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the very point which we are endeavouring to
establish. The death of Jesus Christ is wide-
ly different from that of the martyrs. The
martyrs found death already disarmed: Jesus
Christ died to disarm this king of terrors. The
martyrs presented themselves before the throne
of grace; Jesus Christ presented himself at the
tribunal of Justice. The martyrs pleaded the
merits of Christ's death: Jesus Christ interced-
ed in behalf of the martyrs.

Let the great adversary, then, do his worst
to terrify me with the image of the crimes
which I have committed; let him trace them
before my eyes in the blackest characters
which his malignity can employ; let him col-
lect into one dark point, all that is hideous and
hateful in my life; let him attempt to over-
whelm me with dismay, by rousing the idea of
that tremendous tribunal, before which all the
actions of men are to be scrutinized, so that
like "Joshua the high-priest," I find myself
standing in the presence of God, " clothed
with filthy garments," Zech. iii. 1, &c. and
Satan standing at his right hand to expose my
turpitude; I hear, at the same time, the voice
of one pleading in my behalf: I hear these re-
viving words: "is not this a brand plucked
out of the fire? . . . . Take away the filthy
garments from him Let them set a
.. and I will

fair mitre upon his head
clothe him with change of raiment."

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III. Third and last place, to consider death rendered formidable, from its being attended with the loss of titles, honours, and every other earthly possession, and in opposition to this, we are to view the death of Jesus Christ as removing that terror, by giving us complete assurance of a blessed eternity. We are going to contemplate death as a universal shipwreck, swallowing up all our worldly fortunes and prospects. We are going to contemplate Jesus Christ as a conqueror, and his death as the pledge and security of a boundless and everlasting felicity, which shall amply compensate to us the loss of all those possessions, of which we are about to be stripped by the unsparing hand of death.

When we attempt to stammer out a few words from the pulpit, respecting the felicity which God has laid up for his people in another world, we borrow the images of every thing that is capable of touching the heart, and of communicating delight. We call in to our assistance the soul of man, with all its exalted faculties; the body, with all its beautiful forms



and proportions; nature, with her overflowing treasures; society, with its enchanting delights; the church, with its triumphs; eternity, with its unfathomable abysses of joy. Of all these ingredients blended, we compose a faint representation of the celestial blessedness.

and we say, In heaven your soul shall arrive at its highest pitch of attainable perfection: it The soul of man constitutes one ingredient, reach sublime heights of virtue, it shall "behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and shall acquire expansive illumination, it shall shall be changed into the same image, from glory to glory," 2 Cor. iii. 18.

we say, In heaven your body shall be exempted from all the defects by which it is at present The body furnishes a second ingredient, and disfigured, from those diseases which now prey upon and waste it, from that death which destroys the fabric.

say, In heaven all the stores of Nature shall
be displayed in rich profusion: "the founda-
Nature supplies a third ingredient, and we
tions of the holy city are of jasper, its gates
are of pearl, its walls are of pure gold," Rev.
xxi. 21.

say, In heaven shall be united, in the tender-
Society supplies a fourth ingredient, and we
est social bonds, kindred spirits the most exalt-
ed; souls the most refined; hearts the most
generous and enlarged.

The church supplies a fifth ingredient, and
we say, In heaven shall be exhibited the tri-
umph of the faithful over tyrants confounded,
the saints shall be enthroned, the martyrs shall
appear with palms in their hands, and with
crowns upon their heads.

Eternity supplies a sixth ingredient, and we
degree; years accumulated upon years, ages
say, In heaven you shall enjoy a felicity infi-
upon ages, shall effect no diminution of its
nite in its duration, and immeasurable in its
length: and so of the rest.

resenting death to you as a universal wreck
which swallows up all your possessions, your
This day, Christians, in which we are rep-
hoped to be; this day, while we are attempt-
titles, your greatness, your riches, your social
ing to convey to you an idea of the celestial
connexions, all that you were, and all that you
felicity, capable of strengthening you to be-
hold, without dismay, this universal wreck, in
which you are going to be involved; this day
we could wish you to conceive the heavenly
world, and the blessedness which God is there
preparing for you under another idea.
mean to trace another view of it, the lustre of
which effaces all the rest.
this foundation of St Paul: "He that spared
not his own Son, but delivered him up for us
all, how shall he not with him also freely give
We build upon
us all things?" Rom. viii. 32. The heavenly
blessedness is the purchase of the death of Je-
thing that is capable of enhancing to your ap-
prehension the unspeakable greatness and im-
sus Christ. Here collect, my brethren, every
portance of that death.

types which prefigured it; relatively to the sha-
dows by which it was adumbrated; relatively
View the death of Christ relatively to the
to the ceremonies by which it was represent-
ed; relatively to the oracles which predicted it.



