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upon a new service. No longer do we serve sin, the world, Satan, and our own corrupt hearts, but the Lord Jesus Christ. New prospects open to our view-new expectations-new hopes-new fears. When sin was our master, we might have cried to him in our trouble, "Master, master, we perish;" but sin could not help us; sin would give us over to death: "For the wages of sin is death." Sin would delight to add wind to the boisterous waves, and fuel to the fire which it had already kindled; but sin never says to the troubled spirit, "Peace, be still." It 66 says, Peace, peace, when there is no peace." We may cry out to any of these masters, as the poor idolaters of old did, "O Baal, hear us!" but there will be no voice, nor any to answer. Sin is a bitter taskmaster, worse than the taskmasters in Egypt but the same God who delivered his people of old can and will deliver us. As Christ died, and rose again, and revived, it is that we should not serve sin; it is, that he might be "The Lord both of the dead and living."
Two solemn and very serious thoughts are suggested to the mind by these obser
vations. 1st. If his servants we are to whom we obey, should we not ask ourselves whether we are paying allegiance to other lords, rather than to the one living and true God; or whether we are indeed serving the Lord Jehovah. Two masters we cannot serve-we shall assuredly love the one and hate the other: we cannot serve God and mammon! If, then, we are in mercy led to follow Christ, we shall delight in his service; we shall be conformed to his pattern; we shall be made partakers of his sufferings, and as surely we shall be made partakers of the glory which shall be revealed. And what comfort is there in such reflections as these! We are planted together in the likeness of the death of Christ. Be it so! we shall be planted also in the likeness of his resurrection. We are called to a life of exertion, of self-sacrifice, and of patient suffering. Master! we will follow thee! Let us trust in thy grace to enable us so to do. Give us now, if it shall please thee, an increase of faith, of hope, of charity, and some portion of thy consolation some portion of that ready submission which was vouchsafed to
thy saints and martyrs of old. Our prospect when we shall behold thee, O Lord, will indeed be glorious. Now, through thy grace, we may be permitted to say, Whom having not seen we love : in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory." Then we shall see God face to face. Then will be another removal of the trees of righteousness, they will be transplanted once again into the paradise of God: there shall they live and flourish for ever, and enjoy for ever "the fruits of their Saviour's victory." "Such as are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God:" such as are planted in the likeness of Christ's death, shall be planted likewise in the likeness of his resurrection.
Let then the Christian pause for a moment, and consider his hopes, his prospects, and his privileges. He humbly hopes to live with Christ in glory: but there must be a crucifixion of self, but he must be planted in the likeness of his death. "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment." The second great
question then is, How shall we meet death when it does summon us away from this world? Shall Christ appear before us as the king of terrors, or as the messenger of mercy to lead us to a better world? "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Every difficulty and every enemy may be overcome! The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." He is the great leader, and his people shall triumph in his name; but under his banner, and with the armour appointed by him, they must war a good warfare. We have seen they have armour to put on not like the armour of Saul, which was too heavy for David; but an armour, the goodness and suitableness of which they have repeatedly proved. They have a great work to do, even the work of their salvation: the old Adam which is corrupt must be put off: the body of sin must be destroyed: they must not serve sin. Let, then, the work of salvation be begun now: let us work it out, the Lord working in us to will and to do of his
good pleasure. Let prayer be made in the deepest humility of mind to God our heavenly Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ that in the great work of salvation we may prosper; that in all things God may be glorified through our Lord Jesus Christ; that our Redeemer may see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; and that we may receive through all eternity the blessed fruits of his great victory.
So long as we continue here below, we shall find some portion of this old Adam cleaving to us; the body of sin will tempt and try us; life itself will be a conflict. But we fight not only under one who exhorts, and directs, and advises, but under one who has actually gone before us in the path of suffering, and has tasted the bitterest pangs of death, that he might lead us to eternal glory. If we hear his word, and receive his counsel, and look by faith to his victory, we shall conquer. He can fit us and prepare us for the putting off these earthly bodies: his grace can bless every period of life. Whilst we are in the body, we shall be thankful for the mercies we receive; when we put off the body,