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racter, although not without blemishes; to such a man hope might be exhibited, but not to the other.
I shall conclude with observing, that nothing can have a more pernicious tendency to encourage men in the practice of sin, than the idea that a few confessions on their part, or a few prayers on the part of a minister of religion, or of any Christian friend, made just at the approach of death, are sufficient to prepare them for heaven.
Luke xxiii 44. corresponds with Matt. xxvii. 45–61. xxiv. 1-12.
Luke xxiv. 13-35.
13. And behold two of them, of his disciples, went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three-score furlongs; şeven miles and a half.
These two persons are mentioned as part of some body of men, which could not be the apostles: for none of them was called Cleophas; but they must be a part of those who, after the mention of the eleven in verse the ninth, are called “the rest.” The women, we are informed, who had been at the sepulchre, and had seen the angels, told these things unto the eleven, and “ to all the rest." To this party of disciples, who were with the eleven, these two belonged.
14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15. And it came to pass that while they communed together, and rea
soned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
The evangelist does not mean that their eyes were under any miraculous influence, to prevent them from knowing him; but only that they were hindered from attending to those circumstances which would have speedily discovered their master to them. Mark tells us, xvi. 12, that after he appeared to Mary Magdalene, who, on account of his dress, probably, took him for the gardener, he appeared in another form, referring to the present occasion, and meaning, most likely, that he appeared in another dress. This circumstance, connected with the ideas entertained by these two disciples that Jesus was still dead, will account for their not knowing him sooner.
17. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad ?
Perceiving that they did not recollect his person, he assumed the character of a stranger, and took an opportunity, under that character, of communicating some useful instruction to them; which, if they had known that he was Jesus, they would not have been able to attend to from surprise and astonishment to see him risen from the dead. Their earnest discourse and anxious looks might well justify even a strapger in putting to them this question.
18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
These words may be better rendered, Art thou alone so great a stranger in Jerusalem as not to know the things which are come to pass there in these days? This implies that the transactions were so public and extraordinary, as to attract the notice of strangers, and that it was matter of surprise that any one should be ignorant of them.
19. And he said unto them, What things ? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word, i. e. in miracles and doctrine, before God and all the people;
A teacher from God, not of an ordinary character, but eminent in the opinion of the people in general, both for the number of his miracles and the excellence of his discourses. We see hence that these two distiples had no other notion of Jesus than that of a prophet, one of the human race, sent and commissioned
20. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death; and have crucified him.
What was done at their desire is justly attributed to them.
21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel, or,
66 who was about to deliver Israel;" and beside all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done.
The deliverance which these disciples 'expected by means of Jesus, was a deliverance from the Roman yoke, by his setting up a temporal kingdom : but these hopes were overturned by his crucifixion and death; especially as it was now three days since that event; by which time they conjectured, from what was said by Christ while he was living, that something might arise to revive their expectations; they had now therefore given up the matter in despair.
22. Yea and certain women also, rather, « moreover certain women," of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23. And when they found not his body they came, saying that they had also seen, or, “ they came telling it; and that they had seen;" a vision, “ an appearance," of angels, which said that he was alive. .
Two things were reported by the women that they found not the body, and that they had seen an. gels, which said that he was alive.
24. And certain of them which were with us, i. e. Peter and John, went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said ; but, rather, " and,” him they saw not.
These two disciples found the body missing, as the women had related, and did not, any more than they, see Jesus.
25. Then he said unto them, O fools, or, “ Inconsiderate persons," and slow of heart, or, “ backward,” to beljeve all that the prophets have spoken.
He here reproaches them for their backwardness to believe the declarations of the prophets, as he had often reproached his disciples before for their want of faith in God; with this difference only, that what he now says is in the character of a stranger, whereas the censure pronounced before came from him as their master. The predictions which foretold the sufferings of Christ, were so numerous and clear, as justly to expose those to the charge of dulness who could not perceive thein.
26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
The glory here spoken of, and called the glory of Christ, is not that which he now enjoys in heaven, but the glory arising from the success of his doctrine, and from the establishment of a kingdom in the world governed by his laws. This is often referred to by the prophets, as the consequence of his sufferings; and Christ immediately proceeds to point out to these disciples how his sufferings had been foretold, and the glory which should follow them. This would prepare their minds for the discovery which he was about to make of himself to them.
27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them, in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself.
This verse, if divested of the peculiarities of the Greek language, in which it is written, would run thus; “ And he began with Moses, and went on through all the scriptures, expounding from him and all the prophets the things concerning himself. See examples of the like mode of speaking, Luke xxiii. 5. John viii. 9. Acts i. 22. What particular passages of the books of Moses, or of the prophets, Christ expounded to these disciples, as the evangelist has not mentioned them, can be matter only of conjecture, and