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trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised,” and by an irresistible energy each of the buried millions will start to life. But not so with the soul. “ It will not rise without its own consent," &c. It is greater, thirdly,--Because it requires a higher agency. Mere volition, mere force, will effect the material resurrection of humanity; but this will not touch the spiritual. Christ had only to say to Lazarus when in his grave, “Come forth," and forth with he appeared; but thousands upon thousands of souls dead in sin He appealed to during his public teaching, calling them to life, yet but few came out of their spiritual graves, &c. Mere volition will not do it; it requires argument, suasion, love, example, &c. It is greater, fourthly, Because is is an invaluable blessing in itself. The material resurrection may be an intolerable curse to a man ;-it will be so to all the wicked. Millions would remain for ever in their graves if they could. But the resurrection of the soul is evermore a blessing, &c. It is greater, fifthly,—Because it is necessary to qualify us to understand the resurrection of the body. This is suggested by the text when viewed in connexion with the apostle's object. He has just entered on an argument in favor of the general resurrection; and he calls upon the Corinthians at the very outset, to "awake to righteousness ;" suggesting that they would not be able to appreciate his doctrines unless their spiritual natures ascended into a vital sympathy with the right. This is a general truth. Rectitude of soul is a better interpreter than any
hermeneutic skill. Let us proceed more particularly to the text:
I. THE CONDITION FROM WHICH MAN IS SUMMONED. It is represented by a sleep. What is this moral sleep? It is not the sleep of the animal faculties ; they are often more active in consequence of the sleep of the soul. It is not the sleep of the intellectual powers; the imagination may be as active as that of Byron's, the reason as active as that of Voltaire's, &c., and yet the soul may be asleep. It is not the sleep of the social sympathies; they may be, and they are, active when the soul is asleep. When is the soul asleep? When it is not inspired in all its powers and actions by supreme love to God. But where is the propriety of speaking of this state of mind as a sleep? It is not like sleep in two respects :
-First: In being the ordination of God. Natural sleep is the ordination of Heaven for the most beneficent ends; but God never ordained the sleep of the soul ;—it is coutrary to His desire and command. Secondly :-In being the means of refreshment. Natural sleep is such, it refreshes the frail natures of all animal existence. “ Tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep.” But moral sleep will not refresh the soul ;—it is a corroding and an exhausting state.
There are, however, three points of resemblance which warrant the figure :
1. Insensibility. How insensible is man asleep! He has lost all consciousness. He sees not, he hears not ; he feels nothing, he perceives nothing. The great world of life is shut out from him ; all the ministers of nature, all the concerns of business, all the endearments of friendship, the deeply active world around him, and Heaven above thronged with glorious spheres, are no more to him than if they were blotted out of existence. Nor indeed is his existence anything more to him,-for he is unconscious of it. The knife of the assassin may gleam over him, he does not shrink, he has no sense of life. The thoughtful will not consider me extravagant when I say that it is so with the moral sleeper. There is a world of realities around the sinner of the most grand and solemn description ; voices deep and loud speak to him; and visions of awful majesty pass before him. Yet he is dead to all. Dead to all! He is dead to himself. He is not conscious of his spiritual being. He does not feel that he has a soul. Where are his spiritual pulsations and struggles ? Where are his enraptured visions of that great spiritual universe in which he lives ? The judgment stands before him; Hell flames beneath his feet; Heaven sends down its music from above; the eye of Omniscience goes through his soul- but he is dead to all. 2. Fictitiousness. If the mind of the natural sleeper act, it is in a world of pictures. Objects flit before it that have no real existence. The life of the moral sleeper is highly fictitious, it is a life of dreams. Heaven, Hell, God, Eternity, are but as dreams to him. They pass before him as the visions of the night. Sometimes, like the dream of the sleeper, they may startle the man, but like the dream, the impression soon departs. “Every man walks in a vain show." The life of a sinner is fiction--a great lie.
3. Transitoriness. Sleep is not a permanent state. Sleep has its seasons. And it is so in relation to soul. “They that sleep,” says the Apostle, "sleep in the night.” There is a dark spiritual night brooding over the moral sleeper. But there is a spiritual morning for every moral sleeper to awake in. And one of two very different mornings must break the slumbers of all. There is the morning of spiritual reformation ; -The morning when “God commands the light,” &c.
