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HEAD, and from the same authority; we shall now at once discover how truly our most glorious Christ is himself "the resurrection and the life," both in himself, and to all his people; by calling to our mind, what the Scriptures declare, and what his people are supposed to know; namely, that in all He said; in all He did; in all He wrought; in all He suffered; yea, in all that He was as Christ; He was, and is, the Head, and Husband, and Surety, of his body the church, "the fulness that filleth all in all." Hence, when he stood forth under this high character, he stood forth not as a private person, but a public head; and when the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all, (as it is said he did, Isaiah liii. 6.) in the same mo= ment, all our sins were taken from us, and charged on him. (Jerem. 1. 20.) When he died on the cross, the church died in him. (Gal. ii. 20.) When "he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," from the church sin was for ever put away; and the church" sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Heb. ix. 26. Heb. x. 10.) And when he arose from the dead, the church rose in Him as their glorious Head, and Representative: and as the Holy Ghost hath graciously taught the church by Paul, Christ "being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of them that slept." (1 Cor xv. 20.) Hence he is the sure pledge, and earnest, of the resurrection of all his people; yea, he is himself the resurrection; neither would his resurrection be complete without theirs; for where should the members be but with their head? Nay, the church is not only one with Christ, in his resurrection, but in his ascension, and return to glory. For saith the Holy Ghost by Paul, to every regenerated child of God, when quickened into a new and spiritual life in Christ; "Even (saith he) when we were dead in sins we were quickened together with Christ: (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us
up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Ephes. ii. 5, 6.) So that the regenerated church, to all intents and purposes is now in the person of her glorious Lord sitting with Him; represented by Him; and He is therefore himself, the sum and substance of all that she is, or ever will be. Oh! divine saying of our most glorious Lord, when he said, "I am the resurrection and the life!
From this statement, the personal interest of every individual member of Christ's mystical body may, through the unction of the Holy Ghost, (1 John ii. 20.) be clearly ascertained. Are we regenerated or born again; and have we those marks of the new and spiritual life which follow the new-birth? Are we "convinced of sin, of righteousness and of judgment?" (John xvi. 8-11.) Are we dead with Christ, risen with Christ by the resurrection of grace, to a new, and spiritual life in Christ; and are we "seeking those things which are above where Christ sitteth, on the right hand of God?" (Coloss. iii. 1-4.) The Holy Ghost, by Paul, hath stated these divine truths as so many testimonies in the mind of the risen with Christ, when he saith: "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ; (that is not the outward baptism of water, but inward by the Spirit:" see Acts x. 5.) " were baptized into his death: therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together, in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." (Romans vi.. 3-5.) Such, and infinitely more, is included int those divine words of our most glorious Lord, when he said: "I am the resurrection and the life."
It now only remains for every one present to put the question to himself, which our Lord did to Martha,
as if the glorious Lord had made a renewed proclamation of the same this day in this church, saying, "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die! Believest thou this?" Do you, and you, and you, believe it? Oh! Sirs! the doctrine of the resurrection is a practical, experimental, soulrefreshing doctrine, and when, by the unction of the Lord, received into the spiritual mind, and understanding, and conscience, and lived upon by faith, cannot but tend to purify the heart, and induce an holy life and conversation: "that when Christ who is our life shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory!” And now having been strengthened to deliver my message to you from the Lord; I look to the Lord for his blessing upon it. I am come forth from the chamber of the dead, to say these things unto the living; and shall now return to my house of mourning with thanksgiving in having been permitted, for this purpose, to visit the Lord's house of joy. If y do not recollect a word of what I have said; but yet shall be enabled to keep in memory what the Lord hath said, in the delightful words of the text; and the Lord should write them in your hearts; this is the burden of my prayer for you, and for myself. In them you will find a sure relief against all the sorrows of life; under bereaving providences in the death of friends; and in the prospect of your own departure: if the Lord be loosening the pins of your earthly tabernable; if all outward circumstances are dark, and discouraging; and all inward comforts in yourself run low; let but Jesus whisper his own most blessed words to the ear of your spiritual apprehension, and all will be well. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life."
"And whithersoever Jesus entered, into yillages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment; and as many as touched him were made whole."-MARK VL. 56.