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he replies to the imaginary objector, Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it
and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain : but God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body. Yes! God giveth it a body! There is the answer to any captious, objecting mind. We cannot tell how the dust is revived. We cannot tell by what process the new life is breathed into the dry bones. We leave the matter as it is best left- unsearched out-in God's own hands, sure that He will bring it about in His own way, and in His own time,- according to the mighty working whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself!
And now, brethren, in concluding, look at the practical consequence of this great doctrine being established. See what a motive is supplied for godliness! If, as we have affirmed,-if man shall, nay, must live again, what manner of persons ought we to be, in all holy conversation and godliness!
If these bodies of ours are appointed to immortality, does it need a preacher to enforce the necessity of a pure, and sober, and godly conversation? Surely it does not. Surely, of yourselves you will see, that we ought to keep under our bodies, and bring them into subjection, and yield ourselves a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service!
Surely you will feel that it is the height of foolhardiness, for any one to go on now in the old heathen way,- Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die! For after that to-morrow will come to us a most solemn day—after death, the judgment! when we shall have to give, each for himself, an account unto God!
Lastly, look at the strong support and comfort which belief in a resurrection can give the heart. There is no sorrow like that which is caused by the loss of a dear relative or friend. There is no sorrow so common. We have all felt it, and may all feel it again. It is yours to-day, it may
be ours to-morrow. And when it comes upon us, where shall we go for succour, if not to the blessed hope here set before us? the hope that those, for whom we weep and are sad, have not perished utterly—that the better part of them, the immortal spirit, is even now with God Who gave it !- that yet but a little while, and that which now bars them from our sight will be taken away, and they and we shall stand once more together, in the resurrection at the last day!
That is our hope, that is our consolation when death invades our hearth. Be not afraid to lear upon it, for it rests on a sure foundation. Go to it in your hour of sorrow, and go to it at other times as well. Live, brethren, live daily in the firm belief of a resurrection of a personal revival, of a secured immortality. And let that belief bear its proper fruit. Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord !
i St. John, ii. 28.
Abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have
confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
THE advice given in these words sums up, shortly, what must be the best preparation of a Christian against death and judgment. Abide in Him,in the Lord Jesus Christ,—that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Now you will see at once why I take these words for a text to-day. This is Advent Sunday, that great Sunday with which our Church begins her course of services for the year, and which is called “Advent,” or “Coming,”— to remind us of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this in a twofold sense—first, that Jesus Christ once took our nature, and was born into this world of sin—visited us in great humility: and, secondly, that the same Lord Jesus Christ, now sitting in heaven at God's right hand, will once more leave His Father's side, and descend into this world of ours, not again as a little child in great humility, but as a conqueror and a king,—will come again in His glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and dead.
These are the two thoughts that the word Advent brings with it. Jesus Christ, the promised Saviour, has come from God—come to redeem mankind; and the same Jesus Christ who, about 1866 years ago, was put to a cruel death by the Jews, crucified, dead, and buried, and Who rose from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven, will come again, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God,-come to be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe .. in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of His Son. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power !
Now of these two comings of our Lord, the second - His coming to be
to be our judge—His coming with power and great glory—is the one referred to in the text.
Advent Sunday proclaims that event as well.