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done with you, we do not preach the gospel to those who are naturally dead; it is true the finner, dead in fin, is as much unfit for spiritual action, as the man that is naturally dead is incapable of action with the living. But I have a commission to you from God, to cry to the dead to “ hear, that their souls may live," and upon hearing they mall live, Il, ly. 3. “The hour is coming, and now is (says Christ), when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall live.” And therefore I cast in this name of Christ among you, I proclaim that he is the resurrection and the lis, that dead Ginners may hear and live; for in hearing of it by faith, you shall have life; for, says Chrift, in the latter part of the verse, “ He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” But I go no further at present. The Lord bless his word.
John xi. 25.- Jefus faith unto her, I am the resurrection, and the
THE SECOND SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
I MADE an entry upon these words last night, and after I T had divided them a little, I began to speak unto the title that is here given, and that our blessed Lord takes to himself, I am the resurrection, and the life. And in discoursing on it, I proposed,
I. In the first place, to inquire what may be imported or ima
prol. In the
title ne the refurrectioestion ?
II. To whom is he the resurrection?
V. What way comes he to be the resurrection ? and why. does he undertake this province for us? And then, .
VI. Lastly, To apply the whole.
I only spoke to the first of these, and made some improves ment.
I told, 1. That it supposes and implies, that mankind are dead, dead in law, condemned already by that sentence, " The soul that finneth, shall die;" and this legal death hath brought on spiritual death on the soul ; and spiritual death it ushers in eternal death, everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. My friends, I would have you to believe it as a truth, that you are all dead men before God in the first Adam ; and I am afraid, that just where you stand at present, there is dead
upon dead; there are many dead people lying below you, the dead bodies of men and women that have been swept away into the grave, where their souls are God knows; but I say, there are many of you that are spiritually dead; and re. member, Sirs, that you who are fitting there, in a very little, will be lying as low as your ancestors that are now under your feet, a one generation comes, and another goes;" let us consider where all our souls will be throughout eternity. But then,
2. I told, that this title, I am the resurrection, and the life, it implies, that Chrift was sent into this world to give life unto the dead; hence he declares, "he came to feek and to save them which were lost.” Again,
3. I am the resurrection, and the life, it implies, that Chrift, according to his commission from the Father, hath abrogated, or abolished the hand-writing or fentence of death that was on finners of Adam's family. Nothing could be done for our resurrection unto life, either spiritual or eternal, until the fentence of the law was cancelled ; and this he doth by nail. ing it to his cross, he tears the obligation, destroys and difcharges the debts and bands that were over our heads. And then,
-4. I am the resurrection, and the life, it plainly implies, that the life that was lost in the first Adam, it is again recovered by Christ the second Adam. O this is glad tidings of great joy. “I live (says the second Adam), and because I live, ye Thall live allo: As in Adam all” (his natural posterity) 's died, so in the second Adam all” (his spiritual offspring)" are made alive.” And then,
5. It implies, that Christ himself hath surmounted and vanquished death : I am the resurrection, and the life : I am going down to the grave, and I will there spoil death of its sting and terror. Accordingly he ransomed us from the power of the grave, and he redeemed us from the power of death ; and says, “ O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destructions, and repentance shall be hid from mine eyes :" I , have said it, and I will do it, and I will never rue my undertaking. And then, ,
Lastly, It implies, that the life of the whole mystical body lies in his hand, and every thing that pertains unto it: “ Our life is hid with Christ in God;" it is not hid in Adam, but it is hid in Christ: “ This is the record of God, that he hath gi. ven to us eternal life: and this life is in his Son."
II. But now I proceed to the second general head that I proposed in the prosecution of this subject, and that was, to inte
quire to whom or of whom Christ is the resurrection and the life? Unto this I answer in the following five or fix particulars.
