Hebrews 2:14
Therefore, since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity, so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil,
Sermons
A Death SceneHebrews 2:14
Bondage Through Fear of DeathW. Sparrow, LL. D.Hebrews 2:14
Christ Overcoming the Devil by DeathW. Gouge.Hebrews 2:14
Christ Robbing Death of its TerrorsD. Young Hebrews 2:14
Christ, the Destroyer of the DevilH. Melvill, B. D.Hebrews 2:14
Christ's Assumption of Human NatureJ. Parsons, M. A.Hebrews 2:14
Christ's VictoryH. W. Webb-Peploe, M. A.Hebrews 2:14
Christ's Work of Destruction and Deliverance. Rev. John H. JamesKnowles KingHebrews 2:14
Death Like Going into Another RoomDr. Bushnell's LifeHebrews 2:14
Death NearW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 2:14
Death of a BelieverT. Rogers.Hebrews 2:14
Deliverance .From the .Fear of DeathS. Coley.Hebrews 2:14
Deliverance .From the Fear of DeathR. Mayo, M. A.Hebrews 2:14
Deliverance by Christ from the Fear of DeathJohn Jardine.Hebrews 2:14
Deliverance from the Fear of DeathW. Harris, D. D.Hebrews 2:14
Deliverance from the Fear of DeathJ. Hawes, D.D.Hebrews 2:14
Deliverance from the Slavish Fear of DeathJames Clason.Hebrews 2:14
Delivered from the Fear of DeathHebrews 2:14
Fear of DeathJohn Trapp.Hebrews 2:14
Fear of DeathBaxendale's AnecdotesHebrews 2:14
Fear of DeathC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 2:14
Fear of Death PropheticHenry Smith.Hebrews 2:14
Fear of Death the Means of ConversionBaxendale's AnecdotesHebrews 2:14
God TranslatedH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 2:14
He Also HimselfC. Clemance, D. D.Hebrews 2:14
How Christ Takes Away Fear of DeathR. S. S. DickinsonHebrews 2:14
How Did Christ Through Death Free from the Fear of DeathA. B. Bruce, D. D.Hebrews 2:14
Jesus the Conqueror of DeathMadame de Gasparin.Hebrews 2:14
Jewish Conception of DeathW. Robertson Smith, M. A.Hebrews 2:14
No Danger in Death for the GoodJ. Stevenson.Hebrews 2:14
No Death for the ChristianHebrews 2:14
No Fear in DeathBaxendale's AnecdotesHebrews 2:14
Peace in DeathChildren's Missionary Record.Hebrews 2:14
Power of Death -- not of LifeHebrews 2:14
The Christian's ProtectorHebrews 2:14
The Death of DeathF. B. Meyer, B. A.Hebrews 2:14
The Destroyer DestroyedC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 2:14
The Devil's Possession of the Power of DeathW. Gouge.Hebrews 2:14
The Fear of DeathW. Sparrow, LL. D.Hebrews 2:14
The Fear of Death RemovedG. Lawson.Hebrews 2:14
The Joy of Death to the ChristianJohn Bradford.Hebrews 2:14
The Moral Significance of Christ's HumanityHomilistHebrews 2:14
The Mystery of GodlinessJ. H. Newman, D. D.Hebrews 2:14
The Only Effectual Antidote to the Dread of DissolutionAlex. Jack, D. D.Hebrews 2:14
The Power of Death DestroyedHebrews 2:14
Which DeathA. Saphir.Hebrews 2:14
Why Fear DeathLittle's Historical Lights.Hebrews 2:14
Why Men Fear DeathW. Sparrow, LL. D.Hebrews 2:14
The Incarnation a Necessity of the Redeeming Work of ChristC. New Hebrews 2:11-16
The Incarnation of the Son of GodW. Jones Hebrews 2:14, 15
The Sublime Results of the Incarnation and Death of ChristJ.S. Bright Hebrews 2:14-18
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers, etc.

I. THE GREAT FACT OF THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same." These words suggest:

1. The reality of our Lord's human nature. He partook of our flesh and blood. His body was real, and not merely phenomenal. His physical experiences - e.g., weariness, hunger, thirst, pain, death - were real, not pretended. His human soul also, with its sympathies and antipathies, was genuine.

2. A peculiarity of our Lord's human nature. His human nature was voluntarily assumed. He partook of flesh and blood. We could not apply these words to Moses or to St. Paul without manifest absurdity. We had no choice as to whether we should be or not be, or what we should be; whether we should exist at all, or, if we were to exist, what form of existence should be ours. But he had. We were brought into this world without our will; he "came into the world" of his own will. "He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant." This implies:

(1) His existence before his incarnation. "His goings forth were from of old, from everlasting."

(2) His power over his own existence. He could take upon himself what form of existence he pleased. He had power over his life. He had "power to lay it down, and power to take it again."

(3) His deep interest in human existence. "He was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor," etc.

II. THE GRAND DESIGN OF THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD. "That through death he might bring to nought him that," etc.

1. Our Lord became man in order that he might die. All other men die because they are human, and their death is unavoidable; but he assumed our nature for the express purpose of acquiring the capability of death. His death was of stupendous importance. He looked forward to it; he preannounced it to his disciples; he deliberately advanced to it; he voluntarily endured it.

2. Our Lord died in order that he might vanquish death. "That through death he might bring to nought him that had," etc. He does this

(1) By the abolition of Satan's power over death. Satan may be said to have the power of death, inasmuch as:

(a) Death, as we know it, is the result of sin, and he introduced sin into our world, and is actively engaged in propagating it. "The sting of death is sin." But for sin, it might have been "a gentle wafting to immortal life."

(b) He kindles the passions which lead on to death; e.g. anger and revenge, which often result in murder; lust of territory, which often causes war, etc.

(c) He inspires the mind with terror in the anticipation of death. The gloomy and dreadful ideas which are frequently associated with death are probably suggested by him. Our Lord died to render this power of Satan ineffective, and in this respect to bring him to nought. How his death effects this we will inquire shortly.

(2) By the emancipation of man from the thraldom of the dread of death. Men recoil in alarm from death for several reasons; e.g.:

(a) The supposed anguish of dying. A good Christian who was drawing near to the river of death said, "I have no doubt of going to heaven; but oh, the crossing, the crossing!

(b) The painful separations which death causes. Tennyson truly expresses the feeling of many in this respect -

For this alone on Death I wreak
The wrath that garners in my heart;
He puts our lives so far apart
We cannot hear each other speak."

(c) The appalling mystery as to what lies beyond death-

"The dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns."

(d) The solemn judgment to which it leads. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that, judgment." The dread of death, for these and other reasons, holds men in bondage, enslaves them; they cannot shake it off. Our Lord died to set them free from this thraldom. But how does his death effect this? He was "manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." As an atonement for sin, his death removes the guilt of all who heartily believe on him. Death is no longer penal to them. For them "the sting of death" is taken away. Again, since Christ died and rose again from the dead, death wears a new aspect to the Christian. It is no longer the end of our existence, but an onward and upward step in our existence. It means not repression, but development; not loss, but gain; not the way to darkness and misery, but to light and joy. Death to the Christian is no longer "the king of terrors," but the kind servant of the Lord and Giver of life.

Death is the crown of life:
Were death denied, poor man would live in vain;
Were death denied, to live would not be life;
Were death denied, even fools would wish to die.
Death wounds to cure; we fall, we rise, we reign!
Spring from our fetters; fasten in the skies,
Where blooming Eden withers in our sight.
Death gives us more than was in Eden lost.
This king of terrors is the prince of peace."


(Young.) Thus, by his own voluntary death, the Son of God brings to nought Satan's power of death, and sets free the captives of the dread of death. Death itself remains, but its character and aspect to the Christian are completely changed. The evil of death is vanquished, and transformed into blessing. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - W. J.







Himself likewise took part of the same.
Our Saviour's birth in the flesh is an earnest, and, as it were, beginning of our birth in the Spirit. It is a figure, promise, or pledge of our new birth, and it effects what it promises. As He was born, so are we born also; and since He was born, therefore we too are born. As He is the Son of God by nature, so are we sons of God by grace; and it is He who has made us such.

1. This is the wonderful economy of grace, or mystery of godliness, which should be before our minds at all times, but especially at this season, when the Most Holy took upon Him our flesh of "a pure Virgin," by the operation of the Holy Ghost, without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin." He it was who created the worlds; He it was who interposed of old time in the affairs of the world, and showed Himself to be a living and observant God, whether men thought of him or not. Yet this great God condescended to come down on earth from His heavenly throne, and to be born into His own world; showing Himself as the Son of God in a new and second sense, in a created nature, as well as in His eternal substance.

2. And next, observe, that since He was the All-holy Son of God, though He condescended to be born into the world, He necessarily came into it in a way suitable to the All-holy, and different from that of other men. He took our nature upon Him, but not our sin; taking our nature in a way above nature. It was ordained, indeed, that the Eternal Word should come into the world by the ministration of a woman; but born in the way of the flesh He could not be. How could He have atoned for our sins, who Himself had guilt? or cleansed our hearts, who was impure Himself? or raised up our heads, who was Himself the son of shame? Priests among men are they who have to offer "first for their own sins, and then for the people's"; but He, coming as the immaculate Lamb of God, and the all-prevailing Priest, could not come in the way which those fond persons anticipated. He came by a new and living way, by which He alone has come, and which alone became Him. Because He was "incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary," therefore He was "Jesus," a "Saviour from sin." Because God the Holy Ghost wrought miraculously, therefore was her Son a "Holy Thing," "the Son of God," and "Jesus," and the heir of an everlasting kingdom.

