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Published by glennpease

" But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the flrstfruits of
them that slept."— 1 Cor. xv. 20.

" But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the flrstfruits of
them that slept."— 1 Cor. xv. 20.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE RESURRECTIO OF CHRIST.BY BISHOP MATTHEW SIMPSO" But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the flrstfruits of them that slept."— 1 Cor. xv. 20.A little more than eighteen hnndred years ago, as thelight of the morning was breaking npon Jernsalem, there wasa guard placed about a sepulchre in a small garden near thecity walls. Some startling events had occuri*ed on the Fridaybefore. While a man who had come from the hills of Galileehad been hanging on the cross, strange signs appeared inthe temple, in the heavens, and on the earth. It was ru-mored that he had said he would rise the third morning.The third morning was dawning, and, as the light began tobreak in the east, two women silently wended their wayamong the tents that were pitched about the city; they hadsojourned all night in the tents, for as yet the city gatesliad not been opened. They came to see the sepulchre, andwere bringing spices in their hands. They loved the manwho had been crucified because of his goodness, his compas-sion, and his purity. They seemed to bo almost the only per-sons .on earth who did love him deeply, save the small circleof friends gathered around him. There had been curseshurled npon his liead as he hung on the cross — curses fromthe bystanders, curses from the soldiers, curses from the peo-ple. They cried: "If he be the king of Israel, let him nowcome down, and wo will believe him !" and on that morningthere were none but a few feeble, obscure, heart-broken friendswho dared to come near his grave.A little more than eighteen hundred years have passedaway, and on the anniversary of that day, the morning of thefirst day of the week, the first Sabbath after the full moonand the vernal equinox, the whole world comes to visit his
Digitized byGoogle144 SERMOS.grave. The eyes of princes and of Btatesmcn^ the eyes of thepoor and the humble, in all parts of the earth, are turnedtowards it. All through Europe men and women are think-ing of that sepulchre, and of him who lay there. All overWestern lands, from ocean to ocean, on mountain-top, in val-ley, and over broad prairies, the thought and love of the peo-ple are gathered about that grave. In the darkness of Africa,here and there, we see them stretching out their hands tow-ards it. Along from the coasts of India and the heights of the Himalayas they have heard of that grave, and are bend-ing towards it. The Chinese, laying aside their prejudices,have turned their eyes westward, and are looking thither.Along the shores of the seas the affections of the people havenot only been gathering about the grave, but they have caughta glimpse of the rising inmate, who ascended in his glol*y tow-ards heaven. The song of jubilee has gone forth, and the oldmen are saying, "The Lord is risen from the dead." Theyoung men and maidens catch the glowing theme, and thelittle children, scarcely comprehending the source of their joy,with glad hearts rejoice because Jesus has risen from the dead.All over the earth tidings have gone forth, and as the valleysand plains have been ringing out their praises on this brightSabbath morning, how many hearts have been singing,''Oar Jesus is gone up on high*'?Why this change ? Wliat has produced such a wonderfuldifference ? The malefactor, once cursed, now honored ; theobscure and despised, now sought for ; the rising Eedeemer,not then regarded by men, now universally worshipped. What
is the cause of the great change? how brought about? Thesubject of the morning, taken from the associations of thisday, calls us to consider, as briefly as we may, the fact of theresurrection of Christ from the dead, and some of the conse-quences which flow to us therefrom.It is important for us to fix clearly in our minds the fact of the resurrection ; for our faith rests on facts, and the mindshould clearly embrace these, that we may feel that we arestanding on solid ground. This fact of the resurrection of Digitized byGoogleTHE RESURRECTIO OP CHRIST. 145Christ 18 tho fonndation of the Christian sjstem; for theapostle says, ^* And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain;ye are yet in your sins. Tlien they also which are fallen asleepin Christ are perished." If Christ be not risen, we shall neversee the fathers and the mothers who have fallen asleep in Je-sns ; we shall never see the little ones that have gone up to be,as we believe, angels before the throne of God. If Christ benot raised, we are of all men the most miserable, because weare fancying future blessedness which never can be secured ;but if Christ be risen, then shall we also rise, and then themthat sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. And, that ourminds may have rest as to the reality of Christ's resurrection,let us notice how God has arranged the evidences to securethe knowledge of it clearly to man.The first point to which our attention is invited is the factof Christ's death. Were not this clearly established it would

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