according to the scriptures: 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures; 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present; but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

Observe here, The apostle's fidelity, 1. In delivering nothing to the church but what he had received: I delivered to you first of all that which I also received; either mediately by Ananias, or by immediate revelation from Christ himself. Observe, 2. The principal and fundamental doctrines or articles of faith, which the apostle in his preaching had insisted upon amongst them; namely, the death, the burial, and the resurrection, of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That he died for our sins, that is, a voluntary sacrifice for our sins, to make an atonement for sin, as the prophets Isaiah and Daniel had long foretold. And that he was buried; the dead body of our dear Redeemer was decently buried by a small number of his own disciples, and continued in the state of the dead, and under the power of death for a time. That he was buried, is a demonstration of the certainty that he died. And that he arose again the third day, according to the scriptures. Christ, though laid, was not lost, in the grave; but by the omnipotent power of his Godhead revived, and rose again from the dead the third day, to the consternation of his enemies, and the consolation of all believers. Observe, 3. How the apostle proves the truth and verity of Christ's resurrection by ocular demonstration; he is risen, because he was seen alive after his passion ; first of Peter, next of the whole college of the apostles, which formerly consisted of twelve, then of five hundred brethren at once in Galilee, whereof some were then alive to testify it; after which he was seen of James, and then of all the apostles. These were all holy persons, who durst not deceive, and who confirmed their testimony with their blood. So that no article of faith, no point of religion, is of more confessed truth and infallible certainty, than this of our Lord's resurrection ; and blessed be God it is so, seeing the whole weight of faith, hope, and salva

tion, depends upon Christ as risen from the dead. Behold how great a weight the scripture hangs upon this nail: thanks be to God, it is a nail fastened in a sure place.— Our Lord's resurrection is his church's consolation.

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

As Christ was seen of St. Paul last of all the apostles, so it is probable he was seen last by him, of all persons. We read not of any that saw Christ after St. Stephen and St. Paul, who here reckons himself among those who were eye-witnesses of the risen Jesus: Last of all he was seen of me also. Observe farther, the great humility of St. Paul, in styling himself an untimely birth, or a person born out of due time. But in what sense doth he mean that he was born out of due time ? Ans.

1. Negatively; not that he was, as to his spiritual birth, born too soon, but rather too late. Alas! he had been too long a proud pharisee, a formal professor, a fiery persecutor. In this sense he was no abortive, or born out of due time, or rather born too late than too soon. But positively, he calls himself an abortive, or untimely birth, 1. Because he was the last of the apostles that was called, the rest were called by Christ whilst here on earth. Paul was called by Christ from heaven, after his departure from earth to heaven.

2. Because of the suddenness and violence of his conversion; an abortion is occasioned by some sudden surprise, some strain, or violent motion. St. Paul's conversion was a wonderful violent conversion, out of the ordinary way and course; he was smitten from his horse to the ground, and lay as one dead in his passage to his new life.

3. Because abortive children are lesser, weaker, and more imperfect children, than those of full growth. As an abortive child is the least of children, so he reckons himself the least of the apostles, and styles himself so in the next verse, where he thus speaks, I was as one born out of due time.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly

than they all: yet not I, but the trrace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether if tcere I or they, »o we preach, and so ye believed.

Observe here, 1. The profound humility of this great apostle, and how low he was in his own t houghts: he calls himself the least of the apostles, nay, not meet or worthy to be called an apostle, because he had persecuted the church of Christ with so much fury and fierceness. Elsewhere he styles himself less than the least of all svmts; not that any thing can be less than the least; but the original being a double dimrautive, his meaning is, that he was as little as could be. O admirable humil«y! The more we know of God and ourselves, the more humble apprehensions we shall have of ourselves; a good man's thoughts axe always lowest of himself; the more holiness any man has, the more humility he has. Humility is a great evidence of oar holiness, it being indeed a great part of our holiness. Observe, 2. How the apostle ascribes all that he was, »huuu he differed from others, to the grace of God : By the grace of God I am -what I am. As we receive our natural being from the power of God, so we derive oar spiritual being from the grace of God. If 1 forbear what is evil, it is from restraining grace; if I follow what is spiritually food, it is from sanctifying grace: therela's not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy grace be the praise. Observe, 3. The blessed fruit which the grace of God produced in St. Paul: it caraed him to labour, (grace is an active principle,) to labour abundantly, to labour more abundantly than all the apostles; not more than all of them put together, but more than any one of them that were his fellow apostles separately considered. Such as receive most grace and favour from God, ire oobly ambitious to do the utmost services for God. Observe, 4. Lest he should scera to be too assuming, and to arrogate any thing to himself, he adds, Yet not I, hut the grace of God which was with '*e. Behold how the holy apostle ascribes ibe fruit of all his endeavours to the grace «i{ God, to the influences and assistances of t!ie Holy Spirit of grace, exciting him, asrating him, working in and with him, and ncceeding of him in all his enterprises and undertakings for the glory of God, and the rood of souls. I laboured, yet not I, but divme grace that went along with me. Ob

