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bis undertaking, and thence rendered the repetition of his luffciings altogether unnecessary, Heb. X. 14.
SECT. II. As to the efficient cause of our Lord's resurrection, it was doubtlets. the power of God: and though his own power, as the second Person of the ever-blessed Trinity, and thence, co-equal with the Father and the holy Ghost, may, nay must, be considered as exerted and displayed in this important : event; yet, for the justest reasons, the deed is a. fcribed in scripture to Jehovah, in the person of the Father. It was at the Father's instance, as the guardian of law and justice, that our Lord was first incarcerate in the pit of suffering, and then in the prison of death ; and therefore, that the honour of the sufferer, the credit of the surety, and the absor lution of finners, might be as legal, as evident; it was proper, highly proper, he should be relcafed at the same instance, and by the same authority. Nor could any thing Mort of the power of God, have effected this resurection from the dead. For is created power cannot produce life at first, nor prevent death at last; no more can it possibly overcome death, and restore to life again. Accordingly, inspired writers ascribe the resurection of Christ intirely to the power of the Father. Whom God “ (says the apostle) hath raised up, having loosed " the pains of death,” Acts ii. 24. or the cords and bands of death, as some read that phrase, i. e. those obligations by which Christ was under the necessity of suffering and dying; as if the apostle had said " Whom God hath raised up, having given back “ the Mediator's bond of cautionry, amply dischar“ ged, into his own hand.” Again, “ This Jesus " (lays the same apostle) hath God raised up, where
created pon at lastire to life a section whom G
of we all are witnesses,” Acts ii. 32. And Paul not only speaks of the power, and the greatness of the power, but of the “exceeding greatness of the “ power of God, which he wrought in Christ when " he raised him from the dead," Eph. i. 19, 20.
With respect to the manner of the resurrection of Christ, though God might and could have done it without means or inftruments, the probability is, that he employed the ministry of angels, as heralds detached from the throne, to loose this wonderful prisoner, with honour and folemnity. This seems to be pretty clearly pointed out, by the evangelist, when he tells us, that “ an angel of the Lord de" scended from heaven and came and rolled back the " stone, and sat upon it,” Matth. xxviii. 2. He opened the prison of the grave; and, to show that it was no more to be shut upon the man Christ, he sat down on the stone, which was the door of the fepulchre, thereby making proclamation that he having in the Father's name opened, no man, no devil, could or durst attempt to Mut. From Mary's account of what the faw in the fepulchre, the truth of this seems further evident. She " saw “ (says the evangelist) two angels in white (by their * livery, you will at once perceive whose servants " they were) sitting, the one at the head, and the “ other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had “ lain,” John xx. 12. And from what Peter saw on the fame occasion, one would think those divine messengers, those exact ministers, had even adjuited our Lord's grave cloaths; not leaving the place, till they had disposed of them in a proper, regular and decent manner. " He saw (says the evange" list) the linen cloaths ly, and the napkin that “ was about his head, not lying with the linen “ clothes, but wrapped together in a place by it” self,” Joho xx. 6, 7.
on the fameha xx. Where the behe head, alderpants
S E C. T. III. As to the time when the Father brought up the Man Christ out of the horrible pit and miry clay, it was certainly on the first day of the week, and on the morning of that day, being the third from his crucifixion. For Matthew tells us, our Lord's resurrection was expede in the end of the fabbath, Matth. xxviii. I. and Mark, when the fabbath was past, Mark. xvi. I, namely, the Jewish fabbath, or the seventh day of our week. Luke again, and John say, it was on the first day of the weck, Luke xxiv. 1. Johd xx. 1. Nor do the evangelists less agree in this circumstance, that it was in the morning of . that day. For Matthew says, it began to dawn to. ward the first day of the week. Mark and Luke say, it was very early in the morning of the first day of the week; and John fays, it was when it was yet dark. It was thus early in that morning, that Mary Magdalene and others, upon coming to the sepulchre, missed the body of Jesus; and confequently his resurrection was still sooner, and more early, than their disappointment.
With respect to the space between our Lord's burial and returrection, che evangelists likeways
agree. They tell us when he was laid in the tomb, · and when he was released from the bands of death;
leaving every reader to count the interval for himself, He was buried on the evening before the Jewish fabbath, and raised on the morning after it. “ It was the preparation, (says Mark, speaking of " the time of our Lord's interment) that is, the day " before the fabba!h,” Mark. xv. 42. In other words, he was buried on our Friday's evening, and raised on our Sabbath morning. I am not unaware of an objection that naturally
enough ariseth here; How does it follow from this account, that, according to our Lord's own prediction, Matth. xii. 40. he was “ three days and three " nights in the heart of the earth :” since, acording to the evangelists, it would seem he was only in the grave, one whole day, namely, the day of the Jewish fabbath ; and two whole nights, namely, the night before, and the night after their fabbath ? To obviate this difficulty, it need only be observed, That the natural day, consisting of twenty four hours, was, by the Jews, called a night and a day, or a day and a night ; and that, in general computations, it is common to ascribe to a whole day what takes up only a part of it, as might be proved from manifold instances. Now, as onr Lord was. in the grave a part of three natural days, namely, a part of Friday, the whole of Saturday, and a part of. Sabbath ; according to the ordinary way of computation, he may justly be said to have actually lien in the grave three days : but this, in agreeableness to the Jewish idea of the natural day, behoved to be expresfed by their own phrase, namely, three days and three nights.
SE C T. IV.
The Father thus brought up the Man Chrilt out. of the horrible pit and miry clay, because he had promised to do it ; and because, to say it with reverence , in jnstice and equity, he was obliged to do it. With respect to the Father's promise of raising up Christ from the dead, manifold quotati. ons, from Moses, the prophets and the Psalms, might be adduced; but as the apostle, in Iris fermon at Antioch, was express and explicit on this head, his words stall suffice. “We declare unto " you (said he) glad tidings, how that the promise, cs
“ which was made unto the fathers, God hath ful- . " filled the same unto us, their children, in that “ he hath raised up Jefus again, Acts. xiii. 32, 33. God the Father, mindful of his covenant, and
jealous of his honour, behoved, in this respect, - to do even as he had said.
But he raised or brought up the Man Christ likeways, because, in justice and equity, he was obliged to do it. If a creditor, upon full payment being exhibit, must, in justice, and of necessity, accordding to law, subscribe and deliver a writ of liberation and discharge ; shall God, the righteous Judge, be supposed capable of less equity, respecting the sinless cautioner and surety of finners? There is fomething to this effect, peculiarly striking, in a paslage quoted before: “ Whom God hath raised “ up, (lays the apostle, speaking of Jesuss Christ) s having loosed the pains of death.” Mark what follows, " Because it was not possible, that he " should be holden of it,” Acts ii. 24. It would have been such an act of tyranny and injustice, that it is impossible, without the groffest blasphemy, to imagine Jehovah the Father capable of it.
The salvation of the soul must be very different from men's common estimate of it. It is precious in itself, and appears exceedingly so in the price of it, as paid down by Jesus Christ. Had not God the Father seen a preciousness in the finner's redemption, it is not to be imagined, he would, by the substitution of his Son in the finner's room, have made fuch early and costly provision for it : and if our Lord Jesus had not judged the redemption of the foul precious, it is impossible to think, he would have laid himself under such weighty obli.