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justly observes, “What we call the various called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit senses of a Scriptural expression are, in came again, and she arose straightway: and reality, but the various parts of the complete he commanded to give her meat." sense." We may consider the Lord Jesus as Another instance of this dominion was in abolishing death, spiritually-miraculously- the case of the widow's son of Nain. This in his own person-penally-comparatively young man was older than the ruler's dangt.
and absolutely. Whatever seems obscure, ter, and had been longer dead; for thes were fron the brevity of the statement, will I hope carrying him to his burial; and the widosad be made plain in the process of illustration : mother of an only child would not have al. and the whole taken together must show that lowed this, we may be assured, betore the the Apostle's language, though bold, is not time. Our Saviour met the procession; an} more bold than just.
before any prayer was addressed to him, he First. He abolishes death, spiritually; that saw who was weeping behind—“and he had is, in the souls of his people. To all these, compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep without exception, it may be said, in the not.” At the sound of which, she draws bacts words of Paul to the Ephesians, “ You hath her vail, to see what stranger interested biohe quickened who were dead in trespasses self on her behalf, and, with more kindness and sins." Not that they were dead in every than wisdom, enjoined upon her an impues sense of the word: for the Apostle speaks of bility. “But he came and touched the bier: their walking, at the very time, according to and they that bare him stood still. And te the course of this world; but they possessed said, Young man, I say unto thee, Ariæ. no spiritual faculties, felt no spiritual sensa- And he that was dead sat up, and began to tions, performed no spiritual actions. They speak. And he delivered him to his moiber.' were insensible and indifferent to the favour, What a present! and image, and presence, and service of the Behold Lazarus. Our Saviour loved him; blessed God. But quickened by the Spirit of but suffers hin to fall sick, and leaves him to life in Christ Jesus, now they breathe the the natural effect of the disease. Two days breath of prayer, and of praise. They feel the he abode still in the same place, after hearing pulse of sacred passion. They hunger and that he was dead. When he reached the thirst after righteousness. They see his suburbs of Bethany, the process of putrefie glory: they hear his voice: they taste that tion was supposed to have begun. * Then the Lord is gracious. They walk in the way when Mary was come where Jesus was and everlasting: fight the good fight of faith: and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saving unto labour, that whether present or absent, they him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother may be accepted of him. “The body is in- had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her deed dead, because of sin; but the spirit is weeping, and the Jews also weeping which life, because of righteousness."
| came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and Secondly. He abolished death by his mira- was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid cles, while he was on earth. We find this him? They said unto him, Lord, corne and among the proofs of his Messiahship, address- see. Jesus wept." —He ordered the stone to ed to the disciples of his forerunner, in prison : be rolled away, and in a tone of uncontrolable “Go and show John again those things which authority, he cried with a loud voice, “ Laza. ye do hear and see: the blind receive their rus, come forth. And he that was dead came sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are and his face was bound about with a napkin. raised up, and the poor have the Gospel Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him preached to them."
He displayed his power over death in the Once more: we are told that as the Re case of the ruler's daughter. She was at the deemer expired, “the vail of the temple was very interesting age of twelve years old. rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and While her distressed father was gone to im- the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and plore the Saviour's aid, she expired ; and a the graves were opened; and many bodies of messenger was sent after him to communicate the saints which slept arose, and came out of the dismal tidings, and to prevent his troubling the graves after his resurrection, and went the Master, now it was too late. While there into the holy city, and appeared unto many." is life there is hope: but who can raise the Thirdly. He abolished death in his own dead? O, says Jesus, it is never too late to person. His own rising from the dead is very apply to me--only believe. When he arrived, distinguishable from all the former instances the offices of death had commenced. The of resurrection. The ruler's daughter, the body was laid out; and the minstrels were widow's son, Lazarus, and the saints in Jerumaking a noise. “ And all wept, and bewailed salem, were raised by the power of another; her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but he rose by his own power. Of his domibut sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, nion, even over his own death and revival, he knowing that she was dead. And he put had spoken before—“No man taketh my life them all out, and took her by the hand, and I from me; I lay it down of myself; I have
power to lay it down, and I have power to their end is peace; peace in the result, if not take it again. Destroy this temple,” said he, in the passage. But their end is generally ** and in three days I will raise it up:" and he peace in experience as well as in result. spake of the temple of his body. They rose There are, however, cases of constitutional as private individuals; but He as the head infirmity that may not only exclude joy, but and representative of his people: and because even hope. Sometimes the nature of the dishe lives, they shall live also. They only rose order is such as to hinder sensibility, or exto a temporal life, and were again subject to pression. Sometimes, too, God may allow the disease and mortality; but "he being raised continuance of fear, even in those he loves, as from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no a rebuke for loose or irregular walking; and more dominion over him.” Hence he is called as a warning to others. It is a great mercy, «* the first-begotten of the dead; the first-born as the time draws on, to be raised above the from the dead; and the first that should rise torment of fear, and to be able to say, The from the dead;" referring not to the order of bitterness of death is past ! time, but to peculiarity, supremacy, and influ- And this is commonly the case with those ence.
