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Now, my brethren, I prefer on this o
BY THE REV. W. BURTON.* “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."-1 Cor. IV.57. In one view, my brethren, our emotions belong to this world, enjoying the realis to-day may be of the saddest description, tion of the words he 80 frequent in another they may be calm and even quotedjoyous. It depends very much on the direction in which our thoughts turn,
“There shall we see his face, and never, ne whether we shall be overwhelmed with dis- There from the rivers of his grace drink endi tress, or whether our minds be filled with
pleasures in." comfort and consolation. Whatever be the If we let our minds go out in this relation we sustained to him whom God rection, and contemplate those high rea has recently taken to himself-that of family ties that are apprehended by faith, sur tie, or connection with him in Christian there will be, to say the least, a feeling friendship and church fellowship-if we calm, quiet joy-and may it not be permit ourselves to dwell exclusively on exulting joy P-when we think of him our great loss, if we think of his place actually in the midst of those glories ; being vacant, his active living influence as to him to live was Christ, and to die w come to an end, if we reflect that his many gain. services for the cause of God amongst us have all come to a termination, that his casion the more joyous aspect; I wou accustomed form our eyes shall never rather give prominence to the glorio more behold in the earthly sanctuary, and truths brought to light in the Gosp the familiar tones of his voice we can never which bear upon the future, and which a hear again—if we dwell on these things, 80 well adapted to encourage our hearts grief will possess our hearts, we cannot but time of affliction and days of bereavemer feel sad, and the deep shadows of sorrow I would try to lead out your mind in th falling on us will darken our souls and nobler heavenward direction, instead oppress our spirits. But there is light in confining your thoughts to things presen the midst of this trial- the light of life, and
for there, beyond us, there is. the light of hope, the light of joy; so that wide and glorious expanse of things unsee we need not to sit desolate in the shadow and eternal, in which we ourselves and & of death.” There is another, an altogether who have fallen asleep in Jesus are deep different aspect in which we may look on and joyfully interested. And surely the this event, there is another side to the is something in the removal of a belove picture, a side that has brighter, more friend to that unseen world of glory, whic glowing, more lasting colours; and the should act as a powerful attraction effect of contemplating this more lightsome drawing our thoughts upwards, whic view will certainly be more cheering, more should beckon us away from earthly thin animating, more strengthening, and ! to the bright future. Surely heaven seen think one may say more elevating and nigher when we think of one with whol sanctifying to our soul.
we were intimate, one who was amongst Yes, dear friends, we may think of our as one of ourselves a short time ago, bein brother as living now “ before the throne,” | really there, and that at this moment ! as having done with all the cares and sor. is becoming consciously familiar with the rows of this mortal state, "compassed highest life, as familiar as he was with i about with songs of deliverance.” We may on earth. Shall we not “follow and a dwell with delight and thankfulness on his pire”? And the thought occurs
, that life of faith and well-doing-on the termi. those for whom we mourn, who have got nation to that life so calm and peaceful and to be for ever with the Lord, could con untroubled — his passing away without municate with us and influence us, the severe protracted suffering into the glory would chide us, gently chide us, if we sor of heaven, into the presence of his Lord rowed as those might who have no hope and ours, emancipated from all the ills that if we allowed our own grief so to absor
* In this sermon there are some allusions to the recent death, after a short illness, of Mr. H. Coomb the senior deacon of the church at Badcox Lane, Frome.
no longer has to contend with an uncongenial companionship, no longer is held down to this earth by a body of sin, no longer is thwarted by a partner that was possessed and ruled by a law contrary to the law of the spirit; the emancipated soul is freed from the body, vile through sin. And even in the midst of death's havoc upon the body, while the frail tenoment is crumbling into ruin, is there not something of triumph in the soul of the Christian, an exulting joy within the breast ? Have we not beheld, in the tranquil, placid expression of the dying believer, in the beaming countenance lit up with Divine light, a victorious joy glancing forth? Is there not a victory even in death ? and while the body succumbs to the power of the tyrant, the soul rises triumphant, and calmly rejoices in her superiority. Death is indeed a servant to the believer, and is made to do the needful work to advance the final, complete glory; so that the Apostle Paul, in enumerating the various and rich treasures of the Christian's heritage, says, amongst other things that are subordinated to his good, “death is yours ;" not meaning thereby you shall die, not you are death's; but “death is yours ;" yours to subserve your highest interest; yours to minister to your well-being; yours to work for your glorification;
; yours to open the portal of immortality, and to usher you into the mansions of light. But what a different thing is it if you are death's; if death, as the messenger of justice, can come, and with authority of law claim you for his own, taking you as a culprit to trial and condemnation! So death will come to every one out of Christ.
