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distresses of flesh of spirit ? Summon them all in one view, and see whetlier there be not power and glory enough in a resurrection to conquer and silence them all, and to put thy present sorrows to flight? ** Dost thon dwell in a vexing and persecuting world, amongst oppressions and reproaches ? But those who reproach and oppress are but mortal creatures, who shall shortly go down to the dust, and then they shall tyrannize and afflict thee no more : The great rising-day shall change the
scene from oppression and reproach to dominion and glory. When they lie down in the grave like beusts of slaughter, death shall feed on them, and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning, woher God shall redeemn thy soul from the power of the grave : Psal. xlix. 14, 15. Thy God shall hide thy body from their rage in his own appointed resting-place, and he shall receive thy soul, and keep it secure in his own presence, till that blessed moraing break upon this lower creation ; then shalt thou arise and skine, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee ; Isa. Ix. 1.
“ Do the calamities which thou sufferest proceed from the hand of God ?" 'Art thou disquieted with daily paio, with sicknesses and anguish in thy flesh? Or art thou surrounded with crosses and disappointments in thy outward circumstances ? Are thy spirits suuk with many loads of care and pressing perplexities? Canst thon not forget them all in the vision that fuith can give thee of the great rising-day? Canst thou not say in the lane guage of faith--The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us; Rom. viii. 18. Then the head and the heart shall ache no more, and every circumstance around thee shall be pleasing and joyful for ever.
« Or art thou tenderly affected with the loss of pious friends, who have been very dear and desirable ? Perhaps thy sensibilities here are too great and painful : They are such indeed as nature is ready to indulge, but are they not more than God requires, or the gospel allows ? Do not thy thoughts dwell too much on the gloom and darkness of the grave ? think of that bright hour when every saiut shall rise from the dark retreats of death with more complete characters of beauty, holiness and pleasure, than ever this world could shew them in ! They are not perished, but sent a little before us into God's hiding-place, where though they lie in dust and darkness, yet they are safe from the dangers and vexations of life; but they shall spring up in the happy moment into immortality, and shall join with thee in a mutual surprize at each other's divine change,
" Or dost thou feel the corruptions of thy heart working within thee, and the sins of thy nature restless in their eodea vours to bring deflement upon thy soul, and guilt upon thy conscience : Go on and maintain the holy warfare against all these
rising iniquties? This thy warfare shall not continue long: Thou shalt find every one of these sins buried with thee in the grave, but they shall arise to assault thee no more. The saint shall leave every sin behind him when he breaks out of the dust at the summons of Christ, and thou shalt fiod po seeds of iniquity in thy body when it is raised from the grave. Holiness to the Lord shall be inscribed upon all thy powers for ever.
« Or art thou perplexed, O my soul, at the near prospect of deatly and all the terrors and dismal appearances that surround it? Art thou afraid to lie down in the cold and noisome grave? Does thy nature shudder at it as a gloomy place of horror ? These indeed are the prejudices of seuse : but the language of faith will tell thee, it is only God's hiding-place where he secures bis saints till all the ages of sin and sorrow are overpassed. Look forward to the glorious morning when thou shalt rise from the dust among ten thousand of thy fellows, every one in the image of the Son of God, with their bodies formed after the likeness of his glorious body ; Pbil. iii. 21. and rejoicing together with divine satisfaction in the pleasure of this heavenly change. Try whether the meditation of these glories, and the distant prospect of this illustrious day, will not scatter all the gloom that hovers round the grave, and vanquish the fiercest appearance of the king of terrors. “What is there, O my soul, among all the miseries thou hast felt, or all that thou fearest, that can sink thy courage, if the faith of a resurrection be but alive and wakeful ?" But this leads me to the
