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expressive declaration from the lips of our blessed Lord himself. He is speaking of the condition of the wicked at the 47th verse :—"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out; it is better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” This is the passage I mean :“For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” Mark that! There are two classes spoken of, and their condition is also spoken of. There is "every one;" that is evidently every one that he has been speaking of, viz., the wicked. He says, “every one shall be salted with fire." Then of the righteous —"every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” The righteous render their bodies “a living sacrifice” to our God. The whole of a Christian's life is, or ought to be, a life of sacrifice to him who was sacrificed for us. the meaning of salting ? What is the effect of salt in nature ? Our Lord was always speaking in parables; therefore you must look for the meaning of “salted with fire” by parabolic interpretation. “Salted with fire,” on the face of it, means nothing at all; you cannot salt with fire literally; there must be some parabolic meaning. What is it? What is the effect of salting? It is to preserve. Animal food of any kind if not salted will corrupt; but if you sall it, it will last years and centuries. Look at the mummies in Egypt, how many hundreds of years those bodies have been preserved! When the flesh which is upon them has been boiled in water, it has the same appearance as though it had only been preserved a year ago; and when it is let alone, the preserving matter being withdrawn, it corrupts just the same, as meat corrupts now, if laid aside in a fresh state. This shows the effect of salt in preserving. “Salted with fire.” It is only a parabolic method of saying, that their bodies shall be everlastingly in fire without being consumed. If your body were put into fire, it would not be long before it would be consumed to ashes. But Christ says, they shall be salted with fire. This is the fire, the smoke of the torment whereof shall ascend for ever and ever. Then, you know, salt is also used in a good sense, in the sense of purification, for as salt will make a thing last, so it will keep it free from corruption. So, he says, “every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” Thus, according to the manner of Christ, you have the same word used in two different senses-quite a common thing with him; as, for instance, “Let the dead bury their dead”-there the word dead is used in two senses. So here is the word which will tell you something of the resurrection of the wicked-that they will be raised to an eternal existence, and their bodies salted with fire.
Proceed we now to the APPLICATION of the subject. Not that I can apply it; God only can so apply his truth as to make it profitable, whether to sinner or to saint. It is he alone who, by his Holy Spirit, can pierce the hard heart, open the blind eyes, and convert the sinner from the error of his ways. It is be alone that can say to them that are “of fearful heart, be strong; let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” When, therefore, I say, I apply the subject, I mean I apply it to the character concerned, looking to God the Holy Ghost to apply it to the heart.
1. To the sinner I would say, instead of asking with the scoffer, “ How are the dead raised up ?” how is it possible that a dead man can ever come to life again, and his body come back from the grave in which it has rotted ? it would be better to ask, “How shall I be raised up? with what sort of a body? what sort of a resurrection will mine be ?” You know there will be two resurrections. In Dan. xii. 2 , the Holy Ghost tells you, “ Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” It appears there will be first a resurrection of the righteous, and then a resurrection of the wicked. I am not about to argue that subject now, but to state that it will be so-that the resurrection of the righteous will precede the resurrection of the wicked-I believe by a thousand years or more. A man who has served God in the old dispensation, with Abrahain, or Moses, or David, or in this dispensation, with Paul, or Luther, or the present Archbishop of Canterbury; I say, no matter when the man lived, if he was a man of God, when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, he will be raised incorruptible. Then the wicked will be left in their corruption ; there they will lie till a later hour in the day, till a more advanced period of the history of the world. The sea will not give up its dead of the wicked; the earth will not open its graves and send out the wicked; thcre they will lie until the bright and blessed period of the
