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AND I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, blessed are the
dead, which die in the Lord, from henceforth : yea, saith the Spirit, that
Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! that they were graven with an iron pen and lead, in the rock for ever! For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day on the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in
flesh shall I see God.”
Thanks to God, that these words were written and printed in a book; for they have been the consolation of believers in every age since that of the patriarch Job. Christians, does not every recital of them make your hearts rejoice in God the Saviour ?
But what were the words of Job, without the words of Jehovah ? Job utters his assurance of a resurrection. Jehovah promises eternal felicity. The
resurrection, without the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, would be the commencement of everlasting contempt.
Thanks to God, that he said, “WRITE, blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord.” Had this assurance been uttered from heaven but once, would it not have been echoed from kingdom to kingdom, from world to world, until the end of time ? Could any child of Adam have failed of receiving this good news of salvation ?
Write, said the voice from heaven. Why should the words be written? Could they have been forgotten? Would they not have been repeated with rapture, from father to son, so that every dying man would have responded, “ blessed are the dead who die in the Lord ?”
The voice from heaven was the voice of Jesus, who pronounced the dead blessed ; and the Holy Spirit added an explanation of the nature of their felicity. They “rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.” Why was the whole prefaced by the command, “ Write ?” Did not heaven and earth listen to the words spoken by Christ and the Spirit ? Do not mankind believe them?
“ Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, for ever and ever; that this is a rebellious people,