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First Sunday After Easter.

First Sunday After Easter.

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St. John, xx. 19.
Peace be unto you.

St. John, xx. 19.
Peace be unto you.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 11, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER. BY REGINALD HEBER, M.A.St. John, xx. 19. Peace be unto you. With this merciful salutation, did our Lord, on the first Sunday after His resurrection, address the first congregation assembled in His name. — A little flock it was, and surrounded by many-hungry wolves, in a world where all men were its enemies ; yet He, who knew all things, and in whose hand all things were, foretold to them, peace and dominion and security ; the gates of Hell, He had formerly said, should not prevail against His Church ; and now, in their greatest danger, He is at hand, to make good His promise* " At evening," saith the Scripture, " being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord."
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER. 261 I have already, on former occasions, explained and enforced the indubitable nature of that proof, which these frequent appearances of Christ, after His death, afford of the reality of His resurrec-tion ; and of the firmness of that faith, which is built on so sure a foundation ; and against which the gates of Hell, we have God's word for it, shall never finally prevail. But there are three further purposes, which the gracious visit, and gracious words, of our Saviour may, on the pre-sent occasion, appear intended to serve ; and which, at least, may afford very useful lessons to every Christian who considers them attentively. I mean, first, the sanction thus afforded to the universal custom of keeping Sunday, on the first day of the week, as a Christian Sabbath, and a day of devout thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus ; who, as on this day, rose from that grave, whither He had descended for our sins. " On the first day of the week, when the disciples were assern-
bled together, came Jesus and stood in the midst of them." We have here the first observance of the Lord's day, by the Apostles, on the Sunday im-mediately following that of His resurrection ; and that this their meeting on that day was neither by chance, nor without the gracious ap-probation of their departed Lord, is plain from two considerations. First, that Christians, from that time forward, never ceased, or neglected, to s 3 262 SERMON XXII. have their solemn assemblies on the first day of the week ; which thenceforth bore the appro-priate name of the Lord's day. Secondly, that Christ not only honoured this their first meeting with His visible presence ; but that He returned also on the next following Sunday ; u after eight

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