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life-giving power which was inseparable from His Godhead, He broke the bands of death, and cast away its cords from Him. It was not possible, says another scripture, that He should be holden of it. He fought with death; He seemed for a moment to be subdued by it; but by dying He did indeed destroy death. Out of the grave He rose on the third day, not having seen corruption; and by rising, He hath restored to us everlasting life. Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at His coming ! And this brings me

to the benefits and blessings which are derived to us from the event of this day

Jesus Christ rose conqueror of death. He rose never to die any more; to live for ever, and to be for ever the life of them that believe. He rose as the Head of the race which He has redeemed, whose nature He has taken unto Himself, and still retains. He


and we have now the sure and certain hope that we too, through the might of that marvellous act, and from its abiding effect upon our human nature, shall not lie forgotten in the grave.

When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers ! .

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he lire :

and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die!

Yes, brethren, this Easter Day is not simply the festival we keep in honour of our blessed Lord's resurrection; it is more-it is the day we keep to confirm our faith in the general resurrection of mankind—to preserve alive in our hearts the blessed Christian hope, that this life is not the end of all things—that there is another, and a better, and a more enduring state of existence for us, on the other side of the grave. For this hope rests for its foundation, for its only foundation, on the assured fact of Christ having risen. He is the head, and we are the members. The life that is in Him pervades the whole body. Because He lives we shall live also.

True that our bodies, unlike His, must see corruption. True that we must know again the dust out of which we were taken, and lie in the grave with those that have been long dead; but we know that our Redeemer liveth, and that He can and will, in His good time, open the gate of our prison. We know that though worms destroy this body, yet in our flesh shall we see God. We know that He who, by His own divine power, came alive out of the grave, can and will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the mighty working,

whereby He is able even to subdue all things to Himself!

And so we rejoice and are glad on this Easter Day, not only because He has triumphed, but further, because of the pledge which His victory gives us of our own resurrection. Christ says today, to the sorrowing mourner, Weep not, he is not dead, but sleepeth. Christ says, Thy brother shall rise again; thy sister, thy father, thy mother, thy wife, thy child, the friend whom thou so dearly loved, shall rise again. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen. And have the keys of hell and death!

Now, there is no need to dwell on the infinite comfort and blessedness of these tidings. The heart of every one who has experienced bereavement knoweth its own bitterness. Many here present have known the sorrow of Rachel weeping for her children, because they are not. Many here have had their homes invaded by the Great Spoiler. To such persons, better than any words of pity or condolence, will be the yearly return of this Easter festival. For if they can but embrace its great tidings; if they can but go with those two Apostles, Peter and John, and gaze into the Lord's empty sepulchre, see the stone that was upon it, the stone, very great, rolled away, and enter into the full significance of that fact, they will experience a quiet sense of comfort which nothing else can give them : they will cease to sorrow as others which have no hope; they will bear to look


graves yet recent of their kindred-yea, and to contemplate their own

, earthly rest beside them, with an untroubled mind. Holding fast by the angel's words, He is not hereHe is risen! they will send on their thoughts to that hour when all who are in their

graves shall hear His voice and come forth: when the power of His resurrection shall be witnessed to, and bear its appointed fruit in the general resurrection of mankind !

And this leads me to the second clause of the text. Christ is the resurrection and the life—the cause and spring of our rising again. But in order to a happy resurrection, to a resurrection to eternal life, there must be a close connexion between our soul and the Saviour-a living tie of love, and faith, and fellowship. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die!

There is no promise here to the unbelieverno promise to the careless and ungodly. The promise is to him that believeth in Jesus Christ; and the only belief worthy of the name is belief

that worketh by love—that purifieth the heart, that quickens the zeal, that conquers the sin, that influences the whole walk of a Christian.

Where there is belief like this, there is already an earnest of our resurrection. There already the power of Christ rests upon us. There already the inward man is being renewed day by daychanged into the likeness of the risen Saviour. For, as St. Paul writes (Rom. vi.), if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, -i.e. death and sin—we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.

Lay, I beseech, this last thought to heart, and let it serve as a spur to Christian living—to a life of faith and holiness. In the words of the Epistle for this morning, If ye be risen with Christ,-ay, and if ye have the hope of rising with Christ-seek those things which are above, where Christ silteth on the right hand of God. Make Christ your life now-order your steps by the rule of His Gospel — walk in the track of His example ; and then, when Christ shall appear, ye also shall appear with Him in glory!

And now let us draw near together to the holy table. Of all days in the year, Easter is the one when a Christian should be present there—when he cannot, except for very grave reasons, be absent without blame. Of all our occasions this

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