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bestowed, or punishments are inflicted. But what is this death ? Brethren, we need scarcely tell you. .
We desire not to sketch the horrors of the grave; it is far more pleasing to know, that there is that within the body, which never dies—the soul! that the body is only that, which encloses her, while in this life ; which, though she will survive, must crumble away. Oh! yes, the mightiest of us, the most renowned, the wealthy, the wise, the poor man, and the king upon his throne, yes, all of us, at God's own time must emancipate the soul by our deaths, and leave the lifeless trunk'! And then what is it? a corpse, -a shell without the kernel,—a body without the soul-death.
It lies inanimate, motionless; corruption encroaches upon it; the worm gnaws it; the winds scatter its particles. But he who holds the “winds in his fists,” will gather up the scattered fragments; and by his all-compelling power,
1 That beautiful passage beginning ai, ai, tai malakal, &c., in Moschus's Elegy on Bion, shows, how little consolation the Heathens derived from the idea of utter extinction in death.
however distantly they may have been dispersed,-however they may have been remoulded into earth,—or through whatever changes they may have passed, will reunite them in a glorious body, which neither death, nor sin, nor misery can harm, according to the omnipotence, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself. With, then, this persuasion,-with, then, this belief, why should we be dismayed, when the tyrant becomes a visitor in your domestic circle? he comes: but let it not be forgotten, that he comes, as a conquered foe, no longer able to keep his victim, now only ordained to produce that change, to which every Christian should look forward with joy. The real Christian meets death without fear and trembling; in the consciousness, that he is about to leave a frivolous world, teeming with chances and changes, for one that is eternal and heavenly, he resigns himself in placid meekness to the dispensation, which introduces him to the grave:
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ?” He, who well feels the force of this truth, the truth that death has
no longer a sting, or the grave a victory, can stand over the inanimate remains of his dearest possession (we say not without a tear
that is impossible) but with that meet and holy firmness, which characterises a Christian. He can rejoice, as a man not without hope, and confide in his Saviour, who has said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die,” i. e., shall never suffer an eternal death. If, then, brethren, death for the time has spoiled your happiness, oppressed your mind, let it not so do in future. Remember, that inanimation is not eternal death, that the separation of the body from the soul, is not for ever,—that the
graves shall be opened,--that you shall again meet your long-lost friends, and that life shall again glow, that life, which death can never extinguish, nor the grave can dim. This is a fact, which no blind philosophy can ever overturn,-against which Atheism and Deism in their proudest boasting cannot prevail ; wicked men may indeed raise their voices against this truth, when the dark veil of degradation is spread over their minds; but when it is drawn aside in their last hour of nature's struggle, the real truth will disclose itself, and the mind will shrink back with horror at the idea of holding such destructive creeds. So it is! man never yet died an Atheist, nor ever will; God has too great a regard for his creatures to suffer the mind in this state to rest secure. Oh! no; the horrors of the death-bed will be felt-yea, a God, if not worshipped when the fire of life is burning, will in that agonizing hour be called upon ; yes ! God will be seen by that eye, before which all that was divine was heretofore darkness. God will be heard !
But we speak not to you, as such; we address you, as Christians; we would not terrify you by death; for that death is not. He is a conquered foe, now over-ruled to work the mighty change, that shall advance this corruptible to incorruption, and open to the heirs of promise their inheritance in heaven; he can only produce a separation of the soul from the body, but cannot prevent their reunion. “I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord-even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.” Let us not then be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in Christ, for he is “the resurrection and the life, in whom whosoever believeth, shall live, though he die;" for he shall raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness, and at the general resurrection in the last day present us washed pure in his spotless blood to his heavenly Father, and impart to us the imperishable crown reserved for those who trust in him. Yet must we call
your attention to the Scriptural distinction between the future states of the just and of the unjust. We dare not withhold from you the solemn truth—the separation of the sheep from the goats—of the tares from the wheat of the wicked from the righteous. They both, in answer to the blast of the trumpet, shall arise; all shall come forth; all shall congregate at the judgment-seat of Christ; each shall give