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days of consolation which are to come.” Now, what else can he mean by the days of consolation, but the days of Messiah, who is the only consolation of Israel. Luke, 2 : 25. Nor are these words applicable in their literal sense to any one but to the resurrection of the Messiah, and they have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as shall be shown hereafter.
§ 8. Having shown from the Old Testament that the resurrection of the Messiah was both typified and predicted, I will now refer to the predictions delivered by Jesus himself concerning his resurrection from the dead; and the design of our Lord in delivering these and other predictions is stated in these words. Having spoken of the treachery of Judas, he adds, “ Now I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am.” John 13:19.
When Jesus had driven out of the temple the buyers and sellers, the Jews asked for a sign, to prove his authority for such conduct; “ Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days ? But he spake of the temple of his body. When, therefore, he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them: and they believed the Scriptures, and the word which Jesus had said.” John, 12:18-22. On a similar occasion, Jesus answered and said unto them, and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the Prophet Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Math. 12:39, 40. And on another occasion he said, “ Therefore does
Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself
. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John,
10:17, 18. In these different passages our Lord predicted his oivn resurrection. And it appears that the Priests and Pharisees both knew and understood the meaning of these sayings, for as soon as Christ was dead, they went to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, whilo he was yet alive, “After three days I will rise again.'" Math. 27 : 62, 63.
$ 9. I will name but one prediction more, recorded by the Evangelist Luke, chap. 18:31-34, " Then he took with him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated and spitted on; and they shall scourge him and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things; and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Hence, immediately after the resurrection of Christ, the angel said to the women who came to embalm the body of Jesus, " he is not here, but risen : remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." And the Lord Jesus Christ himself, on the very day of his resurrection, met the apostles, and after having given them visible proofs of being risen from the dead, reminded them of these predictions, saying, " these are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understandings, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."
§ 10. Against these predictions of the Lord Jesus it has been objected, “ that the throat of the whale is so narrow as not to admit the body of a man." Let the objectors read the Scriptures in the original, and they will not meet with a whale in the book of Jonah: nothing is said of a whale cither in the original or in the translation; and in the New Testament, the word Ketas signifies any great fish. The next objection is that our Lord was not much more than one day in the grave, for he was buried at the close of Friday and rose early on the first day of the week. You are too well acquainted, my dear Benjamin, with the custom of our people in computing time, to lay any stress on this objection. You well know that a part of a day is considered as much as a day and night or twenty-four hours. A male child is to be circumcised when eight days old. Now, if a child is born at the last hour of the day, nay, an hour before sun-set, that hour is considered the first day. Six days and one hour after that the child may be circumcised, and is said to be eight days old, though in reality only six days and two hours. Hence, as Christ was buried before sun-set on Friday, and lay in the grave the whole of the Sabbath, if he rose but one hour after the Sabbath was ended, every Jew would call that three days and three nights, though in reality but twenty-six hours.
In my next letter, I hope to prove the reality of Christ's resurrection. Now
the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting cove. nant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
My dear Benjamin, ,
Having proved in my last letter, that the resurrection of the Messiah was both typified and predicted, I will now show their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. As the resurrection of Jesus Christ is an event the most important, so likewise it is related most minutely and most circumstan. tially by the four Evangelists, and is established upon the best evidences possible.
§ 1. I will endeavor to give you a distinct account of the
appearances of our Lord, from the time of his resurrection from the dead until his ascension into heaven, in their regular order. • In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord had descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white like snow; and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." Probably the earthquake frightened the two women that had come to the sepulchre at the close of the Sabbath; but the next morning very early they came again, “ bring. ing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them." And as they were going along, “they said among themselves, who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? for it was very great. And when they looked they saw that the stone was rolled away,
and they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” " Then one of the women ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other desciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid bim. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and went to the sepulchre.” Whilst this was doing, the women, who had remained about the sepulchre, entering in a second time, saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment. And they were affrighted. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said ; Come, see the place where the Lord lay ;" upon this invitation of the angel, they went into the sepulchre, and there they saw two other angels, who said unto them, " Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen ; remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall ye see him ; lo, I have told you. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.” In the meanwhile Peter and John had gone to the sepul. chre, and Peter went in first, and saw the linen clothes lie; and the napkin that was about his head not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scriptures, that he must rise again from the dead. Then his disciples went away again to their own home; But Mary stood without at the sepulchre, weeping. And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepul