Luke 24

CHAPTER XXIV.

The women coming early to the sepulchre on the first day of the

week, bringing their spices, find the stone rolled away, and

the tomb empty, 1-3.

They see a vision of angels, who announce Christ's resurrection,

4-8.

The women return and tell this to the eleven, 9, 10.

They believe not, but Peter goes and examines the tomb, 11, 12.

Christ, unknown, appears to two of the disciples who were going

to Emmaus, and converses with them, 13-29.

While they are eating together, he makes himself known, and

immediately disappears, 30, 31.

They return to Jerusalem, and announce his resurrection to the

rest of the disciples, 32-35.

Jesus himself appears to them, and gives them the fullest proof

of the reality of his resurrection, 36-43.

He preaches to them, and gives them the promise of the Holy

Spirit, 44-49.

He takes them to Bethany, and ascends to heaven in their sight,

50, 51.

They worship him, and return to Jerusalem, 52, 53.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXIV.

Verse 1. Bringing the spices] To embalm the body of our Lord:

but Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea had done this before the

body was laid in the tomb. See Joh 19:39, 40. But there was a

second embalming found necessary: the first must have been hastily

and imperfectly performed; the spices now brought by the women

were intended to complete the preceding operation.

And certain others with them.] This clause is wanting in BCL,

two others; Coptic, AEthiopic, Vulgate, and in all the Itala

except two. Dionysius Alexandrinus, and Eusebius also omit it. The

omission is approved by Mill, Bengel, Wetstein, Griesbach, and

others. Bishop Pearce thinks it should be left out for the

following reasons: 1. "They who came to the sepulchre, as is here

said, being the same with those who, in Lu 23:55, are called

the women which came with him from Galilee, there was no room

for Luke (I think) to add as here, and some others came with them;

because the words in Lu 23:55, to which these refer, include all

that can be supposed to be designed by the words in question. 2.

Luke has named no particular woman here, and therefore he could

not add and some others, &c., these words necessarily requiring

that the names of the women should have preceded, as is the case

in Lu 24:10, where, when Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and

Joanna, had been named, it is very rightly added, and other women

that were with them."

Verse 2. They found the stone rolled away] An angel from God had

done this before they reached the tomb, Mt 28:2: On this case we

cannot help remarking, that, when persons have strong confidence

in God, obstacles do not hinder them from undertaking whatever

they have reason to believe he requires; and the removal of them

they leave to him: and what is the consequence? They go on their

way comfortably, and all difficulties vanish before them.

Verse 3. And found not the body of the Lord] His holy soul was

in Paradise, Lu 23:43; and the evangelist mentions the

body particularly, to show that this only was subject to death.

It is, I think, evident enough, from these and other words of

Luke, that the doctrine of the materiality of the soul, made no

part of his creed.

Verse 5. Why seek ye the living among the dead?] This was a

common form of speech among the Jews, and seems to be applied to

those who were foolishly, impertinently, or absurdly employed. As

places of burial were unclean, it was not reasonable to suppose

that the living should frequent them; or that if any was missing

he was likely to be found in such places.

Verse 7. Sinful men] Or heathens, ανθρωπωςαμαρτωλων, i.e. the

Romans, by whom only he could be put to death; for the Jews

themselves acknowledged that this power was now vested in the

hands of the Roman governor alone. See Joh 19:15.

Verse 8. They remembered his words.] Even the simple

recollection of the words of Christ becomes often a source of

comfort and support to those who are distressed or tempted: for

his words are the words of eternal life.

Verse 10. And Joanna] She was the wife of Chuza, Herod's

steward. See Lu 8:3.

Verse 12. Then arose Peter] John went with him, and got to the

tomb before him. See Joh 20:2, 3.

The linen clothes laid by themselves] Or, The linen clothes

only. This was the fine linen which Joseph of Arimathea bought,

and wrapped the body in: Mr 15:46. Small as this circumstance may

at first view appear, it is, nevertheless, no mean proof of the

resurrection of our Lord. Had the body been stolen away, all that

was wrapped about it would have been taken away with it; as the

delay which must have been occasioned by stripping it might have

led to the detection of the theft; nor would the disciples have

run such a risk if they had stolen him, when stripping the body

could have answered no end. This circumstance is related still

more particularly by John, Joh 20:5-7.

