Imágenes de páginas

dead. Therefore, he raised up Christ from the dead, to die no more.

XXXVIII. To prophecies of the resurrection of the Messiah, TYPES were added. I shall not speak here of those historical types, which others have noticed; as JOSEPA, who was wonderfully delivered from prison; Daniel, who was rescued from the den of lions; and the three ASSOCIATES of that Prophet, who were saved from the burning furnace :-all of whom were likewise promoted to great dignities. It is sufficient to bring forward one legal type—from Levit. xiv. 447. In the purification of the leper, the priest is commanded to take two clean birds : of which the one was to be killed, and its blood poured out into an earthen vessel over running water; but the other, after having been dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed, was permitted to fly at liberty into the open field. The leper was then sprinkled with the blood. Each of the birds denoted Christ, but in a different state. He is compared to a bird for his alacrity in obeying the commands of God, for his heavenly conversation, and because he was obliged to flee from place to place to escape the snares of men. He is compared to a clean bird, which might be eaten, because he is holy in himself, and is also the bread of life to sinners. The bird that was to be killed, denotes the death of Christ. The shedding of the blood over running, not standing, water, represents his obedience, conjoined with his suf. ferings and death, which proceeded from an overflowing, not a languid love. The living bird, which was dipped in the blood, and so allowed to escape, signifies Christ raised again from the dead, and flying to heaven “ by his own blood.” And the blood of Christ

u Heb. ix. 12.

who was dead, and is alive again to apply it to his people, cleanseth us from our spiritual leprosy.

XXXIX. Further, not merely the resurrection itself, but also the time of it, was foretold and prefigured. We have a prophecy respecting it in Hosea vi. 2. “ After two days will he revive us; in the third day “ he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." I do not deny, what is indisputably evident, that this prophecy relates to the Church, which is the mystical body of Christ. Whilst it refers to the Church, however, it is primarily and literally verified in the Head." Such is the spiritual sagacity of believers, that they do. not rest in external deliverances, but, through them, ascend, in their meditations, to such as are spiritual, and through these again, to the fountain itself,—Christ risen from the dead. In the resurrection of our Lord, there is an exemplar of those revivals which are expe. rienced by the Church. As therefore he was to be restored to life after two days, and to be raised up on the third day; so the Church assures herself, that after two days, that is, after a short interval of time, she should rise again from her calamitous condition to more auspicious circumstances. Nor is it without an emphasis that she joins herself to Christ in rising again. The Apostle doth the same thing. She therefore here considers the resurrection of Christ, as the foundation and pattern of her own mystical resurrection to a happier state; and the appointment of three days, as corresponding to the short space which she was to spend in affliction.

xl. Nor are types wanting. Not that either in the Old or in the New Testament, we read of any other


Ephes. ii. 5, 6.

person raised the third day after death; for, so far as appears, this was peculiar to Christ. But we have figures of this circumstance in a Patriarch, a King, and a Prophet :-in Isaac, who was, in a manner, restored from death the third day after his father Abraham had received a command to slay him in sacrifice; in HEZEKIAH, who likewise went up to the temple the third day after sentence of death had been passed on him; and in JONAH.Y

XLI. In fine, the glory as well of the Father as of the Son, which the law and justice of God would not suffer to continue under a cloud, indispensably required the resurrection of Christ. With respect to the Father, the Apostle says emphatically: “ Christ “ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Fa“tber;"z—not merely to the glory of the Father, or with the glory of the Father, but, by the glory of the Father. The glory of the Father demanded, and, so to speak, accomplished it; for the end has the nature, as well of the cause as the effect. It was of importance to the glory of the Father, that the Son, who had been unjustly condemned by the Jews for his confession of the most sacred truth, should be justified; and that, since he had most perfectly fulfilled the conditions, all the promises due to him, according to an inviolable covenant, should be no less exactly accomplished. Unless this were done, how could the justice and the faithfulness of the Father appear ? Jesus himself, when soliciting the glory promised him, urges this argument.a

XLII. With regard to the Son, the matter is clear

* Gen. xxii. 4. Heb. xi. 19.

* 2 Kings xx. 5. • Mat. xii. 40. ? 'Hoepfn Xquctos is vixção diz rñs dotus tô Ilargos. Rom. vi. 4. a John xvii. 4, 5. VOL. II.




of itself. By his death, he overcame death, and the Prince of death; and pursuing him, when laid in the sepulchre, to the remotest corner of his kingdom, he completely defeated him. It was therefore utterly impossible, that he should be holden of death. He had in himself, as “ the true God and eternal life,"d “ the power of an endless life.”e It was necessary for him to display this power in himself, as a Mediator now made perfect through sufferings. He could not be to others what he is called in Isaiah, f « the Father “ of eternity,” unless he were so, in the first place, to himself. It behoved him, in fine, to be declared and publicly manifested to be what he really is, the Conqueror of death and the Triumpher over it. But in what way could that be done, unless by rising again, that he might stand last on the earth,8 having put the enemy to flight.36 Hence those two characters are joined together, “ The first-begotten of the dead, and “ the Prince of the kings of the earth;%h and he says also: “ I am he that liveth and was dead; and, be“ hold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the “ keys of hell and of death.” i

XLIII. Let us now consider, in fine, the UTILITY of Christ's resurrection. The advantage which redounds to us from this important event is chiefly three-fold, 1st, Our justification. He “ was delivered for our of“ fences, and was raised again for our justification.” i

[ocr errors]

b Heb. ii. 14.

© Acts ii. 24.
di John v. 20.

• Heb. vii. 16.
Chap. ix. 6.
* Novissimus in pulvere staret, Job xix. 25.
h Rev. i. 5.

i Verse 18.
j Rom. iv. 25. .

so See Note XXXVI.

When God released his Son from the bonds and prison of death, into which he had been thrown on account of our debts, he is to be viewed as having given him a discharge, and as having declared by that very deed, that his justice was now satisfied to the last farthing. When Christ was raised up, he was thus “ justified in the “ Spirit.” But if he was justified, we must at the same time have been justified in him.

XLIV. 2dly, Our sanctification. “ Ye are risen with “ him through the faith of the operation of God, who “ hath raised him from the dead." Hence believers are said to be “ risen with Christ,” that is, in a spiritual sense ;m and to be “ planted together with him in " the likeness of his resurrection, that, as Christ was “ raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, * even so they also should walk in newness of life.”n This is “ the power of his resurrection," of which Paul speaks. Christ, when he came forth from the earth, was made, not merely like the first Adam, “ a living “ soul, but a quickening spirit.”p He received life, not only for himself, but also for his people; and not merely that he might live with the Father in heaven, but also that he might live by the Spirit in believers.9 As the animal spirits, derived from the brain, and distributed through the nerves to the whole body, communicate life and motion even to the remotest members; so the Spirit of life, which is in the Saviour as the head and fountain, flows down by secret channels to all the members of the mystical body, producing in them a new life, and a life worthy of Christ. While believers

* 1 Tim. iü. 16.
m Col. üi. 1.
• Philip. iii. 10.
9 Gal. ii. 20.

i Col. ï. 12.
n Rom. vi. 4, 5.
P i Cor. xv. 45.

« AnteriorContinuar »