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quently obtain ocular, nay, more tangible demonstration of the fact; so that all are entirely satisfied as to the reality of his resurrection. Such is their testimony - a testimony which they bear before the judicial tribunals and people of the Jews, and which they repeat in all conceivable circumstances to their dying day, in spite, too, of persecution, contumely, and wrong. At last they behold him ascend from the earth; in other words, pass into the spiritual and immortal sphere; in parting, they receive bis blessing, filling them with unutterable peace. His spirit of might and love takes possession of their hearts, and they go forth in his name, to found among men a kingdom of righteousness and love.

Here every thing is natural and becoming. The testimony is ample and satisfactory. It is uniform and uncontradicted. The occasion is the most august and thrilling in the history of the world. The result is stupendous and beautiful. Life and immortality are brought to light,

“The gates of paradise Stand open wide on Calvary.”

We have spoken of miracles. After all, Christ and his gospel may be represented as but one miracle, the miracle of eternal love, first embodied in Christ, and then embodied among

nen.

He brought heaven to earth; and it is this which is now struggling for supremacy

in the world. The miracle stands before us now, modifying the interior spirit and the historic life of man, transforming individual hearts, and pen

, etrating, as a leaven of regeneration, into the great mass of fallen humanity. God has smitten the rock in the far wilderness, and the streams are flowing yet to refresh the weary millions.

CHAPTER XIV.

CHRIST IN THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH.

As a system, Christianity had not assumed a complete form till after the resurrection of Christ. Then all things were prepared for its full development and progress in the world. Rejected by the mass of the Jews, it was lodged as a hidden leaven in a few simple hearts, who, all at once, show themselves bold, resolute, resistless, as if inspired, as indeed they were, by a supernatural power. Fifty days after the crucifixion, the apostles began, with a commanding earnestness to which previously they were strangers, to execute the commission of their divine Teacher “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This they did, first at Jerusalern, the very scene of our Savior's degradation, and the last on earth, one would suppose, in which such a commission could be executed with success. But they claimed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word with lifegiving eloquence. Fearlessly they charged home upon their countrymen the guilt of crucifying the Son of God, “the Lord of glory," at the

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same time proclaiming to them the “glad tidings” of reconciliation and eternal life. This was the constant burden of their testimony, the great end of their labors. power of life, of renovation, reunion, and eternal joy that they announced Christianity to the world; the key note of which had been struck by angel voices on the plains of Bethlehem. Not as a philosophy, but as a fact; not as a policy, but as a power, superhuman and divine, did they proclaim it to all. Calmly they pointed, first to the crucifixion, and then to the resurrection of Christ, universally known and acknowledged as the ground of their testimony, while affectionately and tenderly, as if angel hearts had been given them, they besought men to be reconciled to God. As a consequence of this, no less than three thousand persons were converted and added to their number in a single day. Subdued by a power which they ascribed to God, they repented, believed ; and hence they were baptized in the name of the crucified Redeemer. Soon their number was swelled to five thousand ; and at the expiration of a year and a half, even while the labors of the apostles were confined to Jerusalem and its vicinity, multitudes, both of men and women, had received the truth, and “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."

At this time the converts were scattered abroad by violent persecution, and they went every where preaching the word. Though the Master” was

66 gone, so far as his bodily presence was concerned, his divine spirit of love and power was with

As Christ died blessing his executioners, so died the proto-martyr Stephen. Both conquered agony and death by the might of a supernatural charity; and this was the Heaven-kindled flame which the first disciples carried over Judea and the neighboring countries. They travelled as far as Phænicia, Cyprus, and Antioch; and in less than three years, churches were established in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.

During this time, however, Christianity had been preached to none but Hebrews. Two years afterwards it was proclaimed to “ the Gentiles,” and before the 'thirtieth year from the death of Christ, the triumphs of the cross had extended to every part of Asia the Less, the isles of the Ægean Sea, to a large portion of Greece, and even to Rome. At these places the converts are described as “a great number," " great multitudes," "much people." They were especially numerous at Antioch and Ephesus. During the two years' residence of Paul at the latter city, "all Asia," it is said, “heard the word of the Lord," meaning by the term “ Asia,” according to the ancient, and especially the Roman use of

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