2 Timothy 1:10
And now He has revealed this grace through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the gospel,
Sermons
A Great May BeT. Carlyle.2 Timothy 1:10
Christ Abolishing DeathW. W. Champneys, M. A.2 Timothy 1:10
ContinuityB. F. Westcott, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Death AbolishedJames Bryce, LL. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Death AbolishedT. M. Herbert, M. A.2 Timothy 1:10
Death AbolishedR. Halley, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Death AbolishedJ. Morison, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Death AbolishedD. Thomas, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Death Abolished -- Life Brought to LightE. Johnson, M. A.2 Timothy 1:10
Death Abolished, and Life and Immortality Brought to LightT. Massey, A. B.2 Timothy 1:10
Death of None EffectH. R. Reynolds, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Eternal LifeE. Bersier, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Immortal LifeJames Smith.2 Timothy 1:10
ImmortalityJ. H. Rigg, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Immortality Brought to LightJ. Jortin, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Immortality Brought to Light by the GospelT. Chalmers, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Immortality is the Glorious Discovery of ChristianityW. E. Channing, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Life and Immorality Brought to Light by Jesus ChristT. G. Horton.2 Timothy 1:10
Life and Immortality Brought to LightW. Bull, M. A.2 Timothy 1:10
Life and Immortality Brought to Light by the GospelT. Sherlock, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Life and Immortality Brought to Light by the GospelDr. Callamy.2 Timothy 1:10
Life and Immortality Brought to Light by the GospelP. Grant.2 Timothy 1:10
Life and Immortality Revealed in the GospelS. Davies, A. M.2 Timothy 1:10
Life Enlarged by DeathH. W. Beecher.2 Timothy 1:10
Living in the Days of Christ's AppearingJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
Now Open Your EyesI. E. Page.2 Timothy 1:10
Of the Immortality of the Soul as Discovered by Nature and by RevelationJ. Tillotson, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
The AppearingE. H. Plumptre, D. D., H. D. M. Spence, M. A.2 Timothy 1:10
The Argument for ImmortalityJ. Baldwin Brown, B. A.2 Timothy 1:10
The Christian View of DeathI. E. Page.2 Timothy 1:10
The Death of DeathW. Jay.2 Timothy 1:10
The Discoveries Made in the Gospel with Respect to a Future StateAndrew Donnan.2 Timothy 1:10
The Lighted Valley of DeathI. E. Page.2 Timothy 1:10
The Reasonableness of LifeF. Paget, D. D.2 Timothy 1:10
The Victor VanquishedJ. Reid.2 Timothy 1:10
Address and SalutationR. Finlayson 2 Timothy 1:1-14
The Power of God in the Salvation Manifested by Jesus Christ to the WorldT. Croskery 2 Timothy 1:9-11
He now proceeds to expound in a glorious sentence the origin, conditions, manifestations of the salvation provided in the gospel.

I. THE MANNER IN WHICH THE POWER OF GOD HAS BEEN DISPLAYED TOWARD US. "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

1. The power of God has been displayed toward us in salvation. God is the Author of salvation in its most comprehensive sense, as including both its impetration and its application. The salvation may be said to precede the calling, as

(1) it has its origin in the "purpose of God,"

(2) as Christ has procured it by his death.

2. It has been displayed in our calling.

(1) The call is the act of the Father (Galatians 1:6).

(2) It is a "holy calling,"

(a) as its Author is holy;

(b) it is a call to holiness;

(c) the called are enabled to live holy lives.

3. The principle or condition of our salvation. "Not according to our works."

(1) Negatively. Works are not

(a) the moving cause of it, which is the love and favour of God (John 3:16);

(b) nor are they the procuring cause, which is the obedience and death of Christ (Romans 3:21-26);

(c) nor do they help in the application of salvation; for works done before our calling are not good, being without fairly; and works done after it are the fruits of our calling, and therefore not the cause of it.

(2) Positively. "But according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the world began." Salvation has thus a double aspect.

(a) It is "according to the purpose of God." It is a gift from eternity; for it was "before the world began," and therefore it was not dependent upon man's works.

(b) It is according to "his grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." Though those to whom it was given were not in existence, they existed in Christ as the covenant Head and Representative of his people. They were chosen in him (Ephesians 1:4).

II. THE MANIFESTATION OF THIS PURPOSE AND GRACE IN THE INCARNATION AND WORK OF CHRIST. "But manifested now by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ."

1. The nature of this manifestation. It included

(1) the Incarnation; for the Son of God appeared in the fulness of time to make known the "mystery hid from ages," even himself - "the Hope of glory" - to both Jew and Gentile;

(2) the work of Christ, in the obedience of his life and the suffering of his death - in a word, the whole work of redemption.

2. The effects of this manifestation. "Who abolished death, and brought to light life and incorruptibility by means of the gospel."

(1) Its action upon death. It has abolished or made it of none effect. Death is regarded both in its physical and its ethical aspects.

(a) In its physical aspects, Christ has

(α) deprived it of its sting, and made it a blessing to believers (Hebrews 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:55), and (β) secured its ultimate abolition (Revelation 21:4).

(b) In its ethical aspects, as working through a law of sin and death, Christ has caused us "to pass from death unto life" in regeneration (1 John 3:14), and secured us from "the second death" (Revelation 2:11).

(2) Its revelation of life and incorruptibility.

(a) Life here is the true life, over which death has no power - the new and blessed life of the Spirit. This was, in a sense, known to the Old Testament saints; but Christ exhibited it, in its resurrection aspect, after he rose from the dead. It was in virtue of his resurrection, indeed, that the saints of the old economy had life at all. But they did not see it as we see it.

(b) Incorruptibility. Not in reference to the risen body, but to the life of the soul, in its imperishable qualities, in its perfect exemption from death (1 Peter 1:4; Revelation 21:4).

(c) The means of this revelation is the gospel, which makes this life perfectly known to men, as to its nature, as to the way into it, as to the persons for whom it is prepared or designed.

III. THE CONNECTION OF THE APOSTLE WITH THIS REVELATION OF LIFE. "For which I was appointed a herald and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." He rehearses his titles of dignity at the very time that he points to them as entailing suffering upon him. - T.C.







But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death.
Remarkable as the only passage in the New Testament in which the word ἐπιφανεία ( = manifestation) is applied to the incarnation of our Lord.

(E. H. Plumptre, D. D.)The simple act of the Incarnation by no means covers the "appearing." The "appearing" (Epiphany) here includes not only the birth, but the whole manifestation of Christ on earth, including the Passion and the Resurrection.

(H. D. M. Spence, M. A.)

Seeing that the days wherein we live are better than the days of old, we must thrive, and be better also. The more choice diet we feed on, the fatter and fairer should we be; the clearer light, the cleaner must we keep ourselves from pollution, contamination. When trees are removed to a more fertile soil, do we not expect that they should spread further, and be more fruitful than before? when cattle are put into a better pasture will we not look for better growth, more labour at their hands? Shall not we then grow strong, work mightily in the Lord's vineyard, and resolutely run the ways of His commands? Is not our light brighter, our spiritual food better, and our journey shorter? then why is there not some equal proportion? These things must be thought upon, made use of, or else our account one day will be the greater, the heavier; for unto whom much is given, shall much be required. They who have greater means for grace than others, must strive to be more gracious than others, or look for the more heavier reckoning. Our fathers were led in the night, the moon was their conductor; we are now in the day, when as the sun guideth us, shall we not then go faster, farther, with less fear, and more resolution, greater boldness? But alas! who taketh knowledge of these things maketh the true use thereof? We have the sun shining, yet sleep; or if awake, we cry, want we not light? I say no more, but with that our idleness cause not the Lord to remove our candlestick.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

Who hath abolished death
The article is used here emphatically and designedly. The article is often used to express a thing in the abstract. Death, not merely in some particular instance, but in all its aspects and bearings, and in its very essence, being and idea is abolished.

(James Bryce, LL. D.)

Christ Jesus is not only a living embodiment of the Eternal purpose and love of the Father, but He is also declared to be the Saviour who made death of none effect, abolished or rendered inoperative that death which

is the universal curse of man, which "has passed through upon all men" (Romans 5:12), and is grimly symbolised to us in the dissolution of the body. The Lord declared that those who lived and believed in Him should never die. St. John could never have recorded these words of the Master (John 11:26) when a whole generation of Christians, including all the apostles, with the exception of himself, had passed away and come under the tyrannous sway of the last enemy, unless he had supposed the words to imply something far more and other than the death of the body. Wiesinger, Huther, Ellicott, and others are right in understanding by the word thanatos, "death," the entire antithesis to zoo or "life." Surely it is the entire principle of decay, corruption, and separation from God instituted by sin. It includes all the animosity that a living, self-conscious being feels against God for bringing him into a dying world, all the resistance to and departure from His supreme will. It is this otherwise irremediable curse, and painful looking for of condign punishment, this moral death and dissolution, which Christ has disarmed and rendered inoperative.

(H. R. Reynolds, D. D.)

Everybody can feel the fitness of saying that sin and death are two of the greatest enemies of the human race. Expressive and appropriate is the habit we derive from Scripture of speaking of them as persons, hostile powers, who make war on us. Between the two there is a terrible alliance. They are in league against us; and though, if we are even victorious over them, we are told that death will be the last to be destroyed, yet sin was the first, and sin is the greatest. Not that, except for sin, these material bodies would be immortal. Eventual dissolution and decay into their elements belong to their constitution, as much as to that of vegetables in autumn. "We all do fade as a leaf." "All flesh is as grass." But though dissolution seems a characteristic of human bodies, the doubt and terror which accompany death are due to sin, which has estranged us from our Maker, whom, in consequence, we have ceased to think of as our Father. Thus the sting of death is sin. The voyage across the Atlantic is one thing to the slave, hurried by a captor, he knows not whither, and quite another to the traveller returning home. These, then, are the two greatest evils which afflict humanity; and, now, is there any remedy for them — any deliverer from them? Christianity professes to bring a remedy, — to announce a Deliverer both from sin and death. Hence, its message is called the gospel — the good news. "The Son of man was manifested, to destroy the works of the devil"; and "our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death."

I. DEATH MADE OF NONE EFFECT. Such is the meaning of "abolished." Not to do away with altogether, but to render imperfect, and in that sense to destroy. The entire destruction spoken of in the fifteenth chapter of the First of Corinthians will come later. Christianity has made no difference in regard to the dissolution and decay which befall all mortal bodies. It is still true that "all flesh is as grass." Its language, however, is not "Death shall never again strike down a human being, or make a happy home a house of mourning," but "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." "To die is gain." So death is made of none effect.

II. JESUS CHRIST, OUR SAVIOR FROM DEATH. We may well ask, "By what rare enchantment can the king of terrors be transformed thus into an angel of light?" Who "can make a dying bed seem soft as downy pillows are?" Even he who said to a sister weeping at a brother's grave, "I am the Resurrection and the Life: whosoever liveth, and believeth in Me shall never die!" "To depart is to be with Christ, which is far better." But how so? Was He not the man Christ Jesus? And did He not Himself die in anguish? And was He not Himself laid in the tomb? Truly, if He was no more than man, our Christian hope of immortality is a baseless imposture. But the good news from God is that Jesus Christ was more; that He is the Lord of life, the King immortal and eternal, who wrapped Himself awhile in perishable human clay, but whom it was not possible that death should hold. And the reason of His coming is thus expressed in Scripture: "Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death."

III. THROUGH DEATH HE ABOLISHED DEATH. By Himself passing down into the dark valley, into the silent tomb, He disarmed the grave of its terrors. And as we saw that death and sin are closely allied, — death the wages of sin, and sin the sting of death,-they are allied in regard to our deliverance from them. Our Saviour from the one, is our Saviour from the other.

IV. LIFE AND INCORRUPTION BROUGHT TO LIGHT. A great shadow was spread over the world, and it lay the deepest over human life. Now, the great light, which the people who sat in darkness have seen in Christ, brings to view the novel and glorious fact of life associated with immortality, or incorruptibility.

(T. M. Herbert, M. A.)

He must have had strong faith who, writing amidst the signs of death ever near him in a populous city, could write, Jesus Christ hath abolished death. He felt within him the inspiration of an immortal life; and it gave a new character to all things around him. In his prison in Rome, heaven was his home. Adhering to a religion whose first preachers were martyrs, he saw no death in martyrdom. Having finished his course, and ready to be offered up, his time of departure — not of death — was at hand. Let us meditate upon this great subject, and see if we can understand the apostle. There is one doctrine of Christianity to which our hearts have not done justice, because our faith has not felt its power; that doctrine is, that "Jesus Christ has abolished death."

I. THE FACT — "Jesus Christ hath abolished death."

1. If you observe the connection, you will see this was the consequence of an everlasting purpose of grace. See the preceding verse. This glorious truth is not a thought of yesterday, not a thought that entered the mind of God on occasion of the fall of man, but a purpose made before man fell, before the world began. And this everlasting purpose is the firm and immutable rock on which rests the whole fabric of our salvation. I know some persons are afraid to think of an everlasting purpose, an immutable decree of God, as if it were an awful, an unapproachable mystery. It is, indeed, awful, as is every attribute of Him who dwells in light inaccessible, but it need not be terrible. Observe the words: "according to His own purpose and grace." The purpose and the grace are intimately associated. The grace is as old as the purpose. Both are from everlasting. The purpose flows out of the grace, for the grace is the nature of the eternal God from which His purpose flows, and must be gracious like Himself. What is there to fear in a purpose of grace? Would you not be comforted in the trials of life, if you found in every emergency that your earthly father had made ample provision by a kind purpose before you were born? If for your infancy comforts were provided at his expense by a mother's care; and if you found a fund set apart to pay the expense of your good education, should any casuality deprive you of his immediate care; and when you came of age you found a sum insured at your birth to enable you to commence business with respectability and good success; and everywhere else, as parental forethought and love could foresee, a purpose appeared in a present supply of your wants; — would not all this he an assurance and perpetual memorial of your father's good will? would it not endear him the more to your heart? and would you not cherish the memory of him who with so much forethought had provided for you with affectionate and loving regard? Just so with the gracious purpose of God.

