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IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ. CHRIST did truly rise again from death,
It is declared very apparently and manifestly, by his oft appearance to sundry persons at sundry times.
First, he sent his angels to the sepulchre, who did shew unto certain women the empty grave; saving that the burial linen remained therein. (Matt. xxviii. 5, 6.) And by these signs were these women fully instructed that he was risen again; and so did they testify it openly. After this Jesus himself appeared to Mary Magdalen; (John xx. 16.); and after that to certain other women, and straight afterward he appeared to Peter; (1 Cor. xv. 5.); then to the two disciples which were going to Emmaus. He appeared to the disciples also, as they were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, the door shut. (Luke, xxiv. 36.) At another time he was seen at the sea of Tiberias, of Peter and Thomas, and of other disciples, when they were fishing. (John xxi. 1, 2.) He was seen of more than five hundred brethren in the mount of Galilee; where Jesus appointed them to be by his angel, when he said, “ Behold, he shall go before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him, as he hath said
After this he appeared unto James; and last of all he was visibly seen of all the Apostles, at such time as he was taken up into heaven. (Acts i. 9.) Hom. xxvi.
So great is the matter of this Article—which is the ground and foundation of our whole religion-and of so great weight and importance, that it was thought worthy to keep our Saviour still on earth, forty days after he was risen from death to life, to the confirmation and establishment thereof in the hearts of his disciples.-Assuredly so highly comfortable is this Article to our consciences, that it is even the very lock and key of all our Christian religion and faith. Hom. xxvi.
a I delivered unto you first of all him openly, not to all the people, that which I also received, how but unto witnesses chosen before of that Christ died for our sins ac- God, even to us, who did eat and cording to the Scriptures: and that drink with him after he rose from he was buried, and that he rose the dead. Acts x. 40. To whom again the third day, according to (the Apostles) he shewed himself the Scriptures: and that he was alive after his passion by many inseen of Cephas, then of the twelve: fallible proofs, being seen of them after that he was seen of above forty days, and speaking of the five hundred brethren at once; of things pertaining to the kingdom whom the greater part remain unto of God. Acts i. 3. The Son of man this present, but some are fallen must suffer many things, and be asleep. After that he was seen of rejected of the elders and chief James; then of all the Apostles. priests and scribes, and be slain, And last of all he was seen of me and be raised the third day. Luke also, as of one born out of due ix. 22. Declared to be the Son of time. 1 Cor. xv. 3–8. Him God God with power, according to the raised up the third day, and shewed Spirit of holiness, by the resurrec
band took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of
If he had not risen he could not be thought to be the Son of God: but now rising from the dead to eternity of life, he declared a greater power of his Godhead, than if
, in descending from the cross, he had fled from the terrors of death. To die certainly is common to all; and though some for a time have avoided death intended against them, yet to loose or break the bonds of death once suffered, and by his own power to rise alive again, that is the proper doing of the only Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Author of life, by which he hath shewed himself the conqueror of sini and death, yea, and of the devil himself. Nowell, p. 52.
Q. What profits bringeth it unto us that Christ rose again? A. Manifold and divers. For thereof cometh to us righteousness, which before we lacked: thence cometh to us endeavour of in nocency, which we call newness of life: thence cometh to us power, virtue, and strength to live well and holily: thence have we hope that our mortal bodies also shall one day be restored from death, and rise whole again. For if Christ himself had been destroyed by death, he had not been our deliverer; for what hope of safety should we have had left by him that had not saved himself? It was therefore meet for the person which the Lord did bear, and a necessary help for us to salvation, that Christ should first deliver himself from death, and afterwards that he should break and pull in 'sunder the bands of death for us, and so that we might set the hope of our salvation in his resurrection. For it cannot be that Christ our head, rising again, should suffer us the members of his body to be consumed and utterly destroyed by death. Nowell,
He died to destroy the rule of the devil in us; and he rose again to send down his Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts, to endow us with perfect righteousness. Hom, xxvi.
tion from the dead. Rom. i. 4. saved. Rom. x. 9. If we believe Jesus Christ the first begotten of on him that raised up Jesus our the dead. Rev. i. 5. Thou wilt not Lord from the dead; who was desuffer thine Holy One to see cor- livered for our offences, and was ruption. Ps. xvi. 10. After that he raised again for our justification." is killed, he shall rise the third Rom. iv. 24, 25. day. Mark ix. 31. Blessed be b Then saith he to Thomas, the God and 'Father of our Lord Reach hither thy finger, and beJesus Christ, which according to hold my hands; and reach hither his abundant mercy hath begotten thy hand, and thrust it into my us again unto a lively hope by the side: and be not faithless, but beresurrection of Jesus Christ from lieving. John xx. 27. the dead. 1 Pet. i. 3. If thou shalt hands and my feet, that it is I myconfess with thy mouth the Lord self; handle me, and see; for a Jesus Christ, and shalt believe in spirit hath not flesh and bones as thine heart that God hath raised ye see me have. Luke xxiv. 39. him from the dead, thou shalt be
man's nature, wherewith he ascended into hea
• To this our Saviour and Mediator hath God the Father given the power of heaven and earth, and the whole jurisdiction and authority, to distribute his goods and gifts committed to him : for so writeth the Apostle, “ To every one is grace given, according to the measure of Christ's giving.” And thereupon to execute his authority committed, after that he had brought sin and the devil to captivity, to be no more hurtful to his members, he ascended up to his Father again, and from thence sent liberal gifts to his well-beloved servants, and hath still the power to the world's end to distribute his Father's gifts continually in his church, to the establishment and comfort thereof. And by him hath Almighty God decreed to dissolve the world, to call all before him, to judge both the quick and the dead, and finally by him shall he condemn the wicked to eternal fire in hell, and give the good eternal life, and set them assuredly in presence with him in heaven for evermore. Hom. xxix. 3.