3. This is the great mystery which we are now celebrating, of which mercy is the beginning, and sanctity the end: according to the Psalm, "Righteousness and peace have kissed each other." He who is all purity came to an impure race to raise them to His purity. He, the brightness of God's glory, came in a body of flesh, which was pure and holy as Himself, "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish"; and this He did for our sake, "that we might be partakers of His holiness." He who "hath made of one blood all nations of men," so tat in the sin of one all sinned, and in the death of one all died, He came in that very nature of Adam, in order to communicate to us that nature as it is in His person, that "our sinful bodies might be made clean by His body, and our souls washed through His most precious blood"; to make us partakers of the Divine nature; to sow the seed of eternal life in our hearts; and to raise us from "the corruption that is in the world through lust," to that immaculate purity and that fulness of grace which is in Him.

4. And when He came into the world, He was a pattern of sanctity in the circumstances of His life, as well as in His birth. He did not implicate and contaminate Himself with sinners. He came into the world, and He speedily left the world; as if to teach us how little He Himself, how little we His followers, have to do with the world. And while He was here, since He could not acquiesce or pleasure Himself in the earth, so He would none of its vaunted goods. He would not accept lodging or entertainment, acknowledgment, or blandishment, from the kingdom of darkness. He would not be made a king; He would not be called Good Master; He would not accept where He might lay His head. His life lay not in man's breath, or man's smile; it was hid in Him from whom He came and to whom He returned. Now all this is quite independent of the special objects of mercy which brought Him upon earth. Though He had still submitted Himself by an incomprehensible condescension to the death on the Cross at length, yet why did He from the first so spurn this world, when tie was not atoning for its sins? He might at least have had the blessedness of brethren who believed in Him; He might have been happy and revered at home; He might have had the honour in His own country; He might have submitted but at last to what He chose from the first; He might have delayed His voluntary sufferings till that hour when His Father's and His own will made Him the sacrifice for sin. But He did otherwise; and thus He becomes a lesson to us who are His disciples. He, who was so separate from the world, so present with the Father even in the days of His flesh, calls upon us, His brethren, as we are in Him and He in the Father, to show that we really are what we have been made, by renouncing the world while in the world, and living as in the presence of God.

(J. H. Newman, D. D.)

Homilist.
I. THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST WAS SELF-ASSUMED.

1. His antecedent existence.

2. His power over existence.

3. His interest in human existence.

II. IT WAS SELF-ASSUMED IN ORDER TO DIE.

1. This fact is as wonderful as the former.

2. This fact can only be justified by the former.

III. HE DIED IN ORDER TO DESTROY THE TERROR OF DEATH IN HUMANITY.

1. The terror of death is an idea.

2. Christ's death is suited to remove all painful ideas.

(1)It shows that death is not the end of existence.

(2)It shows that death might become the greatest blessing of existence.

(Homilist.)

He "took" — he did not inherit, or receive — a body. It is not the language that describes the ordinary birth of a common man. How strange it would sound if we were to speak of our children as if they had a thought or volition respecting their nature, and as if they were pleased to take on them such and such a body, when they were born! It describes voluntary action. It was an act contemplated beforehand. It implies not only pre-existence, but power, dignity, and condescension. But the language clearly indicates a choice of one raised higher than all merely created beings. "He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham." That is, He is more than man. He is more than angel. He refused, when turning in His mind the course He should pursue, to take on Him the nature of angels, but concluded, for a good and sufficient reason, to assume even a lower place, and become a man. Is He less than God, that is more than man and more than angel? Did He create, and does He sustain, the world in which we dwell? The first chapter of John's Gospel unequivocally declares that fact. It is also unequivocally declared in the Hebrews. The practical result, then, of this exposition is this: Christ is presented to us as the comprehensible form of God. He is God translated. They that worship God as a mere spirit worship under the most difficult circumstances in which it is possible for the human mind to worship. It is the Scriptural remedy to worship the Father through Christ. And they that worship Christ as very God are enabled to worship under circumstances which make it very easy. For Christ is God present to us in such a way that our senses, our reason, and our affections, are able to take a personal hold upon Him. It is just the difference between a God afar off and a God near at hand; between a God that the heart can reach, and by its common sympathies understand and interpret, and a God which only the bead and imagination can at all reach or descry — and even these only as astronomers' glasses descry nebulous worlds at so vast a distance that the highest powers cannot resolve them, or make them less than mere luminous mist. Why, then, did Christ come into the world, and take the form of man? Because men were His children, because He loved them, and because the way to take hold of them was to bring Himself down into their condition, so that they should be able to see Him and feel Him, and that by the power of sympathy God might have access to every human soul. That is the reason of the incarnation of Christ. He did the same as we do, in faint analogies. A Moravian missionary once went to the West Indies to preach to the slaves, lie found it in possible for him to carry out his design so long as he bore to them the relation of a mere missionary. They were driven into the field very early in the morning, and returned late at night, with scarcely strength to roll themselves into their cabins, and in no condition to be profited by instruction. They were savage towards all of the race and rank of their masters. He determined to reach the slaves by becoming himself a slave. He was sold, that he might have the privilege of working by their side, and preaching to them as he worked with them. Do you suppose the master or the pastor could have touched the hearts of those miserable slaves as did that man who placed himself in their condition? This missionary was but following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who took on Him the nature of men, and came among them, and lived as they lived, that He might save them from their sins. Do any think that this view of God is degrading? If your God were Jupiter, it would be; but if He is the Father of the universe, it is ennobling and full of grandeur. The grandest deeds in his world are the loving condescensions of great natures to the help of weak ones. No crown so becomes a king as the service of low and suffering natures by these that are high and happy.

1. In view of this, I remark that, as it is by the personal power of the Lord Jesus Christ, upon the hearts of His children, that He works all goodness in them, so all attempts to live a religious life which leave out this living, personal, present sympathy of the Christ-heart with our human heart, will be relatively imperfect. Men's lives will be imperfect enough, at any rate; but when they neglect this vital inspiration, it seems scarcely possible to live at all with religious comfort. Our religious joy never springs from the conception of what we are, but of what God is. No man's life, attainments, purposes, or virtues can yield him full peace. It is the conviction that we are loved of God, personally by name and nature, with a full Divine insight of our real weakness, wickedness, and inferiority that brings peace. Nor will this become settled and immovable until men know and feel that God loves them from a nature in Himself, from a Divine tendency to love the poor and sinful, that He may rescue and heal them. God is called a sun. His heart, always warm, brings summer to the most barren places. He is inexhaustible in goodness, and His patience beyond all human conception.

2. All those views of God which lead you to go to Him for help and strength are presumptively true views, and all those views of God which tend to repress and drive you away from Him are presumptively false views. Any view which presents God as a being whose justice shall make sinners, who wish to return to Him, unable to do so, is a false View. If we have done wrong, in Him is the remedy. He is the Sun that shows us, when we are in darkness, where to go; He is the bright and morning Star that makes our dawn and twilight come to us; He is our Way; He is our Staff; He is our Shepherd; he is our sceptred King, to defend us, from our adversaries: He is all in all, to all!

3. Those states of mind, then, in us, which bring us nearest to God, and which bring us to Him most confidingly, are such as honour Him most and please Him most. There are a great many who wish they could please God, and would give anything if they could only be prepared to please Him. Most will you please Him when you confide in Him! If earthly parents can lift themselves up into feelings of holy sympathy for a repentant child, what must be the feelings of God when His children come to Him for help to break away from sin, and to lead lives of rectitude? Read the fifteenth chapter of Luke, and find out what God's feelings are; and then say, "I will arise and go to my Father."

(H. W. Beecher.)

I. AN IMPORTANT FACT IN REFERENCE TO THE SAVIOUR.

1. He assumed true human nature.

2. He did this for the welfare of mankind.

II. THE GREAT OBJECT AND DESIGN CONNECTED WITH THIS FACT,

1. Death is that to which all mankind are subject.

2. Death is placed in the power of the great adversary of man.

3. The prospect of death exposes men to a fear amounting to mental bondage.

4. Christ delivers mankind from this bondage.Because Christ has made an atonement, Satan has no longer power over men to keep them in bondage. It only remains that we make an application of this atonement by faith, and then over us death has no more power.

(J. Parsons, M. A.)

In a sermon from this text the Rev. Evan Harris, of Merthyr, makes the following divisions.

1. "The children."

2. "He also."

3. "The devil."I hear some timid disciple say, "Ah, I see the devil lurks in that text." Yes, he does; but remember that "He also" is there too. Fear not, timid one, for it cannot fare badly with "the children" if "He also" Himself is between them and the devil. The secret of safety is in being near Him.

Destroy him that had the power of death.
Sundry are the respects wherein the devil may be said to have the power of death.

1. As he is the executioner of God's just judgment. He is in this regard as an hangman, who may be said to have the power of the gallows because he hangeth men thereon.

2. As he is like an hunter, fisher, fowler or falconer. He hunteth, fisheth, and fowleth for the life, not of unreasonable creatures only, but also of reasonable men.

3. As he is a thief and continually layeth wait for blood, and seeks the precious life of man's body and soul.

4. As a continual tempter to allure or drive men into sin, and thereby to death. Herein he spared not Christ Himself (Matthew 4:1, &c.).

5. As he is an accuser of men and as an adversary to press God's just law against men, and to call for judgment against them.

