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DISCOURSE

IX.

THE NECESSITY OF RISING WITH CHRIST.

COLOSS. III. 1, 2.

If ye tben be rifen with Christ, seek those things

which are above, 'where Christ fitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.

TH

IX.

HERE are few persons who have disc.

not often employed their thoughts on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. The fact is extraordinary, and well attested; the circumstances striking and affecting.

ting. The trembling of the earth, the descent of the angel, the removal of the stone, the terror of the guard, and the different appearances of the

Saviour

N 2

DISC. Saviour to his disciples; all inspire a mix

ture of reverential awe, and heartfelt delight.

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As a consequence of this resurrection, it naturally occurs to our minds, that since Christ is risen, we shall arise too; because he arose, that we might do the same. The members must be joined to the head; and the harvest will of course follow the first fruits.

This is clear. But there is another consequence, which perhaps may not so much and so frequently engage our attention as it ought to do. “I know,” says Martha, speaking of her dead brother—" I know that he “ shall rise again in the resurrection at the “ last day.” We all can say this refpecting our deceased friends and ourselves. We are ready to say it. But what is to become of us; what is likely to be our portion, when we shall have thus risen? For we may rife either to falvation, or to condemnation. To escape the one, and obtain the other, some

work

IX.

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work must be wrought, some change must disc.
be effected in us, before we die ; which in
Scripture is likewise described as a resurrec-
tion. The Apostle, you have heard in the
text, addressing his Colossian converts in
this style;

“ If ye then be risen with
“ Christ.” But how - risen with Chrift?”
They had not been dead, and therefore they
could not have risen from the dead. That
resurrection, the resurrection of the body,
was not past; it was not to come for many
ages : it is not yet come. The resurrection
intended was to take place in persons that
were living upon earth. This intermediate
link of the chain we are but too apt to leave
out in our calculations; or, at least, to think
very slightly and sparingly of it, though it
be indeed of the utmost importance. For
what will it avail us to rise from the dead,
only to hear the sentence, '“ Depart from

wicked ?"

me ye

Often have we bestowed some reflections on the information communicated by the Gospel of the day concerning that which

N 3

has

bis c. has been done for us : let us at this time IX. employ our meditations on the direction

given us by the Epistle, as touching that which is to be done in us. Let us take into consideration the nature of the change spoken of under the idea of a resurrection ; the evidence of it in the transfer of our affections; and the objects on which those affections are to be placed.

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I. “ If ye then be risen with Christ”The words evidently imply, that, in confequence of Christ's resurrection, some operation had been already wrought, fome change had already passed upon the persons here, addressed ; an operation and a change, bearing some resemblance, some analogy to those which had been wrought and passed in the body of our Lord : “ If ye be RISEN “ with Christ;" if ye have risen from the dead, together with him.- Now, since no such change had as yet passed on their bodies, the change intended must have passed upon

the other

part fition, their souls; these must, in some sense,

1

of their compo

have risen from the dead; previously to disc. which, they must have been in a state of death, or they never could have risen from the dead.

IX.

The very mention of the words dead, and death, has, doubtless, already brought to your remembrance several passages in Holy Writ, where expressions of a like sort occur: “ —You being dead in your fins ; dead in

trespasses and fins; she that liveth in

pleasure is dead, while she liveth; arise “ from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light;" with many others.

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Nothing can paint in stronger colours the nature of sin, than do these texts, which, by styling it death, lead us necessarily to conceive of the one by the other. The sinner, like the dead man, neither fees, nor hears, nor tastes, nor feels, as he ought to do, were he alive to God, and had he his « senses “ exercised to discern good and evil:” he is incapable of motion and action, in a moral acceptation of the terms, that is, of making

any

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