| who die in the Lord. It has been the case Fourthly. He abolished death penally. even with those who have had to encounter Thus he has destroyed death as to its sting. a death of torture. Martyrs-men, women, The sting of death is sin-because sin ex- children, have embraced the fiery stake, with poses us to the wrath of God, and binds us all joy and peace in believing. It has been over to suffer: and the strength of sin is the the case with those who have had every thing law—for cursed is every one that continueth agreeable in their condition, and attractive in not in all things written in the book of the their connexions. They have said to those law to do them. But Christ has redeemed us they were leaving, “ You are dear-but I am from the curse of the law, being made a curse going to him, who is all-wise, all-kind, allfor us. One died for all, says the Apostle. fair." And such have been their views of His death was equivalent to the destruction opening glory, and such their earnests and of all the redeemed: there was such value in foretastes of it, that they have not only been his suffering, derived from his dignity, that in resigned to go, but have longed to depart to lieu of our perdition it was accepted as “an be with Christ, which is far better. Yea, offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet- we have often observed this to be the case smelling savour.” Every moral purpose that with those who all their lifetime were subject could have been answered by the punishment to bondage through fear of death. When the of the sinner has been better subserved by the hour has arrived, they have had mercy and death of the Saviour. “We are ambassadors grace to help in time of need; and, amazed for Christ, as though God did beseech you by at their former apprehensions, and their preus: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye re- sent feelings have said; conciled to God. For he hath made him to
"Tell me, my soul, be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might
Can this be death?" be made the righteousness of God in him.” And did he himself bear our sins in his own
in " Yea, though I walk through the valley of body on the tree? Was the chastisement of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for our peace laid on him, and by his stripes are thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they we healed! Well may those who believe comfort me." enter into rest: well may they sing,
“I have tasted Canaan's grapes ;
And now I long to go
Where the Lord his vineyard keeps,
And where the clusters grow."-
While spectators have been ready to envy He has not abolished going home ; and fall-them their condition, and have seen our docing asleep; and departing : but he has abo trine explained and verified_“ He hath abo lished death. This leads us to observe that lished death.” he has,
Finally. He will do this absolutely. He Fifthly. Abolished death comparatively: I will abolish the very state: “He must reign mean, as to its terror. This is not the same till he hath put all enemies under his feet. with the foregoing particular. That regards The last enemy that shall be destroyed is all the people of God, and extends even to death. So also is the resurrection of the those who die under a cloud of darkness, and dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised a load of depression: it belongs to a Cowper, in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is who died in despair, as well as to a Hervey, raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is who said, “ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant raised in power: it is sown a natural body; depart in peace, according to thy word; for it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natumine eyes have seen thy salvation." All ral body, and there is a spiritual body. As believers die safely; there is no curse for we have borne the image of the earthy, we them after death, or in death. In this sense, shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 3 B
This amazing change, this infinite consum-, dread? According to Paul--nothing-for mation, will be accomplished by his agency he has abolished death. Yea—this is only
-I “will raise him up at the last day.” He one part of your consolation. This is all “shall change our vile body, that it may be negative comfort. But remember, he has faslrioned like unto his own glorious body, ac-turned the curse into a blessing: he has made cording to the working whereby he is able of the enemy a friend. Instead of robbing even to subdue all things unto himself.” you, it relieves; it enriches-it is the making
of you for ever.- TO DIE IS GAIN! « His own soft hand shall wipe the tears, From every weeping eye;
| Behold the recommendation of religion ; by And pains, and groans, and griefs, and fears, which I mean the religion of the Gospel; for And DEATH ITSELF SHALL DIE.