6. As he is a tormentor: for when he hath drawn men to sin he affirighteth them with the terror of death and damnation. In general nothing is more terrible than death. In this respect death is called the king of terrors (Job 18:14). This kind of power, namely of death, attributed to the devil —(1) Showeth wherein his strength especially lieth: even in doing mischief and bringing men to destruction. His power is to hurt men. In this respect he hath names of destruction given unto him — as in Hebrew Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon (Revelation 9:11), and he is styled a murderer (John 8:44).(2) It manifested the vile slavery and woful bondage of the devil's vassals. They serve him who hath the power of death, and doth what he can to bring all to death. What can any expect from him but death? The task that he puts on them is sin: the wages that he gives is death (Romans 6:23).(3) It is an incitation unto those to whom this kind of power is made known to be more watchful against Satan, more manful in resisting him, and the better prepared against his assaults.(4) It warneth all of all sorts to renounce the devil and all his works, to come out of his Babel: to come into and abide in the glorious liberty of the sons of God, which Christ has purchased for us: and to renounce Satan's service. As the devil hath the power of death, so Christ hath the power of life (John 6:39, 40).(5) It amplifieth both the glory and also the benefit of that conquest which Christ hath gotten over him that hath the power of death. Tile glory of that victory appeareth herein, that he hath overcome so potent an enemy as had the power of death. The benefit thereof herein appears that he hath overcome so malicious and mischievous an enemy as exercised his power by all manner of death. Hence ariseth the ground of this holy insultation, "O death, where is thy sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55). He who had the power of death, being destroyed, death now can have no more power over them that are redeemed by Christ.

(W. Gouge.)

We fear death with a double fear. There is, first, the instinctive fear, shared also by the animal creation, for the very brutes tremble as the moment of death draws near. Surely this fear is not wrong. It is often congenital and involuntary, and afflicts some of God's noblest saints; though doubtless these will some day confess that it was most unwarrantable, and that the moment of dissolution was calm, and sweet, and blessed. The child whose eyes feast upon a glowing vista of flower and fruit, beckoning it through the garden gate, hardly notices the rough woodwork of the gate itself as it bounds through; and probably the soul, becoming aware of the beauty of the King and the glories of its home, is too absorbed to notice the act of death, till it suddenly finds itself free to mount, and soar, and revel in the dawning light. But there is another fear of death, which is spiritual.

1. We dread its mystery. What is it? Whither does it lead? Why does it come just now? What is the nature of the life beyond?

2. We dread its leave-taking. The heathen poet sang sadly of leaving earth, and home, and family. Long habit endears the homeliest lot, and the roughest comrades; how much more the truehearted and congenial; and it is hard to part from them.

3. Men dread the afterdeath. "The sting of death is sin." How can mortal man be just with God? How can he escape hell, and find his place amid the happy, festal throngs of the Golden City? All these fears were known to Christ. And He knew that they would be felt by many who were to be closely related to Him as brethren. If, then, He was prompted by ordinary feelings of compassion to the great masses of mankind, He would be especially moved to relieve those with whom He had so close an affinity, as these marvellous verses unfold. But in order to do it, He must die. He could not be the death of death, unless He had personally tasted death. He needed to fulfil the law of death, by dying, before He could abolish death. But He could only have died by becoming man. Perhaps there is no race in the universe that can die but our own. Others die because they are born; Christ was born that He might die.

I. BY DEATH CHRIST DESTROYED THE POWER OF DEATH. Scripture has no doubt as to the existence of the devil. And those who know much of their own inner life, and of the sudden assaults of evil to which we are liable, cannot but realise his terrible power. And from this passage we infer that that power was even greater before Jesus died. "He had the power of death." It was a chief weapon in his infernal armoury. The dread of it was so great as to drive men to yield to any demands made by the priests of false religions, with their dark impurities and hideous rites. Thus timid sheep are scared by horrid shouts and blows into the butchers shambles. But since Jesus died, the devil and his power are destroyed. Destroyed! Certainly. Not in the sense of being extinct. Still he assails the Christian warrior, though armed from head to foot; and goes about seeking whom he may devour, and deceives men to ruin. Yet he is destroyed. Are we not all familiar with objects which are destroyed without being actually ended. Destroyed as objects of dread, though they linger in an attenuated and impotent existence. Satan exists as a strong man; he is no longer armed, and is the attenuated shadow of his former self.

II. BY DEATH CHRIST DELIVERS FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH. A. child was in the habit of playing in a large and beautiful garden, with sunny lawns; but there was one part of it, a long and winding path, down which he never ventured; indeed he dreaded to go near it, because some silly nurse had told him that ogres and goblins dwelt within its darksome gloom. At last his eldest brother heard of his fear, and after playing one day with him, went with him to the embowered entrance of the grove, and, leaving him there terror-stricken, went singing through its length, and returned and reasoned with the child, proving his fears were groundless. At last he took the lad's hand, and they went through it together, and from that moment the fear which had haunted the place fled. And the memory of that brother's presence took its place. So has Jesus done for us.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

In God's original empire everything was happiness, and joy, and peace. If there be any evil, any suffering and pain, that is not God's work. God may permit it, overrule it, and out of it educe much good; but the evil cometh not of God. The devil's reign, on the contrary, containeth nought of good; " the devil sinneth from the beginning," and his dominion has been one uniform course of temptation to evil and infliction of misery. Death is a part of Satan's dominion, he brought sin into the world when he tempted our mother Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit, and with sin he brought also death into the world, with all its train of woes. Since that time Satan hath ever gloated over the death of the human race, and he hath had some cause of glory, for that death has been universal. There is something fearful in death. It is frightful even to him that hath the most of faith. It is only the gildings of death, the afterwards, the heaven, the glory, that maketh death bearable even to the Christian. Death in itself must ever be an unutterably fearful thing to the sons of men. And oh I what ruin doth it work! Now, this is Satan's delight. He conceives death to be his masterpiece, because of its terror, and because of the ruin which it works. The greater the evil, the better doth he delight in it. And death is very lovely to the devil for another reason — not only because it is his chief work on earth, but because it gives him the finest opportunity in the world for the display of his malice and his craft. Usually with many of the saints, if not in the last article of death, yet some little time before it, there is a ferocious onslaught made by the great enemy of souls. And then he loves death, because death weakens the mind. The approach of death destroys some of the mental power, and takes away from us for a season some of those spirits by which we have been cheered in better days. It makes us lie there, languid and faint and weary. "Now is my opportunity," says the evil one; and he steals in upon us. Hence I believe for this reason he is said to have the power of death; for I cannot conceive that the devil hath the power of death in any other sense but this, that it was originated by him, and that he at such time generally displays the most of his malice and of his power.

I. BY THE DEATH OF CHRIST THE DEVIL'S POWER OVER DEATH IS TO THE CHRISTIAN UTTERLY DESTROYED. The devil's power over death lies in three places, and we must look at it in three aspects.

1. Sometimes the devil hath power in death over the Christian, by tempting him to doubt his resurrection, and leading him to look into the black future with the dread of annihilation. But by the death of Christ all this is taken away. If I lie a-dying, and Satan comes to me and says, "Thou art to be annihilated, thou art now sinking beneath the waves of time, and thou shalt lie in the caverns of nothingness for ever; thy living spirit is to cease for ever and be not," I reply to him, "No, not so; I have no fear of that; O Satan, thy power to tempt me here faileth utterly and entirely. See there my Saviour! He died, for His heart was pierced; He was buried; but, O devil, He was not annihilated, for He rose again from the tomb. And now, O Satan, I tell thee, thou canst not put an end to my existence, for thou couldst not put an end to the existence of my Lord. But now for a more common temptation — another phase of the devil's power in death.

2. Full often the devil comes to us in our life-time, and he tempts us by telling us that our guilt will certainly prevail against us, that the sins of our youth and our former transgressions are still in our bones, and that when we sleep in the grave our sins shall rise up against us. Thou pretendest that thou art one of the Lord's beloved: now look back upon thy sins: remember on such a day how thy rebellious lusts arose, and thou wast led if not quite to indulge in a transgression, yet to long after it. Recollect how often thou hast provoked Him in the wilderness, how frequently thou hast made His anger wax hot against thee." But now see how through death Christ has taken away the devil's power. We reply, "In truth, O Satan, thou art right; I have rebelled, I will not belie my conscience and my memory; I own I have transgressed. O Satan, turn to the blackest page of my history, I confess all. But O fiend, let me tell thee my sins were numbered on the scape-goat's head of old. Go thou, O Satan, to Calvary's Cross, and see my Substitute bleeding there. Behold, my sins are not mine; they are laid on His eternal shoulders, and He has cast them from His own shoulders into the depths of the sea." Once more, you may suppose a Christian who has firm confidence in a future state. The evil one has another temptation for him.

3. "It may be very true," saith he, "that you are to live for ever and that your sins have been pardoned; but you have hitherto found it very hard work to persevere, and now you are about to die you will be sure to fail." "O fiend, thou temptest us to think that thou wilt conquer us; remember, Satan, that the strength that has preserved us against thee has not been our own: the arm that has delivered us has not been the arm of flesh and blood, else we had long since been overcome. Look thou there, fiend, at Him that is Omnipotent. His Almightiness is the power that preserves us to the end; and therefore, be we never so weak, when we are weak then we are strong, and in our last hour of peril we shall yet overcome thee."

II. But now I want to show you that not only has Christ by His death taken away the devil's power in death, but HE HAS TAKEN AWAY THE DEVIL'S POWER EVERYWHERE ELSE OVER A CHRISTIAN. "He hath destroyed," or overcome, "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Death was the devil's chief intrenchment: Christ bearded the lion in his den, and fought him in his own territory; and when He took death from him, and dismantled that once impregnable fortress, He took away from him not only that, but every other advantage that he had over the saint. And now Satan is a conquered foe, not only in the hour of death, but in every other hour and in every other place. He is an enemy, both cruel and mighty; but he is a foe who quakes and quails when a Christian gets into the lists with him; for he knows that though the fight may waver for a little while in the scale, the balance of victory must fall on the side of the saint, because Christ by His death destroyed the devil's power.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

We take as the works of the devil those which this malignant spirit hath performed in order to the overthrow of the holiness and the happiness of mankind; and we must endeavour to consider or to ascertain how the effects of the atonement so counterbalanced the effects of the apostacy, that our Redeemer, in dying, may actually be said to have "destroyed the devil and him works." Now, the effects of the apostacy may justly be considered under two divisions; physical and moral effects: those whose subject is matter, and those whose subject is spirit; and if the Son of God destroyed the works of the devil, He must, in some way or other, have nullified both these effects, so that, physically and morally, He provided a fall remedy for a disorganised creation.

