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Let us, with the help of the Holy Spirit, purge ourselves from vain unbelief, and dry our eyes at the tomb of Jesus, if we would be His true disciples, knowing that, as Jesus died and rose again, “even so also them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him."
Thou art gone to the grave! but we will not deplore thee,
Thou art gone to the grave! we no longer behold thee,
Thou art gone to the grave! and its mansion forsaking,
Thou art gone to the grave! but 't were wrong to deplore
Thou art gone to the grave! and we followed thee weeping,
Tuesday in Easter week.
ALMIGHTY God, who through Thy only begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life ; We humbly beseech Thee, that, as by Thy special grace preventing us Thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by Thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
“And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again ; as it is also written. ... Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”—ACTS xiii. 32, 33. HE promise which God made to us was fulfilled in
an act wrought upon Jesus Christ ; so closely are our interests bound up in the life of Christ. When
He who undertook our salvation was restored to life, the restoration of His life was considered equivalent to the restoration of our own life. Hence the promise given to our fathers is said to have been fulfilled in His resurrection. So also Christ is said to be “our life” and our appearance in glory to be contemporary with His appearance. Considering the nature and divinity of our Saviour, his final victory over death was of course a thing certain ; but the attitude in which the Scripture puts the truth is very pleasing and endearing to his disciples. Our resurrection follows as a consequence of His resurrection; for if He lives, they shall live also. Therefore, it is not only true that "He died, and rose, and revived, to be Lord both of the dead and of the living ;” but “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification," and "ever liveth to make intercession for us.”
“ And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat ?”- LUKE xxiv. 41.
HEY believed not the first evidence, the testimony
of their sight. They believed not the second, His willingness to be subjected to manual examination. Therefore, He tries them with a third evidence, and
succeeds in convincing them by eating in their presence. We must use the like patience in satisfying the scruples and doubts of well-disposed but weak believers. We must never be satisfied with saying : “They have had the case stated plainly and fairly enough, if they would only have the fairness to receive it.” Who knows, but another line of argument or way of stating the question would have more weight, and fall in more with the texture of their mind, or of the subject with which we deal. So in the more immediate question of the evidences of our religion, the argument from prophecy strikes the mind of one; the historical argument better suits another; and again, another is won over by the internal evidence and nature of the religion itself. “And it shall come to pass,” said the Lord to Moses, “if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour
it upon the dry land : and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” (Exod. iv. 8, 9.) And the consequence was that they did believe. (verse 31.) As it was then so it is now. Evidences of the Gospel, when accumulated, have touched a cord of faith in some hearts, in which a more restricted number had failed to produce any conviction. Witness the accounts of some of the most remarkable conversions among ourselves.* Never, therefore, consider a soul to be given over, till you have exhausted upon it every expedient and probable means which suggests itself ; nor shake the dust of any from off your feet till you can bear this testimony against them.
Try us, O God, and search the ground
Of every evil heart;
O bid it all depart!
If right or left we thoughtless stray,
Show pity to Thy sheep;
And there Thy wanderers keep.
Help us to help each other, Lord,
Each other's burden bear;
To soothe his brother's care.
Help us to build each other up;
Help us ourselves to prove ;
And perfect us in love.
* Jenyns, Lyttleton, Newton, Rochester,