serve, 5. The inference which the apostle draws from the whole: Therefore, whether it were I or they, so icr preach, and so ye believed. That is, whether it were I, or any other of the apostles, who laboured most in the preachmg of the gospel, the doctrme is the same; namely, that Christ died for our sins, rose again, and will raise us. This is the doctrine which we apostles preached, and which you Corinthians believed and received; therefore why should any of you now stagger in the faith, and disbelieve the resurrection of the body? which is a blow made at the root of christianity. Alas! what have we to carry our spirits through all the rugged passages and cross dispensations of this life, but only our hopes in reversion, only our hopes of a glorious resurrection, and blessed immortality.

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith if also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God ; because we have testified of God, that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised. 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished. 10 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Our apostle having asserted and proved the resurrection of Christ by ocular demonstration, by a plentiful testimony of those who saw him after he was risen, and withal informed them that this was the doctrine of the gospel which both he and the rest of the apostles had with one consent preached to them, he from hence infers the certainty and necessity of our resurrection. And because some of the church of Corinth were tainted with the wicked opinion of the Sadducees, who said there was no resurrection; therefore to strangle this monstrous opinion amongst the Corinthians in the birth, he shows the absurdity of it in these verses before us. His first argument runs thus; If lliere be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ the head is not risen; for if the head be risen, he will certainly raise up his members. Christ's resurrection is the cause, the pattern, and archetype of ours: he did not only raise his body from the grave, but his church with him. For indeed Christ is not perfectly risen, till all his members are risen with him, and raised like him. True it is, that Christ's personal resurrection was perfect when he arose; and it is as true, that all believers arose representatively, when Christ arose. But till all believers arise personally, llie resurrection of Christ has not received its utmost perfection. His next work is to prove the certainty of Christ's resurrection, from the manifold absurdities which would follow upon the denial of it; as namely, first, if Christ be not risen, then the apostle's preaching was vain, and their belief of it was vain also. Our preaching is vain; that is, we who in our preaching have so strongly asserted Christ's resurrection as an infallible argument of the divinity of his person and doctrine, have taught you a vain and idle dream. And your faith in Christ, as risen from the dead, is no better than a fancy, vain also; seeing the object of it faileth, Christ as risen from the dead. 2. If Christ he not risen, then we are found false witnesses of God: that is, then St. Paul himself, and the other apostles, had given a false testimony of God to the world, in affirming that God the Father had raised up Christ his Son from the dead: which he did not do, if there be no resurrection of the dead. To be false witnesses for men, is a sin of no common guilt; but to belie God, and be false witnesses for God, is a sin of aggravated guilt, which the holy apostles could not be supposed to be guilty of. Again, 3. If Christ be not raised from the dead, then we are yet in our sins; that is, under the guilt of our sins, and liable to condemnation for our sins: we are not justified and absolved from them, unless Christ has expiated the guilt of them; and this he has not done if he be not risen, but remains himself under the power of death; for he was raised again for our justification. Farther, 4. If Christ be not risen, then they which are fallen asteep in Christ are perished; that is, the dead saints in general, and the holy martyrs and sufferers for Christ in particular, who are fallen asleep,