2. But the fact of the abolition of death, connected with an everlasting purpose, was manifested in time by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. But how was it manifested? Wherein did Christ appear to abolish death? When did He accomplish this gracious purpose? We naturally look for the answer to His own death. Was that not really death? Was it a departure rather than a death? Did He ever say with regard to Himself that death was abolished? Did He meet death as if He had already destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil? Go to Calvary and observe. What signs are there but true signs of death? He died, He tasted death. But, then, in dying He abolished death for all believers. It is as if He absorbed all the venom of the sting of death into His own soul and left none to distress the souls of His people; so that death, so dreadful to Him, is to them without a curse, without a sting, and but a shadow. Scripture has found for it a new name, a name of pleasant association, and calls it sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:14). In saying Jesus really endured the pains of death, I refer not chiefly to the extreme bodily sufferings which He endured, but to the mental conflict and agony which to Him were the bitterness and curse of death. Christ hath abolished death, as every spirit in heaven feels with delight; and if we know it not now, we shall know it hereafter with rapturous delight. But must we wait till we reach the blissful life of heaven before we can say in the fulness of a joyful heart, "Our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death"? Well, I fear we must — at least, many of us. Our faith seems as if it could not grasp and feel this great text. We are but sorry Christians if thus we pass our lives grovelling in clay, in bondage through fear of death. Worldling! you are right in fearing death, for it will strip you of all your beloved and prized possessions. Unpardoned sinner! you are right in fearing death, for to you it will be the dreadful doom and beginning of endless woe. Lover of pleasure! you are right in your fear, for it will turn your pleasure into pain, remorse, consternation, anguish. Worshipper of Mammon! you are right, for it will take away your gods, and what have you left? But Christians, are we not ashamed of ourselves? Christians, unworthy of the name, are you afraid of death? Do you not believe that Christ hath abolished it? Yes, you believe it as a fact; at least, you say so, and you think so. But do you know it as an experience — A truth of the heart as well as of the creed — A truth in which you rejoice as the conquest of the last enemy?

II. THE EXPERIENCE THAT OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST HATH ABOLISHED DEATH. Paul rose out of these earthly shadows, awoke from these carnal dreams; saw the world, not as we see it, a substantial form, but as an evening cloud whose tints were fading, as a flickering flame whose glory was passing away. New light from the excellent glory came around him and gave new colour and character to all things about him. His prison was fading, and he scarcely saw it in the surrounding glory; his chain was melting off his hand and he scarcely felt it, for the day of his great deliverance was rising. Caesar's tribunal, its attendants, pomp, lictors, sergeants, soldiers, executioners, what were they all in the full light of the great salvation all around him? They were virtually abolished too. Heaven was near, he could hear its sweet music. Eternal life was within him, he could feel its power. Immortality was brought to light, he could see it and rejoice in it. There was no more death, to obscure that light of unfading glory. They could not kill him, could not destroy that which he had learned to call himself, and which felt and knew everything in its relation not to time but to eternity. And there have been many others like him.

(R. Halley, D. D.)

"All men," says St. Paul," are all their life- time, through fear of death, subject to bondage." And every one, who has at all watched his own mind, knows that this is true. The very heathen, as our missionaries teach, tell us how death is known and feared, and looked forward to, with fearful expectation, as the great and universal enemy. Thus the fear of death is felt by all men, and is the fly in every pot of ointment, that, once found there, spoils and mars it: it is the sword hung overhead, whose keen point and sharp edge glitter ominously and threateningly in the light of every banquet; it is the hollow skull, with its eyeless sockets and its melancholy emptiness, that spoils every marble monument.

I. MEN ALWAYS DID AND STILL DO ALL THEY CAN TO KEEP OFF THE UNWELCOME THOUGHT. The Greek and Roman, as they bound their heads with the wreath of roses, and stretched their limbs on the soft moss under the green arbutus, and drank off their goblets of wine, tried to forget that all this would soon be over, and that there would come one day the last disease. But it always was vain, and always will be, to attempt to quench the thought, though it may he staved off; the wine and flowers and song cannot last for ever.

II. BUT WHAT 1S IT THAT THUS MAKES DEATH AN OBJECT OF UNIVERSAL APPREHENSION AND DREAD? Is it always the act of death? is the mere dying always a dreadful thing? No! it is sin; it is the sense of accountability, and the solemn expectation of the account we have to render; it is "the fearful expectation and looking-for of judgment": it is these which make death dreadful and dreaded, so that, "through fear of death men have been subject to bondage."

III. Our text says THAT CHRIST "HATH ABOLISHED DEATH." is, then, death dead? That cannot be. I see Christians die as well as other men. But the sting of death is drawn; for sin is taken away. Death, therefore, is not the summoner of God's court of trial, but the usher to call him into God's glorious presence-chamber. The Christian does not die when his body and his soul are for a time divided. He has in his spirit, that is, in himself, his truest self, a life which is eternal; from the moment he believes and trusts in Christ, from that moment "he hath eternal life."

IV. BUT, IS IT ONLY THE CHRISTIAN TO WHOM DEATH IS THUS ABOLISHED? "The fathers, where are they?" Did life and immortality begin with Christ? Were Christians the first to share and to enjoy them? Righteous Abel, when he fell by a brother's hand, and his fainting soul departed from his mangled body, took possession of the paradise of God. Noah and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David and Hezekiah, the glorious company of the prophets, the whole line of penitent believers — however unknown to men, yet known to God — inherited at death the same life that the Christian now inherits. But they did not know, as we know, the life and immortality which they received. Life and immortality existed as surely then, as now; but they then were "in the dark." The light had not risen: it was night with them; and only the stars threw a trembling light on the things beyond the grave. The heathen had, indeed, their Elysian fields; but that shadowy world was only a reproduction of the most pleasing portions of this present life, where, as the Indian hopes to use his bow and arrows to hunt the shadowy deer, as the Chinese hopes to employ the ghost of his loved paper money in that spectral world, so the heathens of Greece and Rome saw their heroes engrossed in the employments and amusements of this world — throwing the quoit, or driving the chariot, or reposing on beds of roses, in those fields of their own creation. And the views of the pious Jews and patriarchs were dim and obscure. "A land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness" (Job 10:22; Isaiah 38:10, 11; Psalm 88:4, 5).

(W. W. Champneys, M. A.)

I. THE EVIL IN QUESTION — It is death. We should suppose that this subject was very familiar to the thoughts of men, were we to judge from the importance and frequency of the event. But, alas! nothing is so little thought of. Let us examine what Nature teaches us concerning death; and then go to the Scripture for additional information.

1. Suppose then there had been no revelation from God — what does Nature teach us concerning death?(1) It sees plainly enough that it is a cessation of our being. The lungs no longer heave; the pulse ceases to beat; the blood pauses and congeals; the eye closes; the tongue is silent; and the hand forgets her cunning. We are laid in the grave, where worms feed upon us.(2) It also teaches us the universality of death.(3) Nature teaches us that death is unavoidable.(4) Nature sees also that death is irreparable. It cannot, produce a single specimen of posthumous life.(5) We may also learn from it that death is uncertain an its circumstances; and that no man knows the place, the time, the manner, in which he shall expire. If it be objected that the generality of the heathen have had some other views of death than those which we have conceded, and had even notions of an existence beyond the grave — let it be observed, that the world always had a revelation from God; and that when mankind dispersed from the family of Noah, they carried the discoveries along with them; but as they were left to tradition, they became more and more obscure; yet they yielded hints which led to reflections that otherwise would have never occurred. And if wise men, especially from these remains of an original revelation, were led into some speculations bordering upon truth, it should be remembered that in a case like this, as Paley observes, nothing more is known than is proved: opinion is not knowledge; nor conjecture principle.

2. But how much more does the Scripture teach! Here we learn —(1) Its true nature. To the eye of sense death appears annihilation; but to the eye of faith it is dissolution.(2) Its true consequences. Very little of death falls under the observation of the senses; the most awful and interesting part is beyond their reach. It is the state of the soul; it is the apprehension of it by devils or angels; it is the transmission of it to heaven or hell.(3) Its true cause. The Scripture shows us that man was not created mortal; and that mortality is not the necessary consequence of our original constitution; but is the penal effect of transgression.(4) The true remedy. What! Is there a remedy for death? Who said to His hearers, "If a man keep My sayings, he shall never see death"? He hath abolished death. But let us —

II. Consider this DESTRUCTION — for does not death continue his ravages? Does he not fall upon the people of God themselves? Where then is the proof of this abolition? It is undeniable that Christians themselves are subject to the stroke of death, as well as others.

1. He abolishes death, spiritually; that is, in the souls of His people. To all these, without exception, it may be said, in the words of Paul to the Ephesians, "You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins."

2. He abolished death by His miracles while He was on earth.

3. He abolished death in His own person. His own rising from the dead is very distinguishable from all the former instances of resurrection. The ruler's daughter, the widow's son, Lazarus, and the saints in Jerusalem, were raised by the power of another; but He rose by His own power. They rose as private individuals: but He as the head and representative of His people: and because He lives, they shall live also.

4. He abolished death penally. Thus He has destroyed death as to its sting. He has not abolished going home, and falling asleep, and departing; but He has abolished death. This leads us to observe, that He has —

5. Abolished death comparatively: I mean as to its terror. This is not the same with the foregoing particular. That regards all the people of God, and extends even to those who die under a cloud of darkness, and a load of depression; it belongs to a Cowper, who died in despair, as well as to a Hervey, who said, "Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." All believers die safely; there is no curse for them after death, or in death. In this sense, their end is peace; peace in the result, if not in the passage. But their end is generally peace in experience as well as in result. There are, however, cases of constitutional infirmity that may not only exclude joy, but even hope. Sometimes the nature of the disorder is such as to hinder sensibility, or expression. Sometimes, too, God may allow the continuance of fear, even in those He loves, as a rebuke for loose or irregular walking; and as a warning to others.

6. He will do this absolutely. He will abolish the very state: "He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

(W. Jay.)

I. That we may feel the true impression of this Divine declaration, it will be necessary first to show WHAT IT IS NOT INTENDED TO TEACH. The state of fact, no less than the express averments of Holy Writ, forbid us to entertain the thought, that the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ has arrested the progress of that law of mortality which followed in the train of disobedience. Our present relations are formed but to be dissolved; death, like a canker worm, preys at the root of all our comforts. We "have here no continuing city"; and soon "the place that now knows us shall know us no more for ever." Philosophy may attempt to solve this mysterious problem; may tell us that mortality is a law of our nature; may point us to the analogies of creation around us. But withdraw from our view the inspired record which connects death with Adam's sin, and which exhibits it in the light of a penalty entailed upon transgression, and philosophy has no satisfactory reason to assign for a catastrophe so overwhelming and so universal. It may, indeed, affirm the state of fact, and argue from thence that it is the nature of man that he should die; but how much more satisfactory is the philosophy of Scripture (which no sound philosophy ought to exclude), which tells us that man was made for life, that death is the forfeit of disobedience, and that but for sin the struggle of mortality would never have been beheld in our world!

II. In our text we are taught to look upon death as in some practical SENSE A VANQUISHED FOE; and since it cannot be in the sense of staying its inexorable reign in our world, it becomes us to show the true and only sense in which it can be affirmed that "our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death." The expression is very remarkable; and the doctrine it contains is animating in the highest degree to all who embrace it with. a realising faith. The idea conveyed by the original word is that of such an effectual counteraction of death, as involves a complete victory over it.

1. When the apostle asserts that "Christ hath abolished death," we must understand him, first of all, as proclaiming Christ's own personal victory over it.

2. But we must not forget that the victory which our Saviour Jesus Christ achieved in His own person over death was intimately connected with the nature and ends of that "decease which He accomplished at Jerusalem." Death, we must never forget, entered our world as the mark of apostasy, as the penalty of transgression; if ever, then, it was to be "abolished," it must be by some dispensation which should effectually provide for the remission of sin, and for the restoration of apostate man to the favour and image of his God. In the hour of Messiah's deep agony, "the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all"; and when with His last breath He exclaimed, "It is finished," the mighty work was then performed upon which depended the reconciliation to peace and life of untold millions of the human race. Having "finished the work which the Father gave Him to do," met every demand which devolved upon Him as the sinner's Surety, it was impossible, upon all the principles of the Divine government, upon all the arrangements of covenanted love, that He should be holden of the bands of death.

3. When the apostle asserts that "our Saviour Jesus Christ hath abolished death" we may assure ourselves that the real members of His body, all true Christians, will share His own triumph. Of this joyful fact there is a series of progressive evidence. The moment that any sinner is quickened to spiritual life, he is "quickened together with Christ," and is brought to feel in that conversion "the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings," and is "made conformable unto His death."

4. The next stage of the proof that death shall be abolished will he supplied when believers are "absent from the body and present with the Lord." The fruition of the celestial paradise will divest them of every doubt or misgiving as to the resurrection of their mortal bodies. Every time they gaze on the glorified humanity of Him in whose presence they stand they will exult in the thought of that mighty exercise of power and love which shall quicken their tabernacles of clay, and unite them as spiritual bodies to their emancipated and happy spirits. They are waiting in glorious hope "for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of their bodies"; and, having received the first-fruits, they are looking forward to the harvest of the earth, when the number of God's elect shall be accomplished, and when all the objects of celestial hope shalt be fully realised. At last the bright moment of perfected bliss shall arrive when death shall be literally "abolished"; when all the regions of mortality shall be divested of their spoils; when the whole redeemed Church shall stand complete in her glorified Head; when all shall be perfectly conformed in body and soul to the image of Him whets "the first-born among many brethren."

5. But there is one view of this subject which yet remains to be taken by us: it is the proof which is so often afforded of the truth of the apostle's declaration that death is "abolished," in the feelings with which departing saints are often enabled to look forward to their great change. Some there are, indeed, of God's servants who "through fear of death are all their lifetime subject to bondage"; their minds are perplexed with doubts and fears, and they cannot realise their title to the everlasting inheritance. But it is matter of great joy and thankfulness when faith is triumphant in the dying moment; when it can sing with an unfaltering tongue, "O death, where is thy sting," thy boasted sting? "O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

(J. Morison, D. D.)

The question is, therefore, in what sense hath death been abolished by Christ. It means that He hath made death of none effect. In order to explain this we lay down three propositions.

I. THAT THE FELT POWER OF DEATH OVER MAN IS ACCORDING TO THE STATE OF HIS SOUL. The power of death over man is not in the unconsciousness which he produces. So far as unconsciousness is concerned there is death in every sleep. Not in the dissolution it produces. For physical dissolution is going on every day in the body. Where then is the power of death? It is in the state of our souls in relation to it. Let us suppose that we had no capacity for forming any idea of death. What power would death have over us? None until it came; like the beast or the bird we should lie down on the green turf, and breathe out our last breath without one regretful or apprehensive thought. Or, let us suppose that we had ideas concerning death, all of which were of a pleasing character. What power would death have over us in this case? None. We should rejoice in it.

II. THAT THE STATE OF A DEPRAVED MAN'S SOUL GIVES DEATH ITS FELT POWER.

1. All the affections of his soul are confined to earthly objects. All men whose natures are unchristianised love the world and the things of the world. All they love, all they plan and toil and hope for, are here.

2. He has terrible forebodings as to the consequence of death to him.

III. THAT CHRIST HATH ABOLISHED THIS DEPRAVED STATE OF SOUL IN HIS DISCIPLES. How does He accomplish this? Not merely by the revelation of a future life, but by the impartation of a new spiritual life — A life of conscious pardon and of spiritual sympathy. This new life —

1. Has a stronger sympathy with the spiritual than the material. The affections are set not on things below, but on things above. Hence, where is the dread of death to the true Christian? This new life.

