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fible, that any miracle could be greater in itself for confir- SERM. mation of the whole, or more proper for ascertaining the XXX. parts of our religion. But more particularly;"

5- First, From it the dignity of our Lord's person and his especial deamess to God (to the voidance of all exceptions and surmises against him) did appear.

If the meanness of his birth and parentage, if the low garb and dim lustre of his life, if the bitter pains and stiameful disgraces of his death, (however accompanied with rare qualities shining in him, and wonderful deeds achieved by him,) in persons standing at distance, casting superficial glances on things, and judging by external ap- j0hnvii.a4. pearances, might breed disadvantageous apprehensions or suspicions concerning him, whether he were indeed, as he pretended, the Son of God, designed by him to be the Saviour of mankind, the Lord of all things, the Judge of the world; the wonderful power and signal favour of God demonstrated in his resurrection, served to discuss those mists, and to correct such mistakes, evincing those temporary depressions to have been only dispensations preparatory toward his greater exaltation in dignity and apparent favour with God ; for though, faith St. Paul, he* Cor.iiii. was crucified out of weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God; that is, although in his sufferings the infirmity of our nature assumed by him was discovered, yet by his recovering life the divine power attending him was eminently declared; it was indeed an excefjive grandeur o/"Eph. i. 19. power, an energy of the might of strength which God did^f'XT ri" exert in the raising of Christ from the dead, as the Apostle*'TM'"*"-; laboureth to express the unexpressible eminency of this xeir»t T?f miracle; and being so high an instance of power, it was "*"*'• consequently a special mark of favour; God not being lavish of such miracles, or wont to stretch forth his arm in behalf of any person to whom he doth not bear extraordinary regard: the which consequence also, by reflecting on the circumstances and nature of this event, will farther appear.

He was persecuted and put to death as a notorious malefactor, and an enemy to God, to true religion, to the

F %

6ERM. common peace, to goodness; and his being delivered up

XXX. to suffer was an enforcement of that pretence; for his ad

'"versaries thence did argue, that God had disavowed and

deserted him; they insulted over him, as one in a forlorn

Isa. liii. 4. condition, esteeming him, as the Prophets foretold,y?ricAe«,

vi\uf.'ll'smitten °fGod> and afflicted: but God thus, by his own

hand, undoing what they had done against him, did plainly

confute their reasonings; did evidence their accusations to

be false, and their surmises vain; did, in opposition to their

suggestions, approve him a friend and favourite of God,

a patron of truth, a maintainer of piety and peace; one

meriting, because obtaining, the singular countenance and

succour of God.

And if yielding our Lord over to death (which being a total incapacity of enjoying any good, doth signify an extremely bad state) might imply God's displeasure or disregard toward him, (as indeed it did in a fort, he standing in our room to undergo the inflictions of divine wrath and justice;) then, answerably, restoring him to life (which, as the foundation of enjoying any good, doth represent the best condition) must demonstrate a singular tenderness of affection, with a full approbation and acceptance of his performances: this indeed far more pregnantly doth argue favour, than that could imply displeasure; for that may happen to the best men upon other grounds, this can bear no other than a favourable interpretation.

Farther, to give life doth ground that relation which is deepest in nature, and importeth most affection; whence, in the holy style, to raise up to life, is termed to beget; Acts xiii. and the regeneration is put for the rejiirreclion; so that Matt. x\x. ll being a paternal act, signifieth a paternal regard; and »*• thence perhaps St. Paul telleth us, that our Lord was de

clared, or defined to le the Son of God, ly his resurrection from the dead.

6. Secondly, By our Lord's resurrection we may be assured concerning the efficacy of his undertakings for us: for considering it we may not doubt of God's being reconciled to us, of obtaining the pardon of our sins and acceptance of our persons, of receiving all helps conducible to our sanctification, of attaining final happiness, in cafe SERM. we are not on our parts deficient; all those benefits by our XXX.'

Lord's resurreaion, as a certain seal, being ratified to us,

and in a manner conferred on us.

As God, in the death of our Lord, did manifest his wrath toward us, and execute his justice upon us; so in raising him thence correspondents God did express himself appeased, and his law to be satisfied; as we in his suffering were punished, (the iniquity of us all being laid Isa. liii. 6. upon him,) so in his resurrection we were acquitted and restored to grace; as Christ did merit the remission of our fins and the acceptance of our persons by his passion, so God did consign them to us in his resurrection; it being that formal act of grace, whereby, having sustained the brunt of God's displeasure, he was solemnly reinstated in favour, and we representatively, or virtually, in him; so that (supposing our due qualifications, and the performances requisite on our parts) we thence become completely justified, having not only a just title to what justification doth import, but a real instatement therein, confirmed by the resurrection of our Saviour; whence was, faith St. Paul, delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification; and, Who then, faith the sameRom. viii. Apostle, shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elecl?3*' 34It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again: our justification and absolution are, ye see, rather ascribed to the resurrection of Christ, than to his death; for that indeed bis death was a ground of bestowing them, but his resurrection did accomplish the collation of them; for since, doth the Apostle argue, God hath acknowledged satisfaction done to his justice, by discharging our surety from restraint and from all farther prosecution; since in a manner so notorious God hath declared his favour toward our proxy; what pretence can be alleged against us, what suspicion of displeasure can remain? Had Christ only died, we should not have been condemned, our punishment being already undergone; yet had we not been fully discharged, without that express warrant and acquittance

