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Such, I maintain, is the sad experience of every Christian. So long as we are in the flesh we are exposed to manifold temptations. We stand in jeopardy every hour. We fall, and we rise again, and again fall, and no day passes but we have to seek for pardon at the throne of grace; to cast ourselves on God's mercy; to entreat, and entreat again and again, to have our trespasses forgiven and our sin covered !
And that is a state of great grief, great humiliation, great unrest. But hereafter, in the blessed life to come, there will be an end of this. Sin will not have any the least dominion over us in heaven. There will be neither the inclination, nor the temptation, nor the bad example, nor any of the many causes, which here on earth lead men into evil. There will be no longer the slightest struggle between will and duty. God's service, hard as it may seem to us now, will then be perfect freedom !
To sum up what has been said. Heaven, whatever other notions we may have about it, will be, before all things, a place to rest. There the wicked will cease from troubling, and the weary be at rest. They will be at rest from all irksome toil and labour; they will be at rest from every doubt and uncertainty, that now may vex and disturb their mind. They will be at rest from sin. They will never more know its cruel sting, its guilt, its remorse. And that rest will be for ever. “A sabbath of eternity, one sabbath deep and wide!”
And who, you will ask, are they ?—The people of God. There remaineth a rest to the people of God!
And who, again, are these? Those in whose heart are God's ways; those in every nation who fear Him, and work righteousness. Those who do the will of God. Those who hold all they have, themselves, their souls and bodies, their talents, their wealth, their influence, as a charge and trust from God. Those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave them commandment. These are God's people, wherever they may be found. They have the sure mark that they belong to Him. Them will He remember when the times of refreshing shall come, and He shall send Jesus, which before was preached unto them !
0 may we be of that happy number! O may we enter into the rest of God! It is promised alike to us all, through faith that is in Christ Jesus. O let us take heed, lest through our fault that promise fail ; lest there be in any of us an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God! But let us exhort one another daily, while
it is called To-day. Let us watch and pray, and hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end !
For with whom was God grieved forty years ? Was it not with them that sinned ? And to whom suare He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not ? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of us - from what
should seem to come short of it!
SUNDAY BEFORE EASTER.
“SHALL WE LIVE AGAIN?"
JOB, xiv. 14.
If a man die, shall he live again ? all the days of my
appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
If a man die, shall he live again? That is the question which men have asked of themselves ever since they have lived on the earth. They have asked it in sadness and in sorrow, at each successive removal of their friends,-Shall we see our brother any more? Is he 'not lost to us for ever? We shall go to him, but he will not return to us!
If a man die, shall he live again? The question is the question of one who doubts. Even Job, good and religious man as he was- perfect and upright, and one that feared God—had yet, it would seem, no firm and steadfast hold upon the future. With him, a's with the best and holiest of men before Christianity, death closed the view. They could not pierce the darkness of the grave. They could not see the land beyond. Hence the gloomy views which they had of death. They liked not to speak of it; and when they did, it was in tones of deep sadness. There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Thouyh the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?- We must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground which cannot be gathered up again!
And, indeed, there is much in the visible aspect of death to lead to this conclusion. Those who have watched the sad last days of some declining life—who have seen, as it were, the process of nature's dissolution - seen the mind with the body's decay, and desire fail, and all functions cease, may be excused, if at times they have had misgivings about the possibility of a revival - if, for a moment, they have acquiesced in the soul-killing doctrine of the Sadducees, who denied that there was any resurrection !
If a man die, shall he lire again? Can the