2. Has a stronger sympathy with the failure than the present. Christ turns the hearts of His people to the future as their heaven. Who, therefore, would dread the dawn of the future into which the heart has gone? This new life —

3. Has a stronger sympathy with the Infinite Father than with any other object. Christ sets the heart of His disciple upon the Infinite Father. Can death or any other event fill him with dread who loves the Infinite supremely? From this subject we learn —

(1)The value of Christianity.

(2)The test of godliness.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

We have here —

1. An agent referred to by the word "Who," that is Jesus Christ.

2. We have a work which He has done — "abolished death."

3. A glorious disclosure which He has made, "brought life and immortality to light."

4. The means by which this revelation is made known — "the gospel."

I. THE AGENT. When men have an important work to do, it is of great consequence to find a properly qualified person to do it. The Lord Jesus Christ possessed all the requisite qualifications for the great work of atoning for sins and reconciling man to God, since He was both God and man. Not merely that men might be pardoned and set free, but that they might be restored to the favour of God, and the long interrupted harmony and union between God and man re-established.

II. Now let us glance at WHAT HE HAS DONE — "abolished death" (Romans 5:12). But there is a threefold division of death: Temporal, or the death of the body; spiritual, or being dead to spiritual things; and eternal death, or the separation of soul and body from God for ever. Death is represented as a sovereign exercising dominion over the world, for it is said "death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgressions." "Death reigned," says the apostle. The figure is a bold and striking one. It represents Death as a monarch exercising dominion or power. His reign is absolute. He strikes whom and where he pleases, there is no escape. All must bow beneath his sceptre. His reign is universal. Old and young, rich and poor, high and low, are alike the subjects of his gloomy empire, and but for the gospel, his reign would be eternal. The dominion of the gloomy tyrant has been shattered, and death itself has, as our text says, been abolished. Its terrors are abated and its sting removed. We come to consider how, and in what measure, this has been done. What is it to abolish anything? It is to cause it to cease, to put an end to it. Thus slavery was abolished in the British Empire and the United States. Its abolition cost Britain much, and cost the United States thousands of lives and millions of money. This whole accursed system of man-stealing, and all the horrors connected with it, is wiped out and destroyed. So has the Lord Jesus done with death. He has destroyed the stern tyrant by destroying that which is the cause of death — sin (Hebrews 2:9). Thus death was destroyed by dying; by His becoming obedient to the death of the Cross, He broke the empire and dominion of death for ever, and opened to man "the door of eternal life" and His resurrection was proof that God's justice was completely satisfied with the ransom offered. "Who hath abolished death." The apostle here seems to speak in some measure by anticipation. Sometimes the sacred writers represent things which are certain to be done as if they were clone already. Sin, which is the cause of death, has been atoned for, and so death's empire has there received a fatal blow. Every evil habit, desire, and disposition overcome, every temptation to evil successfully resisted, every good word and work, all tend to lessen his power and wrest from Death his dominion. Thus life has prevailed over death so far as the gospel has made its way into the homes and hearts of men. So in various ways and on every side death has been losing his sway, and his empire is waning. Nowhere is the fact that "death has been abolished seen in a clearer light than in the triumphant departure of God's children. Dr. Payson, a little before he breathed his last, said, "The battle's fought, the battle's fought, and the victory is won — won for ever. I am going to bathe in an ocean of purity and benevolence, and happiness to all eternity, Why should I murmur," said John Howard, the noble Christian philanthropist, when ending his journey in a strange land, "Heaven is as near to Russia as it is to England." "My head is in heaven" (said the wife of Philip Henry, the Commentator); "my heart is in heaven, another step and I shall be there too." "Almost well, and nearly at home," said the saintly Richard Baxter, when asked by a friend how he did shortly before he died. And a lady, describing the last hours of that venerable patriarch of science, Sir David Brewster, says, "The sight was a cordial from heaven to me. I believed before, but now I have seen that Christ has truly abolished death."

III. Now observe THE NEXT THING CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US. He has "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."

(J. Reid.)

In the handling of these words I shall —

I. OPEN TO YOU THE MEANING OF THE SEVERAL EXPRESSIONS IN THE TEXT.

1. What is here meant by "the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ"? The Scripture useth several phrases to express this thing to us. As it was the voluntary undertaking of God the Son, so it is called His coming into the world. In relation to His incarnation, whereby He was made visible to us in His body, and likewise in reference to the obscure promises and prophecies and types of the Old Testament, it is called His manifestation, or appearance.

2. What is meant by the abolishing of death. By this we are not to understand that Christ, by His appearance, hath rooted death out of the world, so that men are no longer subject to it.

3. What is here meant by bringing "life and immortality to light." Life and immortality is here by a frequent Hebraism put for immortal life; as also, immediately before the text, you find purpose and grace put for God's gracious purpose. The phrase of bringing to light is spoken of things which were before each either wholly or in a great measure hid, either were not at all discovered before, or not so clearly. I proceed —

II. TO SHOW WHAT CHRIST'S COMING INTO THE WORLD HATH DONE TOWARDS THE ABOLISHING OF DEATH, AND THE BEINGING OF "LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT." I shall speak distinctly to these two:

1. What Christ's appearance and coming into the world hath done towards the abolishing of death, or how death is abolished by the appearance of Christ.(1) By taking our nature upon Him He became subject to the frailties and miseries of mortality, and liable to the suffering of death, by which expiation of sin was made.(2) As Christ, by taking our nature upon Him, became capable of suffering death, and thereby making expiation for sin, so by dying He became capable of rising again from the dead, whereby He hath gained a perfect victory and conquest over death and the powers of darkness.

2. What Christ hath done towards the bringing of "life and immortality to light." It will be requisite to inquire, What assurance men had or might have had of the immortality of the soul, and consequently of a future state, before the revelation of the gospel by Christ's coming into the world. And here are two things distinctly to be considered. What arguments natural reason doth furnish us withal to persuade us to this principle, that our souls are immortal, and consequently that another state remains for men after this life. But before I come to speak particularly to the arguments which natural reason affords us for the proof of this principle, I shall premise certain general considerations, which may give light and force to the following arguments: By the soul we mean a part of man distinct from his body, or a principle in him which is not matter. By the immortality of the soul I mean nothing else, but that it survives the body, that when the body dies and falls to the ground, yet this principle, which we call the soul, still remains and lives separate from it. That he that goes about to prove the soul's immortality supposeth the existence of a Deity, that there is a God. The existence of a God being supposed, this doth very much facilitate the other, of the soul's immortality. For this being an essential property of that Divine nature, that He is a Spirit, that is, something that is not matter; it being once granted that God is, thus much is gained, that there is such a thing as a spirit, an immaterial substance, that is not liable to die or perish. It is highly reasonable that men should acquiesce and rest satisfied in such reasons and arguments for the proof of any thing, as the nature of the thing to be proved will bear; because there are several kinds and degrees of evidence, which all things are not equally capable of. Having premised these general considerations to clear my way, I now come to speak to the particular arguments whereby the immortality of the soul may be made out to our reason. And the best way to estimate the force of the arguments which I shall bring for it will be to consider beforehand with ourselves what evidence we can, in reason, expect for a thing of this nature.(1) That the thing be a natural notion and dictate of our minds.(2) That it doth not contradict any other principle that nature hath planted in us, but does very well accord and agree with all other the most natural notions of our minds.(3) That it be suitable to our natural fears and hopes.(4) That it tends to the happiness of man, and the good order and government of the world.(5) That it gives the most rational account of all those inward actions which we are conscious to ourselves of, as perception, understanding, memory, will, which we cannot, without great unreasonableness, ascribe to matter as the cause of them. If all these be thus, as I shall endeavour ¢o make it appear they are, what greater satisfaction could we desire to have of the immortality of our souls than these arguments give us?

1. The immortality of the soul is very agreeable to the natural notion which we have of God, one part whereof is, that He is essentially good and just.(1) For His goodness. It is very agreeable to that to think that God would make some creatures for as long a duration as they are capable of.(2) It is very agreeable to the justice of God to think the souls of men remain after this life, that there may be a state of reward and recompense in another world.

2. Another notion which is deeply rooted in the nature of man is, that there is a difference between good and evil, which is not founded in the imagination of persons, or in the custom and usage of the world, but in the nature of things. To come then to my purpose, it is very agreeable to this natural notion of the difference between good and evil, to believe the soul's immortality. For nothing is more reasonable to imagine than that good and evil, as they are differenced in their nature, so they shall be in their rewards; that it shall one time or other be well to them that do well, and evil to the wicked man.

III. This principle, of the soul's immortality, is suitable to the natural hopes and fears of men. To the natural hopes of men. Whence is it that men are so desirous to purchase a lasting fame, and to perpetuate their memory to posterity, but that they hope that there is something belonging to them which shall survive the fate of the body, and when that lies in the silent grave shall be sensible of the honour which is done to their memory, and shall enjoy the pleasure of the just and impartial fame, which shall speak of them to posterity without envy or flattery?

IV. This doctrine of the immortality of the soul does evidently tend to the happiness and perfection of man, and to the good order and government of the world. This doctrine tends to the happiness of man considered in society, to the good order and government of the world. If this principle were banished out of the world, government would want its most firm basis and foundation; there would be infinitely more disorders in the world were men not restrained from injustice and violence by principles of conscience, and the awe of another world. And that this is so, is evident from hence, that all magistrates think themselves concerned to cherish religion, and to maintain in the minds of men the belief of a God, and of a future state.

V. The fifth and last argument is, That this supposition of the soul's immortality gives the fairest account and easiest solution of the phenomena of human nature, of those several actions and operations which we are conscious to ourselves of, and which, without great violence to our reason, cannot be resolved into a bodily principle, and ascribed to mere matter; such are perception, memory, liberty, and the several acts of understanding and reason. These operations we find in ourselves, and we cannot imagine how they should be performed by mere matter; therefore we ought, in all reason, to resolve them into some principle of another nature from matter, that is, into something that is immaterial, and consequently immortal, that is incapable in its own nature of corruption and dissolution. I come now to the second thing I propounded, which is to show what assurance the world had, de facto, of this great principle of religion, the soul's immortality, before the revelation of the gospel. First, what assurance the heathens had of the soul's immortality.

1. It is evident that there was a general inclination in mankind, even after its greatest corruption and degeneracy, to the belief of this principle; which appears in that all people and nations of the world, after they were sunk into the greatest degeneracy, and all (except only the Jews) became idolaters, did universally agree in this apprehension, that their souls did remain after their bodies and pass into a state of happiness or misery, according as they had demeaned themselves in this life.

2. The unlearned and common people among the heathen seem to have had the truest and least wavering apprehensions in this matter; the reason of which seems to be plain, because their belief followed the bias and inclination of their nature, and they had not their natural notions embroiled and disordered by obscure and uncertain reasonings about it, as the philosophers had, whose understandings were prefixed with infinite niceties and objections, which never troubled the heads of the common people.

3. The learned among the heathen did not so generally agree in this principle, and those who did consent in it were many of them more wavering and unsettled than the common people. Epicurus and his followers were peremptory in the denial of it: but, by their own acknowledgment, they did herein offer great violence to their natures, and had much ado to divest themselves of the contrary apprehension and fears. The stoics were very inclinable to the belief of a future state; but yet they almost everywhere speak very doubtfully of it. Secondly, What assurance the Jews had of the soul's immortality and a future state.And of this I shall give you an account in these following particulars:

1. They had all the assurance which natural light, and the common reason of mankind, does ordinarily afford men concerning this matter; they had common to them with the heathens all the advantage that nature gives men to come to the knowledge of this truth.

2. They had by Divine revelation a feller assurance of those truths which have a nearer connection with this principle, and which do very much tend to facilitate the belief of it; as, namely, concerning the providence of God, and His interesting Himself particularly in the affairs of the world. And then, besides this, the Jews had assurance of the existence of spirits by the more immediate ministry of angels among them. And this does directly make way for the belief of an immaterial principle, and consequently of the soul's immortality.

3. There were some remarkable instances of the Old Testament which did tend very much to persuade men to this truth: I mean the instances of Enoch and Elias, who did not die like other men, but were translated, and taken up into heaven in an extraordinary manner.

4. This was typified and shadowed forth to them by the legal administrations. The whole economy of their worship and temple, of their rites and ceremonies, and Sabbaths, did shadow out some farther thing to them, though in a very obscure manner: the land of Canaan, and their coming to the possession of it, after so many years' travail in the wilderness, did represent that heavenly inheritance which good men should be possessed of after the troubles of this life. But I shall chiefly insist on the general promises which we find in these books of Moses, of God's blessing good men, and declaring that He was their God, even after their death.

5. Toward the expiration of the legal dispensation there was yet a clearer revelation of a future state. The text in Daniel seems to be much plainer than any in the Old Testament: "And many of them that sleep in

the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2).

6. Notwithstanding this, I say that the immortality of the soul, and a future state, was not expressly and clearly revealed in the Old Testament, at least not in Moses' law. The special and particular promises of that dispensation were of temporal good things; and the great blessing of eternal life was but somewhat obscurely involved and signified in the types and general promises.And so I proceed to the second thing I propounded, which is to show what farther evidence and assurance the gospel gives us of it than the world had before: what clearer discoveries we have by Christ's coming, than the heathens or Jews had before.

1. The rewards of another life are more clearly revealed in the gospel.

2. The rewards of another life, as they are clearly and expressly revealed by the gospel, so that they may have the greater power and influence upon us, and we may have the greater assurance of them, they are revealed with very particular circumstances.

3. The gospel gives us yet farther assurance of these things by such an argument as is like to be the most convincing and satisfactory to common capacities; and that is, by a lively instance of the thing to be proved, in raising Christ from the dead (Acts 17:30, 31).

4. And lastly, the effects which the clear discovery of this truth had upon the world are such as the world never saw before, and are a farther inducement to persuade us of the truth and reality of it. After the gospel was entertained in the world, to show that those who embraced it did fully believe this principle, and were abundantly satisfied concerning the rewards and happiness of another life, they did, for the sake of their religion, despise this life and all the enjoyments of it, from a thorough persuasion of a far greater happiness than this world could afford remaining in the next life.

(J. Tillotson, D. D.)