View the death of Christ relatively to the tempests and thunderbolts which were levelled Behold his at the head of the Redeemer. soul overwhelmed with sorrow; behold that blood falling down to the ground; that cup of bitterness which was given him to drink; hearken to that insulting language, to those calumnies, to those false accusations, to that unjust sentence of condemnation; behold those hands and feet pierced with nails, that sacred body speedily reduced to one ghastly wound; behold that licentious rabble clamorously demanding the punishment of the cross, and increasing the horror of it by every indignity which malice could invent; look up to heaven itself, and behold the eternal Father abandoning the Son of his love to so many woes; behold hell in concert with heaven, and heaven with the earth.

View the death of Christ relatively to the dreadful signs by which it was accompanied; relatively to that earth seized with trembling, to that sun shrouded in darkness, to those rocks rent asunder, to those opening graves, to those departed saints returning to the light of day.

View the death of Christ relatively to the greatness of God, and to the littleness of man, in whose behalf all this bloody scene was transacted.

Collect all these various particulars, and
still say to yourself, The death of Jesus Christ
is all this. The death of Jesus Christ is the
body of the figures, the original of the types,
the reality of the shadows, the accomplishment
of the prophecies. The death of Jesus Christ
is that great event which darkened the sun,
which opened the tombs, which rent asunder
the rocks, which made the earth to tremble,
which turned nature and the elements upside
down. Follow up these reflections, and on
these let your imagination settle.

The death of Jesus Christ conceived thus,
apply it to the subject which we are treating.
The death of Jesus Christ conceived thus, let
it serve to assist you in forming an idea of the
Still build on this
heavenly blessedness.
foundation of St. Paul; say with that apostle,
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered
him up for us all, how shall he not with him
also freely give us all things?" You regret the
world; you who are advancing on your way
heavenward. And what is heaven? It is the
purchase of Christ's death. "He that spared
not his own Son, but delivered him up for us
all, how shall he not with him also freely give
us all things?" If the means be thus great,
what must the end be! If the preparatives be
thus magnificent, what must be the issue! If
the conflict be thus sharp, what must be the
victory! If the price be thus costly, what, O
what, shall be the bliss which this price is in-
tended to purchase.

After that, my brethren, return to the
world. What is it you regret? Are you re-
gretting the loss of palaces, of sceptres, of
crowns? It is to regret the humble crook in
your hand, the cottage which covers your
head. Do you regret the loss of society, a
society whose defects and whose delights are
frequently an equal source of misery to you?
Ah! phantom of vain desire, will you still pre-
VOL. II.-30

sent illusion to the eye? Will you still main-
you still
tain your ground against those solid blessings
which the death of Jesus Christ has purchased
for us? Ah! "broken cisterns," will
preserve a preference in our esteem to "the
fountain of living waters?" Ah! great High
Priest of the new covenant, shall we still find
it painfully difficult to follow thee, whilst thou
art conducting us to heavenly places, by the
bloody traces of thy cross and martyrdom.
Jesus Christ is a "conqueror," who has ac-
quired for us a kingdom of glory and felicity;
his death is an invaluable pledge of a trium-
phant eternity.

Death, then, has nothing, henceforward,
that is formidable to the Christian. In the
tomb of Jesus Christ are dissipated all the ter-
the tomb of nature I perceive a gloomy night,
rors which the tomb of nature presents. In
which the eye is unable to penetrate; in the
tomb of Jesus Christ I behold light and life.
In the tomb of nature the punishment of sin
stares me in the face; in the tomb of Jesus
Christ I find the expiation of it. In the tomb
upon Adam, and upon all his miserable posteri-
of nature I read the fearful doom pronounced
ty: "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou
return," Gen. iii. 19; but in the tomb of Jesus
song of praise, "O death, where is thy sting?
Christ my tongue is loosed into this triumphant
O grave, where is thy victory?
our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. xv. 55. 57.
be to God who giveth us the victory, through
"Through death he has destroyed him that
had the power of death, that is, the devil;
that he might deliver them who through fear
of death were all their life-time subject to

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But if these be our privileges, is it not matter of reproach to us, my brethren, that brought up in the knowledge and profession of a religion which furnishes arms so powerful for combating the terrors of death, we should still, for the most part, view it only with fear and trembling? The fact is too evident to be denied. From the slightest study of by far the greatest part of professing Christians, it is clearly apparent that they consider death as will be found that there are few, the greatest of all calamities. And with a very slender experience of the state of dying persons, very few indeed, who die without regret, few but who have need to exercise all their submission, at a season when it might be expected they should give themselves up to transports of joy. A vapour in the head disconcerts us; we are alarmed if the artery happens to beat a little faster than usual; the least apprehension of death inspires us with an unaccountaBut those apprehensions and terrors, my ble melancholy, and oppressive dejection. brethren, surprising as they may appear to us, have nothing which ought really to fill us with surprise. If to apply to a man's self the fruits of the death of Jesus Christ were a simment of the heart, a simple acknowledgment ple act of the understanding, a simple moveof the tongue; if to apply to a man's self the fruits of the death of Christ were nothing more than what a hardened sinner is capable of


