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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 crucifixion 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 "- -εδησαν αυτο οθονίοις.
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." TεTapTaιos γαρ εστι, 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. Wherefore, 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 com
plete days and nights. If Lazarus had been dead more than four days Martha would have said so. For corruption of bodies does not commence merely from the time of burial, but from the time of death. And, says Cyril of Alexandria,f 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 tracts 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 them'selves to come when the sabbath was passed, and embalm their dead Lord, by anointing and swathing him in a pro
1 Τον δυσωδη νεκρον, μετα τεταρτην της τελευτης ἡμέραν, εκ θηκης εξηγαγεν. Cyril. in Jo. xi. 44. T. IV. p. 689. 8 See Vindication of Three of our Saviour's Miracles, against Woolston, p. 24, note c.
per manner. Accordingly, when he was laid in the sepu!chre, 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. xix. 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 clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." Exaßov ev to σωμα το Ιησε, και έδησαν αυτο οθονιοις, μετα των αρωματων, καθώς εθος εστι 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 clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury:" I think he means as they use to bury persons of distinction. For to such only spices and aromatic gums belong. I think that to be implied also in the original word, evrapiağεiv. Nor was Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, buried in that manner. His body was bound or swathed in rollers. But there was no mixture of spices. For he was supposed to smell after he had been dead not more than four days. And whereas you use the expression, rolled in nothing but a mixture of myrrh and aloes,' and again, a mixture only of myrrh and aloes :' I think there can be no reason to doubt that they were such spices, as were most proper for the purpose. So says Grotius. And all was done, as may be reasonably supposed, after the best manner, by the hands of an apothecary, or confectioner, or perfumer, skilful in performing funeral rites. There must have been many such in Jerusalem. And those two great and rich men, Joseph and Nicodemus, would procure one of the best and most proper for the service intended by them. Such men as these seem to be meant in Eccles. xxxviii. 4, 7, 8, "The Lord has created medicines out of the earth-with such does the physician heal men, and take away their pains. Of such does the apothecary make a confection," or mixture, qua, the word used by St. John. "And of his works there is no end." See Grotius upon the place. There must have been at Jerusalem several of this profession, Unguentarii, who were
1 --μιγμα σμυρνης και αλοης. Quæ aromata ad hunc usum optima
habebantur. Grot. ad Joan. xix. 39.
able to perform funeral rites in a proper manner, in the space of three hours. And Nicodemus and Joseph would, besides, have the attendance of such of their servants as could be of any use upon this occasion. A representation of our Saviour's body, embalmed, and swathed and brought to the door of the sepulchre, may be seen in Chifflet. And I suppose, that the justness of the representation is allowed by antiquarians.
V. I come now to the fifth and last article of my inquiry. and the most important of all: the journey of these women 'to the sepulchre, and the appearances of our Lord to them, ' and to others after his resurrection.
Here I cannot forbear saying, that your harmony of this part of the evangelical history is very perplexed and intricate. Your words at p. 634, are these. It may seem 'strange, that in the accounts which the evangelists have 'given of our Lord's resurrection, there is not the least mention made of the disciples meeting one another in the way, although they went several times backward and forward, in separate companies, between their lodgings in the city and the sepulchre. On the contrary, the circumstances of the history oblige us to suppose, that they did not meet one another. But there is nothing improbable in all this. For, as Jerusalem was a great city, the apostles' lodging might 'be at the distance of a mile or two from that extremity of
it, which was nearest to the sepulchre. And therefore 'from their lodging to the sepulchre there might be several 'different ways through the city, all equally convenient. Farther, Calvary, where our Lord was crucified, is said to have been " nigh unto the city," John xix. 20. But it 'would be nigh, though it was at the distance of half a 'mile. Suppose it however to have been only a little more 'than a quarter of a mile. In this place, or nigh to it [ev TOTTY] was the garden, where our Lord was buried, John 'xix. 41. Yet the garden might be on the side of Calvary, 'which was farthest from Jerusalem. Wherefore, as it was
a spacious garden, the sepulchre could not well be nearer 'the city than half a mile. It may however have been at the distance of a whole mile, consistently enough with the description which John has given of its situation. On either supposition, there may have been different roads from Joseph's villa and garden to the city. Besides, as 'Jerusalem was walled round, the apostles' lodging might 'be so situated, that persons going from thence to Joseph's 'garden, could come out of the city by different gates. To conclude, the garden, where the sepulchre was, might
have more doors than one, and several shady walks in it, leading to the sepulchre. On these suppositions, it is easy to imagine, that the disciples and the women, who went 'to and from the sepulchre, may have missed each other by 'taking their rout through different streets of the city, or 'different roads in the field; or they may have been hid 'from one another by the shady walks of the garden, in which the sepulchre stood.'
So you write. But should you not have been led to suspect a scheme, which needs so many suppositions to support it? If the women and the disciples never met each other, in passing to and from the sepulchre, may it not afford reason to believe, that they did not make so many journeys separately, as you have supposed? How many of those journeys you have found in the evangelists, or ingeniously contrived for them; I should not be able to say distinctly, were it not for a note, which you have placed at the bottom, p. 657, 658, where you say: if the reader desires a more compendious view of the several journeys to the sepulchre, and of the relation which they bear to one another, he may 'take it as follows.' Where you reckon twelve in number, the last of which is this: 12. In the evening, the disciples 'arrive from Emmaus, and while they are telling their 'story, Jesus himself appears.'
There are, undoubtedly, some real, or seeming difficulties in this part of the evangelical history. Which, as seems to me, have been of late increased and multiplied by annotators, and other writers, and not at all diminished by yourself. This being the case, I have found myself to be under a disability to unfold it by my own skill only. I have therefore, upon this occasion, had recourse to a learned and judicious friend who, I before knew, had some uncommon observations upon this subject. The answer, with which he has favoured me, is to this purpose.
'I never could bring my mind to think, that Christ appeared first to Mary Magdalene separately, but that his 'first appearance was to the watch: who, I think, saw the
angel, and the rolling away of the stone, as well as felt the celopov μeav attending the presence and action of the angel, for fear of whom the keepers did shake and be
66 came ωσει νεκροι, as dead men." Some of whom, as 'the same evangelist says, Tives TYS KHoTwdias, "came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things 'that were done." The appearance to Mary Magdalene, I 'think, was in common to her and to the other women, who went altogether to the sepulchre, and once only, not twice,