But, supposing Moses or the law of nature to afford evidence for a future life and immortality, it remains to be considered in what sense the words of the text are to be understood, which do affirm that life and immortality were brought to light through the gospel. To bring any thing to light may signify, according to the idiom of the English tongue, to discover or reveal a thing which was perfectly unknown before: but the word in the original is so far from countenancing, that it will hardly admit of this sense, φωτίζειν signifies (not to bring to light, but) to enlighten, illustrate, or clear up anything. You may judge by the use of the word in other places: 'tis used in John 1:9 — "That was the true light which lighteth [or enlighteneth] every man that cometh into the world." Jesus Christ did not by coming into the world bring men to light; but He did by the gospel enlighten men, and make those who were dark and ignorant before wise even to salvation. In like manner our Lord did enlighten the doctrine of life and immortality, not by giving the first or only notice of it, but by clearing up the doubts and difficulties under which it laboured, and giving a better evidence for the truth and certainty of it, than nature or any revelation before had done. If we consider how our Saviour has enlightened this doctrine, it will appear that He has removed the difficulty at which nature stumbled. As death was no part of the state of nature, so the difficulties arising from it were not provided for in the religion of nature. To remove these was the proper work of revelation. These our Lord has effectually cleared by His gospel, and shown us that the body may and shall be united to the spirit in the day of the Lord, so that the complete man shall stand before the great Tribunal to receive a just recompense of reward for the things done in the body.

(T. Sherlock, D. D.)

I. OUR LORD HATH GIVEN US A CLEARER KNOWLEDGE THAN WITHOUT HIM WE COULD EVER HAVE ACQUIRED OF OUR STATE AFTER DEATH. For, first, the best arguments which human reason suggests for the immortality of the soul are founded upon right notions of God and of morality. But before the gospel was revealed the common people among the Gentiles had low and imperfect notions of these important truths, and consequently they were not persuaded upon good grounds of their future existence. The proofs of the soul's immortality, which are taken from its own nature, from its simplicity, spirituality, and inward activity, are by no means to be despised, they have much probability, and they never were or will be confuted. The moral arguments, as they are called, in behalf of the soul's immortality, as they are more familiar and intelligible, so are they more satisfactory. Now, it cannot be supposed that God, who is perfectly wise, would endue the soul of man with a capacity of well-doing, and of perpetual improvement, unless He intended it for other purposes than to live here for a very short space, and then perish for ever. He did not create the sun to shine for one day, and the moon to shine for one night, and then to be turned out of being. These sort of arguments, obvious and persuasive as they are, yet were usually overlooked in the Pagan world; polytheism, vice, and ignorance lind made men insensible of their force; these arguments shone forth along with Christianity, and were in a great measure owing to the gospel. They who argued justly enough to conclude from the nature of God and of man that it was reasonable to believe the immortality of the soul, and to hope that a future state of happiness should be the reward of a well-spent life, yet could not hence fairly draw any conclusions to their own full satisfaction. Many who believed the immortality of souls believed also a continual and successive removal of souls from one body to another, and no fixed state of permanent happiness. Our Lord hath opened to us a better prospect than this, promising us an incorruptible body, a life that shall not be taken from us, an unchangeable state, and a house eternal in the heavens. Some who in words acknowledged the immortality of the soul seem in reality to have taken it away, by imagining that the human soul was a part of the great soul of the world, of the Deity, and that upon its separation from the body it was reunited to it.

1. The gospel assures us that we shall rise again.

2. We are assured that the happiness of the good shall be complete, unchangeable, and endless.

3. We have also reason, from some places of Scripture, to suppose that the souls of the good are not deprived of thought, but are in a place of peace and contentment during their separation from the body.

II. THE SECOND THING WHICH WE PROPOSED TO PROVE IS, THAT CHRIST, BY HIS RESURRECTION, HATH FULLY ASSURED US THAT HE CAN AND WILL RAISE UP HIS SERVANTS TO ETERNAL LIFE. If it be certain that Christ arose from the dead, the consequence is plain and unavoidable that the religion taught by Him is true. I have only a few inferences to lay before you.

1. Our Lord hath taught us that our souls are immortal.

2. Our Lord hath taught us that death is only the death or sleep of the body, that the souls of the good live to God, and that at the last day, when He shall appear, they shall be clothed with immortal and glorified bodies, and dwell for ever with Him. And to confirm these truths, He arose Himself in power and splendour, and became the first fruits of them that sleep.

3. The resurrection of Christ contains in it the strongest motives to cast off our sins, and to prepare ourselves for the glories which shall be revealed, and to take off our affections from this world, and to set them on things above.

(J. Jortin, D. D.)

By the plain revelation of this state of immortality —

1. Is most illustriously manifested to us the transcendent goodness and indulgence of our most merciful Creator, in that He will be pleased to reward such imperfect services, such mean performances as the best of ours are, with glory so immense, as that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive the greatness of it.

2. By this revelation of immortal life is farther demonstrated the exceeding great love of our blessed Saviour, who, by His death and perfect obedience, not only purchased pardon for all our past rebellions and transgressions, not only redeemed us from hell and destruction, to which we had all rendered ourselves most justly liable, which alone had been an unspeakable favour, but also merited an everlasting kingdom of glory for us, if with true repentance we return to our duty.

3. This especially recommends our Christianity to us, which contains such glad tidings, which propounds such mighty arguments to engage us to our duty, such as no other religion ever did or could.

I.To those who would seem to doubt of this fundamental doctrine of a future life.

II.To those who profess to believe it, but not fully and heartily.

III.To those who do really and constantly believe it.

I. Let us for once be so kind to the sceptical disputers against religion as to suppose what; they are never able to prove — that it is a very doubtful thing whether there will be another life, after this. We ought to believe and live as if all these doctrines of religion were most certainly true; for every wise man will run as little hazard as he can, especially in such things as are of the highest concernment to him, and wherein a mistake would be fatal and undoing.

II. To those who profess to believe this immortal life, but yet do it not really and heartily. And this I fear is the case of the generality of Christians amongst us. Are any of those good things which men here court and seek after so desirable and considerable as the glories and joys of heaven? Or are there any evils in this world that can vie terrors with hell?

III. To those who do heartily and constantly believe this great truth of another life after this; who not only assent to this doctrine with their understandings, but have made this future happiness their ultimate choice and desire. This will fortify our minds against all the temptations we may meet with from this world, or any of its bewitching enjoyments. This faith will inspire us with strength and activity, and carry us out even beyond ourselves; will animate us with such courage and resolution, as that we shall despise all dangers and difficulties, and think eternal happiness a good bargain, whatever pains or trouble it may cost us to purchase it. This conquers the love of life itself, which is most deeply implanted in our natures; for what will not a man give or part with for the saving of his life? Yet they who have been endued with this faith have not counted their lives dear to Him, so that they might finish their course with joy. This faith by degrees moulds and transforms the mind into a likeness to these heavenly objects; it advances and raises our spirits, so that they become truly great and noble, and make us, as St. Peter tells us, partakers of a divine nature. It filleth the soul with constant peace and satisfaction, so that in all conditions of life a good man can feast himself with unseen joys and delights, which the worldly man neither knows nor can relish. Nay, this faith arms a man against the fear of death; it strips that king of terrors of all his grim looks: for he considers it only as God's messenger to knock off his fetters, to free him from this fleshly prison, and to conduct him to that blessed place, where he shall be more happy than he can wish or desire to be, and that for ever.

(Dr. Callamy.)

Life and immortality here seem to refer both to the soul and the body, the two constituents of our person. As applied to the body, life and immortality signify that though our bodies are dissolved at death, and return into their native elements, yet they shall be formed anew with vast improvements, and raised to an immortal existence: so that they shall be as though death never had had any power over them; and thus death shall be abolished, annihilated, and all traces of the ruins it had made for ever disappear, as though they had never been. It is in this sense chiefly that the word "immortality," or "incorruptibility" is made use of in my text. But then the resurrection of the body supposes the perpetual existence of the soul, for whose sake it is raised; therefore life and immortality, as referring to the soul, signify that it is immortal, in a strict and proper sense; that is, that it cannot die at all, or be dissolved like the body. In this complex sense we may understand the immortality of which my text speaks. Now it is to the gospel that we owe the clear discovery of immortality in both these senses. As for the resurrection of the dead, which confers a kind of immortality upon our mortal bodies, it is altogether the discovery of Divine revelation. As for the immortality of the soul, Christian philosophers find it no difficulty to establish it upon the plain principles of reason. But it should be considered that those are not the arguments of the populace, the bulk of mankind, but of a few philosophic studious men. But as immortality is the prerogative of all mankind, of the ignorant and illiterate, as well as of the wise and learned, all mankind, of all ranks of under. standing, are equally concerned in the doctrine of immortality; and therefore a common revelation was necessary, which would teach the ploughman and mechanic, as well as the philosopher, that he was formed for an immortal existence, and, consequently, that it is his grand concern to fit himself for a happiness beyond the grave as lasting as his nature. Now, it is the gospel alone that makes this important discovery plain and obvious to all. It must also be considered that mere may be able to demonstrate a truth, when the hint is hut once given, which they would never have discovered, nor perhaps suspected, without that hint. Persons may be assisted in their searches by the light of revelation; but, being accustomed to it, they may mistake it for the light of their own reason; or they may not be so honest and humble as to acknowledge the assistance they have received. The surest way to know what mere unassisted reason can do is to inquire what it has actually done in those sages of the heathen world who had no other guide, and in whom it was carried to the highest degree of improvement. Now we find, in fact, that though some philosophers had plausibilities and presumptions that their souls should exist after the dissolution of their bodies, yet that they rather supposed, or wished, or thought it probable, than firmly believed it upon good evidence. What a vast inheritance is this, unalienably entailed upon every child of Adam! What importance, what value, does this consideration give to that neglected thing the soul! What an awful being is it! Immortality! The highest angel, if the creature of a day or of a thousand years, what would he be? A fading flower, a vanishing vapour, a flying shadow. When his day or his thousand years are past, be is as truly nothing as if he had never been. It is little matter what becomes of him: let him stand or fall, let him be happy or miserable, it is just the same in a little time; he is gone, and there is no more of him — no traces of him left. But an immortal! a creature that shall never, never, never cease to be! that shall expand his capacities of action, of pleasure, or pain, through an everlasting duration I what an awful, important being is this! And is my soul — this little spark of reason in my breast — is that such a being? I tremble at myself. I revere my own dignity, and am struck with a kind of pleasing horror to view what I must be. And is there anything so worthy of the care of such a being as the happiness, the everlasting happiness, of my immortal part?

(S. Davies, A. M.)

Let us first advert to what may be called the physical state, and then to the moral state of the mind; and under each head let us endeavour to contrast the insufficiency of the light of nature with the sufficiency and fulness of the light of the gospel.

I. An argument for its immortality has been drawn from the consideration of what we should term the physics of the mind — that is, from the consideration of its properties, when it is regarded as having a separate or substantive being of its own. For example, it has been said that spirit is not matter, and therefore must be imperishable. We confess that we see not the force of this reasoning. We are not sure by nature of the premises; and neither do we apprehend how the conclusion flows from it. Now, in the recorded fact of our Saviour's resurrection, we see what many would call a more popular, but what we should deem a far more substantial and satisfactory, argument for the soul's immortality than any that is furnished by the speculation which we have now alluded to. To us the one appears as much superior to the other, as history is more solid than hypothesis, or as experience is of a texture more firm than imagination, or as the philosophy of our modern Bacon is of a surer and sounder character than the philosophy of the old schoolmen. Let it be remarked that the word which we render "abolished" signifies also "made of no effect." The latter interpretation of the word is certainly more applicable to our first or our temporal death. He has not abolished temporal death. It still reigns with unmitigated violence, and sweeps off its successive generations with as great sureness and rapidity as ever. This part of the sentence is not abolished, but is rendered ineffectual.

II. But another argument for the immortality of man has been drawn by philosophers from the moral state of his mind; and more especially from that progressive expansion which they affirm it to have undergone in respect of its virtues as well as of its powers. Still we fear that, in respect of this argument too, the flowery description of the moralists has no proof, and more particularly no experience to support it. Yes! we have heard them talk, and with eloquence too, of the good man and of his prospects; of his progress in life being a splendid career of virtue, and of his death being a gentle transition to another and a better world; of its being the goal where he reaps the honourable reward that is due to his accomplishments, or being little more than a step in his proud march to eternity. This is all very fine, but it is the fineness of poetry. Where is the evidence of its being any better than a deceitful imagination? Death gives the lie to all the speculations of all the moralists; but it only gives evidence and consistency to the statements of the gospel. The doctrines of the New Testament will bear to be confronted with the rough and vigorous lessons of experience. They attempt no ornament and no palliation. I cannot trust the physician who plays upon the surface of my disease, and throws over it the disguise of false colouring. I have more confidence to put in him who, like Christ the Physician of my soul, has looked the malady fairly in the face — has taken it up in all its extent, and in all its soreness — has resolved it into its original principles — has probed it to the very bottom, and has set himself forward to combat with the radical elements of the disease. This is what the Saviour has done with death. He has plucked it of its sting. He has taken a full survey of the corruption, and met it in every one quarter where its malignity operates. It was sin which constituted the virulence in the disease, and He hath extracted it. He hath expiated the sentence; and the believer, rejoicing in the assurance that all is clear with God, serves Him without fear in righteousness and in holiness all the days of his life.

(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

I. FIRST LET US CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE WHICH THE WORLD HAD FOR THIS DOCTRINE PRIOR TO THE ADVENT OF CHRIST. The general and continued prevalence of this opinion, even admitting it to have originated in revelation, must be traced ultimately to the natural sentiments of the human heart. We are all naturally desirous of immortality. We naturally love our being, and of consequence naturally desire its continuance. The thought of being reduced into nothing is revolting to a rational soul. Numerous considerations tend to give it a rational support, and to some of these suffer me to direct your attention.

1. I observe that the very nature of the human soul itself, so far as we are capable of comprehending it, affords a strong presumption in favour of its immortality. It is perfectly distinct and essentially different from the earthly tabernacle in which it is enshrined; for we know that it thinks and acts independently of the body, and even when the body is at rest.

2. So far is this from being the case, that there is a strong probability, arising from the analogy of nature, of the continuance of our existence after the great change of death has passed upon us. All nature dies to live again.

3. This anticipation is still further confirmed by a consideration of man as a moral and accountable being.

4. If, from considering man, we turn our attention to God, whose creatures we are, and of whose government we are the subjects, the evidence in favour of immortality rises still further in its importance and strength. These evidences, however, are not to be represented, as has been done by some, as of so decisive and complete a character as to supersede the necessity of Divine revelation. To be convinced of this, we need only consider the case of those sages of the heathen world, who had no other light than that of unassisted reason to guide them. We find many of the best and greatest amongst them filled with doubts and perplexities on the subject. Brutus, a man of rigid and stoical virtue, was, by the principles of his sect, an assertor of a future state; but, finding his own cause and that of his friends unsuccessful, he sunk into despair, and, in the immediate prospect of his departure, made this extraordinary exclamation: "I have worshipped virtue as the supreme good, but have found it to be only an idol and a name." Socrates, who was confessedly the brightest character in the heathen world, seems to have possessed much clearer views of immortality than any other individual among the Greek philosophers. Yet even his opinions are not delivered without much hesitation and doubt, and are far from being either uniform or consistent. At one time we find him affirming it to have been his deliberate opinion, after the most dispassionate inquiry, that the good and wise had every reasonable hope of happiness in a future state of existence. And yet this conviction, though he distinctly avows it, was not so firmly settled in his own mind as to prevent him taking his last leave of his friends by these most impressive words: "It is time that I should go away to die, and that ye should return to the active business of life. Whether you or I have the better portion, is known only to the immortal gods, but I think cannot be known with certainty by any individual man." Cicero, though one of the most enlightened men of all antiquity, and one that wrote more on this subject than any other individual, yet seems to have no settled or deliberate opinion with regard to it; and, in one particular passage, in which he refers to the perplexing and contrary views entertained by philosophers, we find him declaring: "But of these doctrines which is to be received as true, some god must declare unto us; which is the more probable even, is extremely doubtful."