mi'lernium has passed over. After that, the dead shall be raised; then the wicked will appear, and have to give an account of the things done in the body. Now, not to enter into speculations, but simply to deal with facts, you should think,- Is it true that every man, saint or sinner, shall rise again, and appear befcre the judgment seat of Christ ? is it a fact as regards me, and if it is, how shall I rise again ? Supposing that you die and are buried, or supposing that, in your present condition, Christ should come, what will be the nature of your resurrection ? What will be the body you will rise up in ? Will it be incorruptible, undefiled ? or will it be salted with fire ? Will it be rendered immortal, and at the same time incapable of happiness for ever ? That is the question for you to put to yourself; and you should not, as many do, as I have shown by these Infidel writers whom I have quoted, endeavour to amuse and delude yourselves with speculations, as to the probability of escape, and try to pick some hole in the description of the resurrection, and say, “This thing will never be.” A foolish proceeding that, for a man, when he has good evidence of a case before him, to hunt until he finds something or other which he thinks to be a flaw, by which he may possibly escape. Men never do so in worldly matters. Let a man come in now, and say to any one of you, “Your house is on fire;" would you say, “Oh, people often tell lies; I. dare say it is not so. Very improbable that my house should be on fire rather than any other man’s. There are so many thousands of houses in London, that it is half a million to one that it is not mine. I will sit still and hear the sermon.” Would you do that? No; nor any sane man. What would you do? You would go directly; you would not stop to reason on probabilities or improbabilities; you would go directly, especially if your wife and children were in the house. You would not stop to hear the sermon, and you would be very foolish if you did. Quite as foolish is the Infidel who chooses to be satisfied with a vain speculation. A man takes up this Book and picks out a passage-"How are the dead raised
“Oh, I do not believe anything of the kind. No, there is an end of the body at death, and of all connected with it.” Oh, do not act in that foolish manner. I am sure there is many a man who is confined in Bedlam who has never acted half so foolishly as you are acting now. I think the insane ravings of all the madmen in the world do not equal the vain babbling of a man who has the Bible in his hand, and talks and persuades himself into eternal damnation.
It must not be forgotten that those who have heard the Gospel will have a much more terrible punishment in hell than those who have not heard the Gospel; I cannot see how a heathen can be saved; I do not see how a Jew can be saved. I do not see how any man can be saved who does not believe in Christ. But I do say this, that “the man who knew his Lord's will, and did it not, will be beaten with many stripes.” Yes, there is a greater and a less damnation. There are those who are heaping up wrath against the day of wrath. There is greater wickedness in one man than in another man; and there shall be greater punishment for the man that hath committed greater wickedness. And the greatest wickedness of all is the rejection of Christ Jesus. You may sum up all that is utterable in the way of villainy, of atrocity, of uncleanness, and of every other assignable moral obliquity, and put them together, and weigh them against that one thing, the rejection of Christ-I say that loaded scale would kick the beam ; it would fly up like a feather when weighed against a cwt. of lead. There is no crime so hateful to God as the rejection of his dear Son. Every commandment of the ten might be shattered and shivered into a thousand pieces, the whole decalogue on the tables of the law might be dashed on the earth, and trampled under foot, and God would be angry at that; but the despising of his Son, the rejection of the Lord, the trampling of the blood of the crucified under the foot, that is a thing for which a man shall burn, and burn, and burn, for ever and for ever! The devils in hell will rejoice over him; if they could be happy, it would be to see his writhing and his wretchedness, his remorse and his vain repentance. God, in his infinite mercy, open your eyes in time; God save you froin the wrath to come; give you to repent now, give you to believe now, lest you repent too late; lest you believe too late, and know the truth in hell, which if you had known and believed on earth, might have saved you from hell! Oh God the Holy Ghost make these people to tremble. They reject Jesus. "They Some persons
talk about Christianity, but when you see them at their homes where is their Christianity ? When you see them at their daily business where is their Christianity? They talk about Christianity, but when you bear their words and see their d'avis, um hunn tiisip history, where is their Christianity? It is a lie from bezinning to end. Will a lie save a man think you ? No, he shall go to the father of lies, to his own place. Repent, therefore, and be converted, lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the Prophet, “Behold ye despisers, and wonder, and perish.”
