Death and sin, which are the work and the effect of the devil's power, are taken away and destroyed by Him who led captivity captive, and gained the victory over them, nailing them to the cross. The terrors of death, and the fatal consequences of sin, eternal death, are deprived of their power to alarm or injure those who are made more than conquerors through Him who loved them and gave himself for them: and also the domineering power of sin in their mortal bodies is done away; for "sin shall have no dominion over those who are not under the law, but grace." And He who has redeemed us by his own precious blood, and placed us in a state of acceptance through his righteousness, is also our Sanctifier; he "puts his laws into our minds, and writes them in our hearts;" so that we delight in the law after the inward man, and render him a cheerful though imperfect obedience,

Having thus taken a short view of our text, I cannot conclude in a more

appropriate manner, than by borrowing a few sentences from the Exhortation at the end of the excellent Homily of our Church on the Nativity:

"Therefore, dearly beloved, let us not forget this exceeding love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; let us not show ourselves unmindful or unthankful towards him; but let us love him, fear him, obey him, and serve him. Let us confess him with our mouths, praise him with our hearts, and glorify him with our good works.-Christ is the light; let us receive the light. Christ is the truth; let us believe the truth. Christ is the way; let us follow the way. And because he is our only master, our only teacher, our only shepherd and chief captain; therefore let us become his servants, his scholars, his sheep, his soldiers. As for sin, the flesh, the world, and the devil, whose servants and bondslaves we were before Christ's coming; let us utterly cast them out and defy them, as the chief and only enemies of

the soul. And seeing we are once delivered from their cruel tyranny by Christ,

let us never fall into their hands again, lest we chance to be in a worse state than we were before. Happy are they, saith the Scripture, that continue to the end. Be faithful, saith God, until death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Again, he saith in another place, He that putteth his hand to the plough and looketh back, is not meet for the kingdom of God. Therefore let us be strong, steadfast, and unmoveable, always abounding in the works of the Lord. receive Christ, not for a time,

Let us

but for

ever; let us believe his word, not for a time, but for ever; let us become his servants not for a time, but for ever; in consideration that he hath redeemed and saved us, not for a time but for ever; and will receive us into his heavenly kingdom, not for a time, but for ever. To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour, praise, and glory, for ever and ever." Amen.



ACTS, 1. 3.

To whom he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

"To whom he showed himself alive after his passion." Jesus showed himself alive to his Apostles, after having suffered death, upon, the cross., In, this there could be no deceit. His resurrec"tion, to be sure, was a strange event, of which they could form, no clear conception, though, during his life, he had told ,them that such would be the case, and talked of it in plainer terms as he advanced in his ministry. Still they could not, from all his conversations with them

[ocr errors]

on that head, understand that he was to be crucified, and after three days rise again from the dead. When, however, the event took place, they of all others were best qualified to judge whether it were actually their Lord and Master, or not; and from these circumstances-they had constantly been his followers; they knew his stature, his shape, his air, his voice, his manner. That there might not, however, be wanting any thing to satisfy their minds of the reality of his resurrection, and that it was he, the very Jesus upon whom they had attended for the space of more than three years, whom they had heard and seen continually, and no delusive phantom of their own imagination," he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs," which it was impossible to misunderstand. b algoda ucit

After the crucifixion of our Lord, Joseph of Arimathea, an amiable follower of the blessed Jesus, and a man of considerable consequence, being onec of


« ElőzőTovább »