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or by the same hand at a different time; and the original narrative, which has been replaced or continued by another at the ninth verse, mentions no appearance of Jesus, nor any thing in itself miraculous, after the burial of Jesus.

The first who is said to have seen Jesus is Mary Magdalene. But from the original part of Mark, and from Luke, it does not appear that she said so herself. Her first report was only, according to John, that the body was taken away; according to Luke, that she had seen some persons at the tomb who told her he was risen. Matthew says for her, that Jesus met her and the other Mary on their first return from the tomb, and told them that he would meet the disciples in Galilee; the very message, which, according to Luke, she said had been given by the angel or angels at the tomb. This implies clearly an error in Matthew; for who can believe that she would have contented herself with delivering this message of the angel if she had already, as Matthew says, seen Jesus himself? Moreover, Luke confirms his statement at ver. 23, that the women said only that they had seen a vision of angels, and not Jesus himself. This is enough to convict Matthew of incorrectness; and he, not Mary Magdalene, is responsible for this story of Jesus's first appearance.

John however says, that Mary came again to the sepulchre, saw the two angels there, and then turning round saw some one whom she believed at first to be the gardener, but afterwards Jesus himself. The particulars of this appearance differ much from that in Matthew;

copies. Since it is not at all probable that Mark ended his book with a comma at the words 'they were afraid,' we must conjecture that the genuine ending of the Gospel was lost; and that it was completed at the end of the first or the beginning of the second century by some unknown person." Scholia in Marc.

and there is again strong reason for doubting whether she gave the account herself: for the seeing of the two angels identifies this visit with the one related by Luke, according to whom, on returning from this visit, she did not say that she had seen Jesus. So that if we prefer the original part of Mark, and Luke, to Matthew, John, and the supplement to Mark, there is no evidence that Mary herself said that she had seen Jesus.

But supposing that Matthew and John have each only mistaken the occasion, and that, at one time or other, she did say this,-how far is she to be believed? The disciples considered her words idle tales, and believed them not. Luke xxiv. 11; Mark xvi. 11. We have thus their example for considering her testimony alone as insufficient, and for seeking further evidence.

Luke says, that he appeared the same day to Cleopas and another disciple, whose eyes at first were holden that they did not know him. This is repeated in the supplement to Mark, which says that he appeared in another form to two of the disciples as they went into the country; but it is added, that the other disciples did not believe them. According to Luke, so far from objecting to the account as incredible, the other disciples gave a similar one themselves. The doctrine sought to be conveyed by the story appears to be, that Christ suffered in order to fulfil the prophecies; and as this doctrine became a favourite one in the church, Luke judged the story a proper one to be inserted in his collection. Although this view of Christ's death is frequently dwelt upon in the Acts and Epistles, the story of the two disciples is never alluded to. Yet if Christ had appeared to expound the prophecies concerning himself, one would not have expected to find his exposition quite forgotten in the church, but rather that it would have been preserved as a precious text book. But it will be shewn that there are no prophecies which can reasonably be in

terpreted concerning the sufferings of Jesus; and in this case the story becomes evidently fabulous.

The phrase in Mark "he appeared in another form," shews that the idea prevailed that Jesus assumed different forms after his resurrection. Consequently any stranger whom the disciples remembered to have seen about that time might be supposed to be Jesus; and thus a foundation might be laid for many stories like those of Cleopas and Mary Magdalene.

Luke says, that the same day the eleven told Cleopas and his companion that "the Lord had appeared to Simon," which had been said before by Paul: "He was seen of Cephas." The same story probably gave rise to both assertions; for both Luke and Paul could only state what they had heard from others. We have nowhere any particulars of this appearance to Simon Peter; nor can we discover that he himself ever said that he had seen Jesus. When he went to examine the tomb, after receiving the report of Mary Magdalene, he only found that the body was gone, and went away wondering. Luke xxiv. 12; John xx. 6.

The same day, at evening, according to John and Luke, Jesus appeared to all the Apostles at Jerusalem, Luke xxiv. 33, John xx. 19, which does not disagree with Mark and Paul, but contradicts Matthew, who makes the eleven depart into Galilee to see him.

The story, in Luke, of Jesus's eating the fish, and shewing his hands and feet, seems to have been invented to controvert the early, and original doctrine, that he was risen only in a spiritual or invisible manner. According to Jerome, there was a similar story in the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Whether the author of this Gospel copied from Luke, or Luke from him, is not clear; but a shade of probability in favour of the latter supposition arises from this, that Ignatius says, Smyrn. i. 9, "But I know that even after his resurrection he was in the flesh;

and I believe that he is still so. And when he came to those who were with Peter, he said unto them, Take, handle me, and see that I am not an incorporeal dæmon. And straightway they felt him, and believed; being convinced both by his flesh and spirit. For this cause they despised death, and were found to be above it. But after his resurrection he did eat and drink with them, as he was flesh; although as to his spirit, he was united to the Father." Which story of Ignatius agrees very well with that in Luke; but Jerome says that Ignatius took it from the Gospel according to the Hebrews; which indicates that in Jerome's time that Gospel was considered as its proper and original source.

John alone relates that, eight days afterwards, Jesus appeared again to the disciples at Jerusalem, and held the discourse with Thomas, who calls him, "My Lord and my God." This latter title betrays the fiction; since the term God was not applied to Jesus until the doctrine of the incarnation of the logos had been established, or near the end of the first century.

Matthew alone relates that Jesus appeared to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee; but, that some doubted. If some of those who were actually at the mountain doubted whether they saw Jesus or not, we may reasonably doubt whether he was to be seen at all there; especially as the words attributed to him do not seem at all likely to have been said, from the disciples paying no attention to them. For, in the Acts and Epistles, they never baptize in the

* The reader is referred to the works of the Unitarians for proof that the application of the term "God" to Christ, in the writings of Paul, is doubtful, or that the text has been corrupted. But the genuineness of the text in John has never been questioned; and the fathers generally maintained that he taught the divinity of Christ. See Priestley's Early Opin. ch. vii. Christ is called God frequently in the epistles of Ignatius, A.D. 107. Smyrnæans i. 2; iii. 11; Romans i. 1, 13; ii. 16; Eph. i. 1; ii. 7.



name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. If Paul knew of this story, and believed it, he would hardly have spoken so slightingly of baptism: thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius." It seems not unlikely that some of the disciples returned to Galilee, expecting to see Jesus there; that subsequently some of them, to gain themselves and the church credit, asserted that they had seen him there, which the others denied; that, consequently, the story was looked upon as so doubtful in the church, that Mark, although he relates the command to go into Galilee, judged it better to suppress it.

John, (or the person calling himself "we" who writes for him,) says that Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias, and gives an account of a miraculous draft of fishes much like that described by Luke at the first calling of Peter at the same sea; of Jesus eating broiled fish, which resembles Luke's account of the same thing at Jerusalem; and of prophecies concerning the death of Peter and the long life of John, which are not alluded to in the Acts or any of the Epistles, except the second, or spurious, Epistle of Peter. If things so interesting to Peter had really taken place, it is singular not only that Mark, the follower of Peter, should omit them, but that the person completing his Gospel should give an account which does not admit of their being true; for he represents the ascension as happening immediately after Jesus had spoken to the disciples at Jerusalem. But the resemblances noticed authorize the conjecture that the whole chapter is grounded upon the above stories of Luke, with such improvements as had grown up by the year 97.

Paul says, that after Jesus had been seen by Peter and the twelve, (query, eleven? for Matthias was not yet chosen,) he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; but he does not say clearly when; and it is impos

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