are perished utterly, and lost finally, it there be no resurrection: martyrs will then be great losers, and martyrdom great folly. Lastly, Then christians are of ollmen most miserable. As if the apostle had said, As those martyrs were arrant fools, and perished as such, who laid down their lives for Christ, if they have no hopes of a resurrection, when they shall take them up again; so we christians that survive are the wretched est creatures upon earth, who undergo all the sufferings and hardships of this life; and deny ourselves many comforts and advantages which we might enjoy. If after this mortal life we have no hope, who would care to do well, or who would fear to do ill > Were this believed, none would live so fleshly and sensual a life as those that do not believe the resurrection of the flesh; and none would be so miserable in this life as the holy, self-denying christian, had he not a hope after death of a glorious resurrection. Learn hence, That true christians would be more unhappy than any other men, if their happiness were confined to this life only: we are of all men most miserable. We christians are more miserable than other mortals; and we apostles and ministers more miserable than other christians, who, like beacons upon the tops of mountains, stand open continually to all storms and tempests raised against us by men and devils.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.

Observe here, 1. The resurrection of Christ declared: Now is Christ risenfrom the dead. 2. Our resurrection from his is inferred and insured: he arose as the first fruits of them that slept. The term of first-fruits is metaphorical, alluding to the oblation of the first-fruits in the Levitical law, Lev. xxiii. 9. These were offered both as an acknowledgment that the whole crop was God's, and as a pledge and assurance of their enjoying the whole crop from God, and as a mean by which the whole crop was consecrated and sanctified to their use. As sure as the whole harvest follows the first-fruits, so shall the saints' resurrection follow the resurrection of Christ, as an effect follows its proper cause; for Christ's resurrection is the meritorious cause, the efficient cause, and the exemplary cause, of our resurrection; and as it is the cause, so is it the pledge, the earnest and the full assurance of ours. Observe, 3. Christ 8 called the first-fruits of them that slept; Hal is, the first-fruits from the dead of them that slept; not as if Christ were absolutely the first that was raised from the dead, for we read of one raised by Elijah, and another by Elssha, and of Lazarus raised by Christ; but these were so raised as to die again ; they were not raised to a life of immortality: but now Christ was the first that arose never to die more; the first that arose by bis own power, the first that arose to give others a pledge and assurance of their rising after him, and of their rising lie unto him. Christ's resurrection is the cause, the pattern, the pledge, the assurance of the believer's resurrection: Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that stept.

31 For since by man came death, wy man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Here observe, That our apostle, to prove Christ's resurrection to be the cause of our resurrection, makes a comparison betwixt' Adam and Christ, whom lie represents as two originals and fountains, the one of death, the other of life. As by Adam's sin aD that are partakers of his human nature die a natural death, so all that are partakers of Christ's divine nature, all that are his spiritual seed and offspring, shall be raised and made alive by him; for the expressions, in Adam and in Christ, do denote a causality ai both, the one of death, and the other of life: as the death of all mankind came by Adam, so the resurrection of all mankmd comes by Christ. The wicked shall be rased by him officio judicis, by the power of Christ as their lord and judge: the righteous shall be raised beneficio Mediatorss, by virtue of their union with him a their bead.

23 But every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's, at his coming. 24 Then come/A the end, when he shall have delivered up the kiagdotn to God, even the Father; • hen he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Here our apostle answers an objection. Some might say, If Christ's resurrection be