there is no other that reaches the case of Let it not be said, but this is a future event; fallen man. The people of the world often and the Apostle speaks of the past--he has affect to despise Christians; but there are abolished death. His recompense is as cer- moments in which they really envy them. tain as his sufferings. Purpose and execution When conscience has a wakeful inoinent, and are the same with him. His promise is ful- they are led to reflect on the believer's fual filment. One day with the Lord is as a thou- safety and privileges, they exclaim, with sand years, and a thousand years as one day. Balaain, “Let me die the death of the right“ He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I cous, and let my last end be like his." And make all things new. And he said unto me, no wonder; for he alone is the happy man Write: for these words are true and faithful. whose chief interest is provided for; who is And he said unto me, IT IS DONE. I am Alpha safe for the soul and eternity-not he who and Omega, the beginning and the end." has health, but he who is prepared to lose it
These reflections should relieve us in the not he who prospers in life, but he who has loss of pious connexions. And how many hope in death—not he who lays up treasure have bereaving dispensations constrained, in on earth, but he who in heaven has a better speaking of their relations, to look back and sand an enduring substance-he who can say, say—I had a child-a parent-a wife-a hus- with Job, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, band! Who has lived a few years in this and that he shall stand at the latter day upan vale of tears, and not had reason to sigh, the earth: and thought after my skin worms “ Lover and friend hast thou put far from destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see me ?” And is sensibility forbidden us? “Our God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine tears become us, and our grief is just.”—Yet eyes shall behold, and not another; though may a departing saint say, with a dying Sa- my reins be consumed within me." Jgnoviour, “ Weep not for me, but weep for your-rance may conceal from a man his danger: selves and for your children." Yes, we are wickedness may harden his heart against a objects of pity-not they. We who are still sense of it: vain reasonings may stupify the in the wilderness—not they who have enter-conscience with an opiate—but there is no ed the land of promise. We who are still in true victory over death but that which is the conflict-not they who have gotten the derived from the cross and grace of the Re victory. We who rise in the morning to deemer. Happy ye who are found in him! cares that corrode us, fears that alarm us, in- It is not presumption, but becoming confirmities that press us down—not they who fidence, in you, to dare every thing--and to have obtained joy and gladness, and whose triumph over all. “Nay, in all things we sorrow and sighing are fled away. Did they are more than conquerors through him that die? No death is abolished.
| loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither “Why do you mourn departing friends,
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, Or shake at death's alarms?
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to 'Tis but the voice that Jesus sends,
come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other To call them to his arm."
creature, shall be able to separate us from the Are they dead? No.—Their spirits are now love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our with God: and their “flesh rests in hope. Lord.” He will not leave their souls in hell, neither To conclude. What then is the duty of a will he suffer his holy ones to see corruption" sinner? It is, to remember that it is appointfor ever. “I would not have you to be igno-ed unto men once to die, and after this the rant, brethren, concerning them which are judgment; that his breath is in his nostrils; asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others that if he leaves the world a stranger to the which have no hope. For if we believe that Lord Jesus, temporal death will only be the Jesus died and rose again, even so them also passage to eternal--but that there is hope in which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Israel concerning this thing: that God has him. Wherefore comfort one another with sent his only begotten Son into the world, these words.”
that we might live through him; that he came, Again. Should not this subject raise the not only that we might have life, but have it minds of Christians above the fear of dissolu- more abundantly—and that we cannot escape, tion? You dread it—but what is it you if we neglect so great salvation.-It is, to
pray, with Moses, “So teach us to number that the friendship of the world is enmity our days, that we may apply our hearts unto with God? whosoever therefore will be a wisdom.” It is, to "seek the Lord while he friend of the world is the enemy of God. If may be found, and to call upon him while he God had told us that we cannot walk on the is near." All else, for creatures circumstan- sea, or fee in the air, we should have beced like you, is folly or trifling. “This is lieved him, without risking life by experithe work of God, that ye believe on him whom ment: but here-in declarations equally exhe hath sent. He that believeth on the Son press, men are not content without trying hath everlasting life: and he that believeth whether his word will come to pass or not. not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath And, were it not for the dreadfulness of the of God abideth on him."