I. LOOK FIRST AT THE PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF ADAM'S SIN. Every pain to which flesh is heir, every sickness — the decay, and the dissolution of the body, are to be referred to sin as their first origin; and the temptation to sin having been of Satan, they are to be classed among the works of the devil. And above these consequences existing in ourselves, there are others to be observed in creation around us, whether inanimate or animate. We admit that death is not yet destroyed in the sense of having ceased to possess power; but death no longer reigns by right; it reigns only by sufferance. It is allowed to remain as an instrument for the advancement of certain purposes of the Almighty; but not as a tyrant in whom is vested an undisputed authority. Nay, death succeeded by a resurrection, is not in truth to be designated death. We can gaze on that spectacle of the grave — not the proprietor, not the consumer, not the destroyer, but just simply the guardian of the dust, of human kind, and confess that the resurrection will give overwhelming attestation to the annihilation of death. And if this resurrection is referred to the energies of the atonement it will demostrate to the conviction of all orders of being that the Son of God effected in dying what the text announces as the great end proposed — "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." We go on to observe, that similar statements may be applied to all those other effects which we designate the physical effects of rebellion. It is quite true that pain and sorrow are allowed to continue. But it is true that evil is at length to be wholly extirpated from the earth; and that not in consequence of any fresh interposition of God, or any new mediation of Christ, but simply through the effects of that expiatory sacrifice which was offered ages back upon Calvary. Then, when righteousness shall clothe every province of the globe, and happiness, the purest and most elevated, shall circulate through the hearts and homes of all the world's families, and the lustre of an untarnished loveliness shall gild the face of every landscape, then shall our text be accomplished; then shall it be put beyond doubt that there was a virtue in the atonement to counteract all the physical effects of apostacy.

II. We have now to consider what we term THE MORAY. CONSEQUENCES OF APOSTACY, and we own it more difficult to prove their destruction than that of the physical. We shall fasten at once on the hard point of the question. Beyond all doubt the grand work of the devil is the everlasting destruction of the human soul. If it were the work of the devil to bring mankind to share his own heritage of woe; and if, in spite of the interposition of Christ, a vast multitude of our race shall be actually his companions in anguish, can it fairly be contended that there has been any direct counteraction of the works of the devil, or that the effects of redemption are at all commensurate with the effects of apostacy? May we not exclaim in the language of the prophet — "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why, then, is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" We desire to meet this question fairly. We observe, then, that it is quite possible to charge too much on the devil, and to make excuses for men by throwing blame on the tempter. You say, if a man perish, his perdition is the work of the devil; but we are at issue with you here. The man is a redeemed man, and can be destroyed only through destroying himself. The devil does not destroy him. The devil, indeed, may put engines of destruction in his way; it is the man himself who makes use of those engines, and when he dies it is by suicide, and not by the blow of another. After all, it was not the devil that destroyed Adam. The devil tempted him; he could do nothing more. He did as much to Christ; and the destruction lay not in the being tempted, but in the yielding to temptation. And though Satan tempts, it is man who yields. Unless men perish through their own act, they are punished for what was unavoidable, and then their punishment is unjust. We contend, therefore, that it is far from essential to the complete destruction of the devil and all his works that all men should be saved. We will take this case first. We will call a fallen man Satan's work, and we think to show you, by a few brief remarks, that this work is far more than destroyed by the redemption, without the salvation of all. Satan's work is twofold — he has fastened on me death for original sin, and corrupt propensities which are sure to issue in actual sin. Hence, the devil's work is destroyed, if arrangements have been made by which I may escape the death, and resist the propensities. But as interested in the obedience and sacrifice of Christ "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" — life, eternal life, is within my reach; and this destroys the first part of the work. The Holy Spirit is given me for overcoming evil, and this destroys the second part of the work. Satan's work made death inevitable, and rendered me at one and the same time certain to sin and hopeless of pardon. Christ's work, on the contrary, made death avoidable, and rendered me, though not proof against sin, yet sure through repentance and faith of forgiveness. Does not then the one work actually destroy the other? What has Satan done in procuring my fall which has not been balanced by what Christ did in effecting my redemption?

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

This God ordered —

1. To accomplish that ancient promise to the seed of the woman, which was Christ; and threatening against the serpent, which was the devil (Genesis 3:15). "It shall bruise thy head," that is, Christ should utterly vanquish the devil.

2. To deliver man by satisfying justice. Had the devil been by an almighty power vanquished, justice had not thereby been satisfied.

3. To magnify the power of the conquest the more; for Divine power is made perfect in weakness (1 Corinthians 12:9).

4. To bring the greater shame upon the devil; for what greater ignominy than for an enemy to be vanquished in his own kingdom, and that with his own weapon. The strongest and sharpest weapon that Satan had was death, and by it he did most hurt. Christ dealt in this case as Benaiah did with an Egyptian; he plucked the spear out of his hand, and slew him with his own spear (2 Samuel 23:21).

5. To take away the ignominy of the Cross of Christ, Jews, Pagans, and all infidels scoff at our crucified God, but this glorious victory which Christ by His death obtained, showeth that it is a matter of much glory and much rejoicing. The apostle apprehended so much hereof, as comparatively he would glory in nothing saving the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14).

6. To put a difference betwixt Christ's death and the dearth of all others, even of the best of men. The death of others is only a freedom from troubles of soul and body, and an attaining unto rest and glory, which is by virtue of Christ's death. Christ's death is a conquering death, a death that tends to the advantage of all that believe in Christ.

7. To take the old wily serpent in his own craft, Satan laboured at nothing more than to bring Christ to death: he used Scribes, Pharisees, priests, rulers, and people of the Jews, yea, Judas, Pilate and his soldiers, as his instruments herein. They thought all sure if Christ might be put to death; but Christ's death proved Satan's destruction.

(W. Gouge.)

When Coecilia was brought before the judge Almachius, he said, "Knowest thou not that I have power of life and death?" "Not of life," she said, "but thou canst indeed be a minister of death."

Archbishop Land on the scaffold thus addressed his Saviour: "Lord, I am coming as fast as I can. I know I must pass through the shadow of death before I can see Thee. But it is but umbra morris, a shadow of death, a little darkness upon nature; but Thou, Lord, by Thy goodness, hast broken the jaws and the power of death." As Dr. Neale remarks on this, "Yes, our Lord passed through the valley of death; we through the valley of the shadow of death. He tasted of death that we might never taste it; He died that we might fall asleep."

Through fear of death... subject to bondage.
Of all the passions that have place in the human mind, there is not one that takes a stronger hold of it than fear; and of all the objects that operate on that passion, there is not one that does so more strikingly and more impressively than death. Nor is this to be wondered at. For what is death? That from which there is no escape. That which not unfrequently comes when least expected. That which terminates every earthly relationship, acquisition, anticipation, enjoyment. Not only does it do what it does with all the eagerness of willinghood, but also with all the callousness of insensibility. Dwellings it disinhabits, families it scatters, and ties the most endearing it dissolves, without any compunction or regret. But much though death be the object of natural fear, the fear of it is in no slight measure increased when that which is natural has superadded to it that which is slavish. For though, like others, sinners fear death on account of what death is in itself, yet their fear of death, arising as it does from a consciousness of ill-desert, is rendered trebly fearful by the inward bitings of remorse, and by a sense of merited wrath. Is there no remedy for their dismay? The text answers the question. It were a mistake to infer that the power of the devil in reference to death is absolute. Such power, whether in reference to death or in reference to anything else, is not possessed by any finite being. It is the exclusive, the incommunicable prerogative-of Him, and of Him alone, who is infinite; of Him who, as occupying in His own right the throne of the universe, has the "keys of death." The power of the devil in reference to death is simply permitted power. But though the power of the devil in reference to death be simply permitted power, it is not limited to temporal death. It extends to, and, as here spoken of by the apostle, embraces more particularly, eternal death; in other words, the state of misery to which the term is applicable in its most aggravated signification. It is awful to think that there is in the universe a being possessed of such power, as. "the power of death"; of power not only to tempt to sin, "the wages of which is death," but to render the sinner the instrument of his own exposure to misery through all everlasting! It would be still more awful were that being invincible, indestructible. And how by His death has Jesus done this, in order that His death might be an antidote to the fear of death?

I. BECAUSE BY HIS DEATH HE TRIUMPHED OVER HIM WHO HAD THE POWER OF DEATH. For this He became incarnate; for had He not become incarnate, He could not have been the surety of the guilty, nor as their surety could He have died. By it the violated law was magnified and made honourable; for the obedience of which it was the consequence was the obedience not only of a Divine Person, but of a Person absolutely faultless. Such was the result of the death of Jesus, because by His death sin was substitutionally expiated, by the expiation of which the devil lost his power of death, the loss of which was his own destruction. What a triumph I Never was triumph like it; for though He who conquered fell, by His fall He conquered. What, then, have they to fear from death who trust in Jesus, the destroyer by death of the destroyer?

