Sermons on the Resurrection:



H. P. Liddon


"Whom Gad hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it." -- Acts 2:24

This is the language of the first Christian Apostle, in the first sermon that was ever preached in the Church of Christ. St. Peter is accounting for the miraculous gift of languages on the Day of Pentecost. After observing that it was, after all, only a fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel about the outpouring of the Spirit in the last days, he proceeds to trace it to its cause. It was the work, he says, of Jesus Christ, now ascended into heaven; -- "He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.'! But Jesus Christ, he argues, had really ascended into heaven, because He had first really risen from the grave; and it is to St. Peter's way of accounting for Christ's Resurrection that I invite your attention today -- as being the first Apostolic statement on the subject that was given to the world. And certainly, even if the point were only one of antiquarian interest, it would be full of attraction for every intelligent man to know how the first Christians thought about the chief truths of their Faith; considering the influence which that Faith has had and still has on the development of the human race. But for us, Christians, concern in this matter is more exacting and urgent. Our hopes and fears, our depressions and our enthusiasms, our improvement or our deterioration, are bound up with it. "If Christ be not risen, our preaching is vain, your faith is also vain." Let us then listen to what the Apostle St. Peter says about a subject upon which his opportunities, to say nothing of higher credentials, qualified him to speak so authoritatively.

I. First of all, then, St. Peter states the fact that Christ had risen from the dead. "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death." Let us remember that he is preaching in Jerusalem, the scene of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and, as his sermon shows, to some who had taken pall in the scenes of the Crucifixion. Not more than seven weeks have passed since these events, -- about the time that has passed since the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. And in Jerusalem, we may be sure, men did not live as fast as they do in an European capital, in this age of telegraphs and railroads. An event like the Crucifixion, in a town of that size, far removed from the greater centres of human life, would have occupied general attention for a considerable period. It would have been discussed and re-discussed in all its bearings. All that happened at the time, and immediately afterwards, the supposed disappointment of the disciples and ruin of the cause, as well as the agony and humiliation of the Master, would have been still ordinary topics of conversation in most circles of Jewish society. It was then to persons keenly interested in the subject, and who had opportunities of testing the truth of what he said, that SI. Peter states so calmly and unhesitatingly the fact of the Resurrection. He states it as just as much a fact of history as the Crucifixion, in which, his hearers had taken part. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain;" and then he adds, "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death." "This Jesus," he adds a little afterwards, "hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." Not one or two favoured disciples; but all, even the doubter, all had seen their beloved Master. They had heard the tones of that familiar Voice; they bad seen the wounds of the Passion: they had recognised in repeated conversations the continuity of heart, of thought, of purpose. It was the Jesus of old days, only invested with a new and awful glory. On the very day that He rose, He had been seen five times. And "He showed Himself alive after His Passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of His disciples forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God."

Some twenty-six years later, when St. Paul wrote his First Apostolical Letter to the Church of Corinth, there were, he says, more than two hundred and fifty persons still alive who had seen Jesus Christ after His Resurrection on a single occasion. The number of witnesses to the fact of the Resurrection, to whom 'St. Peter could appeal, and whom his hearers might cross-question if they liked, will account for the simplicity and confidence of his assertion.

1n those days men had not learnt to think more of abstract theories than of well-attested facts. The world had not yet heard of that singular state of mind which holds that an a priori doctrine about the nature of things, or, stranger still, an existing temper or mood of human thought, is a sufficient reason for refusing to listen to the evidence which may be produced in favour of a fact. Nobody, it may be added, who professed to believe in pt Almighty God, thought it reverent or reasonable to say that He could not for sufficient reasons modify His ordinary rules of working, if He chose to do so.

St. Peter then preached the Resurrection as a {act, and, as we know, with great and immediate results. But how did he account for the Resurrection? what was the reason which he gave for its having happened at all? This is the second point to which I invite your attention; and it will detain us somewhat longer than the first.



St. Peter, then, says that Christ was raised from the dead, "because it was not possible that He should be holden of" death.

