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the other Evangelists, are fully developed by him in all their circumstances, when they are calculated to show us the nature of Christian love, to offer us a model of it, or to inspire us with a taste for it.

We see an illustration of these observations in that portion of history, which has been read to you. Mark merely tells us, that Mary Magdalene was the first to whom our Saviour appeared after his resurrection. But the tenderness of this interview; the profound, persevering, and sublime emotions of love which Mary displayed towards the Redeemer; emotions which survived the destruction even of her hopes, and which led her to the tomb of her Master, to pay to him the last duties of affection, and to enjoy there the sad consolation of weeping for her loss; and the gracious conduct and language of the Redeemer; all these circumstances were so accordant with the feelings of John, that he could not avoid giving in detail this history, so interesting to believers.

Let us briefly review it, and deduce from it some practical lessons.

You recollect, by brethren, that Mary Magdalene, (who must be distinguished from Mary the sister of Lazarus, and from that woman who was a sinner, mentioned by Luke, and with whom she has sometimes been improperly confounded,) you recollect that she came early in the morning, with other pious women, to embalm the body of Jesus. Perceiving the stone rolled away, and the sepulchre open,

she supposed that his body had been taken from the tomb. Under this impression, she went to inform Peter and John, who hastened to the sepulchre, and, entering into it, found only the cloths which had covered the body of the Redeemer. Supposing her


apprehensions true, they returned home. But Ma: ry, agitated and unquiet, full of doubts and perplexities, “ stood without at the sepulchre, weeping;" still reluctant to quit a place where she had seen the body of Jesus deposited, hoping, perhaps, that some one would bring her tidings of her beloved Saviour, and pouring her tears over the tomb of him whom she believes to be a second time in the hands of his enemies. It is thus that Reuben, not finding Joseph in the pit into which his brethren had cast him, rends his garments, supposing him to be destroyed; or rather it is thus that Jacob, seeing the bloody robe of Joseph, and not doubting that a wild beast has devoured him, sheds tears of anguish, and declares that he will go down with sorrow to the grave. But Joseph is alive; he shall dry the tears of his father, and be the benefactor and preserver of , his brethren. Jesus is alive, and shall pour consolation into the wounded soul of Mary.

Still continuing to weep, and unwilling entirely to abandon her hopes, she stoops down, and looks wishfully into the sepulchre. Perhaps she heard some sound proceeding from it, some words there spoken by the blessed messengers of heaven; perhaps she hoped that she had been deceived in her former examination, and that new researches might be more favourable. She beholds there two angels clothed in white, the emblem of purity and innocence. When they first appeared to roll away the stone from the sepulchre, “ their countenance was like lightning,” and filled with terror and apprehension the guards that surrounded the tomb. Though ments” still “ are white as snow,” yet their aspect is mild and gracious, and their address full of tender

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They are seated, “ the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.” Thus they appeared like the two cherubim in the holy of holies, at the extremities of the ark, and over the propitiation or mercy.seat, and teach us that the Lord, by his death, is the true propitiation for the sins of the world. Ministers of the God of peace in the resurrection of Jesus, they do not immediately leave his sepulchre, but remain there, till their presence has taught believers, that as they have opened his tomb, so they will hereafter open theirs, that they, like their Redeemer, may proceed from it alive. Worshippers of the Redeemer, they come to pay a visible honour to him, and to place themselves there, where that body had lain, which had lately been crucified between two thieves.

With tenderness they cry to Mary, “ Woman, why weepest thou?” • Instead of shedding tears, it is a season for joy. If Jesus were still in the tomb, thou wouldst have reason to weep, since all thy hopes must then be lost. But he has now triumphed over the

grave; has conquered his enemies and thine; and we are here to announce his victory. “Woman, why weepest thou ?”

Mary, still persuaded that the body of her Lord had been taken away, and perhaps suspecting these two persons whom she saw in the grave as having done it, replied, “ They have taken away my Lord,

, and I know not where they have laid him;" to render to him those offices which his virtues and his blessings have so well merited from me.'

Mary had no sooner' pronounced these words, than she turned herself back, and « saw Jesus standing” near her. But not expecting to behold him there, and her eyes dimmed with tears, and her soul so ab

sorbed with grief, as to give her neither leisure nor inclination to examine external objects, she knew not that it was Jesus.

He proposes to her the same question as did the angels: “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seek est thou?” She, supposing that he cannot be ignorant of the cause of her tears, and the object of her search, does not directly reply to these questions ; but supposing it to be the gardener, and that he was able to give her the information which she desired, exclaims, “ If thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”

Jesus, touched by her excess of grief, replied to her only by naming her; but without doubt he

pronounced her name with a voice so tender and affecting, that Mary no longer could fail to recognise him; and those sweet sounds, so familiar to her ears, so profoundly engraven on her soul, instantly banished her grief. “ She turned herself,” (an expression which shows she had not hitherto fixedly viewed him,) s6 " and cried to him, Rabboni, O my Master!" Who can properly express her rapture? Ye who, after a long and painful separation, have been re-united to those whom you love; ye who have seen a parent, a consort, or friend, whom disease conducted to the borders of the grave, and for whose loss you already wept, unexpectedly recalled to life, and restored to you; ye whose tears have flowed for one dear to you, whose death had been falsely announced, but who suddenly re-appearing before, you, changed your mourning into joy; recall those moments, retrace the emotions which you then felt, and you will have a feeble, ah! how feeble a conception of the joys which now swelled the heart of Mary! No wonder


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that, in a transport of joy, of wonder, and of the most tender affection, she should only cry, “Rabboni, o my

Master!” No wonder that she cast herself at the feet of Jesus, to embrace them!

6 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not." Do not now stay to express your affection to me; “for I am not yet ascended to my Father;" or, as the original had better be translated, “I do not yet ascend to my Father.” I shall still sojourn some time upon earth, and you will have many opportunities of seeing me again. “But go to my brethren, and say unto them,

6 I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, unto my

, God and your God.” O blessed Jesus! what heart can be so hard as not to glow at this display of thy grace, thy forgiveness, thy goodness to those who have rendered themselves unworthy of thy favours ! For who, my brethren, are those to whom the Saviour hastens to send the news of his resurrection? For whose consolation he checks the transports of a heart so devoted to him? To whom he gives the name of brethren? It is a disciple who has denied him thrice with execration; they are timid men who dared not accompany him before his judges ; ungrateful followers, who, with the exception of one only, fled from the last scenes of woe! When they were chosen by him, he termed them apostles, or ministers sent out by him; when he was about to leave the earth, he called them friends : but now that all power is given to him in heaven and on earth, he addresses them as brethren. Ah! ifit had been possible for Mary to have forgotten the Saviour's voice, or his appearance, she must instantly have recalled him from these expressions of tenderness and love, which so strongly characterize the gracious Immanuel, "Go to my brethren.”

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