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and found a' grape of k prodigious 'site. The person who made the vow and fulfilled it, after "receiving the wished-for favour, was released from any further obli: gation; but if he failed to fulfill it, the god was usually angry, and was said euxwinsetilsu terbar. Iliad. 4. 65.120 in Latin damnare voto,—to visit him with some merited evil for his neglect. Virg. Ecl. 5.80. But a promise ofthit sort was unworthy the God of Israel. " A Jew therefore, if well informed, meant by a vow a very different thing; as it was an engagement to separate from the people and devote himself to God, or to purify himself after some moral or ritual uncleanness. This was usually done after recovery from illness or some remarkable deliverance, or after touching a dead body." "A vow therefore in this latter case was a mere ceremony; and the narrative itself holds it out as a purification. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying 'hinself with them, entered into the temple to signify the accomplishment of the day of PuxFICATION, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.” Acts xxii. 26. What the occasion of the vow was is not said ; nor is it of any importance to know, it being a Jewish ceremony, which might have no connection whatever with the doctrine taught by Paul among the Gentiles. The vow was pot fulfilled till the offering was made, that is, till the fees were paid to the priest. Those fees were very heavy, and to enable poor persons to make a vow, as Paul did on this occasion, was a popular act. 29,5 * As the vow was performed not only on himself, an!
but on four others, Paul proved the falsehood of the charge, that he preached to the Jews against the law of Moses ; but the performance of it did not save him from the violence of his enemies : and this violence evinced, not indeed the imprudence or inutility of the measure, but their determination to kill him, if they could, under colour of justice, yet if stripped of this colour, at any Tate kill him.
Observe the extraordinary features of firmness and Hexibility exhibited on this occasion in the conduct of the Apostle Paul. His friends with tears entreated him not to go to Jerusalem; but he remains deaf as a rock to their cries and entreaties, because he was ready not only to be bound, but to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. When he arrived in Jerusalem, the same friends proposed to him the performance of a ceremony, calculated to silence his enemies, and to conciliate his weaker brethren.
The ceremony was in itself quite indifferent, and if left to his own choice, he would doubtless have avoided it; but as the performance of it was perfectly consistent with truth and integrity, and as it came recommended by men whom he loved and honoured, he hesitated not a moment to comply, thus finely illustrating his own declaration : “And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law." 1 Cor. ix. 20.
The Gospel of Luke alluded to and copied by Paul-Jesus
shows himself after his resurrection to above five hundred witnesses in Galilee-The charge brought against the Apostle, that he taught the end of the world to be at hand, refuted.
After what has been seen of the seven days' course of perjury, proofs of simple falsehood will be apt to appear superfluous. To make certainty more sure, two pre-eninent ones shall however be brought to view. They may have their use, were it only as examples of the palpableness of those falsehoods which for so many hundreds of years, and through so many generations of commentators, are, under favourable circumstances, ca. pable of remaining undetected! The extravagance of the addition made by the audacious stranger to the number of the resurrection-witnesses, as given by themselves, the predicted end of the world in the prophet's own lifetime, and the creation of Antichrist for the purpose of putting off that catastrophe, may even be not altogether unamusing, by the picture they will give of that mixture of rashness and craftiness which constitutes not the least remarkable of the ingredients in the composition of this extraordinary character.-First as to the resurrectionwitnesses : sufficient to the present purpose will be the observation, that nothing can be more palpably or irreconcileably inconsistent with every one of them than the ample and round number thus added by the effrontery of this uninformed stranger to the most ample that can be deduced from any of the accounts thus stated, as given by the only description of persons whose situation would give to their testimony the character of the best evidence. Behold now the account of the number and of the persons in Paul's own words. It is in the fifteenth chapter of the first of his two letters to his Corinthians:-More. over, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory the doctrine which I preached unto you; otherwise you have believed in vain. For I have delivered unto you, as the chief thing, what I ALSO RECEIVED—that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he rose the third day according to the Scriptures; and that he was seen by Peter, then by the twelve; after that he was seen by five hundred brethren at once; of whoin the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep. After that he was seen by James ; then by all the apo
stles ; and last of all he was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time : for I am the least of the Apostles, that am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.?” p. 277, 278. · We have seen that the Apostle speaks of the Gospel of his brother and fellow-labourer (Luke), as praised in all the churches. A Gospel thus known to and valued by all the churches, must have been equally known to and valued by Paul himself. Now I observe, and I make the observation with pleasure, that the Gospel of Luke was now open before Paul, and that the above paragraph written by him is but a transcript from it, in substance exactly, in words nearly, the same; and that it is to the authority of this evangelist that he alludes when he says, , “For I delivered unto you, among the chief things, WHAT I ALSO RECEIVED, or what I also have taken." Turn to the twenty-fourth chapter of Luke, and there you will find what he has taken :-“ And he said unto them, These are things which I said unto you while yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then he opened their mind that they might understand the Scriptures, Thus it is written, and thus the Christ ought to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day; and repentance and the dismission of sins must be preached in his name among all the nations." The narrative of Luke implies that our Saviour died—that he was buried—that he rose-that he rose the third day-that he died and rose according to Moses, to the Psalms, and to the Prophets, i.e. according to the Scriptures-that repentance and the dismission of sins was to be preached in his name to the nations : and these are precisely the things which are attested by the Apostle. It is to be observed, that Paul mentions "according to the Scriptures” twice: and the same words are twice implied in Luke.
It was not usual with the Apostle to designate his
divine master simply under the name of Christez" but here he so designates him, and designates him once he is designated, and only once designated, under the same name by the Evangelist. Finally, Luke is the only Evangelist who says that Jesus, after his resurrection, appeared unto Simon, and that, after appearing onto Simon, he next appeared to the rest of the disciples. This is said, and said in the same order, by Paul, that he showed himself to Cephas (Simon Peter), and then to the twelve."
Houd Luke, however, has omitted the following important information supplied by Matthew and Mark: “Go and tell the disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee: there ye shall see him, as he hath told you.” Jesus went into Galilee, because Galilee had been the chief theatre of his ministry. There multitudes followed and honoured him, mourned for his sufferings, and longed to see him triumph over his enemies. To show bimself to these his disciples and friends, he returned to Galilee after his resurrection. There he took his last farewell of them, and with his own lips communicated to them the blessed assurance that, as they sympathized with him in his humiliation, they should in the end share with him in glory. It is to the interview which Jesus had avith his friends in Galilee that Paul alludes, when he says, “ That he appeared to above five hundred brethren át once.”. For does it not appear perfectly natural, nay, was it not a tribute claimed by all the finer feelings of our nature, which like a pure and perennial fountain flowed in the bosom of Jesus, that, after his divine come mission for the redemption of mankind was now accomplished, he should revisit the place where that commission had been imparted, where he opened and during the greatest part of his ministry continued to fulfill it, instructing the ignorant, miraculously healing the blind, the sick, and the afflicted, and thus endearing thousands to himself, in a manner of which we can have but a faint