p. 94 Lecture XIV.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and keep high festival, all ye that love Jesus; for He is risen. Rejoice, all ye that mourned before 1655 , when ye heard of the daring and wicked deeds of the Jews: for He who was spitefully entreated of them in this place is risen again. And as the discourse concerning the Cross was a sorrowful one, so let the good tidings of the Resurrection bring joy to the hearers. Let mourning be turned into gladness, and lamentation to joy: and let our mouth be filled with joy and gladness, because of Him, who after His resurrection, said Rejoice 1656 . For I know the sorrow of Christs friends in these past days; because, as our discourse stopped short at the Death and the Burial, and did not tell the good tidings of the Resurrection, your mind was in suspense, to hear what you were longing for.
Now, therefore, the Dead is risen, He who was free among the dead 1657 , and the deliverer of the dead. He who in dishonour wore patiently the crown of thorns, even He arose, and crowned Himself with the diadem of His victory over death.
2. As then we set forth the testimonies concerning His Cross, so come let us now verify the proofs of His Resurrection also: since the Apostle before us 1658 affirms, He was buried, and has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. As an Apostle, therefore, has sent us back to the testimonies of the Scriptures, it is good that we should get full knowledge of the hope of our salvation; and that we should learn first whether the divine Scriptures tell us the season of His resurrection, whether it comes in summer or in autumn, or after winter; and from what kind of place the Saviour has risen, and what has been announced in the admirable Prophets as the name of the place of the Resurrection, and whether the women, who sought and found Him not, afterwards rejoice at finding Him; in order that when the Gospels are read, the narratives of these holy Scriptures may not be thought fables nor rhapsodies.
3. That the Saviour then was buried, ye have heard distinctly in the preceding discourse, as Isaiah saith, His burial shall be in peace 1659 : for in His burial He made peace between heaven and earth, bringing sinners unto God: and, that the righteous is taken out of the way of unrighteousness 1660 : and, His burial shall be in peace: and, I will give the wicked for His burial 1661 . There is also the prophecy of Jacob saying in the Scriptures, He lay down and couched as a lion, and as a lions whelp: who shall rouse Him up 1662 ? And the similar passage in Numbers, He couched, He lay down as a lion, and as a lions whelp 1663 . The Psalm also ye have often heard, which says, And Thou hast brought me down into the dust of death 1664 . Moreover we took note of the spot, when we quoted the words, Look unto the rock, which ye have hewn 1665 . But now let the testimonies concerning His resurrection itself go with us on our way.
4. First, then, in the 11th Psalm He says, For the misery of the poor, and the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord 1666 . But this passage still remains doubtful with some: for He often rises up also in anger 1667 , to take vengeance upon His enemies.
Come then to the 15th Psalm, which says distinctly: Preserve Me, O Lord, for in Thee p. 95 have I put my trust 1668 : and after this, their assemblies of blood will I not join, nor make mention of their names between my lips 1669 ; since they have refused me, and chosen Cæsar as their king 1670 : and also the next words, I foresaw the Lord alway before Me, because He is at My right hand, that I may not be moved 1671 : and soon after Yea and even until night my reins chastened me 1672 . And after this He says most plainly, For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell 1673 ; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. He said not, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see death, since then He would not have died; but corruption, saith He, I see not, and shall not abide in death. Thou hast made known to Me the ways of life 1674 . Behold here is plainly preached a life after death. Come also to the 29th Psalm, I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast lifted Me up, and hast not made My foes to rejoice over Me 1675 . What is it that took place? Wert thou rescued from enemies, or wert thou released when about to be smitten? He says himself most plainly, O Lord, Thou hast brought up My soul from hell 1676 . There he says, Thou wilt not leave, prophetically: and here he speaks of that which is to take place as having taken place, Thou hast brought up. Thou hast saved Me from them that go down into the pit 1677 . At what time shall the event occur? Weeping shall continue for the evening, and joy cometh in the morning 1678 : for in the evening was the sorrow of the disciplines, and in the morning the joy of the resurrection.
5. But wouldst thou know the place also? Again He saith in Canticles, I went down into the garden of nuts 1679 ; for it was a garden where He was crucified 1680 . For though it has now been most highly adorned with royal gifts, yet formerly it was a garden, and the signs and the remnants of this remain. A garden enclosed, a fountain sealed 1681 , by the Jews who said, We remember that that deceiver said while He was yet alive, After three days, I will rise: command, therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure; and further on, So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone with the guard 1682 . And aiming well at these, one saith, and in rest Thou shalt judge them 1683 . But who is the fountain that is sealed, or who is interpreted as being a well-spring of living water 1684 ? It is the Saviour Himself, concerning whom it is written, For with Thee is the fountain of life 1685 .
6. But what says Zephaniah in the person of Christ to the disciples? Prepare thyself, be rising at the dawn: all their gleaning is destroyed 1686 : the gleaning, that is, of the Jews, with whom there is not a cluster, nay not even a gleaning of salvation left; for their vine is cut down. See how He says to the disciples, Prepare thyself, rise up at dawn: at dawn expect the Resurrection.
And farther on in the same context of Scripture He says, Therefore wait thou for Me, saith the Lord, until the day of My Resurrection at the Testimony 1687 . Thou seest that the Prophet foresaw the place also of the Resurrection, which was to be surnamed “the Testimony.” For what is the reason that this spot of Golgotha and of the Resurrection is not called, like the rest of the Churches, a Church, but a Testimony? Why, perhaps, it was because of the Prophet, who had said, until the day of My Resurrection at the Testimony.
