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land to land; crossing over the sea; and enduring the dangers, toils, and privations of various climes, for the simple object of affirming every where that a Saviour died and rose. If they knew this was an imposition-and if it had been, they would have known it-in what way is this remarkable conduct to be accounted for? 6. The world believed them. Three thousand of the Jews themselves believed on the risen Saviour on the day of Pentecost, but fifty days after his resurrection, Acts ii. 41. Multitudes of other Jews believed during the lives of the apostles. Thousands of Gentiles believed also, and in three hundred years the belief that Jesus rose had spread over and changed the whole Roman empire. Had the apostles been deceivers, that was the age in which they could most easily have been detected. Yet that was the age when converts were most rapidly multiplied, and God affixed his seal to their testimony that it was true.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
Judas was dead, leaving but eleven of the original number of the apostles. 'Into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.' This appointment is recorded in Matt. xxvi. 32.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
"They worshipped him.' Paid him honour as the Messiah. 'But some doubted.' As, for example, Thomas, John xx. 25. The disciples had not expected his resurrection; they were therefore slow to believe. The mention of their doubting shows that they were not easily imposed on-that they had not previously agreed to affirm that he had risen-that they were convinced only by the strength of the evidence.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
The Son of God, as Creator, had an original right to all things, to control them and dispose of them. See John i. 3. Col. i. 16, 17. Heb. i. 8. But the universe is put under him more particularly as Mediator, that he might redeem his people, that he might gather a church, that he might defend his chosen, that he might subdue all their enemies, and bring them off conquerors and more than conquerors, Eph. i. 20-23. 1 Cor. xv. 25-27. John v. 22, 23. Phil. ii. 6-11. It is in reference to this, doubtless, that he speaks here-power or authority committed to him over all things, that he might redeem, defend, and save the church purchased with his own blood. His mediatorial government extends therefore over the material world, over angels, over devils, over wicked men, and over his own people.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing
hem in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost⚫
'Go ye, therefore.' Because all power is mine, go, I can defend you, and the world is placed under my control. Though you are weak, yet I am strong. Though you die, yet I live, and the work shall be accomplished. "Teach all nations.' The word rendered 'teach' here, is not the one that is usually so translated in the New Testament. This word properly means disciple, or make disciples of, all nations. This was to be done, however, by teaching them, and by administering the rite of baptism. All nations.' This gracious commission was the foundation of the authority to go to the Gentiles. Jesus broke down the partition wall, and commissioned his disciples to go every where, and bring the world to the knowledge of himself. Baptizing them.' Applying to them water, as an emblem of the purifying influences of the christian religion through the Holy Spirit, and solemnly devoting them to God. In the name,' &c. To be baptized in the name of the Father, &c. is the same as to be baptized unto the Father; as to believe on the name of Christ, is the same as to believe in Christ, John i. 12; ii. 23; iii. 18. 1 Cor. i. 13. To be baptized unto any one is publicly to receive and adopt him as a religious teacher or lawgiver; to receive his system of religion. Thus the Jews were baptized unto Moses, 1 Cor. x. 2. That is, they received the system that he taught; they acknowledged him as their lawgiver and teacher. So to be baptized in the name of the Father, &c. means publicly, by a significant rite, to receive his system of religion; to bind the soul to obey his laws; to be devoted to him; and trust to his promises. To be baptized unto the Son, in like manner, is to receive him as the Messiah-our Prophet, Priest, and King; to submit to his laws, and to receive him as the Saviour of the soul. To be baptized unto the Holy Ghost is to receive him as the Sanctifier, Comforter, and Guide of the soul. The meaning, then, may be thus expressed: Baptizing them unto the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by a solemn profession of the only true religion, and by a solemn devotion to the service of the sacred Trinity.
The union of these three names in the form of baptism proves that the Son and Holy Ghost are equal with the Father. Nothing would be more absurd or blasphemous than to unite the name of a creature-a man or an angel-with the name of the ever living God, in this solemn rite. If Jesus was a mere man or an angel, as is held by many who deny his divinity; and if the Holy Ghost was a mere attribute of God; then it would have been the height of absurdity to use a form like this, or to direct the apostles to baptize men unto them. The form of baptism, therefore, has been always understood as an irrefragable argument for the doctrine of the Trinity, or that the Son and Holy Spirit are equal to the Father
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
'Lo, I am with you.' That is, by my Spirit, my providence, my attending counsel and guidance. I will strengthen, assist, and guide you. This also proves that Christ is Divine. If a mere man, or a creature of the highest order, how could he promise to be with his disciples always, or at all? If he was with them always, he was God; for no finite creature could thus be present with many men scattered in different parts of the world. Unto the end of the world.' The presence of Christ was no less necessary after the time of the apostles than before, and consequently there is no propriety in limiting the promise to his own age. It may, therefore, be considered as a gracious engagement to aid, strengthen, guide, and defend, all his disciples, but more especially his ministers, to the end of time.