SERM. which his rising doth imply: so again may St. Paul be XXX. understood to intimate, when he faith, If Christ he not i Cor. It. raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your fins: death !?• (or that obligation to die, to which we did all for our

transgressions stand devoted) was condemned, and abolished by his death; but it was executed and exBom?viu? PungeQ 'n bis resurrection; in which trampling thereon he 3. v. is. vi.crushed it to nothing: wherefore therein mankind revived, i Cor. xv. and received the gift of immortality; that being a clear ,4- pledge and full security, that as in Adam all die, so in

"tTsur^1" Christ shall all le made alive: He, faith St. Chrysostom, rexit. Hitr-iy hiS resurrection dissolved the tyranny of death, and with i Cor.Tai. himself raised up the whole world*', By the pledge of his resurrection, faith St. Ambrose, he loosed the lands of hellb; Therely, faith St. Leo, death received its destruction, and life its leginningc. Therein not only the natural body of Christ was raised, but the mystical body also, each member of his Church was restored to life, being throughly rescued from the bondage of corruption, and Eph.ii.5,6.translated into a state of immortality; so that God, faith Rom. Tin. St> pau]j Ac</{ quickened us together with Christ, and raised us together, and made us to stt together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Hence in our baptism, (wherein justification and a title

to eternal life are exhibited to us,) as the death and burial

of Christ are symbolically undergone by us; so therein

Colos. ii. also we do interpretatively rise with him ; Being, faith St.

13, M. Paul, buried with Christ in baptism, in it we are also raised

I Pet. i». together with him; and, Baptism, St. Peter telleth us, beT

fl- ing antitype of the passage through the flood, doth save us

by the resurrection of Christ, presented therein.

It also ministreth hopes of spiritual aid, sufficient for the sanctification of our hearts and lives; for that he who

• jiix cm «>w«'ii»j J«m« TVfKnsi* **ri\ufl. Chrys. Rom. i. 4.

T»l> eI*Vf*itnv \etvry fft/vectifnn. Chrys. torn. V. Or. 84.

b Dominus suæ resurrectionis pignore vincula solvit infcmi, &c. Ambr. aJ Gral.

c Per resurrectionem Ghristi et mors interitum, et Tita accepit initium. In As. Bf. 81.

1 Pet. iii. 31.

raised our Lord from a natural death, thence doth appear SERM. both able and willing to raise us from a spiritual death, or XXX. from that mortal slumber in trespasses and sins in which"

naturally we do lie buried, to walk hi that newness of life Eph. ii. 10. to which the Gospel calleth us; and in regard to which, ev*xx"6' God, faith St. Peter, having raised his Son Jesus, sent him Acts iii. 36. to bless us, in turning every one of us from his iniquities.

The fame consequently is a sure earnest of our salvation; for, If, laith St. Paul, when we were enemies we were re-Rom. conciled to God hy the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

7. Thirdly, By our Lord's resurrection, the verity of his doctrines and the validity of his promises concerning the future state of men are demonstrated, in a way most cogent and most pertinent: any miracle, notoriously true, (John xx. doth indeed suffice to confirm any point of good doctrine ;al'' but a miracle in kind, or involving the matter contested, hath a peculiar efficacy to that purpose: so did our Lord's resurrection, in way of palpable instance, with all possible evidence to sense, directly prove the possibility of our resurrection, together with all points of doctrine coherent thereto; (the substantial distinction of our soul from the body, its separate existence after the dissolution, and consequently its immortal nature, God's wife and just providence over human affairs in this state, the scrutiny and judgment of our actions hereafter, with dispensation of recompences answerable;) those fundamental ingredients of all religion, most powerful incentives to virtue, and most effectual discouragements from vice; the which, (before much liable to doubt and dispute, little seen in the darkness of natural reason, and greatly clouded in the uncertainty of common tradition,) as our Lord by his doctrine first brought into clear light, so by his resurrection heaTinrUofully did shew that light to be sincere and certain. In- 23. finitely weak and unsatisfactory were all the arguments which the most careful speculation could produce, for asserting those important verities, in comparison to that one sensible experiment attesting to them: for if our Lord, a man as ourselves, did arise from the dead, (his soul, which


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