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feature in the divine plan of redemption ;. that the great Deli ver dr who should-provide the means of restoration for fallen man should himself be man: that the victorious enemy of the human race should be" despoiled of his sovereignty, should be cast into everlasting perdition, by a Being who should manifest Himself in the flesh, who should. be clothed in that nature, which the temp-. ter by his triumph over our first parents had corrupted and enslaved. He had enlarged on the import, the extent, and the duration, of the mediatorial kingdom of our Lord: and had marked with particular energy that complete demonstration of the Redeemer's universal power, that source of inexpressible consolation and inextinguishable happiness to His servants, the total destruction of death. He proceeds unto the conclusion of the chapter still to press these awakening trutha on the Christians to whom he addressed his epistle; and by that epistle, being dead, be yet speaketh to us, and shall continue to speak the words of salvation to the extremities of the earth, until his Lord shall return in the clouds to call the living and the dead to judgement. He confirms the doctrine of the resurrection by additional reasonings; , and \indicates it from the cavils of objectors by

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perspicuous and familiar illustrations. He enters at considerable length into the nature of the change, which shall be experienced by the gloriried bodies of just men made perfect: suddenly breaks forth into a triumphant strain of gratitude to God, who giveth us through our Lord Jesus Christ the victory over our last enemy armed with the mortal dart of sin and strong in the penal sanctions of the violated law: and closes the subject with a short but impressive and animated exhortation to that (tedfastness, that joyful patience in faith and holiness, to which, by the promise and through the blood of Christ, the reward of everlasting happiness is ensured. These, my brethren, are the lessons which J would attempt to unfold for your encouragement in your pilgrimage through an evil

world, in your passage through the valley of

the shadow of death.

Else what Jhall they do, "which are baptised for the dead; if the dead rise not at alls Why

are they then baptised for the dead? And "why sand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which shave in Chris Jesus

our Lord, I die daily. .f, after the manner of

men, I have fought with beafls at Ephefus:

what advantagdh it me, if the dead rife net?

Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die!

In

In the nineteenth verse St. Paul had already affirmed concerning himself, and the other apostles and preachers of the gospel; if in this life only we have hope in Christ; noer are of oilmen most miserable. Most truly might he make this declaration. What was their situation as you sind it represented in the Acts of the Apostles, and incidentally described in the Epistles of St. Paul and of the other sacred writers? One continued scene of toil, sorrow, anxiety, danger, and persecution. Chased from region to region, odious alike to the Jews and to the Romans, in assiclions, in necessities', in distresses, inflripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in taatchings, in fastings, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in 'weariness andpainfulnefs, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness (a), and under perpetual hazard of a violent and torturing death; if they were not justified in looking forward through Christ to a future recorripence, they were indeed the most miserable of mankind. If then they knowingly and willingly exposed themselves to uninterrupted dangers and sufferings by preaching the resurrection of their crucified Master; by preaching a gospel depending on the truth of His re

(sl) 2 Cor. yi. 4, 5. xi. 26, 27.

furrection, surrection, and announcing the future resurrection of all men: what was the necessary conclusion? That they knew whom they had believed ; that they knew that Jesus Christ had arisen, that all men mould rise, that the gospel was true. To this argument St. Paul now recurs. What consideration, he enquires, except a firm conviction that there remaineth beyond the grave a hope for the righteous, could induce men to encounter a certain prospect of wretchedness in the present life, and to be baptised for the dead: to be baptised into a religion established on the doctrine of the resurrection; or, as this difficult expression is not Unfrequently interpreted, to be baptised in the place of those who are dead; to take upon themselves the Christian profession which had proved before their eyes the cause of destruction to numbers, and eagerly to offer, themselves to fill up those vacancies which martyrdom had occasioned in the ranks of the soldiers of Christ? What other consideration, he demands, could persuade us, the apostles, to stand in jeopardy, cheerfully to expose our lives to extreme danger every hour? To strengthen his reasoning, St. Paul appeals to his own sufferings, to his own perils. On another occasion we sind him applying to himself and his associates the prophetical expres

sions of the Psalmist : For thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted asfoeep for the slaughter (b). And now he solemnly records his protestation, that he was in daily hazard of death for preaching the gospel. And he refers to a special instance of persecution, well known to the Corinthians, which had overtaken him in Asia, and is detailed in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts; and is again mentioned by St. Paul in his second Epistle to the Corinthians \c), as a danger in which he was pressed out of measure, above his strength, insomuch that he despaired even of life, regarded the sentence of death as about to be executed upon him, and had no hope remaining except the sure and never-failing confidence that God would raise the dead. If faith he, after the manner of men, to adopt a proverbial form of expression in ordinary use among you, I have sought with beasls at Epbesus: if I have dared the ungovernable fury of a frantic multitude, outrageous and cruel as savage beasts: What advantageth it me, if the dead rife not? What possible benefit could I derive from all the labours and afflictions, which I bring upon myself by preaching Christianity; by what possible inr ducement could I be impelled to incur them j

(i) Rom. viii. 36. {() 2 Cor. i. 8, 9.

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