result, we should say—“ And let them try! Say then_“I am mortal-yet an heir of But God will be true, and every man a liar!" eternity. Every breath I draw brings me Another mode by which he destroys, is to nearer the hour when this world will recede separate what God has joined together; such from my view, and proclaim its vanity and as principle and practice; doctrine and duty; vexation. Then, O solemn thought! these pardoning mercy and renewing grace: the states of changeless existence will open on water and the blood—for he came by wamy view in all their tremendous grandeurter and blood; not by water only, or blood and importance. Then, dreadful alternative! only, but by water and blood : these were the glories of heaven, or the damnation of not severed in their effusion from the cross, hell, will be my portion.-To which of these and they cannot be divided in their apam I hastening? - What am I? A sinner. plication to the soul. That man is not yet What then is my doom? The wages of sin truly awakened and enlightened from above, is death. But is there no escape? • With who does not see and feel his equal need of the Lord there is mercy, and with him there —the Saviour and the Sanctifier—the Son is plenteous redemption.' O cheering hope! of God and the Spirit of God—the work of But is it for me? He came into the world the one for him, and of the other in him. to save sinners; he died for the ungodly; and! To such a connexion I am going to lead why not for thee?-And can be save me? you. For be it remembered, every Christian He is able to save to the uttermost. And has two Advocates, two Intercessors; and will he save me? “Him that cometh unto they should be viewed relatively to each me I will in no wise cast out.' ( heavenly other. “Jesus ever liveth to make intercesintelligence! 'Tis a saying worthy of all sion for them. The Spirit itself maketh inacceptation-I am saved by hope- To the tercession for us.” We have therefore three throne of grace will I flee-on the Friend of things in view. And, sinners will I rely--and in the exercise of I. Let us consider THE INTERCESSION OF faith, love, patience, and obedience, all the Christ. Dr. Owen, long ago, complained, days of my appointed time will I wait-till and there is much truth in the remark, that -it will be nothing more till my change we do not dwell enough, in our thoughts, comes." Amen.
on the present life of Christ: for he is living, not a life of glory only—though even this
should delight those that love him ; but a life DISCOURSE CII.
of office. It was expedient for us that he went away. It was for our welfare that he
ascended into heaven, as well as descended THE TWO INTERCESSORS. into the grave. “He was delivered for our He ever liveth to make intercession for them. cation.”
offences, and was raised again for our justifi
“Because he lives, we shall live Heb. vii. 25.
| also.” “ If, when we were enemies, we were The Spirit itself maketh intercession for 118.
reconciled to God by the death of his Son; Rom. viii. 27.
much more, being reconciled, we shall be One of the ways" for we are not igno- saved by his life." rant of his devices," one of the ways, in When our Saviour left our world, he aswhich the enemy of souls destroys men, is by cended up far above all heavens ; and frailty joining together what God has separated. might have feared, that his concern for us Hence the alliance between the world and would have ceased with his residence among religion; and hence the awful declarations; us. When a friend is going far away, we “ No man can serve two masters: for either sometimes painfully think of the proverb, he will hate the one, and love the other; or “Out of sight out of mind." Men, as they else he will hold to the one, and despise the rise, too commonly lose much of their recolother. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. lection; and forget even those to whom they Love not the world, neither the things that were under obligation before—" Yet did not are in the world. If any man love the world, the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat the love of the Father is not in him. Ye him.” But, says Paul, though Jesus the Son adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not of God be passed into the heavens, “ we have
not an high priest who cannot be touched heritance, and the uttermost parts of the with the feeling of our infirmities." The earth for thy possession." So the Saviour ligature which unites us remains--and is all said himselt:- THEREFORE “ doth my Fa. sensibility and life. Had we seen him as he ther love me, because I lay down my life for was going up, we should have prayed, with the sheep." the dying thief, “ Lord, remember me when Secondly. It extends to all our important thou comest into thy kingdom." And does interests. We may look upon his prayer for he not? Yes; " he ever liveth to make inter- his disciples, on the night in which he was cession for us."
