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God's. “Let not sin reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof; neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God;" for the body, as well as the soul, has been redeemed from death by him who is the resurrection and the life. “I beseech you, brethren,” says Paul, “by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Observe, it is a present your bodies a living sacrifice;” that is, with all their living powers, whether of thought, reason, judgment, imagination, memory, will, art of speech, art of writing, power to execute any purpose or achieve any deed which the soul may will and decree to be executed or achieved through the instrumentality of the members, or muscular powers, of the body which it inhabits and endows as a living body.
This is indeed, your reasonable service; for your bodies and spirits are not your own—they have been bought with a price—they are the Lord's. They are the Lord's by original creation, and they are the Lord's also by the purchase of the Messiah. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, * * but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.” And it is by virtue of this redemption, and the grace obtained through it, that Christians, in the immediate prospect of dissolution, are privileged to exclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ;" and again, “Death is swallowed up in victory." Christ died that we might live, and “he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Yes, rose again. Christ " was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” He rose in demonstration of the Divine power to raise the dead, and as an earnest of the fact that the dead shall be raised incorruptible. For you to live, therefore, should be Christ. The life you now live in the flesh, you should live
by the faith of the Son of God, who loved you and gave himself for you : and then for you to die will be gain. While in the mortal body, “we know not what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is;” and our vile body shall be changed and fashioned like unto his glorious body.
What manner of persons, therefore, ought you to be, in all holy conversation and godliness, seeing you look for such things! If you are faithful to Him who is the resurrection and the life, and faithful to the interests of your immortal destination, as involving both the corporeal and spiritual elements of your being, then shall you be of the happy and glorious multitude who shall rise in Christ, and as thus restored to the full integrity of your being, you will be exalted at God's right hand where there are pleasures forevermore.
2. Are you an unbeliever? How does the credibility of this doctrine of the resurrection of the dead appeal to you for your consideration? I say credibility—not incontrovertible, demonstrated truth-but mere credibility. Let it be admitted that it is possibly, and only possibly true, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust, and is not the unbeliever utterly inexcusable, who refuses or delays to take the subject into immediate and earnest thought and investigation, that he may be assured beyond a reasonable doubt that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is not incredible, before he settles down, contentedly, into the rank of an unbeliever? For if this doctrine be true, it is of infinite moment that he should believe it; and if by reason of indifference, or incorrigible indolence, or mental and moral pera versity, he should disbelieve, his error will be a fatal one. There is no doctrine more distinctly enunciated in God's Word, and no doctrine more significant and indispensable in its place, to the completeness of that faith which works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, than this of the resurrection of the dead. It is even an essential part of the Gospel—the glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. “If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses for God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ, whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.” 1 Cor. xv: 13–15.
And hear, once more, the Saviour's own declaration upon this subject: “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice (the voice of the Son of God), and shall come forth, they that have done good to a resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to a resurrection of damnation.” What a glorious destination for the one! and what a fearful destination for the other! and all depending upon the simple exercise or non-exercise of faith in Christ, and in what he has done and is doing for man's salvation. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.”
But do you insist upon it that it is incredible that God should raise the dead? Are you resolved, at all hazards, to abide in your unbelief of this doctrine, so fundamental in the Christian's creed, and so essential to the perfection of the Christian's hopes? Or will you accept the truth that as “by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead ?” And if so, will you not, at once, come to Christ who has said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection”-that is, the resurrection in Christ. Oh, then, while it is called to-day, will you not hear the voice of the Saviour, and not harden your hearts ?
3. The period is rapidly approaching to every mortal on earth, whether believer or unbeliever, when he shall be called to contend with his last earthly enemy, the issue of which will be that he will either conquer or be conquered. And none shall conquer who do not conquer in Christ; and none who put their trust in this blessed Saviour will ever be forsaken and left to contend in his own strength, in this the most dread hour of his earthly extremities. And after death comes the judgment, when the believer shall stand forever acquitted, through the righteousness of Christ and sanctification of the Spirit, and shall enter into the joy of the Lord forever.
But how will it fare with the unbeliever in that event? Where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? How shall he, then and there, answer for the deeds done in the body, without the righteousness of a surety to cover his transgressions ? What will be his prospects, in view of the destined resurrection of his body, since that body was the partner of his unbelieving soul in the rejection of the only Name which had ever been given under heaven among men, whereby he could have been saved ?
The death-bed and the grave are full of admonition to us all, to work while it is called to-day—to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, so that when we come to lie upon the one and be buried in the other, we shall rest in the assurance of a future and glorious resurrection. And in times like these, when civil war is rapidly converting our land into an aceldama, and when every household is a household of mourning—when death by disease and death by violence-death in our quiet homes, and death amid the noise, and tumult, and bloodshed of the battle-fields are cutting down the old and the young, the weak and the strong, and all our earthly foundations are trembling with the throes of dissolution beneath us, how important, unspeakably important, to have our peace made with God, and our life bound up in the bundle of life with Christ Jesus, so that whether we live or die, we shall be the Lord's, and with Job may be enabled to say, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”
ART. V.-The New Life of the Redeemed. PART I.
That God is himself the chief and ultimate end of all things, is a truth taught in the Holy Scriptures with a clearness and directness of statement, that it is something worse than folly to deny it; and reason, no less than Scripture, affirms that it is right for God to seek the glory of his own name in all his works and ways; but far the mightiest and most wonderful of all God's strange works, is the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. It is the means, in each and all of its parts and results, whereby he is pleased to glorify himself before the face of the universe. It is the crowning act of infinite power and wisdom and goodness. It is the chief of the ways of God. His stately steppings are seen in the sanctuary as nowhere else. If, then, there are things hard to be understood in the natural creation, and in the ordinary providential dealings of God with our race, what awful and unsearchable mysteries may we expect to find in the plan of redemption! Rationalism is as senseless as it is impious. “ Without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness !” It is the mystery of mysteries — a sea of wonders whose depths no humau, no augelic line, can sound. It is the divinest of all divine things. It is an infinite conception; in every step of it wrought out by infinite power; in every result of it infinitely wonderful.
The three great parties to be considered in this divine plan of salvation, are God, man, and the Mediator. God is the author, man the subject, and Christ the executive of it. Moreover, as to God he is the last end of it; as to Christ, the end of it is his exaltation to the throne of David and of the universe forever; as to man, the end of it is his everlasting glorification and blessedness in Christ Jesus. The two ends last named are ultimate only so long as we consider the parts and parties of the scheme of grace separately: so soon as we contemplate it in its grand totality, we find them subordinate and subsidiary to the real ultimate and chief end of all, the glory of God. Such is the representation of the Scriptures. At the opening of the Saviour's prayer, recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John, be thus addresses the Father: “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee;" and in Eph. iii: 8–10, Paul, speaking of his own ministry, says, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all