Thus St. Peter's first thought about this matter is the very opposite to that of many persons in our day. They say that no evidence will convince them that Christ has risen, because they hold it to be antecedently impossible that He should rise. Sr. Peter, on the other hand, almost speaks as if he could dispense with any evidence, so certain is he that Jesus Christ must rise. In point of fact, as we know, St. Peter had his own experience to fall back upon; he had seen his Risen Master on the day of His Resurrection, and often since. But so far was this evidence of his senses from causing him any perplexity, that it only fell in with the anticipations which he had now formed all other and independent grounds. "It was not possible," he says, "that Christ should be holden, or imprisoned, by death." It will do us good, my brethren, as fellow-believers with, St. Peter, to spend some little time upon his grounds for saying this; to consider, so far as we may, the reasons of this Divine impossibility.

And here, first of all, we find the reason which lay, so to speak, closest to the conclusion, and which was intended to convince the Apostle's hearers, in the sermon itself. "It was not possible that Christ should be holden of death; for David speaketh concerning Him." It was then Jewish prophecy which forbade Christ to remain in His grave, and made His Resurrection nothing less than a necessity. As to the principle ot this argument then: would have been no controversy between St. Peter and the Jews. The Jews believed in the reality and force of prophecy -- of that variety of prophecy which foretells strictly future events -- just as distinctly as did Christians. The prophets, in the belief of the Jews, were the confidants of God. He whispered into their souls, by His Spirit, His secret resolutions for the coming time. "Surely," exclaims the prophet Amos, "surely the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." And when once God had thus spoken, His word, it was felt by Jews and Christians, stood sure. His gifts and calling were without repentance. The prophetic word became, in virtue of God's Moral Attributes, a restraint upon that liberty of which it was the product, until it was fulfilled. It constituted within the limits of its application a law of necessity, to which men and events, and, if need were, nature had to bend. And for all who believed in its Author the supposition that it would come to nothing after all, was, to use St. Peter's phrase, "not possible." It could not return empty; it must accomplish the work for which God had sent it forth; since it bound Him to an engagement with those who uttered and with those who heard His message.

Obviously enough, the true drift of a prophecy may easily be mistaken. God is not responsible for the eccentric guesses as to His meaning in which well-meaning men of vagrant imaginations may possibly indulge. We have lived in this generation to hear some very confident guesses, based on the supposed meaning of prophecy, respecting the end of the world, or some impending general catastrophe. But the dates assigned for such occurrences have passed. And religion would be seriously discredited, if the Sacred Word itself were at fault, instead of the fervid imagination of some incautious expositor. But where a prediction is clear, it does bind Him Who 'is its real Author to some fulfilment, which in the event, will be recognised as such. And such a prediction of the Resurrection of the Messiah St. Peter finds in Psalm XVI., where David, -- as more completely in Psalm XXII., loses the sense of his own personal circumstances in the impetus and ecstasy of the prophetic spirit, and describes a Personality of Which indeed he was a type, but Which altogether transcends him.

"Therefore My heart is glad,

And My glory rejoiceth:

My flesh also shall rest in hope.

For Thou wilt not leave My Soul in hell;

Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.

Thou wilt show Me the path of life;

In Thy Presence is fulness of joy;

At Thy Right Hand there are pleasures for evermore."


David, so argues St. Peter, utters these words; but they are not strictly true of David. "David," he says, "is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is among us unto this day." Or, as St. Paul states, when appealing to this very Psalm in his sermon at Antioch in Pisidia, "David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption. But He, Whom God raised up, saw no corruption." The meaning of the Psalm was so clear to some Jewish doctors, that, unable as they were to reconcile it with David's history, they invented the fable, that his body was miraculously preserved from corruption. David, however, was really speaking in the Person of Messiah. And his language created the necessity that Messiah should rise from the dead; or, as St. Peter puts it, his language made it impossible that Messiah should be holden by death. God had spoken, in other passages, no doubt. But He spoke with great clearness in this, And His Word could not return unto Him empty.

