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whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised : and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in

your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept."

This is the language of a man whose attachment to the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead had contributed principally to his belief in that of Christ. Deny the former, and the latter falls. “If the dead rise not, then is not Christ risen.” Or, supposing that Paul merely intends to represent the absurd consequence of his opponents' assertion, that which he arrives at is only this,-deny the resurrection of the dead, and you are obliged to deny also Christ's resurrection; you are thus at variance with an established doctrine of the church of which you are members, a doctrine which I preached, and which ye believed; you make our preaching and your faith vain. That verse 20, “ Now is Christ risen," only expresses a reference to the doctrine of the church, appears by comparing it with verse 12, “if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead.”

Very different would be the language of a man who had acquired by investigation a conviction of the reality of the appearances of Jesus. Such an one would

say, Though there be no resurrection of the dead in general, yet Christ is risen ; for this is a notorious fact, resting on the indisputable testimony of Cephas, the Apostles, and the five hundred, many of whom are ready now to attest it, and thus leave no shadow of doubt concerning it. He would confine himself to proving that a general resurrection must be inferred from that of Christ, and not go on to contemplate the consequences of an impossible case, viz., that Christ was not risen. To plead in favour of Christ's resurrection from the injurious consequences of denying it, instead of appealing to it as an incontrovertible fact, is choosing the weaker line of argument; and as this is the only place in Paul's writings where he mentions the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles, we are left to doubt whether he could have used the stronger.*

Paul's mode of thinking seems to resemble exactly that of many Christians of later times. If the resurrection of the dead be denied, the first thought is, that this contradicts an essential doctrine of Christianity; “our faith then is vain ; the Apostles preached that Christ was raised, and so we have believed." They believe, no doubt sincerely, on this ground; but, like Paul, not having thought it necessary to examine closely the evidence of the fact, they turn instinctively to other arguments. So Paul falls into an argument of natural reason common to all ages, in support of a resurrection, viz., the suffer

* It is true that the words, “But now is Christ risen,” would meet this objection, if they could be understood in the sense of an appeal to a well-known fact. But their force depends entirely upon this; and the following reasons seem to render it probable that they only appeal to a doctrine of the church; in which case their sense is, " But now, we have preached, and ye have believed, that Christ is risen, and therefore you cannot now dispute it.”

Firstly. Verses 2, 11, 12, express this sense, and the phrase “ but now" seems to imply a return to the position with which the argument commenced.

Secondly. The words are the beginning of an elevated train of thought, which certainly does not appeal to facts, but either to the doctrines of the church, or to Paul's own revelations concerning the coming of the kingdom of God.

Thirdly. An instance of similar reasoning occurs at verse 29, where Paul argues that there must be a resurrection of the dead, because otherwise baptism for the dead, an established rite of the church, would be in vain. "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead ?"

ings of good men, which he urges in a forcible and affecting manner, “ If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

As Paul himself did not believe the doctrine of Christ's resurrection from an investigation of the Apostles' testimony, so neither did he require his hearers to believe it on this ground. They were to receive it as a matter of faith. As Abraham believed a thing improbable in itself, because it was necessary to fulfil the promises of God, so was the church required to believe the resurrection of Christ, because, in Paul's scheme, it fulfilled the Prophets. And this faith was to proceed from hearing himself, to whom the doctrine had been revealed, and also from the operation of the Spirit upon themselves. See Rom. iv. 20—24; X. 8–17; 1 Cor. ii. 5, 10–15; 2 Cor. v. 5; Eph. i. 8. The modern Christian, who has been accustomed to believe the resurrection of Christ on the supposed strength of its evidence, is astonished to find throughout Paul's writings no passage recommending this as a basis for faith: on the contrary, the repeated exhortations to avoid the words of fleshly wisdom, and to seek the influences of the Spirit, seem to discourage such a mode of conversion.

On the whole, Paul's testimony to the resurrection of Christ is of little weight, because he appears to have paid no attention to the question of the evidence, but to have believed on grounds which are not approved by the modern rational inquirer.

III. The undisputed apostolic writings affording thus very little evidence as to the point in question, we are left to depend for particulars concerning the appearances of Jesus on writings of a later date and less certain authenticity, viz., the four Gospels, and some fragments of writings of less repute. Thus, if we except the Gospel of John, we have not, on this momentous point, the evidence of eye-witnesses, but merely second-hand and hearsay in

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formation. Let us collect together in one view all the accounts remaining of Jesus's resurrection:

Matt. xxviii. “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward 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 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 shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead : and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee ; there shall ye see him ; lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid : go tell

my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Mark xvi. “ And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the

And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away; for it was very great. And entering

sun.

into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted : Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen ; he is not here; behold the place where they laid him. But go your way; tell his disciples, and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre ; for they trembled and were amazed : neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”

Ver. 9. “ Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue ; neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe : In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues ;-they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them ;—they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

Luke xxiv. “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled

away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments : And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the 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, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that

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