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World, and delivered them from the hands of Pharaoh : so we must conceive that he hath given us this day as a sign between him and us for ever, whereby we may be known to worship the same God Jehovah, who did not only create heaven and earth in the beginning, but also raised his eternal Son from the dead for our redemption. As therefore the Jews do still retain the celebration of the seventh day of the week, because they will not believe any greater deliverance wrought than that of Egypt; as the Mahometans religiously observe the sixth day of the week in memory of Mahomet's flight from Mecca, whom they esteem a greater prophet than our Saviour; as these are known and distinguished in the world by these several celebrations of distinct days in the worship of God: so all which profess the Christian religion are known publicly to belong unto the Church of Christ by observing the first day of the week upon which Christ did rise from the dead, and by this mark of distinction are openly separated from all other professions. *
That Christ did thus rise from the dead, is a most necessary Article of the Christian faith, which all are obliged to believe and profess, to the meditation whereof the apostle hath given a particular injunction. “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead.” (2 Tim. ii. 8.) First, Because without it our faith is vain, and by virtue of it strong. By this we are assured that he which died was the Lord of life; and though he were “crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God.” (2 Cor. xiii. 4.) By this resurrection from the dead, he “was declared to be the Son of God;” (Rom. i. 4.) and upon the morning of the third day did those words of the Father manifest a most important truth, “ Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Acts xi. 33.) In his death he assured us of his humanity, by his resurrection he demonstrated his Divinity.
Secondly, By his resurrection we are assured of the justification of our persons; and “if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,” it will be "imputed to us for righteousness;" for he“ was delivered for our of and was raised again for our justification.” (Rom. iv. 24. 22. 25.) + By his death we know that he suffered for sin, by his re
Quid hac die felicius, in qua Dominus Judæis mortuus est, nobis resurrexit ? in qua Synagogæ cultus occubuit, et est ortus Ecclesiæ; in qua nos bomines fecit secum surgere et vivere et se. dere in cælestibus, et impletum est illud quod ipse dixit in Evangelio, Cum autem eraltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad
Hæc est dies quam fecit Dominus, exsultemus et lætemur in ea. Omnes dies quidem fecit Dominus, sed cæteri dies possunt esse Judæorum, possunt esse Hæreticorum, possunt esse Gentilium ;
dies Dominica, dies resurrectionis, dies Christianorum, dies nostra est.' Esplan. in Psal. 117. sub nomine Hieron.
+ St. Chrysostom excellently upon that place: "Oρα πώς την αιτίαν είπαν του θανάτου, την αυτήν και απόδειξιν της αναστάσεως σειεί.
Δια τί γαρ εσταυρώθη, φησίν ; ού δι' οικείαν αμαρτίαν και δήλον εκ της αναστάσεως εί γαρ ήν αμαρτωλός, πώς ανέστη; ει δε ανέστη, εύδηλον ότι αμαρτωλός ουκ ήν· ει δε αμαρταλές ουκ ήν, πώς εσταυρώθη και δι' ετέρους και δε δι' ¿Tégous, TÁYTOS ÁVÉTTn. Hom. 9. in Epist. ad Rom.
surrection we are assured, that the sins for which he suffered, were not his own. Had no man been a sinner, he had not died ; had he been a sinner, he had not risen again : but dying for those sins which we committed, he rose from the dead to shew that he had made full satisfaction for them, that we believing in him might obtain remission of our sins, and justification of our persons. “God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom. viii. 3.) and raising up our surety from the prison of the grave, did actually absolve, and apparently acquit, him from the whole obligation to which he had bound himself, and in discharging him acknowledged full satisfaction made for us. “Who then shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again.” (Rom. viii. 33, 34.)
Thirdly, It was necessary to pronounce the resurrection of Christ, as an Article of our faith, and thereby we might ground, confirm, strengthen, and declare our hope. For " the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled.” (1 Pet. i. 3, 4.) By the resurrection of Christ his Father hath been said to have begotten him; and therefore by the same he hath begotten us, who are called brethren and coheirs with Christ. « For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.” (Rom. v. 10.) He laid down bis life, but it was for us; and being to take up his own, he took up ours. We are the members of that body, of which Christ is the Head; if the Head be risen, the members cannot be far behind. He is the “ first-born from the dead,” (Col. i. 18.) and we “the sons of the resurrection.” The Spirit of Christ abiding in us maketh us members of Christ, and by the same Spirit we have a full right and title to rise with our Head. “For if the Spirit of him, that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in us, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit, that dwelleth in us. (Rom. viii. 11.) Thus the resurrection of Christ is the cause of our resurrection by a double causality, as an efficient, and as an exemplary cause. As an efficient cause, in regard our Saviour by and upon his resurrection hath obtained power and right to raise all the dead; “ For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor. xv. 22.) As an exemplary cause, in regard that all the saints of God'shall rise after the similitude and in conformity to the resurrection of Christ; “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (Rom. vi. 5.)
