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bail us from the arrest of death? God, whom we too often neglect for "that "which profiteth not," never failing Friend. when trouble is near.
is an almighty and
He is not far off
He is ever ready to
bind up the broken heart, and to heal the wounded spirit. He withholds from all
them, who ask in faith, nothing that is truly good He gives them "eternal life through "Jesus Christ our Lord."
Of those who are carnally minded, and set their affections upon worldly objects, we may well ask,-"What fruit shall you "have in those things of which you have
reason to be ashamed; for the end of "those things is death?" But to those who are Christians, who are spiritually minded, and set their affections upon the things that are above, we may justly say—
Hail, ye blessed of the Lord!"-The Lord is their shepherd, and they shall not want. He will lead them to the green pastures, and beside the still waters: his banner over them is love. He is a sun and a shield; He hath given them grace, and He will give them glory. They are the heirs of all that is included in the promise
of "eternal life."-Yes, they may rejoice and be exceeding glad, for while "the 66 wages of sin is death, the gift of God is “eternal life through Jesus Christ our "Lord."
Let us now consider what this exceeding great, and precious gift includes: whence it originates, and what is the appointed medium through which it comes.
FIRST, let us consider what this exceeding great, and precious gift includes.—It is "eternal life.” The death denounced as "the wages of sin," evidently includes not only the separation of the soul from the body; but also its separation from God; its separation from the saving influence of his grace and truth here, and its separation from his blessed presence hereafter; a separation which constitutes hell. The "life," therefore, which we are now considering, and which stands opposed to the "death" denounced, must have an equally extensive meaning. It must include deliverance not only from the power of temporal death; but also a revival from the grave of sin, of moral corruption, a resurrection into new
ness of life, and the full enjoyment of this life, in all its perfection, in the kingdom of heaven.-As the death of the soul does not consist in the extinction of its being, but in the depravation of its powers and faculties; in the loss of its native pleasures, and the endurance of merited punishment; so its life does not consist merely in existence, but in the sanctification of all its powers and faculties, in its exercising them according to the will of God, in its bearing his image, being holy as he is holy, and perfect as he is perfect. This is the true life of the soul, and from this life only results a happiness suited to its nature. All those who are strangers to this life, the Scriptures represent as dead. They still live, indeed, in this material world; but their connexion with the spiritual world is dissolved; they neither breathe its desires, nor engage in its employments, nor experience its heavenly pleasures. "There is no
peace, saith my God, to the wicked." They are wounded with a sense of guilt, and through fear of death, "the wages of "sin," they are, "all their life time, subject "to bondage." Every thing beyond death, wears an aspect of horrour. Nothing "re
"mains but a fearful looking for of judg"ment, and fiery indignation." What shall then be their misery, we do not now know, we cannot now conceive,-and, O God! may none of us ever feel!
But the Christian, he to whom is gifted "eternal life," need fear no evil. Even the king of terrours has nothing to appal his heart; this last enemy, to him, is vanquished, for his iniquity is pardoned, and God is his gracious Father, his everlasting Friend. "Fear not, saith God, to go down " to the grave; I will go with thee, and "bring thee up again.-O Death!" may the Christian therefore, triumphantly exclaim, "O Death! where is thy sting? O "Grave! where is thy victory? The sting "of death is sin, and the strength of sin is "the law; but thanks be to God who
giveth me the victory through our Lord "Jesus Christ."
Accordingly, the Christian endeavours to walk worthy of his blessed hope. Redeemed from his past vain conversation, he "walks not after the flesh, but after the spi"rit." The spirit helps his infirmities, scat
ters his fears, dissipates his darkness, and keeps alive and operative, in his mind, the belief of the truth. Happy man! the Holy Spirit fills him with peace and hope; to him "there is no condemnation ;"" the law "of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath "made him free from the law of sin and "death." Sin, indeed, often prevails against him, but he suffers only a temporary defeat; he is not finally overcome. He may stumble, but he soon recovers; he falls, but he shall never perish; for he is kept by the mighty power of God; "he is born again, "not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupt"ible, which liveth and abideth for ever." The fruits which he brings forth, are love, and peace, and righteousness, and truth, and these beginnings of "eternal life," which he now feels and enjoys, shall, at last, be made perfect in the kingdom of his Father. Then the painful conflict, now endured, shall be finally over. Nature shall no longer revolt from the dominion of grace; every corruption shall be uprooted from the heart; every fear banished from the mind, and every enemy laid prostrate on the field. The saints have overcome, through the blood of the Lamb, and "are set down