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ing of the easiest parables, took the full meaning of these figured predictions; while the apostles either understood them not, or retained not in their memory the plain unequivocal declarations which our Lord had made to them; so that, while the rulers of the Jews were using all precaution to prevent the success of a counterfeit resurrection, nothing could be more remote from the expectations of the apostles than a real one. In this we see the hand of Providence wonderfully directing all things for the conviction of after ages. Had the caution of the Jews been less or the faith of the apostles more awake, the evidence of this glorious truth, that "Christ is risen, and become the first-fruits of them that slept," might not have been to us what now it is. Nevertheless, though none of the apostles seem to have had positive expectations of our Lord's resurrection before it happened, yet St. Thomas seems to have been singular in treating the report of the resurrection as a manifest fiction.
From the conversation of the two dis-. ciples on the way to Emmaus, it may be
gathered that the first report of the holy women, though it had not yet obtained belief, was by no means rejected with absolute contempt. On the contrary, it seems to have awakened in all but Thomas some recollection of our Lord's predictions, and some dubious solicitude what might be the events of the third day. And yet it cannot be supposed that St. Thomas at this time had no remembrance of our Lord's predictions of his resurrection; of which the other ten could not but remind him ; But the consideration, it seems, had no weight with him. And yet the person who had given his followers these assurances. was no ordinary man: His miraculous conception had been foretold by an angel; his birth had been announced to the peasants of Judea by a company of the heavenly host to the learned of a distant country by a new wonder in the air; his high original had been afterwards attested by voices from heaven; he had displayed powers in himself which amounted to nothing less than an uncontrolled and unlimited dominion over every department of the universe, over the first ele
ments of which natural substances are composed, in his first miracle of changing water into wine, and in the later ones of augmenting the mass of a few loaves and a few small fishes to a quantity sufficient for the meal of hungry multitudes over the most turbulent of the natural elements, composing the raging winds and troubled waves-over the laws of nature, exempting the matter of his body on a particular occasion from the general force of gravitation, and the power of mechanical impulse, so as to tread secure and firm upon the tossing surface of a stormy sea-over the vegetable kingdom, blasting the fig-tree with his word -over the animal body, removing its diseases, correcting the original defects and disorders of its organs, and restoring its mutilated parts over the human mind, penetrating the closest secrets of each man's heart-over the revolted spirits, delivering miserable mortals from their persecution, and compelling them to confess him for their Lord and the destined avenger of their crimes; and, what might more than all add weight to the promise of his resurrection, he had shown that life
itself was in his power, restoring it in various instances-in one when it had been so long extinguished that the putrefaction of the animal fluids must have taken place.
These wonders had been performed to confirm the purest doctrine, and had been accompanied with the most unblemished life. This extraordinary personage had predicted his own death, the manner of it, and many of its circumstances; all which the apostles had seen exactly verified in the event. Even when he hung upon the cross in agonies-agonies of body, and stronger agonies of mind, which might more have shaken the faith of his disciples, Nature bore witness to her Lord in awful signs of sympathy; the sun, without any natural cause, withdrew his light; and in the moment that he yielded up the ghost, the earth shook and the rocks were rended.
From this series of wonders, to most of which he had been an eye-witness, had not St. Thomas more reason to expect the completion of Christ's prediction at the
time appointed, than to shut his ears against the report of the other ten, of whose probity and veracity in the course of their attendance on their common Lord he must have had full experience? Cases may possibly arise, in which the intrinsic improbability of the thing averred may outweigh the most positive and unexceptionable evidence; and in which a wise man may be allowed to say, not, with Thomas, "I will not believe," (for a case can hardly be supposed in which testimony is to be of no weight,) but he might say, "I will doubt:" But where ten men of fair character bear witness, each upon his own knowledge, to a fact which is in itself more probable than its opposite, I know not upon what ground their testimony can be questioned.
Such was the case before us. Where then can we look for the ground of the apostle's incredulity, but in the prejudices of his own mind? Possibly he might stand upon what he might term his right. Since each of the other ten had received the satisfaction of ocular demonstration, he