Peter seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that was about

his head not lying with the linen clothes, but WRAPPED together in

a place by itself. All these circumstances prove that the thing

was done leisurely; order and regularity being observed through

the whole. Hurry and confusion necessarily mark every act of

robbery.

Verse 13. Behold, two of them] This long and interesting account

is not mentioned by Matthew nor John, and is only glanced at by

Mark, Mr 16:12, 13. One of these disciples was

Cleopas, Lu 24:18, and the other is supposed by many learned

men, both ancient and modern, to have been Luke himself. See the

sketch of his life prefixed to these notes. Some of the ancient

versions have called the other disciple Ammaus and Ammaon, reading

the verse thus: Behold two of them, Ammaus and Cleopas, were going

in that very day to a village about sixty furlongs distant from

Jerusalem. But the Persian says positively that it was Luke who

accompanied Cleopas. See the inscription to section 140 of this

Gospel in the Polyglott. Dr. Lightfoot thinks it was Peter, and

proves that Cleopas and Alpheus were one and the same person.

Threescore furlongs.] Some MSS. say 160 furlongs, but this is a

mistake; for Josephus assigns the same distance to this village

from Jerusalem as the evangelist does. War, b. vii. c. 6. s. 6.

αμμαουοαπεχειτωνιεροσολυμωνσταδιουςεξηκοντα, Ammaus is

sixty stadia distant from Jerusalem, about seven English miles and

three-quarters. A stadium was about 243 yards, according to

Arbuthnot.

Verse 15. And reasoned] συζητειν, concerning the probability or

improbability of Christ being the Messiah, or of his resurrection

from the dead. It was a laudable custom of the Jews, and very

common also, to converse about the law in all their journeyings;

and now they had especial reason to discourse together, both of

the law and the prophets, from the transactions which had recently

taken place.

Verse 16. Their eyes were holden] It does not appear that there

was any thing supernatural here, for the reason why these persons

(who were not apostles, see Lu 24:33) did not recollect our Lord

is given by Mark, Mr 16:12, who says that Christ appeared to them

in another form.

Verse 18. Cleopas] The same as Alpheus, father of the Apostle

James, Mr 3:18, and husband of the sister of the virgin.

Joh 19:25.

Art thou only a stranger] As if he had said, What has been done

it Jerusalem, within these few days, has been so public, so awful,

and so universally known, that, if thou hadst been but a lodger in

the city for a single night, I cannot conceive how thou couldst

miss hearing of these things: indeed, thou appearest to be the

only person unacquainted with them.

Verse 19. Which was a prophet] ανηρπροφητης, a man prophet, a

genuine prophet; but this has been considered as a Hebraism: "for,

in Ex 2:14, a

man prince is simply a prince; and in 1Sa 31:3,

men archers mean no more than archers." But my own opinion is,

that this word is often used to deepen the signification, so in

the above quotations: Who made thee a man prince (i.e. a mighty

sovereign) and a judge over us! Ex 2:14. And,

the battle went sore against Saul, and the men archers (i.e. the

stout, or well aiming archers) hit him, 1Sa 31:3. So in

PALAEPHATUS, de Incredib. c. 38. p. 47, quoted by Kypke, ηνανηρ

βασιλευσμεγας, He was a great and eminent king. So ανηρπροφητης

here signifies, he was a GENUINE prophet, nothing like those false

ones by whom the people have been so often deceived; and he has

proved the divinity of his mission by his heavenly teaching, and

astonishing miracles.

Mighty in-word] Irresistibly eloquent. Powerful in deed, working

incontrovertible miracles. See Kypke in loco.

Verse 21. - 24. Cleopas paints the real state of his own mind in

these verses. In his relation there is scarcely any thing well

connected; important points are referred to, and not explained,

though he considered the person to whom he spoke as entirely

unacquainted with these transactions: his own hopes and fears he

cannot help mixing with the narration, and throwing over the whole

that confusion that dwells in his own heart. The narration is not

at all in Luke's style; but as it is probable he was the other

disciple who was present, and had heard the words of Cleopas, he

gave them in that simple, natural, artless manner in which they

were spoken. Had the account been forged, those simple, natural

touches would not have appeared.

To-day is the third day] Our Lord had often said that he would

rise again the third day; and though Alpheus had little hope of

this resurrection, yet he could not help recollecting the words he

had heard, especially as they seemed to be confirmed by the

relation of the women, Lu 24:22-24.

