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may or may not do towards faithful souls now, and whether He does not manifest Christ to and in them, by bringing them to Christ? Again; consider Satan's power in shewing our Lord all the kingdoms of the world “in a moment of time;" may not the Almighty Spirit much more do with us, what the evil one did with our Lord ? May He not in less than a moment bring our souls into God's presence, while our bodies are on earth?

And again; while we know so little about our own souls, on the other hand, we are utterly ignorant of the state in which our Blessed Lord exists at present, and the relation of this visible world to Him; or whether it may not be possible for Him, in some mysterious way, to come to us, though He is set down on the right hand of God. Did He not, after His resurrection, come into a room, of which the doors were shut, yet suffer Himself to be handled, to prove that He was not a spirit ? Certainly then, though He is clothed in our nature, and is perfect man, yet His glorified body is not confined by those laws under which our mortal bodies lie.

But further; whether it is difficult to conceive or no, Scripture actually gives us one instance of His appearing after His ascension, as if to satisfy us that His presence is possible, though it be mysterious. We all know that He has often vouchsafed to appear to His saints in visions. Thus He appeared to St. John, as related in the Book of Revelation; and to St. Paul when he was at Corinth, at Jerusalem several times, and in the ship. These appearances were not an actual presence of Christ, as we may conjecture, but impressions divinely made, and shadows cast upon the mind. And in the same way we may explain His appearing to St. Stephen. When that blessed Martyr said, “Behold I see the heavens open, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God,” we may suppose he did not see this great sight really, but only had a vision of it. These, I repeat, are visions ; but what shall we say to Christ's appearance to St. Paul on his conversion, while he was on the way to Damascus ? For then the Lord Jesus plainly was seen and heard by him close at hand. “ He fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And he said, Who art Thou, Lord ? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest'.” How was this? We do not know. Can a body be in two places at ouce? I do not say so; I only say, Here is a mystery. By way of contrast with this real sight of the Lord, we are presently told that to Ananias the Lord appeared “in a vision." And hence, moreover, when Ananias came to Saul, he said that God had chosen him that he should “ that Just One and hear the voice of His mouth ?."

2. And hence, too, he says himself in his Epistle to the Corinthians, “ Am I not an Apostle ? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord 3?" Would he have said this, if he had had but a vision of Him?




1 Acts ix. 4,5.

2 Acts xxii. 14.


1 Cor. ix. 1.

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Had he not many more visions of Him, not one only? And again, after mentioning our Lord's appearance to St. Peter, the Twelve, and five hundred brethren at once, and St. James, he adds, “last of all, He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time !.” That is, he speaks of his having been favoured with a sight of Christ in as real, true, and literal a sense, as that in which the other Apostles had seen Him. St. Paul then saw Him, and heard Him speak who was on the right hand of God. And this literal sight seems to have been, for some unknown reason, necessary for the office of Apostle ; for, in accordance with St. Paul's words, just now cited, St. Peter says, when an Apostle was to be chosen in the place of Judas, “Of these men which have companied with us ... from the baptism of John unto that same day when He was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection.” And again, to Cornelius, “Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us ?.” If St. Paul only saw a vision of Christ, and not Christ “verily and indeed,” in that case

” he was not a witness of His resurrection. But if he did see Him, it is possible for Christ to be present with us also, as with him.

Once more : it may be said that “St. Paul was conscious of the presence of Christ on his conversion, and that he actually saw the sights and heard the 1 Cor. xv. 8.

? Acts i. 21, 22; x. 40, 41.



sounds of paradise, but that we see and hear nothing. We, then, are not in Christ's presence, else we should be conscious of it.” Now, with a view of meeting this objection, let us turn to the account of His appearances to His disciples after the Resurrection, which are most important, first, as showing that such an unconscious communion with Christ is possible; next, that it is likely to be the sort of communion now granted to us, from the circumstance that in that period of forty days after the Resurrection, He began to be in that relation towards His Church, in which He is still, and probably intended to intimate to us thereby what His presence with us is now.

Now observe what was the nature of His presence in the Church after His Resurrection. It was this, that He came and went as He pleased; that material substances, such as the fastened doors, were no impediments to His coming; and that when He was present His disciples did not, as a matter of course, know Him. St. Mark says He appeared to the two disciples who were going into the country, to Emmaus, in another form.” St. Luke, who gives the account more at length, says, that while He talked with them their heart burned within them. And it is worth remarking, that the two disciples do not seem to have been conscious of this at the time, but on looking back, they recollected that as having been, which did not strike them when it was.

Did not, they say, did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened

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to us the Scriptures ?” But at the time, their hearts seem to have been holden (if we may use the expression) as well as their eyes. They were receiving impressions, but could not realize to themselves that they were receiving them ; but afterwards they became aware of what had been. Let us observe, too, when it was that their eyes were opened; here we are suddenly introduced to the highest and most solemn Ordinance of the Gospel, for it was when He consecrated and brake the bread that their eyes were opened. There is evidently a stress laid on this, for presently St. Luke sums up the account of the gracious occurrence with an allusion to it in particular; They told what things were done in the way, and how He was known of them in breaking of bread.” For so it was ordained, that Christ should not be both seen and known at once; first He was seen, then He was known. He is known to be present only by faith; He is not recognised by sight. When He opened His disciples' eyes, He at once vanished. He removed His visible presence, and

. left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight that He might be present in a sacrament; and in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible, He for one instance manifested Himself to their open eyes; manifested Himself, if I may so speak, while He passed from His hidingplace of sight without knowledge, to that of knowledge without sight.

Or again : consider the account of His appearing

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