II. Let us now examine THE SUPERIOR EVIDENCE WHICH THE GOSPEL GIVES US ON THIS SUBJECT.

1. In the gospel we have an express confirmation of the hope of nature, that the souls of men survive the dissolution of their bodies, and continue capable of exercising those powers and faculties which are essential to them.

2. Besides assuring us of the continued existence and consciousness of the spirit after death, the gospel informs us that the tabernacle of clay in which it was lodged, but which now lies mouldering in the dust of the earth, shall in due time be raised up in unfading life and activity, and re-united to its former spirit.

3. We are further assured in the gospel that the grand event of the resurrection will be the introduction to a state of retribution, which will admit of neither termination nor change.

4. While the gospel thus reveals to us a future state of inconceivable and endless bliss, it at the same time clearly points out the only certain way in which we can attain to the enjoyment of it.

(P. Grant.)

In discoursing upon these words, it shall be my endeavour to show what Jesus Christ has effected —

I. IN HIS OWN PERSON. Referring to the text, we find mention made of "Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death." It wilt, I doubt not, be readily admitted that, if the cause be removed, the resulting effects must necessarily cease. What, then, is the cause of death? It is a melancholy and humiliating reflection that man — the lord of this lower world, the vicegerent of the great Supreme on earth — should die, as do the brutes over whom he holds a delegated sway. Yet it is not more melancholy and humiliating than it is true — "His life is but as a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Yet it was not always so. The mortality of man is the direful effect of sin. And when it is stated that Jesus Christ "hath abolished death," it cannot mean that we are consequently exempt from paying the debt of our fallen nature. By no means; "it is appointed unto all men once to die." The most merciless tyrants have, at some particular seasons, shown signs of a merciful and yielding disposition; and the tears of imploring loveliness have pierced even their hard and cruel hearts. But not all the fascinations of beauty can arouse one kindly feeling in the breast of the king of terrors, or make one single impression on his relentless nature. By the term "death" here, we are not to understand merely natural death, but the corruption and decomposition which take place in consequence of it; and, though we must allow it a short and momentary triumph, yet in the end it will be totally "abolished." And how has this been brought to pass? By Jesus Christ. By His righteousness and atoning sacrifice, satisfaction has been made for the sins of the whole world; by His resurrection and ascension, proof is given that the power and dominion of death must eventually terminate. Let us now proceed to consider what the same gracious Saviour has effected for us —

II. BY MEANS OF THE GOSPEL. He has brought life and immortality to light. The literal translation of the original is: "He hath illustrated life and immortality by the gospel." This doctrine had never been illustrated and demonstrated before; it existed in promise, but had never been practically exhibited. But through what medium are we assured of this? It is the gospel alone which brings immortal life to light. It is this which rouses, extends, enlarges, and refines our limited views and sentiments.

(T. Massey, A. B.)

We will consider three things — first, the great subject "brought to light," "life and immortality"; secondly, the revelation — "He hath brought life and immortality to light"; and, thirdly, we will glance at the means by which this glorious subject is placed in the light of open day — it is "by the gospel."

I. IMMORTALITY NATURALLY AND ESSENTIALLY BELONGS TO GOD ALONE, "who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man approach unto; whom no man hath seen nor can see." By "life and immortality," in the language of the text, we simply understand immortal life, or existence incapable of decay. Human existence, or existence in the present world, is not, strictly speaking, immortality; it is liable to decay. The natural powers are liable to decay, and the natural members crumble into dust; and the intellectual powers are also liable to decay, in consequence of their being encased in, and connected with this crumbling and mouldering tabernacle. The gospel has brought to light this glorious fact: that there is an existence in another state for creatures such as we are, incapable of decay. By which we understand that it is an existence without sin; for in sin is involved and included all the elements of destruction, and nothing can remove the elements of destruction but the removal of sin. All the powers shall be cleansed, nicely balanced, rightly directed, and constantly employed; and they shall be raised beyond the reach of that which might tarnish, sully, deprave, or injure them for ever. As it is a state of existence without sin, so, consequently, it is a state of existence without sickness. And as there will be no sickness, as a matter of course there will be no pain. And that fear, which is such a source of torment, will be done away. And then as to gratification; there is nothing that can gratify a perfected intellect or a purified heart, but we shall possess it in all its fulness and purity, in order that we may enjoy it for evermore. "Life," with holiness; for as holiness is the principal perfection of God's nature, so holiness will be the principal characteristic of the Lord's people in a better state. "Life," with knowledge; for immortal life stands virtually in connection with spiritual knowledge. Hence Christ says: "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." It will be life, with peace in perfection, and life in the possession of joy; and all the future will be the anticipation of perfect satisfaction. It is, we may observe, life with God — we shall be "for ever with the Lord" — life in the presence, life in the possession, and life in the enjoyment of God. We may remark that it is life of the most perfect kind, in the highest degree. Now we know not what life in perfection is. I conceive that the highest kind of life will, in all the experience of the Lord's holy ones, be wrought up to the highest degree of perfection, and, in that state, it will be spent to reflect His honour, to perpetuate the glory of His grace, and for the honour of His glorious perfections, for ever. For, in other words, we may say it is life in employment and in enjoyment. We associate these two together, for in our minds they always are associated: we can conceive of no suitable employment without enjoyment.

II. THE REVELATION: "life and immortality are brought to light," intimating that immortal life was obscure before. The heathen had some idea of a state of immortal existence for the soul, but not for the body; although, according to the gospel, immortality is intended for the body equally with the soul.

1. He "brought to light," the purpose of God, which was to be wrought out through all the opposition of sin and Satan, and of man under their influence, that He would have a people possess an immortal existence incapable of decay — A life of the highest kind, in the most perfect degree.

2. He not only "brought to light" the purpose, but the promise. How frequently and how plainly does our Lord refer to this, particularly in the Gospel of St. John. We can refer but to one passage — the sixth chapter and the fortieth verse — "This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

3. He not only "brought to light" the promise, but He was Himself the example. You know He yielded to the death upon the cross. He came forth in the possession of immortal life, with an immortal body and an immortal soul.

4. He exhibited eternal life, as a blessing promised to the Church. "This," says the apostle John, with emphasis — "this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."

5. He not only exhibited it to us as a blessing promised, but as a prize to be gained; for there is nothing in the gospel to sanction indolence.

6. It is represented as the end which grace has in view. Hence the apostle, drawing the parallel between the two heads, or public representatives, says (Romans 5:20). It was "brought to light" as the great object of hope, upon which the eye of hope is to be fixed from time to time. And what made primitive Christians so cheerful, and dauntless, and bold, and courageous, was just this: they "were living," says St. Paul, "in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began."

III. THE MEANS BY WHICH THIS BLESSING IS "BROUGHT TO LIGHT" IS "THE GOSPEL,"

1. Now, in one view of it, the gospel is a kind of telescope, without which it is impossible to look so far into the distance as to see immortal life. There it is in the distance, but our faculties are so weakened by sin, and the mists of ignorance have so gathered between us and it that it is necessary there should be something to bring the mind's eye into contact with it. The gospel is that something. It brings the subject near, just in the same way as a telescope seems to bring the distant object near; so that we can look at it, gaze upon it, examine it, admire it, and enjoy it.

2. The gospel brings "life and immortality to light," because it shows us how we may get rid of sin, the cause of death.

3. The gospel not only tells how we may get rid of sin, the cause of death, but how we may obtain justification, the title to life.

4. As it tells us how to obtain justification, which is the title to life, so it informs us how we may surmount every obstacle that would keep us from the possession and enjoyment of it. It brings to our help the power of God, the wisdom of God, and the Spirit of God; in other words, it presents to us the Saviour, in all His fulness, and tells us how to every believer in Him He "is made wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."

(James Smith.)

By what means has Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light? I bring a triple reply. By His teaching, by His redemption, by His resurrection. Let us touch upon each of these points.

1. By His teaching, I said; but I must explain my thought. Do I mean that Jesus Christ brought to men logical arguments in order to prove eternal life, that He made of them a learned, rigorous, invincible demonstration, that He gave to the proofs which the philosophers employed before Him an irrefutable value, that He Himself added new proofs which convinced the reason for ever? Never, brethren; I will not say that, because I do not think it. Jesus Christ never undertook to prove the future life, and you will seek in vain on His lips for a single scientific reasoning which had that aim: the gospel no more demonstrates the future life than it demonstrates the existence of God. Brought it to light! How? What must be done in order to bring immortality to light? Ah! I understand you. The mysterious veil must be removed which hides the invisible world from us, that it may be penetrated and its secrets told to us. We ourselves are fatally arrested on the shores of the formidable ocean of death, and we do not know whether any new land shines there, beyond the flood, on the mysterious horizon. Darkness covers its waves; we try to throw light upon them, to direct the rays of our thought upon their depths; but that thought, which can follow the stars in their courses and calculate the laws of the world, is exhausted in the haze. We listen, and we hear only the monotonous noise of the billows in which the groanings of all past generations seem to be mingled, swallowed up in the common shipwreck which awaits us all. No one has come from that world, we say, to relate its secrets to us. But let some one appear, let him satisfy our ardent curiosity, let him tell us what heaven is, let him depict its beauties, let him recount the life which is the lot of the happy in glory, and our thirst will at least be appeased. Now, has Jesus Christ done that? Has He related to us what passes in heaven? Has He unveiled its mysteries to us? So little, as has been often remarked, that the gospel yields nothing here to our curiosity. If to bring immortality to light signifies to relate the secrets of the invisible world, it must resolutely be said, Jesus Christ has not done that. How striking does that moderation appear when we think that Jesus Christ could so easily have inflamed the souls of His disciples, and encouraged them to die, by depicting to them the splendours and the enjoyments of the world beyond! Recall the many founders of religion and false prophets who sent their disciples to death, intoxicating them with the promise of the delights which paradise reserved for them. In the teaching of Jesus Christ there is nothing like that. We see what Jesus Christ has not done, and what we might have expected from Him. I come back to my question: How has He, by His teaching, brought life and immortality to light? To solve it, to understand the novelty of His teaching as to this, let us see what ideas Jesus Christ found reigning around Him on this point. What did the hook of the Jews, the Old Testament, teach on this matter? I hear it affirmed to-day that the idea of the future life is foreign to the Old Testament. In support of that idea the silence of the Old Testament is alleged as to the point. Let us examine it. I open the Old Testament, that book to which the idea of immortality has remained, so it is said to us, almost unknown, and in its first pages I see announced the startling fact that death was not in the first intention and will of God; that it is a disorder, an overthrow, fruit of that moral overthrow called sin. Whence this conclusion is imposed on us, that man, created in the image of God, is made by Him for immortality. And in the pages which follow, speaking of a patriarch who walked in the ways of God, the Bible tells us of Enoch, as farther on it tells of Elijah, that he returned to God without passing through death. I come to the law of Moses. There is no mention made in it of eternity, I acknowledge this without hesitation; but I beg to remark that the question here is of a code addressed to a people, and that peoples do not live again as peoples. Legislation relates only to the present life; when even it should have to do with a religion like that of Moses, it would have to do with it only by its visible sides. The sole sanctions which it could promise are temporal sanctions; it has not to penetrate into the world beyond, for its mission expires there. After the law come the Psalms and the prophets. The Psalms — ah! I know they often express, with a bitter sadness, the idea that the activity of man ends at the tomb; but, to-day, could you not catch on the lips of a Christian similar expressions, when he thinks of the brevity of life, of the little time which is given him here below to serve his God? In addition to which, by the side of those longings, those presentiments of eternity, there are, I acknowledge, doubts, anxieties, uncertainties, in the presence of death among the believers of the Old Testament. It is still the age of twilight; shadows are everywhere mingled with the light. We can now imagine the state of beliefs in the centre where Jesus Christ appeared. What did Jesus Christ do? He sanctioned by His Divine authority belief in the Resurrection; He openly combated Sadduceeism; He returned unceasingly to the great thought of a last judgment; but is that all? If I wish to sum it up in one word, I do not hesitate to say that Jesus Christ has founded the faith in eternal life. And how? It was not always in simply supposing it, in illuminating all His teachings with that light, it was not only in speaking of heaven, as Fenelon has so admirably put it, as a son speaks of the house of his father; it is still, it is above all, in revealing to us an ideal of life to which our conscience is forced to subscribe, and which is a mockery if it should not continue and expand in eternity. What do all those words teach me? Eternal life. Listen "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted! Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled! Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth! Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!" Say if each of those words does not open before your gaze like a splendid vista into eternity itself. Tell me if each of those words does not end by stretching into eternal life. This simple example shows, in a striking manner, how Jesus Christ has founded faith in the future life. He has founded it on the human soul itself, interrogated in its deepest and truest instincts. Taught by that reflection, let us now take His teaching in its central and ruling thought. Indeed, how shall we seek the kingdom of God, if eternity is a vain word? How shall we pursue the ideal righteousness, if we ought to content ourselves with what the earth can give us? How shall we follow after holiness, if we must negative our living some day freed from that law of sin which we carry in our members? How shall we love, ill short, how shall we give our heart to God and to all Divine things, if we should not some day find God, and in Him possess all in eternity? Jesus Christ interrogates the human soul, and evokes in its depths those aspirations which eternity alone can satisfy. Hence, then, this is how the question shall be put: Faith in eternity will be faith even in the kingdom of God. The more we believe in the triumph of righteousness, of truth, of goodness, the more we shall believe in eternal life; the more satisfied we are with the present life, the less we shall understand that eternity is necessary. Instead of saying then, as the mystics will do after Christ, "Let your imagination lose itself in ecstasy, and you will see heaven"; instead of saying, as philosophers had said before Him, "Gather in your reason all the proofs which demonstrate immortality," Jesus Christ simply said, "Love, sanctify yourselves, thirst after righteousness; the more you do that, the more will eternity be necessary to you, the more you will love it, the more you will believe in it; for to live for holiness is to enter already, even here below, into eternal life." So, for Jesus Christ, eternal life begins, even here below, for every soul submissive to God; that word is used forty times in the New Testament, and it always designates the state of a soul which has entered into communion with God. There alone is true life in reality. Eternity embraces the present and the past as well as the future. Eternity, we are in eternity. For him who has entered into the plan of God, the heavenly kingdom begins even here below; only, while here below, everything is subjected to the blast of instability: in that other economy which we call heaven, life will be full and lasting, and joy will be there for ever.

