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the advice of your friends, - by the warnings of your conscience: but beware, my dear children, that you do not refuse or neglect His offer, for if you do, your Lord will have died in vain for you; - it will be as bad for you as if no Saviour had descended on earth, no Master invited follow him, - no Redeemer shed his blood on the cross.

But it is a great comfort to us to know, that if we do really wish to love and obey God, He will accept us, in spite of our countless sins, our constant infirmities, and our continual imperfections; for if we sincerely repent they may, by the atonement of our Saviour, be all washed away.

“ The blood of Jesus Christ cleans" eth from all sin.” — 1 John, i. 7.

193

XXVI.

THE RESURRECTION.

WHEN our Lord's body was taken down from the cross, one of His disciples, called Joseph of Arimathea, obtained permission of Pilate to bury it; and having wound it in linen, he laid it in a tomb which was formed in a rock, which he had intended for his own sepulchre, and he placed a large stone at the entrance; but the Jews remembered that, while our Lord was alive, He had prophesied that in three days He would rise from the dead, and they begged Pilate to allow them to

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have a guard to watch the sepulchre, fearing that the disciples might come and steal away the body, and pretend that their Master was miraculously risen. Accordingly the stone was sealed, and a watch appointed to keep guard.

Mary Magdalene, and several other women, took particular notice of the place where the tomb was, intending, when the Sabbath (which was the next day) was over, to embalm the body, according to the custom of the East, and for that purpose they prepared spices and ointments; and, resting the Sabbath day, waited till the first day of the week to fulfil their pious intention.

So, very early on the first day of the week, before it was yet quite light, they set off to the sepulchre, thinking, as they went along, who they should get to roll away the stone for them, which was at the entrance ; for they knew not the glorious event which had taken place there that morning!

At the beginning of the first early dawn, while all was yet hushed and still, and the soldiers keeping watch, a terrible earthquake took place, which was immediately followed by the descent of an angel, whose appearance was most radiant, his countenance like lightning, and his raiment as white as snow: he rolled away the stone from the entrance of the sepulchre, and sat upon it. At this sight, the soldiers on guard were so terrified that they swooned away; and when they recovered, they immediately hastened to inform the chief priests of the extraordinary things they had witnessed ; these, however, still intent on crushing, if possible, all Christian truth, bribed them to say that they had slept at their posts, and that the body of Jesus had been stolen during that time.

But in the mean time the women arrived at the sepulchre, and were much surprised at finding the stone rolled away ; but what was their astonish. ment when, on entering the tomb, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus as they had expected — but two angels sitting, one at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body had lain, who bid them not to fear, and told them that He whom they sought was now no longer among the dead, that He was risen as He had said he should, but that He would appear to His disciples in Galilee.

When they heard this, they left the sepulchre in fear and great joy, and went to inforın His disciples ; but they

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