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tude of Witnesses, and confirmed by suchSerma Number of consequent Facts, that 'tis XIII. hardly possible the first Preachers of his (-^*SJ Doctrine mould either Themselves have been deceived, or be Deceivers of Others; we may now easily Answer that obvious Objection, suggested.^?* x. 40. why Christ after his Resurrection showed himself openly, not to all the people, but unto Witnesses only, chosen before of God. And the Reason hereof is the fame, as why in all other cases God does not all that he is able to do, but all that is fit and right for him to do. There is in every Means, a certain Fitness and Proportion to the End it leads to j wherewith if men will not be satisfied, there are no limits to unreasonable expectations, and no bounds where groundless imaginations may stop. The Wisdom of God provided as many unquestionable Witnesses of the Resurrer ction of Christ, as the Nature of the Thing required; as was sufficient, to make the Fact uncontestablc; as was satisfactory, to any reasonable and unprejudiced person. To work more miracles X 4 for
312 0/" >Æ* ResurreSiion of Christ.
S E R M. for the fake of obstinate and vicious UnbeXIII. lieverS) God was not obliged. And, if he had done it, the Objection would still have increased without End. For if it was not sufficient, that Christ showed himself openly to a Number of Witnesses; but it had been necessary tlaat he should appear personally to the whole City of Jerusalem; for the same Reason it might be fansied necessary, that he should have shown himself also to the whole Jewish Nation: and for the same Reason, to all other Nations likewise; and to These, in Every Age of the World, as well as in One Age; and that, to every single Person, if one miraculous appearance was not sufficient, he might have shown himself oftner and with more miraculous circumstances; and so on, without End. Which shows plainly the unreasonableness of all Such Expectations j when men are not satisfied with that Evidence which is fit and sufficient in its kind.
I Shall .conclude This Head, concerning the Evidence of the Fuct of Christ's being risen from the Dead, with . .; .. only
only One Observation about the Manner S E R M.
XTIT of his Rising. Which is, that in more
than thirty passages of the New Testament, 'tis expressly affirmed that God raised up our Lord from the Dead, or that he was raised by the Power of the Father; and yet in twb or three other places 'tis no less plainly asserted, that Christ raised up himself. Which different expressions might have seemed very difficult to be reconciled, but that our Saviour himself has in a most remarkable passage upon this Subject, (as it were on purpose,) explained them to us. with the greatest accuracy and exact distinctness. Job. x. 18. No man, faith he, taketh my Life from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have Power to lay it down, and I have Power to take it again; 'this Commandment, (that is, This Commission, This Power,) have I received of my Father. I proceed Now in the
lid place, To consider what were the Effects of Christ's Resurrection, with respect to our Lord himself And they were, ijl, that thereby he was effectually,
S E R M. and in a most convincing manner, de-
<^"V^ be the Son of God with Power, faith St Paul,
42. Him God raised up the third day,<
and commanded us-^-—to testify, that 'trs
He which was ordained of God to be the Se R M. Judge of Quick and Dead. And ch. xvii. XIII. 31. God hath appointed a day, in which he *^V>^ ,will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath appointed, whereof he hath given ajsurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the Dead.
If it be here asked, the appointing a day of general Judgment, being a Truth of so great importance to Mankind; why then was it not declared Sooner and Universally, in All Ages and to All People? The true Answer (I think) is, that in the Whole, the Rule of Righteousness and the . great Expectation of a Judgment to come, is in all Times and in all Places the fame; And yet the several Dispensations, or particular Methods and Degrees of God's manifesting these Truths to Mankind, by the Light of Nature and Reason, by Revelations to the Jews and Patriarchs, and by the Gospel of Christ, are and may as justly be very different, as, in other cases, 'tis lawful for God, the Author of All, to make people of different capacities and in different Circumstances. And accordingly, 3 "" wkat