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newness of life, with our understandings prepared to receive, our hearts to love, and our tongues to publish the truth; our hands to work out our salvation, and our feet to run with delight the way of God's commandments, though it lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. Thus we shall go on our way to heaven rejoicing in hope, and become patient and resigned under all the tribulations we can suffer for our hope's sake. A mournful Lent shall terminate in a joyful Easter; and every tear be wiped away at the resurrection of the just; when we shall meet St. Philip and his convert, with all those who, having performed their appointed penance in this world, are admitted to the communion of the church triumphant; to which God of his infinite mercy vouchsafe to bring us all, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners, the end of the law, and the fulness of the Gospel.
LUKE, XXIV. 34.
The Lord is risen indeed.
OUR meditations, for this week past, have been employed on the sorrows and sufferings of the Son of God, undergone for the sins of the world. We have viewed him sold, betrayed, denied, mocked, scourged, reviled, and evil entreated, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross; from thence taken down, and laid in the grave, as a man that had been long dead; a large stone placed at the mouth of the sepulchre, properly sealed, and the watch carefully set. During the solemn commemoration of those days, in which the Bridegroom was thus taken away, the mirth of tabrets hath ceased, and the noise of them that rejoice hath given place to the penitential accents of grief and lamentation. For a little season, even the sacred music of the church hath not been heard; but her harp also, like that of holy Job, "hath been turned to mourning, and her organ into "the voice of them that weep";" while either, with
a Job, xxx. 31.
one of the Maries, she hath stood under the cross, or watched, with the other, at the grave of her Lord.
But as a woman, who in her travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come, yet afterward remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world; with such unfeigned exultation do we on this day celebrate the second birth of the holy Jesus from the tomb; by which he realized to his desponding disciples, in a peculiar manner, one of his own beatitudes; "Blessed are they that mourn, for they "shall be comforted!" Blessed are they, who have mourned for the death of Christ, and the sins which occasioned it; for they are the persons who will be comforted by the tidings of his resurrection; their sorrow will indeed be turned into joy, when they hear that their warfare is accomplished, that their iniquity is pardoned; since he who died for their sins, is risen again for their justification. Deservedly, therefore, hath this ever been esteemed the queen of festivals, worthy to give laws to the rest, to appear at the head of the holy band, crowned with everlasting joy, and hailed by incessant hallelujahs. For now it well becometh us to obey that injunction, issued of old from the Lord, by his prophet Isaiah; "Sing, "O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth, break forth into sing"ing, ye mountains, O forest and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glori"fied himself in Israel." Let songs of praise, there
fore, fill the heavens, from the comforted spirits of just men made perfect, of patriarchs, and prophets, and saints, upon this triumph of their God whom they waited for. Let the inhabitants of the earth diffuse in loud acclamations the glorious name of the mighty Conqueror, who, by his resurrection, hath procured and given an earnest of their own. Let mount Sion and all her sister churches break forth into singing, and utter the praises of him who hath delivered them from the curse of the law, and from the guilt of sin, and from the power of the second death, as well as from the dominion of the first. Let the Gentile world, and every tree of righteousness planted therein, burst out into fruits of praise and thanksgiving for this great manifestation of the power and glory of God in the redemption of our nature from the grave. Such be the joy produced in heaven and in earth, among angels and men, Jews and Gentiles, by the tidings of this day, "The "Lord is risen indeed."
The province allotted me at present is, to display the grounds and reasons of this general joy, or to state the evidence for the fact which gives occasion to it, namely, the resurrection of Jesus our Lord from the dead; which being the key-stone of the Christian fabric, and the foundation of all our hopes, it must always be a task no less profitable than delightful, to establish so important and comfortable a doctrine upon its proper basis.
The evidence for the resurrection of Christ is of two kinds, predictive and historical. From the Old Testament it appears that Messiah was to rise; from
the New, that Jesus of Nazareth did rise, and therefore is the Messiah.
Among the predictive witnesses, the first place is due to that ancient and venerable order of men, styled Patriarchs, or heads of families, whose lives and actions, as well as their words, were descriptive of the person in faith of whom they lived and acted, instructing, interceding for, and conducting their dependents, as representative prophets, priests, and kings; looking forward unto the Author and Finisher of their faith and ours, who, by dying and rising again, was to exhibit to the world the divine fulness of all these characters; to teach, to atone, to reign; to bruise the serpent's head; to comfort the sons of Adam concerning the work and toil of their hands; to gather and to bless the nations. The extraordinary incidents, with which the history of these holy persons aboundeth, the frequent revolutions of their affairs from the depth of adversity to the height of prosperity, brought about by the remarkable interpositions of Heaven in their favour, naturally direct our attention to parallel circumstances in the after dispensations of God, to which foregoing ones were designed to bear testimony. In this light, the history of Isaac, intentionally offered in sacrifice, and received again from the dead in a figure; of Joseph, suffering persecution from his brethren, and by them sold into the hands of strangers, but afterwards taken from prison and from judgement, exalted to power and honour, and becoming the preserver of men; and, under the Mosaic dispensation, the history of David, anointed to the kingdom, but wading through