« PreviousContinue »
the divinity of his person ; the high, the heavenly origin, of the whole of our most holy religion.
But consider the resurrection of Jesus, not only as vindicating the validity of his claims; but as also demonstrating the Father's acceptance of his sacrifice. Our salvation is every where in Scripture, ascribed to our Redeemer's death and passion ; but its divine efficacy is evinced to us only by his glorious resurrection.
As our sacrifice, his innocent blood was shed ; as a ransom for many, his life was offered; but it is only by his rising from the dead, that our proof arises, that the ransom availed, and that the sacrificed was accepted. Death is the wages of sin, and when we see Jesus descending into the prison of the grave, and then returning free from its fetters, we must infer that those wages are paid, unless we would deny that his death was for our sins ; and then, why did he, holy and harmless as he was, die at all? Or unless we would deny, that death is the wages of sin ; and then we must deny the Scriptures, and throw them aside as of no avail. But he did die for our sin ; his death was our pay
ment; while his resurrection published our discharge, and was thus “ for our justifica66 tion.” On his descent to earth, we behold the work of redemption begun; but it is not till his return from the tomb, that we hail the completion of the wondrous plan. At his birth, the angels conjoined their heavenly voices, and this was their blissful song :
“ Glory to God in the highest, and “ on earth peace, good will towards men :" And now on his resurrection, we can take up the Apostle's heroic challenge, and, responding to the angelic choir, add this our concluding strain, “ Who shall lay any
thing to the charge of God's elect? It is “ God that justifieth ; who is he that con" demneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, who is even at “ the right hand of God; who also maketh “ intercession for us." Christians, be glad and rejoice, at your Lord's rising from the tomb. He has thus confirmed your faith, and finished your redemption. You are now complete in him. To you there is no condemnation.
The resurrection demonstrates, likewise, his complete conquest of all our enemies.
These are both many and mighty; not only flesh and blood; but principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. The prince of those implacable foes, delights in the machinations of misery. His hellish hate spoiled the joys of paradise, made an insidious attack upon our Lord himself in the wilderness ; and never relinquishing his malignant purpose, he entered into the heart of Judas, and directing the whole mass of wickedness he found there, to one dreadful point of treachery, ceased not till he brought our blessed Redeemer to the ignominious cross.
Then joy, such as devils feel, filled the infernal regions. Satan and his associates, triumphed in their supposed success against the Lord's anointed, and his scheme for human happiness. But with what horrible asto'nishment were they seized, when the third day morning reversed all their fancied conquests. The death of Christ proved then but the prelude to his joy. From the grave, he came back laden with the spoil of victory. He rose~he rose-trampled under foot the throne of hell, and entered into his glory. Christian, thou art still in the field of battle ; but thou hast only
to fight with a vanquished enemy. In the world, thou shalt indeed have tribulation but both the world, and the prince of the world, are overcome by thy victorious King; and although they may be permitted to distress, they shall never overwhelm thee. Jesus hath ascended up on high, and led captivity captive. “ Fear not,” is his voice from heaven, “I am he that liveth, and
was dead, and liveth for evermore, and “ have the keys of hell and of death."
Which leads me to say, in fine,-See in the resurrection of Jesus, not only the validity of his claims, the Father's acceptance of his sacrifice, his complete conquest of all our enemies~ See also the safety of your reliance on all his promises. " Let “ not your hearts be troubled; ye believe “ in God, believe ye
also on me. I will be “ with you to the end of the world. Seek
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other good things “ shall be added unto you. I will give you “ eternal life. Whosoever liveth, and be“ lieveth in me, shall never die.” He who burst the bars of death, and rose triumphant, as he said, will assuredly fulfil every
other promise, and, O Christian ! withhold no needful blessing from you. Through life he will never leave you nor forsake you;
; in death, his rod and staff will support and comfort you. And though your frame must moulder away, and be scattered with the dust of former generations, yet death shall not finally prevail against you. No. As sure as Christ himself arose, so sure shall he, one day, quicken your mortal bodies, by his spirit that dwelleth in you. That spirit which he arose to send, by which his people were quickened, when dead in trespasses and sins, by which they are animated, directed, and invigorated in their christian warfare, shall, at the appointed period, as by an internal principle, raise their 6 vile bodies, and fashion them “ like unto his own glorious body.” Hence believers are described as 66 the children “ of the resurrection. Their life is hid with “ Christ in God, and when Christ, who is “ their life shall appear, then shall they “ also appear with him in glory*.” Let then my body decay, let the burden of mortality press hard upon me; let my dearest com
Luke xx. 36.