תמונות בעמוד

mystical adumbrations, or by express predictions ; under- SERM, stood according to those infallible expositions, which the XXX. Apostles did receive from the instruction of our Lord, or from illumination of that Spirit which dictated the Scriptures : the particular instances, as being obvious, and requiring large discourse, I now forbear to mention.

2. It was needful in congruity to other events foretold, and in order to the accomplishment of those designs which our Lord was to manage : the whole economy and harmony of the evangelical dispensation, as it is represented by the Prophets, doth require it: it was, according to their predictions, designed, that Christ should erect a spiritual kingdom, and administer it for ever, with perfect equity, in great peace and prosperity; that he should in our behalf achieve glorious exploits, subduing all the adversaries of our salvation, (hn, death, and hell ;) that he should establish a new covenant, upon


promises, of another eternal most happy life, assuring to the embracers thereof an entire reconciliation and acceptance with God; that he should convert the world to faith in God, and observance of his will : in execution of these purposes, it was declared that he should undergo fuffering, and be put to death in a most disgraceful and painful manner; it consequently must be supposed, that from such a death he should conspicuously and wonderfully be restored to life; how otherwise could it appear, that he did reign in glory, that he had obtained those great victories, that he had vanquished death, that the former curses were voided, God appeased, and mankind restored to favour by him? Had the grave swallowed him up, had God left his soul in hell, had he rested under the dominion of common mortality, had after his dismal paffion no evidence of special favour toward him shone forth; what ground had there been to believe those great things? who would have been persuaded of them? The Scripture therefore, which foretelleth the sufferings 1 Pet. i. 11, of our Lord, and the glories following them; which faith, 26. that having drunk of the brook in the way, he should lift Pl. cx. 7,

Ifa. liii. 10, up his head; that when he had made his foul an offering 12.

Luke xxiv.



SERM. for fin, he should prolong his days, and the pleasure of the XXX. Lord Should prosper in his hand; that because he had poured

out his soul unto death, God would divide him a portion

with the great, and he should divide the Spoil with the Ifa. xlix. 7. strong; that unto him whom man despised, to him whom

the nation abhorred, kings should look and arise, princes Should worship; the Scripture, I say, foretelling thefe events, doth consequentially imply the needfulness of his resurrection.

3. It was requisite in itself; or in respect to the many great ends for which it serveth, and the excellent fruits which it is apt to produce : as will appear by reflecting on those which are suggested in the New Testament.

I pass by its particular usefulness in regard to our Lord's Apostles and disciples; its serving to reinforce their faith, and rear their hopes, being staggered by his paffion; to comfort them in those forrowful apprehenfions and defpondencies of heart, which arose from the frightful events befalling him ; to enlighten their minds by more perfect instruction, removing their ignorance, and reforming their mistakes concerning him and the things of his kingdom; to furnish them with instructions and orders requisite for managing the employments committed to them; to arm them by consolatory discourses and gracious promises of support against the difficulties, ha, zards, and troubles they were to encounter, in the profeffion and propagation of his doctrine; in fine, by all his admirable deportment with them, and his miraculous departure from them, to confirm them in their faith, and encourage them in their duty: these particular uses, I say, we shall pass over, insisting only upon those more common ends and effects in which ourselves and all Christians

are more immediately concerned. Μάλιστα -4. A general end of it was the production and corrotávowe boration of faith in us concerning all the doctrines of our σημείον ικα vòs zaà tous religion; for that by it the truth of all our Lord's declaαναισχυντάνTas Exifto- rations concerning his own person, his offices, his power, μίζειν. . his precepts and his promises, (to the highest pitch of conChryf.in Rom. i. 4. viction and satisfaction,) was assured; it being hardly poffible, 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 dearness to God (to the voidance of all exceptions and surmises against him) did appear.

If the meanness of his birih and parentage, if the low garb and dim lustre of his life, if the bitter pains and thameful 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- John vii.24. 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 2 Cor. xiii. 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 excessive grandeur of Eph. i., 19. power, an energy of the might of strength which God did yiyidos rūs exert in the raisng of Christ from the dead, as the Apostle


ενέργεια του laboureth to express the unexpressible eminency of this κράτους της miracle; and being so high an instance of power, it was

ισχύος. . 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

xxii. 8.

SERM. 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 Ifa. liii. 4. condition, esteeming him, as the Prophets foretold, stricken, Pl.lxxi . 11. smitten of God, 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 furmises 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 å total incapacity of enjoying any good, doth signify an extremely bad state) might imply God's displeasure or difregard 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; Aets xiii. and the regeneration is put for the resurrection ; so that Matt. xix. it being a paternal act, signifieth a paternal regård; and

thence perhaps St. Paul telleth us, that our Lord was declured, or defined to be the Son of God, by his resurrection from the dead.

6. Secondly, By our Lord's resurrection we may be afsured 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 fins and acceptance of our persons, of receiving all helps conducible

Rom. i. 4.

to our fanctification, of attaining final happiness, in case SERM. we are not on our parts deficient; all those benefits by our XXX. Lord's resurrection, as a certain seal, being ratified to us, and in a manner conferred on us.

As God, in the death of our Lord, did manifeft his wrath toward us, and execute his justice upon us ; so in raising him thence correspondently 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 Ifa. lii. 6. upon him,) fo 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 folemnly 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 initatement therein, confirmed by the resurrection of our Saviour; whence he Rom.iv.25. was, faith St. Paul, delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification ; and, Who then, saith the same Rom. viii. Apostle, shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect ? 33, 34. It 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 fee, rather ascribed to the resurrection of Christ, than to his death; for that indeed his death was a ground of bestowing them, but his resurrection did accomplish the collation of them; for fince, doth the Apostle argue, God hath acknowledged satiffaction done to his justice, by discharging our furety from restraint and from all farther prosecution ; fince 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 Chrift 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

2 Cor. v. 15.

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