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he shall not conquer, and over whom he shall not reign, unless those who are alive and remain at the corning of the Lord, who shall not sleep, but be changed. 'Tis not the knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave, the deep, damp vault, the darkness, and the worin; but the resistless disease, the rending and consuming cough, the prostrate strength, the difficult breathing, the wan cheek, the pale lips, the cold sweat, the collected phlegm, and all the numerous forerunners of death, and his never-failing attendants, which will make the youngest, and strongest, and beautifullest, to confess his power. It is true, that none can take death's portrait aright; for the tyrant never sat. But though he may be reckoned an allegorical, or imaginary personage, he inanifests his reign by his conquest, as unuch as any prince that ever reigned. It is true, that he is under the dominion of Him by whom kings reign, and princes decrée justice ; by whom nobles rule-even all the judges of the earth ; who ruleth in the armies of heaven, as well as among the inhabitants of the earth ; whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and of whose doininion there is no end. But though he is a tributary prince, and holds of Him who alone is self-existent, and totally independent ; yet he is more surely possessed of his kingdom and crown, than any of the kings who have ever reigned. He is subject to One only; and no treason, no intestine division, or coinmotion, can affect him. His subjects have attempted to resist his power, and stop his progress, ever since he began to reign; but their attempts have all proved abortive ; for when he lays siege to the strongest human constitution, it falls down flat, much faster than the walls of Jericho, when the ram's horns sounded around them. Every army that has been mustered, has been destroyed; and although in every age they have boasted of their improvements in the defensive art, (for they have never ventured the aggressive,) yet still the strongest have been quenched like tow. All their mighty apparatus is swept away by him like the spider's web, and they are crushed before the moth. As for man, his days are as grass ; as the flower of the field, so he flourisheth; for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. Death reigns, unconquered, as a king, in spite of all opposition. And must í then die ? said Cardinal Beauiort. Will not all my riches save ine? I could purchase the kingdom, if that would prolong my life. Alas ! there is no bribing death. I had provided, said Cæsar Borgia, in the course of iny life, for everything except death; and now, alas ! I am to die, although entirely unprepared. Here, says Blair, in his admirable Grave,
Here, tho'great masters of the healing art,-
II. We are to shew when his kingdom commenced. The first king upon record, (as we have hinted,) was Nimrod ; and the begin. ning of his kingdom was Babel, or Babylon, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. The commencement of this kingdom exceeded, by 2000 years, that of Nimrod. Milton has given us an account of its origin in the second book of Paradise Lost. We have, however, a more sure word of prophecy, to which we do well to take heed, as that of a light that shineth in a dark place. Immediately preceding the digression in which the passage is contained, where the reign of death is mentioned, the Apostle says, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men ; for that all have sinned. This passage, to a moment, marks the commencement of the reign of this puissant king. When man eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree, it brought death into the world, and all our
The Lord God hath commanded the man, saying, Of erery tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat ; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Death, then, notwithstanding the assertion of the great deceiver, ascended the throne of his kingdom in this world, with his temples girt with the cypress and the yew; for the wages of sin is death. The first act passed under his dark and fatal administration, was when the fratricide Cain, about 130 years after time began, rose against his brother Abel, and slew him. And wherefore slew he liim? We are told, that it was because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. From that instant, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's trans. gression.