Then the soul awakes, and finds itself in a new world—a world full of God. A world where His agency is perceived in everything ;-heaving the ocean, directing the wind, painting the landscape, bending the rainbow, and wheeling flaming systems and worlds through their spheres. The sleeping soul no sooner opens its eyes, than it exclaims with Jacob, “Surely God is in this place," &c. The other morning is the morning of retribution. The thunder of that morning, the visions of that morning, the awful manifestations of that morning, will startle the most sleepy into active consciousness,
“ The waking soul shall put itself
In light of blazing day.”
II. THE STATE INTO WHICH WE ARE SUMMONED.
« Awake to Righteousness.” Men are not required to awake to business, to pleasure, or to fashion; they are all alive and ardent in relation to these things. But concerning righteousness they are asleep. The state of righteousness includes two things. First, : Living righteously towards God and His universe
acting evermore in conformity with the just and immutable laws of moral being. All the laws in the moral code of the universe may be reduced to two monosyllabic words : Be just. Be just to yourself ;--that is virtue. Be just to others, render to all their due, do unto others as you would others should do unto you;—that is morality. Be just to God: the best being love the most, the greatest being reverence the most, the kindest being thank the most ;-this is piety. This state of righteousness includes: -Secondly: Being treated as righteous by God and His universe. It is a state in which man is treated as if he had never sinned.
“His iniquities remembered no more.” Now the getting of man into this righteous state is everywhere in the gospel ascribed to Christ; and that for two reasons :-(1) He furnishes the moral force, by which it is done. (2) He furnishes the moral reasons by which the past wrongs may be overlooked. In theological language, to Him both“ sanctification” and “justification” must be ascribed. “He is made unto us,” &c. Now this righteous state includes harmonious action -social usefulness-spiritual progress---Heavenly fellowships.
III. THE VOICE BY WHICH WE ARE SUMMONED. 6 Awake." Paul is but the organ and echo of the DIVINE voice which is everywhere heard by those who have
ears to hear.” First : This Divine voice sounds through all history. Take up the annals of the world, and turn over its sin-stained pages, and you will find every chapter pealing with the word “ Awake." Amidst the intrigues of courts, the gorgeous crimes of men in power, the gross depravities of people, the bloody conflicts of nations, the throes of the oppressed, the demon mandates of the tyrant, the crash of thrones and the howl of stormy republics ;-in all I hear the voice of God to the men of this age, “Awake to righteousness." All the miseries of the awful past sprang from the want of righteousness. Secondly : This Divine voice sounds through the moral constitution of our nature. Conscience, with more emphasis, calls upon every man to “awake.” Who has not
heard it? Thirdly: The Divine voice sounds through the memories of sainted friends. Fourthly: The Divine voice sounds through the whole Bible of God. The Old Testament and the New call us to “awake to righteousness.”
Would that this voice would wax louder still, wax so loud as to drown all other voices, and break the moral slumbers of the world, and that all nations starting from their moral graves, would exclaim, “ Arise, shine, for our light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us !”
SUBJECT :—The Mystery of Godliness.
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”—1 Tim. iii. 16. *
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Tenth.
We have here an example of a double climax, each degree being twofold; relating to the visible world on the one hand, and to the invisible on the other. It may be arranged thus :
MANIFEST IN THE FLESH,
JUSTIFIED IN THE SPIRIT, PREACHED UNTO THE GENTILES, SEEN OF ANGELS, BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD, RECEIVED UP INTO GLORY;
and all is declared to be a mystery indisputably great.
The first idea presented is :
* This is not the place to enter upon the discussion of the disputed readings of this passage. To all who desire it, the means of doing so are at hand. We adopt, therefore, the received text; not for its critical value, but because we believe it to give a true sense, and one which, not only this passage (read it as we may) must at last come to, but which the whole theory of the Gospel demands. The doctrine of Christ's proper deity does not depend on the microscopic examination of codices, and, in our opinion, stands wholly unaffected by the rival claims of “ΟΣ and ΘΣ.