7. And who then is this, and what is the sign of Him that rises? In the words of the Prophet that follow in the same context, He says plainly, For then will I turn to the peoples a language 1688 : since, after the Resurrection, when the Holy Ghost was sent forth the gift of tongues was granted, that they might serve the Lord under one yoke 1689 . And what other token is set forth in the same Prophet, that they should serve the Lord under one yoke? From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they shall bring me offerings 1690 . Thou knowest what is written in the Acts, when the Ethiopian eunuch came from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia 1691 . When therefore the Scriptures tell both the time and the peculiarity of the place, when they tell also the signs which followed the Resurrection, have thou henceforward a firm faith in the Resurrection, and let no one stir thee from confessing Christ risen from the dead 1692 .
8. Now take also another testimony in the p. 96 87th Psalm, where Christ speaks in the Prophets, (for He who then spoke came afterwards among us): O Lord, God of My salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee, and a little, farther on, I became as it were a man without help, free among the dead 1693 . He said not, I became a man without help; but, as it were a man without help. For indeed He was crucified not from weakness, but willingly and His Death was not from involuntary weakness. I was counted with them that go down into the pit 1694 . And what is the token? Thou hast put away Mine acquaintance far from Me 1695 (for the disciples have fled). Wilt Thou shew wonders to the dead 1696 ? Then a little while afterwards: And unto Thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer come before Thee 1697 . Seest thou how they shew the exact point of the Hour, and of the Passion and of the Resurrection?
9. And whence hath the Saviour risen? He says in the Song of Songs: Rise up, come, My neighbour 1698 : and in what follows, in a cave of the rock 1699 ! A cave of the rock He called the cave which was erewhile before the door of the Saviours sepulchre, and had been hewn out of the rock itself, as is wont to be done here in front of the sepulchres. For now it is not to be seen, since the outer cave was cut away at that time for the sake of the present adornment. For before the decoration of the sepulchre by the royal munificence, there was a cave in the front of the rock 1700 . But where is the rock that had in it the cave? Does it lie near the middle of the city, or near the walls and the outskirts? And whether is it within the ancient walls, or within the outer walls which were built afterwards? He says then in the Canticles: in a cave of the rock, close to the outer wall 1701 .
10. At what season does the Saviour rise? Is it the season of summer, or some other? In the same Canticles immediately before the words quoted He says, The winter is past, the rain is past and gone 1702 ; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the pruning is come 1703 . Is not then the earth full of flowers now, and are they not pruning the vines? Thou seest how he said also that the winter is now past. For when this month Xanthicus 1704 is come, it is already spring. And this is the season, the first month with the Hebrews, in which occurs the festival of the Passover, the typical formerly, but now the true. This is the season of the creation of the world: for then God said, Let the earth bring forth herbage of grass, yielding seed after his kind and after his likeness 1705 . And now, as thou seest, already every herb is yielding seed. And as at that time God made the sun and moon and gave them courses of equal day (and night), so also a few days since was the season of the equinox.
At that time God said, let us make man after our image and after our likeness 1706 . And the image he received, but the likeness through his disobedience he obscured. At the same season then in which he lost this the restoration also took place. At the same season as the created man through disobedience was cast out of Paradise, he who believed was through obedience brought in. Our Salvation then took place at the same season as the Fall: when the flowers appeared, and the pruning was come.
11. A garden was the place of His Burial, and a vine that which was planted there: and He hath said, I am the vine 1707 ! He was planted therefore in the earth in order that the curse which came because of Adam might be rooted out. The earth was condemned to thorns and thistles: the true Vine sprang up out of the earth, that the saying might be fulfilled, Truth sprang up out of the earth, and righteousness p. 97 looked down from heaven 1708 . And what will He that is buried in the garden say? I have gathered My myrrh with My spices: and again, Myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices 1709 . Now these are the symbols of the burying; and in the Gospels it is said, The women came unto the sepulchre bringing the spices which they had prepared 1710 : Nicodemus also bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes 1711 . And farther on it is written, I did eat My bread with My honey 1712 : the bitter before the Passion, and the sweet after the Resurrection. Then after He had risen He entered through closed doors: but they believed not that it was He: for they supposed that they beheld a spirit 1713 . But He said, Handle Me and see. Put your fingers into the print of the nails, as Thomas required. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and honeycomb 1714 . Seest thou how that is fulfilled, I did eat My bread with My honey.
12. But before He entered through the closed doors, the Bridegroom and Suitor 1715 of souls was sought by those noble and brave women. They came, those blessed ones, to the sepulchre, and sought Him Who had been raised, and the tears were still dropping from their eyes, when they ought rather to have been dancing with joy for Him that had risen. Mary came seeking Him, according to the Gospel, and found Him not: and presently she heard from the Angels, and afterwards saw the Christ. Are then these things also written? He says in the Song of Songs, On my bed I sought Him whom my soul loved. At what season? By night on my bed I sought Him Whom my soul loved: Mary, it says, came while it was yet dark. On my bed I sought Him by night, I sought Him, and I found Him not 1716 . And in the Gospels Mary says, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him 1717 . But the Angels being then present cure their want of knowledge; for they said, Why seek ye the living among the dead 1718 ? He not only rose, but had also the dead with Him when He rose 1719 . But she knew not, and in her person the Song of Songs said to the Angels, Saw ye Him Whom my soul loved? It was but a little that I passed from them (that is, from the two Angels), until I found Him Whom my soul loved. I held Him, and would not let Him go 1720 .
