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PAGE 208. Diss. li. • What is the meaning of Paul's ex• pression, “ You see how large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand,” Gal. vi. 11.
This question has been considered by many interpreters, and other learned men. I likewise have had occasion to speak toa it. And I think, I have said what is sufficient to show, that our English version is very right.
UPON DR. MACKNIGHT'S
HARMONY OF THE FOUR GOSPELS :
. AS FAR AS RELATES TO THE HISTORY OF OUR
IN A LETTER TO THE AUTHOR.
1 INTEND to send you some observations upon your Harmony of the Four Gospels, relating to the history of our Saviour's resurrection. They will regard these several sections of your work, sect. 149–156. If my thoughts are somewhat different from yours, I do not know that you have any good reason to be offended. You have made a “ New Harmony of the Gospels,” after many others, and very different from them in many respects. Another therefore may have a right after you, and may think himself obliged to represent the sense of the evangelists as it appears to him.
• See Vol. vi. chap. xii. sect. 3.
My observations will relate to the several following articles. 1. The burial of our Saviour. 2. The request of the chief priests and pharisees, to Pilate the governor, to afford them a guard for the security of the sepulchre. 3. A visit to the sepulchre, which you suppose to have been intended and attempted by the women from Galilee, but not performed by thein. 4. The preparing the spices by those women to anoint the body of the Lord Jesus. 5. Their journey to the sepulchre, and the appearances of our Lord to them, and others, after his resurrection.
I. • Of the burial of our Saviour,' which is related by all the evangelists, but by St. John more particularly than by any of the rest. Matt. xxvii. 57—61 ; Mark xv. 42—47; Luke xxiii. 50—56; John xix. 38/42.
But here I do not stay, not intending to make any remarks upon this beside what may offer occasionally, in considering the other articles.
II. The request of the chief priests and pharisees to • Pilate the governor, to afford them a guard for the security • of the sepulcbre. Which is related by St. Matthew only, ch. xxvii, 62–66.
His words are these. “ Now the next day that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again ; command therefore, that the sepulcbre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead. So the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch. Go your way, and make it as sure as you can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.”
Upon this you say, p. 618, • Tn de cravplov, ijtis come ueta • TIV mapaokeunu, “ the next day ihat followed the prepara• tion," that is, after the sun was set. For the Jewish day • began then. They took this measure therefore, not “ on • the morrow,” in our sense of the word, but in the evening, • after sun-setting, when the Jewish sabbath was begun, and • when they understood the body was buried. To have • delayed it to sun-rising, would have been preposterous, as
the disciples might have stolen the body away during the preceding night.'
This you say, contrary, as I suppose, to all interpreters and commentators whatever. Says Whitby : • « Now the • next day that followed the preparation,” viz. the sabbath
• day in the morning.' And in like manner other interpreters. But the thing is so plain, as scarcely to need any paraphrase or explication, and therefore is seldom found in commentators. But that the meaning of the original word is “ the next day,” according to our usual manner of speaking, is manifest from many texts, where it is found. So Acts xxv. 22, 23, “ Then Agrippa said unto Festus; I would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, avplov, said be, thou shalt bear him. On the morrow, on everavplov, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing; with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus's commandment Paul was brought forth.” I presume, that by “to-morrow, [or] on the morrow," is not meant the dark evening, or night, after sun-setting, but “ the next day,” when it was light, the only proper season for such an assembly, and the important design of it,
Acts iv. 5, " And it came to pass, that on the morrow, eyeveto ô€ eri t9v avpiov, their elders, and rulers, and scribes, —were gathered together.” The context shows, that hereby is not meant the night-season, after sun-setting, but the next day when it would be light. For it is said at ver. 3, “ And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold until the next day, els tnv avpiov. For it was now even-tide.”
Acts x. 23, 24, “ Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow, Tn de emravplov, Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied biin. And on the morrow, Tn de en avplov, they entered into Cesarea.” I do not see how the word can be here understood of any thing, but the morning of the next day, after the rising of the sun. Nor do I think, that it ever was understood otherwise. See also ver. 9, and chap. xx. 7, xxii. 30, and other like places, which may easily be found by yourself, or any other, that wants farther satisfaction.
It seems to me somewhat strange, that you should misunderstand a phrase, which has in so many places, invariably, the same meaning, and has always been so understood. If the evangelist had intended the time mentioned by you, he would have expressed it, in some one of the phrases, not unusual in the gospels. He would have said: “ And when the evening was now come, [or] when the sun was now set,” of which examples may be seen, Matt, xiv. 23; Oyras de yevouevnsJohn vi. 16; ús de oyla eryeveTO. Mark i. 32; oyras de yevojevns, ote eov o nicos. Luke iv. 40; ovvovtos de T8 718.
