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in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."
Therefore the angels might justly rebuke these disconsolate mourners, and say, Why seek ye the living among the dead? Have you been so slow to discover the character, so slow to perceive the power of your divine Master, so dull to comprehend his words, as to think that he who gave life, is not also able to resume it at his will ? He is not here, but is risen : your own eyes shall have the proof of it, before he ascends above to that place where ye must hereafter seek him, on the right hand of the Majesty on bigh. “ He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as be said
Two remarks arise from this. One has been expressed by St. Paul in writing to the Thessalonians, and offers a comfortable thought to those whose friends have been removed from this world. (1 Thess. iv. 13 :) “ I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” Number not the living among the dead. Those for whom we weep are still living : they have entered upon an immortal and a blessed existence: they are not lying in the grave; they are risen to their Saviour and their God. Grieve not that they should “ depart, and be with Christ."
3 Mark xvi. 7.
2. But there is a spiritual, as well as a bodily resurrection : and in that sense the words, Why seek ye the living among the dead? ought to apply to the Christian in this present world. The apostle so applies them; and speaks of Christians as already “risen ;"_“ risen with Christ." Christ was not like the children of men. Their bodies perish ; his could not perish in the grave. So, too, the Christian is not like other men, whose thoughts are fixed upon the earth ; who are dead to God, dead to the concerns of the soul. But the Christian is “ alive unto God, through Jesus Christ.” He must not be sought among the dead; he must not be found among the dead; he must not be found in the ways and haunts of sinners; he must not be sought among those who have none of the life of God, within them; but among those whose “ conversation is in heaven.” If Christ had not risen, it had been evidence that he were not the Son of God. And so, if the Christian does not rise above the cares, and desires, and pursuits, and pleasures of this present evil world, it is proof that he is not what he calls himself: he must still be reckoned among the dead.
That therefore which the angels affirmed of Christ, is also, in its measure, true of those who believe in Christ. They are not here, but are risen. Their body, indeed, is still in this world : but their better part, the soul, is risen above it, and is dwelling in heaven with their Lord and Saviour. There are their affections set : thither they mount above the trifling cares and more trifling amusements
of the present life: there their treasure is; and where their treasure is, there will their hearts be also.
Let none rest satisfied, until their consciences and their lives bear witness that this is, in some tolerable degree, a description of themselves.
JESUS APPEARS TO TWO OF THE DISCIPLES ON THEIR WAY TO EMMAUS, AND EXPOUNDS TO THEM THE SCRIPTURES CONCERNING HIMSELF.
LUKE xxiv. 13–32.
(Mark xvi. 2–13.)
13. And behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15. And it came to pass, that while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16. But their eyes were holden, that they should not know him.
17. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are those that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad ?
18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days ?
19. And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people :
20. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemed to death, and have crucified him.
21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel : and beside all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done.
22. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were also at the sepulchre;
23. And when they found not his body, they came, say. ing, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said : but him they saw not.
We may well suppose that the minds of the disciples would be occupied with the things that had happened, and that their discourse would relate to them. They still, it appears, considered the death of Jesus, not as confirming, but contradicting his title of Messiah: and they were still slow to believe his resurrection. This narrative, however, seems to show, that the evidence of it was beginning to break upon their minds. They were now communing together, and reasoning: one, perhaps, arguing with the other, and afraid of trusting themselves to credit what they so eagerly desired to be true. Their reply to the stranger's inquiry shows some proofs of an approach towards conviction. We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel. But his death filled us with dismay. Yet he spoke of his death, though we heeded it not; and of rising again the third day. The third day is now come: to-day is the third day since these things were done. And this
And this very morning we have heard what has made us astonished. Certain women of our company, who went out early to the sepulchre, found that the body which they were seeking was not there, and tell us that they saw a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. How are
we to receive this? We know not what to think. If he is risen again, it must be in the power of God. Yet if the counsel of God designed to raise him, why did it suffer him to die?
Such appears to have been the state of their minds, which it was now time to refresh and enlighten.
25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken :
26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27. And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
The explanation of Jesus is here directed towards the great point to which the disciples stumbled. Ought not
Christ to have suffered these things ? That he ought,—that it was the will of God concerning him, they could not comprehend. The Messiah, to whose advent we bave