V. “The saints of God, who are resting in the beds of dust, will arise joyfully at the call of their heavenly Father. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee, said holy Job. The command of God creates life, and gives power to the dead to arise and speak. “ I come, O Lord, I come. When Jesus, the Son of God, as with the trumpet of an archangel, shall pronounce the word which he spake to Lazarus, Arise, and come forth; John xi, 43. dust and rottenness shall bear the call from heaven, and the clods of corruption all-round the earth shall arise into the forın' of man: The -saints shall appear at once and answer to that: divine call, arrayed in a glory like that of angels; an illustrious host of martys and confessors for the truth; an army of heroes" and valiant sufferers for the name and cause of God and his Son an ippumerable multitude of faithful servants who have finished tbeir work, and lay down at resta
How shalt Adam, the father of our race, together with the holy men of his day, be surprized, when they shall awakè out of their long sleep of tive thousand years? How shall all the saints of the intermediate ages break from their beds of darkness with intense delight And those wlio lay down but yesterday in the dust shall start up at once with their early ancestors, and answer
to the call of Jesus from one end of time to the other, and from all the ends of the earth. They shall arise together to meet the Lord in the air, that they may be for ever with the Lord; I Thess. iv. 17. Never was any voice obeyed with more readiness and joy than the voice or trumpet of the great archangel, summoning all the children of God to awake from their long slumbers, and to leave their dusty beds behind them, with all the seeds of sin'and sorrow, which are buried and lost there for ever. Never did any army on earth march with more speed and pleasure, at the sound of the trumpet, to attend their general to a new triumph, than this glorious assembly shall arise to meet their returning Lord, when this last trumpet sounds, and when he shall come the second time in the full glories of his person and his offices, as Lord and Judge of the world, to bring his faithful followers into complete salvation.
Reflection. “ Whensoever, O my soul, thou feelest any reluctance to obey the summons of death, encourage thy faith, and scatter thy fears, by waiting for the call of God to a blessed resurrection. Jesus himself lay down in the grave at his Father's command, and he arose with joy at the appointed hour as the head of the new creation, as the first-born from the dead ; and he has orders given him by the Father to summon every saint from their graves at the long appointed hour. Because Jesus arose and lives, they shall arise and live also. O may my flesh lie down in the dust with all courage and composure, and rejoice to escape into a place of rest and silence, far away from the noise and tumult, the hurry and bustle of this present life ; being well assured that the next sound which shall be heard is the voice of the Son of God, arise ye dead! Make haste then, o blessed Jesus, and finish thy divine work here on earth : I lay dowor my bead to sleep in the dust, waiting for thy call, to awake in the morning."
VI. “God takes delight in his works of Bature, but much more when they are dignified and adorned by the operations of divine grace. Thou wilt have a desire, saith the good man in my text, to the work of thy own hunds. Thou hast moulded me and fashioned me at first by thy power, thou hast new created me by thy Spirit, and though thou hidest me for a season in one of thy secret chambers of death, thou wilt raise me again to light and life, and in my flesh shall I see God.
When the Almighty had created this visible world, he surveyed his works on the seventh day, and pronounced them all good, and he took delight in them all before sin entered and defiled thein: And when he has delivered the creatures of his power from the bondage of corruption and has purged our souls and our bodies from sin avd from every evil principle, he will again delight in the sous and daughters of Adam whom he has thus clean
sed and refined by his sovereign grace, and has qualified and adorned them for his own presence. He will sing and rejoice over them, and rest in his love ; Zep. iii. 17. He will love to see them with his Son Jesus at their head, diffusing holiness and glory through all bis members. Jesus the Redeemer will love to see them round him, for he has bought them with his blood, and they are a treasure too precious to be for ever lost. He will rejoice to behold them rising at his call into a splendour like his own, and they shall be satisfied when they awake from death into his holiness : Ps. xvii. 15. and appear in the image of his own glorious body, fit heirs for the inheritance of heaven, fit compapions for the blessed angels of light, and prepared to dwell for ever with himself.
