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that could be shew'd to the vilelt Malefactor. And of this accursed Death both the Jews and Romans were the Witnes ses, as well as the bloody Inftruments.

But what was the Guilt that expos'd him to fo heavy a Punishment? Why, not his own, for he had no Sin, nor was any Guile found in his Mouth, but ours, for which he undertook to be the Propitiation. He himself was holy, harmless, undefil'd, separate from Sinners, and made higher than the Heavens, Heb. 7. 26. and so could not be liable to Death upon his own score ; bat taking upon him our Sins, he became obnoxious to the Punishment due to them, and so laid down his Life for the Expiation. He was deliver'd up to Death for our Offences, faith St. Paul, Rom. 4. 25. Christ füffer'd once for Sins (faith St. Peter) the Fust. for the Unjuft, that he might bring us unto God; 1 Pet. 3. 18. And all

this according to the Scriptures, that is, accord. ing to the Prophecies and Predictions of the Old Testament; where the Death and Passion of the Messias is plainlý foretold and recorded. All the Sacrifices under the Law, where all things were purg'd with Blood, and without thé thedding of Blood was no Remission, were but so many Types and Shadows of this great propitiatory Sacrifice under the Gospel, where this Lamb of God was slain to take away the Sins of the World :- of which the Prophet Isaiah gave such a lively and particular Account many hundred years before, as if he had liv'd to see it actually done; Chap. 53. All we (faith he) like Sheep have gone astray, we have turn'd every one to his own way, and the Lord bath lain on him the Iniquity of us all. He was oppress’d, and he was afflicted, yet he open'd not his Mouth. He is brought as a Lamb to the Slaughter, and as a Sheep before the Shearer is dumb, so he open'd not his Mouth. He was taken from Pris Jon and from Judgment, he was cut off out of the Land of the Living, for the Transgression of my People was be stricken. How punctually these, and many other Prophecies to the fame purpose, were fulfill'd in the Person of our Saviour, the History of the New Testament nay fully inform us.

2dlys Another Point that St. Paul deliver'd to the Corinthians, was his Burial, Hurd he dy'd for our Sins, and that he was bury'd. The Rites of Burial, you know, ever attend Death, als Nations interring their deceas'd Friends, Accordingly we read that our Saviour's Body was taken from the Cross, and begg’d by his Disciples, in order to his Bu'rial; that Mary Magdalen and others brought Spices to

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enbalm him ;. and that Foseph of Arimathed wrapp'd his Body in a clean Linen Cloth, and laid it in his own Tomb, which he had hewn out in the Rock, and rollid a Stone at the Door of the Sepulchre, as we find it related by all the Evangelists. And this too was according to the Scriptures, that is, agreeable to the Predictions of the Qld Teftament for we find the Prophets foretold his Burial as well as his Death. The Prophet Isaiah, who declar'd long before the Particulars of his Death, {pake likewise of the Circumstances of his Burial, saying, He made his Grave with the Wicked, and with the Rich in his Death; Ifa. 53.9. Jonas's lying three Days and three Nights in the Whale's Belly, hath been look d upon as a Type of Christ's Burial, or his lying three Days and threr Nights in the heart of the Earth; lo 'tis interpreted and apply'd, Mat. 12. 40.

The Pfalmift speaking in the Person of the Messias, faith, My Flesh shall rest in Hope ; which can be understood only of his resting in the Grave in hope of a Resurrection.

And as Christ's Burial was thus foretold by the Prophets in the Old Testament, so was the fulfilling of it as plainly reveald by the Apostles in the New. This Truth St. Paul deliver'd to the Corinthians, as a thing necessary to be beliey'd by them, for the Confirmation of his Death, for Men are not bury'd before they are dead; and a Preparation for his Resurrection, for Men cannot be said to rise, who were never dead : and a greater Confirmation of his Death we cannot have, than his being deliver'd up to it by his Enemies, and his Body's being laid in the Grave by his Friends. But

The 3d and great Point of Doctrine the Apostle deliver'd to them, was his Resurrection ; That he rose again the third Day, according to the Scriptures : that is, after his Body had lain part of three Days in the Grave, viz. from FridayEvening to Sunday Morning, he came to life again, as the Prophets long before foretold of hin. This is the Pillar and Groundwork of all our Faith and Hope in him; and therefore the Apostle spends all the remaining part of this Chapter in asserting and applying this great Article, of which I shall take notice as far as the Epistle for this Day reaches. v

. Indeed, the Resurrection of Christ gave the greatest Af furance of the Divinity of his Person, of the Certainty of his Do&trine, of the Efficacy of his Death, and of the Truth of his Metliahship. And therefore no Article of rn

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our Faith either deferv'd or needed greater Confirmation : in which the Holy Ghost hath not been wanting to our Faith, proving it in this Chapter by sundry sorts of Arguments; beginning with the Testimony of Eye-witnesses of it, which in a matter of fact, as this is, is the best and fullest Evidence. Accordingly therefore the Apostle gave these Corinthians a Catalogue of those that law and convers'd with him after he rose from the Dead.

