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Easter Lessons.

Easter Lessons.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JOHN HAMPDEN GUENEY


COLOSSIANS iii. 1.

" If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
BY JOHN HAMPDEN GUENEY


COLOSSIANS iii. 1.

" If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 22, 2013
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EASTER LESSOS.BY JOH HAMPDE GUEEYCOLOSSIAS iii. 1." If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things whichare above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."MAY texts of rather various kinds offer themselves when we muster, once again, round thegrave of our risen Lord. We might treat thesubject of the day historically ; and then there areabundant materials for describing the memorableevents of the first Easter Day with reference tothe Apostles, their morning doubts, their midday perplexities, and the blessed certainty of that" solemn eventide/ when their Lord appeared tothem in the upper room at Jerusalem, where theeleven were assembled with closed doors, and said,Peace be unto you, and showed them His hands andHis side. Or we might speak, as Theologians, of the place occupied by this Article of our Creed inthe Christian scheme, of prophecies fulfilled, of the last proof being given of our Lord s Messiah-ship, and of the connexion so plainly asserted inEASTER LESSOS. 201Scripture between the One resurrection which ispast already, and the Resurrection of the faithful of all ages to eternal life, when the Saviourshall come back again in glory. I have chosena text to-day which gives us the practical side of the subject. We will not ask how St. Peter, St.John, and the rest, behaved, while they doubtedwhether the Lord were risen, but will show,
 
rather, what manner of persons we ought to be,now that we know and are sure, on their report, thatthe grave could not hold Him, and that they sawHim alive, and watched His ascent heavenwards."We will not speak, except incidentally, of thiscorruptible putting on incorruption, and this mortal putting on immortality, when the Archangel strump shall sound, but will describe some particulars of the spiritual life which true Christians areleading now, while they are cumbered with theflesh, and beset by temptation, and pressing forwards to their crown.The danger with all of us, is that of makingthese celebrations resting-places instead of starting-points, of contenting ourselves with mereformalities and special observances, like the superstitious or undevout portion of our flocks, or withhaving our feelings somewhat stirred, and our af fections somewhat enlivened, like others, whoreally crave spiritual improvement, and yet failtoo much in the watchfulness and diligence without which our souls cannot really thrive. Theremay be Pharisaism through Lent and Passion202 EASTER LESSOS.Week which multiplies its devotions, and gets noblessing from heaven ; or there may be dreamy,listless habits, occupying themselves rather withthe sentiment and poetry of the season than withthe awful mysteries of Religion, and the sternrealities of life. But, if we are alive to God, andlong to grow stronger in the faith, if the HolySpirit has taught us to love the Gospel both inits freedom and its puritjr, and it is the settleddesire of our souls to taste more largely of both,then we shall welcome the teaching which sends
 
us back from the Cross, and the open Grave, of Him who died and rose again and lives for evermore, not merely sobered, softened, gladdened, asthe chequered tale runs on to its consummation,but with firmer resolves against sin, with a deepersense of our Christian responsibilities, and withquickened desires after growth in holiness.Our text teaches us that true Christians havebeen quickened, and raised from the dead, even asChrist Himself is risen. Mark that. There isnothing here about a future Resurrection. Theyshall have a part in that, too. The risen Saviouris the first-fruits of them that have slept sinceAbel led the way to the chambers of the dead;and as certainly as He Himself rose up and cameforth after His two nights slumber, so surely thewhole ransomed Church, without one missingmember, shall come up from ten thousand scattered graves, and muster at His bidding. Butthat is not the subject here. Another resurrec-EASTER LESSOS. 203tion, evidently, is spoken of; for the Apostle doesnot say, "If ye are Christian men, and hope tohave a joyful meeting with your Lord when Deathshall yield up his prey, then serve Him well andfaithfully while life shall last," but, If ye thenbe risen with Christ. How is this? The Colos-sian disciples had never gone down to the grave ;they could not then have left it as Christ haddone. Death was a future thing, in their case.How could victory over death be spoken of as apast thing? We need not wander farther thanto St. Paul s language elsewhere to have thismystery made plain. After describing the miseryand danger of the Ephesians in their unconverted

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