Observe, here, that St. Peter had not always felt and thought thus, He had known this Psalm all his life. But long after he had followed Jesus Christ about Galilee and Judaea he had been ignorant of its true meaning, only little by little do any of us learn God's truth and will. And so lately as the morning of the Resurrection, St. John says of both St. Peter and himself that "as yet they know not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead." Since then the Holy Spirit had come down, and had poured a flood of light into the minds of the Apostles and over the sacred pages of the Old Testament. And thus a necessity for the Resurrection, which even Jews ought to recognise, was not abundantly plain to them. May that same Eternal Spirit teach us, as then He taught our spiritual forefathers, the full meaning of His Word!

A second reason which would have shaped St. Peter's language lay in the character of his Master Jesus Christ. It was our Lord's character not less assuredly than His miracles which drew human hearts to Him, and led or forced them to give up all that this world could offer for the happiness of following and serving Him. Now, of our Lord's character a leading feature was its simple truthfulness. It was morally impossible for Him, to hold out prospects which would never be realised or to use words which He did not mean, Nay, He insisted upon simple sincerity of language in those who came into His company. He would not allow the young man to call Him "Good Master," when the expression was a mere phrase in His Mouth. He would not accept professions to follow Him whithersoever He went, or aspirations to sit on His Right Hand and on His Left in His kingdom till men had weighed their words, and were sure that they meant all that such words involved. Unless then He was like those Pharisees whom He censured for laying burdens upon others which they would not touch themselves, it might be taken for granted that if He promised He would perform; that His promise made performance morally necessary, and non-performance morally impossible. This was the feeling of His disciples about Him. He was too wise to predict the Impossible. He was too sincere to promise what He did not mean.

Now Jesus Christ had again and again said that He would be put to a violent death, and that after dying He would rise again. Sometimes, as to the Jews in the Temple, when He cleansed it in the early days of His ministry, He expressed His meaning in the language of metaphor. "Destroy;" He said to them, "this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews rallied Him for the absurdity of undertaking to reconstruct in three days an edifice which it had taken forty-six years to build. The drift of the words may have been made plain to the disciples by a gesture which accompanied them; and in later years they understood the sense in which He termed His Body a Temple, namely, because in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Sometimes He fell back upon ancient Hebrew history, and compared that which would befall Himself' to the miraculous adventure of the prophet who shrank from the mission assigned to him by God. When the Pharisees, irritated at His stern rebuke of their blasphemous levity in ascribing His miracle on the blind and dumb man to the activity of Beelzebub, asked Him for a "sign," that is, for some credential of His mission, He contented Himself with saying that as Jonah had been three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so would the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth. In other words, His right to speak and act as He did would be proved by His rising from the dead. With His disciples He used neither metaphor nor historic parallel. He said simply, on three occasions at the least, as the hour of His sufferings approached, that He should be crucified, and should rise again from death. Peter himself had, on the first of these occasions, rebuked Him, as we know, and had been rebuked in turn. Thus He was pledged, if we may reverently say so, to this particular act. He was pledged to the Jewish people, pledged to its ruling classes, pledged especially to His Own chosen band of faithful followers. He could not have remained in His grave --" I will not say without dishonour, but -- without causing in others a revulsion of feeling such as is provoked by the exposure of baseless pretensions.

It may indeed be urged that the Resurrection foretold by Christ was not a literal resurrection of His dead Body, but only a recovery of His ascendency, His credit, His authority; obscured as these had been for a while in the apprehension of His disciples and of the world, by the tragedy of the Crucifixion. The word Resurrection, according to this supposition, is in His Mouth a purely metaphorical expression. It is used to describe not anything that affected Jesus Christ Himself, but only a revolution of opinion and feeling about Him in the minds of others. Socrates had had to drink the fatal hemlock; and the body of Socrates had long since mingled with the dust. But Socrates, it might be said, had risen, in the intellectual triumphs of his pupils, and in the enthusiastic admiration of succeeding ages; the method and words of Socrates had been preserved for all time in a literature that will never die. If Christ was to be put to death by crucifixion, He would triumph, even after a death so shameful and degrading, as Socrates and others had triumphed before Him. To imagine for Him an actual exit from His tomb, is said to be a crude literalism, natural to uncultivated ages, but impossible, when the finer suggestiveness of human language has been felt to transcend the letter.

