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Luxxiij.55. lee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how Jerusalem
the body was laid.
Let us but consider the situation of certain places in Jerusa-
The map of Dr. Townson shows also, that the distance from Herod's palace to the sepulchre was at least twice as much as from Zebedee's house. If, therefore, the three women that went from the latter to the sepulchre, and reached it about six, were half an hour in going, they who set out from the palace, at the same rate of walking, twice the distance, would be there balf an hour later. But we can hardly believe them to bave been thus expeditious, as to have arrived but half an hour after the first party. Early in the morning, as Joanna and one or two of her friends were prepared to set out, they bad to wait for others, who might live at some distance, or not be quite so punctual; and when they were collected, the women of Galilee, and the women of Jerusalem, if any of them were slow walkers, the rest could get on no faster, if they were to keep together in a body. We may therefore well allow near an hour between the arrivals of the two companies at the sepulchre, and this is amply sufficient for all that is supposed to have happened in the interim.
T'he errand of the women who bad seen an angelic vision, was to the Apostles; of whom, St. Jobn would dwell in his own house, that had been his father Zebedee's. Nor was St. Peter's far from him, John xxii. 2. To these the women would first repair, as Mary Magdalene had before. And wherever the rest of the Apostles were to be found, unless the path towards their lodgings lay through the gate of the valley, wbich we have no reason to suppose, the company that first retired from the sepulchre could not meet the other advancing towards it. Herod's palace may be admitted to have been where the giap places it. It may soem more questionable, how the site of Ze
Sabbath began, to prepare Spices.
LUKE xxiii. 56.
bedee's house, originally, we may imagine, an obscure build
In order therefore to illustrate this plan, Dr. Townson has
Villalpandus was a learned Spaniard of Cordova, well known for the commentary on Ezekiel, and designs of Solomon's temple; and celebrated by many authors of name for his skill and accuracy in these researches. Among other eminent men who had adopted bis topography of Jerusalem as the most satisfactory, is Bishop Walton, in his Polyglot.
These four houses that are numbered in Dr. Townson's map, and did not come properly under the consideration of Villalpandus, are from tho view of Jerusalem, given by Cotovicus, an eminent civilian of Utrecht, who visited Palestine in the year of our Lord 1598.
Though in this view he sets down the Dung-gate not as it stands in Villalpandus, but as in the present city much changed in situation and shape from its ancient shape; yet be places the houses in question precisely as they are disposed in Villalpandus's map, near to a line by which he distinguishes the course of the wall that divided the old city from Mount Calvary. Herman
La.xxiii.56. and rested the sabbath-day according to the command. Jerusalem.
Witsius says of him, that he examined Jerusalem with curious
The map of Villalpandus, with the addition of the houses from
Leaving, however, all arguments of this nature, let us consider the more authentic evidence derived from the sacred narrative itself, that the women were divided into two parties. These, for the sake of method and clearness, shall be reduced under certain heads.
1. St. Mark's account of the women that went to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection does, in just construction, exclude all but those whom he names.
He speaks of these women, or some of them, in the five fol. lowing places : First, There were also women looking afar off, among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less, and of Joses and Salome ; xv. 40. Secondly, And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses bebeld where he was laid; ibid. ver. 47. Thirdly, And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought sweet spices, that they might go and anoint him; xvi. 1. Fourthly, And very early in the morning of the first day of the week they go unto the tomb; ibid. ver. 2. Fiflhly, Now Jesus, having risen early the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalene; ibid. ver. 9.
2. St. Luke's account does not include the women named by St. Mark; it bears tokens of being the description of an entirely distinct company.
In speaking of the women that attended the body of Christ from the cross to the tomb, St. Luke does not say, the women also that came with him from Galilee; but, as we shall find, if we consult the original, “women also that came with him from Galilee,” (Luke xxiii. 55.) there being no article accompany. ing yuvaikes; which therefore allows us, with good reason, to conjecture that he intended to comprehend only the majority, not the whole company of these women, in his subsequent account of them : nor at present does he mention any of them by name. He speaks of them as follows: “And women also that came with him from Galilee followed after, and beheld the tomb, and how his body was laid; and, being returned, prepared spices and ointments."
