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that we may be clothed upon with robes of triumph; it is only to pass a narrow defile that we may reach an eternal home; it is only to leave behind us the bonds and fetters by which the soul was imprisoned, that we may walk at liberty in the presence of God, and in the assembly of just men made perfect.

In the faith of such a victory, we may well say that death is abolished. The strong man armed is bound, his operations are counterworked, his strongest holds demolished, his terrors neutralized-he lies impotent and helpless. The stroke which he now inflicts is, indeed, still painful to nature,-still alarming to the weakness of our faith-still a source of sorrow, and humiliation; but, in the most important sense, it is no longer an evil. The enemy hath become a messenger of mercy, to call us to our heavenly reward. And soon shall the last fragment of his power be literally annihilated. Soon shall the end come, when the last enemy, death, shall be utterly destroyed. Soon shall this corruptible put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality; and then shall be brought to pass, in the fullest sense of the terms, the saying that is written, death is swal lowed up in victory.

2. But this is not all. The divine. Conqueror has carried his triumphs further; and, having abolished death, hath brought life and immor

tality to light, through the Gospel ;—having removed the dark intervening cloud, he has disclosed, in all their native lustre, the realms of eternal life, having discomfited the great enemy that opposed our entrance, he has thrown open the gates of endless bliss and joy.


The doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and a state of heavenly felicity, was only obscurely known before the appearance of our Saviour in human nature.

The notions of the heathens on the subject of the soul's immortality, did not deserve the name of knowledge. The few unconnected opinions, or rather conjectures, on this head, which were scattered amongst them, regarded, chiefly, the fact of existence after death, and did not at all touch on that life of infinite purity, holiness, and happiness, in the immediate presence of God, which Christianity reveals. Even these feeble traces of knowledge were chiefly confined to the schools of philosophy, and were so mingled with fatal errors, and so void of any adequate sanctions, as to produce little or no influence on the practice and character. They were speculations rather than principles of action.

The Jews, indeed, had a revelation of a future state, bright and efficient, compared with the darkness of the Pagan world; but it was by no means clear, or explicit, or generally re

ceived. And, at the time of our Saviour's advent, the multiplied sects into which the nation was divided, had so obscured this, as well as the other great truths of the Old Testament, that, except to the few who waited for the consolation of Israel, the doctrine had almost disappeared.

Christ, then, Our divine Saviour, first brought life and immortality to light. He established these truths, as the foundation of his Gospel; he cast upon them the strong and clear light of certainty; he brought them into open day, and placed them in the full view of mankind. Nothing is now wanting to their illustration and authority, as the practical principles of human conduct.

For our Lord taught the nature of the endless happiness of the righteous, as consisting in the fruition of God; in the perfect holiness of a glorified state; in the enjoyment of all the bliss of which the rational soul is capable, when purified from every imperfection, and reunited, in the abode of glory, with the body raised from the grave.

He displayed also the ground and foundation of these blessings to sinful man; even his own incarnation, his death, his propitiation, the grace of his Spirit. This, this is the peculiarity of Christianity; not that it reveals merely a future life of happiness and joy, but that it

teaches how that life may be obtained by the mysterious sacrifice of the Son of God-so that every humble disciple of the Saviour may, through his grace, seek for honour, and glory, and immortality.

Our Lord, again, made the most express promises of everlasting life to all who believe and obey him. The sincere Christian, with the revelation of the New Testament in his hands, has a blessed assurance of life and immortality. To him are vouchsafed, not doubtful and hesitating surmises, but explicit and immutable promises, which God, that cannot lie, hath made since the world began.

Christ has done more. He has made these doctrines obvious, palpable, practical. They lie at the foundation of Christianity. They do not rest in speculation, far less in hypothesis; they are the very elementary certainties of the Christian religion. Man is an accountable, immortal creature; a future state of rewards and punishments, undoubtedly, awaits him; Christ has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light; the Gospel plainly, strongly, authoritatively, declares these things to every human being; the ministers of religion are sent forth to preach peace, and proclaim reconciliation by Jesus Christ; salvation is set before a ruined world; preparation for eternity is proposed as the one thing needful-all, all in

Christianity turns on these commanding truths, the immortality of the soul, and an eternal judgment to come.

But why do I speak thus coldly on a theme so great? Our divine Lord has not only taught the doctrine of immortal life, but he has taken possession of the life which he promises. Having routed the hosts of death, he enters in triumph the kingdom of life and glory. Rising in all his mightiness from the depths of his voluntary degradation, he ascends up on high; he leads captivity captive, he scatters gifts amongst men; the everlasting doors unfold to receive him, and he sits down on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. There is our great captain of salvation already on the throne of triumph. There he not only teaches by his revealed Gospel, but demonstrates by the gifts of the spirit shed down upon the church, the life and immortality which he invites us to pursue. Yes, adorable Saviour, thou art now clothed with majesty and honour; angels, principalities, and powers, are made subject to thee; and we believe, that as Thou hast died and risen again, so those also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

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And if these be the triumphs achieved by the Saviour, can we wonder that they furnish to the true Christian the effectual motive of zeal and obedience? This is the argument of

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