Imatges de pÓgina


the heaven of heavens with everlasting and ever-increasing pleasure.

In the mean time, rejoice in hope of the glory of God, and sing unto our Redeemer, who hath done excellent things. He hath glorified the Father on earth, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting rightCousness. He hath scattered the powers of darkness, destroyed the works of their chief, and seized by right the keys of hell and death. He hath separated death and the curse, dispelled the gloom overshadowing the grave, and secured the resurrection unto eternal life. After doing in our nature and stead these excellent things, he is justified in the Spirit, alive unto God, and alive for everinore. Ascribe blessing, and honour, and glory, and thanksgiving to the Father, who hath raised him from the dead, and given him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God! Ascribe to himself, who was dead and is alive again, power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing! And unto the Spirit, by whom he was quickened and raised, and in whom he was justified and glorified, ascribe grace, mercy, and peace, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord!

With these ascriptions of praise, which are expressions of our joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the atonement, join lively obedience to the law, patient submission to the will, and active dependence on the Spirit of Christ.

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With expressions of joy in the resurrection of Christ join lively obedience to his law. The refreshment and strength which ye receive at the springs of consolation, opened by his resurrection, ought to be exerted in adding virtue to your faith. Dead to sin, and married to him who is raised from the dead, fruit unto God in holiness and righteousness is the issue of your death unto sin, of your deliverance from the law which held you under the guilt and dominion of sin, and of your mysterious and spiritual marriage to Christ, who died once for and unto sin, and now liveth, and liveth unto God. In this connection it appears to be stated, when the fellowship of the mystery of our sanctification is made known. "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. Knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth "no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For

"in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liv "eth he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also your"selves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, "through Jesus Christ our Lord."

With expressions of joy in the resurrection of Christ, join patient submission to his will in the administration of providence. For his body's sake, the elect, the Father hath delivered to him all things. The execution of all judgment, and exertion of all power in heaven and earth, is in his hand. In the administration of this extensive and universal trust, his paths toward them who keep his covenant, and do his commandments, are mercy and truth; and righteousness and peace encompass his throne. Some parts of his way, notwithstanding, are thorny and grievous; and the kindness of his love is not easily perceived and believed under the heaviness and pressure of his hand. Men sometimes ride over their head, and treat them unjustly and cruelly, while he rests in his holy habitation, and suffers their oppressors and enemies to triumph. On other occasions, a storm comes immediately from above, breaks down their families, and fills the grave with their best and dearest friends, whilst he holdeth back, and spreadeth a cloud upon the face of his throne. In these extremities, their faith and patience are tried, and the sincerity and strength of their submission to his will brought to a proof. Under this trial, the joy of his resurrection, and the lively hope to which they are begotten again by it, help their patience, and improve and strengthen their submission; and, as their hope and joy abound through the power of the Holy Ghost, their submission and patience will be more abundant and exemplary through the same divine influence.

With expressions of joy in the resurrection of Christ, join active dependence on his Spirit. Neither can the members of the body of sin be mortified, nor the duties of holiness performed, without his presence and influence.Every attempt to do the one or the other, in the strength of man, will fail. In these enterprizes, it is universally true, that by strength shall no man prevail. Do you wish to perform them acceptably, and, in performing them, to be strengthened and refreshed with the joy of the resur- . rection of Christ, and of your being with him dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God? Depend upon the Holy Spirit, by whose gracious influence the joy of the Lord

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becomes their strength who have no might. Do you wish the springs of consolation, which the resurrection of Christ from the dead hath opened, to be discovered, and to be led to these, and refreshed with the water of life and joy when your tongue faileth for thirst? For such gracious purposes the Holy Spirit, under the character of Comforter, is promised. By him the thirsty are led to the springs, and by him the sorrowful are taught to drink at them the water of life with joy. To him you should pray, and on him you should depend in all extremities. Your pleasant. and sunny days, in the joy of the resurrection of Christ, will be suddenly overcast and darkened, if the testimony of the Spirit to his resurrection be overlooked, and his gracious influence by and with his testimony in your hearts be resisted.

Upon the whole, it is perhaps occurring to some, that though the resurrection of Christ from the dead is a spring of everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, our consolation in it is small, and our hope is weak and fluttering. Be it so: The measure of consolation, which is small, may be enlarged by the abundance of grace; and the expectation of hope, which is weak and inconstant, may be invigorated with assurances of love. In Zion the voice of them who mourn and weep is always heard, as well as the voice of them who shout and sing. Let every mourner over whom the Sun of consolation is gone down, wait for his rising again. "Weeping may endure for a "night, but joy shall break forth in the morning." "Ve "rily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, "but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, "but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. And ye now "have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart "shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.-"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might "remain in you, and that your joy might be full." "They "shall come with weeping, and with supplications I will "lead them. Therefore they shall come and sing in the "height of Zion, and they shall flow together to the good"ness of the Lord-and they shall not sorrow any more at "all, for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will com "fort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow."

Unbelievers who have a name that they live with Christ, and who, notwithstanding, are dead in trespasses and sins,

make a part of this congregation. Over them we will not only take up a lamentation upon the high places of Zion, but, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, charge them with guilt, and commend to them their privilege and duty.

Before God the whole world is guilty, and against you in particular the charge of guilt is proved by his righteous and holy law. Under a charge of guilt you were born, and under it you lie at this moment. In virtue of your representation in Adam, the law charges you with the guilt of his first sin, together with the guilt of those offences which you have committed against God and man in your own persons. Your iniquity therefore is great, and the burden of it is heavy, especially when it is considered that you are both guilty and polluted. In the pollution of sin you were conceived and born, and with the pollution of sin you have defiled and excluded yourselves from the habitation of the holiness and glory of God, into which pollution cannot be admitted. Against the charge of guilt and pollution, exhibited by the law, you can make no defence. It can neither be denied nor disproved, and, instead of amusing yourselves with thoughts of extenuation, you ought to make acknowledgements of aggravation. In the stubbornness of pride, ignorance, and unbelief, ye have sinned against the remedy, and rejected the expedient of forgiveness and reconciliation, which the wisdom and love of God provided and set forth, through the death and resurrection of his own Son. The rejection of this, which is the only expedient, hath ruined millions already, and if finally rejected will ruin you also.

But your state not being yet hopeless, we will, in the last place, commend unto you your privilege and duty. God hath set forth his own Son, a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for remission of sins, that he might be just in justifying believers in his blood. To him who suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; and who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, you have yet access. Access to him is your privilege. Unto him the ministry of reconciliation commands and encourages you to come. Coming to him is your duty and interest. The door of access and opportunity is still open, and the means of persuading you to

enter into Christ are not yet withdrawn. But the day in which the door will be shut, and in which opportunity for opening it again will be repulsed, is not far off; and the time in which means of persuasion will be withdrawn, and in which the sentence of exclusion will be ratified for ever, is drawing near. "Strive therefore now to enter in "at the straight gate, for many, I say unto you, will seek "to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the "master of a house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, "and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, "saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us, and he shall answer "and say unto you, I know you not whence you are. Then "shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy "presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall "say, I tell you I know you not whence ye are; depart from "me all ye workers of iniquity." Ye see your privilege; ye sce your duty; ye hear the voice of the Son of God calling you to receive the one and do the other. And, "may the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of "glory, give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation "in the knowledge of him. The eyes of your understand"ing being enlightened, that ye may know what is the "hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of "his inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding "greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according "to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought "in Christ when he raised him from the dead." Amen.

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