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and bliss-thy last enemy, death, shall be overcome. For,
IV. It is in reference to this final triumph over death, that the practical value of the doctrine of the Trinity is fully established.
It is in our last struggle that we most need strength. It is this contest with death, this separation of soul and body, this disruption of the ties that bind us to life, this entrance on an unknown world, which nature most dreads. But by that doctrine which establishes the divinity of Jesus Christ, the full confidence of triumph is given to our souls. Jesus Christ, the Saviour in whom we believe, declared that "he went before to prepare a place for us, that where he is, there we may be also "." It was his gracious promise, "I am the resurrection and the life, whosoever believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." It was he who passed "through the grave and gate of death, that he might conduct his followers to a joyful resurrection." And it is this " righteous Judge" who, the believer, like the Apostle, trusts, will "give him at the last day, a crown of righteousness"."
r John xiv. 2, 3.
* Collect for Easter Even.
• John xi. 25.
2 Tim. iv. 8.
But if Christ be a mere man, what confidence can we have in the fulfilment of his promise? Can a frail man prepare a place for us in heaven; sustain the fainting soul in her encounter with her deadly foe, and give her victory; and change corruption into incorruption, and invest mortal with immortality?
No, Christian-Thou art assured that the Conqueror by whom thy victory over thy last enemy is to be achieved, is the Lord of life and death. Jesus, thy Saviour, thy guide through life, thy sympathizing friend and almighty protector in all the trials of thy course, will also be with thee in thy final contest; to sustain thee, to comfort thee; to animate thee with the hope of glory. He, its almighty Guardian, will watch over thy sleeping dust. He, its Redeemer and Lord, will accompany thy soul to the resting place of departed spirits. He, the Judge of quick and dead, will rouse thy body from the sleep of the grave, and call thy spirit from the paradise of the blest, and unite them incorruptible and glorious. He, the Lord of heaven, will exalt thee to that heaven thy final abode, where thou shalt be ever with him in the fruition of unspeakable and endless joys. Christian-He will do all these things; for he is "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last, the Almighty"-" King of kings, Lord of lords "."
If then we wish to be assured of redemption from error, of release from sin, of support under affliction, of triumph in death, and of bliss through eternity, let us stedfastly cleave to that doctrine which gives us in the Son a Divine Saviour, and in the Holy Ghost a Divine Comforter; and let us, with humble and penitent and obedient hearts, in the language of the Church, give thanks unto "God the Father, for the precious death and merits of his Son Jesus Christ, and for sending to us the Holy Ghost the Comforter, who are one with him in his eternal Godhead *."
* Communion Service.
OUR KNOWLEDGE HERE AND HEREAFTER
1 COR. xiii. 12.
Now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I am known.
In the present state of his existence, imperfection and mystery obscure all the researches of man. The attributes and will of the Being who made, who rules, and who is to judge us; the way of access to him through a mediator; our duty and our final destiny are revealed so far as is necessary to direct our conduct, to arouse our fears, to excite our hopes, and thus to animate us in pursuing that path of life which conducts to fulness of joy. But when we attempt to discover even the essences of the things that surround us, and the reasons of the physical constitution of the universe; and, above all, when our aspiring aim soars to scan the Divine nature and perfections, and the reasons of the moral
government of the Sovereign of the universe, and seeks to bring the spiritual and eternal world to a level with sensible objects; then are we compelled to admit, that we "know only in part."
This imperfection of our knowledge results from our condition as finite creatures; from our situation in the present world, which is only the introductory stage of our existence; and from the nature of the truths of religion which respect objects infinitely exalted above our imperfect capacities. Here, therefore, we "know only in part." But when we are translated to our final state of being, our faculties will be strengthened, our sphere of intellectual vision enlarged, divine truths will be more fully laid open to our improved and elevated intellect"We shall know, even as also we are known." Let us then consider,
The imperfection of our knowledge in this life, and the increase of our knowledge which will take place in our future state of existence, in reference to
The works of God,
The dispensations of Providence, and