Verse 25. O fools and slow of heart to believe] Inconsiderate

men, justly termed such, because they had not properly attended to

the description given of the Messiah by the prophets, nor to his

teaching and miracles, as proofs that HE alone was the person they

described.

Slow of heart-Backward, not easy to be persuaded of the truth,

always giving way to doubtfulness and distrust. This very

imperfection in them is a strong evidence of the truth of the

doctrine which they afterwards believed, and proclaimed to the

world. Had they not had the fullest assurance of these things,

they never would have credited them; and it is no small honour to

the new-covenant Scriptures that such persons were chosen, first,

to believe them; secondly, to proclaim them in the world; and,

thirdly, to die on the evidence of those truths, the blessed

influence of which they felt in their own hearts, and fully

exemplified in their lives.

Verse 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered] ουχιεδειπαθειν

τονχριστον, Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer.

This was the way in which sin must be expiated, and, without this,

no soul could have been saved. The suffering Messiah is he alone

by whom Israel and the world can be saved.

Verse 27. Beginning at Moses, &c.] What a sermon this must have

been, where all the prophecies relative to the incarnation, birth,

teaching, miracles, sufferings, death, and resurrection of the

blessed Jesus were all adduced, illustrated, and applied to

himself, by an appeal to the well known facts which had taken

place during his life! We are almost irresistibly impelled to

exclaim, What a pity this discourse had not been preserved! No

wonder their hearts burned within them, while hearing such a

sermon, from such a preacher. The law and the prophets had all

borne testimony, either directly or indirectly, to Christ; and we

may naturally suppose that these prophecies and references were

those which our Lord at this time explained and applied to

himself. See Lu 24:32.

Verse 28. He made as though he would have gone farther.] That

is, he was going on, as though he intended to go farther; and so

he doubtless would had they not earnestly pressed him to lodge

with them. His preaching had made a deep impression upon their

hearts, Lu 24:32, and now they feel it their greatest privilege

to entertain the preacher.

This is a constant effect of the doctrine of Christ: wherever it

is felt, the Author of it, the ever-blessed Jesus, is earnestly

entreated to dwell in the heart; and he who preaches it, is amply

provided with the necessaries of life by those who have received

his testimony.

Verse 29. For it is toward evening] And consequently both

inconvenient and unsafe to proceed to another village. Reader! it

is probably the eve of thy life, whether thou be old or young:

thy day may have already declined, and there is, possibly, but a

step between thee and the eternal world! Hath the Lord Jesus

taught thee by his word and Spirit to believe in him, that thou

mightest be saved? Is he come into thy heart? Hast thou the

witness of his Spirit that thy sin is blotted out through

his blood? Ro 8:16; Ga 4:6; 1Jo 5:10-12. If thou have not,

get thee to God right humbly. Jesus is about to pass by, perhaps

for ever! O, constrain him, by earnest faith and prayer, to

enter into thy soul, and lodge with thee! May God open THY

eyes! May he stir up and inflame THY heart!

And he went in] And so he will to thee, thou penitent soul!

Therefore take courage, and be not faithless but believing.

Verse 30. He took bread] This was the office of the master and

father of a family, and this was our Lord's usual custom among his

disciples. Those whom Christ lodges with he feeds, and feeds too

with bread that himself hath blessed, and this feeding not only

strengthens, but also enlightens the soul.

Verse 31. Their eyes were opened] But we are not to imagine that

he administered the holy eucharist at this time; there is not the

most distant evidence of this. It was a mere family meal, and

ended before it was well begun.

They knew him] His acting as father of the family, in taking,

blessing, and distributing the bread among them, caused them to

recollect those lips which they had often heard speak, and those

hands by which they had often been fed. Perhaps he also threw off

the disguise which he had before assumed; and now appeared in his

own person.

He vanished out of their sight.] Probably, during their

surprise, he took the opportunity of withdrawing from the place;

leaving them to reflect and meditate on what they had heard and

seen.

Verse 32. Did not our heart burn within us] His word was in our

heart as a burning fire, Jer 20:9. Our hearts waxed hot within

us, and while we were musing the fire burned, Ps 39:3. In some

such way as this the words of the disciples may be understood: but

there is a very remarkable reading here in the Codex Bezae;

instead of καιομενη, burned, it has κεκαλυμμενη, veiled; and

one of the Itala has, fuit excaecatum, was blinded. Was not our

heart veiled (blinded) when he conversed with us on the way, and

while he unfolded the Scriptures to us, seeing we did not know

him?

