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wean her from all imperfect views of His incarnation. She thinks that He is come back to be with them as before, to be seen always with the bodily eye, to be heard by the outward ear. But now He intimates to her that He is about to ascend up where He was before, and that thenceforth they must approach Him with more spiritual senses, the organs of the soul. It is as though He should say,–Do not so, Mary, for I am not so restored to you as you suppose. Not now am I to be with you as before. But I am shortly ascending to my Father; and ever hereafter ye shall touch me with a truer touch, even the touch of faith. He chose“ to be made known by the ear rather than by the eye.” He "opens her ears first, and her eyes after .... Hearing .... is the sense of faith.”3 And this teaching He bids her go and communicate unto His “ brethren; to remind the Disciples of His former words, and let them know that now is the season of their accomplishment. Like Joseph in his glory, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren." Yet He says not, Our

5 Father, Our God; for in a distinct and inferior sense must

Justin Martyr, Quæst. et Respons. · St. John xvi. 16, 17, 25–28. ad Orthodox. xlviii.

5 Heb. ii. 11, 12. The author of Augustine (Ser. ccxliii. 2) says, A Plain Commentary remarks that “That touch signifies faith. He the 22nd Psalm, appointed to be said touches Christ, who believes in on Good Friday, consists of two parts: Christ.” 2 Cor. v. 16.

the former (vv. 1-21) prophetical of Bp. Andrewes, Ser. xiv. Of the our Saviour's Passion, the latter (vv. Resurrection. “There may be a kind 22-31) of His Resurrection; and the of carnality in spiritual actions .. strain changes to a tone of triumph That Thou livedst here in this shape, with these words, “I will declare Thy that colour, this stature, that habit, I name unto my brethren.”

"Can we should be glad to know. Nothing doubt,” he asks,“ that our risen Lord, that concerns Thee can be unuseful. by the use of this word here, lays His Could I say, here Thou satest, here finger on that very place in ancient Thou layedst, here and thus Thou prophecy?” And so Grotius. “Blessed wert crucified, here buried, here Jesus, who are these? Were they not settedst Thy last foot, I should with Thy followers? Yea, were they not much contentment see and recount Thy forsakers ? Yet still Thou stylest these memories of Thy presence. But them, My brethren ... How dost if I shall so fasten my thoughts upon Thou raise their titles with Thyself? these, as not to look higher to the At first they were Thy servants, then spiritual part of Thine achievements Disciples ; a little before Thy death

I am never the better.”—Bp. they were Thy friends ; now after Hall. Compare The Christian Year, Thy resurrection they are Thy breMonday before Easter, “ There is a thren.”—Bp. Hall, spot within this sacred dale, &c."

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the adopted employ these titles to that in which the Only. begotten alone could do so. But now we are reminded of that mystic Psalm, which in our Lord's resurrection received its great accomplishment, “Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee." Yet is He “the first-born among many brethren ;” being, as an Apostle teaches us, "the first

“ begotten from the dead.” That we are in any sense associated with Christ, bound in the bundle of life with the Lord our God;2 that He is our elder Brother; that God is a Father to us, and we the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty,-must be a message very full of comfort, a true Gospel. Mary had called Him Master, implying thus that she was His servant. He in effect calls her Sister, for His saying here implies as much. Very simply and characteristically does our Evangelist now record that Mary conveyed the Lord's message, while another of the Evangelists records their attitude. “She went and told them that had been

. with Him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” Whatever they were, they were not credulous.

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DLXV.

THE OTHER WOMEN AT THE SEPULCHRE.

St. Mark xvi. 1-7.

And Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into :

| The omission of the article in did not appear first to the Mother of the latter part of the former clause, His flesh. He also notices the superand its absence from both members of fluous, and well-nigh profane conjecthe other clause, is very remarkable. tures, as to whence our Lord after His See Augustine in S. Jo. Tr. cxxi. 3; resurrection obtained raiment; a point Ser. ccxlvi. 5.

on which we find also Justin Martyr 2 1 Sam. xxv. 29.

(Quæst. et Respons. ad Orthodox.cxvi.) 3 Lampe has an instructive note on answering curious and carnal minds the devices of certain Roman commen- of his day. tators, touching the fact that our Lord 4 St. Mark xvi. 10, 11.