2. That is how Jesus Christ, by His teaching, has founded faith in eternal life; but even that teaching had never sufficed to found that belief, if the work of redemption had not followed and crowned it. Eternal life is communion with God. But is it sufficient to tell us so? No, we have gone out from communion with God. Have we not all violated the law of the heavenly city, and can we enter it without a restorative act — without a holy pardon giving us access to it? The road which leads us to God passes the foot of a cross, and if that cross had not been planted that road would never have been opened to a single person. Without redemption there is no eternal life. It is by His Cross as much as by His teaching that Jesus Christ has brought immortality to light.

3. But would the Cross itself have had that efficacy if the Resurrection had not followed it? Listen to St. Paul. When he wrote to Timothy that Jesus Christ had conquered death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, on what, before all, did he place the accent if it was not on the resurrection of the Lord? What would remain of the gospel without the Resurrection? "The person of Jesus Christ and His teaching," you reply, "His life and His words, will always shine with the same lustre. What could a miracle add to the sublimity of His discourses, or of His character?" The reply seems plausible; and yet, I would ask your attention here to a fact. We have heard in our days many men holding the same language, who wanted a Christ without miracles and without a resurrection, who asked us what such prodigies added to His holiness. Years have passed, we have seen those men following the current of their thoughts; little by little the perfect holiness of Christ is obscured in their eyes; they have discovered blots in His life; His Divine aureole has grown pale; they see no more in Him to-day than the sage of Nazareth, sublime, but ignorant, and a sinner like all the children of men. In reflecting on this, I have found that the result of an irresistible logic was there. The person of Christ is one like His teaching. You cannot arbitrarily strike off such or such parts. All holds together in Him; His life, His words tend to the Resurrection as to their natural fulfilment; everything in Him supposes a victory over death; if that victory has not been obtained, His authority is shaken, His words lose something of their serene certitude, His ideal grandeur grows dim. As we have said, facts prove it every day. Let us suppose, however, that it is not so. Let us admit that Christ, conquered by death like all men, remains as grand, as holy. Have you reflected on the other side of the question? Have you asked yourself if faith in the future life would not for ever be shaken on the day when the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ should have disappeared from history?

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

It may at first be thought that in the words of the text St. Paul has overstated the originality of his gospel in its doctrine of immortality. For, on the one hand, we find the tokens of firm belief in a life beyond the grave among the very lowest savages: it is shown in their legends, in their accounts of dreams, in their customs of burial. But St. Paul does not, could not, deny that the expectation of an eternal life and the suspicion of immortality were astir among men before Christ rose from the dead, the first-fruits of them that slept: what he does claim is that through the gospel of the Resurrection God has brought the truth to light, and substituted for the shifting glimpses, the twilight hope, the unfinished prophecy of the past, a fact as stable as his prison walls, a fact which brings immortality itself into the broad light of day, and sets it, for those who believe that Christ is risen, among the steadiest axioms of life. He is satisfied that his eyes have seen the form, his ears have heard the voice of One who liveth, and was dead, and is alive for evermore. The expectation of a future life had indeed long been in the world: but it had been a very different thing from this. In the infantile mind of the savage it had been little mare than the mere inability to imagine how he could cease to be: it cost him less effort to think of the present as continuing than as stopping: he had not fancy or energy enough to conceive an end. It was impossible that a state of mind so purely negative should long take rank as an expectation among civilised men: in their higher and more active souls it must either become positive or pass away. It does become positive to the Greek and to the Jew: but at the same time it loses something of that unfaltering certainty with which it swayed the savage. Even David wonders "What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?" even Hezekiah cries to God, "The grave cannot praise Thee; death cannot celebrate Thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth." Whatever Christianity has done, or failed to do, this at least we need not fear to claim for it: that it has availed to plant the belief of our immortality among the deepest and most general convictions o( our race: that it has borne even into the least imaginative hearts the unfailing hope of a pure and glorious life beyond the death of the body: that it has shot through our language, our literature, our customs, and our moral ideas the searching light of a judgment to come and the quickening glory of a promised Heaven; that it has sustained and intensified this hope through countless changes of thought and feeling in centuries. of quickest intellectual development: and that it is now impossible to conceive the force which could dislodge from so many million hearts the axiom which they have learned from the gospel of the Resurrection. But is there in this achievement any evidence that that gospel is true? Let us seek some answer to this question. And first, may not this be said with truth: that there are some conceptions of our life, of ourselves, and of this present world, which, as moral beings, we have no right to entertain? We have no right, for instance, to entertain, still less to impart, the theory that there is any sin which men cannot avoid, any vice which they had better practise: we have no right to say to ourselves or others that our humanity is naturally vile or brutal. Conscience can condemn a thought as distinctly and authoritatively as it can an act: and there are abstract views of ourselves and our life which can only be accepted by doing ruinous violence to the moral sense. Such, and so criminal, is or would be the belief that this present life is all unreal and meaningless, a thing to be mocked at or despised as silly and abortive: as though all its interests and issues, even when they seem most free and hopeful, were really in the relentless grip of a blind or cruel force, and its government or anarchy, with all that we call law and right and reason, a mere amusement for some scornful spectator of our manifold delusion. We have no right, even in thought, so to jeer at ourselves: no man, being rational and moral, may think so meanly of his manhood. We live then, we go on working, upon the belief that the main and dominant element in life is reasonable and righteous: it is a belief which morality inculcates as a duty; without which effort and progress are words drained of all meaning. But does this world, indeed, display the character which we are thus forced to impute to it, if all the issues of a human life are finished all its drama played, its accounts all balanced, and its story closed, when the frail body dies; if life and immortality indeed have not been brought to light? But there are unnumbered souls for whom only the hope which Christianity has given them can justify the patient continuance of life, or arrest the quick growth of disappointment towards despair and madness.

(F. Paget, D. D.)

It seems to me a very striking evidence of the pressure of the burden of life in our times that so many thoughtful and cultivated men and women outside the pale of our Churches are not only indifferent to, but contemptuous of, immortality. I trace the present terrible questionings, to use no stronger word, of the fundamental realities of our being, our relation to God as a living Being and our personal immortality, to no ignoble source. I believe that they are mainly due to the increased pressure of the burden of life under our present conditions of highly developed sympathies and lofty views of duty. Hence life seems full of sadness and confusion, and the doctrine is rather welcomed which finds many able, though sad, preachers in these days that at death we have done with it for ever. The doctrine of immortality is not so much formally asserted in Scripture as assumed throughout as the basis of its appeals, and of its treatment of the questions of conduct, of duty, with which it occupies itself. It is no new truth Which the New Testament discovers and makes known; an old truth, the oldest truth, old as the constitution of man's nature, is "brought to light by the gospel." The dim form of it is brought out into the daylight, and all men not only feel, but see, it to be a truth of God. Here, in the Bible, is the strong confirmation and assurance of the doctrine. No man can accept this revelation as containing God's counsel, and deny or question man's immortality. But while our faith rests securely on the revelation and the history which the ages have handed down, it is deeply important to consider how far the truth is supported or discredited by all that we can gather from other sources of the nature, the constitution, and the destiny of man. How far does the study of man's nature and history help or hinder our belief in immortality? The argument is as follows: The belief that Christ, the risen Christ, was reigning with almighty power, and subduing all things to Himself, was a thought ever present with the men of all classes, orders, and callings, who wrought most mightily on the reconstitution upon a Christian basis of human society. I say, reconstitution on a Christian basis of human society. I wish I had time to go into the question; I think it would not be difficult to show that human society within the civilised area was literally perishing of moral corruption, when the light and truth which Christianity brought into the world restored it at the very spring. Nothing is more marked in the apostolic age than the contrast between the despondent, despairing tone of the noblest pagan literature, which utters its deepest wail over the hopeless corruption of society, and the tone of vital animation, of buoyant, exultant hope which pervades the whole field of the intellectual and spiritual activity of the Christian Church. The one is manifestly the wail of a world settling into death, the other the joyful cry of a world new-born, and conscious of a vigorous, aspiring life. And behind the latter, its inspiring idea, its moving force, was the reign of the risen and living Lord. It was not the tale of Calvary simply, the history of the martyrdom of martyrdoms, mighty as was the influence which that could not but wield over men. It was distinctly belief in Christ as a reigning King: one who was a present and transcendent force in the government of all human affairs. I do not say that the result of this vision of the reigning Christ was such heavenly order on earth as reigns on high. Alas! no. Man's passion, selfishness, vanity, and lust are too strong. But I do affirm that this was the strongest principle, the conquering principle of resistance to all that had been wasting and destroying heathen society before Christ appeared. It was this which created the stern conflict against sin, vice, and wrong which has been fought out through all the Christian ages. So from the open tomb, whose bars the Saviour burst as He arose, a flood of glorious, kindling light streamed forth; it spread as dawn spreads in the morning sky; it touched all forms of things in man's dark and dreary world with its splendor, and called man forth from the tomb in which his higher life seemed buried to a new career of fruitful, sunlit activity, opening a wondrous depth of meaning in the Saviour's words, "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." The exceeding readiness and joyfulness with which a truth so transcendently wonderful, so far out of and above the visible order of things, was welcomed everywhere, penetrating men's hearts as though they were made for it, as sunlight penetrates the darkness of the world, would be utterly inexplicable, except on the theory that they were made for it; that there was that in their nature which was pining and longing for it; which was made to live and rejoice in the light of it, as flowers drink in the light and the dew. They received the truth as truly the most natural of all things, according to the order of the higher nature; and they lodged it at once as an unquestionable verity in the treasury of their beliefs and hopes. It is easy to say in answer to this that it was a fascinating doctrine, and won its way easily by the promise which it appeared to hold forth to mankind. No wonder, it is said, men naturally long for immortality, and catch easily at any doctrine, however delusive, which seems to respond to their longing and justify their hope. "Man naturally longs for immortality." Let us look at it a little, and ask ourselves why he longs; how the idea could rise and take such firm possession of the strongest and most progressive races of our world. If he longs, it is somehow because he was made to long. Out of something in his constitution the longing springs. Now nature through all her orders seems to have made all creatures contented with the conditions of their life. The brute seems to rest with full contentment on the resources of his world. His soul shows no sign of being tormented by dreams; his life withers under no blight of regret. All creatures rest in their orders, and are content and glad. Violate the order of their nature, rob them of their congenial surroundings, and they grow restless, sad, and poor. Rob a flower of light or moisture, and it struggles with something like agonising earnestness in quest of them. This well-known tendency in perverted things to revert to the primitive type seems to be set in nature as a wonderful sign that things are at rest in their natural conditions — content with their life and its sphere; and that only by ways of which they are quite unconscious, and which rob them of no enjoyment of or contentment with their present, they prepare for the farther and higher developments of life. This restless longing in man, then, for that which is beyond the range of his visible world, this haunting of the unseen by his thoughts and hopes, this "eager hope, this fond desire, this longing after immortality," what does it mean? Has Nature, which makes all things, in all orders, at rest in their sphere, wantonly and cruelly made man, her masterpiece, restless and sad? We are driven to believe by the very order of Nature that this insatiable longing, which somehow she generates and sustains in man, and which is the largest feature in his life, is not visionary and futile, but profoundly significant, pointing with the surest, firmest finger to the reality, the solid enduring reality, of that sphere of being to which she has taught him to lift his thoughts and aspirations, and in which he will find, according to the universal order of the creation, the harmonious completeness of his life. It spread, then, the belief in this truth, rapidly, joyfully, irresistibly, not by art, not by fraud, not by force, but because it was of the nature of light which inevitably conquers and scatters darkness. Men saw themselves and their life, their present, their future, in the light of it, and the revelation was convincing. We have here, not the longing only, but, to carry it no further, we have the life of Christendom for eighteen centuries built on it; we have it as the mainspring of human progress for incomparably the most civilised, developed, and progressive era of human history. How did it come there? Either —

1. This result grew by natural development out of the precedent states and conditions of life, ascending under the guidance of what, for want of a better understanding of things, men call Nature — the vital force which is behind all the movement and progress of the world — through the successive stages of creature existence to the height of man. In that ease, what men call Nature would be responsible for it — and then this would result. There is no freedom or intelligent choice in Nature, according to the materialists. Everything that is grows out of its antecedents by inexorable law. But what it is impossible to believe is that Nature, the vital force, call it what you will, has pressed on the development up to man, and endowed man with this propulsive movement of his whole being towards the sphere of the spiritual, the immortal, the eternal, and then confesses its failure to carry it further, leaving its noblest child a prey to aimless longings and barren hope. Is there everywhere glorious progress up to man, while for man the way onward and upward, which Nature has somehow taught him to look for and to struggle towards, is finally and for ever barred? Is a broken column the perfect emblem of this great universe? Is its highest achievement a sad, wistful, hopeless life? For that is what man's life inevitably becomes when he is cut off from God and immortality. Nature does nothing in vain in the creation. All works into a sublime procession of progress. Let no one tempt you to believe that the procession halts, and that the progress which stretches through the whole chord of being, from a nebula to a constellation, from an atom to a world, from a cell-germ to a man, is broken off in man and dies out for ever.

2. Still more impossible is it to believe that this hope has no substance behind the veil to which it clings, and in which as an anchor of the soul it holds, on the other hypothesis, that the order of things is the work of a Divine hand, that the wisdom and power of God are at work on all developments and progresses of life. It seems blankly impossible to believe that God could have created man to imagine, to frame to himself, a picture of a whole universe of being behind the veil of sense, and beyond the river of death; could serenely watch him as he imagines it, and pleases himself with forecasting it as the theatre of his immortal life; could use it as an instrument to stir and stimulate his sluggish nature, and keep his faculties on the strain of effort by hope, when it is all a wretched illusion. Can it be believed for a moment that a wise Being can so have arranged His world that His loftiest creatures in nature and endowment can only live the lower life by dreaming about a higher, which is but a dream? If that is your scheme of the great creation, with man to head it, what kind of demon do you make of your God? No! Whether we look at this aspect and attitude of man towards the eternal as the last outcome of the vital pressure, be it what it may, which is working through creation, or as the fruit of the design of an intelligent Creator, who saw this end from the beginning of the processions of life — equally we are driven to the conviction which revelation makes sure, that man on the topstone of the material creation plants his foot on the threshold of a higher, a spiritual, an eternal world.

(J. Baldwin Brown, B. A.)