13. For after the vision of the Angels, Jesus came as His own Herald; and the Gospel says, And behold Jesus met them, saying, All hail! and they came and took hold of His feet 1721 . They took hold of Him, that it might be fulfilled, I will hold Him, and will not let Him go. Though the woman was weak in body, her spirit was manful. Many waters quench not love, neither do rivers drown it 1722 ; He was dead whom they sought, yet was not the hope of the Resurrection quenched. And the Angel says to them again, Fear not ye; I say not to the soldiers, fear not, but to you 1723 ; as for them, let them be afraid, that, taught by experience, they may bear witness and say, Truly this was the Son of God 1724 ; but you ought not to be afraid, for perfect love casteth out fear 1725 . Go, tell His disciples that He is risen 1726 ; and the rest. And they depart with joy, yet full of fear; is this also written? yes, the second Psalm, which relates the Passion of Christ, says, Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling 1727 ;—rejoice, because of the risen Lord; but with trembling, because of the earthquake, and the Angel who appeared as lightning.
14. Though, therefore, Chief Priests and Pharisees through Pilates means sealed the tomb; yet the women beheld Him who was risen. And Esaias knowing the feebleness of the Chief Priests, and the womens strength of faith, says, Ye women, who come from beholding, come hither 1728 ; for the people hath no understanding;—the Chief Priests want understanding, while women are eye-witnesses. And when the soldiers came into the city to them, and told them all that had come to pass, they said to them, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept 1729 ? Well therefore did Esaias foretell this also, as in their persons, But tell us, and relate to us another deceit 1730 . He who rose again, is up, and for a gift of money they persuade the soldiers; but they persuade not the kings of our time. The soldiers then surrendered the truth for silver; but the kings of this day have, in their piety, built this holy Church of the Resurrection of God our Saviour, inlaid with silver and wrought with gold, in which we are assembled 1731 ; and embellished it with the treasures of silver and gold and precious stones. And if this come to the governors ears, they say, we will persuade him 1732 . Yea, though ye persuade the soldiers, yet ye will not persuade the world; for why, as Peters guards were condemned when he escaped out of the prison, were not p. 98 they also who watched Jesus Christ condemned? Upon the former, sentence was pronounced by Herod, for they were ignorant and had nothing to say for themselves; while the latter, who had seen the truth, and concealed it for money, were protected by the Chief Priests. Nevertheless, though but a few of the Jews were persuaded at the time, the world became obedient. They who hid the truth were themselves hidden; but they who received it were made manifest by the power of the Saviour, who not only rose from the dead, but also raised the dead with Himself. And in the person of these the Prophet Osee says plainly, After two days will He revive us, and in the third day we shall rise again, and shall live in His sight 1733 .
15. But since the disobedient Jews will not be persuaded by the Divine Scriptures, but forgetting all that is written gainsay the Resurrection of Jesus, it were good to answer them thus: On what ground, while you say that Eliseus and Elias raised the dead, do you gainsay the Resurrection of our Saviour? Is it that we have no living witnesses now out of that generation to what we say? Well, do you also bring forward witnesses of the history of that time. But that is written;—so is this also written: why then do ye receive the one, and reject the other? They were Hebrews who wrote that history; so were all the Apostles Hebrews: why then do ye disbelieve the Jews 1734 ? Matthew who wrote the Gospel wrote it in the Hebrew tongue 1735 ; and Paul the preacher was a Hebrew of the Hebrews; and the twelve Apostles were all of Hebrew race: then fifteen Bishops of Jerusalem were appointed in succession from among the Hebrews 1736 . What then is your reason for allowing your own accounts, and rejecting ours, though these also are written by Hebrews from among yourselves.
16. But it is impossible, some one will say, that the dead should rise; and yet Eliseus twice raised the dead,—when he was alive, and also when dead. Do we then believe, that when Eliseus was dead, a dead man who was cast upon him and touched him, arose and is Christ not risen? But in that case, the dead man who touched Eliseus, arose, yet he who raised him continued nevertheless dead: but in this case both the Dead of whom we speak Himself arose, and many dead were raised without having even touched Him. For many bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and they came out of the graves after His Resurrection, and went into the Holy City 1737 , (evidently this city, in which we now are 1738 ,) and appeared unto many. Eliseus then raised a dead man, but he conquered not the world; Elias raised a dead man, but devils are not driven away in the name of Elias. We are not speaking evil of the Prophets, but we are celebrating their Master more highly; for we do not exalt our own wonders by disparaging theirs; for theirs also are ours; but by what happened among them, we win credence for our own.