II. BECAUSE BY HIS DEATH HE DIVESTED DEATH ITSELF OF ITS STING. Death has been represented as coming in the order of nature; and hence it has been called the debt of nature, as if our original destiny could not have been carried into effect without its payment. For what is the fact, and therefore the teaching on this subject, that is credible? Is it that death is the work of nature? On the contrary, is it not that death is not the work of nature, but the work of sin? While he was sinless, was not man deathless? And is sin merely the procuring cause of death — that to which death owes its existence and prevalence? Were this all, it would be evidential in no slight degree of the deadly tendency of sin. But this is not all. Not only in having originated it does sin lead to death as its moral consequence; but it is that from which death derives all its painfulness, all its hatefulness. Well, then, may sin be denominated not only the cause, but the sting of death. If this, then, be what sin really is; if it be that which renders death indescribably deadly, can language too strong be employed to express our sense of obligation to Him who died for sin? His death being sacrificial and propitiatory, by the stroke which slew Him, death lost its sting. The last arrow in the quiver of death was spent. The very dregs of the cup of trembling were wrung out. The malignant fury of the curse of the broken law was exhausted. So that now death may be a blessing, but can never be a curse, to those who trust in Him who died for sin. What, then, have they to fear from death? "The waters of Jordan" have applied to them a misnomer when they are called by the name Marah, for the bitterness of the curse is removed. There is " no lion" in the dark valley, neither does "any ravenous beast " walk therein. The "dart" of death is pointless, its wound must be harmless.

III. BECAUSE BY HIS DEATH HE PURCHASED THE RIGHT TO REDEEM FROM DEATH THOSE TO WHOM DEATH WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN THE PATHWAY TO ETERNAL MISERY. It is much that Jesus should have stooped to combat with him who had the power of death, it is still more that He should have submitted to the endurance of the sting of death itself; but His experience of the one, and His triumphing over the other, would have failed to accomplish the object He had in view, were the bestowment of the good problematical or uncertain, which He thus sought and gained for those whom He represented. Their enjoyment, however, of that good depends not on a peradventure; their being put into possession of it is exposed to no jeopardy, and can be hindered by no casualty. As indicative of the high authority with which as their successful surety He is invested, He says, "I will redeem them from death." Having been the originator of the life that has been taken away, is there anything incredible in His being its restorer? If not, then, instead of having uncertainty attached to it, the future resurrection of the body is considered aright, when it is considered not as questionable, but as positively certain. What, then, have they to fear from death who trust in Jesus? To them, death is not to be the entire extinction of their corporeal, any more than it is to be a cessation of their spiritual being. What, then, have they to fear from death? Trusting in Jesus, they trust in Him who is the resurrection and the life. In short, trusting in Jesus, they trust in Him who died that they might live, and who lives that they may never die, but live. Where? Where there shall be "no death," where the darkness of the tomb shall be for ever excluded by the light of life, where the night of the grave shall be for ever lost in the day of immortality.

(Alex. Jack, D. D.)

Of a sentiment so powerful and so general, it is natural to inquire the use and object. Of a terror so painful it is desirable to know the origin and the remedy.

I. One beneficial effect, which the fear of death extensively produces, IS INDUSTRY IN OUR RESPECTIVE OCCUPATIONS.

II. Another beneficial effect of the fear of death is TEMPERANCE.

III. Another beneficial effect of the fear of death is THE PREVENTION OF MURDER.

IV. If the love of life restrain us from doing violence to others, it must restrain us still more forcibly FROM DOING VIOLENCE TO OURSELVES; and the prevention of self-murder will be another beneficial effect of the fear of death.

V. The fear of death produces its beneficial effects still more extensively, AS IT RESTRAINS THE VICIOUS PROPENSITIES OF THE HEART IN GENERAL, AND PROMOTES THE SENTIMENTS AND THE INFLUENCE OF RELIGION.

VI. The fear of death, however, produces the most important of its beneficial effects, and indeed, lays the foundation of all the rest, BY SUGGESTING ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS THE MOST INTERESTING AND USEFUL REFLECTIONS TO THE MIND.

(W. Sparrow, LL. D.)

I. It is one reason why we are so much afraid of death, that WE EXPECT IT WILL BE PAINFUL. We see the dissolution of our fellow creatures attended with paroxysms of pain. But these torments it is. in a great measure, in our own power to prevent. The common parent of disease is intemperance.

II. Death, again, is rendered awful BY THE GLOOMY CEREMONIES THAT ATTEND IT. Take away the pomp of death, and you take away half its terrors.

III. Death might be considered As THE MEANS OF GRATIFYING THAT INCESSANT DESIRE OF NEW INFORMATION, which nature implanted in the human mind; which is always innocent and laudable, while directed by prudence and moderation; and which, in the present instance, ought to be united with humility and reverence, in proportion to the solemnity of the subject.

IV. It is another obvious reason why we are so much affected by the scenes of death, THAT WE DO NOT FREQUENTLY BEHOLD THEM. Were we daily to witness the dissolution of a neighbour, we should soon lose those powerful emotions of fear.

V. Upon the same principle we may be assured that DEATH WOULD LOSE A LARGE PROPORTION OF ITS TERRORS, DID WE MAKE IT, AS WE OUGHT, THE FREQUENT SUBJECT OF OUR MEDITATIONS. Not only every instance of mortality, but every appearance of nature, might suggest the subject to our thoughts. Scarcely a day passes over us, but an animal or a vegetable perishes before our eyes.

VI. Lastly, and above all, DEATH WOULD BE NO LONGER FEARED, WERE IT CONSIDERED ONLY AS THE END OF OUR LABOURS. The grave would appear no longer gloomy, could we but look upon it as our passage to eternal glory. Jesus Christ is the basis on which we must build our virtues and our courage. The shield that must defend us against all the terrors that death can assume.

(W. Sparrow, LL. D.)

I. CHRIST TEACHES US THAT DEATH IS NOT THE END OF OUR BEING.

II. CHRIST TEACHES US THAT THE SOUL DOES NOT WAIT IN THE GRAVE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.

III. CHRIST TAKES AWAY OUR FEAR OF DEATH, BY TEACHING US, IF WE ARE WILLING TO BE TAUGHT OF HIM, HOW WE MAY MEET OUR MAKER WITHOUT FEAR, IN THE GREAT DAY WHEN HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD.

IV. CHRIST REVEALS TO THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO BE TAUGHT OF HIM, THE REST AND THE BLESSEDNESS OF HEAVEN, AND GIVES TO EACH SOUL AN INWARD ASSURANCE THAT IT SHALL ETERNALLY SHARE IN THEM.

(R. S. S. Dickinson)

I. WHAT OF DEATH IT IS, BY WHICH THE PERSONS SPOKEN OF IN THE TEXT ARE KEPT IN FEAR AND BONDAGE.

1. Sin, the cause of death, operates in producing this effect.

2. The law which threatens death.

3. Afflictions, the harbingers of death.

4. Satan, who had the power of death.

5. Death itself. He knows not how rudely the last enemy may handle him, when he arrives. He is well aware that he is a merciless tyrant, that he knows not how to show pity.

II. HOW DOES CHRIST DELIVER THEM FROM THIS FEAR AND BONDAGE?

1. By assuring them that He has made satisfaction for their sin, and will preserve them from its guilt and power.

2. By making known to them their deliverance from the law as a covenant.

3. By giving them to understand that their afflictions are all, to their souls, blessings in disguise.

4. By reminding them of the glorious victories which He hath obtained over Satan, their great enemy.

5. By promising them His presence at the hour of death.

III. A FEW THOUGHTS CALCULATED TO GUIDE AND ENCOURAGE BELIEVERS WHEN SUFFERING AND DYING.

1. Keep a steady eye on the rod with which God corrects you, and you will see that He never gives it wholly out of His own hand.

2. Rest assured that all the afflictions measured out to you are the fruits of your heavenly Father's love.

3. Remember, that in being visited with affliction you are not singular. This is the discipline of your heavenly Father's house.

4. Live under the firm persuasion that your trials shall all issue well. They may, indeed, be numerous and horrific; but so soon as they cease to be necessary, they shall cease to be administered.

5. Submit to the will of God in all things. Sharp may be the stroke of His hand, but the way of duty is plain and obvious. Endeavour, in His strength, and spirit, and grace, to exercise patient resignation, and quiet submission.

(John Jardine.)

I. CONSIDER THE FEAR OF DEATH, which is mentioned as one great evil from which we are delivered by Christ.

1. What is that fear of death from which Christ delivers? Fear in the general is a flight from evil, or the aversion of the mind from what we apprehend hurtful. The fear of death may be distinguished into two sorts —(1) There is a natural fear of death. Death is an enemy to nature, a rending asunder the two parts of our constitution, so closely united and long continued together. This is not a sinful fear and is useful. It is planted in our nature by the God of nature, and is the necessary consequence of self-love, and self-preservation. It is the rising of nature against its mortal enemy; the reluctance of sense against what would hurt and destroy it, without any reasoning or consideration about it. It is universal, and common to all men: it is fixed in human nature. From this fear Christ does not deliver us; for that would be to divest us of our sensible nature, and love of ourselves; though there is a great difference of degrees in different persons very much according to their natural temper, as some have greater natural courage, and others are more tender and easily impressed. Or according to their more eminent attainments in the Divine life, or more lively exercise of their faith, which very much weakens their natural fear, and sometimes carries them much above it.(2) There is a moral, or rational fear of death. Death, in the moral consideration of it, is a change of our state, a passage out of one world into another. It is a final determination of our main state, and a decisive turn for eternity. In this consideration of it, death appears more terrible, and is apt to raise a greater fear. Wherever there is a just apprehension of the evil of sin, and of the Divine displeasure upon the account of it, it cannot but make the thoughts of death more terrible, and add weight to the natural fear of it. Besides, there is the love of this world. And wherever the love of the world prevails above the love of the Father; wherever there is an inordinate desire of life, and a carnal frame of mind; there the thoughts of death will be most uneasy. Besides, there are the certain consequences of dying. Death transmits them to the other world, and consigns them over to judgment. Add to this the uncertainty of their minds about their future state.

