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free will, would have been in a worse condition than any of God's inferior creatures. The empire of sin would have overspread the earth, and no man, in the sight of his Maker, would have been justified. Then had no Mediator sued for our pardon ;-no Comforter had inspirited and guided us ;-no hope of future happiness had consoled us, amidst anxiety and grief. Born in sorrow, nurtured in affliction, and disappointed in our transient joys, we should each have formed the determination of the patriarch Job :—“I will not refrain my mouth ; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”
“ But now is Christ risen from the dead." He has manifested his divinity, and is declared to be the Son of God with power, by his resurrection from the dead. Having loosed the pains of death, he has shewn that it was not possible that he should be holden of it. “ Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ ;--thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.” Now know we that thou art he who was ordained to be the judge of quick and dead. We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.”
The resurrection of Christ from the dead, was an open
and authentic declaration of God's accepting a meritorious sacrifice, as an atonement for the sins of all who truly repent.
Our blessed Lord was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. “God who raised him from the dead hath quickened us together with him, and restored us to the hope of eternal life, having forgiven us all trespasses."
By our Saviour's rising from the dead, we become the children of God, in being regenerated by his Holy Spirit: for by the grace conferred on us at our baptism, we received the spirit of adoption. We are “ buried with him by baptism into death ; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life,”—that having been planted together in the likeness of his death, we should also in the likeness of his resurrection; and that if we be risen with Christ to a spiritual life of holiness and righteousness, we should seek those things that are above.
But the great effect of our Lord's resurrection is the assurance of our rising again after death. “He is become the first fruits of them that slept.” He is the resurrection and the life ; and this is the will of God, that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life ; and he will raise him up on the last day. The sea shall give up the dead that are in it; and death and the grave shall resign their deposited charge. They that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall hear the voice of Christ, and arise. Then shall faith and hope be lost in certainty, and time shall be no more.
Then shall our mortal bodies, awakening from the earth and the deep, be cleansed from all corruption, and be raised in glory and power, as spiritual bodies.
6 Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory !” The wicked man shall tremble before his Judge, and be sentenced,
for his hardness and impenitence of heart, to the regions of endless sorrow. The righteous shall shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. The holy patriarchs who endured by faith, as seeing Him that is invisible, sball receive their recompense of reward, and enjoy that better country to which their faith pointed. The doers of the law, whether Jews or Gentiles, shall be justified, and received into glory. The Christian who, in purity of heart, obeyed the holy gospel, shall see God. And then, the number of his elect being accomplished, Christ shall resign his mediatorial kingdom, and be decked in the glory which he had with the Father before the world was. And his saints shall be before the throne of God, and shall serve him everlastingly in his celestial temple: and he that sitteth upon the throne shall be among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water :—and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
WORKS OF THE LORD GREAT, AND SHEW HIS
PSALM cxi. 2.
The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all there that
have pleasure therein.
The worship of God consists of two branches,prayer and thanksgiving. In prayer, we address ourselves to Him in the language of supplication, and entreat his favour and love, that we may be blessed with good or delivered from evil. By thanksgiving, we express our gratitude for the mercies and benefits which, in his goodness, he has conferred upon us.
It is to the performance of this duty of thanksgiving, that the author of this Psalm invites us, and, as it were, takes the leading part in the Chorus. He begins with a devout hallelujah, or psalm of praise, to the Almighty. He exerts the whole force of his affections, the whole energy of his soul, in extolling the Great Creator “in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” Throughout this divine hymn, he expresses and acknowledges his devout sense of God's providence in the government of the world,-in those works especially which give the greatest pleasure and satisfaction to a mind that traces and searches them out ;-those works which manifest, in the clearest and most convincing light, the honour and glory of Him whose “ righteousness endureth for ever.” The works of the creation are evidences principally of his Almighty, power, his immense knowledge, and his all-perfect wisdom. These, as they are in themselves most stupendous, and as they tend strongly to excite our reverence and adoration of the God and Father of all things, are continually present to our observation, and press themselves, at every moment, on our remembrance. But the works of providence represent the Deity to us in a still more amiable light. They exhibit Him as gracious and full of compassion,-giving meat, or daily support and comfortable subsistence, to them that fear him,—ever mindful of his covenant to protect the honest and the good,-assuaging the malice, and by his power disconcerting the schemes, of the wicked, -displaying verity and judgment in every instance of his dealings with mankind ;—and doing all things in truth and righteousness. To fear him, therefore, by acknowledging his paternal and allpresiding providence, is, as the Psalmist further observes, “the beginning of wisdom ;” and they