My beloved in the Lord, there is a word for you, too, “How are the dead raised up ?” We know how the wicked will be, but how about you? You know very well, for I have told you as far as it can be known. say, “we do not know what will be in the world to come.” Well, certainly, not by experience. We have so much unhappiness here, so much infirmity in the body, so much distress in the mind, so much perplexity in the world, so much temptation from the devil, that it is very difficult even to conceive a condition where a person is altogether happy. I have sometimes thought, when I have watched a little child, full of love and mirth, grateful to a parent or a friend that has presented it, perbaps, a flower (like itself but not so fair) or perhaps a toy-I have seen the little creature, as it were, in a heaven upon earth. I have seen its beautiful countenance (for all children are beautiful) light up, its eyes glisten like stars, and smiles play about its ruby lips, and its little white teeth peeping between, and such a merry laugh from its happy heart; and I have thought, that is heaven on earth. "Oh, the look of love and look of gratitude! I think a penny or a sixpence well laid out merely to get a smile from a child. Many a time a man might make himself comfortable for a minute or two if he would do that thing. It is cheaply bought. There is something so simple, so pure, so altogether lovely, in the ways of children, that I pity the man who cannot find a satisfaction in them. Yes, I have sometimes thought if we could form any notion of what a perfectly happy condition could be, you might see something of it in a little child; very healtby, very happy, very grateful; it unites for the moment all that is necessary to make happiness. Bu oh, if it breaks the toy !-oh, if it snaps the flower !-ob, if it slips its foot and falls ! all its smiles are chased away, and down come the tears, like little diamonds, and drop upon its snowy breast! And there is the heaven dashed to pieces again! So I do not know where to look for happiness here. It is true, "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man what God hath prepared for them that love him." I cannot conceive how I shall feel when I am always happy. I am happy now, happier than most of you. But as to the resurrection, I cannot conceive how it will be, because it is a state which I have never tasted. But we do know something of it. You can conceive something of a glorious body to look at, bright and shining as the sun. You can conceive of there being no such thing as pain, or infirmity, or ignorance. You can conceive, too, of being amongst those you love, and who love you, to feel that no man will have the face of a stranger towards you, nor the heart of hatred. You can enter into something of that, can't you? Pick out the nearest and dearest to your heart—your kinsman or kinswoman-be it wife or child, and think how you feel in the sweetest and dearest seasons of communion with them. Then carry that out, in thought, into full and enlarged enjoyment for ever and for ever; and you will bave some faint conception of what will be the state of the blessed in the resurrection. Be sure that no one will be your enemy. Be sure that all who speak words of love before your face, will speak words of kindness behind your back. Be sure that all who say they love you, will feel they
Be sure there will never come unkindness, ingratitude, deceit, revenge, or any other foul thing, which makes this world so often like hell, and so unlike heaven. Think of that, and then “How are the dead raised up?” They are raised with bodies, such as we have seen in the transfiguration, to a condition where they shall sorrow no more, nor sigh any more; where there shall be no sickness, no pain, no death, and best of all, where there shall be no sin.
THE GREAT RESERVOIR.
DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, FEBRUARY 21, 1858, BY THE
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”—Proverbs iv. 23. If I should vainly attempt to fashion my discourse after lofty models, I should this morning compare the human heart to the ancient city of Thebes, out of whose hundred gates multitudes of warriors were wont to march. As was the city such were her armies, as was her inward strength, such were they who came forth of her. I might then urge the necessity of keeping the heart, because it is the metropolis of our manhood, the citadel and armoury of our humanity. Let the chief fortress surrender to the enemy, and the occupation of the rest must be an easy task. Let the principal stronghold be possessed by evil, the whole land must be overrun thereby. Instead, however, of doing this, I shall attempt what possibly I may be able to perform, by a humble metaphor and a simple figure, which will be easily understood; I shall endeavour to set forth the wise man's doctrine, that our life issues from the heart, and thus I shall labour to show the absolute necessity of keeping the heart with all diligence.
You have seen the great reservoirs provided by our water companies, from which the water which is to supply hundreds of streets and thousands of houses is kept. Now, the heart is just the reservoir of man, and our life is allowed to flow in its proper season. That life may flow through different pipes-the mouth, the hand, the eye; but still all the issues of hand, of eye, of lip, derive their source from the great fountain and central reservoir, the heart; and hence there is no difficulty in showing the great necessity that exists for keeping this reservoir, the heart, in a proper state and condition, since otherwise that which flows through the pipes must be tainted and corrupt. May the Holy Spirit now direct our meditations.