1. In the first place, he is not the resurrection and the life of the fallen angels, but he is the resurrection and the life of fallen and Nain finners of Adam's family : Heb. i. 16. ^ He took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the feed of Abraham.” Sirs, when man complied with the tempter in paradise, and eat of the forbidden fruir, the curse and wrath of God was about to sweep Adam and all his postea rity into the same state of condemnation and misery with the angels that fell. But what method does God take to prevent this? Why, he joins a piece of the human nature to the per. son of his eternal Son, and, by that bit of the human nature, he brings back fallen man from ruin; this is what is intimate, Johniii. 16.“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, buc have everlasting life.” He gave him to be man, and he gave him to die : « He fpared not his own Son, but gave him unto the death for us;" he gave him unto the world, that is to say, he gave him not unto angelkind, but unto mankind sinners. Sirs, here is matter of great joy and triumph, that Christ hath taken hold of our nature, and let the angelic nature drop, at least an innumerable multitude of them. But then,
2. Christ he is not only the resurrection and the life of the Jewish nation, but of the Gentile nations that were afar off." The Jews they imagined that the Messiah was to confine his blessings only to their nation, they imagined he was to be their Saviour and their Redeemer only; and therefore we find, after the resurrection of Christ, when the apostles began to preach to the Gentiles, great offence was taken at it by the Jews. Christ « preached unto the Gentiles," is a branch of the " great mystery of godliness.” Well, Sirs, Christ is given as the refurrection and the life to the Gentile nations, as well as to the Jews; there is a prophecy to this purpose in the prophecies of Isaiah, chap. xlix. 6. says JEHOVAH, in the person of the Father, unto our Redeemer, “ It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will alfo give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth ;" that is, it is but a trifle between thee and me : no, “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles," &c. The apostle John, I remember, hath a word that points this way also, in his first epiftle, chap. ii. 1. 2. “ If any man fin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our fins: and not for our sins oply, but also for the lins of the whole world ;” not
the Gentilatched unto erste Wellinenat
for us that are Jews only, but for the fins of the poor Gentiles also; they have an intereit in the redemption that the Son of God hath purchased. Again,
3. Christ is the resurrection of all the churches; he is the resurrection of the church, both catholic and particular ; there kad never been a church in Adam's family, if he had not ga. thered it. He began to raise a church in paradise, and the foundation of the church was laid in the first promise; “ The feed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent,” The church is God's family upon earth, and it is Christ that builds the family, and that builds the house of mercy in which the family does dwellHe received furniture from his Father to build a new family among the tribes of Adam: Pfal. lxviii. 18. “ When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive: he received gifts for men, even for the rebellious ;' for what end? " That the Lord God might dwell among us.” So that he is the resurrection and the builder of the churches. The Jewish church it received its very being from him, and he raised them up out of nothing, out of the duoghill, when they were among the Amorites and the Hittites, why, he gathers them, as in Ezek, xvi. 3-6.“ Thus faith the Lord God unto Jerusalem, Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan, thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity in the day thou walt born (he speaks directly to the Jewish church), thy ravel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not falted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compasion upon thee; but thou waft caft out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I paffed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou walt in zhy blood, Live : yea, I said unto thee when thou wait in thy blood, Live." It was he that raised them up out of the house of bondage, as he tells them in the preface to the ten commandments; it was he that raised them out of Babylon; it was just like a grave to them, and it feemed as impracticable to bring them back to their own land again, as to bring up one lying in the grave to life; yet the Lord raises them out of their Babylonih grave, and he plants and waters them there. Again,
4. Christ is the resurrection and the life of every finner that belongs unto him, in a day of conversion and regeneration : Eph. ii. 1. “ You hath he quickened who were dead in tres. paffes and fins.” Sirs, in a day of power, the Lord he comes unto the grave wherein we lie buried, the grave of sin and milery, just as he came to Lazarus's grave, and he says, Sin
ner, come forth, and immediately he gets life, the Spirit of Jesus enters into him ; then the fetters of tris spiritual captivity drop off. And then,
5. Lastly, Christ is the resurrection and the life of languish. ing believers. Many times the real believer that is quickened by the Spirit of the Lord, he falls back in a great measure into fpiritual death, unto his sense and feeling; he is a free among the dead," as Heman says of himself, Pfal. lxxxviii. 5. ; that is to say, I am a burgess among the generation of the dead: my life is gone, as the eunuch, If. lvi. 3. “ Behold, I am a dry tree,” my life is gone, there is no sap in me, there is no life in me. Well, I am ready to apprchend, there may be many of the Lord's people here, and up and down the land, that have this complaint in their mouth ; but Cliriit is the resurrection and the life, he lets out new streams of life unto languishing souls, to restore then again, as David says, Psal. xxiii. 3. " He hath restored my soul to life again.” What way does he that? He makes the dew of his life-giving Spirit descend, and then the man “ revives as the corn, grows as the vine, a'nd his scent is as the wine of Lebanon.” And thus you fee an answer to the second question, Of whom is Christ the resurrection and the life?
III. I proceed now to the third thing I proposed, and that was, to inquire of what is be the resurrection and the life ? Unto this I answer in the following particulars.
1. Christ is the resurrection of the declarative glory of God in this lower world. Sirs, God's declarative glory was marred by man's sin: his effential glory cannot be marred by men nor devils, let them do their armoit; but, I say, his dea clarative glory was marred. When man finned, he threw off God as his Sovereign ; he, upon the matter, said, with proud Pharaoh, “ Who is the Lord, that I should obey him?" He swore allegiance urito hell, in oppofition unto God, the glory of his justice and holiness, and all his perfections, particularly his truth. All these perfections of God they were sullied and stained, there was a blot cait upon them, as far as man was able. Well, but Chritt came to wipe away the dust that was cast upon them by man; and accordingly he raises them unto a greater fplendour than if man had not finned; hence he is called, “ The brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person.---Father (says he), I have glorified thee on the carth: I have finished the work which thou gaveft me to do. And therefore, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own felf, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." But then,