HARMONY OF THE ACCOUNTS
APPEARANCES, AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST.
I THE RESURRECTION.
As there has been much difficulty felt in reconciling the accounts of the different evangelists respecting the resurrection of Christ, and as infidels have maintained that they are utterly irreconcilable, it may be proper, in closing the notes on Matthew, to give these accounts at one view. One thing should always be borne in mind by all who read the Gospels, namely, that the sacred narrative of an event is what it is declared to be by all the evangelists. That a thing is omitted by one does not prove that another is false because he has declared it; for the very object of the different Gospels was to give the testimony of independent witnesses to the great facts of the life and death of Jesus. Nor does it prove that there is a contradiction because one relates facts in a different order from another; for neither of them professes to relate facts in the precise order in which they occurred. The object was to relate the facts themselves. With these principles in view, which are conceded to profane historians always, let us look at the accounts which are presented in the sacred narrative respecting the resurrection, appearance, and ascension, of Christ.
1. Jesus was laid in the tomb on Friday evening, having been wrapped in linen with myrrh and aloes, in a hurried manner, John xix. 39, 40. The women, not apprized of that, or desiring to testify their regard further, prepared spices on the same evening to embalm him, Luke xxiii. 56. As it was too late that night to complete the preparation, they deferred it till the first day of the week, resting on the sabbath, Luke xxiii. 56.
2. On the first day of the week, early, the women completed their preparation, purchased more spices, and properly mixed them to make an unguent to anoint the bandages in which the body was rolled, Mark xvi. 1. Or this may refer to the same purchase as is mentioned by Luke. They had bought them, that is on Friday evening.
3. They came to the sepulchre just as the day began to dawn, or just as the light appeared in the east, yet so dark as to render objects indistinct. It was 'in the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,' Matt. xxviii. 1. 'Very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun;' or as the sun was about to rise, Mark xvi. 2. 'Very early in the morning,' Luke xxiv. 1. Éarly while it was yet dark," John xx. 1.
4. The persons who came were Mary Magdalene, Matt. xxviii. 1. John xx. 1; Mary, the mother of James and Joses, Matt. xxviii. 1. Luke xxiv. 10. Mark xv. 40; Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John, compare Matt. xxvii. 56. Mark xv. 40; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, compare Luke xxiv. 10; viii. 3. and certain others, not specified, Luke xxiv. 1, 10.
5. The object of their coming: 1. To see the sepulchre, Matt. xxviii. 1. 2. To embalm him, or to finish embalming him, Mark xvi. 1. Luke xxiv. 1.
6. While on the way, they inquired who should roll away the stone for them, that they might have access to the body of Jesus, Mark xvi. 3.
7. When they arrived, they found there had been an earthquake, or shaking of the tomb, so that the stone was rolled away, Matt. xxviii. 2. Mark xvi. 4.
8. The angel, who rolled the stone away, had sat down on it, and appeared to the keepers, and frightened them; though he did not appear in this place to the women, but only to the keep ers, Matt. xxviii. 2-4. At that time probably our Saviour had risen-how long before the women came there is not known, and cannot be ascertained.
9. When they came there, Mary Magdalene, greatly struck with the appearance, hurried and agitated, and probably supposing that the body had been stolen, left the other women, and ran to the city, at the distance of half a mile, to inform the disciples, John xx. 2.
10. While Mary was gone, the others probably looked round the garden in search of the body, and then came and examined the sepulchre to see if it was not there. The tomb was large, and they entered into it. There 'the angel spake unto them, Matt. xxviii. 5. They saw a young man,' that is, an angel in the appearance of a young man, sitting on the right side,' Mark xvi. 5. When they entered he was sitting; as they entered he rose and stood, Luke xxiv. 4. Luke adds that there was another with him, xxiv. 4; this other one was not seen when they entered into the sepulchre, at the time mentioned by Mark; but was seen when they had fully entered in, as mentioned by Luke.
11. The angel charged them to go and tell the disciples and Peter, Matt. xxviii. 7. Mark xvi. 7, and to assure them that he would see them in Galilee. The angel also reminded them of