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men and women. Sirs, no sooner did we take the draught of deadly poison in paradise, but that moment the contagion ran through our first parents souls, and has ran through all of us, their pofterity, ever fince. We are legally dead, “ The soul that sinneth, thall die;" we are spiritually dead, under the power and dominion of Sin, suparated from God, who is the very fountain of life ; and liable every moment both to tempo. ral and eternal dea:h. Sirs, death has reigned over all Adam's family, and what a clean fweep has death made of all the ge: nerations before us? It has juis hurled one generation after another to the grave, and hurled the souls of innumerable multitudes into hell, and that same besom of death, that Iwept away the generations before us, will just sweep us away in a short time. Sirs, where will you and I be in a little time? Alas! the great reason why people do not consider this, is be. cause they are sleeping, and do not confider whether their landing thall be wirb glorified angels, or reprobate devils, and dan.ned spirits, where the worm of conscience never dies, and the fire is not quenched. Death is executing his office on every one of us; soul-death has feized u3, in separating us from God; and bodily death will thortly separate betwixt foul and body.
2. Christ being the resurrection and the life, it plainly implies that the Son of God was sent into this lower world, to give life unto the dead. He got his commission as Mediator from the Father, to quicken the dead; he said to the Son from eter. nity, Go and give life to these dead sinners. Accordingly the Son of God having got his commillion, he pays them a vifit, and fays to them, Live ; he had power to do it, “ Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him," John xvii. 2. And I conceive it was with a view to this, that Christ says, John V. 26. “ As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” There is a twofold life the Son of God hath ; there is his effential life, confidered as God, for he bath this effentially from eternity : but then he hath a mediatorial life, gifted and bestowed upon him as a sec cond Adam ; and that lite he has a commision to give to dead finners of Adam's family; he hath “ received gifts for men, even for the rebellious;' and this was the leading gift he was to bestow, even everlasting life, and all the appurtenances of it. But again,
3. I am the refurrection, and the life ; I think it plainly implies, that our Lord Jesus Christ hath abrogated the sentence of the law, whereby we were to die; “ The wages of Gin is death ;" there was the band writing that was against us, and was con•
frary to us. Well, Christ came, and, as it were, by nailing it to his cross, he tears this hand-writting, that it might not stand against us before the tribunal of God. Again,
4. I think it likewise implies, that our Lord Jesus Christ hath recovered all that was lost by the first Adam. The first Adam, by his sin and apostasy, he became the fountain of wo, death, and misery, to all his posterity, that is the heritage we have by our first father Adam; but Christ he came and recovered all that we lost in the first Adam; hence there is a comparison made, Rom. v. between the first Adam and his natural feed, and Christ the fecond Adam and his fpiritual seed, by whom they are made alive. Again,
5. I think it implies, that Christ himself is risen from the dead, and has carried the keys of hell and of death away with him, by which he is become victorious over hell and death: Rev. i. 17. 18. “I was dead, but now I am alive :-therefore fear not; and I am alive for evermore : and have the keys of hell and of death.” And then,
6. In the last place, I think it plainly implies, that the life of the whole mystical body is in Christ, Sirs, matters are quite otherwise laid in the second covenant than they were in the first. Man in the first covenant his life was in his hand, but now his life is in his head : man he got his life in his hand, and so came of it; he was a mutable creature, though perfectly holy. But blessed be God, that matters are otherwise in the new covenant ; God will not give it in to our hund, but he hath laid it up in the hand of Christ, and there lies the life of the whole mystical body. It may be there are some here complaining and saying, 0 I am dead, I am a dry withered tree, my life is gone, and there is no iap nor life in me; I cannot win to that liveliness in duty I had in some months past. O beware left in this complaint there be not something of a tang of the covenant of works, beware that there be not a legal fpirit here : you are diffatisfied, perhaps, that your life is not in your own hand, as in Adam's before he fell; but you would do well to remember, that, since the fall, God putteth no trust in man, no not in his dearest saints, he will not trust them with their own life, but has assured us, by a foie min record, that " this life is in his Son;" and the believer, when himself, will acquiesce in it, that his life is laid up in the hand of Christ, and say, Lord, I am content that iny life be “hid with Christ in God," although I should have nothing of it in mine own hand. Sirs, it is a weighty truth, and it is a truth attested by the most famous wicneiles, the "s three that bear record in heaven," I John v. 7. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; therefore we are to set to our feal io what
th = say, that it is true, or else we make him a liar. What is a p record of God? “ This is the record, that God hath given !ous eternal life," to us that were lit, ruined, and condemoed; “ given to usciernai life, and this life is in his Son." If you would have life, you must be content with what life he lets out upon you ; he is the great Steward, and all ibe bairns of the family must depend upon him, great and small, Il. xxii. 24.“ They fhail hang upon him all the glory of bis Fa. ther's house, the offspring and the issue, all vetiels of smaller and greater quan:ity, from tile vefleis of cups, even to all the vefsels of -gons ;” they just hang their bappiness where God has hurg it. And if this be your way this night, and at a coinmunion-table, you will make a noble h nd of it ; but if you are discontented that Christ is the Steward, unless you get according to your will, depend upon it, you will get a rebuke. Go to him who hath your life in his hand, go ask him what. ever he has prom led in his word. Beware of limiting him; he will give the chiidren of the family what he sees they need; he will not embezzle the goods or bread of the children; no, no, he gives them all their bread in due season; and it well becomes ali the younger children to depend upon their elder bro. ther. So much for the first thing.