The first whereof here mention'd, is St. Peter, who was the first and chiefest of the Apostles; ver. 5. He was seen of Cephas : which was one of the Names of Peter. He was first callid Simon the Son of Jonas, after by God's Appointment Cephas, which is by Interpretation a Stone, John 1. 42. After that, upon his famous Confession of Christ, he was callid Peter, Mat. 19. Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my Church. To him Christ shew'd himself

I after his Resurrection; so we read, Luke 24. 34. The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appear'd unto Simon. Indeed, the pious Women that embaln'd his Body for the Funeral, had the first news of his being risen ; for they coming to his Sepulchre, and seeing the Stone rolld away, an Angel appear'd to them, and said, I know that ye seek Fesus, that was crucify'd; he is not here, for he is risen : withal calling them to come and see the place where the Lord lay. Here upon the Women ran away with the news hereof unto the Disciples, some whereof look'd upon it as an idle Tale, and believ'd it not, Luke 24. 11. But Peter arose, and ran to the Sepulchre, and stooping down, he beheld the Linen Clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering at what was come to pass ; ver. 12. For which reason, 'tis suppos’d, he had the honour of his first Appearance: for we find the Eleven declaring that he was indeed risen, and had appear'd to Simon, ver. 34. and St. Paul reckons him here as the first that had the sight of him; He was seen of Cephas,

Next, he appear'd to the twelve Disciples or Apostles ; the eleven, faith Mark, one of the twelve being then wanting, Mark 16. 12. where we read, he appear’d to them as they fat at Meat, and upbraided them with the Backwardness of their Belief, and because some of them took hin for a Spectre or Apparition, and were terrify'd as if they had seen a Spirit, he bid them behold his Hands and his Feet, that it was he himself: Handle me and see me (faith he) for a Spirit hath not Flesh and Bones, as ye see me have. Vol. IV. Part 2

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And to remove all their Fears, he callid for Meat, and eat before then.

But Thomas, the absent Disciple, would not believe upon the Report of all this, but requir'd a more sensible Demonstration, by seeing the Print of the Nails in his Body, that fasten’d'him to the Cross, and by thrusting his Hand into his fide, where the Soldier's Spear had pierc'd : to all which Christ graciously condescended for his Satisfaction, faying to him, Reach bither thy Finger, and behold my Hands; and reach hither thy Hand, and thrust it into my Side, and be not faithless, but believing. Upon which he was fully fatisfy'd of the Truth of his Resurrection, and in the strength of his Faith cry'd out, My Lord and my God! as we read, John 20. 27, 28.

After this he was seen of above five hundred Brethren at once, of whom the greater part, were alive, and present at that time, but some of them were dead or fallen afleep; as he tells us in the sixth Verse of the Epistle for this Day. Now these five hundred Brethren were those to whom he' appear'd in Galilee, of whom we read, Mat. 28.7, 10. who all

' believ'd the Truth of it, and after testify'd it to the World.

After that he was seen of James, ver. 7. . This James was the Brother of our Lord, whom fome of the Antients affirm to be constituted Bishop of Jerusalem by Christ himself, at this Appearance of his unto him; for which see St. Ferom, Epiphanius, St. Chryfoftom, and Theodoret on this place.

And last of all (faith St. Paul) he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time; ver. 8. meaning, that tho he knew him not before his afcending into Heaven, and so could not see him in the Flesh with the other Apostles, yet after his Ascension he saw him in a Vifion; when being converted by him, he vouchsafed to speak to him by a Voice from Heaven, and exhibited himself to his sight, and receiv'd him thro his special Grace and Favour into the number of his Apostles, tho most unworthy of that Dignity: for so he acknowledges in the next Verse, I am the least of the Apostles, and not meet to be calld an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God: that is, his former Rage in persecuting the Church had set him in the Rank of the meanest of the Apostles, and much inferiour to those who were never guilty of fo vile an Enormity.

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However, faith he in the following Verse, By the Grace of God I am what I am ; and his Grace, which was beI ftow'd on me, was not in vain, for I labour'd more abundant

ly than they all; yet not I, but the Grace of God which was I given me : meaning, that 'twas owing only to the Mercy and

Favour of God that he was what he was ; and that he endeavour'd to walk worthy of the Grace given to him, and to make a right use of it, which he had so far improv'd, as to be more industrious in the Work of the Gospel than all the other Disciples : which yet he would not in any manner ascribe to himself, but merely to the Grace and Goodness of God, that accompany'd and assisted him in all that he did,

He then sums up what he had before deliver'd to them ; Therefore (faith he) whether it were I or they, so we preach'a, and so ye believ'd: that is, however that matter be, whether you look upon me, to whom Christ appear'd after his Ascension, or on them to whom he appear'd before, you cannot have the least reason to doubt of the Truth of his Resurrection ; for we have all preach'd this Doctrine to you, and you have all accordingly receiv'd and embrac'd it.

Let none then shake or stagger your Faith in it, but be i stedfast, immovable, always abounding in the Work of the

Lord, and then your Labour will not be in vain in the Lord.

This is briefly the Sense and Substance of the Epistle for this Day; which by way of Application may serve to direct,

1. The Ministers of Christ, in their delivering the Truths of the Gospel: And,

2. The People, in their hearing and receiving of them.

1. I say, St. Paul's delivering to the Corinthians all, and nothing but what he had receiv'd, niay teach the Ministers of the Gospel not to come short of, nor to go beyond their Commission ; but faithfully to declare the whole Will of God, and no more. We see the Apostle conceal'd nothing which he had Authority to deliver; and St. Peter tells us, that they did not follow or publis any cunningly-devis'd Fables, when they made known the Power and Coming of the Lord Jesus, but were Eye-witnesses of his Majesty ; 2 Pet. 1. 16. And St. John tells us, that which we have heard and seen, and our Hands have handled of the Word of Life, that declare we unto you ; 1 John 1. 1, 2. teaching us to be well inform’d and instructed in the Truth of what we deliver,

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