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by the approach of the Sabbath, they could only use that anointing which would furnish evidence of the accomplishment of our Lord's confident expectation, that the Father would not “ suffer his Holy One to see corruption.” A more complete embalming was intended for him, by the women; and they now witnessed the commencement of that process, which, in the simplicity of their affection, they purposed afterwards to complete.
As far as the preliminary process went, we are told it was conducted “ as the manner of the Jews is to bury." Although, therefore, the washing is not specified, (those circumstances only being mentioned which were particular,) it must be supposed to have taken place previously to the wrapping of the body “ in the fine and clean linen cloth with the spices.' Think of the state of the body, marred with spitting and buffeting, lacerated with scourging, and pierced with the thorns, the nails, and the spear. They who brought about “an hundred pound weight of myrrh and aloes," would not neglect “ the water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews." There is nothing to prevent our supposing that they kindled a fire on the spot, and warmed the water in a tripod. At any rate, they would fill the virtúg, the washing-vessel, and begin to pour water on the head,
• Herodotus expressly mentions this preliminary in his account of embalming, ΛΟΥΣΑΝΤΕΣ τον νεκρών κατειλίσσουσι πάν αυτού το rüpa cuidóvos Buoriins, “ having WASHED the dead person, they roll up his whole body in fine linen." Euterpe, 86.
+ See page 116.
the side, the hands, and the feet; and while they washed every part, as they wetted the surface of it, they would wipe it with the towels with which they were girded. That this was,
as the manner of the Jews is to bury," we have already seen in the case of Dorcas. That it was observed in the case of our Saviour, is evidently implied in the expression of Paul, now under consideration; “ we are buried with him by baptism into death :" for except this washing, and the anointing which followed it, as a part and completion of the same process, (an emblem also of the work of the Spirit,) I can see no point of resemblance between the burial of Christ and our Baptism at all. But let us proceed with the narrative.
66 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed."
This was not a rá@gos, a grave or pit to bury in ; but a rápoc, a monument: a kucsov, (from yváw, I remind) a means of perpetuating the memory of a person. Matth. xxvii. 60, 61.-" There laid they Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews' preparation-day ; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." This is the historical account of what our Saviour foretold, when he said, Matth. xii. 40. “ For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." As prophecy is fulfilled by events, so it is interpreted by the plain narrative of them. Most briefly and correctly
LAID or PUT HIM IN A SEPULCHRE.
does Luke state the fact, in Acts xiii. 29, They took him down from the tree, and έθηκαν εις μνημείων,
But God raised him from the dead.”
How, then, was he laid in a sepulchre? His body was not lowered into a grave and covered with earth. It was not laid under ground, but carried into a tomb hewn out of a rock : not a sunk tomb, like a cave, but what is called, Isa. xxii. 15, 16. “a sepulchre on high.” The women present were “ sitting," (καθύπερθε, (not xadumagde, “above," but) e Tévarri, “overagainst," TOű Tápou, “the sepulchre,” Matth. xxvii. 61. The του τάφου entrance to it was not the mouth of a pit, but is called “ the door.” Had this door been the covering of a pit, we should have been told that Joseph rolled a great stone UPON the door. But the word is not επικυλίσας, but προσκυλίσας. Και προσκυλίσας λίθον μέγαν rñ dúpa tou umusíou. And having rolled a great “stone To the door of the sepulchre, he departed,” Matth. xxvii. 60. and compare Matth. xxviii. 2.* It was a door, therefore, like the door of a parlour, that is, of an apartment on a first floor. It was a low door, indeed, which made the disciples “stoop” (rapaxinbas, and ragéximev, John xx. 5, 11.) when they looked in.
* Compare also John xi. 38, 39, 41, the account of the manner in which Lazarus had been buried, where the phraseology is very different. “ Jesus, therefore, again groaning in himself, égzetu. ΕΙ'Σ το μνημείον, cometh To the Sepulchre. Ην δε σπήλαιον, και λίθος ’ENEČKEITO 'EI' avrõ. It was a cave, and a stone LAY UPON it. Jesus said, "ΑΡΑΤΕ τον λίθον. LIFT UP the stone- "Ηραν ούν τον λίθον où jy o psdynnäs KEI'MENOZ. They LIFTED UP, therefore, the stone from the place where the dead was LAID.
But when they entered the sepulchre, and went out of it, it is not said, that they went down, and came up, but that “they went in,” and “ came out,” (sign.doñol Eendoãoos, Mark xvi. 5, 8. sioñaber áæñadov, John xx. 6, 8, 10.)
Such was the manner in which the body of Christ was laid in a sepulchre. It was never finally deposited in the tomb; but, after being wound up with about an hundred pounds weight of spices, as a temporary expedient to prevent corruption, (which the Holy One was not to see, it was carried into the tomb, and left in it for security, in the mean time, till the Sabbath should be over. It was not interred within the tomb, for the women, who saw how the body was laid, thought of no obstacle to their getting access to it, except the stone at the door, which must be rolled away. After the Sabbath, the women went again to the sepulchre, to finish the burial rites; but they never were finished, being prevented by the resurrection. The body of Christ, therefore, was not lowered, and rose up, but was carried in, and came forth; and what is said in scripture of his burial can have no reference to final interment, but exclusively to preparatory rites.-That these were anticipated, showed the expectation of his death by some of his disciples, or the prophetic intimations of Providence impressing the Saviour's predictions of its approach on their reluctant minds; that the same rites began to be actually performed, showed the reality of the important fact of his death; and both the anticipation, and the incipient performance, showed the hope of his resurrection, although it evidently happened in a way which exceeded expectation.
Let me beg my reader to familiarize this historical narrative to his mind. A wealthy neighbour has in his garden a mount consisting of solid rock. In the side of this rock he hewed out a tomb, which he intended for the reception of his own body. But a remarkable occurrence induces him to alter his purpose. His dearest friend suffers for his sake an accursed death; and, on the very day of the execution, he obtains leave to dispose of his friend's dead body. He determines to bury him in his own new tomb, with the highest honours. But the Sabbath which is at hand, must suspend the performance of the rites. All that can be done, in the mean time, is to make a commencement, which shall preserve the body from decay. This done, it is carried into the new tomb in the side of the mount, which is in the garden. There it is placed on the stone table in the centre, or on one of the stone benches by the side of the apartment. It is not interred; for those who are to proceed with the funeral rites see the body, and how it is laid, and are satisfied, that nothing but getting the door opened will be necessary to their having access to the body, after the Sabbath is over. The door is fastened, and all retire. On the return of the embalmers, on the third day, the door is open, and the body is gone. Reader, scrutinize my representation. Have I suppressed any thing which the history mentions or suggests? Have I added any thing which the history does not express or imply? Is there a conception