I fhould now proceed to the second thing I proposed to speak to ; but I do not think it proper to detain you from private and secret work betwixt God and you upon á preparation evening before our Chriftian patlover. You may remember, that the Lord's servants, in the former part of the day, were exhorting you to the duty of self-examination ; well, I f.cond the exhortation; and one special thing you are to exarnie, is, Whether you were ever partakers of the first fesurrection ? whether Christ be the resurrection and the life to you? I shall not multiply particulars, only I fall say, if ever he was the resurrection and the life to your souls, there will be a sweet fimilitude betwixt Christ's resurrection and your refurrection : and no wonder there be a himilitude between them, for Chrilt rose as the mystical head; for when he revived, we revived. The prophet Hosea, when fpeaking of the resurrection of the head and members, says, chap. vi. 2.“ After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we Mall live in his right;" not he, but we; all the mystical members of Christ role representatively wiih him. If ye be really rifen with him, there will be a lie rilitude between your resurrection and his resurrection on the third day. I hall only clear this in a few particulars.
1. You know Christ role by his own power, by the power of his own divine nature ; he was “ declared to be the Son of
God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead.” Just so, if ever you were quick. ened spiritually by him, if you be partakers of his resurrection, if he be the resurrection and the life to you, I am sure you have felt something of “the power of his resurrection;" for it is that very power that must raise you, and make you believe that God raised Christ from the dead, Eph. i. 19. I doubt not of it, yea, I am persuaded, whenever a man is partaker of Christ, the resurrection and the life, he is cured of Arminianism; he will not say, I have a power to repent and to believe, he will acknowledge it is not owing to the power of his own will, but to the power of free, sovereign grace, that hath brought him from death to life. Then,
2. Christ, by his resurrection, was “ declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness.” God the Father speaking of his resurrection from the dead, says, in Acts xiii. 33. “ Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee:" not as if the generation of the Son commenced at his resurrection ; no, no; “ Who can declare his generation ?" it was from all eternity: an everlasting Father must have an ever. lasting Son, it is meant of his effential Deity : but his resurrection from the dead declared him to be the Son of God with power. If ever you have been raised from the dead, your son. Thip hath, in some measure, been declared unto you. That moment the new creature is formed, and the babe of grace begins to live, it mints to cry, “ Abba, Father, to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chrift;" and however it is suppressed and smothered with prevailing unbelief, yet whenever faith begins to lift up its head, the language of the new creature is that, Il. lxiii. 16. “ Doubtless thou art our Father-thou, o Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer, and this thy name is from Everlasting." Again,
3. You know when Christ rose from the dead, he entered into his rest, he rested from the toilfome work of man's redemption ; the Sabbath is á day of rest, because Christ rested from his great work of redemption. So, Sirs, if ever you have been partakers of his resurrection, you have been made to rest in Christ; rest your wearied, burdened fouls in him, upon the foundation God has laid in Zion. You have been wearying yourselves in the greatness of your way, to find rest in the works of the law, and other lying refuges, and could never find it; but whenever God's rest was discovered unto you, you said, “ This is my reft, here will I stay, for I do like it well.” Again,
4. You know, when Christ rose from the dead, he left his grave-clothes behind him. Christ, when he came out of the Vol. II.
grave, he left his grave-clothes there, beestle he was set to die again : Lazarus, when he was raised from the gezd, and came out of the grave, he brought his grare-c.cthes with him, becanse he was to die again. So, if se te paraksts of Cat's resurrection, vou kave been rai-d out of the grare of Es, od of a natural state, and you have put of the dead g ents, and the vile coching of fin, you have been made to " cesy zigode liness and world!y lufts, and to live fober!, righteous, and godiy in this present world." What hare i to do any more with idcls?” is the language of the soul that hath the life of Corift in it. Again,
5. When Christ rose from the dead, he coureried no more with the graceless Jews; he spent his life with them, and he Dever owned them after. But perhaps some may ask me, Why Christ did not shew himself to the Jewish fanhedrim after his resurrection? Why, he had given them a suficient evi. dence of his divine miffion in his life; but they rejected him, calling him “a devil, and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners,” and then crucified him as an impoftor; and therefore, when he rose again, he appeared only to his friends, " he was seen of five hundred of them at once," I Cor. xv. 6. So there that are partakers of Christ's refurre&tion, they will not frequent the society of the enemies of Christ, a wicked world, but will keep company with the saints, these “ excel. lent ones of the earth.” They that are living, do not desire to converse with the dead ; so they that are spiritually alive, do not love to converse with them that are fpiritually dead, unless it be to tell them their hazard and danger, to flee from the wrath to come. You that love the company of swearers and curfers and cabals of wicked and profane persons, and take pleasure in them, ye are dead, otherwise ye could not stay in such company; for the society of the dead is a nuisance unto the living. Then,
Lastly, Christ, when he rose from the dead, was, I say, on the wing to ascend unto heaven; so he says to Mary, John xx. 17. “ I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” So if ye be risen with Christ, ye will not be going down the wilderness, but going upward, ye will be “ setting your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth."
I conclude with a word of exhortation to dead finners. O dead finners! will you come to Christ, the resurrection and the life! If we be dead, may you say, to what purpose do you [peak to us ? can the dead raise themselves to life? I answer, There is a difference between a person's being morally and nacurally dead į if ye were naturally dead, our commiflion were