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that Jesus was not gone before them into Galilee, (nor doth it appear by Mark or Luke, that he went there at all) but that he met the eleven, according to Mark and Luke, ten, according to John, with others; at a house in Jerusalem. Now as to the speech and its effect. In the former, the four evangelists differ exceedingly. In Matthew we find no falutation : 'no upbraiding, though fome doubted. Jesus says~ All power is given • unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye there.
fore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the ' name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the * Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you, &c. In Mark, we have no falutation, but Jesus upbraids them for their unbelief. He does not inform them of his power on earth or in Heaven, or order them to baptize in direct terms, or form, but commands them to go into all the world, and preach the gospel: to every creature, addingHe that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that believeth not, fhall be damned. I have in, page 200, remarked the severity of this sentence, and its consequences. In page 197, I have recited the long conversation which passed between Jesus, Cleopas, and Simon; recorded by Luke only:s we will now, state his account of Jesus's appearance and speech to the eleven, viz. mimos Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and ' faith unto them, Peace be unto you. (This
falutation agrees with John's, but its effect differs.) But they were terrified, and affrighted,
and supposed that they had seen a spirit.' Jesus endeavoured to convince them of the contrary ; Thewed them his hands and his feet, and desired they would touch them, they yet believed not for joy (an odd phrase) and wondered. “Finding they
were yet doubtful, he asked if they had any • meat; they produce some, which he eat before
them, and then reminds them of what he had before taught them-That all things written
of him in the law of Mofes, in the prophets, 6 and in the Psalms; must be fulfilled. Still were
they ignorant? Then opened he their under• standing, that they might understand the scrip
tures, and faith unto them, Thus it is written,
and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to | rise from the dead the third day, and that re• pentance, and remiffion of sins, should be - preached in his name among all nations, be• ginning at Jerufalem.' Here nothing is said of Matthew's baptizing: Mark's anathema: or John's Holy Ghost with power to forgive fins. On the contrary, Luke here adds And behold I send the * promise of my Father upon you ; but tarry yé s in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with • power from on high.' This power from on high, certainly means the Holy Ghoft. Luke, in his other work, tells us so very plainly; that they were not to receive it till after the ascension, and
particularises particularises the time, place, and manner, in which they did receive it. Luke's account is connected, and corresponds with the prophecy of Jesus himself. John has been the moft explicit in his account of the quality and ufe of the Holy Ghoft; how then are we to account for his mif. take in this matter? In his 14th chapter, he informs us, that the Holy Ghost, and the Comforter, are fynonimous terms; and that it means the fpirit of truth and knowledge, which the Father would fend after the departure of Jesus, to teach them all things; to bring all things to their remembrance, which he had faid to them ; and to fhew them things to come. This gift of the Holy Ghost, with power to forgive fins : appears more premature in John's account, than it would have done in either of the others : as he records two appearances with long conversations, subsequent to this. First to the eleven after an interval of eight days; and, from the doors being fhut, we may conclude at Jerúfalem. After this, but how long is not said, at the sea of Tiberias, to seven of his disciples who were returned to their old employ fishing. This I think they would not have done had they pofseffed the knowledge and power described by John, who was one of the feven. And here another difficulty arises, the afcenfon: that stupendous miracle; where, was it performed and what were the circumstances at. tending it ? According to Matthew-the only
appearance Jesus made to the eleven, after his resurrection, was in a mountain in Galilee; where he commands them to instruct and baptize all nations; adding And lo, I am with you al.
way, even unto the end of the world. And thus ends Matchew's gospel, without a single word relative to the ascension. Mark's record implies, that this meeting was in the evening of the resurrection day, and at a house in Jerusalem. The instructions given, as to teaching all nations, agree : baptizing is indeed omitted, but Mark has a long addition which concludes— So • then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he • was received up into Heaven, and fat on the r right hand of God.' If this was meant as a record of the ascenfion; it certainly is very defective, and would not have conveyed to us any idea of such an afcenfion as we find defcribed by Luke. He, in his gospel, tells us of this meet. ing, at a house in Jerusalem, between Jesus and the eleven. After explaining to them the scriptures relative to himself, and telling them that repentance and remiffion of fins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem : hé adds—And behold I send the - promise of my Father upon you : but tarry ye • in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued • with power from on high.' Luke goes on-' And he led them out as far as Bethany, (about • fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, John, ch. xi.
... P is ; V. 18.)
" 6.18) And he lift up his hands and blessed them. " And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he ' was parted from them, and carried up into • Heaven. (I suppose from Mount Olivet or • the Mount of Olives) and they worshipped
him, and returned to Jerufalem with great joy.' This account of the ascension, is better than Mark's, but possibly Luke thought it still defective; and therefore in a fubsequent work he improves it greatly : he adds fresh matter to the last discourse, which ended he says And when he “ had spoken these things, while they beheld, he " was taken up, and a cloud received hiin out of
their sight. And while they looked stedfastly • toward Heaven as he went up, behold two men, • stood by them in white apparel ; which also said
-ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven ? This same Jesus which is taken l' • up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven.' How happened Luke in his first account of this transaction, to omit fo remarkable, fo material a testimomy as is here introduced? Two angels vouching that Jesus was really taken up into Heaven ; and that he would return from thence in like manner. How happened Matthew and John, who were fpectators of this glorious scene ; who were deeply interested for the honor of their Master and the promulgation of his doctrine : and who wrote professedly to promote both: how