2. What is that bondage to which the fear of death does subject? It is a servile spirit, under the constant awes of displeasure and dread of punishment; when the natural fear prevails, and the rational fear is heightened, and both concur in all their circumstances to give a dread to the mind, and fix it in a state of slavish bondage. Now here it will be proper to consider the evil of this temper of mind, which the apostle represents by bondage, to be the more sensible of our deliverance from it by Christ.(1) It is a disparagement to the gospel-state, and unsuitable to the genius and design of it. The gospel is a state of liberty and freedom, in distinction from that of the law.(2) It is highly injurious and hurtful to ourselves. For example, it destroys the peace and comfort of our minds. It gives a sting to all the miseries of life, and renders them doubly grievous. The sickness and disorders of nature are more burdensome; it gives an accent to every groan, and quickens the sense of the sharpest pain. It makes the heart sick, under all the sickness of the body. It abates the relish of the best enjoyments, and damps the joy of the most prosperous state. The fear of death disturbs the mind in the performance of holy duties, and affects every service of life, as well as every enjoyment of it. It is an enemy to gladness of heart, and flatly inconsistent with the noble exercises of love, and joy and praise. Besides, it brings us into slavery to the devil, and is a powerful snare of sin. It gives the devil a great advantage over us. It is certain no man will be a martyr for Christ, or love Him more than his own life, which yet the gospel requires of every disciple of Christ, who is under the servitude of the fear of death. To conclude with one instance more, it sometimes leads to despair. A strange contrast this, that though they are afraid to die, their fear makes them unwilling to live, and the torment of fear makes them unable to bear the burden of life.

II. CONSIDER OUR DELIVERANCE BY CHRIST FROM. THE FEAR OF DEATH, How far, and by what means, we are delivered from it. There is a fundamental deliverance, when the foundation of it is laid, and the just ground of our fear is removed, so that if we are not actually delivered, yet there is a sufficient foundation laid for it in due time, and in a proper way. And our actual deliverance is begun in this world, and commences with our faith, or hearty subjection to the gospel of Christ. The dominion of fear is broken at the same time with the dominion of sin, and it is no longer a governing principle or prevailing temper.

1. He lays the foundation of our deliverance in His own person, and by what He has done Himself for us.(1) By His death. This is directly referred to in the context. The influence of the death of Christ to this purpose is variously represented in the Scripture. For example, by His death He made atonement for sin, and procured the forgiveness of it (Isaiah 53:10, 11; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 2:17). Besides, by His death He destroyed the devil, who had the power of death. When God the supreme judge is satisfied and reconciled, the devil loses his power to hurt them. Again, He has conquered death itself, and destroyed the power of it. It is no longer to be considered as a victorious conqueror, which lays waste all about it, and defies all control; it is a conquered enemy, though it is an enemy still. So the apostle says, "He has abolished death." When He rose from the dead, lie visibly triumphed over all the power of death, and gave a sensible evidence of the acceptance of His performance and His complete victory over all His enemies. And as He conquered it in His own person, so lie will utterly destroy it at last, for the "last enemy which shall be destroyed is death." The whole empire of death will cease, and there will be "no more any death." Add to all this, that He has changed the nature of it, and make it quite another thing. It was the execution of the Divine vengeance upon guilty rebels, but it is now a messenger of peace, and forerunner of the greatest good. It was a gloomy vale, which led down to the blackness of darkness; but it is now a passage to glory.(2) He lays the foundation of our deliverance by the gospel revelation, which was confirmed by His death. This is one of the peculiar glories of the gospel doctrine. It reveals the glorious resurrection of the body at last. It reveals the immortal life of the other world.

2. He actually delivers from the fear of death by the influence of His grace, or the assistance and reliefs of the gospel dispensation. When we are sanctified by His spirit, we are justified by His blood, and there is "no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus." If we are reconciled to God, and in a state of favour, we are delivered from the curse of the law, and have nothing to fear from the power of death. Besides, it is by subduing the inordinate love of life, and of all present and sensible good. So we are "crucified to the world by the Cross of Christ," and" the world is crucified unto us." It loses the charms and influence it had before; and no more affects us than two dead bodies lying together affect one another. Further, it is by working suitable dispositions of mind to the heavenly state; or making us spiritually and heavenly minded. A prevailing love to God and heaven will expel the torment of fear; for "perfect love casteth out fear," and so in a proportionable degree to the measure of our love. The love of Christ will make us willing to die that we may be with Him, and inspire a noble confidence of mind under the greatest dangers and terrors of death. To conclude this matter, it is by clearer prospects, and present foretastes of the future blessedness. Lessons:

1. How unreasonable are the fears of good men. Art thou afraid of the dissolution of nature? It argues great weakness of mind, and involves great absurdity to fear that which we know beforehand cannot be avoided, which is the condition of our nature, and settled by a Divine decree. Or art thou afraid of changing worlds? But why, if it be to a better world, and to a state of blessedness, should we fear a change to so great advantage? or leaving a state of guilt and imperfection.

2. How great are our obligations to Christ! How admirable was the love of our Redeemer to "partake of our flesh and blood," and submit to die for us, that He might deliver us from the fear of death! How should this endear Him to us, and recommend the gospel to our value and esteem?

(W. Harris, D. D.)

I. FROM WHAT FEAR OF DEATH ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD DELIVERED BY JESUS CHRIST.

1. Not from the natural fear of death, which in itself is a sinless infirmity, like sickness or weariness. Our Lord Himself sometimes expressed an aversion to death (John 12:27; Matthew 14:35).

2. From a slavish fear of death, which "hath torment" in it (1 John 4:18), and unfits them for the duties of their particular callings, and disables them from prosecuting the things that belong to their peace and welfare.

II. BY WHAT MEANS AND METHODS ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD DELIVERED BY CHRIST FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH?

1. I shall show you what Christ hath already done to deliver or free the children of God from the fear of death. The death of Christ hath made death to look with another face than formerly it had. The death of Christ must needs sweeten the forethoughts of death to the chosen of God, because that He died in their stead: He did not only die in their nature, but in their room; not only for their good, but also in their stead.(1) Christ by His death hath taken away the true reason of the fear of death; that is, the curse and condemnation of the law of God (1 Corinthians 15:56).(2) Christ by His death hath deprived the devil of the power of death; and by this means also He hath delivered the children from a servile fear of death.

2. Let me proceed to show you what He continues still to do, in order to the freeing and delivering the children of God from the fear of death, and the bondage that ensues thereon.(1) He worketh and increaseth those graces of His Spirit in them which are destructive hereof, and opposite hereunto.(2) He delivers them from it by convincing and persuading them that they shall not be losers, but gainers, yea, great gainers, thereby.

(a)It consists in a freedom from all evil. Which is subdivided into the evil of sorrow, and the evil of sin.

(b)It consists in the fruition of all good. Believers, when they die, they enjoy God Himself, who is the chiefest good.(3) Christ delivers believers from the slavish fear of death, by giving them some real foretastes of heaven and of eternal life. Application: I would exhort you to prize and improve this great privilege.

1. You must be earnest with God, that He would apply to you this benefit of His Son's death by His blessed Spirit.

2. You must give all diligence to the attaining of a greater measure of faith, love, and hope.

3. You must "resist the devil," and withstand His temptations, not only to other sins, but to the sin of despondency in particular.

(R. Mayo, M. A.)

I. THOSE WHOM CHRIST CAME TO DELIVER ARE REPRESENTED IN THE TEXT AS PARTAKERS OF FLESH AND BLOOD, AS OBNOXIOUS TO DEATH AND IN BONDAGE THROUGH FEAR OF IT ALL THEIR LIVES. Let us contemplate the feelings of a man approaching death with no well grounded hope of salvation through Christ.

1. In the first place, he experiences great losses, and finds no alleviations under them. Death comes to him in the character of an unmixed evil; to take from him all his earthly enjoyments, and to send him destitute into the invisible world.

2. This man approaching death with no hope in Christ is surrounded with fearful darkness, and sees no light before him. The ocean spreads before him vast and dark, but he knows not to what shore it is bearing him.

3. The man approaching death with no hope in Christ anticipates terrible evils, and sees no way of escape.

II. THE DELIVERANCE WROUGHT OUT BY CHRIST FOR THOSE WHO ARE HELD IN THIS FEARFUL BONDAGE. This is of a nature exactly adapted to the condition of those whom Christ came to deliver, and is comprised in three particulars.

1. Christ the Redeemer, mighty to save, furnishes for the children of His grace the most abundant alleviations under the losses of death. The Saviour is with them, their light and their salvation.

2. Christ having Himself risen from the dead, has poured the light of immortality over the darkness of the grave, and given assurance — that all who die in Him shall also rise to eternal life and blessedness.

3. Christ delivers His people from all the anticipated evils of death in the future world.

III. THE MEANS BY WHICH THIS DELIVERANCE IS EFFECTED. The text declares that it is by death. In conclusion, I am led to remark —

1. That infidelity is not more to be rejected on account of its falseness, than abhorred on account of its hostility to the dearest hopes of man. What does it do for its disciples in that hour when the soul most needs support?

2. Believers in Christ ought to enter more experimentally and practically into the design of His mediation and death.

3. In view of this subject let all be persuaded to take refuge in Him who alone can deliver them from the fear of death and the bondage of condemnation.

(J. Hawes, D.D.)

I. WHAT THERE IS IN DEATH TO EXCITE SUCH FEAR AS MAY JUSTLY BE TERMED A BONDAGE.

1. Death is an object of fear, from the bodily pains with which it is preceded and attended.

2. Death is an object of fear, because of the consequences which it visibly produces.

3. Death is an object of fear, because it is an event, the precise nature of which is unknown to us.

4. Death is a change which we undergo alone; that is, without the company of earthly friends.

5. Death is an object of fear, inasmuch as it separates the worldly man from all the present sources of his happiness.

6. Death is an object of fear, chiefly because we are Blinkers, and because by it we are introduced into the more immediate presence of the God whom we have offended.

II. THE DELIVERANCE WHICH CHRIST HAS ACCOMPLISHED FOR HIS PEOPLE.

(James Clason.)