But what is the secret of the victory over death? It is connected with and springs out of another victory, namely, victory over sin. “O death, where is thy sting p". A triumphant challenge this, as much as to tell us (as indeed it does tell us in the most forcible way) there is no sting in death ; for the sting is sin, and that has been taken away in the death of Jesus Christ. The sting is sin. This is the deadly, poisonous, harmful thing in death; this it is which gives him power to hurt and destroy; and this gone, the power to destroy is gone ; and in this sense, death is “ abolished,” is harmless, powerless for evil. It is no longer the same thing now that the sting is gone. Yes, it is a victory over sin in the first place; and because it
is so, it is a victory over death. What it that makes death terrible? It is chie sin. What is it makes death hurtfu Nothing but sin. It is true that natı sbrinks from dissolution, shrinks from 1 strangeness of leaving this old famil world and from taking part in the scenes another ; shrinks from the thought of t body being laid in the cold, corrupt gray but it is a sense of sin that fills Ebe mi with anxious foreboding, with dread a terror. Assure me, then, that sin is tak away, that the blood of Jesus Christ is all-sufficient atonement; let me believe t] and accept it as the truth of God, then the prospect of death my heart is at re and a holy quiet reigns within. Thus t humblest believer is enabled to “ trium o'er the monster death and all his fright! powers; ” and entering the last valley finds it lighted up with the presence of h Lord, and songs of victory burst for from his dying lips.
And beyond all this there will be coi plete victory over sin, death, and the gray when in the resurrection morn the bodi of the saints shall rise again, when th which was sown in corruption shall raised in incorruption, that sown in di honour shall be raised in glory, that som in weakness shall be raised in power
, the a natural body shall be raised spiritual body. Then, indeed, shall thi great destroyer be fully vanquished, and th precious dust of those who slept the slee of death shall be raised up. Then the con mand to the earth shall be, “ Give up," an to the sea, “Keep not back," and t precious treasure "God is keeping securely in his world shall be surrendere Strange and glorious mystery! in whic we for ourselves and for those who ba died in the Lord, are so interested. O what triumph sball that be! for un the resurrection day the full victory wi not be achieved. « For this corruptib must put on incorruption, and thi mortal must put on immortality; when this corruptible shall have put o incorruption, and this mortal shall hav put on immortality, then shall be broug! to pass the saying that is writte Death is swallowed up in victory." An we, brethren, have the pledge and assut ance in Christ's triumph that this victor shall be ours.
“But now is Christ rise from the dead, and become the first-fruil of them that slept ; ” because he has rise we too sha!l risebecause he lives we cha
live also. Then shall be the happy reunion all power. Sin, our sin, did its worst; of soul and body; then these two, formerly death did its worst; they could do no at variance, shall be well mated, harmonized more-their power was spent and exhausted to each other, and ruled by the same holy on him; and if we are in him, if by faith principles, a pure, glorified body for a pure we accept of him as our substitute, then glorified soul. No longer shall they be our foes are overcome-we triumph over found inclining in contrary directions, and them in him. All who believe in him warring with each other, but the body will shall reap the blessed benefits of his be the willing helper and handmaid of the death. soul.
Thus the victory was won.
You see We might include as elements of this how the victory was his ; for the plain victory
, all the joys that shall follow the reason that in fair and open conflict he resurrection:-the fullfruition of glory; the achieved it. To redeem us he died, yet marriage supper of the Lamb; the banquet he could not be held in bondage to death ; of pure endless bliss; the company whero he had life in himself; he put forth the death shall not be found among the as- power of his Godhead, and the bands of sembled guests, where there will be nothing death must field before that power. But to suggest his presence, nothing to remind how does this victory become ours ? It is one of the desolation he wrought on earth; one of the things freely given to us of God. there shall be no more death, for death He “hath given us the victory." It is a shall then bave been swallowed up in gift ; it comes to us without money and victory, and throughout eternity the victory without price. We have not to work for which is yours, through Jesus Christ our this glorious privilege--have not to fight Lord, shall be celebrated and prolonged. in our own strength for this victory : it is
II. It is a victory won for us, and given not won by merit or any goodness of our to us. “Thanks be to God, which giveth
If it were offered on any other us the victory, through our Lord Jesus terms than as a free gift it could never be Christ.” It is won for us by Him who
It is like any other of the disHe has undertaken, on our tinguishing privileges of the children of behalf
, to deal with our foes, sin and death, God; it costs us nothing to procure it. and for us he has vanquished them. For But, oh, think of what it cost HIM, the
very purpose he "was manifested, that Lord of Glory! He had to fight for it, to he might destroy the works of the devil;” agonize for it; as our champion he had to and sin and death are the two great de- enter the lists and contend with our enemy. structive powers of the devil. And not And at the cost of humiliation, shame, only was he manifested to destroy the suffering, death-bis precious blood being work, but to paralyze and crush the shed—he vanquished the adversary and worker – him that had the power of death. obtained for us the victory. And being 20 And how did Jesus, the mighty conqueror,
won, it is held out to us as a gift. Through win the victory for us? How did he faith in Jesus Christ you have this glorious struggle through all our foes and defeat blessing; you receive Christ in all bis our great adversary? It was through fulness. He that hath the Son bath death-by dying for us.
