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Laws, that in deposing Matters of Fac, Witneffes give the Security of their Honour; or their Oaths, or some great Pledge to be forfeited by them in case they abuse and impose upon the Faith of Men. Now never did any Men give greater Security of their Truth than these Witnesses of the Resurrection did. They took it upon their Deaths; it was their dying Testimony; they Sealed it with their last Blood. For Ecclesiastical History informs us, that all the Apostles were carried out of the World in the Fiery Chariots of Persecution, save one and he (as 'tis faid) escaped by a Miracle, True indeed it is, that some have suffered for. professing Opinions that were false ; but then l they believed them to be true ; but sure never
any died in the Defence of an Opinion which he knew to be false ; so that these Things considered, I think I may shut up this Particular and withal conclude, that from the Foundation of the World to this very Day, there never was any Matter of fact more credibly and sufficiently attested than this of the Resurrection of our Saviour ; and by consequence that the Apostles were true Witņeffes. Our Faith therefore, in this Article is firm, and built upon a Rock; Jesus Chrift was that true Mefias, which was to die for the Sins of the World, and to rise again for their Juftification; he now fits at the Right Hand of his Father, to hear our Prayers, and to make Intercession
And at the End of the World to all those that wait for him in Faith and Patience,
he will appear a second Time to Salvation. And so I pass on to the Second Thing under this Head, viz.
2. That the Apostles back'd their Evidence with all posible Means of Conviction, that they were not False-witnesses and Deceivers, and that was the Power of Miracles. For in Confirmation that what they said was true, they verified it to the Reason, to the Sense and Experience
of the World, by the mighty Virtue of his Name. Thus we read of the Apostles,
in their Travels for the Propagation of the Mark 16.
Faith. They went forth and preached the Word every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the VVord with Signs following.
And again, with great Power the Apostles gave Acts 4. 33.Witness of the Refurre&tion of the Lord Jefus.
And also at Iconium, the Lord gave Testimony to the Word of bis Grace, and granted Signs and Wonders to be done by their, Hands, All which Things, being Recorded in an Age, wherein, had they been the Arts of Magick, or the Slights of Hand, they might easily have been disprov'd ; it had been the wildest Project in the World, to have pretended to them, had they not been notoriously, and beyond Exception, true. Șo that by the Miraculous Works, which the Apostles did by the Power of Christ, they convinced the Reason, courted the Senses, and in effect, thus bespoke the Attention of Men.
“ Look here, you unbelieving World ; Like you say Christ Jesus is dead in the Grave;
at we are his Witnesses, that he is alive, and * řisen. How is it that you will not receive
our Testimony and be convinced ? Behold, I mot and see the vital Operations, he puts
forth uby us, his poor and defpifed Disciples. We « profess our felves to be Men of like Infir" mities and Passions with you; 66 fooner do we invoke the Name of our
Great Master, and implore his Aid, but we are presently enabled to perform
Things beyond the Laws and Course of “ Second Causes ; Try if you will, the Ex“periment; bring to us a Clinick, or a LuMinátick, or a Demoniack, and we will in
stantly restore him Sound, and in Health, 66. without any other Conjuration, and Charm, „ 5 than that of his Powerful Name; we raise
the Dead ; we lay Chains and Fetters upon the Devil ; we restore Eyes to the Blind ;
Speech to the Dumb ; and we make the IcLame to Walk ; And is not this as plain a 6. Demonstration of his being alive, as if he “ was now standing in the Midst of you : « If he was Dead (as you imagine) he could
not act in us as you see him do ; and therefore if you will not credit our Testimony,
will not believe our Word; believe us for the very Work’s-fake, for they « plainly testify to your Eyes, that he is not « dead but risen. Thus the Apostles back'd their Evidence with all possible Means of Con
viction. And thus I have done with the
Chrift. Come we now in the Fourth and
IV. To see what may be the particular
1. It is the greatest Engagement to this, inasmuch, as it gives us the Assurance of living again in another World. The great Motive to a good Life amongst the Heathens, was no more than the naked Satisfaction of Virtue ; that they thereby approved themselves to the Laws of Reason, and Natural Conscience, which brought some considerable Delight, and Support to their minds. This, I grant, is a rational Motive, but it is a weak and infufficient Principle of Piety. For though I will not deny, but that there may duced, fome brave and commendable Iustances of Morality, of Fortitude and Patience in the Heathen World ; Men who have been Just to their Disadvantage ; Temperate and Chaft àgainst the Inclinations of Nature ; Warlike and Valiant without any Hope of future Reward; yet these are very few and where they are
found, it proceeded either from an extraordinary Courage, and Generosity of Mind, or from the tickling Pleasure of Fame and Glory. But Almighty God, wisely considering the Temper, and Affections of Human Nature, has, in the Resurrection of our Saviour, encouraged Men to be Religious by Arguments much more powerful and weighty, viz. by an everlasting Reward at the End of this Life. For though 'tis true, that there is no Satisfaction in this World comparable to that Ease, that Chearfulness, and Serenity of Mind, which you find resulting from Virtuous Actions ; yet alas! These are nothing to the Satisfactions and Delights of Heaven, they are all Mixt and Imperfect, Troubled and Muddy; they have various Paroxisms, and constant Changes; afflicting Providences many times intervene; Distress of Fortune, Loss of Friends, Melancholy of Body, Anxiety. of Thought ; or which happens most, the Sting of Guilt, disturb these good Reflections ; so that few Men rightly know; and fewer live under the constant Consolations of a good Conscience. But in Heaven, the place where we are to live for
ever, we shall always perceive the Communications of the Divine Love, we shall always enjoy the ravishing Feast, the inexhaustible Comforts of our Godly Living
2dly, From this Do&rine of the Resurrectie on, we may learn, duly to value, the Price of Christ's Death for us, and to put a just Estimate upon the Work of our Redemption ;