This text represents unto us two things: —

I. THE SAD CONDITION OF SUCH AS ARE UNDER THE POWER OF SATAN. The sad condition is an estate of perpetual slavery and fear of death.

1. And this is a grievous slavery and bondage, not only because it is perpetual, but because of the great danger. For by fear of death may, by a metonymy, be meant the danger of death. For the proper cause of fear is danger once apprehended; for it is true that man may be in danger, and yet without fear, because the danger is not seen.

2. And the bondage of perpetual fear is woful, if not intolerable.

II. Though this be a sad condition, YET THERE IS DELIVERANCE FROM THIS CONTINUAL DANGER, THIS PERPETUAL FEAR WHICH IS THE GREATEST SLAVERY OF ALL OTHER.

1. The beginning of comfort is to know that there is a possibility of freedom, and that the danger is avoidable or removable. The first degree of this deliverance is in Christ's death, whereby Divine justice was satisfied and freedom merited.

2. That the power of the devil was destroyed; for whilst it continued, the fear could not be removed.

3. This freedom and liberty is more complete, when upon faith in Christ's death sin is pardoned, and the cause of this fear is taken away. Then this slavery is changed into a blessed liberty, fear into hope, and the sorrow of death into the joy of life.

(G. Lawson.)

It is not meant by the inspired writer, that when men are not thinking of death, they are still pressed down by its yoke. Death as yet is only in the future, and to oppress and harass it must of course occupy the thoughts. Those are no exception to the remark who fear not death because they do not allow themselves to dwell upon it: such persons it does not contemplate. And yet after all, perhaps, on closer examination the persons thus denied to be exceptions to the sentiment of the text may be fairly considered not exceptions to it, but examples of it. How comes it, it is reasonable to ask, that these men do not think of death? Are there not mementoes enough all around them? With these aids to reflection, if they still think little about the subject, is it not natural to infer that the subject has been so long avoided that the habit "is complete, and the mind turns from it with an acquired as well as natural instinct? But supposing this the case, how forcibly does it prove the doctrine of the text? Does the mind fear death so much, that it dare not look it in the face, and hold free communion with it? Beyond all doubt, that mind is in bondage. Without running into the extravagances of Stoicism, others have made representations of death, which might lead us to suppose that they did not regard it as an evil. With a kind of poetical philosophy, they would represent it as the glorious sunset of life, as needed repose after sublunary toils, as the retiring of the satisfied guest from the banquet! Now in answer to this it is freely admitted that all the circumstances of our dissolution are not unfavourable. Death does not wear, always or even generally, the most fearful aspect that it might put on. Nature in many respects makes a way for us, and smooths our passage to the other world. But after all allowances, the truth returns again with a force which nothing can resist, that death is the greatest of all evils. Instinct, reason, observation, all tell us this; and we are aware also that it is the Scripture representation. In Scripture it is called " the wages of sin," the "curse," "the king of terrors"; and because it is the most dread calamity which man here witnesses, it is put by a common figure of speech for all the misery which he inherits, or bring upon himself in this world or the next. To this decisive authority may be added, if not for confirmation, yet for the impression which it is calculated to make, the acknowledgment of Rochefoucault. This man, who might not unaptly be called the priest of godlessness, freely admits that "death and the sun are not to be looked at steadily." "The glory of dying resolutely," he remarks, "the hopes of being regretted, the desire of leaving a fair reputation, the assurance of being delivered from present miseries and freed from the caprice of fortune, are alleviating reflections, but by no means infallible. All," adds he, "which reason can do for us is to teach us to avert our eyes and fix them on some other object." But let us come home to our own selves. On what principle can we justify attention to any thing, if not to this? Of all the interests of man the highest are involved in death, and the most reasonable self-love requires us to weigh it well. The question therefore recurs again, why is it that we think of it so seldom and so slightly? I know of no satisfactory answer, but that furnished by the text. It is the fear of death which banishes it from our thoughts. The subject is obvious, meeting us at every turn. It is important, for eternity hangs upon it. It is personal, for it is appointed unto all men once to die. It is interesting — full of thrilling interest, of tragic interest, in its circumstances, nature and consequences. Now, whether this is a correct representation we all can determine for ourselves. If I mistake not we shall find on examination, treat our minds recoil from death because it is a subject associated with no good to us, on the contrary connected with much evil. But it is vain, as already intimated, merely to avert the eyes. The wise man will seek relief some other way. Do we desire peace at the last? Would we count it a privilege to be able to take a near view of death, looking fully at all its horrors without dismay? Do we covet the feelings of St. Paul, when, after a survey of death, he cried out, "Oh, grave, where is thy victory?" There is no way of reaching them, but by the faith of the Son of God. Present thoughtlessness and folly will not do it: they will only aggravate the evil when at last it comes. And, as to philosophy, alas! it may answer some of the lighter purposes of life but can never pillow the soul in death. Most truly has it been said, that "the necessity of dying constitutes the whole of philosophic fortitude." It is a sullen, dogged silence, which utters no sorrow but feels much. It knows nothing of cheerful resignation, of lively hope. Oh, how far beyond its reach the spirit of the apostle on the eve of martyrdom: "I am now ready to be offered." This is exclusively Christian privilege. None can bestow it but He who gives the Christian his name, his character, his all.

(W. Sparrow, LL. D.)

That king of terrors, as Job calls death; that terrible of all terribles, as Aristotle. Nature will have a bout with the best when they come to die. But I wonder (says a grave divine)how the souls of wicked men go not out of their bodies, as the devils did out of the demoniacs, rending, raging, tearing, foaming. I wonder how any can die in their wits, that die not in the faith of Jesus Christ. Appius Claudius loved not the Greek Zeta, because when pronounced, it represents the gnashing teeth of a dying man. Sigismund, the emperor, being ready to die, commanded his servants not to name death in his hearing.

(John Trapp.)

Let us not stand in an immoderate fear of death. Death. is a serpent without a sting. Though he grip us, yet he cannot hurt us. Dame, lee the Parasite extolled the magnificence of Dionysius, affirming that there was not an happier man in the world than he; wilt thou have a taste of my happiness? He caused him to be set in a chair of state, the table furnished with all delicacies, singing-men and women making melody with voices and instruments, noble attendants to wait on him; but therewithal he commanded a sharp naked sword to be hung over his head by a slender horse-hair; the which he espying, took no pleasure in that paradise, but besought him earnestly to take him out of his happiness again. So though we have the world at will, though we be gentlemen, &c., yet the sword of death hanging over our heads continually must needs quail the courage of the greatest gallant.

(W. Jones, D. D.)

We, steeped in theology, would naturally reply, By offering Himself an atoning sacrifice for sin. But that is certainly not the writer's thought here. He reserves the great thought of Christ's priestly self-sacrifice for a more advanced stage in the development of his doctrine. What then is his thought? Simply this. Christ delivers from the fear of death by dying as a sinless one. Death and sin are connected very intimately in our minds, hence fear. But lo, here is one who knows no sin dying. The bare fact breaks the association between sin and death. But more than that: He who dies is our brother, has entered into our mortal state in a fraternal spirit for the very purpose of lending us a helping hand. We may not fully know how His death avails to help us. But we know that the Sanctifier in a spirit of brotherhood became one with us, even in death; and the knowledge enables us to realise our unity with Him in death, and so emancipates us from fear. "Sinners may die, for the Sinless has died." The benefit thus derived from the death of the sinless One is but the other side of the great principle, Sanctifier and sanctified all one. For it has two sides, it applies both ways. The Sanctifier becomes one with the sanctified in brotherly love; the sanctified become one with the Sanctifier in privilege. They are mutually one in both directions in God's sight; they are mutually one in both directions for the spiritual instincts of the believer, even before he knows what the twofold validity for God me us. In proportion as we realise the one aspect of the principle, the Sanctifier one with us, we are enabled to realise and get benefit from the other. While the Holy One stands apart from us in the isolation of His sinlessness, we, sinners, fear to die; when we see Him by our side, even in death, which we have been accustomed to regard as the penalty of sin, death ceases to appear as penalty, and becomes the gate of heaven.

(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)

The following testimony was delivered by the Rev. Edward Deering, B.D. (author of some excellent lectures on this Epistle), shortly before his death in 1576. "There is but one sun that giveth light to the world; there is but one righteousness; there is but one communion of saints. If I were the most excellent creature in the world; if I were as righteous as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (for they were excellent men in the world), yet we must all confess that we are great sinners, and that there is no salvation but in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And we have all need of the grace of God. And for my part, as concerning death, I feel such joy of spirit, that if I should have the sentence of life on the one side, and the sentence of death on the other side, I had rather choose a thousand times (seeing God hath appointed the separation) the sentence of death than the sentence of life."

Concerning death, to them that be God's dear children, what other thing is it than the despatcher of all displeasure, the end of all travail, the door of desires, the gate of gladness, the port of paradise, the haven of heaven, the rail of rest and quietness, the entrance to felicity, the beginning of all blissfulness? It is the very bed of down (and, therefore, well compared to a sleep) for the doleful bodies of God's people to rest in, out of the which they shall rise and awake, most fresh and lusty, to life everlasting. It is a passage to the Father, a chariot to heaven. the Lord's messenger, a leader unto Christ, a going to our home, a deliverance from bondage and prison, a dismission from war, a security from all sorrows, and a manumission from all misery. So that the very heathen did in some places cause the day of their death to be celebrated with mirth, melody, and minstrelsy. And should we be dismayed at it, should we be afraid of it, should we tremble to hear of it? Should such a friend as it is be unwelcomed? Should the foulness of his face scare us from his good conditions? Should the hardness of his husk hinder us from his sweet kernel? Should the roughness of the tide tie us to the bank and shore, there to be drowned, rather than the desire of our home drive us to go aboard? Should the hardness of the saddle set us on our feet to perish by the way, rather than to leap up and endure the same a little, and so to be where we would be?