Reflection. And shall not we who are the work of his hands have a desire to him that made us ? To him that redeemed us? To him that has new created and moulded us into his own like ness? Do we not long to see him ? Have we no desire to be with him, even though we should be absent from the body for a season? But much more should we delight to think of being present with the Lord, when our whole natures, body and soul, shall appear as the new workınanship of almighty power ; our souls new created in the inage of God, and our bodies new born from the dead, into a life of immortality ; 2 Cor. v. 8.
VII. The last observation is of a very general nature, and spreads itself through all my text, and that is, “ How much are we indebted to God for the revelation of the New Testament, which teaches us to find out the blessings which are contained in the Old, and to fetch out the glories and treasures which are concealed there?” The writers of the gospel have not only pointed us to the rich mines where these treasures lie, but have brought forth many of the jewels and set them before us. It is this gospel that brings life and immortality to light by Jesus Christ; 2 Tim. i. 10. It is this gospel that scatters the gloom and darkness which was spread over the face of the grave, and illuminates all the charabers of death. Who could have found out the doctrine of the resurrection contained in that word of grace given to Abraliam, I am thy God, if Jesus, the great prophet, had not taught us to explain it thus ; Mat. xxii, 31. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
We who have the happiness to live in the days of the Messiah, know more than all the ancicot prophets were acquainted with, and understand the word of their prophecies better than they themselves; for they searched chat or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, did signify, when itlestified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which sňould follow ; 1 Pet. i. 11. But we read all this fairly written in the gospel. Do you tbink that good David could have explained some of his own Psalms into so divine a sense, or Isaiah, given such a bright account of his own words of prophecy, as St. Paul has done in several places of the New Testament, wliere he cites and unfolds them? Could those illustrious ancients have given us such abundant consolation and hope through the scriptures, which they themselves wrote aforetime, as this apostle has done ? Rom. xv, 4. Do you think Job could have read us, such a lecture on his own expressions in this text, or in that bright prophecy in the xix. chapter, as the very meanest among the ministers of the gospel can do by the help of the New Testament? For in point of clear discoveries of divine truths and graces, the least in the kingdom of the Messiah is greater than John the baptist and all the prophets, and our blessed Jesus has told us so ; Mat. xi. 11, 13. And by the aid and influences of his Spirit we may be taught yet further to search into these hidden mines of grace, and bring forth new treasures of glory.
Reflection. “Awake, O my soul, and bless the Lord with all thy powers, and give thanks with holy, joy for the gospel of his Son Jesus. It is Jesus by his rising from the dead has left a divine light upon the gates of the grave, and scattered much of the darkness that surrounded it. It is the gospel of Christ which casts a glory even upon the bed of death, and spreads a brightness upon the graves of the saints in the lively views of a great rising-day. O blessed and surprizing prospect of faith! O illustrious scenes of future vision and transport! When the Son of God shall bring forth to public view all his redeemed ones, who had been long hidden in night and dust, and shall present them all to God the Father in his own image, bright, and holy, and unblemished, in the midst of all the splendours of the resurrection! O blessed and joyful voice, when he shall say with divine pleasure, Here am I, and the children which thou hast given me; Isa. viii. 18. Heb. ii. 13. We have both passed through the grave, and I have made them all conquerors of death, and vested them with immortality according to thy divine commission! Thine they were, O Father, and thou hast given them into my hands, and behold I have brought them all safe to thy appointed mansions, and I present them before thee without spot or blemish, Joho xvii. 6.
And many a parent of a pious household in that day, when they shall see their sons and their daughters around them, all arrayed with the beams of the Sun of righteousness, sball echo, with holy joy to the voice of the blessed Jesus, “ Lord, here am 1, and the children which thou hast given me ; Heb. ii. 13. I was atraid, -as Job once might be when his friends suggested this fear'; I was afraid that my children had sinned against God, and he had cast them away for their transgression, Job viii. 4. But I am now convinced when he seized them from my sight, he