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confirmed by so many infallible proofs, that the niost sceptical mind. cannot withhold its assent without doing violence to every principle of, sense and reason. It may not therefore be an improper employment of our time to examine, and meditate upon, some of the most striking occurrences relative to this most important event, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, by which we are begotteni jagain into a lively hope of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.*

And, in order to ascertain the resurrection of Christ, the certainty of his death must be proved beyond all possible contradiction: For, if Christ died not, then is hie not risen; and the consequence, is that we are yet in our sins. Now it is very 'observable that there never was any fact accompanied with so many extraordinary and irre.fragable proofs as this. The usual punishment amongst the Jews,' for blasphemy, was that of stoning, as appears from the answer of the Jews to the blessed Jesus, when they took up stones to stone him. I “ Many 'good works;” says he, “ have I shewed

“ have I shewed you from my father i for which of those works do' ye stone me?". “ The Jews answered bim, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God:ll"! : But, though at one time they declared, : “ We have a law, and, by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God;" yet, at another time, when Pilate said unto them, “Take ye him, and judge himšaccording to your law,” they answered, “ It is not lawful for, usg

To a lively hope.." Quæ oritur ex fide resurrectionis, nimirum Christi. Quia enim Christus, caput nostrum, ressurrexit, nos quoque ejus membra, resurgemus. Nam illa Christi resurrectio et sem ostendit esse possibilem,' et simul ostendit ipsum esse veracem, qui nobis resurrectionem promisit. Nam quorsum alioqui Deus ipsum resuscitasset! 'An ad omnes homines fallendos? , Minime id convenit Dei veritate.” Grotius,

+ "Nec sanctificati, nec justificati; quia hoc a morte Christi pendet; qua peccata expiantur.” Sclaterus. i " Blasphemus, secundum processum Synedrii judicialem, lapidandus erat." Lightfoot.

Dum dicis, te et patrem unum esse." . Piscator. § “ Malitiose hîc respondent, tum ut Christum per Gentiles occiderent, et sic invidiam et scandalum populi evaderent: tum ut eum mortei crucis plecterent, tanquam sceleratissimum; adeoque infamarent, &c. Non licebat Judæis capite plectere quemquam sine consensu præsidis.” Toletus.

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to put any man to deadı:"". And all itloslitaś done, " That alte, saying
of Jesus miglit be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death die,
should die:" Joh. xvii. 31. 32. Which prediction is contained in
those words of St Matthew, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and
the Son of man shall be betrayed urto the clijef priests and unto thie,
Scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to
the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify, him.” And this
singular mode of purishment, which was practised by the Romans,
was prefigured in the days of Moses by the brazen serpent,
evident from these words of our blessed Saviour; “ As Moses hifted up
the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of man be lifted np,
that whosoever believeth in drim should not perish, but have everlasting
lite.", Jols 'iii. 14. Which elevation of Christ, upon the cross was
not only a completion of this prophetical type, the serpent upon the
pote, but afforded the most striking demonstration of the reality of his
death. For though the soldiers brake not his legs, because they saw
that he was dead already, one of them, with a spear # pierced his side
into the very lieart, and forth with came there out blood and water;}
after which it was impossible there could be any remains of life.
v The Jews, therefore, could not possibly invalidate this great article
of the Cliristian faith, 'the death of Christ, by pleading that his disciples
took him away before he was actually dead, which they might have
done had he been stored ghly according to their law; for, the centu,
rion, and the whole band of soldiers which attended the crucifixion,
and, at the command of Pilate, delivered the body to Joseph of Arima-
thea, sufficiently confute so groundless a supposition. But still, though
the Jews saw him dead on the cross, and, probably, with their own

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* See Sermon on They shall look on me," &c.
+ “ Sic in Christo impletum quod de agno Paschali lex edixerat. Exod. xii. 46.” Bochart.

1“ Curie erat militum ut sententia Judicis perficeretur. Sed et Deus hoc pacto testatissimam esse voluit Christi mortem, ne de ejus resurrectione dubitaretur," Grotius.

"Quo effuso animal quodvis mori protinus necesse est.” Piscator, &c. : “ Dicitur vulgò, quòd effluxerunt duo sacramenta novi fæderis. Aqua baptismum, sanguis Eucharistiam repræseng tat.” Brugensis, &e.

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consent given to Joseph for interment, whereby' that remarkable pre's diction of Isaiah, e. Tit9; “ He made his grave with the rich,"" tvas fulfilled, their obstinate incredulity might have urged them to say, as inveterate prejudice will say any thing, either thad it was not the identical person of Jesus but some other persoà; or, that he was not raised from the dead by his own power, but by wirtud’of some prophet witty whon he was laid, as was the case of the dead man who was cast into thic sepulelire of Elisha, 2 Kings xiiii 21, :We are particularly informed, polt. xix. 41, that, " in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a neto sepulchre wherein was never man yet taid ;* there laid tliey Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews preparation-day, for the sepulchre was nigh at hand:""and, probably, many of the Jews beheld where he was laid, as máy reasonably be gathered, from Pilate's answer to the request of the chief priésts and Pharisees, that the sepulchre might be made sure until the third day ::“: Go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stonet and setting a watch.”

