"If Christ be not risen!" That is the most appalling "if" which can be flung into the human mind. If it obtains lodging and entertainment, all the fairest hopes of the soul wither away like tender buds which have been nipped by sharp frost! See how they fade!
"Your faith is vain." It has no more strength and permanency than Jonah's gourd. Nay, it has really never been a living thing! It has been a pathetic delusion, beautiful, but empty as a bubble, and collapsing at Joseph's tomb.
"Ye are yet in your sins." The hope of forgiveness and reconciliation is stricken, and there is nothing left but "a certain fearful looking-for of judgment." Nemesis has only been hiding behind a screen of decorated falsehoods, and she will pursue us to the bitter end.
"We are of all men the most miserable." Joy would fall and die like a fatally wounded lark. The song would cease from our souls. The holy place would become a tomb.
"But now is Christ risen from the dead!" Yes, let me finish on that word. That gives me morning, and melody, and holy merriment that knows no end.