Verse 34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed] The meaning here is,

that these two disciples found the apostles, and those who were

with them, unanimously testifying that Christ had risen from the

dead. It is not the two disciples to whom we are to refer the word

λεγοντας, saying; but to the body of the disciples. See the note

on Mr 16:12.

Verse 35. And they] The two disciples who were just come from

Emmaus, related what had happened to them on the way, going to

Emmaus, and how he had been known unto them in the breaking of

bread, while supping together at the above village.

See Clarke on Lu 24:31.

Verse 36. And as they thus spake] While the two disciples who

were going to Emmaus were conversing about Christ, he joined

himself to their company. Now, while they and the apostles are

confirming each other in their belief of his resurrection, Jesus

comes in, to remove every doubt, and to give them the fullest

evidence of it. And it is ever true that, wherever two or three

are gathered together in his name, he is in the midst of them.

Peace be unto you.] The usual salutation among the Jews. May you

prosper in body and soul, and enjoy every heavenly and earthly

good! See the notes on Mt 5:9; 10:12.

Verse 37. And supposed that they had seen a spirit.] But if

there be no such thing as a disembodied spirit, would not our Lord

have shown them their error? Instead of this, he confirms them in

their opinion, by saying, A spirit hath not flesh and bones as you

see me have, Lu 24:39; therefore he says,

handle me and see me. They probably imagined that it was the

soul only of our blessed Lord which they saw; but they were soon

fully convinced of the identity of his person, and the reality of

his resurrection; for, 1. They saw his body. 2. They heard him

speak. 3. They handled him. 4. They saw him eat a piece of broiled

fish and honeycomb, which they gave him. In these things it was

impossible for them to have been deceived.

Verse 41. They-believed not for joy] They were so overcome with

the joy of his resurrection, that they did not, for some time,

properly receive the evidence that was before them-as we phrase

it, they thought the news too good to be true.

Verse 44. The law-the prophets-the psalms] This was the Jewish

division of the whole old covenant. The LAW contained the five

books of Moses; the PROPHETS, the Jews divided into former and

latter; they were, according to Josephus, thirteen. "The PSALMS

included not only the book still so named, but also three other

books, Proverbs, Job, and Canticles. These all," says the above

author, "contain hymns to God, and rules for the conduct of the

lives of men." Joseph. Cont. App. i. 8. This account is imperfect:

the common Jewish division of the writings of the old covenant is

the following, and indeed seems to be the same to which our Lord

alludes:-

I. The LAW, thorah, including Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus,

Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

II. The PROPHETS, , nabiaim, or teachers, including

Joshua, Judges, the two books of Samuel, and the two books of

Kings: these were termed the former prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah,

Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum,

Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi: these were

termed the latter prophets.

III. The HAGIOGRAPHA, (holy writings,) kethuvim, which

comprehended the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticles, Ruth,

Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and

the two books of Chronicles. The Jews made anciently only

twenty-two books of the whole, to bring them to the number of the

letters in the Hebrew alphabet; and this they did by joining Ruth

to Judges, making the two books of Samuel only one; and so of

Kings and Chronicles; joining the Lamentations to Jeremiah,

and making the twelve minor prophets only one book.

Verse 45. Then opened he their understanding] διηνοιξεν, He

fully opened. They had a measure of light before, so that they

discerned the Scriptures to be the true word of God, and to speak

of the Messiah; but they had not light sufficient to enable them

to apply these Scriptures to their Lord and Master; but now, by

the influence of Christ, they see, not only, the prophecies which

pointed out the Messiah, but also the Messiah who was pointed out

by these prophecies. The book of God may be received in general as

a Divine revelation, but the proper meaning, reference, and

application of the Scriptures can only be discerned by the light

of Christ. Even the very plain word of God is a dead letter to

those who are not enlightened by the grace of Christ; and why?

because this word speaks of spiritual and heavenly things; and the

carnal mind of man cannot discern them. They who receive not this

inward teaching continue dark and dead while they live.

Verse 47. Repentance] See its nature fully explained on Mt 3:1.