Jerusalem. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary continue to sit oppo
3. The accounts given of the conduct of the women, when they arrived at the tomb, imply a first and second company. And besides the vision to Mary Magdalene alone, there wero two angelic appearances and speeches, each to a different set of women, in the tomb.
St. John says, that when Mary Magdalene saw the stone taken away from the tomb, she runneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, “ They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him,” xx.2. As these words evidently imply that the other women who came to the tomb with Mary Magdalene, felt the same disappointment and concern with her in the same situation ; so also they clearly shew that, before the women entered the tomb, they were very well assured that the body of Jesus was not in it. They imply another thing : that so early was the arrival of the women at the tomb, that they had not the smallest idea that any of his friends would be there before them to get it open.
But this will receive still greater confirmation from the two subsequent positions.
4. The accounts given of the behaviour of the women in the tomb, are accounts of two different parties.
The women, whom St. Matthew and St. Mark speak of, were affrighted, not only at the first sight of the angel, but after he had done speaking to them. Both Evangelists represent them as hastening away from his presence, by going out quickly, and fleeing from the tomb.
But the women described by St. Luke were calm and com-' posed; and, if they had recovered such presence of mind while the angels were yet speaking, there is no reason to imagine that, having heard such happy intelligence, they were then seized with a sudden terror, and fled from the tomb trembling and amazed. St. Luke's words certainly convey no such idea of their departure from it.
5. The speech of the two angels considered as spoken to a subsequent company has an obvious propriety.
It would be presumption to affirm antecedently what the two angels ought or ought not to have spoken; but when we have their speech before us, we may examine and judge, whether the circumstances of it suit better with the whole company of the women, or with one part of them, not exactly in the same situation with the other. If the women did not visit the tomb all together, the going thither of Joanna and her party has been rightly placed, after Mary Magdalene had left it à second time; and then our Lord bad showed himself to her. And but a short space intervened between this going thither, and his meeting the two Maries and Salome, saying unto them, “ All hail!" At this juncture it was that the two angels were addressing themselves to Joanna, and those who had just searched the tomb with her. When therefore Christ was not only risen, but bad appeared in that body which the Father had raised from the grave, it might well be asked of those, who were much perplexed because they found not bis body where it had been deposited, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
in every point of view, then, the division of the women into two distinct companies, going successively to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection, corresponds exactly with the
site the Sepulchre, till it is too late to prepare their
MATT. xxvii. 61.
And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, Jerusalem sitting over against the sepulchre .
MATT. xxvii. 62-66.
ration, the chief priests and Pharisees came together
See, both for this and the subsequent notes on the following
• We read, in Matt. xxvii. 59. “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new sepulchre, which he had hewn out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And (or But) Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting over against the tomb.” The words seem to imply an opposition between the departing of Josepłı, and the abiding of the two women; and that this sitting over against the tomb was subsequent to the closing of it with a great stone. This solemn act could not force them away from the object of their grief. They still lingered as near to it as they could, sitting on the ground. And in this posture of mourning they continued, till reverence for the sabbath obliged them to retire; when it was too late to prepare their contingent of spices.--Dr. Townson, vol. ii. p. 86.
$. This conduct of the Pharisees and Chief Priests compelled them also to become unwilling witnesses of the resurrection of our Lord. The attempt of the women to enter the sepulchre on the morning when he arose, sufficiently proves that they had not anticipated any other obstacle to the embalming the body, but that which might be occasioned by the size of the stone. They were utterly unprepared to meet with a guard, or to find the seal of the Saobedrim on the tomb. This conduct, however, of the rulers of the people, was attended with many important advantages. They satisfied themselves that the dead body was safely lying in the tomb, before they proceeded to place the seal. Their testimony; therefore, that our Lord was really dead, must have corroborated in the strongest manner the great truth of the resurrection, and that our Lord had risen, as the Apostles declared; for no common power could have eluded the jealous caution of the rulers, or havo escaped the proverbial vigilance of a Roman guard, Their sealing the sepulchre also, prevented the violation of the tomb, by any of the guard themselves; who might have been tempted to steal the spices in whicb the body was inclosed.