Saturday, May 10, 2008

Now is Christ risen from the dead

Garden Tomb

So clear is the evidence of Christ’s resurrection, that when Gilbert West -a celebrated infidel - selected this subject as the point of attack, sitting down to weigh the evidence and to digest the whole matter, although filled with prejudice, he was so startled with the abundant witness to the truth of this fact, that he expressed himself a convert, and has left as a heritage for coming generations a most valuable treatise, entitled “Observations on the Resurrection of Christ.” He laid down certain laws of evidence to begin with, and then went to the matter as though he had been a lawyer examining the pros and cons of any matter in dispute; and this, which is the fundamental doctrine of our faith, seemed to him so exceedingly clear that he renounced his unbelief, and became a professor of Christianity....

We believe that the very best attested fact in all history is the resurrection of Christ. Historical doubts concerning the existence of Napoleon Buonaparte, or the stabbing of Julius Caesar, or the Norman Conquest, would be quite as reasonable as doubts concerns the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. None of these matters have such witnesses as those who testify of Him - witnesses who were manifestly truthful, since they suffered for their testimony, and most of them died ignominious and painful deaths as the results of their belief. We have more and better evidence for this fact than for anything else which is written in history, either sacred or profane. Oh! How should we rejoice, we who hang our salvation wholly upon Christ, that beyond a doubt it is established that, “now is Christ risen from the dead.”

From a sermon entitled "Resurrection - Christ The Firstfruits," delivered April 20, 1862. Flickr photo by James Emery; some rights reserved.

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