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death are obliterated from the world; yet the victory has not only been gained by the Captain of our salvation, but already it is in part conferred on us. The anticipations given of its completion prove, even now, a match for the terrors of the foe; and even now we should commence the song of thanksgiving and the shout of triumph. "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul." "Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling." "What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all his people."

1st, This subject furnishes a powerful incitement to seek an interest in the christian salvation. "We must all die, and are as water spilt on the ground;" and if we die without an interest in that mighty Conqueror who hath rendered death abortive, then the termination of our natural life will prove only the introduction to eternal darkness and wretchedness. You may now find it easy to dismiss these subjects from your minds; so inveterate may be your habits of thoughtlessness, that it may require a strenuous effort to fix your attention on them, tremendously interesting though they be; but if now you refuse to think of them, "what will ye do in the swellings of Jordan?" The hour will come when the objects of time will recede from your view, and those of eternity stand out in all their fearful magnitude and importance. The hour will come when you will be placed on the utmost verge of life; when the soul, finding herself seized by

the iron hand of death, will cling to that mortal body with quivering grasp, and leap and start in frantic agony, as the cords of life are one after another burst asunder. How wise, then, to anticipate now the arrival of such a scene, and seek an interest in the great salvation! "He that hath the Son hath life; but he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

2d, This subject affords a criterion for self-examination. They who shall conquer death have believed the gospel. My friends, do you believe? Have you attended to the evidence and the meaning of the gospel testimony? Have you committed your souls to him who can keep them? and is your faith not a dead and inoperative speculation, but a living and energetic principle of conduct? They who gain the victory over death, are also the conquerors over sin, the sting of death. Are you the passive slaves of that foe? or are you engaged in active and unremitting hostility against it? Surely you may know this, and judge for yourselves accordingly.

3d, This subject administers comfort under the loss of friends who die in the Lord: I say,-who die in the Lord; for, to those who spend their life in the service of sin, or in the neglect of religion, temporal death is the entrance on death eternal; and the principal improvement to be made of the dissolution of such persons, is to redouble our diligence, lest we ourselves should come into that place of torment assigned them for their final abode. If, however, we have reason to think favourably of those, of whom death deprives us, then, in the prospects and promises of the gospel, we may find consolations the most pure and abundant. Removed from this state of imperfection and darkness, of sin and sorrow, into a state of unmingled purity and transcendant glory, how happy for themselves the

change they have made! Be ye followers of them, as they were of Christ; and in due time they shall be restored to your society in their entire nature." I would not have you ignorant concerning them who are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

"What here we call our life is such,

So little to be loved, and they so much,

That we should ill requite them to constrain
Their unbound spirits into bonds again."

4th, This subject presents an encouragement to stedfastness in the service of Christ. This is the practical application which the apostle himself makes of the subject, "wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." The encouragements to the service of Christ being so powerful, how melancholy to think that so little attention should be paid to his instructions and laws. How melancholy that his authority should have so little influence on our general conduct,—that, for reasons the most frivolous, or without any reason at all, some will absent themselves from the sanctuary, and others evince the blackest ingratitude in neglecting the commemoration of his dying love! Are there here any who find themselves reproved by any of these remarks? Let them resolve, that if they have done iniquity, they will do so no more. And let all who are about to dedicate themselves to him in the ordinance of the Supper, vow, in reliance on his grace, that henceforth they will "glorify him with their bodies and spirits, which are his." Amen.



HEBREWS ii. 11.-He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

In the preceding chapter of this epistle, the writer of it expatiates on the transcendant dignity and excellence of the Author of christianity. The person by whom this new revelation was introduced was the Son of God, -the Creator and Upholder of the universe,-a person immeasurably superior, not only to men, but to angels and to all created beings. Powerfully as this view of the Author of christianity was fitted to recommend his character and his religion, there is one prejudice which it was not unlikely to excite, one objection to which it might seem liable. It might not unnaturally be said, that if he was a person thus glorious,-if he was really possessed of the divine nature,-he was not qualified to be the High Priest and Saviour of creatures impotent and sinful like men. Having no experience of their infirmities and temptations, he could not be expected to extend to them the requisite sympathy; and he could not be the object of their unsuspecting confidence, and their unreserved affection. For the purpose apparently of preventing that prejudice, or of obviating that objection, the apostle reminds his readers of the incarnation and abasement of the Lord Jesus. He tells them that he was man as well as God; that he had sub

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mitted to the multifarious infirmities, and temptations, and sorrows of men; and that, therefore, they might rely on his sympathy with unhesitating and unlimited confidence. "For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."

In this passage, and in various other instances in this epistle, the term sanctify is used in the legal or sacrificial sense, denoting generally to consecrate to God. It refers to purification from guilt, rather than the deliverance from depravity, or the production of internal holiness, and might not improperly be rendered to make expiation or atonement.

"Both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one ;" that is, either, of one father, or of one race; for it is evidently the intention of the apostle to intimate, that the Saviour and those whom he came to save were partakers of the same nature. The apostle intimates, further, to his readers, that strange as might seem that view of the Saviour's character, it need not startle or stagger them; for it had been given in their own scriptures. He quotes, accordingly, various passages from the Old Testament, in which the Messiah identifies himself with those whom he came to succour, owns them as brethren, or describes himself as placed in their circumstances, and called to exercise those sentiments of trust in God which are suited to a finite and dependent being, exposed to trial and danger.

Having thus adverted to the general scope and design of the context, let us now proceed to consider particularly the declaration in the text,-a declaration which, in one view, is a most remarkable and surprising, and, in every view, a most instructive and consoling

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