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the living Christ—by seeking from Him, grace to conquer sin, grace to resist temptation, grace to walk in newness of life.
O there is much to be learnt in that anthem which we use to-day, and part of which is also read as the second lesson. Do ponder it well.-Do notice the call it makes to us to break off our sins and live godly-Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast; not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more ; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once : but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin : but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Once more,-If the Lord be risen indeed, and we know that He is risen-our resurrection follows of necessity.
-If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even to them which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him. Christ the first fruits, afterward they they that are Christ's at His coming. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive!
Such is everywhere the doctrine of the Bible, and such the doctrine of our Church, gathered, as all its teaching is, from that holy source.—We lay our dead, one by one in the grave, not indeed, without sorrow, but with this hope to comfort us—of their resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ !
Nay, we like not to think or speak of them as deadbut only separated from us : not wholly lost to us—in their bodies mortal, obedient to the law for man-turning
again to their dust—but in their souls living still—better off than we that remain—safe from all hurt; released from all suffering and sorrow—“in joy and felicity” waiting “for the redemption of the body!” That is our hope for the faithful who have gone from us. And that hope we build on a sure foundation, on Jesus Christ and Him risen. Will others have the same hope for us? Will those we leave behind us, when we depart this life, be comforted over us, as we are comforted concerning some of our brethren who are already asleep! It is a question in which we all have the greatest interest.—Take it then, I beseech you, and ask it each of his own heart. Or, if you like, enlarge the question, and put it thus, —“Am I leading the life which is the true preparation for another life after death P Has it the marks which stamp it already for a heavenly life? Is it a pure life? Is it an unselfish life P Is it a peaceable life? Is it led, and swayed in all its course, by the faith of the Son of God? Is it hid with Christ in God? Surely if you can find in yourselves but only some traces of such a life, you have not believed in vain—you bear witness yourselves to the power and reality of your Lord's resurrection. For this that is in you, is His work. And His work like His word, never fails. Heaven and earth may pass away, but rest assured of this, no soul that Christ has enlightened, no disciple that walks in His steps, no pure, no single-minded, loving believer, shall ever perish. No! for such death has lost his chief terror. To them he comes not as a conqueror, not as a destroyer, but as a friend-setting them free from earthly trammels; opening the door for them to a wider field of service; delivering them from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God!
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
CHRIST SEEN ALIVE AFTER HIS PASSION.
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book—but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing ye might have life through His name.
THE signs referred to in these words, are thought by Some to be the infallible proofs which the Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples of His resurrection.
Those proofs were many, and all of a kind to convince the unbelieving, and confirm the doubting in the faith— Ble shewed Himself alive after His passion; being seen of His disciples forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
And be it remembered, that many were, at the first, doubtful of His resurrection: they could hardly believe it for joy—it seemed so wonderful, so beyond their hope. Dost Thou shew wonders among the dead; and shall the dead rise up again, and praise Thee 3 was a feeling not
confined to David, but shared in even by some of Christ's own Apostles.
But these doubts of His disciples gave way before the signs that Jesus did in their presence—signs by which He shewed that He was no mere apparition, or shadowy ghost, but the very Lord whom they had known beforepossessed, even after death, of a living body, and a loving heart, the same Jesus which was crucified, dead, and buried, but now, by the power of God, restored to
It is impossible to overrate the value of these signsthese infallible proofs that Christ is risen. They are recorded, as the text tells us, to keep us stedfast in our faith. They are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through His name.
Let us then, brethren, on this the nearest Sunday to the day on which He rose, be occupied with bringing together some of the chief appearances of the Lord after His resurrection, as we find them in the Gospel. And let us notice how in every one we have fresh proof of the reality of that event-how each helps to establish us more securely in this great tenet of our religion, on which all the rest depend-each adds its weight to the conviction that Jesus Christ is risen, and that there is life and healing for all who now come to Him to receive it.
Now the total appearances are eight—and though I may not to-day be able to consider them all separately I will briefly state what they are, and where they are to be found.