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EASTER
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[ Also see Christ Christ (Saviour) Churches Death of Christ Good Friday Holidays Redemption Religion Resurrection Resurrection of Christ Sabbath Theology ]

It longs for existence that it may have life. Life and immortality are brought to light by the higher and holy nature of the risen Christ, who shows the meaning and possibilities of life, and awakens in all responsive natures a desire to live. Every Christian life becomes thus a witness of the resurrection. Its very possibility in a world of evil is due to a living Saviour. "Because I live, ye shall live also."
      - Bishop Eugene Russell Hendrix

Rise, heart! thy Lord is risen. Sing His praise
  Without delays.
    Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
      With Him mayst rise--
        That as His death condemned thee to dust,
          His life may make thee gold; and much more just.
      - George Herbert

Come, ye saints, look here and wonder,
  See the place where Jesus lay;
    He has burst His bands asunder;
      He has borne our sins away;
        Joyful tidings,
          Yes, the Lord has risen to-day.
      - Thomas Kelly,
        Come, Ye Saints, Look Here and Wonder

Day of the Crucified Lord's Resurrection;
  Day that the Lord by His triumph hath made;
    Day of Redemption's seal of perfection;
      Day of the Crown of His power displayed;
        Beautiful Easter, dazzling bright;
          Sun-Day that filleth all Sundays with light!
            Queen of all festivals; glad culmination
              Of the bright feasts that encircle the year;
                Glimpsing the Life, in a transfiguration,
                  That shall at length in its glory appear.
                    Beautiful Easter; day in its height;
                      Sun-Day that filleth all Sundays with light!
                        He who redeemeth, consoleth, forgiveth;
                          Who His own body raised up from the dead,
                            Holdeth all evil in bondage and liveth,
                              Source of all blessing, our Life and our Head.
                                It is His Glory that maketh thee bright,
                                  Sun-Day that filleth all Sundays with light!
      - Harriet McEwen Kimball

See the land, her Easter keeping,
  Rises as her Maker rose;
    Seeds so long in darkness sleeping
      Burst at last from winter snows.
        Earth with heaven above rejoices;
          Fields and garlands hail the spring;
            Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices
              While the wild birds build and sing.
      - Charles Kingsley

Remember there is no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost; so no man can profess, to any purpose, faith in Christ's resurrection but by the Holy Ghost. "It is the Spirit that beareth witness" now, as nineteen centuries ago, by that influence on the will of man which leaves the intellect at liberty to do justice to the evidence before it. Pray that most blessed Spirit so to teach your hearts and wills that you may, at least, have no reason for wishing the resurrection to be untrue. Pray Him for His gracious assistance that you may recover or may strengthen the great grace of faith and have your part in the blessed promise of the apostle: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
      - Canon Henry P. Liddon

There can, I apprehend, my dear brethren, be no sort of doubt that, if an ordinary historical occurrence, such as the death of Julius Caesar, is attested as clearly as the resurrection of our Lord--not, we will suppose, more clearly nor less--as having taken place nineteen centuries ago, all the world would believe it as a matter of course. Nay, more: if an extraordinary occurrence traversing the usual operations of God in nature were similarly tested, it would be easily believed if only it stood alone as an isolated wonder connected with no religious claims, implying no religious duties, appealing only to the bare understanding, and having no bearing, however remote, upon the will. The reason why the resurrection was not always believed upon the evidence of those who were witness to it was because to believe means for a consistent and thoughtful man to believe in and accept practically a great deal else. To believe the resurrection is to believe implicitly in the Christian faith.
      - Canon Henry P. Liddon

'Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
  Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Spanish Student (act I, sc. 3)

Let patriotism have its high days and freedom its monuments, and let the triumphs of navigators and generals be annually observed; but surely, beyond all these, a season that stands for as much to the race as Easter does may well be remembered each year with songs and flowers and with every mark of gratitude and of loftiest jubilation.
      - George Horace Lorimer

No one has ever yet succeeded in resolving the narrative of this event into figure or myth, and failures in this direction go to prove that the evidence on which the event rests is unimpeachable. And if it is trustworthy, then Christianity rests on a sure foundation, and our faith is in no sense vain, but warrantable and precious.
      - George Horace Lorimer

O chime of sweet Saint Charity,
  Peal soon that Easter morn
    When Christ for all shall risen be,
      And in all hearts new-born!
        That Pentecost when utterance clear
          To all men shall be given,
            When all shall say My Brother here,
              And hear My Son in heaven!
      - James Russell Lowell, Godminster Chimes
         (st. 7)