An obvious reply to this explanation is, that it arbitrarily makes our Lord use literal and metaphorical language in two successive clauses of a single sentence. He is literal, it seems, when He predicts His Crucifixion; there is no doubt about that. The world has always agreed with the Church as to the fact of His being crucified. Tacitus mentions His death as well as the Evangelists. But if our Lord is to be understood literally, when He foretells His Cross, why is He to be thought metaphorical when He foretells His Resurrection? Why should not His Resurrection, if it be only Metaphorical, be preceded by a metaphorical crucifixion; a crucifixion of thought, or will, or reputation, -- not the literal nailing of a human body to a wooden cross? Why does this fastidious temper, which shrinks from the idea of a literal rising from a literal grave, not shrink equally from a literal nailing to a literal cross? It is impossible seriously to maintain on any grounds consistent with an honest interpretation of His Words, that our Lord Himself could have meant that He would be literally crucified, but would only rise in a metaphorical sense. Surely He meant that the one event would be just as much or just as little a matter of fact as the other. And any other construction of His Words would never have originated except with those who wish to combine a lingering respect for His language, with a total disbelief in the supreme miracle which has made Him what He is to Christendom. No; it is clear that, if Jesus Christ had not risen from the grave He would not have kept His engagement with His disciples or with the world. This was the feeling of those who knew and loved Him best. This was the feeling of St. Peter, ripened no doubt but lately into a sharply-defined conviction, but based on years of intimate companionship; -- when Christ, so scrupulously truthful and so invariably wise, had once said that He would rise from death, any other event was simply impossible. All was really staked on His rising again. And when He did rise, "He was declared to be the Son of God with power, in respect of His Holy and Higher Nature, by the Resurrection from the dead." Those who cling to His human character, yet deny His Resurrection, would do well to consider, that they must choose between their moral enthusiasm and their unbelief; since it is the character of Christ, even more than the language of prophecy, which made the idea that He would rise after death impossible for His first disciples.

Not that we have yet exhausted St. Peter's reasons for this remarkable expression. You will remember, my friends, that in the sermon which St. Peter preached to a crowd, after the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful gate of the Temple, he went over much of the ground which is traversed in this first sermon on the Day of Pentecost. He told his hearers among other things that they had "killed the Prince of Life, Whom God raised from the dead." Remark that striking title, "The Prince of Life," Not merely does it show how high above all earthly royalties was the Crucified Saviour in the heart and faith of His Apostle. It connects the thought of St. Peter in this early stage of his ministry with the language of his Divine Master on the one side, and that of His Apostles St. Paul and St. John upon the other. Our Lord had said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;" He had explained the sense of this last word "Life" by saying that "as the Father hath Life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have Life in Himself." He had complained to the men of His time, "Ye will not come unto Me that ye might have life." And St. John said of Him that "in Him was Life:" and St. Paul, in today's Epistle, calls Him "Christ, Who is our Life." When, then, St. Peter names Him the "Prince of Life," he is referring to this same truth about his Master. And it is in fact the keynote of the Gospel.

What is life? That is a question which no man even now can answer. We do not know what life is in itself. We only register its symptoms. We see growth; we see movement; and we say, Here is life. It exists in one degree in the tree; in a higher in the animal; in a higher still in man. In beings above man, we cannot doubt, it is to be found in some yet grander form. But in all these cases it is a gift from another: and having been given, it might be modified or withdrawn. Who is He in Whom life resides originally; He Who owes it to no other; He from Whom no other can withdraw it? Only the Self-Existent lives of right; He lives because He cannot but live; He lives an original as distinct from a derived life. This is true of the Eternal Three, Who yet are One. But Revelation assures us that it is only true of the Son and the Holy Spirit, because by an unbegun, unending communication of Deity, They receive such Life from the Eternal Father. Hence our Lord says, "As the Father hath Life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have Life in Himself." Not merely Life, but "Life in Himself." Thus, with the Eternal Giver, the Eternal Receiver is Fountain and Source of Life. With reference to all created beings, He is the Life, " -- their Creator, their Upholder, their End. "For," says St. Paul, "by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."