If the railway runs to a particular station and there stops, we call that station a terminus; and the association of finality springs up in our mind with regard to it, which has an influence upon our thoughts and feelings during the whole of the journey, and especially towards its close. "That is the station where we all stop and leave the carriages, having exhausted the value of our tickets." But if a new length of line be added, although the station remains, it is a different fact; its terminal character is abolished; the association of finality is dissolved from henceforth in our minds, and we think of the station no longer as a place where we must all come to a standstill, but as a point of brief tarrying on the way to other destinations. Now Christ, by His revelation of life and immortality, has added a line of indefinite length to the great human journey; it stretches away through prospects of vast extent and inconceivable grandeur; in the thought of life the terminality of death is lost, and it becomes only a fresh starting-point beyond which the noblest scenery begins to open. Let us, then, trace out some of those common experiences of our minds which lead us up towards Christ's revelation, which predispose us beforehand to expect that such a revelation would be given to us, and enable us the better to appreciate its evidences and welcome its reality when it arrives.

1. Take first our natural reluctance at the thought of death as a terminus. It is easy to see that wherever men have thought seriously, felt keenly, loved deeply, acted nobly, they have known this reluctance against death which reason could not overcome. Take as illustration those plaints which break out again and again in the sad, sweet music of the Book of Job. Listen again to this strain of King Hezekiah on his recovery from a dangerous sickness: "I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave; I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living.... The grave cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day." We are struck, in these examples, with the complete vacancy with regard to the future. Apparently men had no power to conceive of death in any other aspect than a terminus. They could not get the idea of continuation into their thoughts; we cannot get it out of ours. The explanation is that it has pleased God to reveal truth to the world by degrees; and the want of some one great truth leaves the mind helpless. It cannot see what is to be seen. If we look at a Chinese picture we perceive that the artist does not understand the truths of light and distance and gradation. He sees nature as a fiat screen, and pains her so. He cannot make the eye travel away into the background of limitless distance, as our great masters do. He wants the knowledge of a few truths which would at once alter his whole conceptions of nature and mode of representing it. I have stood in a gloomy chamber, where my vision was bounded by its walls; but suddenly a sliding door has been drawn, and there has burst upon me a glorious view of rushing stream, and rock, and woodland, arched by the blue sky, and suggesting enchanting distances. If ever I enter that pavilion again, I shall not look upon the dead wall with a blank and baffled gaze; I shall already seem to pierce it in imagination before the door is drawn, and be gazing out on the bright scene beyond. Men in those early days were groping for that sliding door unconsciously. The sadness and impatience at the bounding line of death impelled their thoughts to question whether it was really a bounding line. Their growing intelligent faith in the goodness of God worked in the same direction with the natural reluctance against death, till the first spark of the nobler truth was at last struck out; the first lines of gold appeared along the horizon, heralding the coming of the Divine Light-Bringer.

2. Next, we may note the great deterrent which the idea of immortality has proved to be in human life. When once an inkling of the great truth had entered men's minds it held them, and held them with increasing tenacity. It appears to be one of those truths which, once glimpsed, can never again be wholly lost sight of. There are, we know, to be found those who stoutly deny in words a future life; but it may be questioned whether they can shake off the yoke of the thought from their deliberations. No man can be certain there is not a future life, and this uncertainty is quite sufficient, as Shakespeare says in a well-known passage, to "puzzle the will," and make the man draw back from the verge of a crime. There are certain conditions of the human mind which appear to require the check supplied by the belief in immortality. It seems to be needed to ballast the temper under great sufferings and great temptations. Under the Roman Empire suicide was sadly common, because, there being no powerful belief of immortality, men thought themselves at liberty to dispose of their lives as they pleased. And we may justly argue that the full revelation of life and immortality by our Saviour Jesus Christ was called for by the saddened, wearied, dejected mental condition into which the world, with all its thought and civilisation, had fallen. The belief in a future life is doubtless an immense restraint upon wickedness, even although many do not know, or will not admit, what it is that restrains them. One of the keenest judges of human nature (Dr. Johnson) once said: "The belief in immortality is impressed upon all men, and all men act under an impression of it, however they may talk, and though, perhaps, they may be scarcely sensible of it." To this the reply was made that some people seemed to have not the least notion of immortality; and a distinguished man was mentioned as an example. "Sir," the great moralist replied, "if it were not for the notion of immortality, he would cut a throat to fill his pockets." History and human life in general show us that the nature of men requires repression; and that human laws and government are not sufficient for the purpose, although they act upon the same powerful principle of fear. Whenever and wherever the awful idea of a future has been pressed home upon men, there has been a speedy lessening of violence, ferocity, and crime.

3. Lastly, let us think of the belief of immortality as a needed incentive in human nature. We need stimulus, as well as repression. The one fact is as clear and constant as the other. We are naturally indolent except in the pursuit of our desires, tastes, interests. It is doubtful whether any man loves and pursues goodness purely for its own sake; at all events, to any considerable extent. The revelation of a future life comes in to meet this requirement; for all that goads and stirs up our spiritual energies draws its power from immortality, and from nowhere else. We are promised in an especial manner that we are to enjoy the sense of power and victory; and every pure and powerful instinct of our nature is offered its appropriate gratification in a state where God hath prepared for them that love Him things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.

(E. Johnson, M. A.)

The message of Easter, the gospel of the Resurrection, is the revelation of the Divine continuity of life, which shows us what life is already, with its mysterious connections and conflict; it shows us how we may conceive of life hereafter in its final consummation; it shows us how we may even now gain for the fulfilment of our appointed work the support of a Divine fellowship. The revelation of the risen Christ is the revelation of life present. Believers are undoubtedly to blame for allowing it to be supposed for a single instant that their faith deals only, or deals mainly, with the future. The clear voice of apostolic teaching is, "We have passed out of death into life." We have passed, and not we shall pass hereafter. "This is eternal life" in actual fruition, and not this will bring life as a later reward. "Our citizenship is in heaven." "We have come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem." And, indeed, a gospel to be real must be present. No one can look upon the phenomena of life without feeling its oppressing riddles. We need some light upon them. Earthly life is, and it must be, fragmentary, sorrow-laden, sinful. Who has not asked at some still moment, "How is my brief span of years crowded with little cares and little duties, relating to that past out of which it came, and to that future into which it will soon pass"? In the risen Christ we see the coherence, the unity of all action, and the real significance of simple work done in silence and obscurity. The manhood which Christ raised to heaven was enriched by the heritage of long ages, and matured in the fulfilment of the humblest offices of duty. .4. brief ministry only revealed what had been slowly shaped in unnoticed and forgotten ways. Looking to Him, living in Him here and now, we know that each human life is one in all its parts, and is essentially Divine; we know that it is one by the subtle influences which pass on from year to year, and from day to day; one by the continuous action of the will which shapes the fabrics of our character. We know that it is Divine; Divine in its present, if unseen, influence, Divine in the assurance of its future consummation. We know also that the unity of each single life is an image of the larger unity in which each single life is included. In the risen Christ we see the outcome of suffering; we cannot admit that in His life, closed to the eyes of men in betrayal, desertion, torture, there was one useless pang, one shadow of failure. All ministered to the same end. In the issue, even as we see it now, human judgments have been reversed. In the risen Christ we see the overthrow of sin. The end of sin is death, and Christ made death itself the way to life. The resurrection of Christ is thus a revelation of life present, disclosing the unity and the grandeur of the cause to which, with great services or small, we all minister, drawing joy, the joy of the Lord, out of our transitory sadnesses and disappointments, and pains, bringing the assurance that our last enemy shall be destroyed. It is also a revelation of life future. It is indeed a revelation of the future, because it is a revelation of the present. Future and present are essentially combined in the eternal. Under this second aspect the Resurrection conveys a two-fold lesson: it reveals the permanence of the present in the future; it reveals also in the future, as far as we can gain the thought, a form of life, fuller, better, more complete than this of our separated personalities. In Him, the representative of humanity, we see that the perfection of earthly life is undiminished by death; we see that what seems to be dissolution is only transfiguration; we see that all that belongs to the essence of manhood can exist under new conditions; we see that whatever be the unknown glories and the unimaginable endowments of the after life, nothing is cast off which rightly claims our affection and our reverence in this. This, however, is not all. Beyond this revelation of the ennobled permanence of the present in the life of the Resurrection, further depths of thought are open to us. Here on earth our lives are fragmentary and isolated; we are all separated one from another, and we are weakened by the separation. Our material frames are not, as we are tempted to think, the instruments of our union, but the barriers by which we are divided. The most active fellowship is at last irrevocably interrupted; the most intimate sympathy leaves regions of feeling ununited; but in the risen Christ we seem to have held out to us the image of a diviner life, in which each single believer shall be incorporated and yet not absorbed; the unity which is now foreshadowed in the unity of will with will is hereafter, as it seems, to be realised in a unity which shall embrace the whole being; each one will consciously share in the fulness of a life to which he has given himself, and will serve that by which he is maintained. To he in Christ is now the description of our vital energy; it will then be the sum of our existence; the body of Christ will then be no longer a figure, but a reality beyond all figures. And so it is given us to feel, even in the midst of our conflicts and estrangements, that the saddest differences of our mortal state are lost, as we are reminded by the most moving epitaph in our abbey: "Lost in the hope of the resurrection."

(B. F. Westcott, D. D.)

If on a starlight night we undertake a journey On foot, and we know the general bearings of the country along which we pass and the general direction of the course we must take to reach the desired goal, we may with care and painstaking come to the end of our journey in safety. The moon is shining in the heavens, the constellations are glittering over our heads, and by the aid of the stars travellers can cross the trackless desert. But there are disadvantages in taking the journey by night which do not exist in the full light of day. With care we may keep the beaten path by night, yet sometimes there are difficulties in so doing. Mr. Forbes tells us that in his long night ride in South Africa he was obliged to alight from his horse to feel the ground, that he might be sure of the waggon-track. Then there are finger-posts here and there, but the light at night will not enable us to decipher the inscriptions. We pass by pleasant orchards and gardens, and in the daytime we see the fruits and flowers, but these are hidden in the night. There are avenues of trees whose boughs and branches interlace, which cast dark shadows in the night, bat which in the day form cool resting-places. The beauty of the landscape is for the most part lost in the night, but in the day we look upon it with pleasure. The night journey is not so convenient and pleasant as the journey by day. Now, the journey by night represents to us the life of the saints of God before the advent of the Saviour into the world, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The journey by day represents the life of God's children living in the broad daylight of the Christian revelation. Christ said of Himself, "I am the light of the world." Before His coming it was the night-time of Divine revelation. God's saints must walk by faith, as men walk in the night by the light of the moon and stars. When He came, the Sun of Righteousness arose to bless the world with His light. There were dark shadows for the ancient saints where we find quiet resting-places. There were mysteries which they could not decipher, which are clear to us in the light of Christ.

I. CONSIDER CHRIST ABOLISHING DEATH.

1. Christ removed the uncertainty that hung over death. If we go down into the catacombs of Rome, the subterranean passages beneath the city, we may see the remains of heathen and Christian lying side by side. Over the heathen dead are inscribed words of hopeless sorrow. A Pagan mother writes words of bitter despair over her child, as if the handful of ashes were all that remained of the darling she once fondled and cherished. The ancient writings and funeral inscriptions of the heathen world, with few exceptions, corroborate the words of the Apostle Paul that they lived without hope, and that their sorrow for their departed friends was without hope. On the other hand, the words written over the Christian dead speak of the departed as being at rest with God. Over them we might write the words inscribed over the entrance to the catacombs of Paris, "Beyond these bounds they rest in peace, looking for the blessed hope." We must not attribute the same hopelessness to the Hebrew patriarchs, prophets, and righteous men of the elder dispensation. They seem to have had a persuasion of a life beyond the present. But a comparison of the words of the Old Testament saints with those of the apostles will present to us a contrast. "To die is gain." "Our home is in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour." "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness." Christ removed the uncertainty and obscurity which hung over death, and asserted the resurrection of all the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

2. Christ gives assurance of the full remission of sins and of the Divine favour to all who believe on Him. "The sting of death is sin."

II. JESUS CHRIST HATH BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT. Mark the force of the words "life" and "immortality." Life, as will be seen by comparing the passages in which the word occurs in the New Testament, represents the highest blessedness to which we can attain. If we are in Christ, a new life has been implanted within us by the Holy Spirit, and that life will grow and expand until we reach the highest of which our nature is capable. This term includes all the blessedness to be found in communion with God, from the open vision of the Saviour and His glory, from the society of God's redeemed people, from the study of God's works in creation, providence, and redemption, from the fullest and most perfect service of God; in one word, all that we sum up in the word heaven. The word immortality completes the conception of the better life, showing that it is without decay or death. Whilst everything around us is suggestive of decay, the life of the Spirit is one of immortality.

(W. Bull, M. A.)

Death, as a physical fact, is inevitable and universal. The history of our race is a succession of generations; which march, with unceasing tramp, across life's narrow stage, each treading on the heels of its hurrying predecessor. Like the leaves of the forest in spring, they come; only to be soon swept away again, like the leaves of the forest in autumn. They chase one another to destruction, like snowstorms scudding across the insatiate ocean's breast. No man can hope that he will be one solitary leaf, which the autumn's blast will spare; or one solitary snowflake, which will not melt among the billows. Therefore are all men, "through fear of death, all their lifetime subject to bondage." But Jesus has "abolished death" — has robbed him of his terrors, and broken the horn of his power. He has illumed the dark recesses of the tomb; and by a most Divine camera, pictured on the disc of faith the distant future to our gaze. He has connected that future with our present life; and has thus restored to the latter its true dignity and significance, while He has for ever dissipated the notion that man's doom is annihilation.