figuring to himself, or than what is prescribed | ception upon ourselves; the grand conclusion [SER. LXXX. to him by an accommodating casuist, you to be deduced from these reflections is this: If would not see a single Christian afraid of death. we wish to die like Christians, we must live But you know it well, the gospel assures you like Christians. If we would wish to behold of it, and the dictates of your own conscience with firmness the dissolution of this body, we confirm the truth, to make application of the must study the proofs which establish the fruits of Christ's death is a complication of du- truth of the immortality of the soul, so as to ties, which require attention, time, labour, in- be able to say with St. Paul, "I know whom tenseness of exertion, and must be the business I have believed, and I am persuaded he is able of a whole life. The greatest part of those to keep that which I have committed unto who bear the Christian name, neglect this him against that day," 2 Tim. i. 12. Would work while in health; is it any wonder that we wish to have a security against fear at that they should tremble when overtaken by the tremendous tribunal, before which we must hour of death? into the conditions of the covenant of grace, that we may be able to say with the same appear to receive judgment, we must enter apostle, "I am the chief of sinners, a blasphe

Call to remembrance the three ways in which Christ has disarmed death. He has spoiled the king of terrors, by demonstrating to us the immortality of the soul, by making | mer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I atonement for our transgressions, by acquiring for us an eternal felicity.


But what effect will the death of Christ have upon us, as a proof of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, unless we study those proofs, unless we seriously meditate upon them, unless we endeavour to feel their force, unless we guard against the difficulties which the unhappy age we live in opposes to those great principles?

What effect can the death of Christ have upon us, as a sacrifice offered up to divine justice for our sins, unless we feel the plenitude of that sacrifice, unless we make application of it to the conscience, unless we present it to God in the exercises of a living faith; above all, unless by the constant study of ourselves, unless by unremitting, by persevering exertion, we place ourselves under the terms, and invest ourselves with the characters of those who have a right to apply to themselves the fruits of this sacrifice?

What effect can the death of Christ produce upon us, considered as the pledge of a blessed eternity, unless the soul be powerfully impressed with that eternity, unless the heart be penetrated with a sense of what it is; if we are at pains to efface the impression which those interesting objects may have made upon us; if hardly moved by those great truths which ought to take entire possession of the mind, we instantly plunge ourselves into the vortex of worldly pursuits, without taking time to avail ourselves of that happy disposition, and, as it were, purposely to withdraw from those gracious emotions which seemed to have laid hold of us? Ah! my brethren, if such be the conduct of the generality of professing Christians, as we are under the necessity of admitting, when, not satisfied with observing their deportment in the house of God, and from a pulpit, we follow them into life, and look through those flimsy veils of piety and devotion which they had assumed for an hour in a worshipping assembly; if such, I say, be the conduct of the generality of professing Christians, their terror at the approach of death exhibits nothing to excite astonishment.

The grand conclusion to be deduced, my brethren, from all these reflections, is not an abstract conclusion and of difficult comprehension: it is a conclusion easy, natural, and which would spontaneously present itself to the mind, were we not disposed to practise de

tory. Many of your pastors, Christians, have been the joyful spectators of such a triumph.

liever, who from his bed of languishing stretches | bed of death is transformed into a field of vicout his arms towards him, who entreats him to sanctify the sufferings which he endures, who implores his support in the agonies of death, who cries out from the centre of a soul transported with holy confidence, "Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth," Ps. xxxi. 5. Receive it, O my God. Remove from me those phantoms which disturb my repose. Raise me up, take me to thyself. "Teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Draw me, I shall run after thee." Kindle my devotion; and let my inflamed desires serve as a chariot of fire to transport me to heaven. The clouds, thickened around me by "Him who had the power of death," are scattering; the veil which covered eternity insensibly withdraws; the understanding is convinced; the heart melts; the flame of love burns bright; the return of holy meditations, which formerly occupied the soul, disclose the grand object of religion, and the

May all who hear me this day be partakers of these divine consolations! May that invaluable sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered up to his father in our behalf, by cleansing us from all our guilt, deliver us from all our fears! May this great High Priest of the new covenant bear engraven on his breast all these mystical Israelites, now that he is entered into the holiest of all! And when these foundations of sand, on which this clay tabernacle rests, shall crumble away from under our feet, may we all be enabled to raise our departing spirits out of the ruins of the world, that they may repose in the mansions of immortality! Happy, beyond expression, beyond conception happy, to die in such sentiments as these! God of his infinite mercy grant it may be our blessed attainment! To him be honour and glory for ever. Amen.

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