the cause of the believer's resurrection, then why did not all believers rise when he arose? The Head being risen, why did not all the members rise with him? He answers, No: God hath appointed an order which must be observed ; and this order was, that Christ should be the first-fruits of the harvest; that he should rise first from the dead, and then they that are Christ's, at his coming to judgment, shall rise after him. And then cometh the end; that is, the end of the world, when Christ will deliver up his kingdom to God the Father. What kingdom? His mediatorial kingdom, which, as Mediator, he received from his Father; not his natural and essential kingdom, which, as God, he had with his Father from eternity ; this shall never be delivered up, for of this his kingdom there shall be no end. But at the end of the world, Christ having subdued all his and his church's enemies, and put down all rule, authority, and power, both in the world and in the church, he shall deliver up his mediatorial kingdom to his Father, and reign no longer as Mediator, and as deputed by his Father; but he shall still reign, eternally reign, as God equal with the Father; for his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endureth to eternal ages. Here note, That when our apostle is setting forth the order in which the saints shall arise, he says nothing of a first and second resurrection, nothing of a first and second coming of Christ to judgment; one to reign on earth a thousand years, and a second to judge all the world. Mention is here made of a general resurrection, when all the saints shall be raised together; but not a word of some being raised before the rest to reign with Christ a thousand years.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Observe here, 1. What sin had subjected the human nature to, and that is, death; sin brought mortality into our natures, and the wages of sin is death. Observe, 2That death is an enemy to humanity, an enemy to the whole race of mankind, both to body and soul, to the righteous and to the wicked ; to the body, by turning that which is the glory of the creation in a moment into rottenness and putrefaction; to the soul, by occasioning its separation from the body, towards which it has so strong and affectionate an inclination and desire, as its old companion. Death is also an enemy to the righteous, as it blunts the edge of his desires after heaven, and abates that joy which he should have in the believing thoughts and apprehensions of heaven; and it is an enemy to the wicked, as it is a passage to everlasting misery, by their falling immediately into the hands of the living God, from whose mouth they receive a final sentence to depart accursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Observe, 3. That this enemy is the hist enemy; it is so to the children of God; when they have overcome death, they have overcome all their enemies at once, and especially their worst enemy, sin, which they could never overcome before fully. Blessed be God, though death came into the world by sin, yet sin shall go out of the world by death. Note, 4. This last enemy shall be destroyed, by losing its sting that it cannot annoy, by losing its terror that it canot amaze, by losing its power that it cannot destroy; and by losing its very bemg, it shall be finally abolished and destroyed by a resurrection from the dead. Note, 5. The destroyer of death, this last enemy, is Christ, Hos. xiii. 14. I 'will ransom them from the power of the grave, T 'will redeem them from death. Christ has conquered death meritoriously by his satisfaction, victoriously by his resurrection. 6. The scope and drift of the apostle's argument in this assertion: and that is, to prove the necessity of his resurrection. The argument lies thus: Christ must reign till all his enemies are destroyed ; but Heath is one of these enemies, the last of them which keeps the believer's body from union with his soul, and from communion with Christ: therefore death must be destroyed; and there is no other way to destroy death but by a resurrection from the dead, which is the truth our apostle strongly proves throughout this chapter.

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he sailh, All things are put under him; it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself he subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Our apostle here proceeds in the argu

ment which he begun at the 24th and 25th verses, that Christ must continue as Mediator to reign till all things are subject to him, and all enemies subdued by him. This the apostle here proves, because God the Father has put all things, and all persons, under his Son's feet, as Mediator, himself only excepted; God the Father having reserved to himself his own sovereign empire and supreme authority; he bemg excepted from this subjection himself, who gave it to his Son. And when all things shall be thus subdued to Christ, then his mediatorial kingdom shall be delivered up to his Father, from whom he received it; yea, the Son himself, as Mediator and Head of the church, shall be subject to the Deity, that God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may be all in all by a full communication to, and intimate union with, the saints. Learn hence, 1. That the mediatorial kingdom of Christ was given to him by God the Father, as a reward for his sufferings, Phil. ii. 8, 9. He became obedient to the death, wherefore God hath highly exalted him. 2. That this mediatorial kingdom was given to Christ only according to his human nature; seeing the human nature only suffered, and the divine nature is capable of no such exaltation or new dominion, he was thus exalted, because he was the Son of man, John v. 27. Learn, 3. That during the continuance of the mediatorial kingdom of Christ, the Father judges no man, but commits all judgment unto his Son, giving him full power and authority to punish and reward according to his own wisdom, will, and pleasure: and as Lord of all, he gives laws to all. 4. That this mediatorial kingdom, Christ shall certainly lay down; when all things are subdued unto him, the exercise of his kingly power shall cease then; and as Christ is now all in all with relation to his church, the Godhead then will be all in all; and Christ himself, as man, will be subject to his Father, as well as saints and angels aresubject to him. From those words, God shall he all in all, we learn, That all the saints shall be abundantly satisfied in heaven, with the fruition of the Deity alone: there is enough in God alone eternally to fill and satisfy all the blessed souls in heaven, without the addition of any creature comfort. God is complete satisfaction to his children in the absence (I must not say want) of all other enjoyments; we shall want none of them at our journey's end, for there God will be all in all: as in heaven

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