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sufferings and death of the Redeemer. The enemies of Sampson sported with his calamities; and how is the soul of the believer lacerated, when he beholds the LORD of universal nature, Mark xv. 17, 30, Deridingly clothed in purple, and a crown of platted thorns placed upon his sacred head! When he hears the chief priests mocking, and exultingly exclaiming, he saved others, himself he cannot save. Sampson in the last scene of his memorable life, appeals to the God of his salvation. O LORD God, remember me, I pray thee; thus did the struggling, agonized Saviour, lift his dying eyes to the divine Nature; "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
Secondly, Sampson prayed he might die with the Philistines. Jesus Christ was numbered with transgressors. Mark xv. 28, "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, and he was numbered with the transgressors." Isaiah liii. 12, "Therefore, will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and made intercession for the transgressors."
Thirdly, The enemies which Sampson slew at his death, were more in number than all that he had slain in the course of his whole life. What did the Redeemer destroy in his death? 2 Timothy i. 10, "Our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." Isaiah xxv. 7, 8, "And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all flesh, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the LORD God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it." 1 Corinthians xv. 54, "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." But,
Fourthly, The Redeemer achieved more, abundantly morc; he not only destroyed death, but him who had the power of death. Hebrews ii. 14, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." The power of death is taken from the
adversary and given to the world's Saviour. All power in heaven and earth, is given to me, saith the God man-Can it be in better hands? The LORD of universal nature will do right. Death and the devil are the two pillars on which rest the misery and destruction of intelligent beings. The Philistines are the figures of the multiplied iniquities of mankind. The Redeemer laying hold of, and uprooting these pillars, the whole fabrick was demolished. At that eventful moment, Messiah, by being cut off, made an end of sin. The transgressions of mankind although searched for cannot be found, they are buried beneath the rubbish, they are like a great millstone whelmed in the depths of the sea. Such was the victory gained by him who led captivity captive, and who when he ascended up on high, received gifts for men, yea, even for rebellious men.
Fifthly, Sampson was a type of Jesus Christ, even in his burial. His brethren took him and buried him. Mark xv. 46, "And he brought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcre which was hewn out of a rock." Luke xxiii. 53, "And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcre that was hewn in stone wherein never man before was laid.
Sixthly, The power of prayer is exemplified in the answer to the fervent petition of Sampson. The prayer of Sampson was the prayer of faith, and the prayer of faith is always answered. 2 Chronicles xx. 12, “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? our eyes are upon thee." The prayer, the faith, of that righteous man, who is the head of every man, availeth much. It is potent to procure the restitution of all things to exterminate evil from the universe.
1 SAMUEL Xii.
First, WHO were God's people, and who were not his people ? The responses of the sacred oracles are infallible. We will inquire at the mouth of Moses, Exodus vi. 7, " And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall
know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out
from under the burdens of the Egyptians." The prophet Jeremiah is also explicit and decisive, xiii. 11, "For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD, that they may be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear." But there were who were not the people of God. Romans x. 19, “But I say did not Israel know? First, Moses saith I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you."
Secondly, But who are now the people of God? Blessed be the name of Jehovah, the sacred writers are still ready with their answers. Hosea i. 9, 10, “Then said God, call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. Yet the numbers of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people; there it shall be said unto them, ye are the sons of the living God." Luke ii. 10, 30—32, "And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." The suffrage of the apostle Paul is as usual, full and clear. Ephesians ii. 14, 16, "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." And verses 17, 18, 19, 20, "And came and preached to you who were afar off, and to them who were nigh. For through him we both have access by one spirit unto the Father. Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." This testimony is confirmed, Galatians iii. 28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Testimonies to this effect might be multiplied, but we hasten,
Thirdly, To inquire why the characters described are the people of God?
First, They are the property of God, because he created them. Genesis i. 27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." Deuteronomy xxxii. 15, 18, "Then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Of the rock that begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." Psalm civ. 30, "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." Psalm cxlviii. 5, "Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created." Isaiah xliii. 1, "But now, saith the LORD, that created thee." Malachi ii. 10, "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?" Ephesians ii. 9, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which, from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." Colossians i. 16, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." Revelations iv. 11, "Thou art worthy, O LORD, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Secondly, The human family belong to God, because he hath redeemed them Exodus xv. 13, "Thou, in thy mercy, hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed." Deuteronomy xv. 15, "The LORD thy God redeemed thee." Deuteronomy iv, 26, "I prayed, therefore, unto the LORD, and said, O LORD God, destroy not thy people and thy inheritance which thou hast redeemed." Deuteronomy xiii. 5, "And redeemed you out of the house of bondage." Deuteronomy xxi. 8, "Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed." Psalm xxxi. 5, "Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth." Isaiah xxix. 22, "Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham." Isaiah xliv. 22, 23, "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me, for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it shout ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob." Hosea vii. 13, "Though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me." Luke i. 68,
"Blessed be the LORD God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people." Galatians iii. 13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law." Revelations v. 9, “For thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood."
Yes, blessed be almighty God, help was laid upon one who was mighty; he sent redemption to his people. Hebrews ix. 12, "By his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Christ Jesus hath bought, he hath paid the purchase for us; the right of redemption was in him. Exodus xv. 16, "Till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over which thou hast purchased." Acts xx. 28,"Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Ephesians i. 14, "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession." Deuteronomy xxxii. 6, "Is not he thy Father, that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?" Corinthians vi. 20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 2 Peter ii. 1, "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the LORD that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
Thirdly, God hath established his right in human nature, because he hath preserved it. Nehemiah ix. 6, "Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all things that are therein, the seas and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all.” Job vii. 20, "I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men ?" Psalm xxxvi. 6, "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast."
Thus, from a cloud of witnesses it becomes plain, that the whole human race belong unto him who created, who redeemed the lost nature, and who preservest the creatures he hath made. All souls, says God, are mine. It is true, we have sold ourselves for nought, and are ready to say, we have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement. But, saith God, by the prophet Isaiah, xxviii. 18, "Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand."