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chapter, no less remarkable for the mighty and wonderful change effected by it in the heart of another nobleman, of our own country. For in the sermon preached at the funeral of that extraordinary sinner, and as extraordinary penitent, the earl of Rochester, we find the following striking and affecting relation : - This estate of mind continued till the 53d chapter “ of Isaiah was read to him, wherein there is a lively
description of the sufferings of our Saviour, and " the benefits thereof; by the power and efficacy of “ which, assisted by his Holy Spirit, God so wrought
upon his heart, that he declared the mysteries “ of the passion appeared as plain to him, as ever
any thing did that was represented in a glass; so
that the joy arid admiration, which possessed his “soul upon the reading God's words to him, was “ remarkable to all about him; and he had so much - delight in his testimonies, that he begged the same "might be read to him frequently; and was unsatis
fied, notwithstanding his great pains and weakness, " till he had learned the 53d chapter of Isaiah with
out book.” Let us therefore at all seasons, but more especially at the present, by a frequent perusal of this wonderful chapter, recollect our thoughts, and compose our spirits, and soften our hearts, and mortify our passions, and fix our affections on him who loved us, and for our sakes fasted, and mourned, and wept, and lived poor, and died forsaken. “Let “ us also go,” as St. Thomas once said, "that we may “ die with him;" that being baptized in the baptism of repentance, as the eunuch was by Philip in the water, we may die to sin, and arise, as he did, to newness of life, with our understandings prepared to receive, our hearts to love, and our tongues to publish the truth; our hands to work out our salvation, and our feet to run with delight the way of God's commandments, though it lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. Thus we shall go on our way to heaven rejoicing in hope, and become patient and resigned under all the tribulations we can suffer for our hope's sake. A mournful Lent shall terminate in a joyful Easter; and every tear be wiped away at the resurrection of the just; when we shall meet St. Philip and his convert, with all those who, having performed their appointed penance in this world, are admitted to the communion of the church triumphant; to which God of his infinite mercy vouchsafe to bring us all, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners, the end of the law, and the fulness of the Gospel.
LUKE, xxiv. 34.
The Lord is risen indeed.
Our meditations, for this week past, bave been employed on the sorrows and sufferings of the Son of God, undergone for the sins of the world. We have viewed him sold, betrayed, denied, mocked, scourged, reviled, and evil entreated, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross; from thence taken down, and laid in the grave, as a man that had been long dead; a large stone placed at the mouth of the sepulchre, properly sealed, and the watch carefully set. During the solemn commemoration of those days, in which the Bridegroom was thus taken away, the mirth of tabrets hath ceased, and the noise of them that rejoice bath given place to the penitential accents of grief and lamentation. For a little season, even the sacred music of the church hath not been heard; but her harp also, like that of holy Job, “ hath been turned to mourning, and her organ into " the voice of them that weep *;" while either, with
a Job, xxx. 31.
one of the Maries, she hath stood under the cross, or watched, with the other, at the grave of her Lord.
But as a woman, who in her travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come, yet afterward remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world; with such unfeigned exultation do we on this day celebrate the second birth of the holy Jesus from the tomb; by which he realized to his desponding disciples, in a peculiar manner, one of his own beatitudes; “Blessed are they that mourn, for they " shall be comforted !” Blessed are they, who have mourned for the death of Christ, and the sins which occasioned it; for they are the persons who will be comforted by the tidings of his resurrection; their sorrow will indeed be turned into joy, when they hear that their warfare is accomplished, that their iniquity is pardoned; since he who died for their sins, is risen again for their justification. Deservedly, therefore, hath this ever been esteemed the queen of festivals, worthy to give laws to the rest, to appear at the head of the holy band, crowned with everlasting joy, and hailed by incessant hallelujahs. For now it well becometh us to obey that injunction, issued of old from the Lord, by his prophet Isaiah ; “Sing, " () ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout,
ye lower parts of the earth, break forth into sing
ing, ye mountains, () forest and every tree there"in; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glori“fied himself in Israel.” Let songs of praise, therefore, fill the heavens, from the comforted spirits of just men made perfect, of patriarchs, and prophets, and saints, upon this triumph of their God whom they waited for. Let the inhabitants of the earth diffuse in loud acclamations the glorious name of the mighty Conqueror, who, by his resurrection, bath procured and given an earnest of their own. Let mount Sion and all her sister churches break forth into singing, and utter the praises of him who hath delivered them from the curse of the law, and from the guilt of sin, and from the power of the second death, as well as from the dominion of the first. Let the Gentile world, and every tree of righteousness planted therein, burst out into fruits of praise and thanksgiving for this great manifestation of the power and glory of God in the redemption of our nature from the grave. Such be the joy produced in heaven and in earth, among angels and men, Jews and Gentiles, by the tidings of this day, “The “Lord is risen indeed.”
b Isa. xliv. 23.
The province allotted me at present is, to display the grounds and reasons of this general joy, or to state the evidence for the fact which gives occasion to it, namely, the resurrection of Jesus our Lord from the dead; which being the key-stone of the Christian fabric, and the foundation of all our hopes, it must always be a task no less profitable than delightful, to establish so important and comfortable a doctrine upon its proper basis.
The evidence for the resurrection of Christ is of two kinds, predictive and historical. From the Old Testament it appears that Messiah was to rise; from