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Peter had shamefully denied thee; but he had got repentance, and now associated with the other disciples; particularly with him whom thou lovedst, who did not refuse his company. O give us the same loving and forgiving temper which was in thy beloved apostle. When they went to the sepulchre, they saw thy graveclothes lying in order, without the least marks of hurry or confusion. For thou hadst power to lay down thy life, and thou hadst power to take it again. Nor could any created force give thee the least disturbance or interruption in thy doing it.

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she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thon? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rab

boni: which is to say, Master. 17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God. 18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

How comfortable is it to see one who was possest by seven evil spirits, now so filled with thy love! She comes to the sepulchre, when it was yet dark. Love to thee gets the better of all her fears. When she misses thy sacred body, she runs and complains to every one she meets with; "They have taken away my Lord, and I know "not where they have laid him." She speaks thus first to Peter and John, and then to the angels; and then to thee, whom she took for the keeper of the garden. When the rest of the disciples were gone, she continues weeping at the sepulchre; and, not knowing well what she said, in the transport of her affection she cries, "Sir, "if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast “ laid him, and I will take him away:" Thou sufferedst her not long to continue in this perplexing distress: but discoveredst thyself to her, calling her by her name in a familiar manner. With what transport of joy did she answer, "Rabboni, my great master!" Yet thou wouldst not allow Mary to lose time in expressing her affection to thee any further, but commandedst her to go immediately to the other disciples with this gracious message; "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." Thus she, out of whom went seven devils, was made an apostle to the apostles themselves. O loving Saviour, what words are these!" My bre"thren;" and "My Father and your Father; my God "and your God." All the wealth, and pleasure, and

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greatness, and glory, and happiness of this world, vanishes into smoke when compared with this. Give us this, and we desire no more of any thing.

SECT. XL.

Jesus appears again to his Disciples.

19. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were

assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

It is observable, that several of thy appearances were upon the first day of the week, the day of thy resurrection, called by thy beloved disciple the Lord's day. May we rejoice to assemble with thy friends, in order to meet with our risen redeemer, on thy day. May it ever. be to us the most joyful day of the seven.

20. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side.

How kind were thy expressions and actions to those who had been so unkind to thee! "Peace be unto you.' And then thou shewedst them the marks of thy crucifixion remaining in thy glorified body. Divinely glorious scars! which proclaim to the saints in heaven thy dying love, and to thy Father thy filial obedience and sacrifice to all eternity.

20. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.

The words were now fulfilled, "I will see you again, " and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man "taketh from you." O give us the heavenly joy of seeing thee now by faith; and bring us to see thy face in glory at the right hand of thy Father, which will make us glad beyond what we can now conceive.

21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you. As my Father hath sent me, even

so send I you. 22. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them,

Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23. Whose soever, sins ye remit, they are remitted unto

them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

May we not here observe, Lord, a resemblance betwixt the operations in the natural life, and in the spiritual? It is written, that when thou formedst man at first, thou breathedst into his nostrils the breath of life. Now thou givest both the natural and spiritual life in a more secret and invisible manner. Lord, give us thy Holy Spirit to apply the whole of thy redemption to our souls; and to enable us to glorify thee in the way thou wouldst have us. Though thy first disciples, to whom thou gavest the extraordinary privilege of remitting or retaining sins, are now no more in this world; yet, blessed be thy name, thy word still remains as an infallible standard by which sins are remitted or retained. O let us see by thy word, that our sins are remitted, and we shall be happy; and convince all whose sins are retained by it, that they are under condemnation; and give them repentance and faith in thee.

were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side and be not faithless, but believing. 28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and

24. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus canie. 25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26. And after eight days again his disciples | my God.

Thomas would not believe the joint testimony of his fellow disciples. He would not believe his own eyes, except he could also feel the marks of thy wounds. How obstinate and inexcusable was he in this! yet thou turnedst it, as usual, into good; making it a proof of the reality of thy resurrection, and taking occasion from it to shew thy wonderful condescension and grace. Thou soon appearedst again in the midst of thy disciples,

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when the doors were shut; and blessing them in thy wonted manner, thou saidst to the unbelieving Thomas, in his own words, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it "into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. He being filled with surprise, and joy, and admiration at thy goodness to him, cried out, My Lord, and my "God." O Saviour, thou knowest what hinders us from adopting his words in the most joyful sense. We do not doubt of thy resurrection, nor of thy being the Christ, and the Son of God; nor of thy ability and willingness to save us; (though perhaps we have not a right belief of these great truths; Lord, give it to us;) but our great doubt is, whether we have that faith in thee, to which the promise of salvation is made; and whether we do those things which thou wouldst have us to do; and whether our conversation be sincere and full: in short, whether we have an interest in thee as our Saviour.

We can say, Thou art our Lord, who hast an absolute right to all we have and are, and to dispose of us as thou pleasest. We bless thee, we can say farther, Thou art our God, whom we worship with the Father and Holy Spirit, the one true God, in whom alone our souls can find rest. Thou art our Lord, whom we desire to serve. Thou art our God, whose favour, and image, and enjoyment, we see to be better than a thousand worlds. Thou art our God, who hast done great things for us; who hast called us out of a state of dreadful sin and wretchedness, into the hope we now enjoy. Thou art our Lord and our God in this sense, that we can go no where but to thee. If we perish, we will perish calling on thee, and will acknowledge, that if we are miserable, it is owing to our not hearkening to thy voice in time. But, O merciful Saviour, we have some hope thou wilt not let us perish. If it be for thy glory then, that we should be able (who have been such great sinners) thus to speak, we beg thou wouldst make us to say with well-grounded confidence, "Thou art our Lord and our God," who hast given us an undoubted interest in thy salvation, and" from

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