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nister to the diseases of the spirit with half the care and perseverance which they apply to the infirmities of the flesh! Oh! that they would guard against the approaches of eternal death with but one portion of the precautions which they use to avert the dissolution of the body!

II. Granting then that the condition of man, both by means of original and actual sin, becomes of itself such as has been described, I have now to touch, (which I shall very briefly do) on the other branch of the text. “You,” the apostle says, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him." It is plain then that the gospel, amongst other things, was designed to remove that miserable state of deadness in man, and to restore him to a state of life. That this is literally the case with regard to a future world, I need hardly remind you now. We know full well that, but for Christ, and for that gospel which " brought life and immortality to light,” we must all have died eternally, and retained no hope of a joyful resurrection hereafter. B , besides this literal meaning, it is also true in figurative one, as it was observed above, that the comparison of life is a good one to describe the state of those who, by Christ's gospel, have become regenerate, and have partaken of the

a

sanctifying grace of God's Holy Spirit. They that “are in Christ” are, indeed, “ alive from the dead,” and have “passed from death to life;"* and “if any man keep his sayings he shall not see death.”+ There was more, therefore, than a literal meaning in those prophecies which said, speaking of Christ, that “thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead." I As well as in the words of Christ himself, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself."$ The touching narratives of the restoration of Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus, and the widow's son at Nain, breathe a higher and more instructive moral than they would have done as mere historical facts, when they remind us that he who thus traversed the order of the natural world, could exercise a like controul over the spiritual. And the saints who "arose” from their tombs at the crucifixion of Christ, and “appeared unto many,” had a more

* John v. 24; 1 John iii. 24. + John viii. 51. $ Isaiah xxvi. 19.

§ John v. 25.

marvellous tale to tell them than the mere miraculous reanimation of the mouldering dust, in the emblem which that miracle

gave

of their Redeemer's

power to quicken also the soul with a spark of new and unextinguishable life.

They, indeed, who are truly and seriously Christians, and who strive earnestly and humbly to keep their Saviour's law, to observe his ordinances, and to obtain, through Christ, the favor of God,—they indeed may be said, in the true sense of the word, to live the life of immortal spirits even in a mortal world. Their life is not the mere energy of the evil passions and the carnal affections, it is the lively operation and the animated exercise of the best feelings of the heart and soul. Barren indeed was that soul by nature, but by grace the prophesied miracle has been wrought,

“ desert itself hath blossomed like a rose,” and that which had nothing in itself of good, hath now put forth the thriving buds of faith, and hope, and charity, and love, and all the Christian graces.

The true Christian lives, in every sense of the word, under the guidance of heaven-as far, at least, as human infirmities will allow him—the life that an immortal spirit should live. He is not dead to feeling or to natural affection; he is not blind to the way, nor deaf to the word of God. “He that believeth in Christ,

the very

though he were dead, yet liveth ;"* and, “ while Christ is in them, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness."| He hath come forth from the charnel house of corruption to the light of heaven, and the face of day. He is quickened with a new and animating principle of action and of life. He hath found that religion is “his reasonable service ;” and while his affections are fixed on heaven, he has a peace passing understanding that makes existence even in this world full of joy, and a hope in the prospect of his immortality in the next which nothing can disappoint or take away.

III. In conclusion, then, it now only remains to make two or three practical applications of what has been stated above. 1. And first, (taking the word figuratively as in the text) observe how greatly we ought to cherish this life of the soul, how cautious we should be lest we lose it.

See, I pray you, how careful we are of the life of the body.

See with what untiring perseverance men put forth their whole energies and strength, to wrest a scanty and miserable subsistence from the bosom of the earth, rather than suffer the vital spark to be extinguished by the desolating breath of famine. How the drowning man, in his agony, clings convulsively to every object in his way, cherishing even to the last some longing and lingering hope of life, though he knows it is only his body which may perish. With what almost superhuman exertions will the victim of the midnight assassin defend himself, ere he submits to part with that treasured existence which above all things else he prizes. Observe again how anxious we are, in our own case and in that of our friends, to guard against the death of the body when sickness and disease assail us.— With what eagerness do we call in the aid of the physician to prescribe the proper remedies !— With what care do we abstain from every indulgence, however agreeable it be, that is likely to increase the evil !— With what intense anxiety do we await the success of our applications! What sacrifices of present comfort and ease do we make in order to ensure a restoration! But why is it that we see no anxiety of this kind for averting the death of the soul? Why is it that in this important matter we call in no physician, we apply no remedies, we make no sacrifice or self denial? Why is it, that in that case of all absorbing interest and value, the life of the soul, we seldom take voluntary pains to preserve it, but, like some mad and miserable suicide, we throw it up, unbidden, into the hands of our maker, reckless of judgment and heedless of eternity?

* John xi. 23. + Romans viii. 10.

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