I. BEFORE THE APPEARANCE OF CHRIST LIFE AND IMMORTALITY WERE CONCEALED IN DEEPEST DARKNESS. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, Persians, and Chaldeans, seem to have had no idea of a future life whatever. Their wise men were merely students of nature. The materialism of the Chinese was, if possible, still more blank and absolute. In India the loftiest reach of speculation produced only the doctrine of Divine absorption. In Greece, philosophy, which means the study of religion, began about six centuries before Christ. was born at Miletus, in Asia Minor. He ranked among the seven wise men. He lived to a good old age, and enjoyed a high reputation for virtue. He first uttered that magnificent aphorism "Know thyself." This reveals to us a man of solitary meditation. He was wont to wander along the pebbly beach of the muttering sea; and it seemed to him that water, by which all things are nourished and kept alive, was the prime source of creation. The gods were made of this element. So was every human being, and at death the soul is soaked up by the parent earth. How mournful the reflection, that our race had gone so far astray from wisdom and from God, as to invent only so poor and crude an hypothesis through the most intense thinking of its noblest sage! Next came one to say that the soul was air; another, that it was fire. Neither of these conjectures allowed a future life. , a mathematician, conceived that numbers were the beginning Of creation. This mystical dogma was soon rendered more intelligible by one of his followers, an enthusiastic musician, who imagined that the human body was an instrument of music, and the soul but the symphony of its playing. When the chords of the lyre were snapped by death, then of course the melody departed, the soul became extinct. We now come to the prince of all Pagan religionists, . He was born in Ionia some five hundred years before Christ. He renounced all worldly grandeur, and applied himself, with most zealous devotion, to studies about God and man. He apprehended the Infinite One as a self-existent and eternal Spirit. But when he sought to know the truth about his own soul and its destiny, he was completely baffled. He bitterly complained that "error is spread over all things," and declared, in declining age, that he was yet, "hoary of years, exposed to doubt and distraction of all kinds." Time would utterly fail to tell of others, who sought with similar non-success to solve this great problem, "If a man die shall he live again?" None ever advanced one step beyond Xenophanes. He may fairly be taken as the type of man at his best state, with regard to religious knowledge, so far as the gospel is unknown. As to our own country, let me remind you of an anecdote about our druidical ancestors, which most beautifully and pathetically exhibits their utter ignorance of futurity. Their chieftains sat together in their council-hall, consulting about peace and war. It was the darkest hour of night. Resinous torches, rudely fastened against the walls, shed a few ghastly rays upon the grim countenances of the perplexed warriors. As they sat thus in deliberation, a poor bird, scared by some alarm and attracted by the light, suddenly fluttered into their midst through a small side window. More frightened than before, it hastily flew across to the opposite side, and escaped again, through another opening, into the darkness from which it had so transiently emerged. "Ah!" said the orator then speaking, "how like is our miserable life to that poor bird's passage! We come out of darkness, and know not why we are here: and then we are hurried into darkness again, not knowing whither we go." I have now established our position that, save for Christ and His gospel, men have ever been ignorant of life and immortality. It is so still. Without ranging over the heathen world, we may just state, that precisely the same questions are being agitated in Germany at this moment as were discussed in ancient Greece; and, apart from the Bible, with no better means of solving them, with no better hopes of success. "The united force of thousands of intellects, some of them among the greatest that have made the past illustrious, has been steadily concentrated on these problems without the least result. Centuries of labour have not produced any perceptible progress." But let us now turn to Christ and His gospel: and —

II. CONSIDER HOW HE HAS BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT, THEREBY ABOLISHING DEATH. In explication of this delightful topic, we must declare, first, what Christ has taught, and, secondly, what He has done, in relation to our immortal life.

1. He has taught us the truth concerning the future. The Saviour's doctrine of immortality comprises four particulars:(1) That men are spiritual and immortal creatures.(2) That their future state will be one either of perfect happiness or of unmitigated woe.(3) That the decision of this alternative, in every case, will depend upon personal moral character; and(4) That the acquisition and formation of this character is confined to the term of our earthly life.

2. We are to state what He has done to secure for us individually an immortality of blessedness. It would not have been enough merely to inform us about the future. We need to be guided into it with safety. If others could have demonstrated to us a final world of blessedness, they could not have made it ours; but Jesus has procured for us a title to the felicities, whose existence He has proved. He has undertaken to be to us "the Way, the Truth, the Life." We were guilty — He takes away our sin, having "died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God." We were polluted — He is our sanctification, purifying our souls "with the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." We were undeserving, but He achieves for us a title to heaven. "The gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ." That He may actually lift us up to the mansions above, is the reason why He has enlightened us concerning them.

(T. G. Horton.)

The vale of death is a road in which all men must travel; a path in which our fathers have gone before, and we ourselves must soon follow. It is therefore natural, and indeed of great importance, to inquire, whither it leads and where it will bring us.

I. THE GOSPEL HAS CONFIRMED THE EVIDENCE AND ASSURED US OF THE CERTAINTY OF A FUTURE STATE. Our Saviour has done much more than merely confirmed the truth of a future state.

II. As He has assured us of a life to come, so HE HAS REVEALED THE MANNER OF OUR DELIVERANCE FROM DEATH, BY A BLESSED AND A GLORIOUS RESURRECTION. This is the greatest and most important discovery that was ever made to the world.

III. Our Saviour has revealed in the gospel not only the resurrection but also THE GLORIFICATION OF THE BODY. It is at present mortal, tending constantly to dissolution, and, at last, crumbling into dust; but it will be raised incorruptible, and capable of lasting through immortal ages, like the soul to which it is to be united.

IV. Another important discovery made by the gospel IS THE GENERAL JUDGMENT BY JESUS CHRIST. This article of faith, as well as the two former, is matter of pure revelation. Whether God would sit in judgment Himself, or delegate that office to another; whether the judge would make a visible appearance, or remain invisible in judgment; and whether our fate should be decided by a particular trial of every person at death, or by a public and general judgment of the world, were unknown to mankind. To reveal these important circumstances was reserved for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel. Our Saviour's information extends beyond the future judgment.

V. HE HAS INTIMATED TO US THE GENERAL NATURE OF THE HEAVENLY FELICITY, and the principal sources from which it will spring. The gospel plainly intimates that in the heavenly state good men shall be delivered from the natural evils of this life, which fall heavy on some, and from which none are entirely exempted; that they shall be delivered from the injuries of evil men; nay, that they shall be delivered from the sufferings which they frequently bring upon themselves here, by the irregularity of their passions, and the folly of their own conduct. In the future state, the gospel informs us, the understanding will be enlarged, and made capable of extensive acquisitions; the heart will be completely purified, and rendered susceptible of the finest feelings, especially of love; and, to give scope to these affections, we shall be admitted into the noblest society, and enjoy a delightful intercourse with angels and saints, with Christ and God, with all that is great and good in the universe.

VI. To complete the discoveries of the gospel, OUR SAVIOUR HAS INFORMED US THAT THE FUTURE HAPPINESS IS ETERNAL. As the joys of heaven are complete and satisfactory, so they are permanent and perpetual; subject to no abatement, to no interruption or decay; not only large as our wishes, but lasting as our immortal souls.

(Andrew Donnan.)

I say discovery, not because a future life was wholly unknown before Christ, but because it was so revealed by Him as to become, to a considerable extent, new doctrine. Before Christ, immortality was a conjecture or a vague hope. Jesus, by His teaching and resurrection has made it a certainty. Again, before Christ, a future life lent little aid to virtue. It was seized upon by the imagination and passions, and so perverted by them as often to minister to vice. In Christianity this doctrine is wholly turned to a moral use; and the future is revealed only to give motives, resolution, force to self-conflict and to ,-. holy life. My aim, in this discourse, is to strengthen, if I may, your conviction of immortality; and I have thought that I may do this by showing that this great truth is also a dictate of nature; that reason, though unable to establish it, yet accords with and adopts it, that it is written alike in God's Word and in the soul. It is plainly rational to expect that, if man was made for immortality, the marks of this destination will be found in his very constitution, and that these marks will grow stronger in proportion to the unfolding of his faculties. I would show that this expectation proves just that the teaching of revelation, in regard to a future life, finds a strong response in our own nature. This topic is the more important, because to some men there seem to be appearances in nature unfavourable to immortality. To many, the constant operation of decay in all the works of creation, the dissolution of all the forms of animal and vegetable nature, gives a feeling, as if destruction were the law to which we and all beings are subjected. It has often been said by the sceptic, that the races or classes of being are alone perpetual, that all the individuals which compose them are doomed to perish. Now I affirm that the more we know of the mind the more we see reason to distinguish it from the animal and vegetable races which grow and decay around us; and that in its very nature we see reason for exempting it from the universal law of destruction. When we look around us on the earth we do indeed see everything changing, decaying, passing away; and so inclined are we to reason from analogy or resemblance, that it is not wonderful that the dissolution of all the organised forms of matter should seem to us to announce our own destruction. But we overlook the distinctions between matter and mind; and these are so immense as to justify the directly opposite conclusion. Let me point out some of these distinctions.

1. When we look at the organised productions of nature we see that they require only a limited time, and most of them a very short time, to reach their perfection, and accomplish their end. Take, e.g., that noble production, a tree. Having reached a certain height, and borne leaves, flowers, and fruit, it has nothing more to do. Its powers are fully developed; it has no hidden capacities, of which its buds and fruit are only the beginnings and pledges. Its design is fulfilled; the principle of life within it can effect no more. Not so the mind. We can never say of this, as of a full-grown tree in autumn, it has answered its end, it has done its work, its capacity is exhausted. The mind, by going forward, does not reach insurmountable prison-walls, but learns more and more the boundlessness of its powers, and of the range for which it was created.

2. I now add, that the system of nature to which the tree belongs requires that it should stop where it does. Were it to grow for ever it would be an infinite mischief. But the indefinite expansion of the mind, instead of warring with and counteracting the system of creation, harmonises with and perfects it. One tree, should it grow for ever, would exclude other forms of vegetable life. One mind, in proportion to its expansion, awakens and, in a sense, creates, other minds. It is an ever-enlarging source of thought and love.

3. Another distinction between material forms and the mind is, that to the former destruction is no loss. They exist for others wholly, in no degree for themselves; and others only can sorrow for their fall. The mind, on the contrary, has a deep interest in its own existence. In this respect, indeed, it is distinguished from the animal as well as the vegetable. An improved mind understands the greatness of its own nature, and the worth of existence, as these cannot be understood by the unimproved. The thought of its own destruction suggests to it an extent of ruin which the latter cannot comprehend. The thought of such faculties as reason, conscience and moral will, being extinguished — of powers akin to the Divine energy, being annihilated by their Author — of truth and virtue, those images of God, being blotted out — of progress towards perfection, being broken off almost at its beginning — this is a thought fitted to overwhelm a mind in which the consciousness of its spiritual nature is in a good degree unfolded, In other words, the more the mind is true to itself and to God, the more it clings to existence, the more it shrinks from extinction as an infinite loss. Would not its destruction, then, be a very different thing from the destruction of material beings, and does the latter furnish an analogy or presumption in support of the former? To me, the undoubted fact that the mind thirsts for continued being, just in proportion as it obeys the will of its Maker, is a proof, next to irresistible, of its being destined by Him for immortality.

4. Let me add one more distinction between the mind and material forms. I return to the tree. We speak of the tree as destroyed. We say that destruction is the order of nature, and some say that man must not hope to escape the universal law. Now we deceive ourselves in this use of words. There is in reality no destruction in the material world. True, the tree is resolved into its elements; but its elements survive, and still more, they survive to fulfil the same end which they before accomplished. Not a power of nature is lost. The particles of the decayed tree are only left at liberty to form new, perhaps more beautiful and useful combinations. They may shoot up into more luxuriant foliage, or enter into the structure of the highest animals. But were mind to perish, there would be absolute, irretrievable destruction; for mind, from its nature, is something individual, an uncompounded essence, which cannot be broken into parts and enter into union with other minds. I am myself, and can become no other being. My experience, my history, cannot become my neighbour's. My consciousness, my memory, my interest in my past life, my affections, cannot be transferred. If in any instance I have withstood temptation, and through such resistance have acquired power over myself and a claim to the approbation of my fellow-beings, this resistance, this power, this claim, are my own; I cannot make them another's. I can give away my property, my limbs; but that which makes myself, in other words, my consciousness, my recollections, my feelings, my hopes, these can never become parts of another mind. In the extinction of a thinking, moral being, who has gained truth and virtue, there would be an absolute destruction.

(W. E. Channing, D. D.)

It is noticeable how small a space is given to death in the New Testament, as if our Lord Jesus made light of it! His idea of it is sleep. How full of peacefulness is this idea! There is nothing dreadful about it. "Lord, if he sleep he shall do well!" Beautiful and benign sleep! Our little children, when the time comes and the parent commands it, go to sleep. They laugh as they climb the stairs; there is a short silence as they kneel; then we hear them singing as the last evening sunbeams brighten the room, till sleep nestles down on their eyelids and they know nothing more till the morning's sun wakes the birds outside, and another day is here! Thus shall it be with God's children when they die. Their Father will, at the proper time, bid them put there work aside and go to rest. Not unwillingly, but with cheerful love they obey. Amid the evening glow of that Divine kindness which has brightened their working hours they will say "good-night" to their friends and the world and peacefully "sleep in Jesus," "until the day break and the shadows flee away."

(I. E. Page.)

A child that has been penned up in narrow quarters, with few playthings, and in constrained circumstances, has a grandfather and grandmother living in the country. There is the farmhouse full of rude abundance; there are the ample grounds; there is the brook, with fish in it; there is the big barn; and there are all manner of things in the barn-yard. The child has been out there once; and he had such liberty, and found his grandma such a dear old grandma, and his grandpa such a kind old grandpa, that the days were not long enough. He had so much sport, and was made so much of, and was never scolded, and never sent to school, and had nothing to do or to think of but to play, play, play all the time, that he would have liked to abide there. But he has been taken back to the city, and he lives in a narrow house, and has to go to school, and has to do this thing and that which are irksome to him, and is put through all the paces which are thought necessary for his education and development; and he longs for his country experience again. When spring comes round once more, the father and mother say to the little fellow, "Now, if you are a good boy, next June we are going to take you out to grandpa's." The idea of going out of the city to grandpa's! The child's mind is filled with all manner of delights. Ah, what perfect ecstacy he feels! He dreams about going, and rejoices in the thought. He does not analyse the intermediate steps, nor think much about them. His grandpa's is the place where, to his thought and affection, centres everything that is most heavenly — for a boy on earth, that is. I suppose that comes nearer to representing the feelings which the primitive disciples, the early Christians, had about dying, than any other illustration that you could well make. It was to go and be with the Lord.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Rabelais, when dying, said, "I go to seek a great may be."

(T. Carlyle.)

Renan is unquestionably one of the most distinguished among those who deny the existence of a creative will and personal God. Yet Renan cannot make up his mind that he has lost for ever his beloved sister; that she has passed into the night of nothingness. He dedicates his "Life of Jesus" to her memory;...and invokes "the pure soul of his sister Henriette, who died at Byblos, September 24, 1861, to reveal to him, from the bosom of God in which she rests, those truths which are mightier than death, and take away the fear of death."

(J. H. Rigg, D. D.)

In India a dreaded pass stretches between high rocks which frown from either side, as if ready to entomb the traveller who walks below. But when, towards evening, the sun in its westward journey reaches the head of the defile and pours its rays directly into it, the whole aspect of the valley is changed, The sun, standing there, brightens the gloom into light and beauty. Who now would dread to pass that way? Thus shall it be with those who die in Christ. The living have always dreaded the gloom of the dark valley; but what if, as we pass, the Sun of Righteousness shall shine overhead?

(I. E. Page.)

As one, taking his friend up a hillside in Scotland, that he might have a glorious view of Loch Lomond, bade him close his eyes, and led him by the hand till he could say, as the splendour of the landscape lay before him, "Now open your eyes," so Christ has a glory of heaven to show His people; but ere its full revelation they must close their eyes in death and clasp His hand for a few steps in darkness, to open them at His bidding amid the glories of heaven, and behold for themselves what "He hath prepared for them that love Him."

(I. E. Page.)

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