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Acts ii. 27.
Because thou wilt not leave my

Soul in Hell, neither wilt
thou suffer thine Holy One to

fee Corruption. SERM.

HE Resurrection of Jesus Christ V.

from the Dead is a Matter of such great Importance, that Chri

ftianity depends upon the Truth of it: For, as the Apostle says, If Christ be not risen, then is our Faith vain, we are yet in our Sins. And therefore we find the Apostles, when they first set out to preach the Gospel, after they were endued with Power from on High, open'd their Commission with asserting this which they maintain’d with a Courage suitable to the Dignity and Importance of the Thing; and made it a Qualification for an

Apostlc

great Truth;

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Apostle which was to be chosen in the SERM.
Room of Judas, That he should be one

V.
which had companied with them all the
Time that the Lord Jesus was conversant
among them, beginning from the Baptism
of John unto the Day that he was taken up
from them, that he might be a Witness with
them of the Resurrection. And in this
Chapter, St Peter, in his first Sermon, ad-
dresses himself to the Jews in this Manner;
Te Men of Israel, hear these Words; Jesus
of Nazareth, a Man approv'd of God a-
mong you by Miracles, Wonders and Signs,
which God did by him in the midst of you,
as ye yourselves also know; him being de-
liver'd by the determinate Counsel and Fore-
knowledge of God ye have taken, and by
wicked Hands have crucified and pain;
whom God hath raised up, having loosed
the Pains of Death, because it was not
posible that he should be bolden of it. And
then takes a Quotation out of the 16th
Psalm, and applies it as a Prophecy of the
Resurrection. For David, says he, Speaketh
concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always
before my Face, for he is on my Right
Hand that I should not be moved. Therefore

Heart rejoice, and my Tongue was glad. Morcover also my Fleso shall rest in

Hope,

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did my

SERM. Hope, because thou wilt not leave my soul V.

in Hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption.

The Apostle here addressing himself to the Jews, does not argue about the Posli.. bility of the Resurrection (for they had been long enough train’d up by Miracles to know, that nothing was too hard for an omnipotent Power ; besides, 'twas a Thing done fo lately that it must have been well known, as appears from their not contradicting it) but declares and maintains the Certainty of it, and refers theni to their own Prophet for their farther Satisfaction.

Before I come to handle the Doctrine which I shall draw from this Text, I think it will be proper to make the Way to it as clear as I can; and therefore I fhall lay before you

the moft confiderable Interpretations which have been given of these Words, that you may fee which has the best Right to be the true.

Some are of Opinion that the Soul in this Place is put figuratively for the Body, and that Hell signifies the Grave; and to maintaiu theirOpinion, have produced several Texts of Scripture in which these twoWords are thus understood. But tho' this be very true in those Places, yet it don't seem to be

the

7

the Signification or Meaning of the Word SERM in this ; for then they would stand thus,

V. Thou palt not leave my Body in the Grave, nor suffer thine Holy One to fee Corruption. Now here we may see the Absurdity of leaving the literal Sense of Scripture without a Necessity for so doing; for according to this Interpretation, there is no Mention made of the Soul of Christ at all, without which to animate it again, the Body must have been ftill teft in the Grave ; for if it had risen again with another Soul, it would not have been a true Refurrection. So that if the Soul in this place be not taken in a literal Sense, then it is not taken into this Interpretation at all, and consequenily there could have been no Resurrection of the Soul with the Body. For the Soul can't be implied in the latter Part of the Text, neither salt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption, becaufe the Soul could not see Corruption; and if the Soul were not risen, as it could not be if the Body only was risen, then there could be no Refurrection, and so it could not answer the Prophet's Hope and Expectation.

Others are of Opinion, that by Hell we are to understand the Place of Departed

Soals;

ner.

Serm. Souls ; but that Christ did not go there V. locally but virtually. And then the Text

will stand thus ; "Thou wilt not leave my Soul in Hell, or in the separate State of departed Souls, where it never was, nor Suffer thine Holy One to see. Corruption ; which Interpretation sounds very harsh and inconsistent. For if it was there only virtually, then it could not be there so as to justify the Expression of not being left there ; for a Thing."can't be said to be taken away, or not to be left in the Place, where it never was, only in a virtual Man

If this were true, it must have been express'd after this Manner, Thou wilt not, Suffer my Soul to go into Hell, instead of laying it would not be left, where it never had been before. Besides, this is directly contrary to Scripture ; for our blessed Saviour promised the penitent, Thief just before his Death, that that Day he should be with him in Paradise; and as he was giving up the Ghost, he said, Father, into thy Hands I commend my Spirit.

Others again are of Opinion, that Hell signifies a Place of Torments, or the State of the Dainned; and that there it was where the Soul of Christ was not to be left. But if we look into the Reasons that are given

for

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