motionless, leaning upon the hilt of his long, straight sword,
in a meditative attitude by the tomb,
was at length shut
out from the view of the retiring disciples, by the angle in the path which
turned in the direction of the gate.
(Something fearful must this
instant have happened, for the house has just shaken as if
with an earthquake. What can be the meaning of these wonders?)
Such, my dear father, is the history of the arrest, trial, judgment,
crucifixion, death, and
burial of the mighty Nazarene Prophet.
It is now nearly day-break, and I am not weary writing
you on so great a subject. I have been thus particular, not only
to enable you to see, as if you had
been present at all that passed, but at the request of my uncle, Rabbi Amos,
and also to give vent
to my own fullness of emotion. It was due to myself, who have believed in
Him so firmly, to
show that, although He was crucified and
is dead, the extraordinary events which accompanied
his crucifixion attested that He was more
than a man, if not the true Messias; and that, therefore,
there is excuse not only
for me, for being his disciple, but for all others who followed Him. You
can also perceive, my dear
father, from the honorable manner in which He was buried by the
eminent counselor, Rabbi Joseph, of Arimathea, that He was deemed by him innocent
of any crime worthy of such a death;
and that he believed Him to have been deceived, rather than a
It is this view of his
character, combined with his patience, his dignity, his forbearance,
his air of divine innocence on his trial, which makes us all still think
and talk of Him with
tenderness and tears.
All that remains to us of Him is his body, and to this we have paid the
homage of our reverential affection.
This morning Mary and Martha, with others, have gone to visit
his tomb in Joseph’s
garden, (as I have already said,) for the purpose of embalming it; and on their return we are to go to Bethany for a few days, until the violent hostility of the Jews
to his followers subsides. The Procurator is daily looking for four
legions of Roman soldiers from Syria, as a reinforcement,
when he will be able to protect us, and maintain completely the
supremacy of the Roman power.
Oh, that these forces had been here on the day of the crucifixion, for then, says Rabbi Amos,Pilate, conscious of military strength, would have acted freely, and saved Jesus from the hands of his foes.
I hear now the voices of Mary and Martha, in the
court of the street, returning from the
tomb. They are pitched to a wild note of joy!
What can mean the commotion--the exclamations--
the running and shouting all through the corridors and court? I must close,and fly to learn what new terror or wonder has occurred. . . .
In haste, your affectionate daughter,
(excerpt, "The Prince of the House of David")