Remission of sins] αφεσιναμαρτιων, The taking away-removal of

sins, in general every thing that relates to the destruction of

the power, the pardoning of the guilt, and the purification

of the heart from the very nature of sin.

Should be preached in his name] See the office of a proclaimer,

herald, or preacher, explained, Clarke's note on "Mt 3:1", and

particularly at the end of that chapter. See Clarke on Mt 3:17

In his name-On his authority, and in virtue of the atonement

made by him: for on what other ground could the inhabitants of the

earth expect remission of sins?

Among all nations] Because God wills the salvation of ALL; and

Jesus Christ by his grace has tasted death for EVERY man.

Heb 2:9.

Beginning at Jerusalem] Making the first overtures of mercy to

my murderers! If, then, the sinners of Jerusalem might repent,

believe, and be saved, none, on this side hell, need despair.

Verse 48. Ye are witnesses of these things.] He gave them a full

commission to proclaim these glad tidings of peace and salvation

to a lost world. The disciples were witnesses not only that Christ

had suffered and rose again from the dead; but also that he opens

the understanding by the inspiration of his Spirit, that he gives

repentance, that he pardons sin, and purifies from all

unrighteousness, and that he is not willing that any should

perish, but that all should come unto the knowledge of the truth

and be saved. And these are the things of which their successors

in the Gospel ministry must bear witness. As far as a man steadily

and affectionately proclaims these doctrines, so far God will

bless his labour to the salvation of those who hear him. But no

man can with any propriety bear witness of that grace that saves

the soul, whose own soul is not saved by that grace.

Verse 49. The promise of my Father] That is, the Holy Ghost,

promised, Joh 15:26. See Ac 1:4; 2:33.

Until ye be endued with power] The energy of the Holy Ghost was

to be communicated to them for three particular purposes. 1. That

he might be in them, a sanctifying comforter, fortifying their

souls and bringing to their remembrance whatever Jesus had before

spoken to them.

2. That their preaching might be accompanied by his

demonstration and power to the hearts of their hearers, so that

they might believe and be saved.

3. That they might be able to work miracles to confirm their

pretensions to a Divine mission, and to establish the truth of the

doctrines they preached.

Verse 50. He led them out as far as to Bethany] The difficulties

in this verse, when collated with the accounts given by the other

evangelists, are thus reconciled by Dr. Lightfoot.

"I. This very evangelist (Ac 1:12) tells us, that when the

disciples came back from the place where our Lord had ascended,

they returned from mount Olivet, distant from Jerusalem a

Sabbath day's journey. But now the town of Bethany was about

fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, Joh 11:18, and that is double a

Sabbath day's journey.

"II. Josephus tells us that mount Olivet was but five furlongs

from the city, and a Sabbath day's journey was seven furlongs and

a half. Antiq. lib. 20, cap. 6. About that time there came to

Jerusalem a certain Egyptian, pretending himself a prophet, and

persuading the people that they should go out with him to the

mount of Olives, οκαιτηνπολεωςαντικρυςκειμενοναπεχει

σταδιαπεντε; which, being situated on the front of the city, is

distant five furlongs. These things are all true: 1. That the

mount of Olives lay but five furlongs distant from Jerusalem. 2.

That the town of Bethany was fifteen furlongs. 3. That the

disciples were brought by Christ as far as Bethany. 4. That, when

they returned from the mount of Olives, they travelled more than

five furlongs. And, 5. Returning from Bethany, they travelled but

a Sabbath day's journey. All which may be easily reconciled, if we

would observe:-That the first space from the city was called

Bethphage, which I have cleared elsewhere from Talmudic authors,

the evangelists themselves also confirming it. That part of that

mount was known by that name to the length of about a Sabbath

day's journey, till it came to that part which is called Bethany.

For there was a Bethany, a tract of the mount, and the town of

Bethany. The town was distant from the city about fifteen

furlongs, i.e. about two miles, or a double Sabbath day's journey:

but the first border of this tract (which also bore the name of

Bethany) was distant but one mile, or a single Sabbath day's

journey.

"Our Saviour led out his disciples, when he was about to ascend,

to the very first region or tract of mount Olivet, which was

called Bethany, and was distant from the city a Sabbath day's

journey. And so far from the city itself did that tract extend

itself which was called Bethphage; and when he was come to that

place where the bounds of Bethphage and Bethany met and touched

one another, he then ascended; in that very place where he got

upon the ass when he rode into Jerusalem, Mr 11:1. Whereas,

therefore, Josephus saith that mount Olivet was but five furlongs

from the city, he means the first brink and border of it. But our

evangelist must be understood of the place where Christ ascended,

where the name of Olivet began, as it was distinguished from

Bethphage."