17. But again they say, “A corpse then lately dead was raised by the living; but shew us that one three days dead can possibly arise, and that a man should be buried, and rise after three days.” If we seek for Scripture testimony in proof of such facts, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself supplies it in the Gospels, saying, For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth 1739 . And when we examine the story of Jonas, great is the force 1740 of the resemblance. Jesus was sent to preach repentance; Jonas also was sent: but whereas the one fled, not knowing what should come to pass; the other came willingly, to give repentance unto salvation. Jonas was asleep in the ship, and snoring amidst the stormy sea; while Jesus also slept, the sea, according to Gods providence 1741 , began to rise, to shew in the sequel the might of Him who slept. To the one they said, Why art thou snoring? Arise, call upon thy God, that God may save us 1742 ; but in the other case they say unto the Master, Lord, save us 1743 . Then they said, Call upon thy God; here they say, save Thou. But the one says, Take me, and cast me into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you 1744 ; the other, Himself rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm 1745 . The one was cast into a whales belly: but the other of His own accord went down thither, where the invisible whale of death is. And He went down of His own accord, that death p. 99 might cast up those whom he had devoured, according to that which is written, I will ransom them from the power of the grave; and from the hand of death I will redeem them 1746 .
18. At this point of our discourse, let us consider whether is harder, for a man after having been buried to rise again from the earth, or for a man in the belly of a whale, having come into the great heat of a living creature, to escape corruption. For what man knows not, that the heat of the belly is so great, that even bones which have been swallowed moulder away? How then did Jonas, who was three days and three nights in the whales belly, escape corruption? And, seeing that the nature of all men is such that we cannot live without breathing, as we do, in air, how did he live without a breath of this air for three days? But the Jews make answer and say, The power of God descended with Jonas when he was tossed about in hell. Does then the Lord grant life to His own servant, by sending His power with him, and can He not grant it to Himself as well? If that is credible, this is credible also; if this is incredible, that also is incredible. For to me both are alike worthy of credence. I believe that Jonas was preserved, for all things are possible with God 1747 ; I believe that Christ also was raised from the dead; for I have many testimonies of this, both from the Divine Scriptures, and from the operative power even at this day 1748 of Him who arose,—who descended into hell alone, but ascended thence with a great company; for He went down to death, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose 1749 through Him.
19. Death was struck with dismay on beholding a new visitant descend into Hades, not bound by the chains of that place. Wherefore, O porters of Hades, were ye scared at sight of Him? What was the unwonted fear that possessed you? Death fled, and his flight betrayed his cowardice. The holy prophets ran unto Him, and Moses the Lawgiver, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; David also, and Samuel, and Esaias, and John the Baptist, who bore witness when he asked, Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another 1750 ? All the Just were ransomed, whom death had swallowed; for it behoved the King whom they had proclaimed, to become the redeemer of His noble heralds. Then each of the Just said, O death, where is thy victory? O grave, where is thy sting 1751 ? For the Conqueror hath redeemed us.
20. Of this our Saviour the Prophet Jonas formed the type, when he prayed out of the belly of the whale, and said, I cried in my affliction, and so on; out of the belly of hell 1752 , and yet he was in the whale; but though in the whale, he says that he is in Hades; for he was a type of Christ, who was to descend into Hades. And after a few words, he says, in the person of Christ, prophesying most clearly, My head went down to the chasms of the mountains 1753 ; and yet he was in the belly of the whale. What mountains then encompass thee? I know, he says, that I am a type of Him, who is to be laid in the Sepulchre hewn out of the rock. And though he was in the sea, Jonas says, I went down to the earth, since he was a type of Christ, who went down into the heart of the earth. And foreseeing the deeds of the Jews who persuaded the soldiers to lie, and told them, Say that they stole Him away, he says, By regarding lying vanities they forsook their own mercy 1754 . For He who had mercy on them came, and was crucified, and rose again, giving His own precious blood both for Jews and Gentiles; yet say they, Say that they stole Him away, having regard to lying vanities 1755 . But concerning His Resurrection, Esaias also says, He who brought up from the earth the great Shepherd of the sheep 1756 ; he added the word, great, lest He should be thought on a level with the shepherds who had gone before Him.
21. Since then we have the prophecies, let faith abide with us. Let them fall who fall through unbelief, since they so will; but thou hast taken thy stand on the rock of the faith in the Resurrection. Let no heretic ever persuade thee to speak evil of the Resurrection. For to this day the Manichees say, that, the resurrection of the Saviour was phantom-wise, and not real, not heeding Paul who says, Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and again, By the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead 1757 . And again he aims at them, and speaks thus, Say not in p. 100 thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven; or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ from the dead 1758 ; and in like manner warning as he has elsewhere written again, Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead 1759 ; and again, And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up 1760 . But in what follows he says, But now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that are asleep 1761 ;—And He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; (for if thou believe not the one witness, thou hast twelve witnesses;) then He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once 1762 ; (if they disbelieve the twelve, let them admit the five hundred;) after that He was seen of James 1763 , His own brother, and first Bishop of this diocese. Seeing then that such a Bishop originally 1764 saw Christ Jesus when risen, do not thou, his disciple, disbelieve him. But thou sayest that His brother James was a partial witness; afterwards He was seen also of me 1765 Paul, His enemy; and what testimony is doubted, when an enemy proclaims it? “I, who was before a persecutor 1766 , now preach the glad tidings of the Resurrection.”
22. Many witnesses there are of the Saviours resurrection.—The night, and the light of the full moon; (for that night was the sixteenth 1767 ;) the rock of the sepulchre which received Him; the stone also shall rise up against the face of the Jews, for it saw the Lord; even the stone which was then rolled away 1768 , itself bears witness to the Resurrection, lying there to this day. Angels of God who were present testified of the Resurrection of the Only-begotten: Peter and John, and Thomas, and all the rest of the Apostles; some of whom ran to the sepulchre, and saw the burial-clothes, in which He was wrapped before, lying there after the Resurrection; and others handled His hands and His feet, and beheld the prints of the nails; and all enjoyed together that Breath of the Saviour, and were counted worthy to forgive sins in the power of the Holy Ghost. Women too were witnesses, who took hold of His feet, and who beheld the mighty earthquake, and the radiance of the Angel who stood by: the linen clothes also which were wrapped about Him, and which He left when He rose;—the soldiers, and the money given to them; the spot itself also, yet to be seen;—and this house of the holy Church, which out of the loving affection to Christ of the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory, was both built and beautified as thou seest.
