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tation of the proud delusion! And, if our hearts have been changed by divine grace, so that we love and imitate the lowly and humble Saviour, let us count our cost, expect scorn and hatred from men, tribulation in the world, and peace and consolation from the Lord alone. Let us also look beyond the cross, and contemplate the glory which followed; “ that we may not be wearied and faint " in our minds." We too have a
We too have a “joy set before us :" let us then endure our lighter cross, and despise the shame; assured that “ if we suffer with “ Christ, we shall also reign with him” in glory:
But, my fellow sinners, where will you appear at his second coming to judge the world, if you now neglect his great salvation? If you join his enemies; and, by cleaving to your sins, prefer Barabbas to Jesus, sell him as Judas did for a few pieces of silver, or determine you “ will not have “ him to reign over you?" Still he invites you to come to him, that you may have life eternal. Oh! that you
would seek to him as a Saviour, who will shortly come to be your Judge.
In fine, contemplating the cross of Christ, teaches us most effectually every lesson contained in the sacred scriptures. Let us then, my brethren, further prosecute our meditations at the Lord's table: and, while we remember the love and sufferings of our Redeemer, let us renew our repentance, and acceptance of his salvation, and give up ourselves to his service; that," as bought with a price, we
may glorify him with our bodies and spirits « which are his."
1 CORINTHIANS XV. 20.
Now is Christ risen from the dead.
We learn from this chapter, that some of the Corinthians had denied the doctrine of a resurrection : probably explaining away the apostolical language on that subject as figurative, and as only meaning conversion, or that change which took place in the world by the introduction of Christianity.? In confuting this dangerous error, the apostle called their attention to the resurrection of Christ, as an undeniable fact: and he shewed that the denial of a resurrection was equivalent to saying that Christ was not risen, and thus tended to subvert the foundation of Christianity, and to destroy the hopes and comforts of believers. “ If “ there be no resurrection of the dead, then is not “ Christ risen: and, if Christ be not risen, then is
our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain : yea,
and we are found false witnesses of God.“ And, if Christ be not raised, ye are yet in your “sins: then they also which are fallen asleep in “ Christ are perished. If in this life only we have
hope in Christ, we are of all men most misera“ble.” All the joys and supports of Christians are inseparably connected with future and eternal felicity; without the hope of which they would
· Preached on Easter Sunday, 1796.
? 2 Tim. ü. 17, 18.
have nothing to counterbalance their peculiar trials and conflicts.
If Christ were not risen, believers were yet in their sins, and even the martyrs had finally perished. But were not the primitive Christians converted from idols to serve the living and true God? Did they not“ repent, and do works meet for re
pentance?” Were they not exemplary in the practice of all good works? And did they not meet death for the sake of a good conscience towards God? How then could they be “yet in their sins?" -Because none of these things could atone for their transgressions; and, if Christ were not risen, no cffectual atonement had been made: they must therefore have still continued under condemnation, and exposed to the curse of the law which they had broken. A most conclusive proof that the death of Christ was a vicarious satisfaction for sin; and that none can be saved, who are not interested in that atonement !
It is deemed uncandid to charge men's doctrine with the consequences resulting from them: yet I apprehend we should all consider ourselves bound to warn people against the consequences of taking a poisonous mixture, even if he who administered it was not at all aware of its nature: and the apostle has here set us the example of doing the same, in opposing those erroneous doctrines by which immortal souls are fatally deceived.
He then adds the words of the text, “Now is “ Christ risen from the dead,” and proceeds to treat very copiously on the doctrine of the resurrection. But I shall confine myself to the subject before us, and attempt,
1. To prove that Christ is risen from the dead :
II. To shew the inferences which may be drawn from that event;
III. To apply the subject to ourselves.
Though true Christians have “ a witness in “ themselves,” which in general satisfies their minds as to the certainty of the things which they have believed; yet, in peculiar seasons of temptation, an acquaintance with the evidences of Christianity would tend greatly to their establishment. And, in these times of infidelity and scepticism, all, who would “ contend earnestly for the “ faith once delivered to the saints," should be able “ to give a reason of their hope” to every in-. quirer or objector: both to defend themselves from the charge of enthusiasm and credulity ; to obviate the doubts of those with whom they converse; and to preserve young persons, perhaps their own children, from the fatal contagion. It is therefore greatly to be lamented that pious persons are in general so little furnished with this sort of knowledge, of which they might make such important use.
It is commonly said that the new Testament is built upon the foundation of the Old, and must stand or fall along with it: and there is a truth in this sentiment, though somewhat diverse, in its nature and consequences, from that which is generally supposed. Our Lord and his apostles have so frequently quoted the Old Testament, and almost every part of it, as “ the scripture,” “ the word of “ God," “ the oracles of God,” and “the language “ of the Holy Ghost," that their credit must be
connected with the divine inspiration of the books thus repeatedly attested by them.-We are able to prove that the canon of the Old Testament in those days differed very little, if at all, from that which we have at present, yet our Lord referring to different parts of it says, “ Thus it is written, and “ thus it must be,” “ the scripture cannot be “ broken,” “the scriptures must needs be ful“ filled.” And the apostles say,
“ All scripture is given by inspiration of God :” “Holy men of “God spake as they were moved by the Holy - Ghost.” This single consideration completely establishes the whole of the Old Testament as a divine revelation, with all those who duly reve. rence the words of Christ and his apostles. In all other respects the New Testament stands on its own basis, and is proved to be the word of God by distinct evidence: it affords unspeakably more support to the Old Testament than it receives from it; and the resurrection of Christ alone is sufficient to authenticate the whole sacred volume.
The restoration of a dead body to life is no more difficult to omnipotence, than the production of life at first. The divine operation is in both respects alike incomprehensible: but, as we continually observe life to be communicated in a certain way, we call that the law of nature ; though we understand not our own meaning, and cannot explain how causes produce their effects. But dead bodies do not return to life in the ordinary course of human affairs : we therefore suppose some law of nature to the contrary, the violation of which in any particular instance, we should call a miracle; that is a divine interposition and operation to