Imatges de pÓgina

of the kindness and love of God our Saviour in the meeting, the holy writer hath inserted the word "behold" in his record of it: "Behold, Jesus met them." Call to remembrance an acknowledgement of wisdom and sovereignty, of mercy, and peace, in a meeting recorded and celebrated by the prophet Isaiah: "Thou meetest him "who rejoiceth, and worketh righteousness; him who re"membereth thee in thy ways." These holy women, under impressions of fear and joy, were running the way which the servant of the resurrection had sent them, and, in the way, the Lord of the resurrection met them with the keys of hell and of death in his hand. Gracious meeting! In obeying the voice of his servant, the Master himself appears to them, dispels their fear, strengthens their faith, increases their joy, and confirms their message!!

The Day on which this gracious word, All Hail, was spoken, is notable, as well as the place. You will recollect that this circumstance is the FOURTH head of our general method. Concerning it, the following particulars shall be observed and illustrated:

First, It was the day of the Lord. In the annals of time, the day of the Lord is a memorable day. Since time began to run, and days began to be numbered, there hath been no day like it. Ask now of the days which are past, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and you will find no day equal to this on which the Lord Jesus was "declared to be the Son God with power, ac"cording to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from "the dead." The day on which Noah came out of the ark, and the seed of Abraham came up from Egypt, the day on which Jonah came out of the belly of the whale, and the children of Israel, according to the prophecy of Ezekiel, rose out of their graves, were days of power and redemption; but the brightness of these, and all other days of temporal deliverances, is faint, compared with the splendour of the day on which the God of peace loosed the pains of death, brought again from the dead, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ, and declared himself well-pleased in the eternal redemption which he had obtained. On this glorious day, the Righteous Servant of Jehovah ceased from his work, and entered into his rest. On this glorious day, the Stone reject

ed by the builders was declared head of the corner, and the Son of man acknowledged Lord of the dead and living. Of the celebrated day on which the sun and moon stood still in their habitation, till the arms of Israel triumphed over the Amorites, the sacred writer says, "There "was no day," before or after in the annals of war, "like "that in which the Lord hearkened to the voice of a man." And in the annals of peace and reconciliation, we may truly say, there is no day before or after like that day of the Lord, on which he brake the gates and bars of the grave, laid hold on the keys of hell and death, and, with an All Hail, filled the women of Galilee with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Secondly, It was the first day of the Lord in a distinguishing and eminent consideration. Before it there were days which are called days of the Lord, and after it there are days which are called days of the Lord; but in the distinguished and eminent sense of the expression, this is the first day of the Lord. It was the first day in which the Lord our Righteousness, who died for our sins, revived and appeared the first begotten of the dead; the first day of the life which, in our nature, he now liveth unto God; the first day of his rest from the labours, and sorrows, and temptations, which he endured for our redemption; the first day of his honour and exaltation, as the righteous Servant of the Father, and the generous Surety of his people; and the first day of the gladness of his heart, in that fulness of joy, and those pleasures for evermore, which are the issue and reward of his humiliation and sorrow. Joyful day! On the first day of time, when the creation be gan to rise, and the corner-stone of the universe to appear, "the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God "shouted for joy;" and on the first day of the Lord, when he revived, put off the linen in which his body had been buried, wrapped together the napkin that had been about his head, laid it in a corner by itself, arrayed himself in newly-created raiment, walked forth into the paths of life, and saluted the women of Galilee, All Hail, there was a fulness of joy in heaven among elect angels, and spirits of just men, for which we have no better expressions than "This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will be "glad and rejoice in it." "Now is come salvation, and "strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of "his Christ."

Thirdly, It was the day of the Lord which, in commemoration of his resurrection, he appointed to be observed and celebrated throughout all generations. Concerning the celebration of it, his will was not yet signified; but there is no ground to doubt, or rather, there is good reason to believe, that it was signified before he ascended. Some glorious days of the Son of man upon earth, he hath been pleased to overshadow and hide from every eye. The day of his birth, the day of his baptism, the day of his transfiguration are not known; and, could they be ascertained, there is no signification of his pleasure for recording and sanctifying these, nor even for regarding and sanctifying the day of his death, nor the day of his ascension, which may be known. The day of his resurrection is the only day of the Son of man which he hath commanded to be called "a delight, and the holy of the Lord honorable." The nature and form of the worship to be ascribed on it unto God through him, may be collected from his salutation to the women of Galilee. As it was the first day of the gladness of his own heart, after the sorrow of his humiliation, it is his pleasure, that, in memory of it, the first day of every week be a day of gladness and rejoicing, on which the whole Church should ascribe blessing, and honor, and glory, and thanksgiving, to the Father, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God.

