Imágenes de páginas

proposed to the believer, and the children of God will testify from age to age that they have found from this revelation, honey out of the rock! Yes, “ Our God is the Rock, his work is perfect," and from the perfection of his counsels his people draw their peace.

Let us press onwards in our race, and having obeyed the call, make sure our vocation-with devotedness of body, soul, and spirit; let us manifest the victory which our Lord has obtained, in having brought us to the service and rest of love. Our sanctity and our joyfulness will tell what Jesus Christ has been to us, and we shall be privileged as faithful witnesses to speak his praise.



OUR past pages have exhibited the privileged believer, as interested in the riches that are in Christ Jesus, and we have endeavoured to look into the operative will of our Almighty God, as seen in the new creation of his people. Many glorious truths have been before us, whereby our Lord and Saviour is exhibited as crowned with honour, and in wbich we discover the sure foundation on which the weakest of his children are privileged to rest. There remaineth another subject of deep interest to us all, and to which our attention must now be given.

Notwithstanding the divine purpose to save the lost from the destruction of the fall, the sentence pronounced upon man is invariably executed. “ It is appointed unto all men once to die.” Heb. ix. 27, and the heirs of eternal glory have no exemption, but pass through that suffering which belongs to a

dying hour. The sentence is in itself a curse, being the sentence of judgment, in consequence of transgression. Gen. iii. 17 ; Rom. v. 12. And as we are all partakers of the original provocation, it hath pleased God that we should all alike bear this mark of our relation to the fallen Adam. The circumstances of death are also extremely humiliating. The wasting sickness, the foul disease, the sudden arrest, all proclaim man's corrupt, impotent, and frail condition, succeeded too by that awful spectacle, a lifeless form, wherein beauty and energy and influential powers are exchanged for silence and corruption. The fairest flower may “ come up,” as Job expresses it, but it is soon cut down and withereth; the most towering cedar may stand in high dignity, but the worm is its companion, and it falls from its pride. “ The worm shall feed sweetly upon him ; he shall be no more remembered.” Job xxiv. 20. “ I have said to corruption, Thou art my father : to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister.” Job xvii. 14.

But to the hour of death the benefit of the Redemption is applied ; the sentence, although passing upon all men,” for that all have sinned,” comes upon the children of God in

the full expression of eternal love and grace. “ The sting of death is sin,” but death is challenged, “O death, where is thy sting ?” sin is taken away, for the atonement hath prevailed, Dan. ix. 24. The curse is rolled away, for it passed to the head of the sin-bearing surety. Death is made harmless, for the covenant of life in Jesus prevails. “ Death is swallowed up in victory,” “ through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. xv. 55–57. These are plain assertions written in the word of God, and herein covenant provision is revealed, from which the ransomed of the Lord derive holy consolation. He who hath undertaken our cause has triumphed in our behalf, and through death has overcome him who had the power of death, that is the devil,” Heb. ii. 14. It is true we sicken, we decline, and we drop; but not upsustained, not cheerless; the promise of the Lord is, “ I will make all thy bed in thy sickness." And again, “ O death, I will be thy plagues ;” and the dying scenes of saints afford an unceasing memorial to the praise of that unchanging Redeemer who in his own ever-present power is with us when we die-with us also when dead! The lifeless body, though forsaken by its immortal inmate the soul, is not forgotten by its Lord. The

earthly house of this tabernacle is part of the redeemed property of Christ. “ Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Cor. vi. 20. The grave, wherein the purchased possession is deposited is a sanctified hiding-place, receiving a treasure: ah! affecting to declare, sown in' weakness, in corruption, in dishonour; but sown as a deposit that ere long will be recovered to light and life, and to appear in power, in incorruption, in glory. He who, as Redeemer, became “ the plague of death,” in the same office became “ the destruction of the grave”—“ () grave, I will be tby destruction.” Hosea xiii. 14. And as he abides with his people when they encounter the last struggle in this mortal scene, so doth he keep his omniscient eye on their slumbering frames when mingled with the dust. He is the Resurrection and the Life ; and, the body shall rise again. John v. 25; xi. 25.

The doctrine of the resurrection of the body is not only revealed to our faith as an article essentially belonging to Christianity, but it is also commended to us as a necessary part of a promise wherein the redemption of human nature entire is proposed. Human nature is composed of a united soul and body; it were

« AnteriorContinuar »