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by a life of virtue here, to be found amongt that blessed number hereafter! To them a resurrection from the dead is indeed a noble and transporting prospect. It is an exemption from all the cares and disappointments of life: it is the exchange of disease and frailty for life and glory: it is the putting on immortality and incorruption it is the being reunited to our long lost friends, to the arms of tender parents, to the friends of our love, or the children of our bosom it is an approach unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. These are indeed noble fruits of a resurrection from the dead; sufficient to warm the coldest, and make the weakest strong. They are sufficient to make us despise the miseries of life and the terrors of mortality, and to cry out with the glorious exultation of the Apostle, "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, "which giveth us the victory through our "Lord Jesus Christ !" I 4
But if a resurrection from the dead be thus a fountain of consolation to the good and virtuous, it is no less a fountain of terror to the guilty. For reflect, Q sinner, what it is to appear before an all-seeing and just God: to stand self-condemned and trembling before the awful judge of quick and dead! to have all thy secret sins and midnight follies laid open and disclosed to have all the generations of the world stand around thee, witnesses of thy crimes and condemnation. Hadst thou a friend that loved thee in the world; how will it rend his bosom to see thee thus appalled with fear, and sinking under thy load of guilt? Hadst thou a parent that trained thee in the ways of early piety, and watched over thy infant days with a tender and sleepless solicitude; what a heart-rending stroke will it be to hear that dreadful sentence pronounced upon thee, " go, "thou cursed child, into everlasting fire, pre
pared for the devil and his angels." Finally, hast thou any feeling for thyself? Think, Ọ think, what it will be to enter into all the torments of hell, to dwell with everlasting burnings, with the worm that never dieth, amidst the blackness of darkness for evermore, to be separated from God and happiness, to be excluded from every ray of hope, to feel the stinging reproaches of conscious guilt, and the agonizing
pangs of a mispent life, the abused mercies of heaven, and the never ending torments of the fire that cannot be quenched.
Since then it depends upon ourselves, whether the resurrection from the dead shall be a blessing or a curse; since it is in our own choice, whether we will rise to life or death eternal; let us chuse life, that both we and our seed may live. All has been done for us that could be done by the mercy of heaven: what remains therefore must be done for ourselves. The unhappy rich man thought that his five brethren, though they were deaf to the voice of Moses and the prophets, yet would repent, if one went unto them from the dead. Even that last and greatest persuasive to repentance has been vouchsafed to us. If therefore we repent not, utterly hopeless and inexcusable must be our condition; we can have nothing to look for but fiery indignation. Let us therefore wisely determine to crucify the old man, and utterly abolish the whole body of sin. Let us awake to righteousness, and sin not. Let us seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Let us be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as we know that our labour is not in vain in the
Lord: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him; and when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear together with him in glory.
EPHESIANS ii. 8, 9.
By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.
F all the unhappy divisions, which have
torn and distracted the bosom of the Christian church, from the days of the Apostles down to the present times, none seems to have been supported with greater warmth or carried to greater lengths than the dispute-" whether "to God's grace and faith in Christ, or to 46 our own works we must be indebted for sal"vation."
The zealous asserters of grace maintain, that since we can do nothing of ourselves, we should leave all to God, and not endeavour to do any thing; for since every gift of God must be perfect,