« PreviousContinue »
In the LAST PLACE. Did it behove Jesus to be made perfect through sufferings, then let us, who are his disciples, learn to submit to our sufferings with patience, and consider them as a requisite part of our education for heaven. Certain intermixtures of adversity, appear to be proper, for exercising our virtue, and preparing us for immortalitý. Our Saviour himself, went up to the throne of God by the steps of sorrow : And that multitude who stand before him, have all come out of great tribulation : And when we have such companions, let us learn to be reconciled to the hardships of our lot. Under the guidance of our Divine leader, let us pursue the path marked out to us, with a patient, a strenuous, and a steady mind. Aided by his spirit, and animated by his example, let us bravely fight the good fight of faith, and suffer no appearance of difficulty-no form of danger-no face of death, to shake our hopes of immortality. Thus shall we be approved of as good soldiers, by the Captain of our Salvation, and have the felicity to be numbered with those many sons, whom he is now þringing into glory.--Amen.
RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.
MATTHEW XXVIII. 19.
He is not here, for he is risen, as he said,--Come
see the place where the Lord lay.
MY BRETHREN, It was but a little before this, that a deed had been committed, the most nefarious in the annals of the world. A deed at which the earth did quake—the rocks rent—the graves were opened, and the sun in the heavens, as ashamed, hid his face. The heathen's rage had been exhausted—the designs of Jewish malignity had been accomplished—the shepherd was smitten, and the sheep were scattered. Left by his
friends—betrayed into the hands of his enemies—the prince of peace had cruelly suffered—the Lord of glory on a cross had publicly expired; and his body obtained of the Roman governor, had, by the pious care of an honourable Counsellor, been laid low in the
All was now invested in the thickest gloom. The light of Christianity seemed set for ever. Buoyed up by their own false ideas of temporal splendour, the hopes of the poor Christian pilgrims had all died with their master, and they were now sunk into despair. Their spirits were overwhelmed—their souls were overcome the expected glory seemed departed—their Comforter was gone.
Never expecting to behold the face of their master any more, they were now, we are told by Luke the Evangelist, about to leave Jerusalem, and under the faintings of a sorrow-broken heart, to return to their old employments, from which they were taken.
But while all this was happening—while the few scattered disciples were desponding -while the Jews and the heathen were proudly exulting-lo! the Scriptures were
fulfilling—the counsels of heaven were performing—and the great work of God, the redemption of the world, was going on. Yes; for says Matthew, “ In the end of “ the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards “ the first day of the week, came Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary, to see “ the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a “ great earthquake; for the angel of the
Lord descended from heaven, and came 6 and rolled back the stone from the door, “ and sat upon it; and said unto the women, fear not
seek “ Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, “ for he is risen, as he said ;-Come see the
place where the Lord lay.”-Reviving words to the disconsolate Maries,-gladsome tidings to all the scattered sorrowing disciples ! Jesus whom you seek is not here, “ He is risen.” Weep then no longer for him. He holds his enemies in derision. He has burst the barriers of death-this holy one has not seen corruption. The son of God, he has triumphed over the tomb —and shortly he will yet enter into his kingdom. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. His death made a part of heaven's wondrous plan, and his rising again
is only the fulfilment of his own prediction. Let it not be thought incredible.-Comesee, and believe-see the place where the Lord lay.
Brethren, what holy disciples rejoiced to hear—what angels delighted to proclaim-let us with gratitude contemplate. While we glory in the cross, let us also triumph in the resurrection. And that we may triumph not only with the spirit, but with the understanding likewise, let us now seriously consider its evidence-its importance—its salutary influ
First, Let us consider its evidence.
Never was there stronger evidence for any fact, for stronger cannot be, than the evidence we can adduce for the resurrection of our Master. The truth of this miraculous fact, is placed beyond the possibility of doubt,-from the precautions previously taken to prevent it--from the character of those who witnessed it and the holy persevering fortitude, with which they declared it. The body of Jesus, after being taken down from the cross, was confessedly laid in a tomb, a tomb hewn out in a rock, and