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they died in the Lord, so comforting a hope is calculated to throw a brightness over the sepulchre, and light it with the torch of immortality. The grave is thus no longer wretched. The loveliness of our kindred dust as it seemed, when for the last time we gazed upon it, shall yet be changed for corruption, and every feature may certainly be expected to decay; but if their spirit be with Jesus, it awaits there in Paradise the resurrection of their body. It is in this way that the converted dead are happy, and Jesus is their friend in heaven.
3. He is able to display, along with tender feelings, the comfort and support best adapted to our necessities. Did he not do so in the present case for the comfort of these individuals ? I do not mean to say that nothing less than the resurrection of their brother from the dead could have comforted them. We are to understand the miracles of Christ, as always having been performed with two objects in view-viz. for the accomplishment of some present good, and for the glory of God. Apart from the glory of God no miracle was ever performed. And along with this we are equally to remember, that Christ knew best, when that glory was to be promoted, and by what means. It would be absurd and impious to suppose, that nothing but a palpable resurrection from the dead could minister comfort to the children of God in a time of weeping for their departed relatives. At this rate, where could there be any thing like submission or resignation to the Divine will? Or again, if God were to grant such wishes, we might then be in this world for ever ; and be still at a distance from “ the rest which remains for the people of God.” But Christ is a Comforter without any thing of this kind. What has he promised in a time of temptation ? Grace to overcome it, and this is precisely adapted to the exigency. What has he promised to the Christian in the midst of temporal losses ? Is it any thing less than the better experience of his own favour which is life ? And what has he promised in a time of bereavement like the present? The sweetest consolation that can possibly be conceived, is promised when it is said, “ Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” How much it is for us to acknowledge that we need strength in the midst of our weakness—a rock amid the slipperiness of time, and hope amid the ravages of death. To whom then, or to what should we look for all this ? Certainly not to beauty, for it fades—not to riches, for they cannot profit in the day of trouble—not to youth, for that is shorn of its strength, and cut down like a flower—not to any thing in this world, for the fashion of this world is passing away. He who is spoken of in the textmas touched with the feeling of our infirmities—as exhibiting the tenderest expressions of humanity, is the rock on which we may build with security, and find Him to be our hope, either in the hour of the death of our friends, or in the hour of our own. How true it is that religion brings peace to the mind. Ever may I feel her consolations, administered to my heart by the hand of Him, whose every touch is sympathy. The wilderness through which we are passing is frequently chequered by storm and by tempest. The clouds threaten-portentous appearances are exhibited. Nature feels her inability to cope with them. Alarm is ready to seize the soul. But a voice from behind the darkening scenery is heard, not in the accents of thunder, as if to augment the terrors already in existence, but in gentler expression, to soothe the heart, and to tell the desponding mind that God is with us. Every spiritual mind knows the meaning and the application of this. There are such storms as sometimes rack the feelings of the Christian. We are liable to a variety of privation. Sorrow wounds us, and many things seem to go against us. So have we seen the ocean, after exhibiting for a season the placidness of the almost unruffled lake, roused into action, and torn with conflicting elements. It seemed not the same ocean as before. The one was the calmness of the summer's eve- the other, the might and the swell of the mountain-billow, threatening shipwreck and ruin. And would not every thing be as fearful in the case of the Zionward pilgrim, but for the interposition of Him, who, with the ease with which he can ride on the wings of the wind, and can tell the sea to resume its former placidity, proclaims to the troubled mind that his presence is near! If the whirlwind move not but at his bidding-if it sweep not across the desert to scatter destruction but at his commandif every one of its energies be arrested when he pleases, or if the power that agitates the ocean be the power that silences its roarings, and directs the arrows of the lightning's flash with unerring precision,
--so it is the same hand and the same power that removes the fear of his people, and sweetly blends in their hearts the consolations of mercy. Let us now look at it all as the exhibition of character. It seems as if in all our afflictions, the angel of the Covenant partakes of our afflictions.-In other words, he is our sympathizing friend. Nor does his sympathy stand alone.There is connected with it a positive putting forth of adequate comfort. As he is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, so if we call upon him, we may have grace to help us in time of need.
Let us finally go forward in imagination to the hour of our own personal departure from the world. What can
we wish for, as preparing us for that moment ? Shall we then need a rock to stand upon ?-or a friend to cheer us?or a skilful pilot to conduct us through the swellings of Jordan ? And who is that rock but Christ? Or that friend but Christ? Or that pilot but the Shepherd of Israel ? Endeavour to feel as if surrounded by the
of death. What is the nature of the sympathy you ask for? Call to remembrance the weeping of Jesus. Is that the sympathy you wish for? It must be better than that of sons and of daughters. These could speak to you only of the approach of your dying, and perhaps offer up a prayer for your happy departure. Jesus whispers to you something about heavenGives you to feel the earnest of its joys, and promises a convoy of angels to conduct you there. Was ever love like this, or sympathy so seasonable? Happy is that people who are in such a case, at death. Let my spirit go away, when it shall take its departure, enjoying the presence of such a Saviour. Let my death-bed be illumined by the dawnings of the life of immortality. Let the motto over my dust be this, -"a humble friend of Jesus lies here." To have this for an inheritance, will awaken the expectation of that dust being raised again in beauty and in glory, amid the loudest blast of the archangel and the trump of God.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.—Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Rom. 111. 28–in connexion with—JAMES 11. 24.
Is it true that we are in possession of an adequate and satisfactory reply to the question, supposing it to be put, Is not the scripture sometimes inconsistent with itself? And are not the passages, at present selected, a proof that it is so ? How comes it to
say are justified by faith, and yet that another, equally inspired with the first, should so distinctly assert, that justification by faith is not every thing ; but that works also are found to enter into so vital an article of the Christian religion ? Was James the apostle disposed to disbelieve his fellow apostle ; or if not to disbelieve him, to consider that the doctrine which he advanced was defective, or needed qualification ? Were both of these apostles at one and the same time true ? Is