mocked her like a garland twined
Round a drained wine cup. As a vine that grows
Over some marble urn, a bird that builds
Under the cornice of some shattered temple,
Making its ruin echo with delight,
So to her heart, rent, filled with bitter dust,
Came one bright hope. Alas! my thrilling soul
Still quivered in the bended bow of life.
Youth was too mighty! I grew faint. My heart
Leapt at a quick word, and light tremors ran
Painfully through my limbs. My brain waxed dizzy
Over my books, and I would ponder hours
Ere I could wrest its meaning from the page
1 strove to read; or if I knelt to pray,
My aimless thoughts went wandering blindly on.
The prayer I said suspended. Outward things
Unchallenged touched my senses that dull stupor
Muffled like sleep.
I stood within Saint Peter's And heard tho Miserere. Through the twilight Burned thirteen starry tapers. One by one, Amid tho chanting of the Lamentations, These vanished, till tho last and brightest, Christ. Sank into darkness. With that hope's extinction, Like a retreating wave, the chant withdrew Beneath the cave-like shadows. Rippling echoes Tracked it to silence. Father, on my lips The stillness pressed like a remorseless hand! Above, tho gray-winged twilight, like a moth Clung to the arches! I did strive to pray, But through my soul the slow-paced, cloistered thoughts Trod, saying "Miserere!" Deep the pause That from the shores of that hushed music stretched Like a black-throated chasm! I grew sick Hearing the echoes sound it! While I gasped, As 'twere a bird borne over an abyss On one bruised wing, athwart the chapel roof Fluttered a voice so sad, my panting heart Breathed in one gush of tears. I doubt not, Priest, White angels listening in God's presence then Leant on their harps and wept! The low notes failed Exhaustedly. But as they ceased, oh heaven! As 'twere a scimitar quick bared, a shaft Hurled by a giant, a prolonged, loud shriek Leapt through the gloom, and like a dart rebounding Fell, shivered into echoes! Holy Mary I My every pulse thrilled with a separate pain! All through tho crowd a light electric shiver Passed like a link. All dimly from mine eyes Fled the dark forms of priest, and cardinal, And heaven's vicegerent in his pontiff robes. I must have fallen but for one steadfast arm Girding my waist like iron. Scarce I marked How the whole choir with thick, sore sobs bewailed Christ's death. I know not what of sudden brightness Burst on my dazzled sight. Dispute it not! I saw the darkness cloven by wings that took Light like a prism, and when the rifled gloom Closed on their upward flight, my senses, prone, Met its returning pressure!
**••** This was April; And ere my dumb soul spake again, the grape Was purple on tho hills. Oh, I was weak As a young child! Jacopo in his arms Would bear mc to the sea-shore, where I sat Long, vacant hours, numbering the waves, Counting the drifting clouds. They sang me songs— The music pleased me, but the married words