He" shall change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body:” (Phil. iii. 21.) that “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we may also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Cor. xv. 49.) This is the great hope of a Christian, that Christ rising from the dead hath obtained the power, and is become the pattern, of his resurrection. “The breaker is come up before them; they have broken up and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it, and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them." (Micah ii. 13.)
Fourthly, It is necessary to protess our faith in Christ risen from the dead, that his resurrection may effectually work its proper operation in our lives. For as it is efficient and exemplary to our bodies, so it is also to our souls. “When we were dead in sins, God quickened us together with Christ.” (Eph. ii. 5.) And, “as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life." (Rom. vi. 4.) To continue among the graves of sin, while Christ is risen, is to incur that reprehension of the angel, “Why seek ye the living among the dead ?” (Luke xxiv. 5.) To walk in any habitual sin, is either to deny that sin is death, or Christ is risen from the dead. “ Let then the dead bury their dead,” (Matt. viii. 22.) but let not any Christian bury him, who rose from death, that he might live. “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Eph. v. 14.) There must be a spiritual resurrection of the soul, before there can be a comfortable resurrection of the body. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in this first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power.” (Rev. xx. 6.)
Having thus explained the manner of Christ's resurrection, and the necessity of our faith in him risen from the dead, we may easily give such a brief account, as any Christian may understand, what it is he should intend, when he makes profession of this part of the CREED; for he is conceived to acknowledge thus much : I freely and fully assent unto this as a truth of infinite certainty and absolute necessity, that, the eternal Son of God, who was crucified and died for our sins did not long continue in the state of death, but by his infinite power did revive and raise himself, by reuniting the same soul which was separated to the same body which was buried, and so rose the same man: and this he did the third day from his death ; so that dying on Friday the sixth day of the week, the day of the preparation of the sabbath, and resting in the grave the sabbath-day, on the morning of the first day of the week he returned unto life again, and thereby consecrated the weekly revolution of that first day to a religious observation until his coming again. And thus I believe The THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD.
He ascended into heuven, and sitleth on the right hand of
God ihe Father Almighty. This Article hath received no variation, but only in the addition of the name of God, and the a tribute Almighty ; the ancients using it briefly thus,* He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father. It containeth two distinct parts; one transient, the other permanent; one as the way, the other as the end : the first is Christ's ascension, the second is his session.
In the ascension of Christ these words of the Creed propound to us three considerations and no more: the first of the person, He; the second of the action, ascended; the third of the termination, into heaven. Now the person being perfectly the same, which we have considered in the precedent Articles, he will afford no different speculation but only in conjunction with this particular action.' Wherefore I conceive these three things necessary and sufficient for the illustration of Christ's ascension: First, To shew that the promised Messias was to ascend into heaven ; Secondly, To prove that our Jesus, whom we believe to be the true Messias, did really and truly ascend thither; Thirdly, To declare what that heaven is, unto which he did ascend.
That the promised Messias should ascend into heaven, hath been represented typically, and declared prophetically. The high-priest under the Law was an express type of the Messias and his priestly office; the atonement which he made, was the representation of the propitiation in Christ for the sin of the world : for the making this atonement, the high-priest was appointed once every year to enter into the Holy of Holies, and no oftener. For the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy-seat, which is upon the ark, that he die not.” (Lev. xvi. 2.) None entered into that holy place but the high-priest alone; and he himself could enter thither but once in the year; and thereby shewed that the “high-priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, was to enter
Adscendit in cælos, sedet ad dex. teram Patris. Ruffin. in Symb. Q. 30. S. August. in Enchirid. g. 14. Marimus Tau. tinens. Hom. de espos. Symb. Chrysologus Serm. in Symbol. 56–62. Aucto Espos. Symb. ad Catechumenos, Ç. 6. Venantius Fortunatus, The Lutin and Greek MSS. set forth by the Archbishop of Armagh. St. Augustin de Fide et Symb. $. 14. hath it: Sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris :' to which
was afterwards added omnipotentis. “Sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis.' Euseb. Gallican. De Symbolo, Hom. i. & ii. ap. Biblioth. Patr. Lat. t. v. par. i. p. 552. seqq. 'Sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis.' Etherius Uram. and Auctor Sermonum de Tempore, serm. 131. al. 242. $. 2. The Greek and Latin MSS. in Bene's College Librury.
