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his Apostles went, and Abode after his Crucifixion; together with feveral other Things belonging to the fame Butinels; Was it not chat they were fully satisfied of the Truth of the Soldiers Relation, concerning his Resurrection : But they having determin’d to stifle this Evidence, could do no more than pretend to disregard the Matter; and only cryic down in general as an Imposture, wichopt venturing to fifts the Particulars of it, as being well aware, that 'twas impossible to disprove them.
Thus it appears how extreamly weak and trifling that Report was, which the Chief Prielts and Elders invented; namely, that the Disciples of CHRIST did. come by Night, and steal him away, while the Guard fept. Indeed there was hardly any Occasion for spending any Time in confuting it, it being so ridicul. ous and inconsistent, as to confute iç self: For suppoling that the Body of CHRIST was stolen away, while the Guard slept, how could the Guard cell who stole ic a., way? But to say no more of that; who soever duly weighs whar hath been delia ver'd upon this Argument, will find it to be the most reasonable Thing in the World, to believe that the Apostles were honest and faithful in relating the Resura
rection of CHRIST ; and the inolt unrea. fonable Thing in the World to believe che contrary. Especially, if he confider's iu che last Place, that they lay down their Lives, in confirmation of what they re. laced, and by so doing, seal'd their Testimony with cheir Blood. For can ic with: any Sense be imagin'd, that Men who a licíle before their Master's Death, had fhow'd chemselves lo mucii afraid of Luffering, that none of them had Courage enough to adhere firmly to him, ac his Apprehension; can it,' I say, with any Sense be imagined that thcle Men should be so much in Love with suffering after his Death, as to die in Confirinacion of their Reports, concerning his rising from che Dead, if so be they had not full Proof chat he arose from the Dead: The Man must be very foolishly credulous, that can cincertain such a Thought as this.
And thus I have done with the third and last Thing propos'd, which was to few, that those who related the Resurrection of CHRIST, were Perfons of unquestionable Fidelity. I might indeed prove it by several other Arguments : Such is the amazing Descent of the Holy Ghost upon them, after Christ's AZ congota : The astonishing Miracles whichi
. . they
they every where wrought, to convince Men of the Truth of their Dottrine: And the wonderful Progress is presently made, notwithstanding its Ovpolition to the Ré: ligions already in the World, to the Hu. niours and Prujudices of Men, who endeavoured to surpress it, and the Preporfeffionis, and all the fecular Interests of those who would receive it. These I lay might be brought in upon this Head, with great clearness and strength of Realon; bụt that I think, those already alledg'd will upon à suitable Reflection, be found fo very Cogent, as to supersede the Neceflicy of doing it. · Well then, fince 'tis past Dispute, that the Rcfurrection of CHRIST is clearly related in the Scriptures: Since 'tis evident, that those who related this were Persons of unquestionable Knowledge, or were throughly informed of, "and perfectly knew the niatrer of Fact which they related : .And since 'ris more-over evident, that they were honest and faithful in the Relation of it, the Truth of my Text is · therefore fully made out, to wir, that Gød bath raised up YESUS from the Dead, whereof the Apostles were sufficient Witnesses.
I shall now briefly consider what good
Ule may be made of this Doctrine, and fo conclude.'1',
TOD ** And Fir?, it appeareth from hence, that the Debt which the whole Race of Mankind had contracted by Sin, is fully discharged'; or that Christ by his Death; made a full, perfect; and fufficient Sacris fice, Oblation, and Sarisfaction for the Sins of all the World. The Sin of Adami derived a Gúilt upon all his Postericy which Guilt was an Obligation to endure à Punishment proportionable to char Of fence Buc CHRIST freely undertook to cancel chis Obligation-himself by offering to fuffer in our fead; and this he fulfilled by cloathing himself with Humanity, and dying upon the Cross: For God sending bis own son in the Likeness of finfál Pleia; for Sin; condemned Sin in the Flesh CHRIST therefore being our Bonds-man and suffering Death upon our Account ; God by loosing the Bands of Death, and releasing him from the Prison of the Grave, did thereby openly abfolve and acquit him from the Obligation with which he had bound himself, and mani: festly declare, that his Sufferings were a full Satisfa&ion-to Divine Justice and that not only for original Guile, but also for actual. Sins. For as the Apoftle says,
Romans. Y, 16, The Judgment was by one that is, one Sin to Condemnation ;, bat the Free-gift is of many offences to fuftificat10n... Iratis de ca d a 'a *. Secondly, The Resurrection of CHRIST doch likewife'manitest the Truth and Dia vinity, af his Religion, and prove him to bc chac Propher which was to come in to chie World. When CHRIST drove Qut of the Temple those that fold Oxen, and Sbeep. and Doves, and tke Changers Of Money, and the like, the Jews asked bim, saying, What Signs jeweft thou unto us, feeing that thou dof these Things? And be answering, said unto them, Destroy this Temple, and in three Days I will raise it up; this be spake concerning the Temple of bis Body. Now if we look into Della teronomy xviij. 22, and Jeremiab xxviii. 9 we knall find that the Test which God prescribid, whereby to discover a true Pros pbet from a falle: one, was the Accom. plishment of Predictions : Being therefore, CHRIST foretold his rifing from the Dead
within three Days, and being he did raise . himself from the Dead in that Space of
Time, after he was put to Death for calling himself the Son of God; it plainly follows from hence that he really was for and if he really was lo; then iche Reli