And why do you affix this unheard-of meaning to the VOL. X.
g night.r and express 1964 go to Pilation and burjay,
word in Matt. xxvii, 62? Let us attend. • To have delayed • it to sun-rising would have been preposterous, as the dis• ciples might have stolen the body away during the pre• ceding night.' But, Sir, such reasonings are of no avail against the clear and express assertion of the evangelist, that the priests and pharisees did not go to Pilate, till the next day, or the morrow after our Saviour's crucifixion and burial.
And there are obvious reasons for such delay. The day, in which our Lord was crucified, had been a day of full employment and great perplexity to Pilate. And the Jewish priests and pharisees might not judge it convenient to disturb bim in the evening of it. Possibly this thought of a guard, to watch the sepulchre, came not into the minds of any of them that evening. Whenever the thought arose in the minds of one, or two, or some few of them, it would require time to propose it to others, and gather them together, to go with the request to Pilate. And the morning of the next day was soon enough. For they could none of them suspect the disciples to be so horribly profane and desperate, as to attempt to remove a dead body on the sabbath! They therefore made provision against the night that followed after the sabbath. Which was all that could be reckoned needful in the opinion of the most suspicious. Indeed, it is not easily supposable, that any of those Jew's did really suspect the disciples of a design to steal the body. But they were willing to cast upon them the scandal of such a supposition, the more to bring them under popular resentment. But the contrivance turned out to their own disadvantage.
I seem to myself to have now made good the common interpretation of this text. I have advanced nothing new. On the next day, after the crucifixion of Jesus, and probably in the morning of that day, some of the priests and phạrisees went to Pilate, requesting a guard at the sepulchre, and he granted their request.
This paragraph of St. Matthew is so plain and easy, that I have found few notes upon it in commentators : scarcely any, excepting to show, that by “ the day that followed the day of the preparation," is to be understood the Jewish sabbath. However Grotius bas a note, that may be proper to be observed. It is to this purpose : « The a council could
a Non potuit eo die synedrium haberi. Sed privato consilio sacerdotum principes quidain et senatores aliqui, pharisaïcæ factionis, Pilatuni conveniunt, tanquam acturi de negotio ad summam rempublicam pertinente. Nec difticulter ab eo impetrârunt rem, in quâ ille nihil situm existimabat. Gr. in Malt, xxvii. 62.
day. But after le sect of the lo him of the
(not sit on that day. But after a private consultation some • of the priests and senators of the sect of the pharisees went • to Pilate, as if they had somewhat to say to him of the • utinost importance. Nor had they much difficulty to ob• tain what they requested.'
III. I now proceed to the next article of any inquiry, concerning a visit to the sepulchre, which you suppose to have been intended, and attempted by some of the women from Galilee, but not performed by then.'
This is a visit or journey to the sepulchre, which I do not see in other commentators. Nor can I discern it in the gospels, after all that you have said in favour of it. A part of the title or contents of your 149th section, p. 619, is this: • Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, go out • to see the sepulchre; but are terrified by an earthquake.
P. 620, • Matt. xxviii. 1, “ In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came • Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary to see the sepulchre," • Dewpnoai, to see, if the stone was still at the door, because " by that they could know, whether the body was within. • For from John xiv. 42, it would appear, that the friends of • Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else—The women • knowing this, had reason to think, that Joseph would re• move the body, as soon as the sabbath was ended. Ac
cordingly, having bought the spices, they judged it proper • to send two of their number, to see if Jesus was still in
the sepulchre; and, if he was not, to inquire of the gar• dener where he was laid ; that when the spices were pre
pared,—they might go directly to the place, and embalm • him.'
All fiction, surely! Nor do I, as before said, find this in any commentators, with whom I am acquainted. However, let us see what this ingenious author says to support it.
P. 620, 621, . This journey to the sepulchre, by the two • Marys, is generally supposed to have been undertaken in
the morning, according to our sense of the word, that is to • say, some time after midnight. But this opinion, though
universally received, may be justly called in question. For • first of all, what reason can be assigned for the women • not going to see the sepulchre, as soon as the Jewish sab• bath was ended, that is, on Saturday, immediately after • sun-setting, when they had more than an hour's twilight • to carry them thither ?
To which I answer, that they could not go then, because the spices were not yet prepared. For I shall show pre