Christ sitting on the right hand of God doth with his power, wisdom, and providence, rule and dispose the world, move, govern, and order all things, and so shall do till the frame of the world be dissolved. Nowell, p. 56.
It was meet that Christ, which from the highest degree of honour and dignity had descended to the basest estate of a servant, and to the reproach of condemnation and shameful death, should on the other side obtain most noble glory and excellent estate, even the same which he had before, that his glory and majesty might in proportion answer to his baseness and shame. Phil. ii. 8, 9, 10. "Nowell, p. 55.
Christ by ascending and sitting on the right hand of his Father, hath removed and thoroughly rooted out of men's hearts that false opinion, which sometime his Apostles themselves had
c Christ being raised from the him from the dead, and set him dead dieth no more, death hath no at his own right hand, in the heamore dominion over him, Rom. vi.9. venly places. Eph. i. 20. Who is This man, after he had offered he that condemneth? It is Christ one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat that died, yea rather that is risen down on the right hand of God. again, who is even at the right Heb. x. 12. Wherefore God also hand of God, who also maketh inhath highly exalted him, and given tercession for us. Rom. viii. 34. him a name which is above every Go to my brethren, and say unto name: that at the name of Jesus them, I ascend' unto my Father, every knee should bow, &c. Phil. and your Father; and to my God, ii. 9, 10. While he blessed them, and your God. John xx. 17. The he was parted from them, and car- Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou ried up into heaven. Luke xxiv. 51. at my right hand, until I make So then after the Lord had spoken thine enemies thy footstool. Ps. unto them, he was received up into
Whom the heavens must heaven, and sat on the right hand receive until the times of restituof God, Mark xvi. 19. He raised tion of all things. Acts iii. 21.
ven, and there sitteth, until he dreturn to judge all men at the last day.
conceived, namely, that Christ should reign visible here in earth, as other kings and worldly princes do. Nowell, p. 57.
Q. What profit take we of his ascending into heaven, and sitting on the right hand of his Father ? A. First, Christ, as he had descended to the earth, as into banishment for our sake: so when he went up into heaven, his Father's inheritance, he entered in our name, making us a way and entry thither, and opening us the gate of heaven, which was before shut against us for sin : for sith Christ our head hath carried with him our flesh into heaven, so mighty and loving a head will not leave us for ever in earth, that are members of his body. Moreover he being present in the sight of God, and commending us unto him, and making intercession for us, is the patron of our cause, who being our advocate, our matter shall not quail. Nowell, P.
55. a Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven with high glory, and at the sound of the trumpet, all the dead that have lived from the creation of the world to that day, shall rise again with their souls and bodies whole and perfect, and shall appear
before his throne to be judged, every one for himself, to give account of their life, which shall be examined by the uncorrupted and severe Judge according to the truth. Nowell, p. 60.
Q. Ought the godly at thinking upon this judgment to be strickened and abashed with fear, and to dread it, and shrink from it? A. No. For He shall give the sentence, which was once by the judge's sentence condemned for us, to the end that we, coming under the grievous judgment of God, should not be condemned but acquitted in judgment. He, I say, shall pronounce the judgment, in whose faith and protection we are, and which hath taken upon him the defence of our cause. Nowell, p. 61.
Moreover, he came in flesh, and in the self-same flesh ascended into heaven, to declare and testify unto us, that all faithful people which stedfastly believe in him, shall likewise come unto the same mansion-place, whereunto he, being our Chief Captain, is gone before. Hom. xxiv.
Whatsoever things he hath done, he hath done them all for our benefit, even so far that they be as much our own, (so that with stedfast and lively faith we cleave unto them) as if we ourselves had done them. He was crucified, and we also are crucified with him, and our sins punished in him. He died, and
J When the Son of man shall ment-seat of Christ; that every come in his glory, and all the holy one may receive the things done in angels with him, then shall he sit his body. 2 Cor. v. 10.
He comupon the throne of his glory: and manded us to preach unto the before him shall be gathered all people, and to testify that it is He nations. Matt. xxv. 31, 32. We which was ordained of God to be must all appear before the judg- the Judge of quick and dead. Acts
was buried. We also, together with our sins, are dead and buried, and that so as all the remembrance of our sins is for ever forgotten. He rose from death, and we also are risen again with him, being so made partakers of his resurrection and life, that from thenceforth death hath no more dominion over us. For in us is the same Spirit which raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Finally, beside that since his ascension we have most abundantly received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, he hath also lifted and carried us up into heaven with him, that we might as it were with our head take possession thereof. These things indeed are not yet seen, but then shall they be brought abroad into light, when Christ, which is the light of the world, in whom all our hope and wealth is set and settled, shining with immortal glory, shall shew himself openly to all men. Nowell, p. 58.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father. We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judye. Liturgy.
X. 42. The Father hath committed he will judge the world' in rightall judgment unto the Son. He eousness by that man whom he hath given him authority to exe- hath ordained, whereof he hath cute judgment, because he is the given assurance unto all men, in Son of man. John v. 22, 27. He that he hath raised him from the hath appointed a day, in the which dead. Acts xvii. 31.