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"of we all are witneffes," Acts ii. 32. And Paul not only speaks of the power, and the greatnefs of the power, but of the "exceeding greatness of the "power of God, which he wrought in Chrift when "he raised him from the dead," Eph. i. 19, 20.

With refpect to the manner of the refurrection of Chrift; though God might and could have done it without means or inftruments, the probability is, that he employed the miniftry of angels, as heralds detached from the throne, to loose this wonderful prifoner, with honour and folemnity. This feems to be pretty clearly pointed out, by the evangelift, when he tells us, that "an angel of the Lord de"fcended from heaven and came and rolled back the "stone, and fat upon it," Matth. xxviii.`2. He opened the prifon of the grave; and, to fhow that it was no more to be shut upon the man Christ, he fat down on the ftone, which was the door of the fepulchre, thereby making proclamation that he having in the Father's name opened, no man, no devil, could or durft attempt to fhut. From Mary's account of what fhe faw in the fepulchre, the truth of this feems further evident. She "faw "(fays the evangelift) two angels in white (by their "livery, you will at once perceive whofe fervants "they were) fitting, the one at the head, and the "other at the feet, where the body of Jefus had "lain," John xx. 12. And from what Peter faw on the fame occafion, one would think thofe divine meffengers, thofe exact minifters, had even adjusted our Lord's grave cloaths; not leaving the place, till they had difpofed of them in a proper, regular and decent manner. "He faw (fays the evange "lift) the linen cloaths ly, and the napkin that

was about his head, not lying with the linen "clothes, but wrapped together in a place by it"felf," John xx. 6, 7.



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As to the time when the Father brought up the Man Chrift out of the horrible pit and miry clay, it was certainly on the firft day of the week, and on the morning of that day, being the third from his crucifixion. For Matthew tells us, our Lord's refurrection was expede in the end of the fabbath, Matth. xxviii. 1. and Mark, when the fabbath was past, Mark. xvi. 1. namely, the Jewish fabbath, or the feventh day of our week. Luke again, and John fay, it was on the first day of the week, Luke xxiv. 1. John xx. 1. Nor do the evangelifts lefs agree in this circumstance, that it was in the morning of that day. For Matthew fays, it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. Mark and Luke fay, it was very early in the morning of the first day of the week; and John fays, it was when it was yet dark. It was thus early in that morning, that Mary Magdalene and others, upon coming to the fepulchre, miffed the body of Jefus; and confequently his refurrection was still fooner, and more carly, than their difappointment.

With refpect to the space between our Lord's burial and refurrection, the evangelifts likeways agree. They tell us when he was laid in the tomb, and when he was released from the bands of death; leaving every reader to count the interval for himfelf. He was buried on the evening before the Jewish fabbath, and raised on the morning after it. "It was the preparation, (fays Mark, fpeaking of "the time of our Lord's interment) that is, the day "before the fabbath," Mark. xv. 42. In other words, he was buried on our Friday's evening, and raised on our Sabbath morning.

I am not unaware of an objection that naturally


enough arifeth here; How does it follow from this account, that, according to our Lord's own prediction, Matth. xii. 40. he was "three days and three


nights in the heart of the earth :" fince, acording to the evangelists, it would feem he was only in the grave, one whole day, namely, the day of the Jewish fabbath; and two whole nights, namely, the night before, and the night after their fabbath? To obviate this difficulty, it need only be obferved, That the natural day, confifting of twenty four hours, was, by the Jews, called a night and a day, or a day and a night; and that, in general computations, it is common to afcribe to a whole day what takes up only a part of it, as might be proved from manifold inftances. Now, as our Lord was in the grave a part of three natural days, namely, a part of Friday, the whole of Saturday, and a part of Sabbath; according to the ordinary way of computation, he may juftly be faid to have actually lien in the grave three days: but this, in agreeableness to the Jewish idea of the natural day, behoved to be expreffed by their own phrafe, namely, three days and three nights.


S E C T.

The Father thus brought up the Man Chrift out of the horrible pit and miry clay, because he had promised to do it; and becaufe, to lay it with reverence, in justice and equity, he was obliged to do it. With refpect to the Father's promife of raifing up Chrift from the dead, manifold quotations, from Mofes, the prophets and the Pfalms, might be adduced; but as the apoftle, in his fermon at Antioch, was exprefs and explicit on this head, his words ftall fuffice. "We declare unto you (faid he) glad tidings, how that the promise,



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"which was made unto the fathers, God hath ful"filled the fame unto us, their children, in that "he hath raised up Jefus again," Acts. xiii. 32, 33. God the Father, mindful of his covenant, and jealous of his honour, behoved, in this refpect, to do even as he had faid.

But he raised or brought up the Man Christ likeways, because, in justice and equity, he was obliged to do it. If a creditor, upon full payment being exhibit, muft, in juftice, and of neceffity, accordding to law, fubfcribe and deliver a writ of liberation and discharge; fhall God, the righteous Judge, be fuppofed capable of lefs equity, refpecting the finlefs cautioner and furety of finners? There is fomething to this effect, peculiarly ftriking, in a paffage quoted before: "Whom God hath raifed up, (fays the apostle, speaking of Jesuss Chrift) having loofed the pains of death." Mark what follows, "Because it was not poffible, that he "should be holden of it," Acts ii. 24. It would have been fuch an act of tyranny and injuftice, that it is impoffible, without the groffeft blafphemy, to imagine Jehovah the Father capable of it.




The falvation of the foul must be very different from men's common estimate of it. It is precious in itself, and appears exceedingly fo in the price of it, as paid down by Jefus Chrift. Had not God the Father feen a precioufnefs in the finner's redemption, it is not to be imagined, he would, by the fubftitution of his Son in the finner's room, have made fuch early and coftly provifion for it: and if our Lord Jefus had not judged the redemption of the foul precious, it is impoffible to think, he would have laid himself under such weighty obli


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gations, and fubjected himself to fuch excruciat-
ing anguish and pain. The value of things amongst
men is often judged of, from the importance
of the price by which they are obtained; and as
to particular commodities, their only value lics in
the dearth of their purchase. Would we judge of
the redemption of the foul by this rule, it will, on
a double account, appear valuable, excecding va-
luable and precious. It is not filver or gold that
could procure it its price is far above the price
of rubies. Thousands of rams, and ten thoufand
rivers of oil, fall infinitely fhort of the loweft rate
at which it could be bought. Nay, my brethren,
the fruit of the finner's body could, by no means,
atone for the fin of the foul, far leís pay for the re-
demption of it. The price you have feen: the
awful fum has been told over in your prefence, a-
mounting to nothing lefs-than the blood of bulls
and goats? no, the precious blood of the Son of
God. Nor does the value of redemption ly merely,
in the price paid for it; but also, in the need, the
abfolute, indifpenfible need all ftand in of it: all,
whether high or low, rich or poor, bond or free,
muft be interested in that falvation, to which our
Lord's fufferings had a refpect; must be interested
in it, or must inevitably perifh. Could we be in-
ftrumental in perfuading men of the precioufnefs
of falvation, one confiderable end of our miniftry
would be reached; but how far men's ufual pre-
ference to the things of time and fenfe argues an
undervaluing their fouls, it is easy to judge. Such
need to confider, that in flighting your foul's re-
demption, you flight both the Purchafer and the
price, both the contriver and the executor of it;
which, if mercy prevent not, will expofe you to the
most awful reproof at the judgment of the great



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