Between the appearance of Christ to his apostles, mentioned in

Lu 24:36, &c., almost all the forty days had passed, before he

led them out to Bethany. They went by his order into Galilee,

Mt 26:32; 28:10; Mr 14:28; 16:7; and there he appeared to

them, as is mentioned by Matthew, Mt 28:16, &c., and more

particularly by John, Joh 21:1, &c. See Bishop PEARCE.

Lifted up his hands] Probably to lay them on their heads, for

this was the ordinary way in which the paternal blessing was

conveyed, See Ge 48:8-20.

Verse 51. Carried up into heaven.] ανεφερετο-into that heaven

from which he had descended, Joh 1:18; 3:13. This was

forty days after his resurrection, Ac 1:3, during which time he

had given the most convincing proofs of that resurrection, not

only to the apostles, but to many others-to upwards of five

hundred at one time, 1Co 15:6.

As in his life they had seen the way to the kingdom, and in his

death the price of the kingdom, so in his ascension they had the

fullest proof of the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of

the human body, and of his continual intercession at the right

hand of God.

There are some remarkable circumstances relative to this

ascension mentioned in Ac 1:4-12.

Verse 52. They worshipped him] Let it be observed that this

worship was not given by way of civil respect, for it was after he

was parted from them, and carried back into heaven, that they

offered it to him; but acts of civil respect are always performed

in the presence of the person. They adored him as their God, and

were certainly too much enlightened to be capable of any species

of idolatry.

Returned to Jerusalem with great joy] Having the fullest proof

that Jesus was the promised Messiah; and that they had a full

commission to preach repentance and remission of sin to mankind,

and that they should be Divinely qualified for this great work by

receiving the promise of the Father, Lu 24:49.

Verse 53. Were continually in the temple] Especially till the

day of pentecost came, when they received the promise, mentioned

Lu 24:49.

Praising and blessing God.] Magnifying his mercy, and speaking

good of his name. Thus the days of their mourning were ended; and

they began that life upon earth in which they still live in the

kingdom of God. May the God of infinite love give the reader the

same portion in time and in eternity, through the same glorious

and ever-blessed Jesus! Amen and amen.

THERE are various subscriptions to this book in the MSS. and

versions. The following are the principal.

Through the assistance of the Most High God, the Gospel of St.

Luke the physician, the proclaimer of eternal life, is finished.

ARAB.-The most holy Gospel of Luke the Evangelist is completed.

SYR.-The end of the holy Gospel according to Luke-written in

Greek-published in Alexandria the Great,-in Troas,-in Rome,-in the

confines of Achaia and Baeotia,-in Bithynia,-in Macedonia,-in the

Italic (or Latin) character, fifteen years after the ascension of

Christ.

It is likely, the word Amen was added by the Church, on the

reading of this book; but there is no evidence that it was affixed

by the evangelist. It is omitted by some of the best MSS. and

versions.

It is evident that, at the conclusion of this Gospel, St. Luke

passes very rapidly over a number of interesting circumstances

related by the other evangelists, and particularly by St. John,

concerning the last forty days of our Lord's sojourning on earth;

but, to compensate for this, he has mentioned a variety of

important particulars which the others have passed by, a list of

which I think it necessary to subjoin. It seems as if the

providence of God had designed that none of these evangelists

should stand alone: each has his peculiar excellence, and each his

own style and mode of narration. They are all witnesses to the

truth in general; and each most pointedly to every great fact of

the Gospel history. In each there is something new; and no serious

reader ever finds that the perusal of any one supersedes the

necessity of carefully consulting and reading the others. The same

facts and doctrines are exhibited by all in different points of

view, which renders them both impressive and interesting; and this

one circumstance serves to fix the narrative more firmly in the

memory. We should have had slighter impressions from the Gospel

history, had we not had the narrative at four different hands.

