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Q. What was the State of the Controversy about keeping of Easter ?,
A. The Asiatick Churches kept their Easter upon the fame Day the Jews observed their Passover, viz. the Fourteenth Day of their first Month, chiefly answering our March ; and this they did upon what Day of the Week soever it fell : And from hence they were ftiled Quarto-decimans; keeping Easter up, on the Fourteenth Day after the Appearance of the Moon. The other Churches, especially those of the West, kept Easter upon the Lord's Day following the Jewish Passover. These latter pleaded Apoftolical Tradition, the Afiaticks the Practice of the Apostles themselves.
Q. When was tkis Controversy determined ? A. In the great Oecumenical Council of Nice, assembled by the Emperor Constantine ; wherein it was ordained, that Easter should be kept upon one and the fame Day throughout the World, not according to the Cuftom of the Jews, but upon the Lord's Day ; which Decree was ratified and published by the Imperial Let. ters to all the Churches.
Q. What are we Christians obliged to believe concerning the Resurrection of Jelus Chrift
A. That the eternal Son of God, who was crucified and died for our Siris, did not long continue in the State of Death ; but on the third Day, by his infinite Power did revive and raise himself, by re uniting the same Soul to the fame Body which was buried, and so rose the fame Man
Q. What Q. What Proof is there of our Saviour's Resurrection from the Dead ?
A. The Testimony of sufficient and credible
Q. What Testimony bave we of chr Saviour's
A. The pious Women, which thought with Mat. 16.1.
A. They being plain illiterate Persons, it is
Q. The Testimony of an Adversary is of
After 1 Cor. 15.
great Force; do bis Enemies any way confirm this Truth?
A. Those Soldiers that watched at the Sepulchre, and pretended to keep his Body from
the Hands of the Apostles ; they which felt Mat. 28. the Earth trembling under them, and saw the 3.
Countenance of an Angel like Lightening, and
bis Raiment white as Snow ; they, who upon Ver. 12. this Sight did make and became as dead Men,
while he whom they kept, became alive ; even Mat. 28. some of these came into the City, and shewed
unto the chief Priests all the Things that were done.
Q. Is there any farther Testimony in this Cafe than that of Men ?
A. Yes; the Angels bare Evidence to the Mat. 28. Truth of it. One came and rolled back the Stone
from the Door, and sat upon it, faith St. Mattbew. John 20. Two, faith St. John, in White, fitting the one at
the Head, and the other at the Feet, where the BoLuke 24. dy of Jesus bad lain, said unto the Women, W boy
seek ye ihe Living among the Dead ? He is not bere; but is risen.
Q. Why did not our Saviour appear to the whole Jewish Nation for their Condition, as well as to bis Followers ?
A. Because it was only of abfolute Neceflity, that those who were to be the first Publisers of the Gospel, should have the utmost Évidence and Satisfaction concerning the Truth and Reality of Christ's Resurrection ; for by the fame Realon that he was obliged to have appeared to the Jewish Nation, it may be proved that the whole Roman Empire ought to have had the fame Advantage, and that he thould have shewn himself to all the several
succeeding Ages of the World. Moreover, the Jews, by their malicious Resistance of the Evidence of our Saviour's Miracles, even of the greatest, of raising Lazarus from the Dead, had made themselves unworthy and incapable of so extraordinary a Way of Conviction, and for their obftinate Infidelity, joined with their cruel Usage of the Son of God, were determined for Objects of God's Wrath.
Q. Why was it necessary Christ jould rise from the Dead ?
A. To shew the Debt he died for was difcharged ; and that his Satisfaction was accepted. If Christ be not risen, ye are yet in your 1 Cor. 15. Sins. And moreover, to prove himself to be 17. the Meffab, and to evidence the Truth and Divinity of his Doctrine. He had appealed to it as a sign of his being a true Prophet, and Mat. 12. therefore by the Way of Trial, which God 38,39,&c.
Deut. 18. prescribed the Jews, viz. the Accomplishment of Predictions, he had appeared to be a false Prophet had he failed in it.
So that if Christ be not risen, your Faith is vain. God having raised our Saviour from the Dead, after he was condemned and put to Death for calling himself the Son of God; is a Demonstration, that he really was the Son of God; and if he was the Son of God, the Doctrine he taught was true and from God.
Q. How long did Jesus Christ abide in the State of the Dead?
A. He rose the third Day, before his Body saw Corruption.
Q. How can our Saviour be said to have been three Days and three Nights in the Heart of the Earth, wben there was only Part of
two Days, and one entire Day between ?
A. That is, three Days according to the com.non Computation of Days, both antient
and modern, and particularly in Scripture recJohn 11. koning. Thus Lazarus is said to be four Days
dead, though the fourth Day whereon he was Luk.2.21.
raised, was one of them. Eight Days are said to be accomplished for Christ's Circumcision, but the Day of his Birth and Circumcision too went both into that Reckoning,
Q. How is the Resurrection of Christ an Are
gument of our Resurrection? Cor. 15 A. Because by his rising from the Dead be be
came the First-fruits of them that slept ; which First-fruits among the Jews were a Pledge and Earnest of a future Harvest. And this secures our Resurrection to eternal Life, that he who hath promised to raise us up, did raise bimself from the Dead. We are the Members of that Body of which Christ is the Head ; if the Head be risen, the Members cannot be far behind.
Q. Wherein shall the Blessedness of the Resur: section of good Christians confif ?
A, In the mighty Change which shall be made in their vile and mortal Bodies, and the glorious Qualities they shall be invested withal. And in the consequent Happiness of the whole Man, of the Soul and Body united and purised,
Q. How did the Primitive Christians chiefly express their Joy upon this Festival
A. It was famous for Works of Mercy and Charity. The Emperors were wont by their Imperial Orders to release Prisoners, unless they were detained for very heinous Crimes.