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it is, A&t. xxvi. 22, 23. Having there-
And as for the Evangelists, tho' there be some things which only one of them records ; some things which Two only ; fome which Three fer down, yet about this Article of our Faith, they
All agree, as we may see, S. Matt. xxviii. S. Mar.. xvi, S. Luk. xxiv. S. Job. xx. Indeed, that His. Body was not upon the Day after the Sabbath in the Grave, where it was laid the day before, the Jews themselves cannot but acknowledge ; but only to falve the matter, they say He was stoln thence by some of His Disciples ; which how trae it is likely to be, let any one judge, that doth consider how strict a Watch was set at the Door of the Sepulchre, S. Matt. xxvii. 65. But, saith the Watch, He was stoln away while we flept; a likely matter, that such a Stone as that
which two Women were consulting how to get rolld away, themselves, it seems, not being able to do it ; a likely matter, I say, that such a Stone should be rollid away, and not waken the sleepy Watch that fat hard by; or if they were alleep all the while, How do they know he was stolr away, or that it was His
you know it ?
Disciples that stole Him? Stulta infania! faith S.Austin, Si vigilabas, quare permififti ? Si dormiebas, unde scisti? “ If you were awake, why would
you suffer it? If you were alleep, how could
3. There were many Eye-Witnesses of it, who faw Him, and convers'd with Him as really and familiarly after His Resurrection, as they had done before His Crucifixion; and that not by some transient Apparitions, but by forty Days Continuance and Abode with them. 1. Mary Magdalen, out of whom He had
cast seven Devils, S. Mar. xvi. 9, 10. 2. Several other Women, S. Luk. xxiv. 3. Two of the Disciples, whereof Simon
was one, as they went into the Country the fame Day towards Emmaus, S. Mar. xvi. 12, 13. S. Luk. xxiv. 13. to whom he manifested himself in
breaking of Bread. 4. The Eleven, the fame Day at Even, as
they were met together, and the Door Shut upon them; Thomas being absent from them, S. Mar. xvi. 14. S. Job. XX. 19. S. Luk. xxiv. 36. where you have two Things that prove He had as real a Living Body after, as before His
Death. 1. Handle Me, and see Me, S. Luk. xxiv.
39. 2. Have ye here any Meat ? ver. 41, 43. . 5. Five Hundred at once, 1 Cor. xv. 6. 6. James, ver. 7. 7. All the Apostles met together,and Thomas
with them, S. Fob. XX. 26. 8. The seven Disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, S. Joh. xxi, 1.
9. The Apostles immediately before His
Ascension, S. Luk. xxiv. 36. A&t. i. 2. 10. S. Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 8. 4 The Spirit giveth Testimony to it, even the Spirit which Christ when upon Earth promis’d to pour out upon his Disciples; which, if He had not risen, He could never have done, and there. fore His doing it is a clear Sign of His being risen. And truly, was there never another Argument in the World, this would be enough to convince any,
that Christ is risen, who do but consider the extraordinary Gifts and Graces of the Spirit, which Christ endow'd His Disciples with, after His Death and Passion.
Extraordinațy Holiness in Living. Extraordinary Boldness in Preaching. Extraordinary Contempt of the World. Extraordinary Love to G'OʻD. Extraordinary Diligence in propagating the Gospel'; and the extraordinary Success which they had in Preaching the Gospel, that a Company of such despicable Ejher-men should propagate so Holy a Gospel, through so finful a World as that was. So that we may truly say, that the Gospel was not only establish'd by Ghrift, but likewise propagated by the Apostles, in a miraculous Manner; and truly, if it had been propagated without Miracles, that would have been the greatest Miracle of all.
It was a great Miracle, that a Gospel, fo contrary to Flesh and Blood, should be propagated by any Means whatsoever ; but that it should be propagated by a Company of simple Fisher-men, was still much more surprizing, who had neither Porder to force, nor Eloquence to persuade Men to embrace it, but were accounted the Offscouring of the World; so that one would have thought, that, had their Doctrine been never fo
plausible, yet their very Persons would have made it contemptible. Who would have thought, that such Persons as these should ever have made any of the fets, who expected a Messiah that should advance theni to temporal Dignities, believe that Jesus Christ, whom they themselves crucify'd at Jerusalem, was the Person? But that they should plant the Gospel among the Gentiles also, who neither believ'd in the true GOD, nor expected a Messiah, Who can think upon it without Amazement? Seriously, when I look no farther than the Persons themselves, I cannot but laugh at the Conceit, to see a Company of silly Fisher-men, trudge up and down the World, from City to City, and from Country to Country, and all to persuade Men they were undone, and should be damnid, unless they believ'd that one Jesus Chrift, - who was hang'd at Jerusalem, came into the World - to save them ;: but this they did, and brought over, not only single Perfons, but whole Countries to the Profession of this Faith; propagating the most Holy Gospel among the most finful People in the World, maugre all the Opposition of Men and Devils. But, certainly, none can be so mad, as to think they did it by their own Strength: No, there is nothing we can ascribe it to, but to the Glory of His Power and Faithfulness, who promis'd them to be with them to the End of the World. Questionless, it was nothing else, but the Spirit of the most High GOD, that went along with them, accompanying the Word that they spoke, unto the Hearts of them that heard it, bearing all down before it, so that none could withstand the Power and Authority of it. And thus, the Spirit working fo miraculously for Christ, is a sign that Christ faithfully sent it, which he could not have done, had Himself been detain'd
in the Jaws of Death: [Vid. Vol. V I. Serm. Ví. of this. Author:]
II. Why Christ rose from the Dead. 1. For GOD's Glory. 1. His Faithfulness and Immutability,to shew
that GOD is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever, fulfilling in This, what He had promis'd many Ages ago, by
Types and Prophecies. 2. His Power and Omnipotency, Ephef. i.
19, 20. S: Foh. x. 18. A&t. ii. 24. it was not the Chains of Death could hold the
Lord of Life. 3. His Righteousness and Equity; for, fee
ing now, that Christ had paid a Ransom, and fatisfy'd for our Sins; GOD manifests Hiš Justice, in send ing an Officer from the Court of Heaven to roll away the Stone, bring Him out of Prison, and to fet Him at
Liberty 1. For Man's Good; for He rose not in a privåte, but in a publick Capacity, as the Second Adam, as the Head of the Church, Coloff. i. 18. and therefore altogether for our Good and Benefit. 1. That we might be fully persuaded, that
He was the true Messiah. 2. That we might be spiritually quicken'd by
His Graces, who were naturally dead in
Trespasses and Sins, Coloff. ii. 12. 3. That we might be affur'd, that He hath
made complete and full Satisfaction for our Sins; which, if He had not done, He could not have risen from the Grave,