This variety is of great service to the Church of God, and has

contributed very much to diffuse the knowledge of the facts and

doctrines contained in this history. Parallel passages have been

carefully studied, and the different shades of meaning accurately

marked out; and the consequence has been, what the wisdom of God

designed, the fuller edification of the faithful. It is not the

business of a commentator to point out beauties in the composition

of the sacred text. Many might be selected from the evangelists in

general, and not a few from Luke, who not only tells a true story,

but tells it well; especially when he has occasion to connect the

different parts of the narration with observations of his own. But

this is his least praise: from his own account we learn that he

took the utmost pains to get the most accurate and circumstantial

information relative to the facts he was to relate:

See Clarke on Lu 1:3.

While, therefore, he thus diligently and

conscientiously sought for truth, the unerring Spirit of God led

him into all truth. Even he who expected the revelation of the

Almighty, and to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, that he might

correctly, forcibly, and successfully proclaim the truth and

righteousness of his Maker, must stand upon his watch, and set

himself upon his tower, and watch to see what God would speak IN

him, Hab 2:1. In a similar spirit we may expect the fruits of

these revelations. He who carefully and conscientiously uses the

means may expect the accomplishment of the end.

I cannot close these observations with a more profitable word

than what is contained in that truly apostolic and sublime prayer

for the second Sunday in Advent; and may he who reads it weigh

every word in the spirit of faith and devotion! "Blessed God! who

hast caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning;

grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and

inwardly digest them, that, by patience and comfort of thy holy

word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of

everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus

Christ!"

Now to him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own

blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father,

to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.

FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED AT LARGE BY ST. LUKE,

WHICH ARE EITHER NOT MENTIONED AT ALL, OR BUT VERY TRANSIENTLY,

BY THE OTHER EVANGELISTS.

The conception of Elisabeth, Lu 1:5-25.

The salutation of Mary, Lu 1:26-38.

Mary's visit to Elisabeth, Lu 1:39-56.

The birth of John the Baptist, Lu 1:57-79.

The decree of Caesar Augustus, Lu 2:1-6.

Apparition of the angel to the shepherds, Lu 2:8-20.

The circumcision of Christ, Lu 2:21.

The presentation of Christ in the temple, Lu 2:22-38.

Dispute with the doctors when twelve years of age, Lu 2:40-52.

Chronological dates at the commencement of our Lord's ministry,

Lu 3:1, 2.

Success of the preaching of John the Baptist, Lu 3:10-15.

Christ's preaching and miraculous escape at Nazareth,

Lu 4:15-30.

Remarkable particulars in the call of Simon, Andrew, James, and

John, Lu 5:1-10.

The calamities that fell on certain Galileans, Lu 13:1-9.

Mission of the seventy disciples, Lu 10:1-16.

The return of the seventy disciples, with an account of their

success, Lu 10:17-24.

Story of the good Samaritan, Lu 10:25-37.

Cure of the woman who had been diseased eighteen years,

Lu 13:10-20.

The question answered, Are there few that be saved?

Lu 13:22, 23.

Curing of the man with the dropsy, Lu 14:1-24.

Difficulties attending the profession of Christianity, to be

carefully preconsidered, Lu 14:25-35.

Parable of the lost sheep, and the lost piece of money,

Lu 15:1-10.

Parable of the prodigal son, Lu 15:11-32.

Parable of the unjust steward, Lu 16:1-18;

Parable of the rich man and the beggar, Lu 16:19-31.

Various instructions to his disciples, Lu 17:1-10.

The refusal of the Samaritans to receive him into their city,

Lu 9:52-56; 17:11.

The cleansing of the ten lepers, Lu 17:12-19.

The Pharisees ask when the kingdom of God should come, and our

Lord's answer, Lu 17:20-37.

The Pharisee and the publican, Lu 18:1-14.

Account of the domestic avocations of Martha and Mary,

Lu 10:38-42.

The account of Zaccheus, Lu 19:2-10.

The parable of the nobleman that went to obtain a kingdom,

Lu 19:11-28.

Pilate sends Jesus to Herod, Lu 23:6-16.

Account of the women that deplored our Lord's sufferings,

Lu 23:27-32.

Remarkable particulars concerning the two thieves that were

crucified with our Lord, Lu 23:39-43.

Account of the two disciples going to Emmaus, Lu 24:13-35.

Remarkable circumstances concerning his appearance to the

eleven, after his resurrection, Lu 24:37-49.

Finished the correction for a new edition, Oct. 31, 1831. A. C.

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