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It was his intention (and thanks be' to God that it was) that our faith should stand, not in the wisdom or eloquence of man, but in the demonstration of the spirit and of power. He went about therefore, not only preaching the word, but doing good, doing good miraculously, making the principles and the evidences of his religion palpable to the senses of mankind. When John sent to know whether he was the expected Messias or no, Jesus, instead of entering into a long and laboured proof of his divinity, took the more compendious and convincing way of proving his point, by performing in that instant many miraculous cures, and then referring the Baptist to what his messengers had seen and heard*. In the very same manner, in the present instance, the assurance he gave us of our resurrection was 'not speculative and argumentative, bắt practical and visible. A thousand objections might have been formed by the fashionable philosophers of that age against the possibility of restoring breath to a dead body, and raising it alive again from the grave. Our Lord could very easily have shown, by unanswer
able arguments, the futility and absurdity of any such objections. But the disputers of this world would have cavilled and objected (without end. And therefore, to put an effec tual stop to all such idle controversy, and to convince all the world that it was not a thing incredible that God should raise the dead, he himself rose again from the grave, and became the first fruits of them that slept. He triumphed over death, he threw open the gates of everlasting life; and whoever treads in his steps as nearly as they can through life, shall follow him through death into those blessed regions, where he is gone before to prepare a place for such as love and imitate him. 4. For if the spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in your he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you*."::: ir i nless :: Moodlit it's
Since then we have such expectations and such hopes, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness? The ancient heathen might say, the unbeliev, ing libertine may still say, let us eat and
* Rom. viii. 11.
drink, drink, foreto-morrow we die; let us enjoy, without reserve, and without measure, all the pleasures which this world affords, for to-mor
row we may leave-it, and we know of no nother. But how absurd would it be for sthe Christian to say this, how mad wouldi itobe for him to act accordingly, when he knows, that though to-morrow, his soul may be separated from his body, yet that they will be zagain united, and live for ever in a future
state of existence? Whatan amazing differeñce does this fact make in our circumstances, and Chow inexcusable shall we be, if it does not produce a suitable difference in our conduct! Even the possibility of such an event must have a powerful influence over our mind and man qers, what then must be the case when it amounts, as it does with every sincere believer in the Gospel, to absolute certainty? With what cheerfulness shall we aequiesce under poverty and misfortunes, when we refleet; that if we bear them patiently, and hold fast our integrity, these light afflictions which are but for a moment, shall workout for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory? Y 4 .
With what indifference shall we contemplate the charms of wealth and power, with what horror shall we turn away from the pleasures of sin, which are but, for a season, when we know that the one may, and the other most certainly will, cut us off from an eternal and invaluable inheritance. rade u svom stig • Suppose yourselves for a moment in some
foreign kingdom, where, after having been cobliged to spend many years, you are at length suffered to return to your own country. Suppose further, that in this country you have left families that are infinitely dear to you, 'friends whom you exceedingly love and esteem, wealth and honours to the utmost extent of your wishes. Wher, with the most impatient longings after all these blessings, you set out upon your return to your native land, will any allurements that you meet with on the road tempt you from your main object? Will any accidental hardships or inconveniencies i deter you from pursuing your journey? Will you not break through all obstructions, resist all temptations, and press forwards with alacrity
and vigour towards your beloved home? And as 3. .. ... why
whyarthen will you not seek your heavenly country with the same ardour and persevercance that you would your earthly one? You are all“ strangers and pilgrims upon earth." This world is not your home, though you are too apt to think it so. You belong to another city, you are subjects of a better kingdom, where infinitely greater joys await you than have been just described, or can by the utmost stretch of imagination be conceived. Every day you live, every moment you breathe, brings you nearer to this country; and the grave itself, dismal as it appears, is nothing more than the gate that leads you into it. · Conscious then of the dignity and importance of our high and heavenly calling, which renders-us candidates for the kingdom of God, and heirs of immortality, let us persevere steadily and uniformly in our progress towards those celestial mansions, which are prepared for all the faithful servants of Christ; where we shall be released from all the endless anxieties, the vain hopes, and causeless fears that now agitate and disquiet us; and shall, through the merits of our Redeemer, be rewarded, not merely with uninterrupted tranquillity and re