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16. Q. What then do you take to be the true meaning of this Article?
A. I suppose that it must refer to the place whither Christ's soul went in its state of separation. Acts, ii. 31. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Now, what that place was seems clearly pointed out to us in the Holy Scriptures. For, first, our Blessed Saviour promised the penitent thief, but a little before his death, that That day he should be with him in paradise, Luke, xxiii. 43. And secondly, as he was expiring, he gave up the ghost with these words: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, xxiii. 46. Christ therefore having now finished his passion, expired upon the cross: his body was laid in the sepulchre; his spirit returned unto God that gave it: and, together with the soul of the penitent thief, was carried by the holy angels into paradise, where the souls of the righteous rest till the day of the resurrection. And from thence it returned on the third day, and was again re-united to its body, as ours also shall be at the day of Judgment.
17. Q. What is your opinion of the limbus patrum, or prison, in which those of the church of Rome suppose the souls of holy men, who died before the time of Christ, to be shut up: and, to deliver whom, they say, our Saviour now went down thither?
A. As of a mere fiction, for which there is not the least ground in Scripture, but much to the contrary; and fit to keep company with their other dream of purgatory since.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.-* Matt. viii. 11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and
west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Luke, xvi. 22, 23. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Of his Resurrection, the Third Day, from the Dead.
1. Q. Was Christ to continue always under the power of death?
A. No: but on the contrary, it was foretold concerning him, That God would not leave his soul in hell, nor suffer his Holy One to see corruption, Psalm xvi. 10. Acts, ii. 31.
2. Q. How was he delivered from the power of the grave?
A. He rose again the third day from the dead. 3. Q. How do you understand these words? A. That upon the third day after his death, his soul and body, which had been separated from one another, were by the mighty power of God brought together again, and vitally united to one another: and so the same Jesus, who was dead, became again alive; or, as it is in my creed, rose again the third day from the dead.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Acts, ii. 24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. iii. 15. Ye killed the prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. iv. 10. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of
Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. x. 40. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly. xiii. 30. But God raised him from the dead. xvii. 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man, whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he raised him from the dead. Rom. iv. 24. For us, also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.
1 Cor. vi. 14. God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his power. xv. 15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. Gal. i. 1. Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead). Eph. i. 19, 20. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead. Col. ii. 12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 1 Thess. i. 10. To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Heb. xiii. 20. Now, the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work.
4. Q. Did Christ raise himself from the dead?
A. I before said, that he was raised by the mighty power of God; nor could any thing less than a Divine power have done it; Eph. i. 19, 20. Yet as Christ was God as well as man, so he did also, in that respect, concur to his own resurrection. And thus the Scripture tells us, John, ii. 19. Destroy this temple (says Christ to the Jews,) and in three days I will raise it up. x. 17, 18. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again.
Which is also, by the way, another evident argument to prove that Christ is God.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.a Acts, ii. 24, 32. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. John, v. 21. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Father quickeneth whom he will.
5. Q. How does it appear that he did thus rise from the dead?
A. By the testimony of those who were eye-witnesses of it, and saw him first cruelly put to death, and afterwards beheld him alive again.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Acts, i. 21, 22. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time, that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. iii. 15. They killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised. from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. v. 32. And
ye are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. x. 39, 41. And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem: whom they slew and hanged on a tree. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him, after he rose from the dead. xiii. 31. And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
6. Q. Are the persons who give testimony hereunto, such as may be securely relied upon in a matter of this moment?
A. They are: for, first, we have the testimony of his most bitter enemies, as well as of his friends, to prove his death. Mark, xv. 39, 44, 45. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, truly this man was the Son of God. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead? And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Matt. xxvii. 62, &c. Now, the next day that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
Nor will the sufferings which he underwent permit us to doubt it. John, xix. 33, 34. When they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a