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• drink, wine, mingled with myrrh: but he re«ceived it not. This seems likewise unasked, and previous to his fastening. Luke says—And

the soldiers also mocked; coming to him, and • offering him vinegar.' This seems likewise unasked, but after he had been some tiine


the cross; enduring, not only pain, but the scoffs and insults of the rulers and people. St. John says–After this Jesus, knowing that all things

were now accomplished; that the scriptures might be fulfilled, faith-I thirft. Now, there was set a vefsel sull of vinegar, and they filled a sponge

with vinegar, and put it upon bylop: and put • it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had re

ceived the vinegar, he said, It is finished. And • he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.' Here we are told that Jesus did ask for the beverage whatever it was, and his motive for fo doing is assigned. We are likewise told that he did receive or drink it; and the time fixed, by John, is just before he expired. I cannot pass this account, without remarking the impropriety of all the evangelists, in saying, as they do in many parts of their gospel, such and such things were done- That the scriptures might be fulfilled instead of saying-Thus, or in this, were the scriptures fulfilled. Its prefent form might lead an unbeliever to suspect that Jesus, having afsumed the character of the promised Messiah, endeavoured that the actions of his life, and cir




cumstances of his death, should correspond with Chapter Verse
the Jewish prophecies of that.Messiah. We will
now pursue Matthew's history of what ensued
upon the death of Jesus — And behold the vail xxvii. 51
• of the temple was rent in twain, from the top

to the bottom. (Was it posible to behold this

from Golgotha ?) And the earth did quake, 52
« and the rocks rent, and the graves were opened,
• and many bodies of faints which slept, arose,
* and came out of the graves after his resurrection,

(that was polite) and went into the holy city,
and appeared unto many. (After which, wé

may suppose, they peaceably retired again to
' their respective graves, as we hear no more of

them.) Now when the centurion, and they 54
that were with him watching Jesus, saw the
earthquake, and those things that were done,
they feared greatly, saying-Truly this was the

Son of God.' St. Mark, if he did copy, here
falls short of his original ; he says". And the
• vail of the temple was rent in twain, from the

top to the bottom. And when the centurion 6 which stood over against him, saw that he so ' cried out (My God, my God, why hast thou • forsaken me?) and gave up the ghost, he said ;

Truly this man was the Son of God. An excel." lent reason, and well expressed : here is no men. tion af--an earthquake, rending the rocks, or opening


graves; and as to rending the temple vail, he could not see it. What says Luke upon

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this subject-Now when the centurion law what ' was done (no earthquake mentioned) he glo• rified God saying, Certainly this was a righteous

man. Certainly this was a very reasonable conclusion. St. Luke has this fingular and extraordinary addition—' And all the people that came

together to that fight, beholding the things

which were done, smote their breasts, and re• turned.' St. John, though present, says not a word upon this interesting subject. He records neither the darkness; the rending of the temple vail; nor even the earthquake which (according to Matthew) produced such tremendous effects : therefore we are not to wonder that the poor centurion is unnoticed. He however gives us an anecdote upon which the fulfilling of two, prophecies depended, and therefore wonderful that it should be omitted by the other three, It is, that the soldiers after breaking the legs of the two thieves, finding Jesus already dead, brake not his; but one of them pierced his side with a spear, in the presence of John, who says-- These things

were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled -Abone of him shall not be broken.' And again, another fcripture faith• They shall look

on him whom they pierced. Matthew proceeds - And many women were there, beholding afar * off, (notwithstanding the darkness) which fol• lowed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him.

Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary


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* the mother of James, and Joses: and the mo

ther of Zebedee's children. (Why not the wife of Zebedee ? if she was fo.) Mark says there were also women looking on afar off, among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the

mother of James the less; and of Joses, and Sa< lome : who also when he was in Galilee fol

lowed him, and ministered unto him: and many other women which came up with him

unto Jerusalem.' (Would not those women have been better employed at home and was the idea of decency, the same in that age as it is in this?) Luke fays— And all his acquaintance, ' and the women that followed him from Galilee, 'stood afar of beholding these things.' Thus we find Matthew, Mark, and Luke, though they differ as to the number, and particular women; unite in saying they stood afar off, beholding • these things,' Notwithstanding the darkness they all had recorded. John who was present, but records nothing of the darkness, says-Now ' there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and « his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, ' and Mary Magdalene.' What followed could not possibly have happened, had they stood afar off. Nor is is it very probable that it did happen in darkness. These discordant circumstances relative to the darkness ; John's total omission of it : The earthquake and its tremendous effects, described so fully by St. Matthew, only noticed by Mark and Luke saying “ The vail of the tem

ple was rent.' And passed wholly unnoticed by John, who, and him only of the evangelists, was present when these very extraordinary things are said to have happened---naturally produce a doubt in the inind, as to their reality. These doubts will not be removed by any information to be derived from what is called Prophane History. In an age of science and learning, how did these things escape the knowledge of the wellinformed historians who wrote in the reign of Tiberius ? Nay at this very time Seneca, and the elder Pliny, were each recording, in a very full and accurate manner, every phenomena of nature, which they had observed, heard of, or learnt from history. In a Roman province could two, such as these are said to have been, pafs neglected by a Roman governor; whose duty it was, at stated times, to transmit an account of every material occurrence which happened within his jurildiction? These were not only within his jurisdiction, but under his eye ; not only under his eye; but were (according to Matthew and Mark) the consequences of his own act of authority. What then occasioned his withholding this intelligence ? Not the fear of punishment for consenting to the death of an innocent man, a Jew. Jesus was accused of sedition and treason ; either of which was death by the Roman laws. What withheld both Pilate and Herod from communi.

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