(John Bradford.)

Do not the wicked themselves prophesy by their fear of death a worse condition of some dreadful judgment after this life, prepared for sinners, when none but they stand in such fear of death? Why doth one wish for it, and another tremble to hear of it? If it were but a sleep, no man would fear it at all; for who feareth to take his rest when the night approacheth? If it did take away sense and feeling, and make men trees or stones, no man would fear it at all; for who would fear strokes, if he could feel no more than a stone? Or who would care for anything, if he had not sense of anything? Therefore this fear of death which you see in all but the faithful, doth presage some strange torment to those men which they begin to taste already before they die; like the spirit which persecuted Saul before his end. They desire not to be dissolved, but they fear to be dissolved; they go not to Christ, but their departure is an everlasting departure from Christ, to the devils, to hell, without either end or ease, or any patience to endure it.

(Henry Smith.)

He did not vanquish Death from afar, like some god of the ancient Olympus; He did not strike down the foe by arrows shot from heights of the empyrean. No; He Himself came down, Himself wrestled with Death; for a moment its cold hand was laid upon His heart, and then He arose, felled it to the ground by His glance; and walked our earth, as He had done before.

(Madame de Gasparin.)

I have often asked myself what was the effect in hell when Christ gained the victory over sin and death. There is a striking picture in the "Apocryphal Gospels " of what it might have been. At the moment Christ died the tidings reached Beelzebub, "Jesus hath died, and hath overthrown thy kingdom on earth." Then David with his harp of gold, and Isaiah, the prophet, are heard singing and shouting with joy, "Lift up your heads, oh ye gates, and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in" (Psalm 24.). Beelzebub replies with the haughty question, "Who is this King of Glory?" And the answer comes: "The Lord strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle." Again in trembling tones Beelzebub asks: "Who is the King of Glory?" And again rings out the paean of triumph, "The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory." Then just as the Philistines fled before David, so all the devils flee when they hear what Christ has done. That is figure, but this is fact, that through death Christ overcame him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.

(H. W. Webb-Peploe, M. A.)

"Have you ever noticed," wrote a beloved friend who was near death, "the glorious redundancy of the apostle's words, 'He also — Himself — likewise took part of the same?'" This friend had death before him for many months, and he found in these words the richest Divine comforts. We want a Christ that can live like us, and when we come to die we shall want a Christ that could die like us.

(C. Clemance, D. D.)

How strongly this argument would appeal to the Hebrew readers of the Epistle is clear from the Rabbinical theology, which often speaks of the fear of death and the accuser as a constant companion of man's life. In every dangerous crisis of life, on a lonely journey, or on the high seas, the Jew seemed to see the accuser pleading for his death. "In this life," says the "Madrash Punchuma," "death never suffers man to be glad."

(W. Robertson Smith, M. A.)

Baxendale's Anecdotes.
Mr. B mentioning to Dr. Johnson that he had seen the execution of several convicts at Tyburn, two days before, and that none of them seemed to be under any concern, "Most of them, sir," said Johnson, "have never thought at all." "But is not the fear of death natural to man?" said B . "So much so, sir," said Johnson, "that the whole of life is but keeping away the thoughts of it."

(Baxendale's Anecdotes.)

Baxendale's Anecdotes.
The fear of death seldom leads to conversion, but it did in the case of Henry Townley, afterwards minister of Union Chapel, Calcutta. As a young man he was threatened with pulmonary consumption, and thought not to have long to live. Dissatisfaction with his own life and opinions led him to a thorough investigation of the evidences of Christianity, and then came not only intellectual belief, but the consecration of his entire nature to God. His distress of mind was great, and he had not in the circle of his acquaintance a single religious person to assist him towards right. After much mental conflict it came thus. He was looking on Blackfriars Bridge at the setting sun, on a bright, calm evening, and prayed that the Sun of Righteousness might shine on his dark, perplexed state, and immediately the answer came in the melting of his soul towards God and the possession of unspeakable peace.

(Baxendale's Anecdotes.)

As far as my experience has gone, I have found that young Christians and timorous Christians really die more triumphantly. There are exceptions, however. I will tell you how this is. It is the Lord's kindness. He does not let the devil have a shot at them at the last, because they could not bear it. Do you remember how John Bunyan describes this? He says that when Mr. Fearing went to cross the river of death, "the water was lower than ever it was known." So it is with those who are like Mr. Fearing; but when you see that there is a fight when old people come to die, you may conclude that they are getting their last victory. They are getting the serpent's head under their heel; and they will take their last leap from the serpent's head to the throne.

(S. Coley.)

Dr. Bushnell's Life.
In the quiet watches of the night Dr. Bushnell's wife asked him how death looked to him. "Very much like going into another room," was the answer.

(Dr. Bushnell's Life.)

When Sir Henry Vane was condemned and awaiting execution, a friend spoke of prayer that for the present the cup of death might be averted. "Why should we fear death?" answered Vane. "I find it rather shrinks from me than I from it."

(Little's Historical Lights.)

There are some that are like what is fabled of the swan. The ancients said the swan never sang in his lifetime, but always sang just when he died. Now, there are many of God's desponding children, who seem to go all their life under a cloud; but they get a swan's song before they die. Tile river of their life comes running down, perhaps black and miry with troubles; and, when it beans to touch the white foam of the sea, there comes a little glistening in its waters. So, though we may have been very much dispirited by reason of the burden of the way, when we get to the end, we shall have sweet songs. Are you afraid of dying? Oh i never be afraid of that: be afraid of living. Living is the only thing which can do any mischief; dying can never hurt a Christian. Afraid of the grave? It is like the bath of Esther, in which she lay for a time to purify herself with spices, that she might be fit for her lord.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Baxendale's Anecdotes.
Among the few remains of Sir John Franklin that were found far up in the Polar regions there was a leaf of the "Student's Manual," by Dr. John Todd — the only relic of a book. From the way in which the leaf was turned down, the following portion of a dialogue was prominent: — "Are you not afraid to die?" "No." "No! Why does the uncertainty of another state give you no concern?" "Because God has said to me, ' Fear not. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.'" This leaf is preserved in the Museum of Greenwich Hospital, among the relics of Sir John Franklin:

(Baxendale's Anecdotes.)

Old Mr. Lyford being desired, a little before his death, to let his friends know in what condition his soul was, and what his thoughts were about that eternity to which he seemed very near, he answered with a cheerfulness suitable to a believer and a minister, "I will let you know how it is with me"; and then, stretching out a hand that was withered and consumed with age and sickness — "Here is," said he, "the grave, the wrath of God, and devouring flames, the just punishment of sin, on the one side; and here am I, a poor sinful soul, on the other side; but this is my comfort, the covenant of grace which is established on so many sure promises, has saved me from all. There is an act of oblivion passed in heaven. I will forgive their iniquities, and their sins will I remember no more. This is the blessed privilege of all within the covenant, among whom I am one."

(T. Rogers.)

The late Mr. Young, of Jedburgh, was once visiting the death-bed of an aged member of his congregation, who was hourly looking for his last change. "Well, my friend," said the minister, "how do you feel yourself to-day?" "Very weel, sir," was the calm and solemn answer, "very weel, but just a wee confused wi' the flittin."

(Children's Missionary Record.)

Shall we ever quite fully realise the mighty and joyful truth that there is no death for the Christian? In his beautiful tribute to the quaint old town of Nuremburg. Mr. Longfellow makes this mention of its peerless artist:

"Emigravit" is the inscription on the tombstone where he lies:

Dead he is not, but departed — for the artist never dies."But how much grander the thought that "Emigravit" may most fittingly be the inscription on every Christian's tombstone I — not dead, but only gone before to that blessed land of peerless beauty, where blossom unfading flowers, and everlasting fountains flow. Why should we not give up the use of the word death as applied to the Christian? — for death is the alienation of the soul from God, not the quitting of earth for heaven.

"I want to talk to you about heaven," said a dying parent to a member of his family; "we may not be spared to each other long; may we meet around the throne of glory, one family in heaven!" Overpowered at the thought, his beloved daughter exclaimed, "Surely you do not think there is any danger?" Calmly and beautifully he replied, "Danger! my darling. Oh! do not use that word. There can be no danger to the Christian, whatever may happen. All is right. All is well. God is love. All is well — everlastingly well — everlastingly well."

(J. Stevenson.)

— "Are you afraid of death?" said a friend to a German pastor. "Which death do you mean? " replied the dying man. "Jesus my Saviour saith, 'He that believeth in Me hath eternal life. He that believeth in Me shall not see death.' Why should I be afraid of what I shall not even see? The real death is past. Outward death, separation of body and soul, we have to endure, and God gives us grace and strength in this last trial; but the sting of death has been taken away."

(A. Saphir.)

The late Rev. Mr. Innes, of Gifford, after a life prolonged beyond the days of most men, literally fell asleep; through life a truly peaceful man, his latter end was peculiarly so; without the suffering of disease or any acute pain, the pins of his tabernacle seem to have been gently loosed. Some days before, one of his parishioners, a farmer, called, and seeing him cheerful, said he was glad to see him so well, and that, as mild weather was at hand, he would soon get better, and be visiting them again. He replied, "No; I wish no such flattery. You see here a poor old man on his death-bed, but without alarm: I tell you that. Hear, and tell all your neighbours, my parishioners, that my comfort now, and hope for eternity, is just the gospel of Christ I have preached to them sixty years, and there is no other." He was wonderfully composed at all times. But a week before his death one called, and, seeing a book of small type before him, asked him if he saw to read without his glasses. He said, "Oh, no; I cannot read even my Bible without glasses: but," strengthening his voice, "I am thankful that I have a Bible that I have read; and I can mind some texts that I can see and feel now as I never did before. Oh, it is a precious book!"

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