23. A witness to the resurrection of Jesus is Tabitha also, who was in His name raised from the dead 1769 ; for how shall we disbelieve that Christ is risen, when even His Name raised the dead? The sea also bears witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as thou hast heard before 1770 . The drought of fishes also testifies, and the fire of coals there, and the fish laid thereon. Peter also bears witness, who had erst denied Him thrice, and who then thrice confessed Him; and was commanded to feed His spiritual 1771 sheep. To this day stands Mount Olivet, still to the eyes of the faithful all but displaying Him Who ascended on a cloud, and the heavenly gate of His ascension. For from heaven He descended to Bethlehem, but to heaven He ascended from the Mount of Olives 1772 ; at the former place beginning His conflicts among men, but in the latter, crowned after them. Thou hast therefore many witnesses; thou hast this very place of the Resurrection; thou hast also the place of the Ascension towards the east; thou hast also for witnesses the Angels which there bore testimony; and the cloud on which He went up, and the disciples who came down from that place.
24. The course of instruction in the Faith would lead me to speak of the Ascension also; but the grace of God so ordered 1773 it, that thou heardest most fully concerning it, as far as our weakness allowed, yesterday, on the p. 101 Lords day; since, by the providence of divine grace, the course of the Lessons 1774 in Church included the account of our Saviours going up into the heavens 1775 ; and what was then said was spoken principally for the sake of all, and for the assembled body of the faithful, yet especially for thy sake 1776 . But the question is, didst thou attend to what was said? For thou knowest that the words which come next in the Creed teach thee to believe in Him “Who rose again the third day, and ascended into Heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father.” I suppose then certainly that thou rememberest the exposition; yet I will now again cursorily put thee in mind of what was then said. Remember what is distinctly written in the Psalms, God is gone up with a shout 1777 ; remember that the divine powers also said to one another, Lift up your gates, ye Princes 1778 , and the rest; remember also the Psalm which says, He ascended on high, He led captivity captive 1779 ; remember the Prophet who said, Who buildeth His ascension unto heaven 1780 ; and all the other particulars mentioned yesterday because of the gainsaying of the Jews.
25. For when they speak against the ascension of the Saviour, as being impossible, remember the account of the carrying away of Habakkuk: for if Habakkuk was transported by an Angel, being carried by the hair of his head 1781 , much rather was the Lord of both Prophets and Angels, able by His own power to make His ascent into the Heavens on a cloud from the Mount of Olives. Wonders like this thou mayest call to mind, but reserve the preeminence for the Lord, the Worker of wonders; for the others were borne up, but He bears up all things. Remember that Enoch was translated 1782 ; but Jesus ascended: remember what was said yesterday concerning Elias, that Elias was taken up in a chariot of fire 1783 ; but that the chariots of Christ are ten thousand-fold even thousands upon thousands 1784 : and that Elias was taken up, towards the east of Jordan; but that Christ ascended at the east of the brook Cedron: and that Elias went as into heaven 1785 ; but Jesus, into heaven: and that Elias said that a double portion in the Holy Spirit should be given to his holy disciple; but that Christ granted to His own disciples so great enjoyment of the grace of the Holy Ghost, as not only to have It in themselves, but also, by the laying on of their hands, to impart the fellowship of It to them who believed.
26. And when thou hast thus wrestled against the Jews,—when thou hast worsted them by parallel instances, then come further to the pre-eminence of the Saviours glory; namely, that they were the servants, but He the Son of God. And thus thou wilt be reminded of His pre-eminence, by the thought that a servant of Christ was caught up to the third heaven. For if Elias attained as far as the first heaven, but Paul as far as the third, the latter, therefore, has obtained a more honourable dignity. Be not ashamed of thine Apostles; they are not inferior to Moses, nor second to the Prophets; but they are noble among the noble, yea, nobler still. For Elias truly was taken up into heaven; but Peter has the keys of the kingdom of heaven, having received the words, Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven 1786 . Elias was taken up only to heaven; but Paul both into heaven, and into paradise 1787 (for it behoved the disciples of Jesus to receive more manifold grace), and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for man to utter. But Paul came down again from above, not because he was unworthy to abide in the third heaven, but in order that after having enjoyed things above mans reach, and descended in honour, and having preached Christ, and died for His sake, he might receive also the crown of martyrdom. But I pass over the other parts of this argument, of which I spoke yesterday in the Lords-day congregation; for with understanding hearers, a mere reminder is sufficient for instruction.
