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that any one ever attempted to do so ; and then if they had, the vain attempt would have strengthened the cause of christianity:
: 2. The out-pouring of the Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, is another strong proof of Jesus's resurrection. He had said, in the days of his flesh, “ If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him. Just before his ascension he "commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father," to send the Spirit down in his miraculous influences. Accordingly, when the day of Pentecost was fully come, the promise was fulfilled ; and the apostles were extraordinarily qualified for an extraordinary work. They were enabled to speak a variety of languages, and to work astonishing miracles in the name of Jesus, The effects of that day were soon discovered, not only in Judea, but in every part of the Roman empire: and if there had been any doubts of Jesus's resurrection before that memorable day, - those doubts would immediately give way to the irresistible proof which was given in the descent of the Holy Ghost.
3. The rapid progress of christianity, immediately after that day, forms another powe erful argument in favour of Christ's res surrection. The world was soon turned
upside down. The heathen oracles were silenced, their temples were shut, their altars were thrown down; and christianity, through the instrumentality of a few poor fisher-men, triumphed every wherè. Surely the God of truth was with them. All the world was in arms against the apostles, and every means that could be devised was used to crush them; but all in vain. God being with them, the word “grew and multiplied." Can we suppose that the God of truth would have sanctioned a lie? Mahomed, though a great impostor, had many followers; but they were obtained by fire, and sword, and blood. The apostles had no power but that of God, and they used. no means but such as were worthy of God. They were men of strict integrity, of deep piéty, and of unwearied diligence ; and heaven crowned all their labours with success.
II. CHRIST IS BECOME THE FIRST. .FRUITS OF THEM THAT SLEPT.
1. The resurrection is compared to a -harvest. The bodies of men, like seed in the earth, are laid in the grave; and sure as the seed
seed quickens and -grows, so surely shall they be quickened
and raised up. The growth of the seed is natural; but the resurrection of the dead
will be supernatural. Omnipotence is necessary in both cases; and it is certain that omnipotent power can raise the dead with as much ease as it can produce a grain of corn.
2. Christ is the first-fruits. Many, indeed, were raised from the dead before he arose; but they died again. They were raised to mortality ; but he was the first who rose to immortality, Death had no more power over him, being vanquished and overcome by his resurrection.
3. The first-fruits being a pledge of the general harvest, the resurrection of Christ is a pledge of ours. As sure as he rose, so surely shall we arise ; “ þut every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.”
Let us commemorate the resurrection of Christ with songs of praise. The truths of christianity are established death and the grave are conquered—and the resurrection of the dead is certain. Let us rise from a grave of sin; let us gain a vital union with Christ; and, when he shall descend from heaven, in the glory of his Father, may we rise from the dead, and meet him in the air! Amen.
The Day of Pentecost.
Acts ii. 1-4. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come,
they were all with one accord in one place : and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of i a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the
house where they were sitting : and there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
JOHN baptized with water unto repentance; but Jesus baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. All the disciples were baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire on the day of Pentecost. While they were assembled with one accord, in one place, the Spirit of God came down from heaven, "as a mighty rushing wind, and filled the house where they were sitting: and there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.”
Let us make a few general observations upon this interesting passage.
I. WHEN THE DAY OF PENTECOST WAS FULLY COME, THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS WERE ALL WITH ONE ACCORD IN ONE PLACE.
1. The Pentecost was a jewish festival, kept to commemorate the giving of the law upon Mount Sinai ; and it was observed fifty days after the Passover. Christ had suffered at the Passover; but was glorified at the Pentecost. It was a dreadful day when the law was delivered on the mount that burned with fire; but it was a glorious day when the Holy Ghost, as tongues of fire, came down upon the apostles, to qualify them for the blessed work of preaching the gospel to all nations.
2. The church of Christ was then but a « little flock.” They were all in one place. There were, indeed, many other followers of Jesus in different parts of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; but still the church was small. Jesus had laboured in the mis nistry both privately and publicly for the space of three years; he had travelled from place to place; had wrought mighty works amongst the people; and yet, after all, how few were truly converted to God. Let the faithful ministers of Christ, who