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in the way.
tion by which the heirs are formed to enjoy it, we must conceive it to be unspeakably glorious.--Many important properties of this inheritance the scripture enumerates ; and finally sums up all in these comprehensive words, “He that overcometh shall inherit ALL THINGS."
Lastly : The Apostle desires, that Christians may know, “what is the exceeding greatness of God's power toward them that believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead."
When the Christian contemplates the glorious inheritance, which awaits him in the heavenly world, the joy which begins to kindle in his soul is, sometimes, damped by the thought of that gloomy valley which lies
Death and the grave are before him ; the body must be dissolved-must moulder away under the clods of the earth, and be reduced to its primi. tive dust ;-and this soul--this conscious, thinking mind, which has never yet existed without a body ;Where, and what will it be? It can have little conception of a separate, unbodied state ; for this is wholly unexperienced. How dark the prospect !-But this gloomy scene the gospel has enlightened ; it reveals to us a resurrection of the body, and a happy reunion of it to the soul; in which new state we shall exist for ever. To strengthen our faith it refers us to the work of God's mighty power in raising Christ from the dead ; and from this glorious instance leads us to conceive the exceeding greatness of his power in raising from the dead them who believe in Jesus, and in transforming these vile bodies to such a spiritual and immortal state, and they shall be forever capable of enjoying the heavenly inheritance. Of this power the believer has already had some experience in the quickening of his soul, once dead in trespasses and in sins, to a holy and divine life.
If we have been quickened with Christ to a spirito al life, we shall also be raised with him to eternal life, and be made to sit with him in heavenly places. If we are dead to this world, our life is hidden in another hidden with Christ in God; and when Christ shall appear we also shall appear with him in glory.
" If the Spirit of him, who raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in us, he that raised up Jesus, shall also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit which dwelleth in us. Therefore “ let us not walk after the flesh, but through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, that we may live." If we expect to rise with Christ, “ let us now seek the things which are above, where Christ is.". “Let us have our conversation in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, and fashion it like unto his own glorious body, according to that mighty working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
The Exaltation of Christ.
EPHESIANS i. 19-23.
According to the working of his mighly power which he wrought in
Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come ; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that Alleth ali in all.
the preceding words, Saint Paul prays for the Ephesian believers, that, in the acknowledgment of the gospel of Christ, they might have the spirit of wisdom to understand the revelation given them or the preaching of the Apostles ; and that their intellectual eyes might be enlightened to know the ground and the terms of that hope to which they were called, the glori. ous riches of that inheritance which was provided for them, and the exceeding greatness of that power, which by raising them from the dead, should put them in possession of the heavenly inheritance. To strengthen their faith in God's power and promise, and to aid their conceptions of the glory of this inheritance ; the Apostle refers them to the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ, and to that dominion and dignity
which he now enjoys, as the reward of his sufferings in the flesh.
The several important steps of Christ's exaltation are contained in the words now read: These are his resurrection from the dead_his ascension to, and ses. sion at the right hand of God-his advancement, far above all principality and power, to supreme dominion over all things-and the glorious end of his dominion, even the benefit of the church which is his body, the fulness of him who filleth all in all.
I. The first step of Christ's exaltation was his resurrection from the dead.
The plan which the wisdom of God laid for the re. demption of our fallen race, was the death of Jesus Christ; who, though a holy and divine person, was made in the likeness of our sinful flesh, that by a sacri. fice for sin he might condemn sin in the flesh.” But the scheme of God's wisdom did not end with the death of the Redeemer. If he had remained under the power of death, our hopes must have died with him. His resurrection was necessary, that we might have a convincing proof of his divine character and missionof the truth of his gospel—of God's acceptance of the sacrifice offered and of the certainty of our own resurrection and future existence. God therefore took particular care to render this important event certain and indubitable.
Our divine Lord, during his ministry, often foretold his own approaching death and the ressurrection which would speedily follow. He pointed out the exact time of his resurrection, and referred not only his disciples, but the unbelieving Jews to this humanly improbable event, as the grand and decisive proof of his heavenly authority.
Jesus Christ was crucified in the most public manner, and the reality of his death was made evident be. yond a possibility of doubt. He was buried in a new tomb, in which never man before was laid ; so that, if
any one rose from thence, he must be the person. The tomb was hewn out in a rock, so that there could be no secret conveyance of the body from thence by a subterraneous passage. To prevent a clandestine removal of the body, which the priests and Pharisees pretended to fear; a stone was rolled to the mouth of the
grave, a seal was put upon it, and a party of soldiers set to guard it. Notwithstanding these precautions, the tomb on the third day was found empty. The body was not there. That it could not be stolen away by the disciples, was evident from the precautions taken to prevent it, as well as from the circumstances of the disciples, who were then dispersed by fear. It must, therefore, have been raised by a miracle. And this the soldiers confessed. Early on the first day of the week, there was an earthquake ; an angel descended in a glorious form, and in the presence of the guards, rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. The soldiers, affrighted at the vision, hastened into the city, and reported to the priests what they had seen. The priests, convinced of the fact, but unwilling it should be believed, bribed the soldiers to report an inconsiste ent story, that the body was stolen away while they were asleep. After his resurrection, he repeatedly appeared to, and conversed with those, who having intimately known him before, could not be deceived in his person ; and they uniformly testified to 'his resurrection, and persisted in their testimony to the death.
This miracle is an incontestible evidence of the truth of the Christian religion ; and particularly an evidence of the great doctrine of the resurrection of the body and a future life, and of the efficacy of Christ's 'blood to expiate the guilt of our sins.
The Apostle says, Christ was raised from the dead
by the working of God's mighty power. The Heathens “ thought it a thing incredible, that God should raise the dead." They did not conceive it pos.