« PreviousContinue »
have concluded from the wording of John vi. 62, that our Lord must have intended an ascension in the sight of some of those to whom He spoke, and that the Evangelist himself gives that hint, by recording those words without comment, that he had seen it? Then again, is there any thing in the bodily state of our Lord after His Resurrection, which raises any even the least difficulty here? He appeared suddenly, and vanished suddenly, when He pleased-when it pleased Him, He ate, He spoke, He walked; but his Body was the Body of the Resurrection;-only not yet his Body of Glory (Phil. iii. 21), because He had not yet assumed that glory but that He could assume it, and did assume it at his Ascension, will be granted by all who believe in Him as the Son of God. So that it seems, on à priori grounds, probable that, granted the fact of the Ascension, it did take place in some such manner as our accounts relate :-in the sight of the disciples, and by the uplifting of the risen Body of the Lord towards that which is to those on this earth the visible heaven. This being so, let us now, secondly, regard the matter à posteriori. We possess two accounts of
the circumstances of this Ascension, written by the same person, and that person a contemporary of the Apostles themselves. Of the genuineness of these accounts there never was a doubt. How improbable that St. Luke should have related what any Apostles, or apostolic persons might have contradicted? How improbable that the universal Church, founded by those who are said to have been eye-witnesses of this event, should have received these two accounts as authentic, if they were not so? That these accounts themselves are never referred to in the Epistles, is surely no argument against them. If an occasion had arisen, such as necessitated the writing of 1 Cor. xv., there can be little doubt that St. Paul would have been as particular in the circumstances of the Ascension, as he has been in those of the Resurrection. The fact is, that by far the greatest difficulty remains to be solved by those who can imagine a myth or fiction on this subject to have arisen in the first age of the Church. Such a supposition is not more repugnant to our Christian faith and reverence, than it is to common sense and historical consistency.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
THE FOUR GOSPELS AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. PART II.—THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN, AND THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
"That thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed."
LUKE i. 4.
CONTAINING THE AUTHORIZED VERSION,
WITH MARGINAL CORRECTIONS OF READINGS AND RENDERINGS;
CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY COMMENTARY;
HENRY ALFORD, D.D.
DEAN OF CANTERBURY.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
PART II THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN, AND THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
London, Oxford, and Cambridge.
DEIGHTON, BELL, AND CO.,