41 €//?ere: And here it is obvious to remark, that, before they sealed the stone and set the watch they assured themselves that the body of Jesus was there; for, without this assurance, the last erron 'would have been worse than the first. · And now: what farther could possibly be done to prevent any fráud or delusion in this matter è or how could the desciples: of Jesus steals away his body after all this care and caution : : Is there

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“Ne quis alius surrexisse crederetur.” Grotius, &c.

"e Sabbato sequente sepultura non permittebatur: Jud.bos enim longe strictius obligabat sabbati dies quam quivis alius festus, etiam Pascha.” Brugensis.

t“Sigrantes lapidenn; ul Dan. vi, 17. "Quo loco adducor; ut eredam Pilati annulo et hunc lapidem signatum, hoc Deo agente, ut res anteactæ res Christi adumbrarent.” Grotius. pacto cautum volebantonè Jesus aut auffertur, aut resurgeret, aut, si forte resurgeret, oceluso exitu, retentus sepulchro cogeretur, aut recidere in mortem, aut post 3 diem, nemine credituro, exire. Ita cuin Deo ipso pugnant si forte superiores evaderent. Sed vieit. Dei concilium, ct illi his gestis resurrectionem, quam obscurare: volebant, reddebant certiorem, nullique calumniæ obnoxiam.". Brugensis, &c.

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the least foundation to suppose that a few dastardly men, who had all* a little before forsook him and fted, would have engaged in so dangers ous an enterprise as to break open the door of the sepulchre, when it was guarded by a band of Roman soldierst who could not neglect their duty but at the peril of their lives? Is it in the least probable, that, if they were awake, they could ull be bribed to connive at the taking away the body of Jesus? or can it be imagined that they were all at the same time so sound asleep as not to have been awakened at the rolling away of the stone, which was very great, from the door of the sepulchre?! The fabrication, therefore, of that story of the Jews, that the disciples of Jesus came by night and stole him away while the soldiers slept, carries its own confutation with it. And St Augustin's expostulation with the: soldiers on this occasion was remarkably appósite : " Ye wicked, corrupt, senseless, wretches! either ye were awake or asleep; if awake, it was your business to secure the body from being stolen away ;'sif asleep, dien your own words disprove you ; for, granting this, it was impossible 'you should either know what was done or who the persons were who did it."

olis That they, had deft their station before the sepulchre, contrary to the injunction of the chief priest and Pharisees, is evident, from the appea-1 rance of Mary Magdalane and the other Mary at the sepulchre ; for, if the soldiers had been there, they would not have ventured to approach And {wliat could have induced the soldiers, one and all, to have aban doned their duty at that critical time, when they ought to have been more particularly on the guard. The only probable account of this extraordinary circumstance is what St Matthew furnishes, who tells us,

., " Omnes, is ei plerique : "Dat sequebántur ipsum Petrus, 58, et Johannės, c. xviii. 15, vel omnes statim diffugerunt, sed hi' redierunt." Maldonet.

i que, - "Loquitur de Romanorum militum custodia, qua jam usi fuerant ad crucem: hæc, inquit, vobis præsto ést ad nutum, et quasi vestra est, eâ utaminî et ad sepulchrum.” Brugensis.

" Quis credet, -tot milites, vigiliis perpetuis assuetos, circumfusos sepulchro, in rei tánta mo?! menti, summzequie exspectationis, in tanto strepitu saxi amoti, discipulorum accedentium et efferentium cadaver, &c. jucuisse omnes quasi lethargo sepultos. Sed esto, quomodo ergo id testari 1 possent?" Brugensis.

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that "there was a great earthquake; for, the apgel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it: his countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow; and for fear of him the keepers did shakç, and became as dead men."* And, when they were recovered from their panico. “ Some of the watch,” as the evangelist afterwards, adds, “ came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done;t,” but. gave not the least intimation that the body had been taken away. But, foreseen, by the great Disposer of all things, that the invincible malice of the Jews against the holy Jesus would instigate them to fabricate this incredible falsehood, that this, disciples came by night, and stole him away, while the soldiers slept, two remarkable circumstances stand upon recordto obviate every the least suspicion of such an attempt. One of which is that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, were the first persons who went to see the sepulchre. Which is the strongest proof that no such design could ever have entered into the minds of the disciples; for, if it had, they would never have permitted the women to have gone before them, which might have wholly frustrated their intention. And, if they could possibly have formed such a scheme, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary could not have been unacquainted with it: but this was so far from being the case, that, when Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre, and saw that the stone was taken away, “ She runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved,|| and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.g" . This extraordi

Contremuerunt. Timore tum humano, ne pænas luerent corporis negligenter custoditi ; tum præcipue divino, ne a Deo punirentur, ut qui Judæis operam præstarent.” Brugensis. + " Terræ molum, visum cæleste, devolutum lapidem, corpus non repertum." Grotius, &c.

". Mulieres deliguntur futuræ resurrectionis testes, ut et fraudis. et violentiæ omnis abesset suspicio, quibus resurrectio persuaderi vix potuerit, tantum abest ut eam finxerint.” Brugensis.

U " Ad omnes quidem discipulos numero undecim, sed ita ut cum his, tanquam eminentibus, peculiariter sermonem conferret.Grotius. ♡ "Ubi relictum sit corpus, in via, an in sepulchro alio, in loco decenti, an indecenti.” Grot. &c.

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