This then is the full sense of St. Peter's expression, "The Prince of Life." And in the truth which it teaches as to our Lord's jurisdiction over life, based on the truth of His Eternal Nature, we may trace a third reason for St. Peter's expression in the text. How could the very Lord and Source of Life be subdued by death? If, for reasons of wisdom and mercy, He subjected the Nature which He had made His Own to the king of terrors, this was surely not in the course of nature; it was a violence to nature that this should be. And therefore when the object had been achieved, He would rise, St. Peter implies, by an inevitable rebound, by the force of things, by the inherent energy of His irrepressible Life. From St. Peter's point of view, the real wonder would be if such a Being were not to rise. The pains of death were loosed, -- not by an extraordinary effort, as in your case or mine -- but because it was impossible that He, the Prince of Life, should be holden of it.

Observe, then, my friends, how St. Peter deals with this great subject. He now looks at it from above, so to say, rather than from below. He here asks himself what his faith about the Son of God points to, rather than what history proves to have taken place. He is for the moment more concerned for his Master's honour than with the significance and value of His acts for us.

To St. Peter it is less strange that there should be an innovation upon nature such as the resurrection of a dead body than it would be if such a Being as Jesus Christ, having been put to death, did not rise. St. Peter is very far from being indifferent to the proof that Christ did rise; indeed he often and earnestly insists on it. But just as St. John always calls Christ's miracles His "works," meaning that they were only what such an One as He might be expected to do; so St. Peter treats His Resurrection from the dead as perfectly natural to Him; nay, as an event which any man or angel with sufficient knowledge might have calculated beforehand, just as astronomers predict unerringly the movements of the heavenly bodies. God hath raised Jesus from the dead, he says, because it was impossible that death should continue to hold Him.


Yes. The Buried Christ could not really remain in His grave. He was raised from it in virtue of a Divine necessity; and this necessity, while in its original form strictly proper to His case, points to kindred necessities which affect His servants and His Church. Let us in conclusion briefly consider them.

Note, first, the impossibility, for us Christians too, of being buried forever in the tomb in which we shall each be laid at death. We too, after the death and burial which awaits each one of us, shall rise; nay, we must rise. In this, as in other matters, "as He," our Lord, "is, so are we in this world." To us as to Him, although in a different way, God has pledged Himself. There is a difference indeed, such as might be expected between our case and His. In Him an internal vital force made Resurrection from death necessary; in us there is no such intrinsic force, only a power guaranteed to us from without. He could say of the Temple of His Body, "I will raise it up in three days:" we can only say that God will raise us up, we know not when. But this we do know, that "if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." This we do know, that "we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or bad." The law of justice: and the law of love combine to create a necessity which requires "a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust."

It is not always easy even for believing Christians to do justice to this solemn and certain truth. The gradual decay of vital force during illness, the dissolution and corruption of the body after death, the chemistry not less than the pathos of the grave, combine to make us forget Whose word it is that warrants for each one of us a Resurrection. And yet He "will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body, according to the mighty working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." Death is not an eternal sleep; the tomb is not the final resting-place of the bodies of those whom we have loved. The empty sepulchre at Jerusalem on Easter morning is the warrant of a new life, strictly continuous with this, and, if we are faithful, much more glorious.