. the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment ; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted : Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

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Mary of Magdala, as we have already seen, had preceded the rest in their proposed visit to the holy Sepulchre. Later, but not long after, come the other women,-those here mentioned, and, as we learn from St. Luke, the still faithful Joanna,' and others with them,2—bringing the spices which they had prepared.” On the way they seem to have discussed the question to whom they should apply to roll away the stone, which they suppose still barred the entrance. But when they arrived and looked, they found this obstacle, great as it was, removed. It had needed stronger hands than theirs to roll it away, for it was very great. We sometimes anticipate difficulties, which, to those who stedfastly set out upon the path of duty, a power beyond our own removes. So “they entered in, and found not the Body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout,”—for they had not as yet met Mary Magdalene, who had returned to tell her strange story to the Disciples “ behold, two men stood by them in shining garments; the same two, it may be, that Mary of Magdala had lately seen. This is St. Luke's account. St. Mark here speaks but of one, without however excluding the other. The Evangelists probably had their accounts from one and another of the women who were eye-witnesses, each of whom would dwell upon that point which impressed her most. One would

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i St. Luke xxiv. 10; viii. 3.

3 St. Luke xxiii. 56. 2 St. Luke xxiv. 1.

+ St. John xx, 18. 5 St. Luke xxiv. 3, 4.

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thus mention the two who stood by them without, while another would rather dwell on the one whom she had particularly noticed as sitting within on the right side of the sepulchre. There might have been several Angels,' one

, of whom spoke to the women within the sepulchre, others to the same effect to those of them who remained without. The effect however of the angelic apparition was to fill them with a strange fear. They are more afraid of the servants than they were of the Master. They “bowed down their faces to the earth,” showing that sign of reverence as to some superior being. But the Heavenly messengers seek to reassure them, and this is the substance of what by their spokesman they said, “I know that ye seek Jesus.” 2 The Angel sympathizes with them in their search. He admires their love to their common Lord. Still he calls Him, even in this hour of His triumph, “Jesus of Nazareth.”3 Nazareth

. cannot degrade Him. He exalts Nazareth. Yet is there the gentle reproof for them of the question, “Why seek ye the living among the dead ? Remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”+ He invites them, timidly lingering on the threshold, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” 5 See here the signs of His resurrection. And now come back to them, like some forgotten strain, those words of their Lord which made too little impression at the time. So they are dismissed with a message to the Disciples," with especial mention of Peter, who might feel that he was no longer meet to be called a Disciple. “Lo, I have told you,” 8 concludes the Angel simply. His duty is done. Let them now go and do theirs.

St. John xx. 12; St. Luke xxiv. to Galilee. The meeting on the moun23.

tain there (St. Matt. xxviii. 16) did St. Matt. xxviii. 5.

not take place for more than a week 3 So the Lord in His glory styles after the Resurrection (St. John xx. Himself, Acts xxii. 8.

26). But Galilee was to be the 4 St. Luke xxiv. 5-7.

place where He was principally to be s St. Matt. xxviii. 6.

seen during the great forty days (Acts 6 St. Luke xxiv. 8.

i. 3) till the final meeting at Jerusa? St. Matt. xxviii. 7.

lem (Acts i. 4) just before His Ascen$ Not that He was going straight sion at Bethany (St. Luke xxiv, 50).

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DLXVI.

THE RETURN OF THE WOMEN.

St. Mark xvi. 8. St. Matthew xxviii. 9, 10.

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St. Mark xvi. 8.- And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre ; for they trembled and were amazed : neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

St. Matt. xxviii. 9, 10.–And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

With a strange mixture of " fear and great joy”i the holy women now hasten from the Sepulchre. They said nothing to any man on the way,—it was not a matter for idle gossip with passers-by,-but went straight to tell these things to the eleven Apostles and all the rest.? And on their way, He who had already appeared to Mary Magdalene, Himself meets and greets them. Their first feeling seems to have been that of ecstatic joy. They held Him by the feet, at which they had prostrated themselves, reluctant to let Him go, afraid to let Him again out of their sight. But this first feeling, so we infer from His words, seems to have been succeeded by a feeling of awe, as it began to dawn upon them that some mysterious change had come over Him. This feeling now steals over them and fills them with a strange fear. There is that in His resurrection-body which marks the change already anticipated on the Mount of Transfiguration. The fashion of His countenance seems altered * as they gaze upon it. He is, and He is not, the

But He re-assures them, as the rest afterwards.5 He recalls them to themselves by giving them a work to do; reminding them of His former words, and bidding them (for

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same.

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I St. Matt. xxviii. 8.
2 St. Luke xxiv. 9, 10.
3 2 Ki, iv, 27.

+ St. Luke ix. 29.
5 St. Luke xxiv. 39.
* St. Matt. xxvi. 32; St. Mark xiv. 28.

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