| betrayed, as a specimen of his continued inVolumes might be written on the subject; tercession before the throne. And for what but we must be brief. It has been questioned does he not there plead? Is it their preservawhether this intercession be vocal. Why tion? “Keep through thine own name those should it not? He is “clothed in a body whom thou hast given me. I pray not that like our own." Certainly the common rea- thou shouldest take them out of the world, son assigned—that it would be inconsistent but that thou shouldest keep them from the with his present dignity, is not valid. For do evil.” Is it their renovation? “Sanctify them we not know that dignity is never injured by through thy truth : thy word is truth." Is condescension ?- That true greatness is ten- it their union? “That they all may be one; der and sympathizing? That his goodness is as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that his glory?- Do we forget the grace of our they also may be one in us: that the world Lord Jesus Christ, who, when he was rich, may believe that thou hast sent me. And the for our sakes became poor, that we through glory which thou gavest me I have given his poverty might be rich ?"-And that he them; that they may be one, even as we are does not give up the kingdom to God, even one." Is it their glorification? “ Father, I the Father, till he has put down all rule, and will that they also whom thou hast given me all authority, and power?
be with me where I am; that they may be But, not to intrude into things which we hold my glory, which thou hast given me: have not seen, it is enough for us to know, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of
First. That his intercession is real. It con- the world.” sists in his personal appearance; in the pre- Thirdly. It is successful. “I know," says sentation of his sacrifice, and claiming the he, “that thou hearest me always." This benefits arising from it. Æschylus was conclusion is derivable from the grandeur of strongly accused, and likely to be condemned. his character, and his nearness to God. He His brother Amyntas engaged to be his ad- is called God's own Son, his only begotten vocate. Amyntas had done much for the Son, his dear Son, in whom his soul delightcommonwealth, and in a certain action, in eth. It is derivable from the ground of his their service, had lost a hand. He came demand. By his obedience unto death, even into the court. The court was uncommonly the death of the cross, he has rendered the crowded ; and all were eager to hear him communication of the blessings we need conplead on so interesting an occasion. But he sistent with the truth, and righteousness, and said nothing-he only held up his dismem-law of God. It is derivable from Divine bered arm!! The audience and the judges fidelity. He who is faithful to his saints, canwere so moved, as immediately to order his not be unfaithful to his Son: the joy that was brother's release. It does not appear that the set before him, as the recompense of his sufferHigh Priest said any thing when he entered ings, he must possess. He “shall see his seed; the holy place: but what he did, spake loud he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of enough. He wore the names of the twelve the Lord shall prosper in his hands. He shall tribes of Israel on his breast-plate; he took see the travail of his soul and shall be satisthe blood of the slaughtered victim in a basin, FIED."-To which we may add, the interest and sprinkled the mercy-seat, and burned in- he feels in his people. What he asks on their cense before the golden altar, and then came behalf, he asks for himself; for they are one forth and blessed the people. Abel's blood and “he is glorified in them." spake to God from the ground; that is, it de- II. Let us examine THE INTERCESSION OF manded vengeance: the blood of Jesus is THE SPIRIT: for the Spirit * itself maketh equally vocal; but it speaketh better things intercession for us.” than that of Abel-it calls for mercy. How In entering on this part of our discourse, did John see him in the vision? As a lamb it is necessary to observe, that, subjectively that had been slain; that is, with the wound and instrumentally considered, religion is our in the neck, and the blood on the wool. With- own work: we run the race set before us; and out a figure-he retains in his glorified body fight the good fight of faith: we beliere, and the marks of his sufferings and death. The repent, and pray-But, owing to our natural saints and the angels behold them, and ex- ignorance, and weakness, depravity, and averclaim, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain !”sion, it is God that worketh in us to will and God views them, and says, “ Ask of me, and to do of his good pleasure. To his Spirit, I will give thee the heathen for thine in- therefore, all our renovation is ascribed: we