27. But remember also what I have often said 1788 concerning the Sons sitting at the right p. 102 hand of the Father; because of the next sentence in the Creed, which says, “and ascended into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father.” Let us not curiously pry into what is properly meant by the throne; for it is incomprehensible: but neither let us endure those who falsely say, that it was after His Cross and Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, that the Son began to sit on the right hand of the Father. For the Son gained not His throne by advancement 1789 ; but throughout His being (and His being is by an eternal generation 1790 ) He also sitteth together with the Father. And this throne the Prophet Esaias having beheld before the incarnate coming of the Saviour, says, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up 1791 , and the rest. For the Father no man hath seen at any time 1792 , and He who then appeared to the Prophet was the Son. The Psalmist also says, Thy throne is prepared of old; Thou art from everlasting 1793 . Though then the testimonies on this point are many, yet because of the lateness of the time, we will content ourselves even with these.
28. But now I must remind you of a few things out of many which are spoken concerning the Sons sitting at the right hand of the Father. For the hundred and ninth Psalm says plainly, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool 1794 . And the Saviour, confirming this saying in the Gospels, says that David spoke not these things of himself, but from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, saying, How then doth David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand 1795 ? and the rest. And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter on the day of Pentecost standing with the Eleven 1796 , and discoursing to the Israelites, has in very words cited this testimony from the hundred and ninth Psalm.
29. But I must remind you also of a few other testimonies in like manner concerning the Sons sitting at the right hand of the Father. For in the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, Nevertheless, I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power 1797 , and the rest: in accordance with which the Apostle Peter also writes, By the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven 1798 . And the Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, says, It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God 1799 . And charging the Ephesians, he thus speaks, According to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand 1800 ; and the rest. And the Colossians he taught thus, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God 1801 . And in the Epistle to the Hebrews he says, When He had made purification of our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high 1802 . And again, But unto which of the Angels hath He said at any time, Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool 1803 ? And again, But He, when He had offered one sacrifice for all men, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool 1804 . And again, Looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God 1805 .
30. And though there are many other texts concerning the session of the Only-begotten on the right hand of God, yet these may suffice us at present; with a repetition of my remark, that it was not after His coming in the flesh 1806 that He obtained the dignity of this seat; no, for even before all ages, the Only-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, ever possesses the throne on the right hand of the Father. Now may He Himself, the God of all, who is Father of the Christ, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who came down, and ascended, and sitteth together with the Father, watch over your souls; keep unshaken and unchanged your hope in Him who rose again; raise you together with Him from your dead sins unto His heavenly gift; count you worthy to be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air 1807 , in His fitting time; and, until that time arrive of His glorious second advent, write all your names in the Book of the living, and having written them, never blot them out (for the names of many, who fall away, are blotted out); and may He grant to all of you to believe on Him who rose again, and to look for Him who is gone up, and is to come again, (to come, but not from the earth; for be on your guard, O man, because of the deceivers who are to come;) Who sitteth on high, and is here present together with us, beholding the p. 103 order of each, and the steadfastness of his faith 1808 . For think not that because He is now absent in the flesh, He is therefore absent also in the Spirit. He is here present in the midst of us, listening to what is said of Him, and beholding thine inward thoughts, and trying the reins and hearts 1809 ;—who also is now ready to present those who are coming to baptism, and all of you, in the Holy Ghost to the Father, and to say, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given Me 1810 :—To whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Matt. xxviii. 9, “All hail.” The usual greeting, Χαίρετε, “Rejoice.”94:1657
Ps. lxxxviii. 5: Cast off among the dead (R.V.); Cast away (Margin).94:1658
ὁ παρών. i.e. in the text. 1 Cor. xv. 4.94:1659
Is. lvii. 2: He entereth into peace (R.V.).94:1660
Is. lvii. 1: that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come (R.V.).94:1661
Is. liii. 9: they made His grave with the wicked (R.V.).94:1662 94:1663 94:1664 94:1665
ἐπεσημειωσάμεθα, “noted for ourselves;” Middle Voice. Is. li. 1: quoted in Cat. xiii. 35.94:1666 94:1667
Psa. 7.6: “Arise, O Lord, in Thine anger.95:1668 95:1669
