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so you receivid, and wherein you At and.. And the better to keep theni stedfast in the Faith, he is
i'! Secondly, Minds then not only of the Excellency, but the Necellity of it to Salvation ; ver. 2. By which also ye are fav’d: that is, by this Faith you were converted to Christianity, and turn'd from the Darkness of Paganismi to the Light of the Gospel, and so are put into a State of Salvation, which he therefore tells them was worthy to be remembred; and kept still in niemóry, without which all their former believing would be in vain, and to no purpose: If yo keep in memory i(faith he) what I preach'd unto you, it will assuredly bring you to Salvation; but if ye forget or let it slip, and much more if ye revolt and turn from it, then our Preaching to you will be in vain, and your Faith is also vain. To prevent which, and to refresh their „Memories, he
Thirdly, Lets them know his Fidelity in delivering his Message, and imparting the Truths of the Gospel to them; ver. 3. Í deliver'd unto you first of all that which I also reo ceiv'd: meaning, that he did not forge, or falfify with theni, neither adding to nor concealing any thing from them, but freely and fairly deliver'd what he was intrusted withal, and charg'd to communicate to them, and then gives them a brief Summary of the Doctrine deliver'd by him in this and the following Verse, namely, How that Christ died for our Sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he was bury'd, and that he rose again the third Day, accord. ing to the Scriptures: which great Points are three fundamental Articles of our Faith, containing, what our Saviour did and suffer'd for our Redemption, and consequently nie. cessary to be believ'd by all that expect any Interest in or Benefit by it. The
ist Whereof is, That Christ died for our Sins, according to the Scriptures: where we have the Passion for Death of Christ, be died; and likewise the Cause, or Reason of it, 'twas for our Sins, together with the Confirmation of both, according to the Scriptures. For his Death, it was the most bitter, barbarous, and bloody one that could be un. dergone ; a Death wherein the Wrath of God, the Fury of Men, and the Rage of all the Powers of Darkness most fatally conspir'd: He was obedient to Death (saith the Apoftle) even the Death of the Cross; which of all the Roman ways of Execution was the most painful and the most ignominious, being attended with all the Cruelty and Shame that could be fbew'd to the vilelt Malefactor, And of this accurfed Death both the Fews 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, undefild, separate from Sinners, and made higher than the Heavens, Heb. 7. 26. and so could not be liable to Death upon his own score ; but taking upon him our Sins, he became obnoxious to the Punishment due to them, and fo 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 Just 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 Tefta. nient; where the Death and Passion of the Messias is plain lý foretold and recorded. All the Sacrifices under the Law, where all things were purg'd with Blood, and without the Thedding of Blood was no Remislion, 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 fuch a lively and particular Account niany hundred years before, as if he had liv'd to see it actually done; Chap. 53. All we (faith he) like Sheep have gone aftray, 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 bis Mouth. He was taken from Pria son 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 fulfillid in the Person of our Saviour, the History of the New Testament niay fully inform us.
2dly, Another Point that St. Paul deliver'd to the Corinthians, was his Burial, How he dy'd for our Sins, and that he was bury'd, The Rites of Buriál, you know, ever attend Death, all 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 Burial; that Mary Magdalen and others brought Spices to
enbalm him ;, and that Foseph of Arimathea 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 Old Testament; 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, fpake 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; so 'tis interpreted and apply'd, Mat. 12. 40.
The Pfalmift speaking in the Person of the Meflias, faith, My Fles Mall 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 laid 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 ...ii - The 3d and great Point of Doctrine the Apostle deliver'd to them, was his Resurrection ; Tihat 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 himn. . 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. '.:.
Indeed, the Resurrection of Christ gave the greatest Af furance of the Divinity of his Person, of the Certainty of bis Do&trine, of the Efficacy of his Death, and of the Truth of his Metliahship. And therefore no Article of
Therefore the Abb. of all our faith hiin. This pain, as the
our our Faith either deserv'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 saw 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 fanious 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 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 apa, pear'd to them, and said, I know that ye Seek Jesus, 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, fome whereof look'd upon it as an idle Tale, and believ'd it not, Luke 24. II. 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 want ing, Mark 16. 12. where we read, he appeard to them as they fat at Meat, and upbraided them with the Backwardness of their Belief; and because sone of them took hini 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 2.5
And to remove all their Fears, he call'd 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 side, where the Soldier's Spear had pierc'd : to all which Christ graciously condescended for his Satisfaction, saying to him, Reach hither 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 satisfy'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 asleep ; 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 some of the Antients affirm to be constituted Bishop of Jerusalem by Christ himself, at this Appearance of his unto him; for which fee 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 ascending into Heaven, and so could not see him in the Flesh with the other Apostles, yet after his Ascension he saw him in: a Vision ; when being converted by him, he vouchsafed to speak to him by a Voice from Heaven, and exhibited himself to his fight, 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 calls an Apoftle, because I persecuted the Church of God: that is, his former Rage in perfecuting the Church had set him in the Rank of the meanest of the Apostles, and much inferiour to those who were never guilty of so vile an Enormity.
when beint after
ceiva him them and exhibited to speak