Mere moralists very often forget the heart, and deal exclusively with the lesser powers. Some of them say, “If a man's life be wrong it is better to alter the principles upon which his conduct is modelled: we had better adopt another scheme of living; society must be remodelled, so that man may have an opportunity for the display of virtues, and less temptation to indulge in vice." It is as if, when the reservoir was filled with poisonous or polluted fluid, some sage counsellor should propose that all the piping had better be taken up, and fresh pipes laid down, so that the water might run through fresh channels; but who does not perceive that it would be all in vain, if the fountain-head were polluted, however good the channels. So in vain the rules by which men hope to fashion their lives; in vain the regimen by which we seek to constrain ourselves to the semblance of goodness,
unless the heart be right the very best scheme of life shall fall to the ground, and fail to effett its design. Others say, “Well, if the life be wrong, it would be better to set the understanding right: you must inform man's judgment, educate him, teach him better, and when his head is well informed, then his life will be improved.” Now, understanding is, if I may use such a figure, the stop-cock which controls the emotions, lets them flow on, or stops them; and it is as if some very wise man, when a reservoir had been poisoned, proposed that there should be a new person employed to turn the water off or on, in hope that the whole difficulty would thus be obviated. If we followed his alvice, if we found tlle wisest man in the world to have the control of the fountain, Mr. Understanding would still be incapable of supplying us with healthy streams, until we had first of all purged the cistern whence they flowed. The Arminian divine, too, some. times suggests another way of improving man's life. He deals with the will. He says, the will must first of all be conquered, and if the will be right, then everything will be in order. Now, will is like the great engine which forces the water out of the fountain-head along the pipes, so that it is made to flow into our dwellings. The learned counsellor proposes that there should be a new steam. engine employed to force the water along the pipes. "If,” says he, we had the proper machinery for forcing the fluid, then all would be well.” No, sir, if the stream be poisonous, you may have axles to turn on diamonds, and you may have a machine that is made of gold and a force as potent as Omnipotence, but even then you have not accomplished your purpose until you have cleansed the polluted fountain, and purged the issues of life which flow therefrom. The wise man in our text seems to say, • Beware of misapplying your energies, be careful to begin in the right place.” It is very necessary the understanding should be right; it is quite needful the will should have its proper predominance; it is very necessary that you should keep every part of man in a healthy con. dition; but,” says he, “ if you want to promote true holiness, you must begin with the heart, for out of it are the issues of life; and when you have purged it, when you have made its waters pure and limpid, then shall the current flow and bless the inhabitants with clear water; but not till then.” Here let us pause and ask the solemn and vital question, “ Is my heart right in the sight of God?” For unless the inner man has been renewed by the grace of God, through the Holy Spirit, our heart is full of rottenness, filth, and abominations. And if so, here must all our cleansing begin, if it be real and satisfactory. Unrenewed men, I beseech you ponder the words of an ancient Ciristian which I here repeat in thine ear:-“It is no matter what is the sign, though an angel, that hangs without, if the devil and sin dwell within. New trimmings upon an old garment will not make it new, only give it a new appearance; and truly it is no good husbandry to bestow a great deal of cost in mending up an old suit, that will soon drop to tatters and rags, when a little more might purchase a new one that is lasting. And is it not better to labour to get a new heart, that all thou dost may be accepted, and thou saved, than to lose all the pains thou takest in religion, and thy self also for want of it?"
Now, ye who love the Lord, let me take you to the reservoir of your heart, and let me urge upon you the great necessity of keeping the heart right, if you would have the streams of your life happy for yourselves and beneficial to others.
I. First, keep the heart full. However pure the water may be in the central reservoir, it will not be possible for the company to provide us with an abundant supply of water, unless the reservoir itself be full. An empty fountain will most assuredly beget empty pipes; and let the machinery be never so accurate, let everything else be well ordered, yet if that reservoir be dry, we may wait in vain