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place between God and their souls, for they are strangers to him; they do not die in the act of love to his word, and his will, but they fall as "cumberers of the ground," cut off by Divine justice.
"I know that my Redeemer liveth :" for after having descended into the grave, he arose, he resumed his human body, the vesture which was dipped in blood, in which he ascended to heaven, where "he ever liveth to make intercession for us ;" and the eternity of the believer's glory above is founded on the knowledge, that his Redeemer liveth. Hence his body rests in the grave, in the certain hope of a joyful resurrection, and his unfettered spirit rises to God who gave it.
II. The text refers to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: 66 I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." The second advent of the blessed Saviour will infinitely express his glorious immortality. The high glories of the Godhead will not then be concealed from human view, as they were when the Lord became a babe in Bethlehem, was a man of sorrows, and numbered with the transgressors. But, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations:" then the Lord will welcome none but those servants who are found watching, and who are in the paths of righteousness, ready to meet him.
For what purpose, my friends, do you think the Redeemer will again leave the courts of heaven, and stand in the latter day upon the earth? Not to be again "despised and rejected of men, but to
"judge the quick and the dead:" not to witness the violation of his law, and the contempt of his gospel, over which his vengeance now seems to slumber; but "to gather the wheat into his garner, and to burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Say not in your heart, I may escape his eye among so many millions can you elude Omniscience? Every sin you have committed will then be brought to light. You sin, and forget it, but God remembers it, and you will be judged according to your "deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil." Let me entreat you, on this solemn occasion, to listen to one speaking from another world, as far as it be lawful: for with the book of God before you, you possess every thing you need. Yet, as I shall have passed the narrow bounds of time, and entered on a blessed eternity, when this sermon is read to you, the consideration may excite your attention to these important truths, with peculiar power. "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter day upon the earth;" and each one of you must meet him, for it is written, "Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him." What are the works on which you trust for support and justification, on the appearance of your Judge? If you be not resting on the work of redemption, which was finished on the cross by him, for all the "elect people of God;" and, as the evidence of this your faith, if you are not living a life of holiness; you are not ready to meet him, for you are now dead in sin, and not living branches of the living vine, bringing forth fruit to his glory. But you are not left as are the fallen angels: behold the living Redeemer ! do you feel your burden? are you athirst
for mercy ? hearken then to his own blessed invitation; "The Spirit and the bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and let him that is athirst, come; and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
To reflect on my removal, may help you to consider the uncertainty of your own life. How lately we united together in worship to God below but now, I serve him above, and ere another Lord's day some of you may have to meet your God. "Be ye, then, also ready for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh."
This, the Redeemer's second advent, my friends, will be his last upon earth. Sinners are informed of it, yet they heed not the most important information respecting their eternal interests; they disregard the kindest warnings; they defy the most tremendous threatenings, and they behold the judgments of God unmoved. Such is human nature it is thus in you, and such it was in me; but I found mercy, and why should not you? for, "I know that my Redeemer liveth!"—Through him alone I found acceptance with the Father; he clothed me with the garments of salvation, and brought me to my Father's home. And I set these truths before you, entirely resting on his mercy, his goodness, and power to apply them to your hearts savingly; so that any of you who have heard me speak of sin and holiness, of heaven and hell, of death and judgment, before my removal from you, yet did not profit, may, by the Divine blessing, profit now. Then will you say of me, She being dead, yet speaketh; for I do not invite you to an untasted banquet: I have lived upon
the gospel of mercy, the "feast of fat things, full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined." I do not ask you to lean on an arm of untried power, for by it, my soul was raised from death unto life; it supported me in the hour of nature's dissolution, and led me into the presence of the King of kings. I do not recommend you to one whose friendship is of uncertain duration, who would embrace you with love to-day, and forsake you in eternity; for his "love is strong as death.' I have known its faithfulness. He forsook me not: his friendship survived all my sins, frailties, and wanderings below; and did not then expire, for it exists in eternity. "He ever liveth."
The gratitude which I feel towards my Redeemer for my own salvation, and the affectionate regard which I have long felt towards your souls, disposes me to speak to you thus faithfully, and to desire most earnestly, that his blessed attributes may be glorified in your eternal redemption by him.
III. The text before us mentions the dissolution of the body, and its resurrection.
Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." You know that 66 by man (that is, by Adam) came death, and by man also (by Jesus Christ our incarnate God) came the resurrection of the dead." At the second advent of the Redeemer, "all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
The dissolution of the body, and its resurrection,
are truths which are received by the believing sinner with joyful satisfaction. The sin which led Eve to listen to the serpent, and to take the forbidden fruit, is found in us: the sin which crucified the Lord of life and glory, attaches itself to our body; it is the polluted instrument which acts against God, by which our souls have meditated evil, our tongues used deceit, our feet followed mischief, our eyes feasted on vanity, our hands wrought wickedness, and our bodies have been defiled with their own sins and the sin of our souls. And oh my friends, on becoming savingly acquainted with these truths, how thankful will you feel in being assured, that at the end of your days here, the Redeemer will take your spirit to himself, and plant the natural body in the ground, as the seed which shall be raised incorruptible and glorious, then to partake of his own immortality through the ever revolving ages of eternal joy, and praise, and blessedness. Such is the unfailing promise, "Because I live, ye shall live also."
The dissolution of the body is desirable, for, in its present condition, it cannot see God. Here, by reason of sin, we cannot serve God perfectly: the happiest moments I have ever known below were, in serving him with you; but to serve him in heaven is happier. By reason of the weight and burden of the sin which attaches itself to our mortal body, how welcome is the day of liberty, the moment when the imprisoned soul ascends to its eternal rest! Even here, there is "joy and peace in believing;" but to be delivered from sin is its completion and perfection. "To depart, and to be with Christ, is far better." The con