III. We are to call your attention to the extent of his dominion. Of 'this we cannot speak so positively as of the commencement of the monarchy. We can safely say,
how. ever, that it extends not only from the river to the ends of the earth; not only from sea to sea; but from shore to shore. From the east to the west, and from the north to the south, death has reigned, and shall reign. The whole of this world, at least, is subject to him. Whiat man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? It is appointed for men once to die. We must all die, and be as water spilt upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. The dominions of death are of greater extent than those of the Assyrian, Chaldean, Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Macedo-Grecian, and the Roman. The vast dominions of Britain, with all her colonies,-now, perhaps, the greatest empire that ever existed ; the immense boundaries of Russia, with all her hordes; or of China, with all her 333,000,000,-are nothing to the empire of death. Never was there, never will there be, a king who can compare his empire with that of death. Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, and Australia, with all their seas, and lakes, and rivers, are subject to him ;-wherever life is communicated, there he reigns. He has subdued and retained as his dominion, and will retain till the last trumpet shall blow, the earth, the air, the water, and the fire. Every element is subject to him. He does according to his pleasure throughout the whole of this inmense globe. What is said of the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible, niay be said of him with respect to mankind. Who hath resisted his will l-iminense we call it ; for though it is much less than most of the planets belonging to our system, yet, to minds like ours, it is inconceivably extensive. Whether the empire of death extends beyond this world in the same manner as he reigns in it, it is not for us to determine. Whether the inhabitants of the moon, and of the other planets, and their satellites, if they be inhabited, are subject to him, we are not informed. Tie words of the Jewish legislator ought to silence every too inquisitive mind upon a sulject so vast and so concealed. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the worcs of this law. The reign of deatli, in a certain sense, however, extends beyond this world. Although he does not reign exactly in the same nauner, yet he does exercise dominion. Indeed, the exercise of his power here, in too many cases, is only to bring them under his power for ever. It is true, that at the consummation of all things, death, along with hell, shall
be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. But all over whom the second death shall have power, are delivered over to it by the first. All who go away into everlasting punishment, shall die eternally. Here death exercises his power by separating the soul from the body; there both soul and body shall dwell for ever with everlasting burnings. The first conflict with death is truly terrible, but it comes to an end ; but those over whom the second death has power, shall never die,—that is, their sufferings shall never terminate; but the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and
Those who do not agree with their adversary quickly, while they are in the way with him, the adversary will deliver to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and they shall be cast into prison; thence they shall by no means come out, until they have paid the uttermost farthing. This gives to death a dominion much more extensive than even this large globe. It introduces him into the unseen world; and how extensive his empire is there, we never wish to know more than what we are told, that we may pray and strive to shun; ever knowing it from sad and dismal experience. Tophet is ordained of old ; yea, for the king it is prepared. He hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire, and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. Strait is the gate, (said He who hath the keys of hell and death,) strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life; and few there be that find it. But wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction; and inany there be that go in thereat. Beyond these, and similar allusions and declarations, we do not wish to pry. As that day and that hour knoweth no man, when the Son of man shall come ; so the knowledge of the secrets of eternity can no man discover, until he enters therein; and awful is the thought, that his state is then completely fixed; so that there can be no after-change of state or place. As the tree falleth, so it must lie. Beyond the grave no change does, or can take place. Knowing these things, we are not taken by surprise. God hath been pleased to reserve to Himself the knowledge of every. thing that could be of no material use to us. Beyond what He hath revealed, who can discover ? Who hath ascended into heaven, or descended to hell? Have the gates of death been opened unto any of the sons of men? or who hath seen the doors of the shadow of death? These are sights that cannot be seen by mortal eyes.
We must be content to learn these awful realities when we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. An unlettered Christian, in his unenlarged
mind, may be apt to conceive of the Canaan above, as if it were a very small place, where every individual believer shall be continually in the immediate presence, nay, at the very right hand of his exalted Redeemer. But when we come to think of the immense multitude of the redeemed, which no man can number, we must perceive, that the extent of the abodes of bliss are much, nay, we may say, infinitely greater than we can conceive. Everything in the world to come is represented as being constructed on the grandest scale. The wall of the New Jerusalem is represented as having twelve foundations, garnished with all manner of precious stones. The twelve gates are twelve pearls, every several gate is of one pearl, and the very street of the city is of pure gold. The tree of life, and the river of water of life, are there. No man doubts, that these are figurative expressions, intended and calculated to describe to us immaterial and spiritual objects by material things; but we may safely say, that the strongest, and beautifullest figurative language would not have been employed, had not the objects they were intended to represent, been as much above them as the heavens are higher than the earth. We do not pretend to disclose the mode of the existence of the saints in light, or to describe the extent of the heavenly country; but judging of what we at present do not know, from what we do know, we must perceive, that the locality of heaven is much greater than what the man who has merely read and believed his Bible, is apt to imagine. If imagination can be baffled by anything, it must be by the world unseen and unknown. Heaven being of such vast extent, (for how extensive must this earth have been, if all the generations that have been, and yet shall be, had been upon it at one and the same time,) we must perceive, that the abodes of misery must be of still greater extent. There the devil and all his angels-the chief of the fallen bosts and all who fell with him- are for ever to remain. There, also, all who serve him upon earth, are for ever to be gathered together. It is true, it is called a pit in Scripture; but it is at the same time said to be bottomless. There are no limits assigned to either its width or its depth. We are thereby led to form some very inadequate notion of its iminense extent; or rather, we are led to see, that we cannot, and ought not to endeavour to form any conception of it. It is a land, a place, and a state, completely unknown ; and as we most ardently would have wished, that our first father had never known the knowledge of evil ; so we ought most earnestly to wish never to see it, nover to enter it, never to experience it, never to have any knowledge of it, farther than we gather