into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Heb. ix. 11, 12.) The Jews did all believe that the Tabernacle did signify this world, * and the Holy of Holies the highest heavens; wherefore as the high-priest did slay the sacrifice, and with the blood thereof did pass through the rest of the Tabernacle, and with that blood did enter into the Holy of Holies ; so was the Messias here to offer up himself, and, being slain, to pass through all the courts of this world below, and with his blood to enter into the highest heavens, the most glorious seat of the majesty of God. Thus Christ's ascension was represented typically.
The same ascension was also declared prophetically, as we read in the prophet David, “Thou hast ascended up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men :” (Psal. Ixviii. 18.)+ which phrase on high, in the language of David, signifying heaven, could be applied properly to no other conqueror but the Messias : not to Moses, not to David, not to Joshua, nor to any but the Christ; who was to conquer sin, and death, and hell, and, triumphing over them, to ascend unto the highest heavens, and thence to send the precious and glorious gifts of the Spirit unto the sons of men. The prophecy of Micah did foretell as much, even in the opinion and confession of the Jews themselves, by those words,
Εί τις της σκηνής κατανοήσειε την πήξιν, ascended. For that one in the language και του ιερέως ίδη την στολήν, τά τε σκεύη οις of the prophet, is attributed to God, as σερί την ιερουργίας χρώμεθα' τόν τε νομοθέτης Psal. vii. 8. now one's return on high, ευρήσει θείον άνδρα, και ματαίως ήμάς υπό that is, in the language of the Chaldee των άλλων τας βλασφημίας ακούοντας» έκαστα
, return γαρ τούτων είς απομίμησιν και διατύπωσιν των house of thy majesty; and Psal. xciii. 4. όλων, εί τις αφθόνως εθέλοι και μετά συνέσεως
mighty, σκοπεϊν, ευρήσει γεγονότα. τήν τε γας σκηνής Chald. x29972 'sva in the upper hearens, τριάκοντα πηχών ούσαν νείμας είς τρία, και Psal. Ixxi. 19. Thy righteousness, O Lord, δύο μέρη πάσιν ανείς τους ιερεύσιν, ώσπερ is ono Ty, risque ad ercelsum; the Chaldee βέβηλόν τινα και κοινον τόπον, την γην και την
. In the same manθάλασσαν απoσημαίνει και γάρ ταύτα πάσίν
, έστιν επίβατα την δε τρίτην μοίραν μόνω πε ascended on ligli, the Chaldee paraphrase ριέγραψε τω Θεώ, διά το και τον ουρανόν ανεπί translateth ypas xopho thou hast ascended Batov elvai àv@páros. Joseph. Antiq. Jud. I. the firmament: and it addeth immediateiii. c. 8. Where it is to be observed, that ly AI) w O thou prophet Moses : yet the place which St. Paul calls the first there is a plain contradiction in that in. tabernacle, Josephus terms BeBndór tiya xał terpretation ; for if it were meant of Xosv0r Tómov, a common and profane place, as Moses, it cannot be the firmament; if it representing this world in which we live, were the firmament, it cannot be underand our life and conversation here : as stood of Moses, for he never ascended the apostle seems to speak, Heb. ix. 1. thither. Είχε μεν ούν και η πρώτη σκηνή δικαιώματα # This Breaker-up is by the confession λατρείας τό τε άγιον κοσμικόν. For άγιον of the Jews the title of the Messias. So xoc uixàr, sanctum seculure as the Syriac the author of Sepher Abchath Ruchal, in Xayna'y xvTp mia, domus huncta mundana,
his description of the coming of the Mes. may well be that part of the tabernacle, sias, maketh use of this place. And the which represented this world, and there same appeared farther by that saying of fore termed common and profane in re Moses Haddershan in Bereshith Rabba, spect of that more holy part, which represented heaven.
" + This place must necessarily be un tion from below is Abraham, the plantation derstood of the Messias, by reason of that from above is Messias, as it is written, The high place to which no other conqueror
breaker is come up before them, &c. So be
.עד שמי מרומא ,again thou hast עלית למרום ,ner in this place
נטיעה מלמטה זה אברהמ כטעה מלמעלה זה -The plastd משיח של" עלה הפרץ לפניהם וגו':