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glimpse, such as we have now, of our glory in Christ Jesus, cannot adequately transport and enliven our hearts; we ought to contemplate it constantly, beholding its splendour by means of faith, mounting like eagles towards the sun, and leaving the night of this earth far behind us. The stream on the banks of which the trees are always green, both summer and winter, has its source in the Easter miracle ; and the tones of the harp which drives away all the spirits of evil, are still heard floating in the air above Joseph's garden.
The moment after Paul has exhorted Timothy to strive for the faith, and to arm himself for combat, he thus addresses him : “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel !"-thus doing his utmost to impress a vivid picture on the soul of his friend, which might remain there daily and hourly, and be ever present to his view in unfading clearness and eternal brightness, to the exclusion of all other images. And whose picture was this? My brethren, ye have heard : it was the picture of Jesus Christ—not the crucified One, but the beautiful and glorious Lord risen from the dead ; it was the triumphant portrait of the Con
queror of death.
Paul seems to have been of opinion that the sight of the glorious image of Christ enshrined in the temple of his heart, must be of the utmost service to Timothy while in this world's scene of struggle. He himself had experienced what heroic courage a glance at the Easter miracle could impart; and on reading his epis. tles, we cannot doubt that the spring of his boldness, his long-suffering, and his joy, might be found in the contemplation of Jesus on the third day. And in order that Timothy may experience the same thing, he calls out to him, “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead !"
Yes, my brethren, there is wafted from the picture of the resurrection, a balsamic fragrance, whose quickening and enlivening influence is not to be described. A light proceeds from it, by whose illumination all that formerly terrified us is seen lying under our feet, and even the dark termination of our existence, the terrific grave itself, is clad with a heavenly brightness. Can we then give you a more glorious exhortation than this, • Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead!” For true it is what Luther
says, a Christian contemplates the picture of the resurrection, the more he is blessed in Christ Jesus !" And 0, may the Spirit paint this beautiful portrait with always brighter and brighter colours in our souls, and may he give us to understand its deep signification! May he enable us to comprehend how we sit on the same throne with our glorified Lord, and may
he help us to decipher the mysterious handwriting of God in the Easter miracles, so that we may have boldness to exclaim with Paul from the depth of our souls, “ Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us!" Amen.
6. The more
THE EASTER MORNING.
JOHN XX, 11-17.
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she
wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou ? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou ? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary! She turned her. self, and saith unto him, Rabboni ; which is to say, Master! Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not ; for I am not yet ascend. ed to my Father : but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
This is perhaps the most beautiful and the most deeply interesting narrative in the whole Bible. It is like a picture representing a heavenly scene, the colours of which are formed by the bright and variegated dusts found in the cups of flowers. It is like a clear and full-toned chord struck on the Easter harp; or a mirror reflecting that glorified existence, whose loveliness our finest ideal creations sketch only imperfectly. Yes, it belonged to the pen of the disciple who lay on the bosom of Jesus, to describe a scene unequalled in spiritual beauty and tenderness ; upon which dawned the morning of that day which shall witness no more tears, unless it be tears of joy. How wonderful and how comforting is all that this picture represents, and how gladdening are the accents in which it addresses our spirits ! It is indeed an Easter gospel, tidings of good news; and as such may it benefit our souls !
I. Wonderful! that the most glorious and the most joyful morning which ever dawned on this sinful world, should by the children of God be ushered in with tears ! The brethren must first experience from the bottom of their souls how wretched their condition would have been if their Lord and Master had continued in the tomb; then would the joy which Easter brings strike deeper root in their hearts. There are certain truths, and certain sorrowful facts, which must be first acknowledged and experienced, before the blessed signification and importance of the resurrection be fully understood and appreciated. They are as follows: that we are by nature lost; that the curse of the law rests upon us; that it were but just had we been given over to the powers of evil; that all the intellect of man is unable to throw light on the gloomy mystery of the tomb; that if there were indeed a life beyond the grave, it could only be, to beings estranged from God as we are, a life of terror and woe. These bitter thoughts must sink deep into our hearts ; for not until we have drunk of this cup of wormwood shall we be able to exclaim, " the joy of Easter is transcendent !"
and not until then shall we be able to understand the joy of Mary in the garden of Joseph.
It is indeed a glorious morning now dawning around us; its brilliancy is just beginning to gild the blue canopy of heaven; the fields are glittering with dewy pearls, and the trees are waving their branches in the morning wind. How silent and how sabbath-like every thing appears! all seems awaiting the celebration of some great festival; it is as though nature anticipated what was about to happen. The song of the birds sounds more joyously from the thickets; heaven looks down upon earth with a different aspect; even the flowers bloom more brightly than usual on the plains; and mountains, meadows, plants, and trees, seem to participate in one common gladness ; every heart beats in silent delight and rapturous anticipation. Why then is this mournful women so sad ? Alas! she anticipates nothing; and the most beautiful morning the world ever saw brings only grief to her,
weeping is the salutation with which she greets it. How ardently does she desire the songters among the bushes to be silent, and the morning to dawn more slowly! for a dark and cloudy heaven, a cold autumnal wind, and a sad dirge of death and the grave, would suit the feelings of her heart far better than the gay and lovely spring which is blooming around her. Behold her standing oppressed with sorrow, leaning against the rock, her face covered with her hands! She hardly knows where she is, or what she is doing; only one thing is she conscious of, that she is the most miserable being in the whole world, and the most deservir