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The Resurrection of Christ.

The Resurrection of Christ.

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 11, 2013
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THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.BY RICHARD WHATELY, D.D.ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN.ACTS XXVI. 22, 23.continue unto this day, witnessing both to smalland great, saying none other things than thosewhich the Prophets and Moses did say -shouldcome: that Christ should suffer, and that Heshould be the first that should rise from thedead, and should shew light unto the People,and to the Gentiles.The Apostle Paul, in making his defence beforethe Roman governor, Festus, in which he moreespecially addresses himself to King Agrippa,(as being a Jew,) who was present at the trial,gives a brief, and, of course, but a briet^ state-ment of the doctrines which he had been perse-cuted for teaching ; it being impossible for himTHE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. 14Dto enter into a detailed account of the Christianfaith. And^ as this short summary of hispreaching, which he delivers in a single sen-tence, must be supposed to contain, if not themost important points of his Religion, at leastthe first, and foremost, and foundation of therest, it is the more interesting to examine it,and to observe what the Apostle consideredas the first steps in the knowledge of theGospel.The fundamental points, then, of his preach*
ing, which he here lays down, are : — The suj*ferings of Christ, — His resurrection from thedead, — His being the Jirst to rise from thedead, — His giving light not only to the People(God's favoured people, Israel), but also to theGentiles (the heathen nations), who had beensupposed excluded from all share of God'sfavour, — and, lastly, that all this was agreeableto what had been foretold concerning theMessiah, or Christ, by Moses and the otherprophets ; " Saying none other things than thosewhich the prophets and Moses did say shouldcome : that Christ should suffer, and should bethe first that should rise from the dead, and150 SERMON VI.should show light unto the People, and to theGentiles."A great part of the force of the Apostle*^expressions in this passage^ and in a multitudeof others, is in a great measure lost on manyreaders, from their habit of considering theword " Christ *' as the proper name, instead of the title, of Jesus. Now, it is necessary not onlyto know, but also constantly to recollect andkeep in view, that the term Messiah, or Christ,which signifies anointed, was, and still is, em-ployed, and understood, by the Jews, to denotethe mighty King and Prophet whom they ex-pected, and still expect, God to raise up fromamong them, according to the declarations of Moses and the other sacred writers: and this,from the ceremony of anointing having alwaysbeen used among them at the installation of kings, priests, and prophets.The unbelieving Jews have always, to thisday, expected this Messiah^ or Christ, as yet to
come. Those of them, on the contrary, whowere convinced by the doctrines and the mirci-cles of Jesus, acknowledged Him to be thatperson, — the Anointed, or Christ, of God. AndTHE RESUERECTION OF CHRIST. 151accordingly^ the great question between theunbelieving and the believing was. WhetherJesus were the Christ, or not ?To any one who does not keep this in mind,the former part of the passage before us mustappear little better than absurd; for a readerwho takes the word " Christ " as a proper name,not knowing, or not recollecting, that it is atitle, denoting, not the person, but the officeand character, would understand the passage,as if the Apostle had described his preaching tobe, that Jesus was a sufferer ; a fact which noneof the infidels ever thought of doubting; andwhich, indeed, was the chief stumbling-block and objection which led them to reject Him;because they could not bring themselves to be*lieve that the promised Christ, whom they hadbeen used to expect as a great conqueror, andtemporal king, was to be a sufferer. This, how-ever, was clearly foretold (clearly, I mean, afterthe event had explained the prophecy) by theirprophets* And the Apostle describes himself asmainly insisting on it; because, if once theycould reconcile themselves to the notion of amffering Messiah, they would no longer have152 SERMON vr.any difficulty in admitting the pretensions of one who had shown^ such mighty signs and

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