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Lord's history this is one of the most indisputable, that his disciples had no notion whatever of his rising again. Even after he had given them that specimen of a glorified body alluded to in his transfiguration, and had “charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of Man were risen from the dead,” they “kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. A general resurrection of the dead at the last day, was, indeed, an article of belief with the pious part of the Jewish nation, I mean a bodily resurrection. The proofs of this are numerous, but it would lead us too much out of the way to enter upon the discussion of them at present. But the disciples had not the most distant apprehension that their Master would now, presently, return to life again. This is manifest from every circumstance connected with that most astonishing event.

It is manifest in all the actions and observations of his friends on that great occasion. The Apostles were not at the tomb on the third day as they naturally would have been on the eve of such an expectation. They were not assembled together till the rumour of his resurrection had been currently reported, and had drawn them together to deliberate upon it. They had not fancied such a thing to be either probable or credible, but in the highest degree, both improbable and incredible, and their belief, as is well known from the history, was,

as might be * See also John xx. 9.

expected in persons of their rank in life, and their apprehensions and attainments, slow, gradual, suspicious, and inquisitive.

Very early in the morning certain women, of whom Mary Magdalene was one, went to the sepulchre to embalm the body. The very idea of embalming the body, is evidence of the expectation of finding the body there. Their preparation of spices shows their opinion of Christ's death to have been the same as of the death of any other person, and the conduct of the different parties of women who went to the sepulchre, entirely agrees with this preconceived idea of the permanence of his mortality, and the preconcerted plan of anointing him with the customary ointments.

The first account of his resurrection was communicated to them by the angel who descended from heaven, drove away the terrified guard from the sepulchre, and rolling back the mighty stone which closed up its mouth, sat down upon it. When the women saw him they were afraid, but he encouraged and comforted them, saying, “Be not affrighted : Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee : there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." You see, the angel no sooner declares to them the fact of Christ's being risen again, but he refers to the prediction in the text respecting his future appearance in Galilee. To this public manifestation of himself, as forming a part of our Lord's prophetical history, all the others seem to have been subordinate. They were all, comparatively, of a private nature, chiefly to a few select friends, his principal companions and followers. To them he gave repeated testimonies of his return from the dead, to satisfy their scruples, to strengthen their faith, to accomplish the prophecies respecting that event, to remove every doubt from their minds, and every difficulty, so far as it could be done, from their evidence, as to his actual, personal, bodily resurrection on the third day. Hence, when he was repeatedly seen on that day, and again on the first day of the following week; when he dined with them on the lake of Gennesaret; and on all other occasions but the one in question, they were, in the common acceptation of the word, private manifestations, but this in Galilee, which was the only one promised and described, was, as is generally understood, of a more public kind. To this more open manifestation of himself, St. Paul is supposed to allude in that celebrated chapter, the fifteenth of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he says, “ After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once." It is highly probable, that as the other appearances of Christ were to his select disciples, this was intended as a full discovery of himself to all those who chose to convince themselves of the reality of his resurrection. In Galilee our Lord was well known. There he had been bred up; his family, his home, his first thirty years, were circumstances

familiar to the inhabitants of that region. There, too, lay the chief scene of his ministry, and, consequently, the great majority of his adherents and followers. It was reasonable to show himself once for all to the congregated body of his disciples, and it was natural that the district of Galilee should be chosen for this public exhibition. It is beyond a doubt that he did show himself on a mountain in that country, and thus fulfilled, in its minutest particulars, the prophecy he had delivered concerning his resurrection.

With these facts before us, exhibiting the fulfilment of two remarkable predictions of our blessed Lord, the one relating to his death which I considered in a former discourse, the other to his return from the grave and his re-appearance to his disciples, how gratifying it is to think, that they yield us all the evidence we can want, of the truth of his character and the reality of his pretensions. Those prophecies are of the highest concern to us. In his death we are taught to look for our atonement. In his resurrection we are shown the first-fruits and earnest of our own. It was necessary to establish these two great events in the history of Jesus on the most unquestionable authority, and not only so, but to prove both that they were clearly foreseen and foretold, and that they formed a necessary and integral part of Scripture history. Had Christ given no indication of his prescience with regard to all that was to happen to him, it might have been questioned whether he were not taken by surprise. Had he not distinctly specified the day of his resurrection, it might have been disputed with some plausibility, whether he really arose from the dead. In that case no care would have been taken to guard the sepulchre from intrusion, and though the fact of his having risen again would still have depended, as it now does, on the re-production of the body to those who knew him before his crucifixion, yet the story of the body being stolen would have had a specious foundation to rest upon.

In every view of the case, it was important that Christ should publicly declare beforehand that he would rise again on the third day, for thereby it became the business of his enemies to prevent, if possible, such an undoubted mark of his divinity, and it would be a confirmation to his friends when that great prophecy was accomplished, that he was the character which he had professed himself to be.

On the accomplishment, therefore, of these two prophecies, the character, and consequently the religion, of Christ may be said to stand. They are the basis of that principle on which our faith and hope in him are built, the evidences of his veracity, and the faithful interpreters of his divine origin. It is the holy work of God to foretell future events, and Jesus, who claimed to exercise this work, not like the Prophets, by virtue of an authority derived from another, but by his own just and natural prerogative, spoke as God, when he announced his intended death and resurrection. If then his authority can be sub

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