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writer of a canonical epistle, he needed both a firm faith and an intelligent one, and to give him both, our Lord granted him a special interview. Hence this personal and private appearance bad the same general character with those to Peter, the men of Emmaus, and Thomas, and presents our Lord in the same beautiful light of condescension to infirmity, and kindness to imperfection that is exhibited in the others. The result was the same as in the other cases; this stern and high-hearted child of Abraham from that time never faltered in his confession of Christ, until he sealed that confession with his blood.
It is worthy of remark also, that the precise communications made at that time are not recorded in scripture. The general reason is the same as in the previous cases. The main purpose of the interview was to terminate with James himself, and to affect others only in an indirect manner through him. Hence only the fact of its occurrence is mentioned. We would gladly in this case, and in the appearance to the five hundred, approach nearer the scene itself, and gaze on its wonderful sights, and listen to its wonderful words. But the scripture never satisfies mere curiosity. It reveals just what is needful, and no more. Indeed its silence is often more significant than speech. There is a sublime reserve in regard to many things which proves its divine ori. gin more fully than any words could do. There are many facts above and before us that to our present minds are as utterly incomprehensible as the Oberland Alps to a fish in the sea, and the very attempt to reveal them would indicate an ignorance and weakness that would disprove any divine origin in the book that made it. " It doth not yet appear what we shall be,” and the things that Paul saw in paradise were “unutterable.” Hence the silence of the Bible concerning these points, standing in such marked contrast with the detailed minuteness of all spurious revelations, is a striking proof that it is from that God, whose glory lies much more in what has not been revealed, than in what has; for the revealed is finite, whilst the unrevealed is infinite. The silence of scripture in this case of James, is then only in accordance with a general law that stamps it as a revelation from God.
The general teaching of this appearance is substantially the same with some of the others, and hence need not be elaborated. It assures us that when God calls a man to a special work, he will give him a special preparation; that when Jesus intends to use us for any peculiar service or suffering in the history of the church, he will give us such a manifestation of himself, as will fit us to do and to suffer his holy will; and that the very imperfections of human opinion and human charac
ter may be used in the work of redemption to accomplish ends that a more absolute perfection might fail to reach; and that the books that eternity shall open for our perusal contain the solution of many a mystery that has baffled us here on earth.
CHAPTER X V.
THE TENTH APPEARANCE-THE APOSTOLIC
COMMISSION IN MATTHEW.
The place, Jerusalem and Olivet~The four forms of the commission
-Why?-Their distinctness-Meaning of the commission-Not the original authority to preach and baptize. I. Authority of the commission. The mediatorial kingdom of Christ-All power. II. The commission. (1) To make disciples. (2) To baptize disciples--Subjects of baptism-Baptismal formula-Trinity. (3) To teach disciples--Inspiration-The three offices of Christ. III. Encouragement. The presence of Christ-I AM-"All days”—Days of worship, of toil, of trial, and of death.
“Ob thou who mournest on thy way,
With longings for the close of day,
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teacbing them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”—Matt. xxviii. 18—20.
We now reach the last, and in some respects the most important, appearance of our Lord to his disciples. The place of its occurrence was partly
a very distinct notion of this austere and saintly man-of his history and character, of his place in the apostolic church, and of the reason why our Lord afforded to him, as he did to Peter and Thomas, a special interview.
It is not necessary to discuss the question whether James was the son of Joseph by a former marriage, or the son of Mary, and the full brother of our Lord. It would seem that he was dedicated from the womb by a Nazaritic vow. Perhaps the peculiar circumstances connected with the birth of Jesus, and John the Baptist, led to this solemn dedication of James. Being thus devoted to God, his education was peculiarly Jewish, and he grew up with an intense devotion to the Mosaic law. This rigid Judaism made the peculiar doctrines of Jesus distasteful to him, and prevented him from believing that Jesus was the Christ. He could not at first see how the man who ate with publicans and sinners, could be the holy one of God; or how one whom he had known in childhood and youth, and even in manhood, as the humble, lowly son of the carpenter, could be the illustrious Son of David, and the glorious King, who was expected to deliver the people of Israel. How long this state of disbelief continued, we are unable to determine. Indeed we do not know that he became fully a disciple of the Lord, until after this interview, or that this was not the means