In the bonds of Death He lay
  Who for our offence was slain;
    But the Lord is risen to-day,
      Christ hath brought us life again,
        Wherefore let us all rejoice,
          Singing loud, with cheerful voice,
            Hallelujah!
      - Martin Luther,
        In the Bonds of Death He Lay

A bare seed is the former. Look into the wheat bin. There lie the bare seeds--the natural bodies--but no artist would think of sitting down before them. Now turn your eyes upon the field of living grain as the winds of summer billow its surface. What beauty--what a glory! The bare grains have risen from death in a body of living green, matchless in the splendor of a new and a higher material body. So is the resurrection of the human form. It is sown corruptible--it is raised incorruptible; it is sown in weakness--it is raised in power; a low, inferior, imperfect body is sown--one of glorious perfection rises up from this, as from a seed. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body, and the former comes first--is the seed of the latter? As we have borne the image of the earthly, so also shall we bear the image of the heavenly.
      - Samuel Swain Mitchell

For forty centuries, in one unbroken column, the race of man had been marching into the shadows. And of all the millions who had descended into the shadowed valley, not one had ever returned. No dead human form through all the centuries had risen up into a post-mortem life. There was in all Earth's area not one empty grave. No human heart believed, no human voice declared that there was such a grave--a grave robbed by the power of a victor stronger than man's great enemy death. It was therefore a new and wonderful message which the Apostle communicated, when unto the dying race of man he lifted up his voice in the words: "One human form has risen from the dead; one grave of earth is empty; the man Christ Jesus who was dead, is alive again."
      - Samuel Swain Mitchell

Over all earth's scarred and grave-ridged surface it kindled the light of this great hope: These moldering ashes may live again in human form. By the testimony of the senses Jesus is alive from the dead, and by the emptiness of Joseph's sepulcher, by Mary's risen Son, the resurrection, is not incredible. Bereaved hearts may wrap themselves around with its sweet hope; human graves may be made vocal with its promise! the dying race of man come unto victory through faith.
      - Samuel Swain Mitchell

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
  On the third morning He arose,
    Bright with victory o'er his foes.
      Sing we lauding,
        And applauding,
          Hallelujah!
      - John Mason Neale,
        Halleluah! Halleluah! From the Latin of the 12th Century

I think of the garden after the rain;
  And hope to my heart comes singing,
    "At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
      And the Easter bells be ringing!"
      - Edna Dean Proctor, Easter Bells

The fasts are done; the Aves said;
  The moon has filled her horn
    And in the solemn night I watch
      Before the Easter morn.
        So pure, so still the starry heaven,
          So hushed the brooding air,
            I could hear the sweep of an angel's wings
              If one should earthward fare.
      - Edna Dean Proctor, Easter Carol

Spring bursts to-day,
  For Christ is risen and all the earth's at play.
      - Christina Georgina Rossetti, Easter Carol

Ring, joyous bells of Easter,
  Death hath not conquered Life;
    Victorious is our risen Lord,
      And finished all His strife,
        From Calvary's mount of darkness,
          Lo! starry lilies bloom;
            For by the cross we conquer
              And fearless face the tomb.
      - Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

God expects from men something more than at such times, and that it were much to be wished for the credit of their religion as well as the satisfaction of their conscience that their Easter devotions would in some measure come up to their Easter dress.
      - Bishop Robert South, Sermons
         (vol. II, ser. 8)

If you have no share in the living Lord may God have mercy upon you! If you have no share in Christ's rising from the dead then you will not be raised up in the likeness of His glorified body. If you do not attain to that resurrection from among the dead then you must abide in death.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Jesus has redeemed not only our souls, but our bodies. When the Lord shall deliver His captive people out of the land of the enemy He will not leave a bone of one of them in the adversary's power. The dominion of death shall be utterly broken.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The fact of resurrection is not extraordinary; it is in accord with what we who believe at all believe to be the uniform law of life--that death does not touch it. The witnesses to the resurrection of Christ were unprejudiced, unexpectant, incredulous, and their honesty is not doubted even by skeptical criticism.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This, then, is the doctrine of the resurrection. We do not believe--at least I do not--that law has been rudely violated in one extraordinary and unparalleled episode. We believe that a universal law of life, overmastering death, and always superior to it, has had once a visible witness.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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