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eternity, he cried aloud to the thousands of gazing spectators, I am going to give a leap in the dark !! Awful scene! to leap into the abyss of utter and eternal darkness, of misery and despair! How very different the closing scene of life with that man who is fully and firm. ly persuaded in his own mind, that the truth of the glo. rious gospel of the blessed God, is built upon a rock which cannot be moved, of incontrovertibie, intrinsic, and external evidences; who realizes the important doctrines of it in his heart, and lives its precepts in his life. This man shall have light in the dark valley of the shadow of death, for life and immortality, is brought to light by the gospel which he cordially embraces.-Though clouds and darkness envelope the providential dealings of God with his people in this life, and what he is doing they know not now, but they shall know hereafter. When the spirit leaves the body it shall be conveyed safe to glory by the holy angels; there Jesus stands ever ready to receive and welcome home the purchase of his own blood, to rest in the bosom of his Fa. ther and his God. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is
THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS PROVES HIM TO BE THE
SON OF GOD.
He is not here, for he is risen as he said. Come, the place where the Lord lay.--Math. 28 chap. 6 ver.
The celebrated Jonathan Edwards of America, begins his history of Redemption with the Lord's visiting Adam and Eve with the dawning of the day, in the garden of Eden. We are to look upon the wouderliul works of Providence manifested to the children of men, since the seed of the woman was promised, as one great and magnificent piece of architecture, all moving together like Ezekiel's Machine, wherein the providence of God is represented as being under the direction of the invisi. ble Being that animaies and moves all the wheels, which seemed to be so much out of order, and working contrary to one another. The chief design of all the prov. idences of God recorded in the Old Testament was, to prepare the way and open the door for the appearance of the Redeemer upon earth. The Lord often suffered his church to be in great distress, and allowed often a long rope to the enemy to boast of their wise schemes in' trampling his cause in the world. At the commence. ment of an engagement, victory often secmed to be on the enemy's side; but when the field was cleared of the smoke and mist, the God of Israel was always above them. If Jehovah suffers his people to be besieged be. tween Piahiroth and Baalsephon, he will miraculously raise the siege, by dividing the Red Sea with a rod, that the children of Israel might go through the midst of the sea on dry ground, and the waters a wall un
them on their right hand and on their left. If he will suffer a host of armed men to come to arrest the Pro. phet Elisha, he will send thousands of horses and fla. ming chariots, so that the mountains are covered with them : the enemies are struck with blindness, and they are taken prisoners by the Prophet. If the great and powerful Goliah of Gath is suffered to come between the two armies, roaring like a lion, until the rocks echo with his voice, God will raise up the stripling David, with his five stones, to conquer him, and take off his head. If the true worshippers of the living God are suffered to be cast into the fiery furnace, and the lion's den, to gratify pride and vain glory, the Lord was above them; for he quenched the violence of the fire, and the mouths of the lions he stopped.
But when the Messiah was slain and buried, the enemios boasted more than ever in their crafty schemes ; and of all the hard engagenients of redemption, this was the hardest of them all; but wherein the enemies prided the most, he was above them; for he completely defeated their most sanguine expectation. If there were none of the friends of Jesus on earth that had courage sufficient to preach his resurrection on the morning he rose from the dead, a preacher came from the heavenly world, to publish the joyful and all important truth, He is not here, for he is risen.
We would call your serious attention to consider,
I. The all important truth delivered by this heavenly preacher.
II. His majestic and glorious appearance; yet his tonder, mild mode of address to his hearers.
I. Let us attend to the important doctrine contained in the text.
The preacher was the angel, the doctrine he delivered was the resurrection of Christ. The angel of the
Lord descended from heaven, seven times swifter than lightning, straight on the new grave in Joseph's garden, calling upon no one for the key, but in a moment rolled off the stone, and sat upon it, and made it his pulpit, from whence he preached the doctrine of the resurrection to the women. We are not informed which of the angels he was, whether he was Gabriel or not, the Anbassador between the court of heaven and the church on earth. After the Messiah, the great Ambassador of the covenant came down and ascended up to heaven, and the Holy Spirit assumed the office of a Messenger between heaven and earth, the ministration of angels has not been so conspicuous since.
His doctrine was the resurrection of the Son of God. Pointing to the grave he said-he is not here-he is risen-he is gone from this cave victoriously. The moment he turned in the grave when he awoke, and began taking off his shroud, or grave dress, the sound of the earthquake was heard in the heaven of heavens.
It appears from the records of the evangelist Luke that two angels in shining garments appeared unto the women, who were so perplexed about the stone being rolled
away, and the body of the Lord Jesus not found. The angels said to the women, why seek ye ihe living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen; remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words. Here is the testimony of two credible witnesses ; a sufficient number to attest the truth declared ; who testified noth. ing, but what they had personally seen and known to be the truth, and delivered it in a plain simple language that it could not be misunderstood. While the women went to inform their brethren, the disciples of Jesus, of what they had heard and seen ;-behold, some of the watchmen came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done,--and what was done ?What can be the testimony of these enemies of Christ respecting his resurrection? That an angel, whose countenance was like lightning, and his garments white as snow, descended from heaven, and rolled the stone from the door, and sat upon it; and terrified them so that they became as dead men. To confirm the above testi. monies Jesus Christ appeared unto many after his resur: rection, who are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem. How he was slain and hanged on a tree, and how God rais. ed him up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to the disciples, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead ; whom he command. ed to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead.
To them he showed himself alive often after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seep of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the king. dom of God. Here we may observe, that he appeared to them that knew him best, to their full satisfaction, that the Lord was risen indeed. And he not only ap. peared to the apostles, but to more than five hundred brethren at once.
We have an account of his appearing at ten or eleven different times; so that those who had seen him had sufficient opportunities to know assuredly it was Jesus of Nazareth that was crucified by the Jews, was the very identical person that appeared so many times unto them. · He conversed with them re. peatedly, and brought to their recollection what he had said unto them before his death; he showed them his