See here, also, the principle of moral resurrections in the Church of Christ. As with the bodies of the faithful so it is with the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ is, according to St. Paul's teaching, Christ Himself in history. St. Paul says as much when he tells us that "as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that body, being many, are one body, so also Is Christ." The Church is Christ's Body, the fulness of Him That filleth all in all. Again and again in the Course of her history large portions of the Christian Church have seemed to be dead and buried; -- away in some one of the lumber-rooms of the past. And the world has gone its way; rejoicing as if all was over; as if henceforth unbelief and ungodliness would never be disturbed in their reign on earth by any protest from heaven. But suddenly the tomb has opened: there has been a moral movement, a profound agitation in men's consciences, a feeling that all is far from right. And then has arisen a new spirit of devotion, social stir, literary activity, conspicuous sell-sacrifice; and, Io! the world awakes to an uneasy suspicion that "John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that mighty works do show forth themselves in him." The truth is that Christ has again burst His tomb and is abroad among men. So it was after the moral degradation of the Papacy in the tenth century; so it was after the recrudescence of paganism by the Renaissance in the fifteenth; so it was in this country after the great triumph of Puritan misbelief and profanity in the seventeenth century, and of indifference to vital religion in the eighteenth. The oppression, the degradation, the enfeeblement, of the Church of Christ is possible enough; too generally, the world only binds and makes sport of Samson, because Samson has yielded to the blandishments of Delilah. But there is a latent force in the Church of Christ, which asserts and must assert itself, from generation to generation. If the Crucifixion is re-enacted, in the Holy Body; if, as St. Paul puts it, we fill up, from century to century, that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ; the Resurrection is reenacted too. It is not possible that the Body of Christ, instinct with His force and vital Spirit, should be holden of death; each apparent collapse and failure is followed by an outburst of energy and. moral glory, which reveals the Presence of the Living Christ; His Presence Who, if crucified through weakness, yet liveth by the Power of God.

Thirdly, note here what is or ought to be the governing principle of our own personal life. If we have been laid in the tomb of sin, it ought to be impossible that we should be holden of sin. I say "ought to be;" because, as a matter of fact, it is not impossible. God only is responsible for the resurrection of the Christian's body, and for the perpetuity, through its successive resurrections, of the Christian Church; and therefore it is impossible that either the Church or our bodies should permanently succumb to the empire of death. But God, Who raises our bodies whether we will or not, does not raise our souls from sin, unless we correspond with His grace; and it is quite in our power to refuse this correspondence. That we should rise then from sin is a moral, not a physical necessity; but study we ought to make it as real a necessity as if it were physical. For any who feels in his soul the greatness and love of Jesus Christ it ought to be morally impossible to remain in the tomb: "Like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." If Lent is the season for mourning the past, Easter is the season for those bracing definite resolutions and vigorous efforts which control the future. If we were unaided and alone, such efforts and resolutions would be failures indeed; like the vain flutterings of a bird against the wires of the cage which imprisons it. But He Who has "broken the gates of brass, and smitten the bars of iron in sunder," will not fail us, if we ask and seek His strength; and the permanence and splendour of His Life in glory may, and should be, the warrant of our own.

One word more. A real Resurrection with Christ will make and leave some definite traces upon life. Let us resolve this day to do or leave undone some one thing which will mark a new beginning: conscience will instruct us, if we allow it to do so. If any of you are looking out for a way of showing gratitude to our Risen Saviour, let me suggest that you should send the best contribution you can afford to the Mission at Zanzibar on the cast coast of Africa. There a small band of noble men, under the leadership of a bishop of Apostolical character, is making efforts worthy of the best days of the Church to propagate the Faith among races, to whom no depths of degradation and misery that are possible for human beings are unknown, but who are as capable as ourselves of rising with Christ to a new life of moral and mental glory. According to accounts which have just reached this country, at the very moment when new and unanticipated opportunities are presenting themselves, and such an inroad upon heathendom, and the slavery and vices which mark its empire, is possible, as has never been possible before, their scanty means altogether fail these noble missionaries. They literally have not enough to eat; much less can they attempt the new enterprises of Christian charity which their circumstances imperatively demand. Shall we leave them to despondency, to retreat, to failure; with the heathen before them stretching out their hands unto God, and with the impure imposture of the false prophet hard by, ready to take a cruel advantage of our supineness? Surely it cannot but be that some who hear me will make an effort worthy of our Easter gratitude in behalf of an object, than which none can well be imagined more truly Christian and philanthropic, more worthy of men who humbly hope that they have part in the First Resurrection, and in all that it implies.


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