Psa. 16.4: “their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer.” The Psalmist abhors the bloody rites, and the very names of the false gods.95:1670
John xix 15. Cyril applies to the Jews what the Psalmist says concerning those that hasten after another god.95:1671 95:1672
Psa. 16.7. Quoting from memory, Cyril transposes these sentences.95:1673
Psa. 16.10. R.V. in Sheol, Sept. in Hades.95:1674 95:1675 95:1676
Psa. 30.3. R.V. from Sheol, Sept. from Hades.95:1677 95:1678 95:1679 95:1680
John xix. 41. See Index, Golgotha.95:1681 95:1682 95:1683 95:1684 95:1685 95:1686
Zeph. iii. 7: they rose early and corrupted all their doings. The passage is wholly is understood by the Seventy, whom S. Cyril follows.95:1687
Zeph. iii. 8: until the day that I rise up to the prey. For דעלְ, to the prey, the LXX. seem to have read דע“לְְ, to the testimony. About ten years before these Lectures were delivered, Eusebius (Life of Constantine, III. c. xxviii.), speaking of the discovery of the Holy Sepulchre, a.d. 326, calls it “a testimony to the Resurrection of the Saviour clearer than any voice could give.”95:1688
Zeph. iii. 9: a pure language.95:1689
Zeph. 3.9 to serve him with one consent (Marg. shoulder).95:1690 95:1691 95:1692 96:1693 96:1694 96:1695 96:1696 96:1697 96:1698
Song of Sol. 2.10: Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.96:1699
Song of Sol. 2.14: in the clefts of the rock.96:1700 96:1701
Song of Sol. 2.14: in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs. The Revised Version reads, in the covert of the steep place.96:1702
Song of Sol. 2.11. In παρῆλθεν, ἐπορεύθη ἑαυτῷ the LXX. have imitated the pleonastic use of ןֹל after verbs of motion, corresponding to our idiom “Go away with you,” and to the Dativus Ethicus in Greek and Latin. See Gesenius Lexicon on this use of לְ, and Ewald, Introductory Grammar, § 217, l. 2.96:1703
Song of Sol. 2.12: the singing of birds. The Hebrew word (רימִזָ֯ means either “cutting,” as in the LXX. τομῆς, Symmachus κλαδεύσεως , and R.V. Marg. “pruning,” or as in A.V. “singing.”96:1704
Xanthicus is the name of the sixth month in the Macedonian Calendar, corresponding nearly to the Jewish Nisan (Josephus, Antiq. II. xiv. 6), and to the latter part of Lent and Easter. On the tradition that the Creation took place at this season, see S. Ambrose, Hexæmeron, I. c. 4, § 13.96:1705
Gen. i. 11: grass, the herb yielding seed.96:1706
Gen. i. 26. “The ancient Church very accurately distinguished between εἰκών (image) and ὁμοίωσις (likeness), and the Greek Church does the same in its Confession. The latter phrase expresses mans destination, which is not to be regarded as carried out at the moment of creation. (Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, E. Tr. II. p. 78). The image lies in the permanent capacities of mans nature (Gen. 9:6, 1 Cor. 11:7, Jas. 3:9), the likeness in their realisation in moral conformity with God (ὁμοήθειαν Θεοῦ, Ignatius, Magnes vi). “The image of God is a comprehensive thing.…To this belongs mans intellective power, his liberty of will, his dominion over the other creatures flowing from the two former. These make up the τὸ οὐσιῶδες, that part of that divine image which is natural and essential to man, and consequently can never be wholly blotted out, defaced, or extinguished, but still remains even in man fallen. But beside these the Church of God hath ever acknowledged, in the first man, certain additional ornaments, and as it were complements of the divine image, such as immortality, grace, holiness, righteousness, whereby man approached more nearly to the similitude and likeness of God. These were (if I may so speak) the lively colours wherein the grace, the beauty, and lustre of the divine image principally consisted; these colours faded, yea, were defaced and blotted out by mans transgression. (Bull, The State of Man before the Fall, Vol. ii. p. 114, Ox.). Cf. Iren. (V. vi. § 1; xvi. § 2); Tertullian (de Baptismo, c. 5); Clem. Alex. (Exhort. c. 12); Origen (c. Cels. IV. 30).96:1707
John xv. 1. The Benedictine Editor has a different punctuation: “and the vine which was planted there hath said, And I am the Vine.”97:1708 97:1709 97:1710 97:1711 97:1712
Song of Sol. 6.1: my honeycomb with my honey.97:1713 97:1714 97:1715 97:1716 97:1717 97:1718 97:1719 97:1720 97:1721 97:1722 97:1723
Matt. xxviii. 5. The emphatic ὑμεῖς is rightly interpreted by Cyril as distinguishing the women from the frightened sentinels.97:1724 97:1725 97:1726 97:1727 97:1728
Isa. xxvii. 11: The women shall come, and set them on fire.97:1729 97:1730 97:1731 97:1732 98:1733 98:1734
Instead of τοῖς ᾽Ιουδαίοις the Jerusalem Editor adopts from Cod. A. τοῖς ἰδίοις, “Your own countrymen,” a better reading in this place, if it had more support from mss. The Latin in Milles has only “Cur igitur non creditis?”98:1735
The statements of Papias, Irenæus, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome, concerning a Hebrew Gospel of S. Matthew are ably discussed by Dr. Salmon (Introduction to N.T. Lect. X.), who comes to the conclusion that the Canonical Gospel was not translated from Hebrew (Aramaic), but originally written in Greek.98:1736
This statement may have been derived either from Eusebius (Hist. Eccl.. IV. c. 5), or from the “written records” (ἐγγράφων), from which he had learned that “until the siege of the Jews which took place under Adrian (135 a.d.), there were fifteen bishops in succession there, all of whom are said to have been of Hebrew descent.” See the list of names, and the notes on the passage in this Series.98:1737 98:1738
The Archdeacon of Jerusalem, Photius Alexandrides, observes that “by this parenthetic explanation Cyril perhaps wished to refute the opinion which some favoured that these saints which slept and were raised entered into the heavenly Jerusalem.” See Euseb. Dem. Evang. IV. 12.98:1739 98:1740 98:1741 98:1742 98:1743 98:1744 98:1745 99:1746 99:1747 99:1748 99:1749 99:1750 99:1751
