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necessary for us to feel a twofold consciousness, and we must regard ourselves as being, like Christ, justified and well pleasing in the sight of God. But are ye astonished at my words ? and are ye inclined to reply, “No! it would be sinful and wrong were we to think of ourselves so highly!" Alas! my brethren, it is your blind and foolish reason which will not permit you to enjoy peace; for I maintain that that man can never possess it, who is unable to say, from heartfelt conviction, “ Jehovah loves me!" Nor can any one believe that the God of holiness loves him, until his conscience bears testimony, "Thou art justified, thou wast obedient, and thou hast performed thy obliga. tions !” The Bible, however, expressly assures us, that the peace which was enjoyed by Jesus risen from the dead, may flow into our souls also. It is written, that“ in Christ we are made the righteousness of God;" in other words, giving us the assurance, that as the Father loves Christ, he loves us also who are the members of Christ. Thus we are called to the enjoyment of the peace of Christ, deep and perfect, such as the Prince of Peace himself enjoys, and resting upon the same foundations; for in him we perfected the work of the Father, and through him merited Jehovah's approbation. Do ye now comprehend why our Saviour accosted his disciples with the salutation, “ Peace be unto you !"—why he stretched out his hands, and desired them to look upon his wounds? It was virtually saying, "Well may ye enjoy peace, since I have fulfilled the demands of eternal justice for you!" And does not Paul also say, “Who is he that con. demneth? 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.” Yes, it is Christ, who, in dying for us, bore our curse,-in whom we have risen from the dead,-are justified in the sight of God,--and pronounced worthy of his parental love! The

peace of our risen Lord is glorious and triumphant; it sustains every proof and every trial ; and all that assails it must infallibly be dashed to pieces. It withstands the law, for Jesus supports it ; it overcomes the grave, for “ Grave, where is thy victory?" Even death does not shake it ; for Christ dies no more, but bears the keys of hell and of death : and it looks unmoved upon the judgment-seat, for we are blameless through the merits of the Son of God. Can Satan harm it? No; Jesus has overpowered and vanquished him. Is it moved by the fiery terrors of the last day? No; for Christ is the Judge of the quick and dead. “ Yes,” ye reply, "all this may be true ; but I have yet to die ;--I have yet to meet the powers of darkness ;-) stand yet upon the field of combat. How then can that peace which Jesus enjoyed dwell in my heart at present ?" Thou fool, listen to the words of the apostles, who were still alive when they said, “ No, we are dead!” Were they terrified on approaching the night of the grave ? Far from it; they gloried in having risen along with Christ. Did they wish first to vanquish Satan? That thought was far from their minds; for they beheld him lying bruised and overcome under their feet.

Did they suppose that they must not rejoice until they had attained their goal ?

Not so; they beheld themselves there already ; for they knew that He was powerful and true who had called them to his inheritance. They were as peaceful and joyful as though they sat already upon a throne of blissfulness in heaven, and beheld the world and the devil—death and the grave-lying far beneath their feet; for they knew that if not to-day, they should at: least sit there to-morrow, as surely as their glorified Representative had done before them. Thus they enjoyed even then the perfect Easter peace of Jesus, and rejoiced in his glorious resurrection.

II. Could our Saviour have left behind any thing more desirable than the cup of his Easter peace, out of which he himself had taken the first draught, and which he in his salutation, “Peace be unto you!" bequeathed to his chosen for an eternal possession ? This cup of joy is even to this day passed from one to another in our christian communities; but how few there are who taste its contents! The greater part of Christians are sad and sorrowful; and there are only a small number that partake of this Easter peace; the reason of this we shall find in our history.

The disciples at Jerusalem might have partaken of it from the moment when their risen Lord appeared in the midst of them, and uttered his gentle salutation; but alas ! instead of doing so, pale and trembling they crowded together, and cried in the utmost fear and anguish—“A spirit! a spirit!” They could not comprehend how their crucified Master could be restored to life; and why could they not comprehend ? Because, partly from their own fault the light was wanting

which could alone make clear the eternal counsel of the Almighty; and in spite of all the previous instructions of their Master, the aim of his mission to this earth still remained in their eyes a mystery. They knew not yet for what purpose Christ had offered obedience, nor why he had suffered and been put to death. Had they known how to look into those secrets, the re-appearance of Jesus would not have surprised, far less have terrified them; they would have regarded his resurrection as a thing which must necessarily follow his death ; and it would have been to them a fountain of peace and joy; while far from trembling at his entrance they would have saluted him with exclamations of delight. Even in the present day, my brethren, the cause why so few believers partake of that Easter peace which is so freely offered to them, may be traced to their want of gospel-light preventing them taking clear views of the subject. Most true it is that they love the Lord Jesus, and believe in him, but they know not yet all that they possess in him, for it is a knowledge that generally comes but slowly and by degrees. They can give no reason for the hope that is in them; their Christianity wants a sure foundation ; they have too little Bible knowledge to support them; Jehovah remains concealed from them in his holy temple; and they are still groping in darkness with regard to the weightiest and most important articles of our faith-the representation of Christ, our justification by him, and union with him. Alas! it is a thing unknown, how God views them as perfect in Christ, pure, spotless, and worthy of his love: and thus it is

impossible for their hearts to enjoy Easter peace, since the spring and fountain of it is concealed from them.

After the Saviour has, with infinite pains, brought the disciples to the state when they begin to believe that he has actually returned to life, and that it is he who now stands in the midst of them ; the peace which is even now about to enter their hearts turns back, for it finds no resting-place. In a most unexpected manner the spark of faith is all but extinguished; for, as our history informs us, they do not believe from excess of joy. “ No," think they, “if the shining form before us be actually Christ, he must have risen from the dead to be restored to us, and we should then be too happy! Such rapture and delight would indeed be overpowering; for it would be a heaven upon earth!" Thoughts such as these prove that they have already some idea of Easter happiness; and because they feel that if Jesus lived it would be bliss unutterable, they come to the conclusion that it cannot be He whom they now behold: it is, indeed, touching and heart-moving to see how they cannot believe for wonder and joy. Answer me, my friends, are not such strange conclusions but too common in the church of Christ? Have you not observed that when we praise and exalt those possessions which have been assured to us in the testament of our great Pledge, and when we speak with joy of those privileges and rights which are ours through Christ, many of the brethren reply, “No, that were too much for poor sinners! Were this really the case, the Christian might go through life rejoicing, having nothing to fear, nothing to care for, and

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