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day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." Where Paradise evidently signifies, the regions of the blessed, as opposed to Gehenna, the place of torment. This interpretation also gives a definite account of the descent into hell. It denotes that our Saviour was truly dead, not deprived of life by a momentary fit, but that his soul was really removed out of his body and carried to the unseen regions of departed spirits, among whom it continued till his resurrection.
OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
CHRIST DID TRULY RISE AGAIN FROM DEATH, AND TOOK
AGAIN HIS BODY, WITH FLESH, BONES, AND ALL
ALL MEN AT THE LAST DAY.
This article asserts the truth of three doctrines.
I. The Resurrection of Christ ;
1. The Article asserts the reality of the fact : “ Christ did truly rise from death.” It is plainly said in Scripture, that the body of Christ was laid in the sepulchre; (Matt. xxvii. 60. ;) that a great stone was placed at the mouth of it; that it was rolled away, and that Christ arose ; so that those who visited the grave, saw no body was there. (Luke, xxiv. 3, 12.)
2. The Article asserts the completeness of this resurrection :6 “ He took again his body, with
flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature.” This is also stated in Scripture with the same precision.
a This is merely the testimony of friends; but we have also the testimony of enemies. Thus, in Matt. xxviii. 11, it is said, “ Some " of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief-priests “ all the things that were done." Now, the result of this consul
their offering to bribe the soldiers to say, “his disciples stole the body.” It is evident, therefore, that “ the thing which the watch showed unto the priests,” was Christ's resurrection.
Jesus said unto her, Mary: she turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni.” (Jo. xx. 16.) Mary, therefore, knew him by bis voice. Hence, the organs of his body were the same. Again, (v. 20,) “ He showed unto them his hands and bis side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” They, therefore, knew him by the members of his body being the same as when alive. Again, Lake, xxiv. 27, “ He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning bimself.” His soul, therefore, was upited to bis body. Hence, be had “all things appertaining to the perfection of mau's nature.” See Beveridge on the Articles, Pearson on the Creed, p. 119; and Priestly on the resurrection, p. 24.
Thus, Christ showed himself to his disciples, so so that they knew him to be the same person; he conversed and eat with them, and still further proved his identity, by making Thomas feel the prints of the nails and the spear. (Luke, xxiv. 30, and John, xx. 27.) These statements are clear and unequivocal.a
II. With respect to the ascension of Christ.
The truth of this, both as to the reality of the fact and the identity of the person, is also plainly asserted in the Scriptures. Thus, in Luke, xxiv. 51, it is said, that " while he blessed them, he
was parted from them, and taken up into “heaven.” And again, in Acts, i. 9, “while
they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud re“ ceived him out of their sight.”
a With respect to the three days Christ lay in the grave, it should be observed, that the Jews began their computation of days at the evening, and always reckoned a part of a day as the whole. Hence, our Saviour being buried on the day of the preparation, the remainder of it was one day; the sabbath was a second ; and the night of the first day of the week was the third. See Pearson, Art. 5. p. 427 ; and Jennings' Jewish Antiq. v. 2. B. 3. c. 1. p. 99. Ed. Lond. 17 66.
• The following verse particularly proves there was no deception of the senses on this occasion, for it is said, “ while they looked steadfastly toward heaven.” This doctrine of Christ's ascen. sion was denied by the sect of the Apelleians, who held, that his body having been formed of the particles of the elements, was dispersed again into its original components. (Epiphan. adv. Hæres. in hær. Apel. p. 167.) The followers of Hermogenes, too, admitted
Since then these doctrines (which are merely matters of fact) are so undeniably revealed, it is evident that no objection can be made to their acknowledgment, except on the ground of some imposition or delusion in the persons who relate them. That no such objection, however, can be advanced, may be thus established :
Ist. By such arguments as prove the truth of the Gospel History in general, and
2nd. By those which prove its truth in the relation of these particular facts.
1st. We shall mention the arguments which prove the truth of the Gospel History in general.
1. It contains an authentic statement of facts.a
For (1) the truth or falsehood of the facts related in it, must have been generally known. All the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and some of the Epistles, were written before the destruction of Jerusalem, since they speak of the temple as still standing, and of the Jews, as being in peace and prosperity. Thus, then, the principal part of the New Testament was composed and published in the same age as the transactions recorded in it are said to have happened, and when, consequently, there must have been many persons living who could remember the period alluded to. Further, these transactions were of such a nature, that they could not have occurred without being generally noticed. The great darkness at the time of Christ's death, the rending of the vail of the temple, and the opening of the rocks: his burial in a new sepulchre, and a watch being set upon it; the report of the soldiers, that his body had been stolen; the sudden gift of tongues conferred on the Apostles at the feast of Pentecost; the miracles subsequently wrought, and the proceedings of the Sanhedrim against them; all these were circumstances of so public a nature, that the least falsehood in the narration of them could have been easily detected. But no such detection was ever made, or even attempted. The conclusion therefore is, that the narration is true.
his ascension, but supposed that he went into the body of the Sun - See King on the Creed, p. 279,
* It is, perhaps, unnecessary to observe, that there is a distinction between the authenticity and the genuineness of any writing. A history is called authentic, when the facts it relates are truly stated as they occurred. And a work is called yenuine, when it can be proved to have been written by the author whose name it bears.
• The reader is perhaps aware that there is a vast variety of opinions as to the dates of the different parts of the New Testament. If we follow Dr. Lardner's account, the only writings composed after the destruction of Jerusalem, were the Epistles and Revelation of St. John, and the Epistle of Jade. Dr. Mill, however, and others, bave thought differently. See Lardner's Works, v, 6. p. 303, et