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leaving its frail tabernacle, and entering on a new and untried state of existence. I would point out its certainty, the uncertainty of the time, its nearness, its just demand on man, its subjugation by the Christian.


It is not an event which may or may not arrive to us. What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? (Psalm lxxxix. 49.) There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit, neither hath he power in the day of death, and there is no discharge in that war. (Eccles. viii. 8.) You must certainly die; let this truth, which should influence your whole life, penetrate your whole soul. The scenes which you now behold, you will one day cease to behold; you must bid farewell to every earthly object. You must die.

O, surely men in general are ignorant of this! They could not have their hearts so engaged in, and filled with cares for the good things of this world, did they know these are all temporary and transient, and there is certainly one overwhelming event before them, which will for ever separate them from all here below.

2. The uncertainty of the time.

Certain as the event itself, it is uncertain as to the time when it shall happen; and this fearfully increases the importance of being prepared for it.

No one living can

Seventy or eighty years are the farthest ordinary duration of life, but its average length is less than half of seventy. But even thirty years, or one year, or one day, is more than we can be certain will be ours. Ye know not what shall be on the morrow; for what is your life? it is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James iv. 13, 14.) Man also knoweth not his time. (Eccles. ix. 12.) infallibly tell that his life shall be continued here, even for another day, or another night.— Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Prov. xxvii. 1.)— This night thy soul may be required. (Luke xii. 20.) There are thousands now alive, multitudes of whom are perhaps inwardly fancying,-Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry, who have no thought of death as at hand, on whom this very sentence is passed, and will be executed before to-morrow's sun shall rise.

Death may come thus suddenly to some of you! O my brethren, are you prepared for such a summons? Be ye also ready.


Do not suppose it is a distant event,-it is at hand, the Judge is at the door. Say rather with Job,-the graves are ready for me, my days are swifter than a post, they flee away; they are passed


as the swift ship; or with David, Behold thou hast made my days as a handbreadth, and mine age is as nothing before thee; verily, every man living, at his best estate, is altogether vanity. (Psalm xxxix. 5.) Only a thin veil of flesh hides the eternal world from your view. Any moment may rend it asunder. You can hardly mention the situation in which some one person or other has not died, or the circumstance in which some have not been called to appear before God.-If such an event be so near, how ready ought we to be! Watch ye, therefore, for ye know not when the master of the house cometh; at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.


This is the most fearful characteristic of death. It is the issue of sin. It is not a mere change from one state to another, but it is the Divine appointment in consequence of man's disobedience. It is appointed unto men once to die. Death is the wages of sin. It is the punishment of guilt. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans v. 12.) The Law justly condemns the transgressors; and its fearful penalty is death. Here is the sting of death. Were we not sinners, death would have no terrors. But now he is the

King of Terrors; bringing along with him, a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries. Awful indeed is it for a sinful creature to fall into the hands of the living God, and under the immediate wrath of Him who says, Vengeance belongeth unto me. This is the death of death. Are we pro

vided against this evil? All defence and security against other evils, while this tremendous evil is disregarded, is but mere vanity and childish folly. God himself is described as tenderly expostulating with him on this subject. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end. (Deut. xxxii.)


There is a full victory to be obtained over this mighty enemy, the great conqueror of the human race. But to attain this victory, none less than the only Son of God entered into the conflict. He became partaker of our flesh and blood, and yielded himself to death, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and deliver those, who through fear of death, were all their life time subject to bondage. (Heb. ii. 14, 15.) On his cross he spoiled this principality of power. (Col. ii. 15.) He has gone before us through the dark tomb; he knows its innermost recesses, and so complete is the victory,

that the Apostle says, He hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy i. 10.) Now the believer in Him may defy this his greatest and last foe, and say, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Were you all, my brethren, true believers in the Lord Jesus, death would be the happiest subject on which I could address you. This victory would be yours. May the precious gift of faith be bestowed from above upon you all. Remember the solemn assurance of our Lord Christ: Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life. (John v. 51.)

Can I, as your minister, look at this victory without longing that you should all be among the victors. It is my fervent prayer to God for you, that you may all partake of this victory; that you may all share this triumph. God, in mercy, grant it for his Son's sake!

Such then is death, the event referred to; it is certain to all, it is uncertain as to the time, but it is near at hand, and the justly deserved penalty of sin, and the believer obtains a full victory over it.

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