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النشر الإلكتروني

SERMON XXIX.

ON EASTER DAY.

LUKE xxiv. 5, 6,

Why feek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is rifen.

THE

HE melancholy scene of forrow and suffering, which we lately commemorated, is now changed! Hufhed therefore be the voice of lamentation, and the tears wiped away from all faces. We no longer bewail a Redeemer afflicted and oppressed by a barbarous band of ruffians, the fcoff of infolence, the derifion of fools, the victim of a blood-thirsty nation, but hail him as a triumphant conqueror. For, fee! he breaks the barriers of the grave, and triumphs over all the malice of his enemies. Haften not, therefore, ye daughters of forrow, to weep over and anoint the body of your Saviour. The Lord of life cannot be held by the bonds of death, the holy one of I 4

God

God cannot fee corruption. Why feek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, where. ye expect to find him, in the dark manfion of the grave: he is risen from the dead, and become the firft-fruits of them that flept.

Such was the language of the angels to the women who came to anoint and to weep over the body of Jefus. A language how widely different from what we commonly find at the manfions of mortality! "Here lieth, mingled with his kindred duft," is the last poor panegyric of human greatness, the common memorial of the triumphant conqueror and the humble peafant. But, where man's glory ends, there Chrift's began. It was faid by Ifaiah of old," his reft fhall be glorious." And what Ifaiah foretold, our Redeemer fulfilled. The grave was his triumph, and the fepulchre the throne of his glory. In weaknefs he became ftrong, in humiliation he was exalted: though he fubmitted to death, he saw no corruption: he brake the bonds of death in funder, and triumphed over all the malice of his bitter and implacable enemics,

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That event, which we are this day affembled to commemorate, is certainly the greateft and most stupendous, which can occupy the thoughts and attention of man. The refurrection of a human body from the grave is a thing fo new and unheard of before the christian that we may well fay, "this is "the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in $6 our eyes." But it is not only matter of admiration to us, as a great and wonderful event, but also is a fubject deferving our warmeft gratitude and affection, fince it is the pillar of our faith as Chriftians, and the ground of all our hopes as men. For not only now is Christ risen from the dead, but also he is become the firft-fruits of them that flept!

That we may

therefore be fully confirmed

in our Christian confidence of rising from death to immortality, I fhall endeavour to shew, first, that our Saviour's refurrection is an undeniable proof of his divinity; and therefore is an inconteftible confirmation of our faith;

Secondly,

Secondly, That we have the most full and fatisfactory evidence of the truth of our Saviour's refurrection; and

Thirdly, That his refurrection is a pledge and affurance of our own; and therefore is á most comfortable foundation of our hopes.

And ift. If the evidence of St. Paul can have any weight in this matter, he expressly tells us, that the refurrection of Chrift was a confirmation of his Godhead; or, as he himfelf better expreffes it, "Chrift was declared "to be the Son of God with power, by the "refurrection from the dead." And this is agreeable to what the fame Apostle says, in his addrefs to the people of Antioch: "we "declare unto you glad tidings," fays he, "how that the promise, which was made "unto the Fathers, God hath fulfilled the

fame unto us their children, in that he "hath raised up Jefus from the dead again :" as it is written in the fecond pfalm, “ thou "art my Son; this day have I begotten "thee." This day, by making thee the first born from the dead, I have declared thee my Son with power; that all nations may ac

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knowledge thy divine authority, and honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.

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Agreeably to this, we find that our Saviour himself constantly appeals to his refurrection, as the particular proof of his divinity. Thus he tells the Jews, when they fought for a fign from him, as an evidence of his divine miffion: "an evil and adulterous generation feek"eth after a fign, and there fhall no fign be "6 given it, but that of the prophet Jonas:

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for as Jonas was three days and three nights "in the whale's belly, fo fhall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the "heart of the earth." Thus alfo, when he drove the buyers and fellers out of the temple, that is, out of the court of the gentiles adjoining to it, which as well as the Sanctuary itfelf was called the temple, and the Jews faid unto him," what fign fhewest thou, "feeing thou doest these things?" his anfwer was, "destroy this temple of my body,

and in three days I will raise it up again." His other miracles did indeed abundantly demonstrate his divine power; for no man could give feet to the lame and eyes to the blind, except God were with him: but the refur

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