Fourthly, It was early on the day of the Lord. Jesus rose carly, and the women who sought him were early at his sepulchre. All Hail was a word of the morning, and, to them who heard it, furnished a pleasant theme of meditation and discourse the whole day. To meet the Lord Jesus, and to hear a word from him at any hour of the day, is a gracious interview; but to meet him in his morning walk, and at that time to hear from him an All Hail, is inconceivably sweet and pleasant, because it furnishes a feast to the hearer, satisfies his soul as with marrow and fatness, and strengthens him to rejoice in his name all the day. The going forth of the Lord Jesus is prepared as the morning; and blessed are the seekers whom he meets in his going forth, and unto whom he condescends to speak. Knowing his countenance to be excellent, and his voice pleasant, they would see the former, and hear the latter every morning. "Cause me to hear thy loving

"kindness in the morning," is one of their prayers; and that "it is a good thing to slew forth his loving kindness "in the morning," is their experience.

In the LAST place, according to our method, we shall lead you to the springs and sources of joy and peace in believing, which, by his All Hail, the Lord Jesus Christ hath opened unto them who seek his face and love his


First, God is glorified. The glory of God in the resurrection of Christ is a spring of joy which will never dry up, and which will always send forth living water. UnJess God had glorified himself in raising up Jesus our Lord from the dead, we could never have drawn consolation from his resurrection; but, after hearing that he raised him by his glory, and to his glory, there is no law against our consolation, no enemy to take our joy from us, no guilt to destroy our peace with God, and no misery in which, for his sake, we may not take pleasure. By their efficiency in redemption, each person of the Godhead glorified himself, and each person glorified each person. The Father glorified himself, and glorified the Son and the Spirit; the Son glorified himself, and glorified the Father and the Spirit; the Spirit glorified himself, and glorified the Father and the Son. Their communion in the glory of redemption is the source of everlasting consolation to the redeemed; and hence, when the resurrection of Christ proclaimed it to be obtained and accepted, he threw himself in the way of the women of Galilee, and, in the fulness and gladness of his heart, called upon them to break forth into joy. Behold this source of everlasting consolation! Approach, O thou afflicted, tossed, oppressed, and not comforted; draw water, and, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, drink abundantly! "The meek shall increase their joy in "the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the "Holy One of Israel.”

Secondly, By his resurrection Christ is justified in the Spirit. The justification of our Lord Jesus Christ is the ground, in law, of the justification of all for whom he died, and to them a rich spring of everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace. Under the imputation and charge of their unrighteousness and guilt, he laid his life down; and having made reconciliation for their iniquities

and brought in everlasting righteousness, by his obedience unto death, in his resurrection he was absolved and declared a just person and a righteous Head. The agency of the Spirit in his resurrection and justification should not be overlooked in drawing from these sources our consolation and our hope. By the Spirit the Lord Jesus was quickened, and in the Spirit he was justified. In his resurrection and justification, there was a concurrence of operation and glory among the persons of the Godhead. With his own power, the power of the Father and of the Spirit exerted itself conjunctly and gloriously. In some texts, the operation of one of the persons is expressed, and in others, the operation of another; but in every text, the concurrence of each in operation and glory is included. The concurrence of persons in his resurrection and justification is a living spring of rich and abundant consolation, and a vigorous principle of that boldness which repels the fear of condemnation, and fills the heart with joy in God, through him by whom we receive the atonement. "Who "shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God "that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ "who died, yea, rather who is risen again."

Thirdly, Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more. For sin he died once, and unto sin he died once. Dying once for it and unto it, he dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. In dying for it, he bare it in his own body on the tree, and procured our justification; in dying unto it, he delivered himself from it, and redeemed us from its tyranny and pollution. Unto these springs of everlasting consolation and hope, the Lord Jesus led the disciple whom he loved, and recovered him out of the faint into which he had fallen in Patmos; and, by living water issuing from them, the spirits of his people have been often brought again, and their hearts strengthened in his love. After hearing of his dying for and unto sin, nothing is more reviving and strengthening to the fearful heart, and the sorrowful spirit, than to hear that he liveth unto God. Out of this well of salvation, which is always full of water, his people have been refreshed under all dispensations, and in all ages. David came to it in his sorrowful days, drank abundantly, and praised the fountain exceedingly. "The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock, "and let the God of my salvation be exalted." When every

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