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kingdom suddenly departed from him ; the reign of idolatry passed away: He was beheld to fall like lightning from Heaven. In that hour, the foundation of every Pagan temple shook. The statue of every false God tottered on its base. The Priest fled from his falling shrine ; and the Heathen oracles became dumb for ever.
As on the cross Christ triumphed over $atan, so he overcame his auxiliary the world. Long had it assailed him with its temptations and discouragements. In this hour of severe trial, he surmounted them all. Formerly he had despised the pleasures of the world. He now baffled its terrors. Hence he is justly said to have crucified the world. By his sufferings he ennobled distress; and he darkened the lustre of the pomp and vanities of life. He discovered to his followers the path which leads, through affliction, to glory and to victory; and he imparted to them the same spirit which enabled him to overcome. My kingdom is not of this world. In this world
ye shall have tribulation : But be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world. *
Death also, the last foe of man, was the vic
* John, xvi. 33.
The formidable appearance of the spectre remained; but his dart was taken away. For, in the hour when Christ expiated guilt, he disarmed Death, by securing the resurrection of the just. When he said to his penitent fellow-sufferer, To-day thou shall be with me in Paradise, he announced to all his followers the certainty of heavenly bliss. He declared the cherubims to be dismissed, and the flaming sword to be sheathed, which had been appointed, at the fall, to keep from man the way of the tree of life. Faint, before this period, had been the hope, indistinct the prospect, which even good men enjoyed of the heavenly kingdom. Life and immortality were now brought to light. From the hill of Calvary, the first clear and certain view was given to the world of the everlasting mansions. Since that hour, they have been the perpetual consolation of belierers in Christ. Under trouble, they soothe their minds; amidst temptation, they support their virtue; and in their dying moments enable them to say, 0 death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory?
tim of this hour. The formidable
VI. This was the hour when our Lord erected that spiritual kingdom which is never to
Gen. iii. 24.
end. How vain are the counsels and designs
it was to be their boast and their glory. The cross was to shine on palaces and churches, throughout the earth. It was to be assumed as the distinction of the most powerful monarchs, and to wave in the banner of victorious armies when the memory of Herod and Pilate should be accursed; when Jerusalem should be reduced to ashes, and the Jews be vagabonds over all the world.
These were the triumphs which commenced at this hour. Our Lord saw them already in their birth; he sawo of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied. He beheld the word of God going forth, conquering, and to conquer ; subduing, to the obedience of his laws, the subduers of the world; carrying light into the regions of darkness, and mildness into the habitations of cruelty. He beheld the Gentiles waiting below the cross, to receive the Gospel. He beheld Ethiopia and the Isles stretching out their hands to God; the desert beginning to rejoice and to blossom as the rose; and the knowledge of the Lord filling the earth, as the waters cover the sea. Well pleased, he said, It is finished. As a conqueror, he retired from the field, reviewing his triumphs: He bowed his head, and gave up the Ghost - From that hour, Christ was no longer a mortal man, but Head over all things to the Church ; the glorious
King of men and angels, of whose dominion there shall be no end. His triumphs shall
perpetually increase. His name shall endure for ever; it shall last as long as the sun ; men shall be blessed in him, and all nations shall call him blessed.
Such were the transactions, such the effects of this ever-memorable hour: With all those great events was the mind of our Lord filled, when he lifted up his eyes to Heaven, and said, Father ! the hour is come!
From the view which we have taken of this subject, permit me to suggest, what ground it affords to confide in the mercy of God for the pardon of sin ; to trust to his faithfulness, for
; the accomplishment of all his promises; and to approach him, with gratitude and devotion, in acts of worship
In the first place. The death of Christ affords us ground to confide in the Divine mercy for the pardon of sin. All the steps of that high dispensation of Providence, which we have considered, lead directly to this conclusion, He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ? * This is the final
* Rom. viii. 52.