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In short, should the Lord grant the presumptuous demand of those, who refuse to believe without the testimony of their own senses; and should the Saviour appear to every individual through successive generations ; how could men be sure, that this was the identical person crucified on mount Calvary? or how demonstrate that the transient vision was not an illusion ? Universal uncertainty and doubt must therefore be the consequence, of rejecting such unanswerable and multiplied evidences, as the Lord hath mercifully vouchsafed us, of that great event which we this day commemorate.
II. We proceed to shew what inferenses may be deduced from the subject before us.
It would be the grossest inconsistency, and the most absurd trifling, to contend earnestly that Christ is risen, and then overlook or deny the peculiar doctrines, which his resurrection was intended to authenticate. We infer therefore froin our subject that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, “ One with the Father,” “God manifest in the “flesh.” On account of various expressions, which he used in speaking of himself, he was charged with blasphemy, and with making himself equal with God. For this crime he was con demned by Caiaphas and the Jewish council; who said before the Roman governor, “We have a Vel, II.
“ law, and by our law he ought to die, because 6 he made himself the Son of God."" The centurion who attended his crucifixion could not but know for what crime he suffered : when therefore he witnessed the miracles which accompanied his death, he cried, “ Truly this was the Son of God.” .“ Certainly this was a righteous person,” When incredulous Thomas was at length convinced that Christ was risen from the dead; all that he had before heard, seeni, believed, or hoped, scems at once to have rushed into his mind; and he exclaimed in adoration, “ My Lord, and my God!" Thus was Jesus “ declared to be the Son of God “ with power,-- -by the resurrection from the s dead.” He was demonstrated to be the promised Messiah, the Seed of the woman, the Seed of Abraham, the Son of David, Emmanuel, “ the “ mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince “ of peace,” “ Jehovah our Righteousness;" and whatever the prophets from the beginning had spoken concerning the expected glorious Redeemer.-All that he had spoken of himself was likewise thus fully proved to be true: it now was manifest, that he was warranted to say “I and “ my Father are One:" “ He that hath seen me “ hath seen the Father:” “Before Abraham was I " AM :” “ I am the Way, and the Truth, and " the Life: no man cometh to the Father, but by “ me:” “No man knoweth the Father but the “ Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him :">
John six. 7.
“ I am the Light of the world:” “ I am the “ Resurrection and the Life.” “ If any man " thirst let him come unto me and drink:” - The “ Father judgeth no man, but hath committed “ all judgment to the Son; that all men should “ honour the Son, even as they honour the Fa“ ther. He that honoureth not the Son honour“eth not the Father that sent him.” In short the resurrection of Christ not only demonstrates the truth of Christianity, but the infallible certainty of all its doctrines, and authenticates the whole scripture as divinely inspired. His testimony proves it in respect of the old Testament; and the new was written by his chosen witnesses, and attested by all the miracles which they wrought in his name. So that the Lord now speaks to us in every part of scripture, as far as it respects our dispensation and suits our case, with as much authority as he did to Israel from mount Sinai; but with words of mercy and grace, instead of terror and dismay.
For if Christ be risen from the dead, then is his atonement accepted. “He died for our sins and “ rose again for our justification.” He was, as it were, arrested for our debt, and cast into the prison of the grave: but as full payment had been made, he was speedily liberated... Having over
come the sharpness of death, he hath opened the • kingdom of heaven to all believers. The foundation of our hopes is now surely laid : the way of
access to a throne of grace is now made manifest ; for the risen Saviour is also ascended into the heavens to appear in the presence of God for us; and “ he is able to save to the uttermost all them that “ come to God by him ; seeing he ever liveth to “ make intercession for them.”
The resurrection of Christ assures us, that “all " power in heaven and earth are given to him;" and that “ he is made Head over all things to his “ church.” “ He both died, and rose again, and “ revived, that he might be the Lord both of the “ living and the dead.” “ Angels, principalities, “ and powers are made subject to him ; " " he has “ the keys of death and hell.” “ He is King of " kings and Lord of lords:" all nature obeys him: all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are laid up in him ; he has unsearchable riches, and invincible power : the fulness of the Spirit resides in him : “All the fulness of the Godhead dwells “ in him bodily.” “ He is become the Author of " eternal salvation to all them that obey him :" and “ he must reign till all his enemies are made 36. his footstool.”—It is therefore no light matter that we are considering. “Yet," saith JEHOVAH, “ I have set my King upon my holy bill of Zion.“ Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish.” Every individual must either bow to the sceptre of his grace, or be broken in pieces by the iron rod of his omnipotent indignation.'
"2 Thes. i. 8-10.
We are also taught that true Christians are conformed to Christ, in his death, resurrection, and ascension. By motives and grace derived from their crucified and risen Redeemer, they die to their former hopes, pleasures, and pursuits: their sensibility to temporal things is deadened : carnal self-love, the main-spring of their activity in past times, is broken : “ They are crucified with “ Christ; nevertheless they live; yet not they, but ". Christ liveth in them.” They “know him and “ the power of his resurrection :” new principles, feelings, and actuating motives are communicated. “ They account themselves dead indeed unto sin, “ but alive unto God;" “ They live no longer to " themselves, but to him that died for them and “ rose again :” “they are risen with Christ, and “ seek those things which are above.” “ Their “ conversation is in heaven;" and in proportion to the degree of their faith and grace, they ascend and reign with Christ, in the nature of their joys and the temper of their hearts. Thus they are prepared, whenever they leave this world, to share that " fulness of joy, and those pleasures, which “ are at God's right hand for evermore.”
As our risen Redeemer ever liveth and reigneth in heaven, to manage all the concerns of his people, and make all ready for their reception; we may adopt with exulting joy the apostle's words: “ If when we were enemies we were reconciled to “ God by the death of his Son; much more being