And this is a life," hath the resurrection, hath immorwondrous thing, that he conquered death tality, hath an inheritance, hath a crown by death. He came as the substitute of of glory and a palm of victory. United the guilty, bearing the load of our sin, and to him by faith, you are henceforth bound with that load of sin resting on him, and up together with him-your fortune because of it, he died the death, and that throughout eternity linked to his, and death is accepted as an all-sufficient atone- through every stage of the future you exment. He could die-lay down his life as perience the blessedness of this union. a ransom for many, yet he could not be o God, who is rich in mercy,
hath holden of death. He died, and this was raised us up together, and made us sit the expiation of our guilt; but he could together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, rise again, free himself from the grasp of that in the ages to come he might show the death; and when he rose it was without the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindload of our sin, which had erewhile rested ness toward us through Christ Jesus.” on him ; that was left behind in the grave, III. With what emotions of fervent gratiburied never more to rise. He rises as one tude ought we to anticipate this complete who has life in himeelf, and is possessed of victory "Thanks be to God.” It is very
evident the Apostle rejoiced in the prospect; body and soul shall be gloriously unite his thankfulness was a present emotion, “When the trumpet shall sound, and although the full realization of this victory dead shall be raised incorruptible,” th was yet in the future. He was, as we are shall break forth the full-toned song of now, in the midst of the battle, when he redeemed, -"Blessing, and glory, and w wrote these triumphant words. It is true dom, and thanksgiving, and honour, a we have foes yet to overcome-we have yet power, and might, be unto our God, to grapple with death ; but even though it giveth us the victory, through our Lo be so, may we not in the grace already Jesus Christ." bestowed as an earnest, say, with grateful And, dear friends, when you have accor hearts, “Thanks be to God, which giveth panied a Christian to the gates of deat us the victory, through our Lord Jesus when he has entered with his Saviour ti Christ” ? Yes, we learn the song of triumph dark valley, and you have stood on ti even now; and in the deliverances God
high ground of life and health, and fo hath wrought already, we have the pledge lowed with the eye of fond affection ti of that glorious time of never-ending vic. departing friend—when you have whi tory. We have the victory in its com- pered to his receding spirit the last far mencement now; for “ if sin be pardoned, well, and then watched the failing breat I'm secure, death hath no sting beside." and heard the last expiring sigh, you You know, fellow-Christian, sin is taken well to say with all your heart, “ Thank away, and you are no longer under the be to God, who giveth us the victory law but under grace.
“There is, therefore, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”. Ands now no condemnation to them that are in we say of our beloved friend who has been Christ Jesus," and that is the first note of taken from us. His is a victory over the song of victory that rises to this, the ills to which we are exposed in thi "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the life-he is away beyond the reach of a victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” evil, sin, temptation, care, sickness, pain Even now you may rejoice ; " in all these death-free from the “strife of tongues, things we are more than conquerors through at rest in the rest of God, "where Him that loved us."
You feel within your wicked cease from troubling and the wear heart a delightful sense of peace, liberty, are at rest." So we take this as the joy, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and these pression of our gratitude with regardinward blessings are but the beginning of our departed brother; and ob, when we what will yet, in its consummation, be full think of the glory that is his through the eternal victory. And as you press on in abounding grace of God, with what em your Christian course, it is ever brightening phasis, as if the whole heart were com in your view. The joy of it is more felt pressed into the brief utterance, ought w within your heart, and the blessedness of to say, “Thanks be to God, who giveth u it more realized as you advance. But the the victory, through our Lord Jesu full burst and prolonged shout of triumph Christ!” are reserved for another day, when the
NOTES OF AN ADDRESS TO A SUNDAY SCHOOL A!
STAPLETON, JANUARY, 1830.*
BY THE REV. JOHN FOSTER.
MY YOUNG FRIENDS, -I am glad to see you. It is a good thing you are here, that you don't wish to be let loose without restraint. Sometimes indeed, almost every time I am going to Bristol, I am perfectly shocked to see what a number of young persons are going along
the road and lanes, and hear how they are talking, using all manner of bad language, and impelling one another to go on in bad conduct. Now, when I see this, I think what a good thing it would be if those young persons were here, or anywhere where they
* Communicated by J. E. Ryland, Esq.