1 Cor. xv. 55. On the opinion that the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Righteous men were redeemed by Christ in Hades, compare Irenæus (Hær. I. xxvii. § 3; IV. xxvii. §2), Clem. Alex. (Stromat. vi. c. 6), Origen (In Genes. Hom. xv. § 5).99:1752 99:1753
Jonah 2.6: (R.V.) I went down to the bottoms of the mountains: the earth with her bars closed upon me for ever.99:1754 99:1755 99:1756
Isa. lxiii. 11; (R.V.), Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds (Marg. shepherd) of His flock? Cyrils reading, ἐκ τῆς γῆς instead of ἐκ τῆς θαλάσσης is found in the Alexandrine ms. of the Septuagint. Athanasius (Ad Serapion, Ep. i. 12) has the same reading and interpretation as Cyril. By “the shepherds” are probably meant Moses and Aaron: cf. Ps. lxxvii. 20: Who leddest Thy people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Heb. xiii. 20: Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, &c. The word “great” is added by the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews not by Isaiah.99:1757
Rom. 1:3, 4. Cyril in his incomplete quotation of v. 4 makes ᾽Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Κ. ἡμ. depend on ἀναστάσεως. The right order and construction is given in R.V. who was declared to be the Son of God.…by the resurrection of the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord.100:1758 100:1759 100:1760 100:1761 100:1762 100:1763
1 Cor. 15.7. This appearance of Christ to James is not mentioned in the Gospels. Jerome (Catalog. Script. Eccles. p. 170 D) mentions a tradition that James had taken an oath that he would eat no bread from the hour in which he had drunk the Cup of the Lord, until he should see Him rising from the dead. Wherefore the Saviour immediately after He had risen appeared to James and commanded him to eat.100:1764
For τοιούτου τοίνυν ἐπισκόπου πρωτοτύπως ἰδόντος Codd. Roe, Casaub. have τοῦ τοίνυν πρωτοτύπου ἐπισκόπου ἰδόντος, which gives the better sense—“since therefore the primary Bishop saw, &c.” On the meaning of παροικία, and the extent of a primitive Diocese, see Bingham. IX. c. 2.100:1765 100:1766 100:1767 100:1768 100:1769 100:1770 100:1771 100:1772
St. Luke (Luke 24.50) describes the Ascension as taking place at Bethany, but the tradition, which Cyril follows, had long since fixed the scene on the summit of the Mount of Olives, a mile nearer to Jerusalem; and here the Empress Helena had built the Church of the Ascension (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, III. 43; Demonstr. Evang. VI. xviii. 26). There is nothing in Cyrils language to warrant the Benedictine Editors suggestion that he alludes to the legend, according to which the marks of Christs feet were indelibly impressed on the spot from which He ascended. In the next generation St. Augustine seems to countenance the miraculous story (In Joh. Evang. Tract xlvii.): “There are His footsteps, now adored, where last He stood, and whence He ascended into heaven.” The supposed trace of one foot is still shewn on Mount Olivet; “the other having been removed by the Turks is now to be found in the Chapel of S. Thecla, which is in the Patriarchs Palace” (Jerusalem Ed.). Compare Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, c. xiv.; Dictionary of Bible, Olives Mount of.100:1773 101:1774 101:1775
The section Luke xxiv. 36-53, which in the Eastern Church is the Gospel for Ascension Day, is also one of the “eleven morning Gospels of the Resurrection (εὐαγγέλια ἀναστασιμὰ ἑωθινά), which were read in turn, one every Sunday at Matins.” Dictionary of Chr. Antiq. “Lectionary.” This Lecture being delivered on Monday, the Section in question had been read on the preceding day.101:1776 101:1777 101:1778
Ps. xxiv. 7: Lift up, O gates, your heads. The order of the Hebrew words misled the Greek Translators.101:1779 101:1780
Amos ix. 6: (R.V.) It is He that buildeth His chambers in the heaven. (A.V.) His stories. Marg. ascensions, or spheres. Sept. τὴν ἀνάβασιν αὐτοὐ.101:1781 101:1782 101:1783 101:1784
Ps. lxviii. 17: χιλιάδες εὐθηνούντων. The Hebrew means literally “thousands of repetition,” i.e. many thousands: εὐθηνεῖν, “to abound.”101:1785
Sept. ὡς εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. In 1 Macc. ii. 58 the mss. vary between ἕως and ὡς, but the latter (says Fritzsche) “is an alteration made to agree with 2 Kings ii. 11. But there the reference is to the intended exaltation of Elijah into heaven, and therefore ὡς is rightly used (Kühner, Gramm. § 604, note; Jelf, § 626, Obs. 1), while here the thing is referred to as an accomplished historical fact.” The distinction here drawn by Cyril is therefore hypercritical, as is seen below in § 26, where he writes, ᾽Ηλίας μὲν γὰρ ἀνελήφθη εἰς οὐρανόν.101:1786 101:1787 101:1788
See Cat. iv. 7; xi. 17. The clause, καὶ καθίσαντα ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Πατρός, does not occur in the original form of the Nicene Creed, but is found in the Confession of Faith contained in Const. Apost. c. 41, in the four Eusebian Confessions of Antioch (341, 2 a.d.), and in the Macrostichos (344 a.d.). An equivalent clause is found in the brief Confession of Hippolytus (circ. 220 a.d.) Contra Hæres. Noeti, c. 1: “καὶ ὄντα ἐν δεξίᾳ τοῦ Πατρός,” and in Tertullian, De Virgin. Veland. c. 1: “Regula quidem Fidei una omnino est, sola immobilis et irreformabilis,.…sedentem nunc ad dextram Patris:” de Præscriptione, c 13: “Regula est autem fidei.…sedisse ad dexteram Patris:” adversus Praxean, c. 2: “sedere ad dexteram Patris.”102:1789 102:1790 102:1791 102:1792 102:1793 102:1794 102:1795 102:1796 102:1797 102:1798 102:1799 102:1800 102:1801 102:1802 102:1803 102:1804 102:1805 102:1806 102:1807 103:1808 103:1809 103:1810
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