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areth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and 20 word before God and all the people: And how
the chief priests and our rulers delivered him
to be condemned to death, and have crucified 21 him. But we trusted that it had been he who
would have recleemed Israel : and, besides all
this, to-day is the third day since these things 22 were done. Yea, and certain women also of
our company made us astonished, who were 23 early at the sepulchre: And when they found
not his body, they came, saying, That they had
also seen a vision of angels, who said that he 24 was alive. And some of them who were
with us went to the sepulchre, and found it
even so as the woman had said : but him they 25 saw not. Then he said unto them, How stupid
and slow of heart, in believing all that the proph26 ets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have
suffered these things, and to enter into his 27 glory? And, beginning at Moses, and all the
prophets, he explained unto them, in all the 28 scriptures the things concerning himself. And
when they came near to the village, whither
they were going, he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with
us; for it is toward evening, and the day is
far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with
them, he took bread, and blessed God, and 31 brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were
opened, and they knew him; and he vanished 32 out of their sight. And they said one to an
other, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while be
33 opened unto us the scriptures?
And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem,
and found the eleven gathered together, and 34 them that were with them, who said, The
Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to 35 Simon. Then they told what things were done
in the way, and how he was known of them in
breaking of bread. 36 And, as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood
in the midst of them, and saith unto them, 37 Peace be unto you. But they were terrified
and affrighted, and supposed that they had 38 seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why
are ye troubled ? and why do fearful thoughts 39 arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my
feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see: for a
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me 40 have. And when he had thus spoken, he 41 shewed them his hands and his feet. And
while they hardly believed for joy, and wonder
ed, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat ? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, 43 and of an honey-comb. And he took it, and 44 ate before them. And he said unto them,
These are the words which I spake'unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of
Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms 45 concerning me. Then he opened their under
standing, that they might understand the scrip46 tures, and said unto them, Thus it is written,
and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise 47 from the dead the third day: And that repent
ance and remission of sins should be preached
in his name, among all nations, beginning at 48 Jerusalem. * And ye are witnesses of these
things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of my Fath
er upon you : but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on
high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany ;
and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.t 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried
into 52 heaven. And they worshipped him, and re53 turned to Jerusalem with great joy: And
were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
• Christ himself preached only to the Jews; and he directed his disciples also to devote their first labors in his cause, to instruct the Jewish nation. They accordingly spent several years of the beginning of their ministry in Ju. dea.
Several verses here contain the same account as is given in the beginning of Acts, which were written by the same apostle.
PREFACE TO JOHN'S GOSPEL.
IT is the opinion of all learned Christians, both ancient and modern, that St. John wrote his gospel after the other evangelists had published their narratives; and it is generally believed that it was several years later. Dr. Lardner irr deed supposed it was written in the year 66, about two years after the other gospels were published. The general opinion, however, is against this supposition ; and that it was yptwritten until 97, nr 98, long after the destruction of Jerusalem, and near the close of the life of this apostle ; who, according to authentic ancient histories, died A. D. 99, or 100. apostle John lived to a very great age; and, though several years younger than the other apostles and his Lord, was more than 90 when he died. It is said he was four or five years younger than Christ ; which would make him of the age of 95, or 96. This apostle died a natural death, but he passed through many and great persecutions.
St. Johy appears to have possessed the peculiar confidence of his divine Master. It is believed he was nearly related to the family of the holy Virgin, the mother of our Lord. . To the care and affections of this favorite disciple, she was commended by Christ, as he was expiring in agony on the cross. And we are informed, that he then took her to his own home. There was a tradition in the church in the second century, that she lived fifteen years, after the death of our Savior,
The reason given by somne writers for supposing that St. John did not compose his gospel until after the destruction of Jerusalem, is, that he makes no mention of Christ's predictions relative to the judgments coming upon that city and the nation of the Jews. But this is not a sufficient reason. For as the other evangelists has spoken of this event, it was not necesssary for him to record the predictions. And it is evident, that many things which the other evangelists have related, he has omitted to notice;, being satisfied, no doubt, with the accuracy of the account which they had given..
of his gospel.
It is probable, and such indeed is the intimation in the writings of some of the early Christian fathers, that his objeet, in penuing his gospel, was chiefly to record events and discourses omitted by the other evangelists. Accordingly he has given a history of many miracles of Christ which he performed in the early part of his public ministry, and of addresses to his disciples and others both in the early and latter part of his public life, which we do not find narrated by either of the other writers of the evangelical history. He relates much of John the Baptist, his forerunner, not mentioned before; and he only has preserved an account of the conversation with Nicodemus, of curing the man born blind, as recorded in ix. chap. of the raising of Lazarus from the grave, who had been dead four days; and of the discourses contained in xiii. xiv. xv. xvi. and xvii. chapters
These were material omissions; and to supply such defects was probably one great object with the apostle John in writing his gospel. But it is said, that he did not write until urged by other Christians, who were desirous to know every event in the life of the Messiah. It is not unreasona. able to suppose, that they had heard him speak of some of Christ's discourses, which were not related in the gospels then extant. According to the declaration of some early writers, the other gospels were shewn to this apostle ; that he approved of them as correct, yet as not relating some events which he recollected; and that by the desire of his Christian friends, he wrote the gospel, which is the last, in the order of time, of all the evangelical narrations. He might, indeed, as many suppose, have it also in view to cor. rect some erroneous opinions prevalent in his time respecting the person of Christ. It is well kuowu, that the Greeks were a philosophising people: and that many of their opinions and theories, as to invisible beings, were extremely fanciful. At an early period of the church, some of the Greek philoso. phers became converts to the Christian faith ; and it was natural that they should wish to incorporate some of their own opinions with the doctrines of the gospel. It was also very humiliating to them to be told that the Founder of the religion they had adopted suffered an ignominious death. 'They were often reproached for believing in one as a diyine teacher, who had died on the cross. The doctrine